Luke and Astrid (school years)

Rowland, Jennifer A B jennifer.rowland at
Wed Jul 12 05:11:17 EDT 2000

 >I've just found a reference to David's class "fighting 3B". If he was a
>third year too he would be fourteen, perhaps going on fifteen, which
>surprises me.

If a young Australian kid read that, s/he would assume David was 8 or
so! We
call our school grades after their years -
Kinder, Prep, Year 1 (or Grade 1), Year 2 etc. The "B" or "C" qualifier
comes from the teacher's surname initial.
Thus my son, at 8, was in 3W  and my daughter, at 10, was in 5/6M
(composite class).

We do that now but up until about 5? years ago the numbering re-started when
you started a new school - ie bottom, middle and top infants was 4/5 to 7
year olds, then 1st-4th year juniors for 8-11 year olds, then 1st-5th years
at secondary school (until 16), and if you stayed on to do A-levels then you
were in the Sixth Form. Classes could be named after their teacher but where
abilities were split they might be 3i and ii or 4A and B. It really confuses
me now when people say they're in "year 13" or something, I have to
translate. And I suppose it now works the other way, today's UKy
schoolchildren reading that Nan was a second year (or whatever they are)
would be baffled for a minute and not automatically know the age. The past
is like a foreign country...
BTW I think third years would be 13-14, not 14-15, although if your birthday
was right at the beginning of the school year you'd be 14-and-nine-months by
the end of the year. (My birthday is in July so I was always one of the
youngest, but luckily I was tall.)
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