Primary/Elementary, Middle & High School UK Year to US Grade-How Old Are You in Each Grade-Nord Anglia Education
Nord Anglia
June 20, 2023

Comparing UK Year Groups to US Grade

Primary/Elementary, Middle & High School UK Year to US Grade-How Old Are You in Each Grade-BISC-SL Graduation Ceremony

Understanding what grade and stage of education your child will be in can be confusing, particularly if you’re unfamiliar with the US system. In this post, we explain your child’s grade and the UK equivalent based on their current age. You can find a table detailing what ages fall into each grade below.


UK Year Groups and US Grades by Age

This table has all the information you need regarding grades and year groups at British International School of Chicago, South Loop. This should allow you to determine what year group your child will be in based on their age. For example, if you child was born between September 1 2012 – August 31 2013, they will be between 9-10 years old, and therefore in 4th Grade.

 Birth Date Age  US Grade  UK Year Group  School Stage 
Sept.1, 2019 - Aug. 31, 2020  3-4


 Nursery  Foundation
Sept.1, 2018 - Aug. 31, 2019  4-5  Junior Kindergarten  Reception  Foundation
Sept.1, 2017 - Aug. 31, 2018  5-6  Kindergarten  Year 1  Primary
Sept.1, 2016 - Aug. 31, 2017  6-7  Grade 1  Year 2  Primary
Sept.1, 2015 - Aug. 31, 2016  7-8  Grade 2  Year 3  Primary
Sept.1, 2014 - Aug. 31, 2015  8-9  Grade 3  Year 4  Primary
Sept.1, 2013 - Aug. 31, 2014  9-10  Grade 4  Year 5  Primary
Sept.1, 2012 - Aug. 31, 2013  10-11  Grade 5  Year 6  Primary
Sept.1, 2011 - Aug. 31, 2012  11-12  Grade 6  Year 7  Middle School
Sept.1, 2010 - Aug. 31, 2011  12-13  Grade 7  Year 8  Middle School
Sept.1, 2009 - Aug. 31, 2010  13-14  Grade 8  Year 9  Middle School
Sept.1, 2008 - Aug. 31, 2009  14-15  Grade 9  Year 10  IGCSE
Sept.1, 2007 - Aug. 31, 2008  15-16  Grade 10  Year 11  IGCSE
Sept.1, 2006 - Aug. 31, 2007  16-17  Grade 11  Year 12  IB
Sept.1, 2005 - Aug. 31, 2006  17-18  Grade 12  Year 13  IB

Frequently Asked Questions about the US School System

At what age do children start school in the US?

Children begin Preschool at the age of 3. For the 2023 - 2024 school year, children who turn 3 after September 1, 2023 may still enrol in the Preschool program. However, they will need to repeat Preschool with their age-appropriate cohort the following year.

Children must be 4 years of age by August 31 to enter Reception. All children need to be potty trained prior to starting school.


How old are you in Primary School (also known as Elementary School)?

Primary School in the US education system includes Kindergarten and grades 1-5. Students beginning in kindergarten are 5 to 6 years old, while those in grade 5 are 10 to 11. Therefore, children in Primary School or Elementary school have an age range of 5 to 11. 


What is the BISC South Loop Primary School curriculum? 

The BISC South Loop  curriculum is curated to empower children from kindergarten to fifth grade to grow into ambitious, confident, and inspired students who approach learning with a clear focus on progressing their skills.  

Our Primary School curriculum covers a diverse range of topics to ensure students experience a well-rounded education. Subjects include English, Maths, Science, American Studies, Art, Computing, Dance, Music, Physical Education, Games, and World Languages.  


What age are you in Middle School?

After Primary School, children move on to Middle School, which covers grades 6 through 8. Children in sixth grade are typically 11 to 12 years old, while those in eighth grade are 13 and 14. As such, children in Middle School range from 11 to 14 years old.  


How does Middle School prepare you for High School?

Middle School is an integral time in a student's progress, as they grow physically, emotionally, and cognitively. Our Middle School curriculum introduces students to a wide range of compelling ideas intended to challenge their assumptions and foster their growth.  

Each grade in Middle School builds on what the students have learned to broaden their understanding and prepare them for the subsequent year. Eighth grade students in our curriculum are invited to select an elective of Performance, Art, or Engineering to help prepare them for High School.  


How old are you in High School?

US High School consists of grades 9 through 12 and is where students study their IGCSEs and the International Baccalaureate with British International School of Chicago, South Loop. Students in grade 9 are aged 14 to 15, while students in grade 12 are aged 17 to 18. Therefore, High School students are 14 to 18 years old. 


What is the IGCSE and IB curriculum?

The BISC South Loop High School curriculum covers the IGCSE and International Baccalaureate. The High School curriculum is designed to foster academic, social, and personal growth through a robust lesson plan, both in and out of the classroom. 

During the first two years, students are offered a wide range of elective courses to tailor a lesson plan to their interests. In addition to their core learning program, students can select one World Language course, one Social Science course, and one of three pathways to provide a foundation for their Junior and Senior years.  

The Upper High School curriculum prepares students for college and university, ensuring they are well-equipped for success in the world. The IB curriculum follows the course route the students began during their first two High School years.  
If you have further questions regarding age requirements and grades for Primary School (Elementary School), Middle School and High School, or if your child is looking to join our family of over 80 schools, you can find more details on our admissions page.