The School System

Find out about the education system for children in primary, secondary and further education in Gibraltar...

Pre-school Education

Pre-school / nursery education is optional and is for children aged 2-4 years.

Primary Education

Free, compulsory primary full-time education starts with the Reception class for children due to turn five years of age in the following school year.

Initially, children are only required to attend morning sessions in order to acclimatise to the change in routine. The morning sessions expand to include afternoon sessions at the discretion of the schools.

Primary education in Gibraltar is conducted in mixed schools and includes both first and middle school education. It lasts for eight years.

  • First school education is for ages 4+ to 7+ (Year R – Year 3)
  • Middle school education is for ages 8+ to 12 (Year 4 – Year 7)

Secondary Education

Secondary education starts aged 12+, where pupils follow a four-year course in preparation for sitting their General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) exams aged 15+. There are two state secondary schools in Gibraltar: Westside School for girls and Bayside Comprehensive School for boys.

In the first two years at secondary school (Year 8 and Year 9) pupils study a wide range of compulsory subjects under Key Stage 3 of the National Curriculum including: English, Mathematics, Science, Religious Education, Physical Education, Spanish, French, History, Geography, Art & Design, Drama, Music, Design & Technology, Information & Communications Technology, and Personal Social Health Education.

During Year 10 and Year 11, up to ten subjects can be taken for GCSE. These must include the five core subjects of English, Spanish, Mathematics, Science and Religious Education as part of Key Stage 4 of the National Curriculum.

Pupils are free to choose additional subjects to continue their studies and assessment. At this level subjects such as Italian, Sociology, Business Studies, Home Economics at Bayside School  and Dance, Textiles, Child Studies and Office Skills at Westside School become available to those wishing to study them.

Both Personal Social Health Education and Physical Education are compulsory, but do not lead to a GCSE qualification.

Following the completion of the GCSE courses, eligible students (those who have achieved level 2 exam result qualifications) can continue their studies to Advanced GCE level by moving into the Sixth Form of their secondary school to study two to four A Levels / AS Levels over two years.

Assessment is made at the end of the first year (Year 12) with AS Level certificates being granted for success. In the final year (Year 13) students focus on two or three of the same subjects to obtain the A Level.

Year 12 and 13 students are required to attend Liberal Studies and Religious Education courses.

Secondary education examinations are graded on a system of A* to U with A* being the best grade possible and a grade of U signifying Ungraded or Unclassified.

College of Further Education

Gibraltar College teaches GCSE, A Level, AS Level, NVQ and a range of part and full time professional and educational courses in disciplines such as Business Studies, Financial and IT.

University Education

Following the completion of A or AS Levels there are no facilities in Gibraltar for higher education. Instead, undergraduate and post-graduate courses can be studied at UK universities. The Government of Gibraltar offers scholarships for eligible students.