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Five with key

shivver13 in dw_britglish

A few questions

Hi there! I have a few questions about British language, customs, and geography for some fanfics I'm working on that I hope you can answer. Thank you in advance for any assistance!

1. I'm really fuzzy on the British school system and how grades (years) are referred to. I have a character saying that she's known another character since the year of school in which they were around 12-13 years old. In America, that would be 6th or 7th grade. What would it be for a British student?

2. If you're moving from one town to another and paying a company to move your belongings and furniture, what do you refer to them as? And what kind of vehicle would the items be moved in? In America, we'd call them movers, and they usually use a semi to move multiple clients' belongings in bulk, but it doesn't seem like Britain has semis. (I can't imagine they'd be able to navigate the narrow roads.)

3. Is there a somewhat posh neighborhood near Chiswick that I can locate a family? The family is not super rich, but both parents work and have good jobs - definitely upper middle class. Even if there isn't a named neighborhood, a location would be helpful, so I can look on Google Earth to get a feel for what the buildings and houses look like.

4. Is a "flat" an apartment, meaning a single residence in a building of multiple single residence? Or does the term have multiple meanings? For example, in America, when a person refers to his "flat", it could mean a house - in this sense, it simply means "where I live".

5. When I was in Britain last year, I noticed that a lot of the towns had houses that were individual residences, usually two floors, all connected together in a long row. What is that type of house called? Row house?



1. Age 4to 5 is reception, age 5 to 6 is year one and so on. Key stage 1 is reception to year 2, infant school or primary school, years 3 to 6 (keystage 2) are junior school, also primary school. (some areas will have one school for reception to year 6, other more populated areas might have separate school for , keystages 1 and 2. There will almost always be a transfer to secondary school at age 11 but the numbering carries on - years 7 to 11 or 7 to 13 depending on the school. GCSEs are the major public exams at the end of y11. Until last year you could legally leave school at that point. There is a two year course leading to A levels that a lot of people take, either in y12 or 13 in the school they are in (y12+13 also called 6th form - a more traditional term) or transfer to a 6th form of another school or a sixthform college or FE college.

2. Removal van
4. First meaning. Can also mean not very wrinkled. Not a general term for where I live.
5. Terrace houses.
You know, coming from the US, that whole things sounds so complicated, but you know, I bet we Americans are much worse. We have kindergarten at age 4, and then twelve years of schooling called "grades", but different areas do those twelve years differently. The first set of grades is called "elementary school" or "primary school", but that could mean grades 1-5 or grades 1-6. Then the next set of grades are called either "intermediate school" or "middle school" or "junior high school", and could be grades 6-8, 7-8, or 7-9. Then "high school" (very rarely "secondary school") is either grades 9-12 or 10-12. We don't have major exams like the GCSEs, but we do have college entrance exams like the SATs and the ACTs.