Private Education & Courses
Cayman also has quite a few private preschools, and then just a handful of private primary and high schools. As far as nurseries and preschools are concerned, remember to enrol your wee ones early! New arrivals to the Island are often shocked at how quickly private schools can get filled up here - and you don't want to get stuck without a place in a school for your child.
Most of the schools featured in this section accept children from newborn to five years of age, offering full-day programmes and half-day options. In the Cayman Islands children will traditionally begin Kindergarten (UK system) or a Pre-K class (US system) of their chosen primary school, in the year in which they turn five.
If you intend to send your child to one of Cayman’s private primary schools and you are offered a place in their Kindergarten or Pre-K class (i.e. the reception year), you are strongly advised to take it. Keeping your child back in preschool so that they miss this first year at primary school has significant consequences: a) firstly, your child will be assessed by the primary school before they are offered a place in Year 1, to see if they are up to par with the school’s expectations for a five year old (many fail this test and are not accepted) b) children at primary school start learning to read in earnest in Kindergarten and those who have not started in their preschool may feel behind in Year 1; c) your child’s new classmates may have already made firm friends among the students; d) adjusting to “big school” and its lack of freedom (to play and choose what you want to work on) can be challenging for some children, and they will have missed the transition with other children in the same boat; e) on average, only five places become available in Year 1 at the top private primary schools, which means that the chances of your child being offered a place are slim at best.
Cayman has a good selection of excellent private primary and high schools, each following either the British or American curriculum.
In both systems the main student intake is for Kindergarten (British) and Pre-K (US). The most popular schools have very few places available in Year 1, so think carefully if you are offered a place and decide to delay your child’s entry for a year. Students can then remain in their chosen school up to Year 13 (UK system) and Year 12 (US system).
Schools following the UK system take GCSEs and A Levels and the US system offers either the IB programme or prepares students to take the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and attain a US High School Diploma. Exam results have been phenomenal with students in the UK system, each gaining on average 10 GCSEs and 3 A Levels, with passes from A* to C.