As I mentioned in my post on time and aging, I have a very thoroughly thought out education system in play in my game. I shall explain it here:
I have a big school (I love that place) which took me weeks to build and decorate and has way too much stuff inside. The primary department is situated on the ground floor. There are six classes and kids are in a class with peers their own age. There are three yeargroups and two classes per yeargroup. Not every group has students every year. It depends on how many kids I have of one age. I keep a record of which kids are in which classes, complete with dates of birth etc.There are never more than six kids in a class. This is still something that comes from my schoolsystem in TS2. I couldn’t have more than six in a class then, because when the schoolpictures needed to be taken, all the kids, their teacher and the person taking the picture had to live in the school so I could control them all and get the picture. (I didn’t know how to make families bigger than eight then). Now, with mods and such, this wouldn’t be necessary anymore and I could have classes of over six. But I like it this way. It keeps things manageable.
The age/class system works this way:
Class 1: 5 and 6 year olds. Children start primary school the moment they turn 5. Whether this is in September, December, May or any other month. The month they have their fifth birthday is the month they start school, so technically I can have kids coming in to this class all year round. They leave they summer after they turn 7.
Class 2: 7, 8 and 9 year olds. Children go to this class the summer after they turn 7 and leave the summer after they turn 10. Much like the real life montessori system, kids are the youngest, the middle and the eldest in the class at some point.
Class 3: 10 and 11 year olds. Works the same way as class 2.
Apart from the six classes which are all designed to fit the agegroup occupying the class, the groundfloor of the school has a remedial teaching room, a teachers lounge, a janitor’s cupboard and several restrooms.
My high school is in the same building as my primary school. On the first floor. Here, it’s all a little different. I have specialised classrooms here; Music, maths, world studies (geography and history), IT, science and art. The school gym and the headmistress’ office are also located here. The teachers working here are also specialised, The teens are still in their own agegroup though and the high school teachers all mentor a group.
The age/class system works this way:
Class 4: 12, 13 and 14 year olds. According to the same idea as class 2 and 3 of the primary department.
Class 5: 15, 16 and 17 year olds.
Class 6: 18 and 19 year olds. Teens stay at The Beehive until they are 20. That’s when they age up. I think of class 6 not so much as a regular high school class anymore, but more of a preparation for adult life. Teens can very much choose their own specialities in this class and can either continue to University after this class or start working in a lower paid job immediately.
At the end of high school, I have my teens take the aptitude test that came with the University EP. They can score up to 2400 points on this. I decided on a final exam scorelist that looks like this:
0 – 900 points: No graduation, retake the year.
900 -1200 points: You’ll graduate, but you won’t get accepted into university.
1200 -2000 points: Well done, you’re a graduate now with the possibility to attend university.
2000 – 2400 points: Woah! Excellent score! You’ll graduate with honors and can get a partial scholarship for university.
The entire school (called The Beehive) has a staff of nineteen (!) These nineteen sims all live in my town and have families etc of their own with whom I play. I don’t always play the school, it depends on my mood. Sometimes, when I’m with a certain teacher, or a certain child or teen I want to play the school and send them all there to play. I always play the school when it’s schoolpicture time though. This is every year in May. When I don’t play the school, everyone still goes to school there. The lot has several rabbithole rugs.
My lovely simfriend Rachel has created some amazing custom careers that function as University majors. I was fully planning on using those, but eventually found a way to have my sims take classes and also have part time jobs to pay for their education and/or living arrangements. I use Cherry’s evening school mod which I have tuned to my liking. I’m yet to try it out, so I’m not sure all the values I set are okay this way. The lessons are all in the mornings, from 9.00 to 13.00 (1 pm).
I created 9 “majors”. Art, Education, History, Linguistics, Medicine, Music and Science all take 4 years and my simmies have to earn 20 skill points in different areas in those years (idea adopted from the wonderful Sandy). Culinary takes 3 years and my simmies have to earn 15 points and Sports takes 2 years and they have to earn 10 points. In addition to the 20 (or 15/10) skillpoints, my sims also have to meet a final year requirement, like an exam if you will.
Each days my sims take a different class which teaches a different skill. I’ve made timetables per year for each major. Pasting the full sheets here would be a LOT of text, so you can view (or download by right clicking and choosing save as..) the sheets in PDF format below:
Uni class overview
Uni class timetables
These pictures are just to give an impression of the places I’m talking about. I shall post more pictures of both my school and my university in time on this blog.