Топик образование в Великобритании.
British Education Made Simple
Over the next few issues, Nick McOlver will explain some of the major institutions of British society. The first of this series of articles deals with education in Britain. The British education system is confusing to natives – to the outsider it looks almost impossible to understand! Read this and complete the exercise at the end, and hopefully all will become clearer…
What are the main types of schools in England and Wales?
There are many different types of school in Britain. There are, however, only three main systems:
The comprehensive system. More than 90 % of children who go to state schools in England and Wales go to schools in the comprehensive system – a system introduced in the 1960s. Children go to a primary (or first) school at the age of five. Depending on the policy of the Local Education Authority, they may go directly to the upper school – usually called the comprehensive school – at the age of 11. Alternatively, they may go to a middle school for three of four years before going to the upper school. The comprehensive system is non-selective. This means that all children go from one school to another without taking any exams, and without being selected according to their abilities.
The selective system. In some areas of Britain, you can still find a different, and older, system of education (introduced in 1944). This is a selective system – children are selected for certain schools according to their ability. All children go to a primary school until the age of 11. They then take an examination called the 11-plus. Those who are successful go to a grammar school, where they receive a more academic education. Those who fail the exam go to a secondary modern school, where they receive an education which is less academic, and more intended to train them for a job when they leave at the age of 16.
The private (independent) system. About 7% of children go to private schools. There are three levels of private school – primary schools (age four to eight) and preparatory (prep) schools (eight to 13). At the age of 13, children take an examination. If they pass, they go on to public school, where they usually remain until they are 18. Many prep and most public schools are boarding schools – the children live at the school during the school terms. Be careful – although these schools are called “public”, they are, in fact, private, and it can be very expensive to send your child to such a school.
Within the three systems, there are several varieties of schools. For instance, you can find:
- Schools for boys only
- Schools for girls only
- Mixed schools – for boys and girls
- Voluntary schools – often with a religious background – such as Roman Catholic schools.
You can see that the British education system is rather confusing. This chart will help you: follow the arrows to see the possibilities which are open to a British child up to the age of 16.
Examinations. The public examinations taken by British schoolchildren are: GCSSEs (the General Certificate of Secondary Education). Pupils usually take their GCSEs at the age of 16. Some children take three or four; others take as many as ten or eleven.
Pupils who have passed their GCSEs may remain at school for another two years and take their “A” (Advanced) level exams. All grammar and most comprehensive schools have a sixth form, where pupils study for their “A” levels. Any student who wants to go to university needs to pass at least two or three “A” levels.
See how well you have understood the British education system.
Here are two young British people with different educational experiences. Fill in the missing words to complete the story of their lives at school. Use the information on the preceding pages to help you.
My name’s Maggie Turnbull, and I’m seventeen. I first went to ____________ (1) school when I was _________ (2) years old. I left there at the age of nine, and went on to a ____________ (3) school, and then to a comprehensive. I took ten ___________ (4) and now I’m in the ______________ (5) form studying maths, chemistry and physics for my ________________ (6) exams.
I’m Philip Powell. I’m seventeen, and I work in a factory. After _______________ (7) school I failed my _____________ (8) exam, and went to a _________________ (9) school. I passed four ______________ (10) and left school when I was _______________ (11).
(from magazine “England”)
Список слов к топику образование в великобритании.
according to their abilities – по их способностях
to intend to smth. – намереваться что-либо сделать
level – уровень
mixed school – смешанная школа (для мальчиков и девочек)
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