School in Great Britain
Education in Britain is compulsory for all
children between the ages of 5-16.
School-children attend a primary school for 6 years.
When students transfer to Secondary School at the age of 11, they do not take
any examination, but their reports are sent on from the Primary School.
Secondary School. Most children go to a comprehensive school. “Comprehensive”
means all-inclusive. They admit pupils of all abilities. But there are also
“grammar school” and “secondary-modern schools”.
The pupils have to pass an exam to go there. Grammar
school-a school for children over the age of 11, who are specially chosen to
study for examinations which may lead to higher education. Secondary-modern
school-a schools for children over the age of 11, who are not expected to go on
to higher study later. All types of secondary schools have the 5-year courses
for pupils from 11 years up to the school leaving age.
Pupils in all state schools in England and Wales study
10 main subjects: Core subjects: English, mathematics, science; Foundation
subjects: history, geography, a modern language, (art, craft and design),
music, information technology, physical education. Religious education is also
taught. Attainment tests are given at the ages of 7, 11 and 14, 16. At the end
of a 5-year courses, at the age of 16, students sit the General Certificate of
Secondary Education exams in as many subjects as possible. At the age of 16
about two-thirds of these pupils leave school and get job or apprenticeships.
About one-third stays on at school until the age of 18, preparing themselves
for higher education.
The 6th Form. More ambitious pupils
continue to study in the 6th form. They stay on at school for one or
two years to prepare themselves for university. They have only three or four
main subjects which are necessary to pass to advanced level exams at the age of
18. the school year is divided into three terms with the intervals between them
during the Christmas and Easter holidays lasting about two weeks each and the
summer holidays which begins rather late and is usually six weeks long. All
kinds of out-of-class activities are part of school life in Britain. Students
have a lot of opportunities for playing sports, attending different clubs and
singing in a choir. Most schools have very good libraries which students use
for reference work.