(about 2 weeks)
(about 6 weeks)
Passage from one year to the next one is automatic. At the
age of 14 pupils are tested in English, mathematics and science, as well as in
statutory subjects. At that same age in the third or forth pupils begin to
choose their exam subjects and work for two years to prepare for their
qualifications. The exams are usually taken in fifth form at the age of 16,
which is a school-leaving age. The actual written exams are set by outside
examiners, but they must be approved by the government and comply with national
guidelines. There are several examination boards in Britain and each school
decided that board’s exam its pupils take. Most exams last for two hours, marks
are given for each exams separately and are graded from A to G (grades A, B, C
are considered to be “good” marks).
16 are an important age for school-leaves because they have
to make key decisions as to their future lives and careers. There is a number
of choices for them.
The school year is divided into terms, three months each,
named after seasons: autumn term, winter term and spring term.
The autumn term starts on the first Tuesday morning in
September. In July schools break up for eight weeks.
Life at school is more or less similar everywhere. Each group
of 30 pupils is the responsibility of a form tutor. Each school day is divided
into periods of 40-50 minutes, time for various lessons with 10-20 minutes
breaks between them. It might be interesting for you to see the “Bell Times” at
Lawnswood school in Leads.
a.m. – School begins
a.m. – Registration
a.m. – Assembly bell
a.m. – Pupils move to lessons
a.m. – Lesson 1
a.m. - Lesson 2
a.m. – Lesson 3
a.m. – Lesson 3
a.m. – Break
a.m. – Pupils move to lessons
a.m. – Lesson 4
p.m. – Lesson 5
p.m. – Lunch time
p.m. – Afternoon school begins
p.m. – Registration
p. m. Lesson 7
p.m. – End of normal lessons
p.m. – Start of additional lessons, clubs, societies, team practice,
On important occasions such as end of term or national
in English schools speech-days pupils are gathered in the assembly or hall.
Most of the pupil’s time is spent in a classroom equipped
with desks and a blackboard nowadays often called chalkboard because normally
it is brown or green. The desks are arranged in rows, the space between the
rows is called an aisle.
In addition to classrooms there are laboratories for Physics,
Chemistry and Biology. Technical rooms are for Woodwork, Metalwork, Technical
Drawing. There are rooms for computer studies. Many young people use them for
school exercise. They are now able to write their own games as well. The
Physical Education lessons are conducted at the gymnasium, games-hall or at the
playground in front of the school building. There are also language
laboratories and house craft rooms. Every school has a library and a school
canteen. In student common room boys and girls can relax during the breaks and
lunchtime the Staff common room is for teachers. In case of illness a
schoolchild may go to the sick room.
Pupils at many secondary schools Britain have to wear a
school uniform. This usually means a white blouse for girls (perhaps with a
tie), with a dark-colored skirt and pullover. Boys wear a shirt and tie, dark
trousers and dark-colored pullovers. Pupils also wear blazers-a kind of
jacket-with the school badge on the pocket. They often have to wear some kind
of hat on the way to and from school-caps for boys and berets or some other
kind of hat for girls shoes are usually black or brown. And no high heels!
Young people in Britain often don’t like their school
uniform, especially the hats and shoes. Sometimes they do not wear the right
clothes. Schools will often give them a warning the first time that this
happens but then will punish them if they continue not to wear the correct
uniform. Senior student don’t have to wear their school uniform.
It sounds logical to say that the school’s function is to
train a pupil’s mind and his character should be formed at home. Teachers would
be pleased if the problem could be solved so easily. But children don’t leave
their characters at home when their minds go to school. Many of them have
personality problems of one kind or another.
The pupils who violate various school regulations may be
punished in the following ways: for lateness, truancy they may be reported to
the Headmaster or named in school assembly. They may be detained in school
after ordinary hours.
Corporal punishment has recently been banned in state
schools. But in most public schools it is still allowed. Caning is the usual
punishment for serious misbehavior in class, damage and vandalism. Many teachers remark that standards of
discipline have fallen since corporal punishment was banned by the
You may want to know whether there are any
rewards and prizes for the best pupils. Of course, there are. Each school has
its system of rewards: medals and prizes.
8.Social, Cultural and Sporting Life
Each school or sixth-form college has its School or
College Council. It helps to plan the policy for the whole school. It organizes
the social and cultural life at the school.
School Councils in many schools and colleges are
chaired by a student and have a majority of student members. They
run discos and parties, stage drama
productions and decorate the student
common room. Music-making is part of school life. Some students help in local
hospitals, homes for the handicapped and elderly people.
There are many clubs and societies. Very popular,
especially with senior pupils, is а school debating society.
Most clubs meet regularly: daily, weekly or
monthly, at lunch time or after school. Extracurricular activities include
various outings, visits to places of interest and dances. School choirs and
orchestras give regular concerts. Sports are very popular too: running,
jogging, swimming, self-defence, football, soccer, badminton, aerobics, rugby,
There are many national voluntary youth organizations
in Britain. You have probably read about the Scout and Girl Guides
Associations. There are some clubs run by the churches. There three pre-service
organizations (the Sea Cadet Corps, Army, Cadet Force and Air Training Corps)
are not very large. Their activities are related to the work of the armed
But the largest youth organizations, as you probably
know, are the associations of the Boy Scouts and the Girl Guides. There are
about 1,300,000 boys and girls in them. The movement of Boy Scouts was founded
by General Baden-Powell in 1908 and began to spring up in almost every town and
village of the British Isles. Its aim is to help I а Scout (а boy from 8 to 18) to develop into а
good man and а useful citizen. He must be able to handle sails, to
use а compass, to lay and light а fire out of
doors, he must know first aid and develop his interest in music, literature,
drama, arts and films. A Scout is а friend to
animals, he is 'clean in thought, word and deed’. He must obey the Scout Law.
The Girl Guides Association was founded by Lord
Baden-Powell in 1910. It is divided into three sections: Brownies (from 7,5 tо
11), Guides (age 11 — 16) and Rangers (age 16 — 21). The programmer of training
is planned to develop intelligence and practical skills inculding cookery,
needle-work and childcare. The training and the Law are much the same as those of the Scouts. Like а
Scout а Girl Guide must be а friend to
animals. She must be ‘pure in thought, word and deed’. She must be loyal to God
and the Queen.
There are several youth organizations associated with
political parties. The Youth Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (YCND) unites
thousands of young people of Great Britain. It co-operates with
the National Union of Students and many other youth organizations. It organizes
mass rallies and meetings, demonstrations, marches of protest, festivals.
9.Life at College and University
The academic year in Britain' s universities,
Polytechnics, Colleges of Education is divided into three terms, which usually
run from the beginning of October to the middle of December, from the middle of
January to the end of March, and from the middle of April to the end of June or
the beginning of July.
There are about one hundred universities in Britain.
The oldest and best-known universities are located in Oxford, Cambridge,
London, Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Southampton, Cardiff, Bristol,
Good А-level results in at least two subjects are necessary
to get а place at а university. However, good exam
passes alone are not enough. Universities choose their students after
interviews. For all British citizens а place at а
university brings with it а grant from their local education authority.
English universities greatly differ from each other.
They differ in date of foundation, size, history, tradition, general
organization, methods of instruction, way of student life.
After three years of study а university
graduate will leave with the Degree of Bachelor of Arts, Science, Engineering,
Medicine, etc. Later he may continue to take а Master’s
Degree and then а Doctor’s Degree. Research is an important feature of
The two intellectual eyes of Britain — Oxford and Cam-
bridge Universities — date from the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.
The Scottish universities of St. Andrews, Glasgow, Аberdeen
and Edinburgh date from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.
In the nineteenth and the early part of the twentieth
centuries the so-called Redbrick universities were founded. These include
London, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield and Birmingham. During the late
sixties and early seventies some 20 'new' universities were set up. Sometimes
they are called 'concrete and glass' universities. Among them are the
universities of Sussex, York, East Anglia and some others.
During these years the Government set up thirty
Polytechnics. The Polytechnics, like the universities, offer first and higher degrees. Some of them offer full-time and
sandwich courses. Colleges of Education provide two-year courses in teacher
education or sometimes three years if the graduate specializes in some
Some of those who decide to leave school at the age of
16 may go tо а further education college where
they can follow а course in typing, engineering, town planning,
cooking, or hairdressing, full-time or part-time. Further education colleges
have strong ties with commerce and industry.
There is an interesting form of studies which is
called the Open University. It is intended for people who study in their own
free time and who attend" lectures by watching television and listening to
the radio. They keep in touch by phone and letter with their tutors and attend
summer schools. The Open University students have nо formal
qualifications and would be unable to enter ordinary universities.
Some 80,000 overseas students study at British
universities or further education colleges or train in nursing, law, banking or
As has been mentioned above, there
is a considerable enthusiasm for post-school education in Britain. The aim of
the government is to increase the number of students who enter into higher
education. The driving force for this has been mainly economic. It is assumed
that the more people who study at degree level, the more likely the country is
to succeed economically. A large proportion of young people – about a third in
England and Wales and almost half in Scotland – continue in education at a more
A-level beyond the age of 18. The higher education sector provides a variety of
courses up to degree and postgraduate degree level, and careers out research.
It increasingly caters for older students; over 50% of students in 1999 were
aged 25 and over and many studied part-time. Nearly every university offers
access and foundation courses before enrolment on a course of higher education
of prospective students who do not have the standard entry qualifications.
Higher education in Britain is
traditionally associated with universities, though education of University
standard is also given in other institutions such as colleges and
institutes of higher education, which have the power to award their own
The only exception to state universities is
the small University of Buckingham which concentrates on law, and which draws
most of its students of overseas.
All universities in England and Wales are
state universities (this includes Oxford and Cambridge).
English universities can be broadly
classified into three types. First come the ancient universities of Oxford and
Cambridge that date from the 12th century and that until 1828 were
virtually the only English universities.
Oxford and Cambridge are the oldest and most
prestigious universities in Great Britain. They are often called collectively
Oxbridge. Both universities are independent. Only the education elite go to
Oxford or Cambridge. Most of their students are former public schools leavers.
The normal length of the degree course is three years,
after which the students take the Degree of Bachelor of Arts (В.А.).
Some courses, such as languages or medicine, bay be one or two years longer.
The students may work for other degrees as well. The degrees are awarded at
public degree ceremonies'. Oxford and Cambridge cling to their traditions, such
as the use of Latin at degree ceremonies. Full academic dress is worn at
Oxford and Cambridge universities consist of
а number of colleges. Each college is different, but in
many ways they are alike. Each
has its name, its coat of arms. Each
college is governed by a Master. The larger ones have more than 400
members, the smallest colleges have less than 30. Each college offers teaching
in а wide range of subjects. Within, the college one will
normally find а chapel, а dining hall, а
library, rooms for undergraduates, fellows and the Master, and also rooms for
Oxford is one of the oldest universities in Europe. It
is the second largest in Britain, after I.ondon. The town of Oxford is first
mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in 911 А.D. and it was
popular with the early English kings (Richard Coeur de Lion' was
probably here). The university's earliest charter" is dated tо
There are now twenty-four colleges for men, five for
women and another five which have both men and women members, many from
overseas studying for higher degrees. Among the oldest colleges are University
College, All Souls and Christ Church.
The local car industry in East Oxford gives an
important addition to the city' s outlook. There а great deal of
bi- cycle traffic both in Oxford and Cambridge.
The first written record of the
town of Oxford dates back to the year 912. Oxford University, the oldest and
most famous university in Britain, was founded in the middle of the 12th
century and by 1300 there were already 1,500 students. At that time Oxford was
a wealthy town, but by the middle of the 14th century it was poorer,
because of a decline in trade and because of the terrible plague, which killed
many people in England. The relations between the students and the townspeople
were very unfriendly and there was often fighting in the streets.
Nowadays there are about 12,000
students in Oxford and over 1000 teachers. Outstanding scientists work in the
numerous colleges of the University teaching and doing research work in
physics, chemistry, mathematics, cybernetics, literature, modern and ancient
languages, art and music, psychology.
Oxford University has a reputation
of a privileged school. Many prominent political figures of the past and
present times got their education at Oxford.
The Oxford English Dictionary is
well-known to students of English everywhere. It contains approximately
5,000,000 entries, and there are thirteen volumes, including a supplement.
Oxford University Press, the publishing
house which produces the Oxford English Dictionary has a special department
called the Oxford Word and Language Service.
Cambridge University started during the 13th century
and grew until today. Now there are more than thirty colleges.
the banks of the Cam'4 willow trees drown their branches into the water. The
colleges line the right bank. There are beautiful college gardens with green
lawns and lines of tall trees. The oldest college is Peterhouse, which was
founded in 1284, and the most recent is Robinson College, which was opened in
1977. The most famous is probably King' s College" because of its
magnificent chapel, the largest and the most beautiful building in Cambridge
and the most perfect example left of English fifteenth-century architecture.
Its choir of boys and undergraduates is also very well known.
University was only for men until 1871, when the first women' s college was
opened. In the 1970s, most col- leges opened their doors to both men and women.
Almost all colleges are now mixed.
Мапу great men
studied at Cambridge, among them Desiderius Erasmus", the great Dutch
scholar, Roger Bacon", the philosopher, Milton, the poet, Oliver
Cromwell", the soldier, Newton, the scientist, and Kapitza, the famous
universities have over а hundred societies and clubs, enough for every
interest one could imagine. Sport is part of students' life at Oxbridge. The
most popular sports are rowing and punting.
The Cambridge Folk Festival. Every
year, in summer, one of the biggest festivals of folk music in arrive in
Cambridge for the Festival. Many of the fans put up their tents to stay
overnight. The Cambridge Folk Festival is always very well organized and there
is always good order. However, some people who live nearby do not like
Festival. They say that there is too much noise, that too much rubbish is left
on the ground, and that many of the fans take drugs. On the other hand, local
shopkeepers are glad, because for them the Festival means a big increase in the
number of customers.
The second group of universities comprises various
institutions of higher education, usually with technical study, that by 1900
had sprang up in new industrial towns and cities such as Birmingham,
Manchester, Sheffield and Leeds. They got to be know as civic or ‘redbrick’
universities. Their buildings were made of local material, often brick, in
contrast to the stone of older universities, hence the name, ‘redbrick’. These
universities catered mostly for local people. At first they prepared students
for London University degree, but later they were given the right to award
their own degrees, and so became universities themselves. In the mid-20th
century they started to accept students from all over the country.
Among this group there are also universities often
called ‘never civic’ universities. These were originally technical colleges set
up by local authorities in the first half of this century. Their upgrading to
university status took place in two waves. The first wave occurred in the
mid-1960s, when ten of them were promoted in this way.
Another thirty became ‘polytechnics’, in the early
1970s, which meant that along with their former courses they were allowed to
teach degree courses (the degrees being awarded by a national body).
Polytechnics were originally expected to offer a broader-based, more practical
and vocational education than the universities. In the early 1990s most of the
polytechnics became universities. So there are now 80 universities and a
further 19 colleges and institutions of higher education in the UK. The country
has moved rapidly from a rather elitist system to one which is much more open,
if not yet a mass system of higher education.
Higher education in England and Wales is highly
selective; i.e. entrance to British universities is via a strict selection
process is based on an interview. Applications for first degree courses are
usually made through the Universities and Colleges Admission Service (UCAS), in
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. After the interview a potential student is offered
a place on the basis of GCE A-level exam results. If the student does not get
the grades specified in the offer, a place can not be taken up. Some
universities, such as Oxford and Cambridge, have an entrance exam before the
This kind of selection procedure means that not everyone in
Britain with A-level qualifications will be offered the chance of a university
education. Critics argue that this creates an elitist system with the academic
minority in society whilst supporters of the system argue that this enables
Britain to get high-quality graduates who have specialized skills. The current
system will be modified by the late 90s and into the 21st century,
since secondary system is moving towards a broader-based education to replace
the specialized ‘A’ level approach. The reasons for this lie in Britain’s need
to have a highly skilled and educated workforce, not just an elite few, to meet
the needs of the technological era.
The independence of Britain’s educational
institutions is most noticeable in universities. They make their own choices of
who to accept on their courses and normally do this on the basis of a student’s
A-level results and an interview. Those with better exam grades are more likely
to be accepted. Virtually all degree courses last three years, however there
are some four-year courses and medical and veterinary courses last five or six
years. The British University year is divided into three terms, roughly eight
to ten weeks each. The terms are crowded with activity and the vacations
between the terms – a month at Christmas, a month at Easter, and three or four
months in summer – are mainly periods of intellectual digestion and private
The courses are also ‘full-time’
which really means full-time: the students are not supposed to take a lob
during term time. Unless their parents are rich, they receive a state grant of
money, which covers most of their expenses including the cost of accommodation.
Grants and loans are intended to create opportunities for equality in
education. A grants system was set up to support students through university.
Grants are paid by the LEA on the basis of parental income. In the late 80s
(the Conservative) government decided to stop to increase these grants, which
were previously linked to inflation. Instead, students were able to borrow
money in the form of a low-interest loan, which then had to be paid back after
their course had finished. Critics argue that students from less affluent
families had to think twice before entering the course, and that this worsened
the trend which saw a 33% drop in working-class student numbers in the 1980s.
Students studying for the first degree are called undergraduates. At
the end of the third year of study undergraduates sit for their examinations
and take the bachelor’s degree. Those engaged in the study of arts such subjects
as history, languages, economics or law take Bachelor of Arts (BA). Students
studying pure or applied sciences such as medicine, dentistry, technology or
agriculture get Bachelor of Science (BSc). When they have been awarded the
degree, they are known as graduates. Most people get honours
degrees, awarded in different classes. These are: Class I (known as ‘a first’),
Class II, I (or ‘an upper second’), Class II, II (or ‘a lower second’), Class
III (‘a third’). A student who is below one of these gets a pass degree (i.e.
not an honours degree).
Students who obtain their Bachelor degree can apply
to take a further degree course, usually involving a mixture of exam courses
and research. There are two different types of post-graduate courses – the
Master’s Degree (MA or MSc), which takes one or two years, and the higher
degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), which takes two or three years. Funding
for post-graduate courses is very limited, and even students with first class
degrees may be unable to get a grant. Consequently many post-graduates have
heavy bank loans or are working to pay their way to a higher degree.
The university system also provides a national network of extra-mural
or ‘Continuing Education’ Departments which offer academic courses for adults who
wish to study – often for the sheer pleasure of study – after they have left
schools of higher education.
One development in education in which Britain can
claim to lead the world is the Open University. It was founded in 1969 in
Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire and is so called because it is open to all –
this university does not require any formal academic qualifications to study
for a degree, and many people who do not have an opportunity to be ‘ordinary’
students enroll. The university is non-residential and courses are mainly
taught by special written course books and by programmes
on state radio and television. There are, however, short summer courses of
about a week that the students have to attend and special part-time study
centers where they can meet their tutors when they have problems.
As mentioned above, the British higher education
system was added to in the 1970s, which saw the creation of colleges and
institutions of higher education, often by merging existing colleges or by
establishing new institutions. They now offer a wide range of degree,
certificate and diploma courses in both science and art, and in some cases have
specifically taken over the role of training teachers for the schools.
There are also a variety of other British higher institutions,
which offer higher education. Some, like the Royal College of Arts, the
Cornfield Institute of Technology and various Business Schools, have university
status, while others, such as agricultural, drama and arts colleges like the
Royal Academy of Dramatics Arts (RADA) and the Royal college of Music provide
comparable courses. All these institutions usually have a strong vocational
aspect in their programmes, which fills a specialized role in higher education.
word “science” comes from the Latin word “scientia”, which means “knowledge”. Scientists
make observations and collect facts in field they work in. Then they arrange
facts orderly and try to express the connection
between the facts and try to work out theories. Then they have to prove the
facts or theory correct and make sufficient and sound evidence. So scientific knowledge is always growing and improving.
has great influence on our life. It provides with base of modern technology,
materials, sources of power and so on. Modern science and technology have
changed our life in many different ways. During the present century our life
changed greatly. Thanks to radio and television we can do a great number of
jobs; it was radio and TV that made it possible to photograph the dark side of
the moon and to talk with the first cosmonaut while he was orbiting the Earth.
On of the wonders of our age is the “electronic brain”, or giant calculating
machine, which can to some extent duplicate human senses. The desk computer is
expected to function as your personal librarian, to carry out simple
optimization computations, to control your budget or diet, play several hundred
games, etc. further development of the computer is believed to lead to a
situation in which most of the knowledge accepted by mankind will be stored in
the computers and made accessible to anyone with the home computers. It is
natural that the advent of minicomputers with extensive memories and
possibilities will lead to a new higher level in information culture. Among
other things, we shall be able to organize educational process in the country’s
colleges and universities and also in the system of school education on a new
basic. Knowledge is the most valuable wealth, and minicomputers will help us to
make it accessible for everyone. Agricultural scientists develop better
varieties of plants. The development of antibiotics and other drugs has helped
to control many diseases. Studies in anatomy and physiology have let to amazing
surgical operations and the inventions of lifesaving machines, that can do the
work of such organs as heart, lungs and so on. Nuclear fission when a
tremendous amount if energy is setting free is very important discovery.
improved the living standards, communications, promoted contact between people
and government, knowledge and culture, made it possible to discover and develop
new sources of energy, made it possible to prolong man’s life.
science also has some disadvantages. It produces mass culture: painting, music,
literature. Some scientific inventions increase the ecological problems,
provide with new diseases like AIDS, increased the danger of violent death.
greatest scientists were very persistent and were sure in their success. Even
without any serious education they made great inventions. Even during times of
disappointing experiments and unacknowledgement by other scientists, they
didn’t give up and went on working out theories. Also they were always ready
to begin everything from the very beginning. They worked a lot, and this work
wasn’t for money.
aim, the main object of the greatest scientists of all times was always to find
out the troth and no personal prejudices can be allowed. So the science grows
and prospers and is the engine of progress.
problem of learning languages very important today. Foreign languages are
socially demanded especially at the present time when the progress in science
and technology has led to an explosion of knowledge and has contributed to an
overflow of information. The total knowledge of mankind is known to double
every seven years. Foreign languages are needed as the main and the most
efficient means of information exchange of the people of our planet.
English is the language of the world. Over 300 million people speak it as
mother tongue. The native speakers of English live in Great Britain, the United
States of America, Australia and New Zealand. English is one of the official
languages in the Irish Republic, Canada, the South African Republic. As the
second language it is used in the former British and US colonies.
is not only the national or the official language of some thirty states which
represents different cultures, but it is also the major international language
for communication in such areas as science, technology, business and mass
entertainment. English is one of the official languages of the United Nations
Organization and other political organizations. It is the language of
literature, education, modern music, international tourism.
is integrating into the world community and the problem of learning English for
the purpose of communication is especially urgent today.
far there is no universal or ideal method of learning languages. Everybody has
his own way. Sometimes it is boring to study grammar or to learn new words. But
it is well known that reading books in the original, listening to BBC news and
English speaking singers, visiting an English speaking country, communicating
with the English speaking people will help a lot.
learning a foreign language you learn the culture and history of the native