Every child in Britain has to go to school from the age of five to sixteen. The great majority of parents send their childeren to state schools, where education and equipment, incuding textboods are stationery, are entirely free. Berore the age of five, some children go to kindergartens or nursary schools. All start at five in the infant department of a primary school.
There schools are usually for boys and girst together, the teachers are generally women. After two years children move into the junior department. Here the work is of course more advanced than in the infant classes. There is less free activity in the classroom, less art and handicrafts, the hildren begin to use a pen instead of a pencil. The school day lasts from 9 a. m. until 3 p. m., but the younger children do not stay for the whole day. Saturdays and Sundays are free. The school year begins in September, and is divided into three terms, with holidays at Christmas, at Easter, and in the summer.
Nowadays the vast majority of secondary school pupils attend comprehensive schols, in which pupils of all abilities and from all social classes are taught from the age of eleven. Often they have the chance to study there, besides the usual subjects (physics, chemistry, biology, French, etc.), such subjects as economics, shorthand, typing, and drama.
At 16 the pupils who want to leave school take an examination in 8 – 10 subjects. They pass the examination G. C. S. E. to find a job or G. C. E. to continue study.
G. C. E. – „O“ – level (ordinary level) - sixth form (2 years)
- COLOGE (2 years)
When they pass the „O“- level, they can enter the sixth form and sutdy only those three or four subjects they like best.
At 18 they pass the G. C. E. – „A“ – level (advanced level)
The „O“ and „A“ level examinations are set and marked by various examining boards appointed by universities. With good „O“- level results boys and girls can get good office jobs or can enter courses for certain jobs requiring specialist training.
„A“ – level passes are essential for entrance to a university. Only Oxford and Cambridge Universities require applicants to take an entrance examination as well.
Besides state school there are independent schools for the children of all ages, which are financed by fees and private money. The best known of these are the public schools – boarding schools where boys aged 13 – 17 or 18 live as well as study (many public shools also take dayboys). Several public schools are hundreds of years old (e. g. Eton, Rugby, Harrow, Winchester) the famous all over the world. Parents who wish to send their sons to a public schol send them first, at the age of seven, to a small private primary school (usully a boarding school) called a preparatory school, becouse it prepares boys for the public school examination.
Higher education comprises:
1) universities (Oxbringe, Redbrick – founded in the 19 century to give technological training, and the nex universities, which were estabilished after 1960 and attract students from all over Britain), e.g. Sussex at Brighton, East Anlgia at Norwitch, Kent at Cantenburry.
2) Teacher training
Many primary schools practice „streaming“. Quite early, if a school is big enough, children are placed in „streams“, i. e. parallel classes learning at different speeds.
„A“ Stream for children who learn the quickest, „B“ Stream for avarega pupils and „C“ Stream for slower children.
(16) The G. C. S. E. =) general certificate of secondary education . It is designed for pupils of avarege abilities who have completed 5 years of secondary education and want work.
(16) The G. C. E.=) general certificate educantion comprises examinations at 2 levels. „O“ level (Ordinary Level)
? (18) „A“ level (Advanced Level)