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Lecture. Theme: The System of Education in the UK
Plan: 1 Schooling in Britain, its running and financing. Primary education.
2 Secondary Education
3 Higher Education
The aim of the lecture: To get acquainted with the System of Education in the UK, its running and financing; primary education; secondary schools; universities and colleges.
authority - власть
maintained schools -
fee - плата за обучение
grammar schools – средняя школа с гуманитарным уклоном
comprehensive schools – единая средняя школа
curriculum – учебный план
careers advisor – консультант по профессиональной ориентации
berets – [berei]- берет
caning- (punishment) наказание палкой
The content of the lecture: EDUCATION
Great Britain does not have a written constitution, so there are no constitutional provisions for education. The system of education is determined by the National Education Acts. Schools in England are supported from public funds paid to the local education authorities. These local education authorities are responsible for organizing the schools in their areas. Let's outline the basic features of public education in Britain. Firstly, there are wide variations between one part of the country and another. For most educational purposes England and Wales are treated as one unit, though the system in Wales is a little different from that of England. Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own education systems. Secondly, education in Britain mirrors the country’s social system: it is class-divided and selective. The first division is between those who pay and those who do not pay. The majority of schools in Britain are supported by public funds and the education provided is free. They are maintained schools, but there is also a considerable number of public schools. Parents have to pay fees to send their children to these schools. The fees are high. As a matter of fact, only very rich families can send their children to public schools. In some parts of Britain they still keep the old system of grammar schools, which are selective. But most secondary schools in Britain which are called comprehensive schools are not selective - you don't have to pass an exam to go there. Another important feature of schooling in Britain is the variety of opportunities offered to schoolchildren. The English school syllabus is divided into Arts (or Humanities) and Sciences, which determine the division of the secondary school pupils into study groups: a Science pupil will study Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics (Maths), Economics, Technical Drawing, Biology, Geography; an Art pupil will do English Language and Literature, History, foreign languages, Music, Art, Drama. Besides these subjects they must do some general education subjects like Physical Education (PE), Home Economics for girls, and Technical subjects for boys, General Science. Computers play an important part in education. The system of options exists in all kinds of secondary schools. The National Education Act of 1944 provided stages of education: primary, secondary and further education. Compulsory schooling in England and Wales lasts 11 years, from the age of 5 to 16. British schools usually have prayers and religious instruction. The National Curriculum which was introduced in 1988 sets out in detail the subjects that children should study and the levels of achievement they should reach by the ages of 7, 11, and 16, when they are tested. Until that year headmasters and headmistresses of schools were given a great deal of freedom in deciding what subjects to teach and how to do it in their schools so that there was really no central, control at all over individual schools. The National Curriculum does not apply in Scotland, where each school decides what subjects it will teach. After the age of 16 a growing number of school student are staying on at school, some until 18 or 19, the age of entry into higher education in universities, Polytechnics or colleges. Schools in Britain provide careers guidance. A specially trained person called careers advisor, or career officer helps school students to decide what job they want to do and how they can achieve it. British university courses are rather short, generally lasting for 3 years. The cost of education depends on the college or university and specialty which one chooses.
Primary. In some areas of England there are nursery schools for children under 5 years of age. Some children between two and five receive education in nursery classes or infants’ classes in primary schools. Many children attend informal pre -school play-groups organized by parents, in private homes. Nursery schools are staffed with teachers and students in training. There are all kinds of toys to keep the children busy from 9 o'clock in the morning till 4 o'clock in the afternoon – while their parents are at work. Here the babies play, lunch and sleep. They run about and play in safety with someone keeping an eye on them. For day nurseries which remain open all the year round the parents pay according to their income. The local education authority's nurseries are free. But only about three children in 100 can go to them: there aren't enough places, and the waiting lists are rather long. Most children start school at 5 in a primary school. A primary school may be divided into two parts - infants and juniors. At infants school reading, writing and arithmetic are taught for about 20 minutes a day during the first year, gradually increasing to about 2 hours in their last year. There is usually no written timetable. Much time is spent in modeling from clay or drawing, reading or singing. By the time children are ready for the junior school, they will be able to read and write, do simple addition and subtraction of numbers. At 7 children go on from the infants’ school to the junior school. This marks the transition from play to 'real work. The children have set periods of arithmetic, reading and composition which are all Eleven Plus subjects. History, Geography, Nature Study, Art and Music, Physical Education, Swimming are also on the timetable. Pupils are streamed, according to their ability to learn, into А, В, С and D streams. The least gifted are in the D stream. Formerly towards the end of their fourth year the pupils wrote their Eleven Plus Examination. The hated 11+ examination was a selective procedure on which not only the pupils’ future schooling but their future careers depended. The abolition of selection at Eleven Plus Examination brought to life comprehensive schools where pupils can get secondary education.