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Schools in Britain


blog dziennikarski  There are several kinds of schools in Britain to choose from. Parents can either send their children to state schools, which are cheaper but they do not offer as high level of education as private sector or spend little fortunes on their little scholars sending them to some private, boarding schools, looking like more of mansions than school buildings. But no matter where the children educate, they follow the same pattern of schools they have to go through: preparatory school, senior school, 6th form or college, and finally polytechnics or university.

All children in England start their education at 4 or 5, some even at 3 and go to preparatory school, to attend their lessons with year 1 group. In prep schools lessons start at 8:30 and last till 3:15 or 3:30, depending on a school. Children spend long days learning the alphabet and then developing their literacy and numeracy skills, as well as learning science. Some children attend LD lessons (Learning Development) as well, learning the programme for special educational needs, which in England is highly developed.

The next kind of place where children are taught is senior school. Students go there when they are 11 years old. There, they are in year 7 group and their teenage education starts. Unlike preparatory school, there are variety of subjects preparing students for their GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) exams, like: Mathematics, English, Science, RE (Religious Education), ICT (Information and Communication Technology), Business Studies, Geography, PE (Physical Education), Music, Drama, Modern Languages, Latin and LD (Learning Development). LD classes help less able students to develop their literacy and numeracy to keep up with the rest of their class. Then, when doing year 11 they choose 3 or more subjects and they take GCSE exams. This level enables them to finish off education at this stage.

However, those, who are more ambitious, go to 6th form or college. This is a 2-year course preparing students to take their A-level examination. This is a qualification that consists of 2 subjects and, whereas some subjects are compulsory during GCSE (like English), during A-levels they are optional. In 6th form there is a wide variety of subjects to choose from for their A-levels. Classes start at 8:30 in the morning, like in secondary school, and finish at 4:00 every day. There are also some extra-curricular activities for senior school students like horse-riding, swimming, playing rugby or performing drama, and they take place after school from 4:00 till 6:00.

Finally, university or polytechnics education starts. Students do bachelor’s studies first and then, if they wish to continue, they choose to do master’s qualification (Master of Art or Master of Science), which takes 2 or 3 years. However, most of the people who choose higher education usually do only Bachelor’s studies and it is very rare that they go as far as to do their MA. The most famous universities in the UK are in: Cambridge and Oxford.

Although compulsory schooling in England starts when children are 4 and lasts for 8 hours every day, unlike in Poland, for example, where children go to school when they are 7 and stay in for about 4 or 5 hours a day, the level of education is incomparable in those two countries. We can easily notice that in Poland, education level is much better. All in all, despite the fact that in England there are: a variety of schools and different ways of learning, people are not very well educated. As we can easily notice, the path through preparatory school, senior school, 6th form or college, and finally polytechnics or university is not the best way we can choose. Polish education system is probably the better one.


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