Our modern world is full of technological advances and education is very important today. Human progress mainly depends on well-educated people. They say that those who have information rule the world.
Education has an impact on everyone’s life. It has always been so. However, education wasn’t so obtainable several centuries ago when people couldn’t get at least a primary education. Only noble families could afford a governess and then send their children to study abroad.
Today primary and secondary education is obligatory. In addition, we may study in colleges and universities. There is a great variety of careers from which to choose, so everyone can get any sort of education.
So, today in the lesson we will:
● talk about school education in the UK and Russia;
● put the knowledge into practice.
First, let’s talk about school education in the UK.
In Great Britain education is compulsory for all children from 5 to 16 years of age. It’s free of charge and all state schools provide their students with books and equipment for their studies. Ninety per cent of schools in England, Scotland and Wales are coeducational. That means that boys and girls are taught together in the same class.
The academic year usually begins in September and runs to early July. It has 3 terms divided by the Christmas and Easter holidays. In addition, all schools have a “half-term holiday” in the middle of each term, which lasts a few days or a week.
There are two stages of school education in Britain.
The first stage is called “primary education”.
The second stage is “secondary education”.
Primary education is divided into 2 periods:
Students go to infant schools at the age of 5 and finish them at the age of 7. After that they go to junior schools at the age of 7 and study until the age of 11.
There is no written timetable in infant schools and lessons are informal. Children mostly play and learn how to read, count and write through different games. They also sing songs, dance and draw.
When children leave infant schools, they go to junior schools. And it’s the time when students have real lessons, when they sit at the desks, read, write and answer the teacher’s questions. In junior schools children have music, physical training and art lessons.
Children usually go to secondary schools at the age of 11 and finish them at the age of 16.
There are 3 main types of state secondary schools in the UK. And they are:
Almost all senior students go to comprehensive schools, because they take students of all abilities without entrance exams. The purpose of these schools is to democratize education and provide equal opportunity for all children.
About six per cent of students go to grammar schools, which give secondary education of a very high standard and prepare students for colleges and universities. Entrance to these schools is based on the test of ability.
Modern schools are the most popular secondary schools, but they don’t prepare students for universities. Education in such schools is concentrated on practical work: metal and woodwork, domestic science and cooking.
At 16 students take national exam called GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) and then they can leave school if they wish and go to colleges and universities. This is the end of compulsory school education.
We also have to mention that…
Along with the state schools there are about 500 private schools in Britain. Most of them charge fees. Private schools usually offer only the most academic line and select those students who are most likely to succeed.
We’ve talked about school education in the UK. Now…
Match the names of the schools with their descriptions!
Let’s check the right answers!
…take students of all abilities without entrance exams. The purpose of these schools is to provide equal opportunity for all children.
…give secondary education of a very high standard and prepare students for colleges and universities.
…don’t have written timetable and real lessons. In these schools children learn how to read, count and write through different games.
…provide primary education to children aged 7 to 11. In these schools children have music, physical training and art lessons.
…don’t prepare students for universities. Education in such schools is concentrated on practical work.
…usually charge fees, offer only the most academic line and select those students who are most likely to succeed.
Now let’s talk about school education in Russia.
Education in the Russian Federation is compulsory and now lasts eleven years. It consists of:
Primary education starts at the age of 6 or 7 and ends at the age of 10 or 11. The primary-school curriculum includes Russian, Maths, Reading, Drawing, PE and Music.
After four years of primary-school lessons students go to secondary schools, where they study a variety of subjects. Among them are: Russian, Literature, Maths, Physics, Chemistry, English, History, Geography, Biology and PE.
Lessons in secondary schools last 45 minutes with breaks from 10 to 20 minutes. As a rule, students go to school five days a week.
The school year begins in September and ends in May. It’s divided into 4 terms with holidays up to 10 days between them. The summer holidays last from June to September.
Most of senior students go to comprehensive schools, because they take students of all abilities without exams. But there are also students who attend specialized schools, lyceums and gymnasiums, which give profound knowledge in various academic subjects. Besides, a student can choose the subjects, which will be necessary for his future work or further education at college or university.
In lyceums and gymnasiums lessons last 45 minutes and students usually study 6 days a week.
After lessons students don’t usually go home right away. They have some extracurricular activities. Their social and cultural life is well organized. Schools have different clubs and societies and students can take part in their work according to their preferences.
After finishing the 9th form students must take 4 examinations. But to enter a university or a college they have to study for 2 more years and take 5 examinations at the end of the 11th form.
We’ve talked about school education in Russia. Now…
Complete the sentences!
Let’s check the right answers!
1. Primary education starts at the age of 6 or 7 and ends at the age of 10 or 11.
2. Lessons in secondary schools last 45 minutes with breaks from 10 to 20 minutes.
3. The school year begins in September and ends in May.
4. The summer holidays in Russian schools last from June to September.
5. In lyceums and gymnasiums students usually study 6 days a week.
6. After finishing the 9th form students must take 4 examinations.
That’s all for now! In conclusion, I would like to say that there are some common and different traits between educational systems in the UK and Russia. But both of these systems are aimed to develop many sides of human personality and help students to understand themselves deeper. Education trains the mind to think, that’s why educated people have the ability to change the world and contribute to the well-being of society.