Subject Material

UK, Education - Text in Brief

Published: 01.02.2011, Updated: 04.03.2017
  • Embed
  • Easy Reader
  • Listen
  • Print

Pre-reading: What do you think makes a good school?

UK -Education

All children in the United Kingdom, between the ages of 5 and 16, are required by law to receive full-time education. The school systems in Scotland and Northern Ireland are a little different from the system in England and Wales, which is described here.

State Schools and Independent Schools

School BagSchool Bag More than 90% are educated in co-educational  state schools. The remaining 10% attend independent schools where their education is paid for by their parents. These are private schools which get no money from the government.

From 5 to 18

Children start primary school when they are
5 years old and continue until they are 11. Then, after 5 years at secondary school, when they are 16, they take the examination, the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE). After this, education is no longer compulsory.

Students can continue in full-time education at a sixth form college or in the sixth form of a secondary school. There they will study for examinations leading to university entrance qualifications. These are the AS levels (Advanced Supplementary), which take 1 year and the A levels (Advanced), which usually take 2 years.

Difficult words
  • compulsory = obligatorisk
  • university entrance qualifications
Hide

 

Age

Year

State System (90% of pupils)

Private System (10% of pupils)

Exams

18

 

Higher education

17

16

15
14
13
12
11

13

12

11
10
9
8
7

Sixth Form College

Tertiary College

 

Public School

(Starts at 11 or 13)

A level
AS level
Various Vocational qualifications
Diplomas
GCSE

 

Secondary School

10
9
8
7
6
5

6
5
4
3
2
1

 

Primary School

 

Preparatory School

 

Nursery School


Pupils, who want a more practical education, can choose to study at a tertiary or further education college. There they can choose between different vocational qualifications which prepare them for work.

Nearly a third of all young people now enter higher education at a university or other educational institution.

Difficult words
  • tertiary = tertiær, på tredje nivå
  • further = videre/vidare
  • vocational = yrkesfaglig/yrkesfagleg
Hide

 

What Pupils Study

The National Curriculum determines what pupils study. The core subjects are English (and Welsh, in Wales), mathematics, science, technology, physical education (PE), and religious education. History, geography, art and music are also compulsory subjects in the earlier years of school. A modern foreign language and a new subject, ‘citizenship’, are added to the curriculum at age 11. At age 14, history, geography, art and music become optional. Other subjects, such as drama, dance, and classical languages can be taught, depending on the resources of each school.

Difficult words
  • curriculum = læreplan
  • determines = bestemmer
  • core = kjerne
  • foreign = fremmed/framand
  • optional = valgfritt/valfritt
Hide

 

Tasks and Activities

Comprehension

Try the multiple-choice interactive task UK - Education (Easy), Comprehension, Multiple choice.

 

Vocabulary

Copy the text into your text editor and then put the following words into the correct place in the text
Co-educational, physical, secondary, compulsory, vocational, core, optional, science, primary, subject

In the UK, children start ____________ school when they are 5 years old and then go on to _____________ school at 11. State schools are _______________ with boys and girls going to the same school. Education is _____________ until a pupil is 16 years old and they have to study the __________ subjects such as mathematics and English. _____________ and ___________ education are also core ____________, but art is an _________________ subject after age 14. Pupils who do not want to go to university often take a ____________ qualification which is a more practical education.

 

Discuss

What are your favourite subjects at school? Why? Are there any subjects which are not offered at school, but which you would like to have?

Group Work

Your school has decided to introduce school uniforms and pupils have been asked to come with suggestions. Work in pairs or groups and decide what the uniform should be like (articles of clothing and colours). You can search for “school uniform” on the Internet to get some ideas. Present your suggestions to the class.

 

 

 

Tasks

Practical material for

Related content

Within subject