Full time education is compulsory for all children between the ages of 5 - 16. Over 90 per cent all school children attend schools maintained from public funds. Education of this school is free of change. Besides this there are also fee - paying independent schools. (public schools and private experimental schools). The system of education is divided into three stages: Primary
"Third" - further education.
It is given to children between the ages of 5 - 11.
Primary schools are divided into infant schools (age 5 - 7) and junior schools (7 - 11). In infant school there is very elementary schooling: reading, writing and numbers are tought. But most of the time is devoted to play, to train good habits, to talk, to make various things. In the junior schools the curriculum includes reading, writing, mathematics, English, music, art and handy work, science and nature study, history, geography, and certainly physical education (training). In some schools is tought also French language. Some schools in Britain use the system of streaming. There are three streams: A, B, C. A is for children, who learn quickest,
B for children, who learn average,
C for slower children
Some facts about grammar schools.
They are designed for children to profit from an academic type of education. Most of children remain till the age 18 - 19. It is especially if they want to go on to university. In upper forms some specialization between arts and science subjects is usual. The top form is called the sixth form and they remain in this form for 2 or 3 years, until they leave the school.
Secondary modern schools:
They give a general education with a practical bases. Much time is given to handicrafts, domestic sciences and other practical activities. There are some schools in the age range 11 - 16, there are also very large schools, some with two times people.
They are non - selective. They provide a wide range of education for all the children. They are organized in various ways. They can try to keep children of similar ability in one group or class. Or they can leave children to choose between large number of courses or these two methods can be combined. Some of them take the full secondary education between the ages 11 - 18 (some of them are in range 11 - 16). They are often very large schools.
The most important independent schools are known as public schools. They are private secondary schools which are taking boys from the age of 13 - 18. The most of independent schools are preparatory schools, these are primary schools preparing pupils for public schools. With a few exceptions all public schools are boarding ones. A typical public school has about 500 boys, some of them date from the 16th century. Most will known are Winchester (1382), Eton (1400) etc. The boys at a public schools are nearly all sons of people who have some social position. As regards girls there are also some prep. schools and public schools for them commonly called high schools.
Secondary schools examinations:
The pupils may take examinations leading to the
- certificate of secondary education (CSE),
- general certificate of education (GCE).
CSE is taken by children with average abilities of the age of 16.
GCE they are examinations of two levels. The first is:
- "O" - ordinary level. It´s taken by children who leave the school of the age of 16 and may be taken in any number of subjects. This level is considered to be quantification for entry to courses of further education.
- "A" level - advanced level. It is entended as a university qualifying examination. They are usually taken in 3 or 4 subjects after 2 or 3 years studying in the sixth form. There are given 5 grades A, B, C, D, E and there are no compulsory. They may choose from all the range of the subjects including of music and handicraft. All the universities require the GCE, "A" level examinations.
It comprises: 1.) Universities
2.) Teacher training
3.) Advanced courses in further education
are self-governing institutions academically independent. They can be divided into three groups:
- 1. "Oxbridge"
- 2. "Provincial Universities" - (Redbricke): (Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Manches- ter, London, Nothingham).
- 3. the New Universities - opened after 1960.
(Essex, York, Sussex, Lancaster, Kent).
Entry to the universities is competitive, the candidates who have been most successful in their "A" levels and made a good personal impression are usually accepted. Over 90 per cent of students in higher education are aided by public funds. University degree courses usually last 3 or 4 years though in medicine 5 - 6 years. Oxbridge are the oldest and most famous. Oxford was founded in 12th cent. and Cambridge in 13th century. The average number of students a college is 500. 19th and 20th cent. universities were build to give education to the poorer boys. The new universities opened after 1960 provide the benefits of specialized and general studies.
Teachers can obtain their qualifying status by taking a 3 or 5 years course of teacher training leading to the Bachelor of Education degree. They are offered by most universities and other institutions.
Further education is concentrated in 30 national institutions named polytechnic, in colleges of higher education and other colleges. (England, Wales). In Scottland are 14 institutions.
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