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Text 9. Education.

In most schools boys and girls learn together. In the first stage, which is called primary education, all children are educated according to the same program. As they grow older, differences in ability and attainment become very marked, so it is considered necessary to offer different programs.

Let’s outline the basic features of public education in Britain. Firstly, there are wide variations between one part of the country and another. 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 don’t pay. The great majority of British schools are free. But there is a large number of public schools in Britain which are fee-paying, and fees are high. As a matter of fact, only rich families can send their children to public schools as well as to the best universities, such as Oxford and Cambridge.

There are three stages of education: primary, or elementary, education, secondary education and higher education.

Primary education is given to children between 5 and 11 years of age. A primary school is subdivided into an infant school for children aged 5 to 7 and a junior school for children aged 7 to 11. In small country places both the infant department and the junior department may be combined under the roof of one school. At infant 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 on modeling from clay or drawing, reading and singing. At infant school children come from playing 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 abilities to learn into A, B, C and D streams. The least gifted are in the D stream. Formally towards the end of their fourth year the pupils wrote their Eleven Plus Examination. The hated 11+ exam 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.

Secondary education embraces the children from 11 years of age to 16 years of age. Until recently there were three main types of secondary schools: grammar schools, technical schools and modern schools. Children were sent to one of these three types of schools according to their abilities. These three types of schools still exist, but their number is decreasing. They are being replaced by the so-called comprehensive schools. The comprehensive schools are the most modern development in secondary schools. The main advantage of the comprehensive schools are that these schools are open to children of all types of abilities from the age of 11; they are large schools which give a much wider range of subjects than smaller schools, so that teenagers can choose a course of studies according to their individual inclinations and abilities.

Pupils at secondary schools in England have two main exams to worry about, both called GCE – General Certificate of Education.

They take the first one when they are about 15. It’s called O-level. There is an exam which you can take instead of O-level: it is called CSE (Certificate of Secondary Education), and it is not as difficult as O-level.

Most pupils take O-level in about 7 or 8 different subjects. There are lots of subjects to choose from – everything from carpentry to ancient languages.

You may leave school when you are 16. But if you stay at school after taking O-level, you go into the 6th form. The 6th forms and sixth-form colleges offer a wide range of courses. If you have made up your mind to enter a university or a college of further education you have to start working for the second main examination – A-level.

Most people take A-level when they are about 18. It is quite a difficult exam, so people don’t usually take it in more than three subjects – and some only in one or two subjects.

Three A-levels are enough to get into most universities. For others, such as Oxford or Cambridge, you have to take special exams as well.

primary education [΄praiməri edju΄kei∫n]] – начальное образование

secondary education [΄sekəndəri] – среднее образование

higher education [΄haiə] – высшее образование

infant school [΄infənt] – начальная школа(младшая ступень – 5-7 лет)

junior school [΄dзu:njə] - начальная школа(старшая ступень – 7-11 лет)

Eleven Plus Examination [i΄levn΄plΛs igzəmi΄nei∫] – экзамен в 11 лет(включают интеллектуальные тесты на проверку умственных способностей учащегося, его сообразительности, знания английского языка и арифметики; по результатам экзамена определяют, в каком типе школы учащемуся продолжить образование: в классической, технической или средней современной школе)

grammar schools [΄græmə] – классическая школа

technical schools [΄teknikəl] – техническая школа

modern schools [΄modən] – средняя современная школа

comprehensive schools [kəmpri΄hensiv] – общеобразовательная школа

General Certificate of Education [΄dзenerəl sə΄tifikit əv ΄edju΄kei∫n] – общее свидетельство об образовании

Certificate of Secondary Education [sə΄tifikit əv ΄sekəndəri edju΄kei∫n] – свидетельство о среднем образовании

Text 10.

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