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Author Topic: British School System?
Flashfire
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Icon 1 posted May 30, 2004 15:49      Profile for Flashfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Would someone be willing to educate me, a dumb Amurrikan, on how the British School System works? I know it's different than ours, but I'm not sure how.

Any info would be appreciated.

Thanks. [Smile]

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"No silicon heaven? That's absurd!
Where would all the calculators go?"
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My Web Comic: NSTA: Semper Vigilantis

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Callipygous
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Icon 13 posted May 30, 2004 16:32      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
As someone who has three children going through it, I have to say that the UK system just does not work. We educate our children in the UK to an appallingly low standard compared to 30 years ago, which itself was not high by global standards. The problem is that in this low tax economy that we are told is necessary if we are to compete in the world, there is not enough money to do it properly and as much as possible is done on credit. No politicians are prepared to admit how dismal our system is, because none of them have any answers to this seemingly intractable problem. To make matters worse, the prevailing educational philosophy in the profession is a load of politically correct claptrap which prevents them taking any kind of serious lead because that would be sooo patronising to the pupils (sorry I mean students), so you can't take the teachers seriously either. Very depressing.

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TMBWITW,PB

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Icon 12 posted May 30, 2004 18:03      Profile for TMBWITW,PB     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
<Lady Bracknell>I do not approve of anything that tampers with natural ignorance. Fortunately, in England at any rate, education has no effect whatsoever.</Lady Bracknell> [Big Grin]

In case you don't know what that comes from, I suggest you brush up on your Ocar Wilde. [Razz]

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted May 30, 2004 18:57      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Mrs Druid taught in a Catholic school in London for a while, and was horrified.

Over-crowded classes, lack of resources (she was teaching a 'practical' subject, but the annual budget for materials worked out at about GBP 1 per child), and a very rigid, authoritatian approach to learning.

Mind you, she was comparing the aussie state system under a labor government with the british catholic system under a tory government, so it's hard to know who to blame for the differences.

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GMx

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Icon 1 posted May 30, 2004 19:19      Profile for GMx     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Didn't you ever listen to Pink Floyd's The Wall? [Big Grin]
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Cap'n Vic

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Icon 1 posted May 30, 2004 22:44      Profile for Cap'n Vic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by GMx:
Didn't you ever listen to Pink Floyd's The Wall? [Big Grin]

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Cap'n Vic

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Icon 1 posted May 30, 2004 22:52      Profile for Cap'n Vic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Disregard....double post [ohwell]

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littlefish
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Icon 1 posted May 31, 2004 11:22      Profile for littlefish   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
OK, I'll answer the question. This is a generalisation and is from my memory of going through it.

less than 5 yrs Pre school. May be free, depending on local council.
5-7 yrs Infant school
7-11 Junior school (aka primary)
11-16 Secondary school
16 yrs - 10 or so GCSE's are taken, then you can leave if you want.
16-18 yrs Either stay at secondary school or go to 6th form college to take about 3 A-levels.
18 and up University for a degree or two. (generally 3 years).

Now, Scotland has different exams which I don't fully understand, and a different teaching system. It is also possible at some schools to take an IB (International Bacchalaureate- not sure of the spelling)

There are more complications, but that is an overview. Care to ask a more specific question?

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spungo
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Icon 1 posted June 01, 2004 01:55      Profile for spungo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, I've been in both systems ... (ok, this place and Canadia - not quite the great Satan, I know, but good for a comparison). Granted, I left Canadia in the hurly eighties, and things may have changed, but, my summary would be:

UK state schools are, generally, rubbish: it was like I was going backwards a few years when I arrived here. Discipline is quite often minimal and the brave teachers here spend a great deal of time having to shout and give people detentions. Expectations are low as the staff are just more than happy when the little bastards simply shut the hell up for a minute or two. I think, however, that once you get to the range 16-18 things may level out a bit - mainly as we tend to specialise our subjects at that point - which for me meant I could concentrate on things I liked (Physics, Mathematics, etc) and could finally forget about learning crap I wasn't interested in (Geography, Art,...)

Note: I'm talking about the state school sector - things are very different for posh folk (I should know having been a teacher in a posh school - different frigging world, I can tell ya!) Bottom line: if you got money, then your kids should be ok, if not, you'll be lucky they don't end up as drop-outs and smackheads.

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nekomatic
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Icon 1 posted June 01, 2004 02:01      Profile for nekomatic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yup, a more specific question might help - especially bearing in mind IIRC that you guys use "school" to refer to higher education (university), as well as... uh... school.

Then I'm sure we'll be happy to confuse, misdirect and obfusticate you appropriately in true British fashion [Wink]

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Flashfire
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Icon 1 posted June 04, 2004 10:06      Profile for Flashfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks, Littlefish -- your answer was more what I was looking for...I guess I phrased the question wrong. I wasn't looking to start a debate on the quality of the schooling, I was just looking for the mechanics. Sorry. [Smile]

I'm actually trying to do character research for my comic -- the main character is British, so to lend a bit of authenticity to the character, I wanted to know a little about the mechanics of the school system over there. I can't have him referring to High School if you don't have it, can I?

That's pretty much it -- no big deal, really, I'm just being a perfectionist, that's all. I really didn't mean to start a rant...I would have posted this in the other section if I did... [Big Grin]

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Where would all the calculators go?"
--Kryten, Red Dwarf
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sconzey
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Icon 1 posted June 06, 2004 12:28      Profile for sconzey     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by littlefish:
OK, I'll answer the question. This is a generalisation and is from my memory of going through it.

less than 5 yrs Pre school. May be free, depending on local council.
5-7 yrs Infant school
7-11 Junior school (aka primary)
11-16 Secondary school
16 yrs - 10 or so GCSE's are taken, then you can leave if you want.
16-18 yrs Either stay at secondary school or go to 6th form college to take about 3 A-levels.
18 and up University for a degree or two. (generally 3 years).

Now, Scotland has different exams which I don't fully understand, and a different teaching system. It is also possible at some schools to take an IB (International Bacchalaureate- not sure of the spelling)

There are more complications, but that is an overview. Care to ask a more specific question?

Uhh, in the school that I went to infants and juniors were thrown in together.

The years are numbered from reception (when you're five) to year eleven (when you're 16)

You cannot be 'kept back' except under exceptional circumstances. The weak and lazy are promoted with the strong and hardworking.

A few exams were not mentioned also. A lot of state schools do SATs. These are in Maths, Science, and English and are divided into three key stages.

KS1 -> year 3 (7-8)
KS2 -> year 6 (10-11)
KS3 -> year 9 (13-14)

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Cecelia Bowman
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Icon 1 posted June 07, 2004 03:17      Profile for Cecelia Bowman     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Callipygous:
As someone who has three children going through it, I have to say that the UK system just does not work. We educate our children in the UK to an appallingly low standard compared to 30
(snip)
serious lead because that would be sooo patronising to the pupils (sorry I mean students), so you can't take the teachers seriously either. Very depressing.

Sound's just like some of our school systems :\
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Number 2608
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Icon 1 posted June 07, 2004 03:36      Profile for Number 2608     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The infant/junior/secondary system is the most prevalent in the UK, but if you happened to be schooled in some backwater, such as Bedfordshire, then the schools are broken down as:

age 5-9, lower school
age 9-13 middle school
age 13-16 upper school

and optionally 16-18 in VIth form, which is usually also at the upper school.

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Flashfire
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Icon 1 posted June 09, 2004 10:54      Profile for Flashfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks for the info, everyone. It'll help quite a bit, I appreciate it. [Smile]

--------------------
"No silicon heaven? That's absurd!
Where would all the calculators go?"
--Kryten, Red Dwarf
-------------------------------
My Web Comic: NSTA: Semper Vigilantis

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Jimmy Watson
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Icon 10 posted June 19, 2004 13:39      Profile for Jimmy Watson     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You people forget about Scottish schools which are excellent. Well some of them. Well our one at least lol! In our school you can concentrate on getting your studies sorted and forcing your head teacher to leave for another school. We suceeded on thursday. This took 2 years but it gives u a passtime

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