By Jacqueline Taylor,2014-06-02 13:45
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    Great Britain’s Education System

    Central government (national government) has very little control over the school systems

    Schools are the responsibility of the Local Education Authorities (LEAs)

    Schools have had a lot of independence

    But recently, the government has been controlling more so that the quality of education is


    Policy Today

    School is required by law for all

    children ages 5 to 16

     Four stages:

    Primary (age 5-11)

    Secondary (age 11-16)

    Further education (optional: age 16-18)

    Higher education (college/university)

    State schools: schools run by and paid for by the government– free for students1988: National Curriculum was established (standard for the whole country)

    State schools must follow it

    Private schools can choose to follow it or not.Primary and Secondary Education

    State schools– schools run by and paid for by the government

    -Always co-educational (boys and girls together)

    Independent schools (also called “Publicschools)– must pay a fee

    7% of British children attend these Public schools

    Some schools are for boys only or girls only (single-sex schools)

    Policy Today

    Core subjects for all students:

    English, math, science, technology (computers), P.E., religion, history,

    geography, art and music

    Education is now skill-based, not knowledge-based

    Not just “what” the child knows, but also that the child knows “how” to think or

    do things


     Communication skills: reading and writing, using math to solve many

    different kinds of problems

     Cooperation skills: working in groups, participation

     Thinking skills: problem-solving, doing research and analysisGCSEs and Sixth Form

    At 16 years old, all students take the GCSEs (General Certificate of Secondary


    Afterwards, students may leave school

    Or they can continue their education…

    They proceed to the Sixth Form

     Sixth Form = two/three years of further education before taking the tests to go

    on to university (16 to 18 years old)

    Students study only 4 or 5 courses, depending on what they want to study and

    their grades from the GCSEs

    Taking the A-Levels…

    At the end of Sixth Form (18 years old), students take their A-Level exams in these 4 or 5


    They receive a “General Certificate of Education, Advanced-Level”

    Their scores help determine university acceptance or notState vs. Independent

    How many students choose to continue education after the GCSEs?

     State Schools: only 40% of students continue after the GCSEs, to take the A-

    Level exams

     Independent Schools (“Public” Schools): 90% of students continue on to take

    the A-Level exams

    Public Schools

    Independent schools = “Public” schools: these are schools that are “independent” from the

    government; Private schools!

    Many public schools are partly funded by the governmentFor students ages 12 to 18

    (Before age 12, students go to “preparatory schools” – private primary schools)Independent School Council: organization that inspects these Public schools every 6


    Some public schools are also boarding schools

    -What is a boarding school? (Remember from Oral English)Recruit the best teachers (because of better salaries), so they are generally much better

    than the state schools

    Public Schools

    Higher Education

    Some of the best universities in the world are in Great Britain

    Oxford University

    Cambridge University

    Universities are independent: have complete control over what and how they teachNo national entrance exam– instead universities choose who to accept using:

    Grades from the A-level exams

    School references


    Only 1/3 or so of young people go to college or university

    But this is an improvement: 10 years ago, was only 1/6 of young peopleOxford and Cambridge Universities

    Higher Education

    All universities receive money from the government– the government provides 65% of

    the money they spend

    (well, there is one exception: Buckingham University is completely private– no money from the


    Before 1998, universities were free for students

    But today, all students must pay tuition

    Today, universities can choose how much tuition to charge

    But the government sets a ?3,000 limit (per year)

    How much is that in RMB?

    31,650 RMB

    Government also gives maintenance grants:

    Scholarships to allow students from poor families to attend universityHow long is GB’s higher education?

    In Britain: students spend 3 years in university for their first degree

    BA– Bachelor of Arts

    BSC– Bachelor of Science

    Can be longer for foreign language students:

    These students often study abroad for a semester or a year during this time, so it

    takes longer

     + 1 more year full-time (2 years part-time) to receive a Master’s degree + 3-5 more years to receive a Doctoral degree

    Study and doing research


    full of culture and traditions for hundreds of years.

famous all over the world.

     drinking tea, eating fish and chips and wearing bowler hats,

    traditions of sport, music, food and many royal occasions..


    A tea-drinking nation.

    165 million cups of the stuff per day

    Each year144 thousand tons of tea are imported.

    Brewed in a warmed teapot, adding one spoonful of tea per person and one for the pot. Most Britons like their tea strong and dark, but with a lot of milk. How to make tea…

    The traditional English way of making tea is:

    Boil some fresh cold water. (use an electric kettle to boil water)

    Put some hot water into the teapot to make it warm.

    Pour the water away

    Put one teaspoon of tea-leaves per person, and one extra tea-spoon, into

    the pot.

    Pour boiling water onto the tea.

    Leave for a few minutes.


    Did You Know…?

    Would you like a cuppa” = Would you like a cup of tea?

    Let me be mother” or “Shall I be mother?” means they are offering to pour the tea from

    the teapot into your teacup

    Tea words or phrases:

    Tea break, high tea, tea party

    Tea breaks are when tea and biscuits (cookies) are served (typically at 11am and 4pm)If something is not quite to your taste, it’s probably “not your cup of tea”

    Example: “Parasailing is not my cup of tea”

    Other beverages…


    as popular in Britain as tea is.

    drink it with milk or have it black and either have freshly- made coffee or instant coffee.


    well known for its ale (a kind of beer) which tends to be dark in appearance and heavier

    than lager.


    Britain's wine industry is growing and now has over 300 wine producers. A growing

    number of British vineyards are now producing sparkling white wine as well as red wine. Fish and Chips

    Fish and chips --classic English take-away food

    The traditional national food of England (unofficially)

    Popular in the 1860's when railways began to bring fresh fish straight from the east coast

    to the cities over night


    What is a pub?

    The word “pub” is short for public house.

    This is where can people eat in Britain apart from at home or in a restaurantPubs are an important part of British life.

    People talk, eat, drink, meet their friends and relax there.

    (popular social meeting places )

    Over 60,000 pubs in the UK

    (53,000 in England and Wales, 5,200 in Scotland and 1,600 in Northern Ireland)Pubs often have two bars, one usually quieter than the other

    Many have a garden where people can sit in the summer. Children can go in pub gardens

    with their parents.

    Bar Customs

    Groups of friends normally buy 'rounds' of drinks

    It is sometimes difficult to get served when pubs are busy:

    people do not wait in line, but the bar staff will usually try and serve those who

    have been waiting the longest at the bar first.

     If you spill a stranger's drink by accident, it is good manners to offer to buy another


    British Beer

    Most pubs belong to a brewery but sell many different kinds of beer, some on tap (from a

    big container under the bar, called a keg) and some in bottles.

    Bitter Beer, which is dark and served at room temperature (not hot, not cold). British

    beer is brewed from malt and hops.

    British Beer

    More popular today though is lager, (lighter in color and served cold.) Guinness, a very

    dark, creamy kind of beer called a stout, is made in Ireland and is popular all over


    In the West of England, cider is very popular. Like wine, it is described as sweet or dry,

    but is drunk in beer glasses and can be stronger than beer.

    Beers are served in "pints"

    for a large glass and "halves"

    for a smaller one.

    Most pubs are open from

    11am to 11pm


    Various games, especially darts, are commonly found in pubs

    Also, live transmissions of soccer (football) or other league matches are shown on TV at

    the pubs, so that friends can come and watch the match together at the pub.Licensing Laws

    The legal age to purchase alcohol is 18.

    People aged 16 and 17, with the licensee's permission, may consume only 1 glass

    of wine, beer or cider with a table meal , providing they're with an adult and the

    adult orders it (England & Wales only, Scotland no adult required to be present).It is illegal to sell alcohol to someone who already appears drunk

    Ask for Photo ID (under 21.)

    Purchasing alcohol on behalf of a minor will result in an ?80 on-the-spot fine Fourteen-year-olds may enter a pub without an adult if they order a meal. Children may

    enter a pub with their parents until 9 p.m., which lets families enjoy reasonably priced

    pub meals together, and allows pubs to continue in their traditional roles as community


    Customs in British Pubs

    Different from those in American bars.

    In Britain, you must go to the bar to order drinks and food and pay for your

    purchase immediately, there is no table service.

    Bartenders are called "landlords" and "barmaids" and do not expect frequent tipping

    To give a tip / to tip: leaving a little extra money for the waiter or waitress (in

    America, usually an extra 20%)

    Example: $10.00 meal, leave an extra $1 for the waiter or waitress

    In the UK, you can ask: “Would you like a drink yourself?”– and buy the

    bartender a drink!


    Sports are an important part in the life in Britain and a popular leisure activity.

Many of the world's famous sports began in Britain, including cricket, football, lawn

    tennis, golf and rugby

    England's national sport is cricket

    But football is the most popular sport.

    Some of England's football teams are world famous, the most famous being

    Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool.

    Horse-racing is also very popular


    Another equestrian sport is polo, brought to Britain from India in the 19th Century by

    army officers.

    It is the fastest ball sport in the world.

    Polo is played with four men on horses to a team. A ball is hit with a stick towards the


    What do British people like doing at the weekends ?

    Saturdays are a busy time for shops with many families going shopping.

    Sundays used to be a very special day of the week in Britain. (for “worship and rest”) The

    shops are closed and most people are at home or at church.

    Doing odd jobs around the home such as gardening and DIY.

    DIY = “Do It Yourself,” meaning work around the house, repairing and building

    things for the home.

    In their free time…


    The average viewing time is 25 hours per person per week!


    People in Britain listen to an average 15 hours and 50 minutes of radio each week

    –“My parents listen to the radio in the mornings and when we are having our

    evening meal.”

    In their free time…


    The second most popular activity in Britain is visiting or entertaining friends or


    –“Mum and Dad go out and visit friends at least once a week. Sometime me and

    my brother go too. Every Wednesday after school James and I go to see our



    Eating out


    Multi-Faith Society

    Britain is a multi-faith society in which everyone has the right to religious freedom. Britain is historically a Christian society, and people are usually very tolerant towards the

    faiths of others and those who have no religious beliefs.

    Other major religions include

    Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, and many more

    Religion Today

    The main religion in Britain is Christianity.

    Most Christians belong to the Church of England or the Church of Scotland.

    These are the only two official “Churches of State”

    They are Protestant Churches.

    There are also many Roman Catholic Churches

    History of Religion in England

    Britain used to be a Roman Catholic country.

Until the 16th century most people were Roman Catholic and the Pope in Rome was the

    head of the Church.

    In 1517, a man called Martin Luther led a breakaway from the Roman Catholic church.

    The new Christians called themselves ‘Protestants’ because they were protesting against

    the Roman Catholic Church, its teachings and its customs. Their demand for reform led to this period of history being called the Reformation.

    Henry and the Reformation

    In 1533, during the reign of Henry VIII (King), England broke from the Roman Catholic

    Church to form the Anglican Church (Church of England).


    Henry and the Reformation

    Why did England become a Protestant country?

    It was Henry VIII’s search for a divorce solution that triggered the break from Rome.Henry VIII lacked only one thing in his life - a son.

    Catherine of Aragon had produced six children but only a daughter, Mary, survived.

    Henry had become convinced that God was punishing him for marrying the wife

    of his dead elder brother, Arthur.

    He had also become infatuated with Anne Boleyn, daughter of a well-connected

    London merchant. Anne’s sister had previously been his mistress!Anne insisted that she be Queen or nothing!

    Henry and the Reformation

    1534 Act of Supremacy

    The Act of Supremacy (1534) confirmed the break from Rome, declaring King Henry

    VIII to be the Supreme Head of the Church of England.

    This was a very difficult change for the country!

    Henry VIII closed down many wealthy Catholic churches and monasteries

    He sold these church lands to the Dukes, Barons and other nobles

    So now these nobles did not want Catholicism to come back, because they

    wanted to keep their new lands!

    Queen Mary

    But in 1553, Henry’s daughter Mary (from his first marriage with Catherine) became


    Her family is from Spain, and she was Catholic

    So she changed the country back to Catholicism and burned Protestants who wouldn’t

    convert at the stake (remember the movie, Elizabeth).

    During the last three years of her reign, 300 leading Protestants who would not accept

    Catholic beliefs were burned to death at the stake. This earned her the nickname of

    “Bloody Mary”.

    Queen Elizabeth I

    But then it changed back!

    Queen Mary died of a tumor in 1558

    Elizabeth, the daughter of Henry and Anne Boleyn, became the new queenShe was raised as a protestant

    And so, she changed the church back to Anglican and it has been the official religion

    of England ever since.

    It was under Elizabeth that the Anglican church became firmly established and dominant.

    The Church Today

    Today in the UK…

    The Established Church

    The Church of England is the “established church,” meaning:

    1) The Monarch is the Supreme Governor of the church (theologically, Jesus is the head),

    2) The Church performs a number of official functions

    3) Church and State are linked

    The Church Today

Civic duties

    The Church of England, as the established church, fulfils a civic responsibility too. The bishops and priests are responsible for performing state weddings and funerals and

    memorial services as well as grand occasions like the Coronation (the official “crowning”

    of a new king or queen)

    In recent years, such occasions have become more open and multi-faith as the Church of

    England acknowledges Britain's changing religious landscape (there are more and more

    people who follow different religions in the UK).

    The Church Today

    Decline in church attendance

    The Church of England has more than 16,000 churches and 42 Cathedrals in England,

    yet the number of people attending services has been going downIn 2002, the average number of people attending church on Sundays was just over a


    Many of those attending are elderly, with statistics showing that very few 15 to 30 year-

    olds go to church

    Business, Agriculture, and Industry


    Britain’s economy is one of the most important in the worldth6 largest economy in the world (by GDP)

    Member of the G8

    Group of Eight,” the group of the most industrialized countries in the world

    who lead the world economy

    Britain’s strong economy comes from:

    Agriculture, industry, banking system, foreign trade and the service industryBasic Information

    The United Kingdom’s GDP

    Question: What does GDP stand for?

    Answer: Gross Domestic Product (a measure for how much the country

    is worth)

    UK’s total GDP = $2.674 trillion (2008)

    $2,674,000,000,000 !!!!

    GDP by sector (what makes the money?)

    Services – 76%

    Industry – 23%

    Agriculture – 1%

    Government Role

    The government has been very important for the economy

    After WWII, the government “nationalized” many of the country’s industries, such as

    Steel, Mining, Transportation

     To nationalize= to make it under direct government control

    This helped these industries grow

    1970s: When the economy was poor, the Conservative Party “denationalized” most of

    these industries



    What is agriculture?

    Farming! Growing crops and raising animals.

    The UK is very successful at farming:

    74% of the land in the UK is used for agriculture, but only 2% of the people’s jobs are


    This is possible because of the high level of mechanization used in agriculture

    (mechanization: using machines instead of people to do a job)






    Sugar beet





    Cattle (cows for meat and for milk)

    Products: milk, eggs, meat, wool

    In the last 30 years…

    Becoming a member of the European Union (EU) has brought many changes:

    The UK has to follow different laws now so that trading with other countries in

    the EU is more fair

    The EU can set standard prices (same price in all EU countries) for certain things

    like dairy products (dairy products = milk, cheese, etc.)This means that for some industries, they can’t make as much money as before because of

    these new laws

    Britain’s dairy industry has been especially hurt (farmers don’t make as much

    money as before)

    Industry and Business


    Great Britain LACKS metallic minerals (such as iron), so they import these metals for its


    But it has a LOT of energy resources! Such as coal, oil and natural gas


    Other important factors:

     Nuclear Power (responsible for 5% of GB’s total GDP) Manufacturing Industry (meaning, industry that makes things)

    Auto Industry (making cars)

    Pharmaceuticals (making medicines and drugs)

    Chemical products (like paint)

    Textiles (making cloth or clothes)

    Though recently, they don’t make a lot of money from textiles because it’s cheaper to make cloth

    in other countries


    All coal resources are considered “state property” (belonging to the government)

    Coal is important because it provides energy and jobs for tens of thousands of peopleImportant coal cities: Glasgow, Manchester and NewcastleIdiom: “carrying coal to Newcastle”

    “Don’t bring food to Sally’s house! That’s like carrying coal to Newcastle!”


    Great Britain’s oil industry is relatively new

    Only discovered oil in the North Sea in the 1970s.

    Great Britain now produces so much crude oil that it now exports oil

    GB is the 8th biggest oil producer in the worldShell and British Petroleum (BP) are both very well-known British oil companies. Service Industry


    The Service Industry makes a LOT of money: 76% of Great Britain’s GDP!

    What is the service industry?

     Financial Service



    Financial Service

    Financial Services include:


    Insurance Companies

    Stock Exchange

    Great Britain is one of the world’s best places for financial businessLondon is one of three “financial centers” in the world

    (New York and Tokyo are the two others)

    Financial Service

    Bank of England:

    Founded in 1694

     Nationalized by the government in 1946

    Only “note-issuing” bank in England– the only bank that can physically make bank notes

    (paper money)

    Responsible for protecting the worth of the British pound (GB’s currency)Its headquarters is in the City of London (a square-mile that houses Great Britain’s

    financial district—very famous and important)

    Tourism and Transportation

    Tourism is huge!th5 largest tourist country in the world (after the US, France, Spain and Italy)


    To visit cultural spots (history) and beautiful sceneryAn easy place to visit because the transportation is so good:

    The UK had the world’s first railroad (1825)

    The train and the roads are really good: 70% of families have a car

    Easy access to Europe through the “Chunnel” (the tunnel under the English

    Channel– direct train from London to Paris, France!)Trade

    Great Britain became an important country because of foreign trade

     Foreign Trade: international buying and selling (of things or services)Trade is still important

    The 3 most important trade partners (makes up 50% of Britain’s foreign trade):

    The United States

    Mainland Europe

    Especially Germany and France


    Important Cities…


    The capital of the UK

    Financial Center of Great Britain

    Has many cultural spots

    Buckingham Palace

    (where the Queen lives)

    The London Tower

    (the famous prison and fortress from 1078… first built by William the Conqueror!)

    Big Ben

    Westminster Palace (where Parliament meets)

    Westminster Abbey (the church where queens and princes get married)Other Important Cities

    EnglandndBirmingham: 2 biggest city in the UK

    Manchester: where the Industrial Revolution started


    Cardiff: the capital of Wales

    Northern Ireland

    Belfast: the capital of Northern Ireland

    The famous ship Titanic was built here!

    Other Important Cities



    Scotland’s capital

    Famous for the “Edinburgh Castlend most important financial center in the UK2


    Scotland’s biggest city

    Heavy industry

    Great Britain’s Currency

    Britain’s Currency

    Called the “pound sterling

    Great Britain Pound = GBP

    Nickname: “a quid”

     ?1.00 – you say “one pound” or “one quid”

    One pound (?) = 100 pence (p)

    Currency Today

     Current coins:

    1 penny, 2 pence, 5 pence, 10 pence, 20 pence, 50 pence, 1 pound, and 2 pounds

     Current bank notes (paper money):

    the 5 , 10 , 20 and 50 pound notes


    All bank notes show a picture of the Queen on one side (Queen Elizabeth II)

    Queen Elizabeth ll is the first monarch to have her portrait printed on a bank


    It was first done in 1960 to prevent forgeries (fake money). The Welfare State

    Welfare State

    Welfare State:

    a country where the federal government is responsible for taking care of the


    Great Britain has one of the best “social welfare” programs in Europe:

    Social Security

    National Health Service


    Social Security

    Program started in 1948 to give assistance (money) to people who need itEveryone who earns money (has a job and a salary) gives a small amount of that money

    to the government for this program

    the company they work for also gives moneySo now all citizens receive money for

    retirement pension”: start receiving money from the government at the age of

    60 (women) or 65 (men)

    Unemployment or sickness

    National Health Service (NHS)

    Gives free medical care to everyone who needs it

    -(except for dental work, glasses or prescription medicines)

    Based on 3 principles:

    -That it meet the needs of everyone

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