•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
•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 students•1988: 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 “Public” schools)– must pay a fee
–7% of British children attend these Public schools
–Some schools are for boys only or girls only (single-sex schools)
•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
• 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 analysis•GCSEs 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 not•State 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-
– Independent Schools (“Public” Schools): 90% of students continue on to take
the A-Level exams
Independent schools = “Public” schools: these are schools that are “independent” from the
government; Private schools!
•Many public schools are partly funded by the government•For 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
•Some of the best universities in the world are in Great Britain
•Universities are independent: have complete control over what and how they teach•No national entrance exam– instead universities choose who to accept using:
–Grades from the A-level exams
•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 people•Oxford and Cambridge Universities
•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?
•Government also gives maintenance grants:
–Scholarships to allow students from poor families to attend university•How 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
• + 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
•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”
•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
•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 restaurant•Pubs 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.
•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
•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.
•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
–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
•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
；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
；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!
；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
；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 queen；She 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
；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 down；In 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 worldth；6 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 industry；Basic Information
；The United Kingdom’s GDP
；Question: What does GDP stand for?
；Answer: Gross Domestic Product (a measure for how much the country
；UK’s total GDP = $2.674 trillion (2008)
；GDP by sector (what makes the money?)
；Services – 76%
；Industry – 23%
；Agriculture – 1%
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
；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)
；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 people；Important coal cities: Glasgow, Manchester and Newcastle；Idiom: “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 world；Shell 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 Services include:
；Great Britain is one of the world’s best places for financial business；London is one of three “financial centers” in the world
(New York and Tokyo are the two others)
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
；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!th；5 largest tourist country in the world (after the US, France, Spain and Italy)
；To visit cultural spots (history) and beautiful scenery；An 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
；Especially Germany and France
；The capital of the UK
；Financial Center of Great Britain
；Has many cultural spots
(where the Queen lives)
；The London Tower
(the famous prison and fortress from 1078… first built by William the Conqueror!)
；Westminster Palace (where Parliament meets)
；Westminster Abbey (the church where queens and princes get married)；Other Important Cities
Englandnd；Birmingham: 2 biggest city in the UK
；Manchester: where the Industrial Revolution started
；Cardiff: the capital of Wales
；Belfast: the capital of Northern Ireland
；The famous ship Titanic was built here!
；Other Important Cities
；Famous for the “Edinburgh Castle”nd most important financial center in the UK；2
；Scotland’s biggest city
；Great 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)
； 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
；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:
；National Health Service
；Program started in 1948 to give assistance (money) to people who need it；Everyone 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 money；So 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