I. Study the text and retell it.


Parents in Britain are required by law to see that their children receive efficient full-time education between the ages of five and sixteen. The primary stage is subdivided into the Infant School for children aged from five to seven and the Junior School for those between seven and eleven. Boys and girls are generally taught together in primary schools. School begins at 9.00 and ends at 4.00 in the afternoon. There are five days of school a week, from Monday to Friday.

Infant Schools. In an infant classroom the children have a nature table full of a variety of things: nuts, leaves, twigs and pictures of animals, many of which they bring to school themselves. They grow bulbs here, and are taught to understand the various parts of plants they look at. They learn how to use money in the classroom shop, and look at the books in their library corner.

The pupils particularly enjoy using the climbing frame and Bother special apparatus, and this helps to give them confidence and to develop their bodies. They paint pictures, dress up, sing, and model with clay or plasticine, under the careful attention of their teachers. It is assumed that by the time children are ready for the junior school they will be able to read and write and do simple addition .and subtraction of numbers.

Junior Schools. Parents often feel that the transition from the 'infants' to the 'juniors', even more than starting school at five, 'marks the transition from play to 'real work . The atmosphere is more restricted here; the children sit in rows and follow a regular time-table. They have set periods of arithmetic, reading and composition. They will do other subjects too: nature-study, history, geography, singing, drama, physical education, religious knowledge, and so on.

Geography and history are made lively and interesting by studying the school neighbourhood, by drawing maps, and by visiting nearby museums and buildings of historical interest. They may also visit local civic institutions, like town halls and fire stations, and go for walks in the countryside and visit farms.

The junior classroom often looks rather like a workshop, especially when the pupils are working in groups at a project which involves, making models, and other practical work. Some of the pupils 'work, such as pictures, maps,' and time charts, is displayed on the walls. They learn to write, and express their thoughts in words by describing everyday objects and happenings in essays.

The pupils are streamed, according to their ability to learn, into А, В, С and D streams, the brightest children being in the A stream and the least gifted in the D stream. Pupils of the different streams are not taught in the same way. Usually more physical activities are given to those of the D and С streams. In this system a pupil never repeats a grade but always follows his own age group.


Secondary education generally starts at the age of 11 and In the.publicly maintained state system is given in grammar schools, secondary modern schools, comprehensive schools and some middle schools.1

Grammar Schools. Some people trace the ancestry of the grammar schools back to the time of Alfred the Great. Be this as it may, nowadays they are concerned almost entirely with academic education aimed at university entrance. Children are admitted to Grammar Schools on the results of various intelligence tests which in fact substitute for the abolished eleven-plus examination. Only about 20-25 per cent of children can go to Grammar schools.

The subjects normally offered include English language, English literature, modern languages (French usually, German often, Italian and Spanish rarely), Latin (very occasionally Greek), mathematics (pure and applied), chemistry, physics, biology, history, geography, art, music, woodwork and metalwork for boys, housecraft for girls, and physical education.

In comparison with other State Secondary schools Grammar schools have better buildings, smaller classes, more highly qualified teachers (who call themselves "masters" not teachers), better playing fields and sports facilities. To have been at Grammar school opens without effort all sorts of doors-reasonably well paid clerkships in banks, insurance offices, solicitor's offices, etc. and a chance of getting to a University.

Modern Schools. Schoolchildren who go to the Secondary Modern school receive a general education until the age of 16 when, they leave school and start work. The curriculum includes religious knowledge, reading, writing and arithmetic, some elementary history and geography, and a certain amount of drawing, singing and physical education. In fact the kind of education which is secondary only in name. Some schools, while sticking to a very limited curriculum, nevertheless offer some opportunity for more advanced work perhaps up to the standard of an external examination. Others have tended to specialize in one or more subjects outside the basic curriculum and have evolved special courses with a vocational bias. A child might take arts and crafts, cooking, needlework, furnishing, rural science, music, seamanship, shorthand and typing.

Comprehensive Schools. Since the mid 1960s there has been a move to replace grammar and secondary modern schools by comprehensive schools which take the pupils without reference to ability or aptitude and provide a wide range of secondary education for all or most of the children of a district. In 1974 over 60 per cent of secondary school children in England and Wales attended comprehensive schools. The practical effect of this is that children who would have been rejected from the grammar school get a much greater chance to be taught by graduate teachers and are much more likely to come up against algebra and modern languages than similar children in secondary modern schools.


Examinations. Between the ages -of sixteen and eighteen schoolchildren may take one of two sets of examinations.

The General Certificate of Education (G.C.E.) is the most important external examination in secondary schools. It is set and marked by one of several university examination boards, and the teachers see the papers for the first time when they hand them out to their pupils. The examination is held at two levels, the Ordinary (O) and Advanced (A). Pupils normally take 'O' level at the end of their last year in a secondary school. For a lot of jobs, such as nursing, you must have four or five 'O' levels, and usually these must include English and Mathematics. They take 'A' level after two years in a sixth form, that is about the age of 18. It is quite a difficult exam, so people don't usually take it in more than 3 subjects-and some only take one or two subjects. Three 'A' levels are enough to get you in to most universities. For others, such as Oxford and Cambridge, you have to take special examinations as well.

The Certificate of Secondary Education (C.S.E.) is taken by pupils completing five years of secondary education but who are notup to the G.C.E. standard. The examinations for the C.S.E. are set, marked and supervised by teachers from groups of schools taking part.

II. Study the following words and word combinations:

efficient full-time education; the Infant School; a nature table full of a variety of things; to give confidence; the Junior School; restricted; set periods of...; to make lively and interesting; to display on the walls; essays; streams; Grammar schools; intelligence tests; the subjects offered include; highly qualified teachers; Modern Schools; to receive a general education; the curriculum includes; special courses; Comprehensive schools; to provide a wide range of secondary education; G.C.E.; university examination board; at two levels; C.S.E.; to complete secondary education :

III. a) Render the text in English, b) Comment on the peculiarities of the school described here:

Всеобщее обязательное образование распространяется в Англии на детей от пяти до пятнадцати лет. Учебный год начинается в сентябре, но не 1 сентября, ибо это может быть понедельник, а в понедельник даже не все корабли рискуют покидать британские гавани. В большинстве случаев - в первый вторник сентября. Девять из десяти английских малышей пяти лет - или близких к тому - идут в школы, которые так и называются - "инфант скулз", то есть школы для малышей. Сентябрь в Англии обычно теплый и светлый, солнечный. Малыши идут чистенькие, нарядные. Вернее, их ведут родители. Мамы обязательно. Папы -; если сумели освободиться от работы, что они, во всяком случае, пытаются сделать. Эти без пяти минут ученики еще без портфельчиков, без книжек и без тетрадок. В первый день им это не понадобится. Ранец будет куплен много позже.

В такое вот утро и мы с женой проводили ребят в "Робинсфилд инфант скул" на Сэйнт-Джеймс Вуд парк.


Ребятам понравилось в школе. Понравилось, что, как взрослые, они платят каждое утро по шиллингу за свой завтрак; что в 11 часов им дают стакан молока или стакан апельсинового сока, а в час - ланч - что-нибудь мясное, пудинг и снова сок; что на уроках они Morут рисовать красками сколько угодно или смотреть, как плавают рыбки в аквариуме на первом этаже перед актовым и гимнастическим по совместительству залом, ухаживать за кроликами или возиться с хомяком, то и дело вытаскивая его из клетки; что на переменах они Morут бегать по большому двору и лазить по двум сукастым деревьям. Их не спешили учить буквам и словам. Им давали время освоиться.

Как-то мы спросили дочку:

- Что вы делаете, придя к себе в класс?

- В классе мы рисуем, учимся различать деревья, цветы, животных. Рассказываем, что мы делали в уикэнд. Мисс Моуэз читает нам сказки. Вчера она читала очень похожую на наш "Терем-теремок". А сегодня мы все читали "Грин бук".

- Как "читали"? Вы же и букв еще не знаете?

- Немножко букв мы знаем. А "Грин бук" мы повторяем за Мисс Моуэз.

В школах для малышей, действительно, начинают сначала "читать", повторяя за учительницей и запоминая целиком простейшие и самые короткие слова. Алфавит учат позже. Читают же не по единому для всех учеников первого класса букварю, а по отдельным книжкам, сначала первую зеленую, потом книжку номер два - красную, потом желтую, серую. Это маленькие книжки, и дети успевают запоминать их до того, как сама книжка успевает им надоесть. Но самое интересное не в этом, а как ребята переходят от одной книжки к другой. И здесь мы сталкиваемся едва ли не с основным отличием наших школ от школ английских. Детей не держат на зеленой книжке, пока весь класс не усвоит ее. Те, кто "прочел" er, тут же, не дожидаясь остальных, принимается за вторую, потом за третью и так далее. И этот принцип распространяется не только на чтение, но и на арифметику и другие дисциплины, не только на школы для малышей, но и на все другие учебные заведения. Так начинается дифференциация ребят на способных и менее способных ...

(Из книги В. Осипова "Британия глазами русского")

IV. a) Write a letter of an English schoolgirl about her day in an Infant (Junior) school, b) Write a letter of a Soviet senior form pupil about his (her) school.

V. Read the dialogue. Pay special attention to the words and phrases related to the topic "School".

The Headmaster, Mr. Annick, talks to the newcomer, a boy named Peter Quitlian.

"Well, we don't have much time for talk, do we?" "No, sir."

"I thought you'd been looking a bit hot and bothered lately. Anything wrong?"

"No. Not much."


"What then?"

"I don't know, really. You get restless."

"How's the maths coming on?" Annick asked him.

"Well, sir, not brilliantly. It's something I've been wondering about."

"What's that?"

"If only I could do maths with Mr. Canning," Peter brightened a little. "The way he teaches science is superb. He tells you first what it's all about, what the end-product is, as he calls it, and sees you get a bit excited before he makes you weigh all those mucky bits of tin and fix up bits of cotton in front of mirrors."

"Praise from a pupil, Peter, is praise indeed. May I pass it on?"

(From "The Honours Board" by P. H. Johnson)

VI. Make up dialogues on the following topics:

  1. The difference between the Soviet Elementary school and the English Primary school.
  2. The system of Secondary Education in the Soviet Union and England.
  3. School regime, teachers, hobbies (a talk between English and Russian students).
  4. The first day at school (mother and child).
  5. School examinations in the Soviet Union and England.

VII. Render the text in English and get ready to discuss English public schools. To make your speech natural and idiomatic use the following phrase-openings:

To begin with ... Oddly enough, ...
Frankly speaking ... To do them justice, they ...
I'd like to point out that ... On the other hand, they ...
I think it only fair to ... On the contrary, ...
As far as I know ... Not only ... but also ...
I am well aware of the fact ... What's more (moreover) ...
I should never have thought ... However, ...
It is possible (doubtful) that ... At any rate ...
It is quite remarkable that ... In fact (as a matter of fact) ...
It is more like ... than ... On the whole ...
Yet it is clear that ... In spite of all this ...
It is hard to imagine that ... That is why ...
It looks as if they ... Summing it up ...
It is here ... that ...  


- Битва при Ватерлоо была выиграна на спортивных площадках Итона ...

Англичане любят повторять эту фразу, сказанную когда-то Артуром Веллингтоном. Наиболее чтимый своими соотечественниками полководец подчеркнул в ней роль закрытых частных школ в формировании элиты общества. Самыми привилегированными из подобных заведений считаются так называемые "публичные школы".


Ныне в Британии их насчитывается 260. Среди 38 тысяч остальных это вроде бы капля в море. Обучается в них лишь около 4 процентов английских школьников. И всё же влияние "публичных школ" Итона и Харроу, Винчестера и Рагби не только на систему образования, но и на общественно-политическую жизнь страны чрезвычайно велико.

В своем нынешнем виде "публичные школы" сложились после реформ, осуществленных Томасом Арнольдом полтора столетия назад. Если в средневековых школах основами воспитания считались латынь и розга, то Томас Арнольд добавил сюда третий рычаг - спорт, а розгу вложил в руки старшеклассника. Введенная им система внутренней субординации среди воспитанников наделила старшеклассников значительной властью над младшими. Именно через систему старшинства "публичная школа" преподает новичку самый первый и самый суровый урок: умение подчиняться, с тем чтобы впоследствии научиться повелевать.

У англичан есть понятие "старый школьный галстук", с которым они привыкли связывать другое распространенное словосочетание "круг старых друзей". По лондонским понятиям, галстук "публичной школы" позволяет судить не только об образованности человека, но и о достоинствах его характера и даже о круге его знакомств - словом, служит бесспорным свидетельством принадлежности к избранной касте.

Устроить сына в "подобающую школу" - главная забота состоятельных родителей, ради чего они не щадят никаких усилий, идут на любые жертвы.

Готовность родителей идти на любые затраты, чтобы их отпрыск стал обладателем "старого школьного галстука", а затем непременно попал в Оксфорд или Кембридж, порождается не одним лишь снобизмом. Вопреки разглагольствованиям о равенстве возможностей в Англии сохранила силу истина, что чем дороже образование, тем оно лучше. Обладая престижем и к тому же располагая средствами, старые университеты в состоянии привлекать лучших профессоров, а "публичные школы" нанимать лучших учителей. Можно ли ожидать после этого, что уровень преподавания, а главное, уровень подготовки выпускников во всех учебных заведениях будет одинаков?

На долю "публичных школя приходится 4 процента учащихся. Но обладатель "старого школьного галстука" имеет в 22 раза больше шансов попасть в Оксфорд или Кембридж, чем учащийся общеобразовательной школы, констатирует доклад "Неравенство в современной Британии". Парламентская комиссия, инспектировавшая недавно государственный аппарат, установила, что при заполнении вакансий бывшие воспитанники "публичных школ" составляют обычно лишь одну треть кандидатов, подающих заявления. Однако им достается две трети назначений. Роль "публичных школ" в воспроизводстве правящей элиты возрастает. Доля обладателей "старого школьного галстука" в высших правительственных сферах с I960 по 1970 год возросла с 59 до 62 процентов. Бывшие воспитанники "публичных школ" занимают, например, 83 процента высших постов в вагонах суда и прокуратуры и составляют 72 процента армейского генералитета.

("Правда", 1978 г.) 100


"We haven’t chosen his college yet. We’re wating to see how he does in kindergarten."
"We haven’t chosen his college yet. We’re wating to see how he does in kindergarten."
"And when you leave school, what would you prefer to be ... an unemployed electrician ... an unemloyed engteneer ... an unem;oyed printer ... ?"
"And when you leave school, what would you prefer to be ... an unemployed electrician ... an unemloyed engteneer ... an unem;oyed printer ... ?"
"It could be overcrowding or it could be the Goverment plan for higher education!"
"It could be overcrowding or it could be the Goverment plan for higher education!"


VIII. Answer the following questions:

1. What stages of free education are there in England? 2. In what does an Infant school differ from a Junior school? 3. Why are children separated into different streams? What are the pros and cons of streaming? 4. Where can an English child get a secondary education? 5. Why is the Comprehensive school considered to be the most progressive school in England? 6. What kind of school is a Preparatory school? 7. How does a Public school differ from other types of schools? 8. What spirit is encouraged in Public schools? 9. Why is the Public school sometimes called the nursery of the governing class? 10. What does the saying "The Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton" mean? Do you find it suggestive? 11. What examinations do the English school-leavers sit for?

IX. Comment on the pictures on. p. 101

X. Give a critical review of a book about English school ("Nicholas Nickle by" by Ch. Dickens, "Tom Brown's School Days" by Th. Hughes, "The Ruined Boys" by R. Fuller, "Spare the Rod" by M. Croft, "To Sir, with Love" by E.R. Braithwaite, "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie" by M. Spark, "The Honours Board" by P.H. Johnson or any other).

XI. Give a brief talk on one of the following topics!

  1. English nursery schools.
  2. Streaming in English schools.
  3. Independent schools.
  4. Higher education in Great Britain.
  5. The system of primary education in the Soviet Union.
  6. The system of secondary education in the Soviet Union.
  7. Teacher training in the Soviet Union.
  8. The advantages of Soviet system of education.

Try Your Hand at Teaching

I. Make a list of compounds containing the element "school" and offer it to your fellow students for comprehension and interpretation.

II. Give a brief talk on the topic "English Sdiool", adopt it to the needs of secondary school pupils.

III. Suggest the following forms of an Intelligence Test to your fellow students. Don't forget to set a time limit.

Test A

Answer these carefully:

  1. Tom is twice as old as his brother Sam, who is half as old as his sister Anne, who is 5 years older than her brother Jim. Who are the twins?
  2. Forty cabbages are set a foot apart in a row. How long is the row?
  3. Costly-cheap-precious-rich. Which word is the opposite of dear?
  4. June 21st is the longest day in a year. How many hours are there in that day?


  1. A man had 23 sheep. He sold all except 11 of them. How many had he left?
  2. You look in a mirror and see the reflection of a clock on the opposite wall. The time appears to be a quarter to five. What is thejeal time by the clock?

Test В

In each sentence is hidden the name of an animal, a bird or an insect. Find the hidden word, and write it down. Example: Tom was playing in the mud. Answer: wasp.

  1. He repaired the orchard's wall owned by Mr. Brown.
  2. Thief, rogue, scoundrel are not very nice names.
  3. I wrote to Jackson & Co. who have a large shop in London.
  4. There were straight lines of radishes, beet, lettuce, and carrots in the boys' plot.


1 There are still a few Technical Schools, but most of the technical education is provided in Technical Colleges.

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