In Great Britain children begin to go to school at the age of five.First they study at infant schools.In these schools they learn to draw with coloured pencils and paints.They also make figures out of plasticine and work with paper and glue.They play much because they are very young.Later they begin to learn letters and read, write and count.At the age of seven English schoolchildren go to junior schools.They do many subjects: English and Maths, History and Music, Natural History and Drawing, Handicrafts, French and Latin.They do not go to school as early as we do, but they stay there longer.The first lesson usually starts at 9 o’clock.There are 3 lessons with short breaks of 10 minutes between them and then an hour break for lunch.After lunch they have two more lessons which are over by half past three.If you have a look at an English pupil’s school record, you will see that the marks in it differ from the marks we have.Our schoolchildren get marks from 1 to 5 (12).At English school there are marks from 1 up to 10 and at some schools from 1 up to 100.Junior school ends at the age of 11 when pupils take the Eleven Plus examination and then secondary school begins.At the age of 16 schoolchildren take their exams.Only 45 per cent continue with fulltime education after 16.The rest go to work or join employment training schemes.Passage from one academic year to the next is automatic.After a two-year course, usually from 14 to 16 years of age, most pupils take their General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE), assessed on the basis of a mixture of course work and a written examination, in individual subjects.
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