english education system

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english education system

Post by scottS4 » 08 May 2011, 19:35

i've always been confused by the english education system. i've heard of things like O levels, A levels, GCSE's, college starting at 16, etc.. Can someone english please explain how your system works?

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Post by p793 » 08 May 2011, 20:29

Instead of saying "Grade" We say year, but it's pretty much the same thing I think...age 4-5 Year 1
5-6 Year 2
6-7 Year 3. Etc.

Primary School (Compulsary)
From the ages of 4-11 we attend primary schools in which students do SAT exams. Theese don't really matter towards anything, apart from preparation for being in exam halls and working under pressure, and giving the teachers an idea of where you're at and what your working towards. You do these in Year 2, and Year 6. The ones in Year 6 are given on to Secondary Schools and they ultimately decide which sets you will be in for the next year.

Secondary School (Compulsary)
from 11-16 we go to secondary school. In our third year, Y9, we do SAT'S at the end of year again which decide our sets for GCSE's. Theese are quite important as if you go to a big school, there can be up to 12 sets for each lesson, so you wanna make sure you do well in theese SATS, but they don't account to anything in later life...They do NOT go on your CV as they aren't very important to employers.

GCSES. Okay so from Y10-Y11 we do a 2 year course in at least 8 subjects, they mainly all have a mixture of coursework and examinations which determine your final grade. Theese are super important as pretty much every job you apply for after school will require at least 5 GCSES A* to C grade, but obviously the better the frade the more chance you have compared to other candidates.

Sixth Form/College/Apprentiship(Optional) 16-18
By doing theese courses you are giving yourself a greater opportunity of getting a job later in life, you don't have to do it like you do for the above. You choose the courses you want to specialize in or focus on and it shows commitment etc to potential managers.

You can choose to do a BTECH or A-Levels at this stage,

the B-Tech specializes in one subject and is entirely coursework based, which gets moderated every few month. This is marked in three classes, Distinction, Merit, or Pass which is the equivilant to an A, C, D at A-Level.

At A-Level you choose 4 subjects which you want to study and theese are usually a mixture between Coursework and Exam, and they are often more stressfull than a BTECH course.

The marks you get give you UCAS points which will decide which Universities you can apply for, the better the grade, the higher the UCAS points, the easier it is to get in to the best Universities.

If your lucky enough to do football at this point in your life you will do a BTEC course in sports whilst training in the U18 squad of a pro team.
University (Optional) 18+
If you studied between 16-18 then you can go onto uni at any time in your life, usually a 3 year course which gives you a degree at the end of it, this will help in your chosen career path as managers will prefer somebody with a degree as it shows commitment and experience.

Hope this helped, got a bit sloppy towards the end as I got bored. Sorry, lol.

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Post by collin » 08 May 2011, 21:42

wow this seems alot more organized then the traditional american system, so your telling me you can be done with school at 16 if you wanted to?

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Post by p793 » 08 May 2011, 22:11

Yep. Once you finish your GCSE exams you can leave, and do whatever you want. I have a few friends who left school last year (i'm 17)
They now have full time jobs and a few have there own flats, but most people continue to do an A Level or Btec course.

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Post by scottS4 » 08 May 2011, 23:28

Its a good thing Rooney is so good because I read he didn't get any of his GCSE's.

Thanks for taking the time to write all that, it cleared up alot of my confusion.

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Post by TheBrilliance » 09 May 2011, 06:25

Its like the school certificate for all people who live in Australia.

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Re: english education system

Post by ratherton » 14 May 2011, 07:52

scottS4 wrote:i've always been confused by the english education system. i've heard of things like O levels, A levels, GCSE's, college starting at 16, etc.. Can someone english please explain how your system works?
Many years ago, you would go through primary, junior and upper schools. The school year runs September to August and in the year you were 16, you would normally take O Levels in up to 8 subjects (9 if you were really bright). They would be made up of one or more exam papers, no coursework. If you wanted to go to University, you would need to take A Levels for the following two years and the grades would dictate the courses you could go on. Typically, people would take 3 A Levels. Alternatively, you could go to college at 16 as University was traditionally for courses involving maths, law, science etc. If you wanted to learn a trade, college was the way to go.

Today, they've arsed around so some areas of the country have 2 levels of school (as stated earlier) and others have kept three (I have no idea why). Exams have been tweaked, renamed (GCSEs), rebranded, dumbed down etc so now you can do loads of course work over a couple of years and retake exam papers with a lot more ease than is practical. This makes it easier to get better grades than under the O Level system where everything relied on a 3 hour exam.

The system has been restructured so you can take even more exams because schools are judged on performance league tables. There have been accusations of dumbing down questions and when you see that exam results have improved for 22 years in a row and the percentage of students who gain A* grades (even better than A) is around 23%, you feel the accusations may have some substance. I believe that it is possible to get the equivalent of around 13 GCSEs by the time you are 16.

Colleges and Unis offer a massive range of courses in useful subjects such as Surf Science and Technology which you can Plymouth Uni. In the last 10 years or so, the number of people going to Uni has jumped from around 150,000 to neared 500,000 which has eventually resulted in fees being increased as it costs a lot of money to educate.

This has caused a bit of an outcry as people still want to take a degree in Surf Science and Technology (and other equally useless courses) but don't want to pay anything up to £9,000 a year as they realise they'll never get a job that would pay back the money. However, its not a problem is someone else pays for it.

Mandy felt Brian's wrath when she wandered in front of him after they'd announced free beer at the bar.....

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