Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • Welcome to my brand new series 'Britain Explained' where I'll guide you through different aspects

  • of British culture. Today we're looking at the British education system and I'm going

  • to show you how this country learns. So if you are ready, let's do this.

  • Hello and welcome to Eat Sleep Dream English if you haven't met me before my name is Tom

  • and I teach fresh modern British English so that you can take your English to the next

  • level and achieve your life goals. Today we're looking at the British education system and

  • I'm going to break down how it works in fifteen steps. So let's get to number one.

  • The first thing to know is that education is compulsory from the ages of five to sixteen.

  • That means that everybody in the country has to go to school. In nineteen eighty eight

  • the national curriculum was introduced. The national curriculum is a framework for learning.

  • It was brought in to standardise learning across the country so that all students were

  • learning the same things. In Britain we have two main types of schools. We have state schools

  • and private schools or independent schools. A state school is a school that's free. It's

  • open to everybody. It's government funded and you don't have to pay. So it's for anybody

  • to attend. The other type of school is a private school or independent school. These are fee

  • paying schools so students are expected to pay fees per term and they don't have to follow

  • the national curriculum so strictly whereas in a state school they have to follow the

  • national curriculum. In addition to private schools or independent schools we also have

  • public schools. These are a group of schools that are the most expensive, the most elite

  • if you will. For example we've got Eton, Harrow Cheltenham Ladies College. These are the kinds

  • of schools that royalty go to for example Prince Harry and Prince William both went

  • to Eton. So it sounds like they should be free, right? Public school but in fact it's

  • the opposite. So when we are five years old we go to Primary school. Primary school is

  • the first school you'll go to. It's from five to eleven years old. In America they would

  • call primary school elementary school but over here primary school. Now when you get

  • to eleven, that's when you go to secondary school. Secondary school is from eleven to

  • sixteen or sometimes eighteen as well. In American they call that a high school but

  • here secondary school. In most places in Britain you go to a comprehensive school which is

  • open to everybody. In some places we use the system of grammar schools and secondary moderns.

  • Now a grammar school is generally more academic whereas a secondary modern is more vocational.

  • When you finish primary school you'll take an exam called the eleven plus and that will

  • decide if you go to a grammar school or a secondary modern. As I say this is only in

  • some areas in Britain. Generally, certainly in London where I live we have comprehensive

  • schools which are just for everybody. Now I know it's getting a bit complicated but

  • stick with me. So secondary schools you have comprehensive schools or if you are in some

  • areas grammar schools or secondary moderns. Now when you get to sixteen that's when you

  • do your first big exams. We call these GCSEs. General Certificate of Secondary Education.

  • Generally you take about nine subjects. You have to take English, you have to take maths

  • and I think science in some places and then you get to choose. So for example I chose

  • geography, history, french things like that. It's graded from A star is the top to A, B,

  • C and so on. I remember getting one A, I got one A. The rest Bs which I was happy with.

  • At sixteen you then get to choose. If you want to continue with school or leave school

  • and maybe start a job or do something else. So between the ages of sixteen and eighteen

  • we have something called sixth form. These are the top two years of the school. You have

  • the lower sixth and then you go to the upper sixth, that's the highest class at school.

  • In sixth form you do something called A-levels. Now if you study for two years you'll get

  • an A-level. If you study for one year you'll get an AS level. Generally you do about three

  • or four A-levels, I remember I did, I think I did four A-levels. And again you can get

  • A stars, As, Bs, Cs etc that's how it's graded. In Scotland they don't do A-levels they do

  • something called Highers. Now this age between sixteen and eighteen you can choose to stay

  • in your secondary school but we also have something called a college or a sixth form

  • college as it's also known where you can go and study your A-levels. This can get a bit

  • confusing because I know in America colleges are what we call universities. But our word

  • college has a few other meanings. In this case the sixth form college is for sixteen

  • to eighteen year olds. There are some colleges that follow the International baccalaureate

  • system, the IB system and in some places you can choose to follow that system rather than

  • the A-level system. If you are not interested in doing academic subjects then you can do

  • vocational subjects. We have something called a BTEC or an NVQ or Apprenticeships and you

  • can do subjects like plumbing or carpentry things like that. Perhaps more practical skills

  • that lead into a job. In Britain there are a number of faith schools. These are schools

  • that are connected to a religion. The majority are church of England schools but there are

  • also schools from other religions like catholicism, islam, judaism. And this is where they follow

  • the national curriculum but they are also associated and teach the practices of these

  • religions. Many students who pass their A-levels then go on to university. Now at a university

  • in Britain we do one subject we take one core subject. So again it could be English, it

  • could be data science, it could be history. We do one main subject. And a bachelor's degree

  • or an undergraduate degree takes three years. However in Scotland they do a four year degree.

  • And at the end of your course you take something called your finals. These are your exams at

  • the end to see what grade you get. Now our grading system goes from a first which is

  • the top, then you get a two one, a two two and then a third. If you are in your first

  • year of university you are called a fresher and in fact your first week of university

  • is know as your freshers week. Then you become a second year and when you are in your third

  • year you are in your final year. Now there are a group of elite universities places like

  • Oxford, Cambridge, Bristol, Edinburgh and they are known as red-brick universities.

  • They are the old traditional universities, kind of similar to in America they've got

  • Ivy-league schools, here we call them red-brick universities. University is also shortened

  • down to uni so when I'm talking about universities I'll say 'Which uni did you go to?' It means

  • which university did you go to. It's also common for people to do a master's which is

  • considered to be a post-graduate degree. You can do a master's which is usually one or

  • two years and then of course a PHD if you want to continue with your studies. Right,

  • Eat Sleep Dreamers what I'd like you to do is in the comments below, I'd like you to

  • share your experiences of the education system in your country. I'd love to know how it is

  • different from the British system. What are the similarities? Share your experience. I

  • want to have a cultural exchange, ok? So tell me about the education system in your country.

  • What are the exams called? GCSEs and A-levels, what are they called in your country? Do you

  • have faith schools? I'd love to know, so tell me in the comments below. Also remember guys

  • you can join my YouTube membership scheme, it's open. You can become a member of Eat

  • Sleep Dream English. Hit the join button next to the subscribe button and you can get access

  • to live Q&As with me. You can get your English questions answered. You can get extra content,

  • videos, behind the scenes footage, all that kind of stuff. So yeah click the join button

  • and follow the steps from there. Remember I've got new videos every Tuesday and every

  • Friday helping you take your English to the next level. Also join me on Instagram and

  • Instagram stories where I put daily English content and of course on Facebook. But until

  • next time guys, this is Tom, the Chief Dreamer, saying goodbye.

Welcome to my brand new series 'Britain Explained' where I'll guide you through different aspects

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

A2 UK secondary system education system britain primary school sixth

British Education System | Britain Explained

  • 25 1
    000308.b54f43083fa94c2e941704ab9fb49f4a.0353 posted on 2020/06/09
Video vocabulary