The Secondary Education in Britain Introduction The United Kingdom has a completely world-leading education system. The education in the United Kingdom has hundreds years of history, which is quite perfect and complex, and also has a very large flexibility. It is quite different from the education in China. Overall, the education in the UK is divided into three parts: primary education, secondary education and tertiary education. The secondary education in the UK and China The difference of education between the United Kingdom and China is mainly started from secondary education.
In the UK, students enter the secondary school by taking the 11 plus exam at the age of 11. Private schools and public schools are the 2 types of British secondary schools. Public School is totally free and private school will cost a lot. But Private schools are usually much better than public schools no matter in facilities or teachers. But in China most secondary schools are public schools, which is better than private schools. British secondary education lasts seven years and it can divide into two stages. One stage is before the age of 16 and the second stage is 16 to 18.
The first stage is the period of compulsory education in the UK. British students have to learn many subjects during the secondary education before the age of 14, and then take the Key stage 3 exam. Students from the age of 14, they need to learn the core courses such as English, mathematics and science classes, but also need to learn four to five elective courses. Two years later, when they are 16th, they will take the GCSE exam. But in China, the first three years of secondary education is compulsory education.
During this period, Chinese students have no choice to choose courses which they are interested in. They have to learn all the courses which Entrance Exam to Senior High Schools required. So Chinese students usually have much express of examination. After British students complete the first stage of secondary education, they can choose continue their study or go to work. Of course, most of the students choose the first choice. If they do this, usually they will have two more years to take the A-Level courses.
A wide range of subjects opened in the A-Level courses such as business, legal, media and politics etc. Finally they will take an exam to enter the university and finish their secondary education. But it is easier than the College Entrance Examination in China. Chinese students can choose Science or liberal art. But they still need to learn all the subjects of the college entrance examination required. They don’t have a lot of self-selective. Therefore, the secondary education in the UK and China has a lot difference, but they both have their own advantages and disadvantages. The Compulsory education
British compulsory education is 11 years, which two years longer than it is in China. And all the tuition of British compulsory education is paid by the government, but in China students have to pay some small parts of it like the cost of the kooks. In China, the compulsory education finished at the age of 15. The government will not pay for their further study; this may result in some of the students in poor families cannot enter junior high school. They cannot find a suitable job with such a young age. It both increased the pressure to individual families but also to the whole society.
Longer compulsory education means that British students can get a better education. It not only can solve these problems, but also have a lot of benefits: Firstly, it can relieve some of the pressure on employment. Longer compulsory education can make some people’s employment time delay for years, to avoid the employment peak period and relieve the pressure on employment. Secondly, the children in poor families can get “knowledge assets”. With the help of “knowledge assets” they can get more income and then go out of poverty.
Thirdly, it can improve the quality of all the people. Longer compulsory education can give all the school-age children better education. Result or process? In China, the assessment of student test scores only. In China, the score is the only way to assess the students. In other words, the only standard which decided the university they will go to is the College Entrance Examination scores. Therefore, with the education system in China, some students become abnormal: Academic performance is very good, but the other ability is almost a zero.
The original intention of education is to make students smarter, but if the students pay all of attention on their scores, and lost the interest of the subject, it will make the students stupid. But British education always pays more attention to the comprehensive development of students. British schools have fewer exams. However, students have a lot of coursework and presentations. This kind of coursework usually focused on practical problems, and always need teamwork. It is very helpful to improve the students’ abilities of express and create.
Young people’s knowledge composition The different education made the young people have different knowledge composition in different countries. Secondary education opened in the UK has a wide range of courses. With the grade increased, students can gradually find which subjects that they are interested in or they are not good, and then the next semester, they could give up a subject that not interested in or not good at, and keep their favorite subjects. This is just like a pyramid; Students can fully demonstrate their own interests and hobbies with their learning initiative.
On the other hand, it is very helpful for future university study. At the same time, this kind of course selection can help students limited their concentrate on their favorite courses and can improve their efficiency of learning. But in China, students in secondary education have to take all the subjects which the College Entrance Examination required. So they may have to learn some courses which they are not interested in. But this kind of education made the foundation of the Chinese students very solid.
In other words, Chinese secondary education pays more attention to comprehensive education. So, Chinese students always have comprehensive knowledge. But they are lack of creative ability. If there is a competition, the championship always belongs to China. Conclusion Overall, British secondary education system is pretty perfect. Student study in the UK can cultivate an interest easily. They can choose their favorite courses and learn a really useful knowledge that would be helpful to their whole life. Reference
A survey by HM Inspectors of Schools, (1979), Aspects of secondary education in England, [online]. Available on http://www. educationengland. org. uk/documents/hmi-secondary/index. html Becky Francis and Louise Archer, (10 November 2003), British–Chinese pupils’ and parents’ constructions of the value of education, British Educational Research Journal, Vol. 31, No. 1, February 2005, pp. 89–108 Montreal, (November 2008), The UK Education System: a summary input to the Canada UK Colloquia. Organization of the education system in the United Kingdom –England, Wales and Northern Ireland, UKENG/WLS/NIR