Testing Due to the Education Reform Act of 1988, four key stages to education were established. Key Stage 1: 5-7 years old Key Stage 2: 7-11 years old Key Stage 3: 11-14 years old Key Stage 4: 14-16 years old
Testing (continued) At the end of each key stage, students must take a national curriculum exam. These tests are important because they assess the progress of the pupils and are necessary when attempting to advance to the next stage of education. These exams are similar to the STAR exams we take each year. During the fourth key stage, students are assessed through the levels of achievement aquired by the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE). After students complete the GCSE’s, they have the option of continuiing school with further education, going off to college, or becoming employed.
Testing (continued) The International Baccalaureate (IB Exam) The IB is a two-year program leading to the IB diploma, which is recognized and accepted by universities in the UK and worldwide. It is available in some 40 schools and colleges in the UK, both state and independent, and in some 930 schools and colleges in 105 countries. The IB can be an attractive alternative to A levels for academically able students who seek a broader and more challenging program of study. It incorporates languages, mathematics, arts, sciences, and creative subjects.
Private vs. Public School The English usage of the term "public school" is in direct opposition to what any foreign English speaker would expect. In countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Scotland, the United States and Canada, a "public school" is the equivalent of an English "state school", while an independent, fee-charging school is called a "private school". This is also the generic name for all fee-paying schools for children in England and Wales, although rarely used for those which categorise themselves as public schools. Preparatory schools (historically also known as "private schools", as they were usually privately owned by the headmaster) take children from the age of eight (or younger) and prepare them for their entrance exams to public schools. The term "public" (first adopted by Eton College) refers to the fact that the school is open to the paying public, as opposed to a religious school, which was open only to members of a certain church. It also distinguished it from a private education at home (usually only practical for the very wealthy who could afford tutors).
Further Education After Secondary School and the completion of the GCSE’s, students have the option of bypassing college and entering specialized schools equivalent to the United States trade schools. These schools include but are not limited to: - culinary school - fashion school - massage therapy - computer programming - acting school - beauty/cosmetology - interior design - dental assistant Beauty/Cosmetology School
College/University The top three universities of the UK consist of Oxford, Cambridge, and Sheffield. Oxford University is the oldest English speaking university in the world and is able to trace its origins back over at least nine centuries. During that time, Oxford has educated individuals who have gone on to excel in every sphere, including 40 Nobel prize-winners and 25 British Prime Ministers. Today, the University comprises a federation of more than 40 fiercely independent colleges and halls, with more than 16,000 students from 130 countries in residence. Oxford Cambridge was a center of the new learning of the Renaissance and of the theology of the Reformation.It has faculties of classics, divinity, English, architecture and history of art, Oriental studies, music, economics and politics, history, law, education,earth sciences and geography, mathematics, biology, archaeology and anthropology, physics and chemistry, and medicine. There are also departments of land economy, and the history and philosophy of science as well as a computer laboratory. Cambridge Sheffield University guides confirm Sheffields position as one of the UK's leading universities. The Virgin 2005 Alternative Guide to British Universities, for instance, says that “Sheffield is a top university across the board”.Teaching quality assessments rate their teaching very highly across a wide range of subjects, and official research assessments confirm its reputation as a centre for world- class research in many disciplines.
Issues – Page 1 New Quotas for Universities are promised to not be imposed on universities for poor students. The government is trying to bridge the gap between grants that can be given to students of 2,700 pounds and the typical fee of 3,000 pounds. The point of this is to make sure that students with limited parental income are not discouraged from applying for courses they are qualified for, and in turn Universities would have access to more “talent.” Liberal Democrats on the other hand want to get rid of tuition fees and raise extra money through taxes to pay for college. Parents and teachers have also been concerned that students who go to private schools are at a disadvantage to those who attend a public school, however a report has concluded that leading universities are not biased. The problem is that the amount of applications have risen and thus it is harder to be accepted.
Issues – Page 2 A new system implaced by the British Government for admissions to private schools has turned into a disaster. The system was implaced to make the admissions process easier for parents to inrole their kids in the top primary and secondary schools in the area. However, the new system requires parents to rank their top schools as first options and the other schools as a back-ups schools. This has caused problems because if students do not get into their top choices, the back-up schools are not accepting students who rate their school as a second tier program. This leads some students to have no option other than to go to the local schools that are lower ranked. The sytstem was made to increase admissions for students from lower class backgrounds to good schools and instead has led to fewer students applying to schools.
Issues – Page 3 The Tomlinson report, a major school report in the UK proposed the “biggest shake-up of secondary schooling in UK history” over this last week. It called for fewer exams but, at advanced levels, the exams would have tougher questions to test the brightest students. One of the main aims of this proposal is to reduce the burden of exams currently faced by England’s teenagers- often described as the most tested in the world. The homework that the students in UK currently complete would be drastically reduced because it is often prone to cheating. Due to this decrease in tests, there would be extended projects to allow students to develop and demonstrate a greater depth of knowledge. Although there will be less testing, these new questions will be more challenging to those of higher ability levels.