United Kingdom Children and School
Only in uniform to school
The four parts of Great Britain, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland each have their own school systems, which are slightly different from one another. It’s similar to Germany, where every federal state is responsible for its school system.
The children start school when they are four to five years old. Many children go to kindergarten beforehand. By the way, children can also be taught at home by their parents. Most children go to primary school first. It is comparable to our elementary school. It goes up to the 6th grade. At the age of eleven, I go to the next type of school.
For most students (85 percent) is a comprehensive school (Comprehensive School). But there are other secondary schools (Secondary School). The Grammar School is comparable to the German Gymnasium, so it leads directly to the Abitur. The classical languages Latin and ancient Greek are often cultivated here. The Secondary Modern School offers some more general knowledge. There are also private schools. Whoever wants to visit them has to pay school fees. In England around seven percent of students attend private school and in Scotland four percent. If you want to do the Abitur (A-Levels), you should definitely visit the sixth form, the upper level.
Grades are called degrees in English. The best grade is an A, then it continues with B, C, D and E. The worst grade is a U (for unclassified). By the way, you can’t stay seated in Great Britain. Not that good students get special tutoring programs.
The school year is divided into three periods (while we always have two semesters). This is called trimester or term in English. They run from September to December (autumn term in autumn), from January to Easter (spring term in spring) and from Easter to July (summer term in summer). In between are the Christmas, Easter and summer holidays. Each trimester also has a week-long holiday period, the half term break, in the middle. By the way, each school determines the exact holiday times itself. The summer vacation lasts six weeks, and in Northern Ireland children can look forward to nine weeks.
Anyone who goes to school in the UK wears a school uniform. Each school has its own uniform with one or two colors. Boys wear a shirt with a tie and blazer or a T-shirt or polo shirt with a sweater. In addition there are mostly dark trousers. Girls wear the same thing, but often a skirt too.
By the way, school in Great Britain starts later than ours, around 9 a.m. It ends in the afternoon, at 3 p.m. for elementary school pupils and usually at 3:30 p.m. for older pupils. Check answerresume to see schooling information in other European countries.
Christmas is celebrated a little differently in Great Britain than here. The presents are only given on the morning of December 25th. Traditionally, Christmas stockings hang on the banister. Father Christmas puts the presents in there. But nowadays the presents are mostly under the Christmas tree. In Great Britain it is particularly colorful.
At lunchtime there is Christmas dinner, usually a turkey. For dessert there is the Christmas pudding, a cake. In between, crackers are drawn that you will more likely know from New Year’s Eve. There are also little cardboard hats inside, which everyone then puts on…
December 25th is Christmas Day, December 26th is Boxing Day. But that has nothing to do with boxing. The word comes from Christmas Box, meaning Christmas box or gift box. On this day, an employer traditionally gave presents to its employees.
Today Boxing Day in the UK is often a shopping day with lots of people jostling into the shops. In addition, the season of several sports begins on this day. Many people go to the stadium to cheer on their soccer team.
In Great Britain everyone wishes for Christmas: Merry Christmas!
By the way, Scotland has its own traditions. December 25th has only been a public holiday there since 1958, and December 26th has only been a public holiday since 1974. Before, precisely in the 16th century, the Presbyterian Church had forbidden the celebration of Christmas. Today, however, one wishes for “Nollaig Chridheil!” And it should be colorful! Paper garlands are just as much a part of it as a brightly decorated Christmas tree.
And what is there to eat? Turkey is as tasty here as it is in the rest of the UK. For dessert, mince pies (shortcrust cake filled with fruit), dundee cake (fruit cake) or shortbread, which are long, rectangular biscuits, taste great.