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SCHOOL AND STUDY


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Each country has a different school system and form of education. Young children, whose parents are working, can attend the nursery school or stay at home with a nanny or au-pair. In nursery school they spend a few hours each day playing and doing some activities. This allows them to start socializing with other children.
In Britain 95% of children attend state (public) school, rather than private schools. Most schools in England and Wales are mixed schools (co-educational) however some areas have single-sex schools. Children start primary school at the age of 5, and move to a secondary school when they are 11. The interesting thing is that their classes start at 9 am and finish at 3.30 pm. It’s because activities like tennis, art, pottery, football, etc. are included in their timetable as well as an hour for lunch.
Some well off parents send their children to the boarding school. These schools are mostly single-sex where children stay there from Monday morning till Friday evening.
They finish secondary school at the age of 16 and all children take their GSCE exams (general Secondary Certificate of Education). GSCE courses begin in Year 10 (it means when they are 14 years old) – they choose subjects which they will study for two years before the exam. Some subjects, like English and maths are compulsory but others like art or history are optional.
Some students leave school at 16 however about 50% stay on to do A-levels. About 25% go on to higher education at a university or college when they are 18 or older. In the UK university students normally study 3 years for a Baccalor degree and 4 years for Master degree.

In Slovakia primary school are attended by children between 6 and 15. A nine-year attendance of primary education has been introduced to provide enough time for pupils to choose their future career. They do this by choosing different kinds of secondary schools such as: “gymnasium”, secondary technical schools and vocational schools. All primary schools and gymnasium are comprehensive schools.
A couple of years ago a new type of school was introduced – the eight-year gymnasium, where 9 year old children have to take an exam to get in. These way talented children are given the opportunity to develop their knowledge and skills.
To finish secondary education, students have to pass a school-leaving examination (maturita exam). The exam consists from 4 subjects. The Slovak language, our mother tongue, is compulsory. The second subject they can choose between maths and foreign languages, but it depends on the type of the school. The other two subjects pupils choose, are according to the university they would like to enter. Also, everyone has to take a Slovak language written exam, which is usually a month before the maturita exam.
Many students want to continue their studies at universities where they study law (law school), medicine (medical school), science (science or agricultural school), business or international relations (business school) and so on. First-year students usually have to get accustomed to an independent system of attending lectures and tutorials. During primary and secondary school students were given marks, at university they have to get credits and grades A, B, C, D, E (if they pass) and FX (if they fail). Most British universities use three-term system, while in Slovakia two, split into winter and summer terms.
At university students can get 3 types of degree and they can do it full-time, part-time or distance (through the internet). When they choose to study for 3 years they get a Baccalor gedree, for 5 years they gain a Masters degree. The third type of degree is a PhD where postgraduate students study on their own for several years, doing research work and writing a dissertation to get a PhD.
To finish university studies students have to complete a final year project and take exams in front of exeminaters. If students are successful they are awarded a degree in their field of study.



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