Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Education in Great Britain

In Britain it is compulsory for everyone between the ages of 5 and 16 years to receive some officially recognized form of schooling, though most secondary schools continue to provide education until the age of 18.

The vast majority of pupils attend state schools, which are absolutely free (including all text books and exercise books), but there are also about 500 private schools providing secondary education. The most famous of these schools are Eton and Harrow.
There is no statutory age at which students change from primary to secondary school, nor are schools "specialized" — pupils choose from the numerous subjects taught in their particular school.

The recently introduced National Curriculum has made it compulsory, however, for three core subjects — English, mathematics, and science — and seven other foundation subjects — technology (including design), history, geography, music, art, physical education, and a modern foreign language — to be included in the curricula of all pupils.

Passage from one academic year to the next is automatic. After a two-year course, usually from 14 to 16 years of age, most pupils take their General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE), assessed on the basis of a mixture of course work and a written examination, in individual subjects.

Pupils obtaining at least five passes at GCSE can then specialize for two years (usually from 16 to 18 years of age) in two or three subjects, in which they take the General Certificate of Education Advanced level (A-level) examination. This is used as an entrance qualification for university (minimum two passes) and other types of higher education, as well as for many forms of professional training.



As well as being the capital of England, London is the capital of the United Kingdom. London was founded by the Romans in 43 A.D. and was called Londinium. In 61 A.D. the town was burnt down and when it was rebuilt by the Romans it was surrounded by a wall. That area within the wall is now called the City of London. It is London's commercial and business centre. It contains the Bank of England, the Stock Exchange and the head offices of numerous companies and corporations. Here is situated the Tower of London. The Tower was built by William the Conqueror who conquered England in 1066. He was crowned at Westminster Abbey. Now most of the Government buildings are located there.

During the Tudor period (16th century) London became an important economic and financial centre. The Londoners of the Elizabethan period built the first theatres. Nowadays the theatre land is stretched around Piccadilly Circus. Not far from it one can see the British Museum and the Covent Garden Opera House.
During the Victorian period (19th century) London was one of the most important centres of the Industrial Revolution and the centre of the British Empire.
Today London is a great political centre, a great commercial centre, a paradise for theatre-goers and tourists, but it is also a very quiet place with its parks and its ancient buildings, museums and libraries.

1. What is the capital of England and the United Kingdom?
2. Who was the founder of London? What was London's name then?
3. What is the City?
4. When and by whom was the Tower built?
5. Where are the Government buildings situated?
6. When were the first theatres built?
7. What was London during the Victorian period (19th century)?
8. What is London today?

Vocabulary: capital — столица   to found — основывать   surrounded — окруженный  
crowned — коронованный   Westminster Abbey — Вестминстерское аббатство
theatreland — район театров   paradise — рай    ancient — древний

London, Capital of Great Britain

London is the capital of Great Britain, its political, economic, and commercial centre. It is one of the largest cities in the world and the largest city in Europe. Its population is about 8 million.

London is divided into several parts: the City, Westminster, the West End, and the East End.
The heart of London is the City, its financial and business centre. Numerous banks, offices, and firms are situated there, including the Bank of England, the Stock Exchange, and the Old Bailey. Few people live here, but over a million people come to the City to work. There are some famous ancient buildings within the City. Perhaps the most striking of them is the St. Paul's Cathedral, the greatest of English churches. It was built in the 17th century by Sir Christopher Wren. The Tower of London was founded by Julius Caesar and in 1066 rebuilt by William the Conqueror. It was used as a fortress, a royal palace, and a prison. Now it is a museum.

Westminster is the governmental part of London.
Nearly all English kings and queens have been crowned in Westminster Abbey. Many outstanding statesmen, scientists, writers, poets, and painters are buried here: Newton, Darwin, Chaucer, Dickens, Tennyson, Kipling, etc.
Across the road from Westminster Abbey is Westminster Palace, the seat of the British Parliament. The Clock Tower of the Houses of Parliament is famous for its big bell, known as "Big Ben". Buckingham Palace is the official residence of the Queen.
The West End is the richest and most beautiful part of London. It is the symbol of wealth and luxury. The best hotels, shops, restaurants, clubs, and theatres are situated there.

The Trafalgar Square is the geographical centre of London. It was named in memory of Admiral Nelson's victory in the battle of Trafalgar in 1805. The tall Nelson's Column stands in the middle of the square.
On the north side of the Trafalgar Square is the National Portrait Gallery. Not far away is the British Museum — the biggest museum in London. It contains a priceless collection of ancient manuscripts, coins, sculptures, etc, and is also famous for its library. There are a lot of factories, workshops, and docks in the East End.

1. Is London the largest city in the world?
2. What's the population of London?
3. Traditionally London is divided into four parts. Can you name them?
4. What do you know about the City?
5. Who was the St. Paul's Cathedral built by?
6. Who founded the Tower of London? When was it rebuilt?
7. What is the governmental part of London?
8. What building has more historic associations than any other building in London?
9. What is Big Ben?
10. Can you describe the Trafalgar Square?
11. Where do the working people of London live?
12. What are the most famous London museums and art galleries?


numerous — многочисленный
ancient — древний, старинный
striking — поразительный, замечательный
to found — основывать
fortress — крепость
royal — королевский
to crown — короновать
outstanding — выдающийся
statesman — государственный деятель
to bury — хоронить
tower — башня
official residence — официальная резиденция

wealth — богатство
luxury — роскошь
in memory of— в память о
to contain — содержать
priceless — бесценный

Каталог сайтов 'Российское образование в сети'

How Do You Feel? (young/beginning learners), by erica
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sickness exercises in English Exercises .org
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