« Previous | Main | Next »


Post categories:

Kim Kim | 09:27 UK time, Monday, 26 July 2010

Dear Enayat

Thanks for your latest post. You've posed a good question at the end - it's certainly interesting to read others' comments about primary school education in countries such as Turkey, Poland, Russia, Brazil and Singapore.

In most of the UK (Scotland has a different education system) education is compulsory between the ages of 5 and 16, with the school day beginning around 9am and finishing around 3.30pm. All children follow the National Curriculum. At primary level, core subjects are Science, Maths and English (and Welsh in Wales); other subjects are art and design, citizenship, technology, geography, history, ICT, music, physical education, PSHE and religious education.

Homework in the UK is not compulsory, but schools are encouraged to give it, including at primary school. The government's guidelines for homework are: half an hour of homework every day for 10/11 year olds, and between one and two and a half hours per day for older children.

There is a lot of discussion about the value of homework, with questions raised about how much homework really affects academic achievement. In the UK too, there is a lot of debate about the pressures on children, especially around testing. Children were formally tested at the ages of 7, 11 and 14, but the first and third tests were scrapped and now children are formally tested at the age of 11. They also take exams at the end of their compulsory education - these exams are known as GCSEs. Children who have just finished compulsory education will spend this summer nervously waiting for the results of their GCSEs, and making decisions about their future. Results day is 24th August - there will certainly be some anxious households in the UK right now!

Anyway, let's look now at the language you use in your latest post.

It's good to see that you have used 1st, 2nd, and 3rd here correctly. Instead of saying 'I think it is very difficult for a small student of grade 1st, 2nd, and 3rd' we say 'I think it is very difficult for a small student of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade'

Instead of 'students of the primary schools' we would say 'primary school students'

And for 'they are easily get suffered from divers health problems' we would say 'they can easily suffer from diverse health problems' (note the spelling of 'diverse')

There are a couple of errors around articles and plural/singular nouns.

'The small children' > 'Small children'
'These smallest human being' > 'These smallest human beings'
'such heavy load' > 'such a heavy load'

Do make sure that you revise these areas when you do a piece of writing.

Finally, 'homework' is an uncountable noun, so we can't say 'homeworks' as you know - instead you say 'pieces of homework'. So you would say 'they must do 6 pieces of homework'

As you can imagine, there are a lot of slang words and idioms around the topic of school and education - it is something that everybody has to do!

Here are thirteen phrases that use the words school, university learn and teach. Read the phrases, and what they mean. Do you know which word goes in the blank? Is it school, university, learn or teach?

1. Learn something in the ________ of hard knocks > learn something after difficult or unhappy experiences

2. ________ something off by heart > Repeat something from memory (and perhaps not understanding it)

3. _______ one's grandmother to suck eggs > give advice to somebody about something when they already know more than you

4. Live and _______ > You say this when you discover something very surprising

5. Tell tales out of ________ > tell secrets or spread rumours

6. _________ of life > all the experiences that you have in your life

7. _________ of thought > a set of ideas which a group of people have about a subject

8. ________ your lesson > Not do something again after a bad experience

9. ________ somebody a lesson > Make somebody experience something bad so that they will improve their behaviour in future

10. _________ run > when parents drive children to and from school

11. _______ the ropes > Discover how to do an activity or a job

12. You can't ________ an old dog new tricks > You say this when it is very difficult for somebody to change habits or learn something new

13. From the old _______ > traditional and old-fashioned

Now for another task: Choose five of these phrases, and make a sentence for each of them.

OK, that's it for today. This week I will be on Isle of Wight which is a very small island off the south coast of England. I shall be reading your next post from there. Looking forward to it.

Best wishes,

pose a question = ask a question
compulsory = not optional, you must do it because it is the law
core subjects = most important subjects, all students must do them
citizenship = the study of being a good member of a community or country
PSHE = physical, social and health education
guidelines = advice
academic = relating to school or university, academic achievement = achievement at school
scrap = get rid of, not continue with because it is no longer wanted
anxious = nervous
slang = informal, spoken language


  • No comments to display yet.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.