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I. Introduction p.3-4
II. The main part
Chapter 1. Education in Great Britain p.
Chapter 2. Schools in England p.
a) State schools p.
b) Private schools p.
Chapter 3 Primary schools in England p.
Chapter 4. Secondary schools in England p.
Chapter 5. Private Schools p.
Chapter 6. School uniform p.
Chapter 7. Punishment in schools p.
III. Conclusion p.
IV. Resources p.
This is a research project on the topic: English schools. The target’s goal is to
To achieve the goal I have to solve a number of tasks: to research
The Hypothesis: I think that
Actuality of the topic:
The problem questions:
To answer all these questions I used the plan:
1. Schools in England
a) State schools
b) Private schools
2. Primary schools in England
3. Secondary schools in England
4. Private Schools
5. School uniform
6. Punishment in schools
A presentation: English schools
Collection, comparison and analysis of information.
In my research project I have used the following resources:
Appendix to the magazine “Foreign languages at school”.
English school books.
Linguistic and cultural guides
Magazines “Foreign languages at school”.
You sometime reflected why all over the world so to be appreciated British education? Why to Great Britain send to study children from all corners of our earth? What especial in British education and than it differs from our Russian? Let’s understand.
The British schools, as well as schools of the majority of the European countries and the USA, consist of two steps: elementary school (primary school) for children from 5 till 11 years (1-6 classes) and high school (secondary school) – with 7 on 11 class (with 12 till 16 years). Exist state and private schools. The majority – to 90 % of children of England and the Wales – is trained in the state educational institutions. Training of children at comprehensive schools the free. At the same time parents bear defined (sometimes considerable) expenses on manuals, excursions, school breakfasts and other purposes connected with school education of their children. These expenses are partially compensated by welfare payments for children.
All without an exception the British schools should adhere to the uniform program, whether it be elite private board or simple comprehensive school. In modern England at each school the form, besides, is widely used school symbolics. In Great Britain the school uniform has appeared for the first time at the time of board of king Henry VIII (1509 – 1547). It was dark blue as was considered that carrying of a similar coloring should was accustom children to humility, and the fabric of such color was the cheapest. Not to tell, children like to carry a school uniform, but all the same it disciplines them and equalizes.
Besides, schools are very well equipped. Here there is everything that is necessary for study: everywhere computers, laboratories where it is possible to make experiments and to practice, huge libraries. Individual approach to pupils is provided thanks to small classes where on one teacher it is necessary, on the average, on nine pupils. Teachers explain all and there and then in practice to you all demonstrate. All subjects are among themselves interconnected. For example, if on stories pass the First World War and the same epoch study under the literature, and at English lessons. The British system of training thus directs children to the purpose, they see the future, it allows to them forces «to gnaw a science granite».
At elementary school children basically, as well as at us learn to write, read and consider, but it becomes in such easy form that seems they at all study, but only play. At high school children study much more seriously. The class at each lesson shares on One pupil initial mathematical advanced, for example, initial mathematical and advanced mathematical, initial historical and advanced etc. can be in the advanced class in one subjects and in initial in other subjects but that is interesting: as a rule, children appear on all (or nearly so all) to subjects in a class of the same level. Children study quite habitual English and mathematics, geography and the history, natural sciences. Plus computer science and technologies. Last subject is combined enough, bases of technologies of different manufactures enter into it, elements of materials technology and even… сопромата from which our students-technicians traditionally groan. Unusual can seem both a subject “Religious studies and sociology” Feature of the British schools that there the great attention is given esthetic and to physical training. Scenic skill, drawing and painting, the creative letter, music, dance, design… And sports for Englishmen – business sacred, in it start to be engaged with the earliest age. Teach these subjects seriously, at all how our drawing, music and physical culture which at our schools are considered to this day as subjects insignificant. Besides, here study business and business bases, and also on a choice foreign languages. Graduates can select any of these subjects for delivery of final examination GCSE.
Academic year in Great Britain consists of three trimesters:
1st trimester: the beginning of September – the middle of December
2nd trimester: the beginning of January – the end of March
3rd trimester: the middle of April – the end of June or the middle of July
And absolutely seriously children start to study in the tenth and in the eleventh classes, when they are going to pass examinations for the school-leaving certificate – GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) exams. These examinations surrender not in all subjects – is obligatory and facultative. The set of obligatory subjects differs depending on a little what type final examinations surrender at the given school – prepared by the Cambridge or London university (Cambridge examination board or London examination board). For the majority of subjects there are both variants, and the school chooses in advance, what type of examinations will be spent in the given subject.
School final examinations which are spent after the eleventh class, are necessary, but an insufficient condition of receipt in university. To enter the university, it is necessary to hand over in the several subjects chosen by you very difficult examinations: advanced level exams (A-level). After the eleventh class to hand over them it is almost unreal. For this purpose it is necessary to remain at school for two years in 12 and 13 classes which are called 6-th form – something an average between school and university. Employment on preparation for examinations on A-level are most of all similar to our employment with tutors: small groups or even individual employment, the big and difficult homeworks demanding independence and the creative approach, absolutely other, much less discharged relations with teachers. To pupils 12 and 13 classes concern more likely as students, than as to schoolboys. At us often complain that there is a rupture between school requirements and requirements of entrance examinations in university. And so in Britain this rupture (gap) too is very great, this rupture not by means of bribes and employment with tutors, and more civilized way is simply eliminated. The British education system is arranged in such a manner that it induces, instead of forces to the doctrine. It is necessary to reflect, and what prevents to create to us such education system?
English educational system is quite different from what we have in Russia. It is class-divided. There are some state schools and some private ones.
State schools are primary (infant, junior) or secondary. British boys and girls begin to go to school at the age of 5. They draw pictures, sing songs, listen to the stories and tales. British children begin to read and write when they enter the infant schools. Young children are divided into two groups, according to their mental abilities. Children leave infant schools when they are 7. Then they go to study at junior schools where they learn to write, read and do mathematics. Their school subjects are History, English, Geography, Arithmetic, Arts, Music, Swimming and some others. When the pupils enter the junior schools they pass abilities test. According to the results of the test and thus their intellectual potential they are divided into three groups. Boys and girls spend four years studying at junior schools.
Then they pass examinations again and enter the secondary schools. There different types of secondary schools in Britain. They are: grammar schools, modern schools and comprehensive schools. English boys and girls attend secondary schools from 11 till 16. They don't go to schools on Saturdays and Sundays. In the modern schools pupils do not learn foreign languages. In grammar schools pupils receive better theoretical education. And the other school type is comprehensive schools. Almost all secondary pupils (around 90 per cent) go there.
There are also private schools in England. Boys and girls do not study together there. It is common that aristocracy sons go to these schools and parents pay a lot of money for their education. These schools are called public. Independent and preparatory schools are private ones too. They prepare children for public schools and take money for the training. The teachers of the private schools can pay more attention to each of the pupils personally. It is possible to enter the best English universities after leaving public schools. After finishing grammar schools pupils have good knowledge and may continue studying in colleges and universities.
English pupils wear school uniform. It is one of the oldest country's traditions. A boy's uniform includes a school cap, a tie and a blazer. A girl's uniform consists of a hat, a coat, a skirt and a blouse. The uniforms vary from school to school. Usually, they are dark.
English children must go to school when they are five. First they go to infant schools, where they learn the first steps in reading, writing and using numbers. When children leave the infant school, at the age of seven, they go to junior schools until they are about eleven years of age. Their school subjects are English, Arithmetic, History, Geography, Nature study, Swimming, Music, Art, Religious Instruction and Organized games. Towards the end of their fourth year in the junior school English schoolchildren have to write their Eleven Plus Examinations, on the result of which they will go the following September to a secondary school of a certain type. About 40% of elementary school leavers in Britain go to secondary modem schools. Modem schools are the most popular secondary schools, but they do not provide complete secondary education, because study programmes are rather limited in comparison with other secondary schools. The secondary technical school, in spite of its name, is not a specialised school. It teaches many general subjects. The grammar school is a secondary school which offers a full theoretical secondary education including foreign languages, and students can choose which subjects and languages they wish to study. They leave the school after taking a five-year course. Then they may take the General Certificate of Education at the ordinary level. The others continue their studies for another two or three years to obtain the General Certificate of Education at the advanced level, which allows them to enter university. The comprehensive school combines in one school the courses of all types of secondary schools. There are many schools in Britain which are not controlled financially by the state. They are private schools, separate for boys and girls, and the biggest and the most important of them are public schools. They charge high fees and train young people for political, diplomatic, military and religious service. Other non-state schools which charge fees are independent and preparatory schools. Many of the independent schools belong to the churches. Schools of this type prepare their pupils for public schools.
In Great Britain school begins at the age of five. Many boys and girls usually leave school at the age of sixteen.
In England the school year begins in September, but not always on the first day of the month, as school never begins on Monday. The English think that Monday is not a good day to start school. So pupils usually begin their school year on the first Tuesday of September (not always on the 1-st of September as we do).
Classes usually begin at nine. Pupils have a glass of milk or a glass of orange juice at eleven. At half past twelve or at one o’clock they usually have lunch – meat, pudding, juice, an apple or a cake. Their classes are not formal. They often sit on the carpet on the floor and listen to their teacher. They draw or play games. They often look at the animals they have at school – hamsters, rabbits or hares. Sometimes there are birds or fish in their classrooms.
English children have classes five days a week. They have classes on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Classes are usually over at four o’clock and then the pupils go home. They never have classes on Saturday and Sunday. Saturdays and Sundays are their days off.
Schools in England have names, not numbers. They often get the names after the place where they are (Green Hill School, Cedar Grove School) or after some famous or important people (St. Mary School).
At the age of five primary school children go to infant schools or infant classes where they spend two years till they are seven. In infant schools they spend much time outdoors.
They play different games, run and jump. They sing songs, dance and play a lot. Infant pupils learn how to use money in their classroom shop. They look at the pictures in interesting books, draw pictures in pencil and colour them. They learn how to get on with other children.
When children are seven they go to junior schools, where they spend four years till they are eleven. So in England children spend six years in primary school. When pupils are eleven or a little older primary school is over.
Junior schools are real schools. The atmosphere is more formal in junior classes than in infant classes. Pupils sit in rows and follow a regular timetable. Their subjects are: English, Maths, History, Nature Study, Geography, Art, and Music. In junior schools swimming, P.E. and Religion are on the timetable too.
But children spend a lot of time outdoors. They visit different museums and other famous and interesting places. Sometimes their teachers take them to London and other big cities. They walk and play a lot. In some primary schools children wear uniforms but in many primary schools they don’t.
At the age of 11, most children go to comprehevsive schools of which the mayority are for both boys & girls.
About 90 % of all state-financed secondary schools are of this type. Most other children receive secondary education in grammar & secondary modern schools. (Until 1960s most children took an examination at the end of primary school (The 11+): those who passed it succesfully went to grammar schools while those who did not went to secondary modern schools. A few areas especially in the south of England still have selective exams at the age of 11.)
Comprehensive schools were introduced in 1965. The idea of comprehensive education, supported by the Labour Party, was to give all children of whatever background the same opportunity in education.
At 16 students in England and Wales take GCSE examinations. In 1988 these examinations replaced the GCE(General Sertificate of Education) and O-levels(Ordinary levels) which were usually passed by about 29 % of school students. GCSE exams are taken by students of all levels of ability in any of a range of subjects, and may involve a final examination, and assessment of work done by the student during the 2-year course, or both of these things.
Some comprehensive schools, however, do not have enough academic courses for 6-formers. Students can transfer either to a grammar school or to 6-form college to get the courses they want. School-leavers with jobs sometimes take part-time vocational courses, on day-release from work. School-leavers without jobs get no money from the government unless they join a youth training scheme, which provides a living allowance during 2 years of work experience.
At 18 some students take A-level(Advanced level) examinations, usually in two or three subjects. It is necessary to have A-level in order to go to a university or Polytechnic.
But some pupils want to stay on at school after taking their GCSE, to prepare for a vocational course or to work rather then for A-level examinations. Then they have to take the CPVE examination which means the Certificate of Pre-Vocational Education.
In Scotland students take the SCE examinations(Scottish Sertificate of Education). A year later, they can take examinations called Highers after which they can go streight to a university.
Secondary education in Northern Ireland is organized along selective lines according to children's abilities. One can hardly say that high quality secondary education is provided for all in Britain. There is a high loss of pupils of working- class families at entry into the 6 form. If you are a working- class child at school today, the chance of your reaching the second year of a sixth-form course is probably less than one-twelfth of that for the child of a professional parent. Besides, government cuts on school spending caused many difficulties.
Durind all the prosess of education the child is taught in order with the National Curriculum. Even the schools which do specialize in different subjects -nowadays an increasing number- have to teach in order with the National Curriculum & the parents are sure that their child will have a broad-based education. Those schools usually do specialize in technology and often are working with local business.
There are so many types of schools in Britain that from the first sight seems you can 'sink' in variety. First division is from independent & state scools. Some types can be both state and independent, for example grammar schools. There are a lot of voluntary or church schools in Britain which are to encourage the set of belief, they are funded by the local council. Most parents choose to send their children to free state schools financed from the public funds but an increasing number of secondary pupils attend fee-paying independent schools outside the school system. Many of these are boarding schools, which provide accommodation for pupils during term time. There are about 2,500 independent schools educating more than 500,000 pupils of all ages. They charge fees, varying from about 100 ? a term for day pupils at nursery age to 2.000 ? a term for senior boarding pupils.
Another type of school is known as grant-maintained or self-governing school. Every, in fact, school can become grant- maintained. Those schools offer education free of charge, but are run by their teachers and governors, independent from the local council. They get their money from central government through the Funding Agency of Schools. This includes a share of what the local council would have spent on administration.
What should the school do to become grant-maintained? The idea usually belongs to parents. If any parent want the school of his/her child to become grant-maintained he/she should tell the other parents about his/her idea and call the council of parents. After the decision is made parents their headmaster/headmistress write a letter to the government with an ask to become a self- governing school. If the government accepts, the school will be sure the local council won't step in if the things go wrong and the school won't have to share money from the government. Some self-governing schools provide boarding places.
There is another important type of schools- City Technology Colleges. It's a new type of free secondary school. They are set up in large towns and cities through partnerships between the government and business and is a type of spesialized schools.
There are schools known as the selective schools. They admit academically able pupils( pupils who can and want to study). Some of them offer places to pupils with an aptitude in a particular subject.
There is a type of schools called public schools. Those are private schools and about 5 per cent of pupils prefer to be educated there. These are schools for the privileged. Only very rich families can afford to pay for the study, because the fees are very high.They are free from state control & most of them are boarding. It goes without saying that education is of a high quality; the discipline is very strict.
There are about 500 public schools in England and Wales, most of them are single-sex and about half of them are for girls. The most famous public schools are Eton, Harrow, Rugby, Winchester, Oundle, Uppingham, Charterhouse. They are famous for their ability to lay the foundation of a successful future by giving their pupils self-confidence, the right accent, a good academic background and, perhaps most important of all, the right friends & contacts.They never think they are school-leavers, but they are 'the old school ties' & 'the old boys network'.
Public schools educate the rulling class of England. Winston Churchill, Lord Byron & many others were educated in Harrow school. In Gorgonstoun was educated the Prince of Wales.
There are many other types of schools like county, all-through, two-tier and others.
Now let's talk about the prosess itself. The school year is divided into terms, three months each, named after seasons: autumn, winter and spring terms.
The autumn term starts on the first Tuesday morning in September. In July school break up for eight weeks.
Each group of 30 pupils is the responsibility of a form tutor the same as in Russian schools nowadays. The same is that each school day is divided into periods of 40-50 minutes, time for various lessons with 10-20 minutes' brakes between them. At the end of the term or before some national holiday, called in England speech-days pupils are gathered in tha assembly area or hall.
Like in our schools in English classrooms also exist desks arranged in rows(each row is called an aisle) , chalkboard/blackboard, different kinds of laboratories, technical rooms, rooms for computer studies on so on.
Pupils at many secondary schools in Britain have to wear the school uniform. This usually means a white blouse for girls, with dark-coloured skirt and pullover and for boys these are shirt and tie, dark trousers and dark-coloured pullovers. Pupils also wear blasers with scool badge on the pocket. Shoes are usually black or brown. Senior students do not have to wear their school uniform. Of course it's good for the teachers and for the pupils themselves, because there's no problem of finding the clothes they want(actually it's a problem of parents), but the young people in Britain often do not like their school uniform. If they do not like it so much that they don't wear it at first they will be given a warning, then a punishment.
Corporal punishment has recently been banned in state schools, but in most schools it's still allowed, caning is the usual punishment for serious misbehavior in class, damage and vandalism. Many teachers remark that standarts of discipline have fallen since corporal punishment was banned by the government.
And without saying that in each school exist system of rewards for the best pupils.
A very interesting topic is the social, cultural and sporting life in British secondary schools nowadays. Firstly each school or 6-form college has its School/College Council which organizes the social & cultural life at the school, helps to plan the policy for the whole school. School Councils run discos & parties, stage drama productions and decorate the student common room; some of the students help in local hospitals, homes for the handicapped & elderly people.
There also are lots of clubs & societies, national voluntary youth organizations(Boy Scouts & the Girl Guides), several youth organizations associated with political parties( YCND-Youth Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament).
Some students go to private schools? Where parents have to pay for their children’s education. Private schools are very expensive and they are attending by about 7% of children.
The education in public schools is of high quality, the discipline is very strickt. Most of private schools are eigher for boys or for girls.
Some private schools are very famous, such as Eton, Harrow, Rugby and Winchester.
The King's College of Our Lady of Eton beside Windsor, commonly known as Eton College or just Eton, is an internationally renowned Public School for boys, founded in 1440 by Henry VI. It is one of the most famous schools in the world *. It is located in Eton, Berkshire (traditionally part of Buckinghamshire), near Windsor in England, situated about a mile north of Windsor Castle. It is one of the original nine English public schools as defined by the Public Schools Act 1868.
The school's Headmaster, Tony Little, MA, is a member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference and the school is a member of the Eton Group of independent schools in the United Kingdom. It has a very long list of well known alumni, including 19 former British Prime Ministers. Traditionally Eton has been seen as a training ground for the British governing class, and it attracts great resentment among many British people, but it is now attempting to modernise and internationalise. It has a very strong academic record, with a high proportion of pupils proceeding to Oxbridge.
Eton College boards approximately 1,290 boys (15% from overseas) between the ages of 13 and 18 (roughly 250 in each year) at a cost of about £23,688 a year. A small number of the pupils – approximately 15 in each year – attend Eton on scholarships provided for by the original bequest and awarded by examination each year; they are known as King's Scholars and live in the College itself, paying up to 75 per cent of full fees. Of the other pupils, up to a third receive some kind of bursary or scholarship. The name King's Scholars derives from the fact that the school was founded by King Henry VI in 1440 and was therefore granted royal favour. The original school consisted of only 70 students, and all of these boys were educated at the king's expense.
As the school grew, more students were allowed to attend provided that they paid their own fees and lived outside the college's original buildings in the town. These students were known as Oppidans, from the Latin word oppidum, meaning town: i.e. those who lived in the town as opposed to the college. The Houses developed over time as a means of organising the Oppidans in a more congenial manner. Most pupils spend a large proportion of their time outside classes in their House. Each House is named after the initials or surname of the House Master, the teacher who lives in the house and manages the pupils in it.
The school is famous for its alumni (known as Old Etonians) and the traditions it maintains, including a uniform of black tailcoat (or morning coat) and waistcoat, false-collar and pinstriped trousers. All students wear a white tie that is effectively a strip of cloth folded over into the collar, apart from those appointed to positions of responsibility, who wear a white bow tie and a wing collar. Their positions are also often indicated by variations in the colour of waistcoat, trousers or waistcoat buttons. Those in Sixth Form Select, who are the most academic students at the top of the school, have silver waistcoat buttons, while those in the Eton Society (known as Pop) are allowed to wear waistcoats of whatever colour or design they wish, with grey "spongebag" trousers. King's Scholars are also required to wear a black gown over the top of their tailcoats. House Captains (the senior boy in each House) are entitled to wear a mottled grey waistcoat.
The long-standing tradition that the present uniform was first worn as mourning for the death of George III is unfounded, as "Eton dress" has undergone significant changes since its standardisation in the 19th century. Originally (along with a top-hat and walking-cane) merely Etonian dress for formal occasions, it is still worn today for classes, which are referred to as "schools". Members of the teaching staff (known as Beaks) are also required to wear a form of school dress when teaching. Other idiosyncrasies include the Eton Field Game, the Eton Wall Game, and the remnants of a unique Eton slang for many things involved with the school.
Eton College was founded in 1440 by Henry VI as a charity school to provide free education to seventy poor students who would then go on to King's College, Cambridge, a constituent college of the University of Cambridge, which he also founded in 1441. Henry VI took half the scholars and the headmaster from William of Wykeham's Winchester College (founded 1382). Eton is modelled on Winchester College, and became popular in the 17th century.
When Henry VI founded the school he granted it a huge number of endowments, including much valuable land, a plan for formidable buildings and several religious relics, supposedly including a part of the Holy Cross and the Crown of Thorns. He even persuaded the then Pope to grant a privilege unparalleled anywhere in England: the right to grant Indulgences to penitents on the Feast of the Assumption.
However, when Henry was deposed by Edward IV in 1461 the successor annulled all grants to the school and removed most of its assets and treasures to St George's Chapel, Windsor on the other side of the River Thames. Legend has it that Edward's mistress, Jane Shore, intervened on the school's behalf and was able to save much of the school, although the royal bequest and the number of staff were much reduced.
As a result of the reduced income suffered at a stage when much of the school was still under construction, much of the completion and further development of the school ever since has depended on the generosity of wealthy benefactors. Many of these benefactors are honoured with school buildings in their name, such as the Bishop William Waynflete or Roger Lupton, whose name is borne by the central tower which is perhaps the most famous image of the school.
In the 19th century the architect John Shaw Junior (1803–70) became surveyor to Eton and designed new parts of the college which helped provide better accommodation for the pupils.
It is often suggested that the Duke of Wellington claimed that "the Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing-fields of Eton". Some believe the authenticity of this dictum to be dubious: Wellington briefly attended Eton – for which he had no great love – in the late 18th century, when the school had no playing fields or organised team sports, and the phrase was first recorded three years after the Duke's death. The Duke was, however, wildly popular at Eton, visiting many times later in his life.
Past students of Eton College are referred to as Old Etonians. The school is popular with the British Royal Family – although Princes William and Harry of Wales are the only children of a future British monarch ever to have attended – and has also produced nineteen British Prime Ministers. There are many Old Etonians in the Special Air Service (SAS) and several who went on to become famous scientists, writers or sportsmen. A rising number of students also come to Eton from overseas, including members of royal families from Africa and Asia, some of whom have been sending their sons to Eton for generations. Numerous fictional characters have been described as Old Etonians. These include Ronald Eustace Psmith from the books by P. G. Wodehouse, the pirate who used the pseudonym Captain Hook, Lord Peter Wimsey, and the secret agent James Bond. Also, in Anthony Horowitz's book Point Blanc, Alex Rider, the teenage spy, pretends to have been expelled from Eton in order to gain access to the eponymous Point Blanc academy.
b) Harrow school.
Harrow school is famous as the place where Winston Churchill was educated, as well as six other Prime Ministers of Great Britain, the poet Lord Byron and many other prominent people.
Harrow is a school for boys with 800 pupils. The school has the best golf courses, a swimming pool, a large library and even the best school theatre in the UK.
Harrow School, commonly known simply as "Harrow", is an English independent school for boys situated in the town of Harrow, in north-west London. There is some evidence that there has been a school on the site since 1243 but the Harrow School we know today was officially founded by John Lyon under a Royal Charter of Elizabeth I in 1572. Harrow is one of the original nine public schools that were defined by the Public Schools Act 1868.
Harrow has many traditions and rich history, which includes the use of Straw Hats, morning suits, top hats and canes as uniform. Its long line of famous alumni include eight former Prime Ministers (including Churchill, Baldwin, Peel, and Palmerston), numerous foreign statesmen, former and current members of both houses of the UK Parliament, two Kings and several other members of various royal families, 19 Victoria Cross holders, and a great many notable figures in both the arts and the sciences. It is widely considered one of the best secondary schools in the world along with its famous rival Eton. Good Schools Guide said the school "Does well, does the boys well, couldn't do better."
Various schools in the same location have educated boys since 1243, but the school in its current state was founded in February 1572 under the Royal Charter granted by Queen Elizabeth I to John Lyon, a local wealthy farmer. In the school's original charter six governors were named, including two members of the Gerard family of Flambards, and two members of the Page family of Wembley and Sudbury Court. It was only after the death of Lyon's wife in 1608 that the construction of the first school building began. It was completed in 1615 and remains to this day, however it is now much larger.
The school grew gradually over time but growth became rapid during Imperial times as British prosperity grew. Lyon died in 1592, leaving his assets to two causes, the lesser being the school, and by far the greater beneficiary being the maintenance of a road to London, 10 miles (16 km) away. The school owned and maintained this road for many years following Lyon’s death and the whole school still runs along this 10 mile road in an event called “Long Ducker” every November. At its beginning, the primary subject taught was Latin, and the only sport was archery. Both subjects were compulsory; archery was dropped in 1771. Although most boys were taught for free, their tuition paid for by Lyon's endowment, there were a number of fee-paying "foreigners" (boys from outside the parish). It was their presence that amplified the need for boarding facilities. By 1701 for every local there were two foreign pupils; this was used as a way to generate funds for the school as fees increased. By 1876 the ratio was so high that John Lyon Lower School was brought under the authority of the governors of the Upper School so that the school remained within its charge of providing education for the boys of the parish. It is now known as The John Lyon School and is a prominent independent school in England. It maintains close links with Harrow. The majority of boarding houses were constructed in Victorian times, when the number of boys increased dramatically.
The 20th century saw the innovation of a central dining hall, the demolition of small houses and further modernisation of the curriculum. Presently there are approximately 800 boys boarding at Harrow.
In 2005 the school was one of fifty of the country's leading independent schools which were found guilty of running an illegal price-fixing cartel, exposed by The Times, which had allowed them to drive up fees for thousands of parents, although the schools made clear that they had not realised that the change to the law (which had happened only a few months earlier) about the sharing of information had subsequently made it an offence. Each school was required to pay a nominal penalty of £10,000 and all agreed to make ex-gratia payments totalling £3,000,000 into a trust designed to benefit pupils who attended the schools during the period in respect of which fee information was shared. However, Mrs Jean Scott, the head of the Independent Schools Council, said that independent schools had always been exempt from anti-cartel rules applied to business, were following a long-established procedure in sharing the information with each other, and that they were unaware of the change to the law (on which they had not been consulted). She wrote to John Vickers, the OFT director-general, saying, "They are not a group of businessmen meeting behind closed doors to fix the price of their products to the disadvantage of the consumer. They are schools that have quite openly continued to follow a long-established practice because they were unaware that the law had changed."
The School Governors recently introduced Harrow to the international community by opening two new schools, one in Beijing, China, and Harrow International School in Bangkok, Thailand. Also, in 2012 a new Harrow International School will open in Hong Kong.
Harrow has many notable alumni, who are known as Old Harrovians, including seven former British Prime Ministers including Winston Churchill and Robert Peel (the creator of the modern Police Force and founder of the Conservative Party), and the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru. In addition, nineteen Old Harrovians have been awarded the Victoria Cross.
The school has educated three monarchs: Mukarram Jah the last Nizam of Hyderabad, King Hussein of Jordan and his cousin, Faisal II, the last King of Iraq, and had among its pupils a large number from the Thai, Indian, Malaysian and Middle Eastern royal families. A number of members of the British Royal Family have also attended the school.
Other notable alumni include writers (including Lord Byron, Sir Terence Rattigan and Richard Curtis), numerous aristocrats (including the current richest British subject, the Duke of Westminster and the prominent reformist Lord Shaftesbury) and business people (including DeBeers chairman Nicky Oppenheimer, Pret a Manger founder Julian Metcalfe) and the big game hunter and artist General Douglas Hamilton, as well as Island Records founder Chris Blackwell. In sports, the school produced the first two Wimbledon champions (Spencer Gore and Frank Hadow) as well as FA Cup creator C.W. Alcock.
Prominent modern celebrities who attended Harrow include eccentric horse-racing pundit John McCririck, singer James Blunt and actors Benedict Cumberbatch and Cary Elwes. Fictional Old Harrovians include the character Withnail from the film Withnail and I.
Winchester College, one of the oldest of the great public schools of England, in Winchester, Hampshire. Its formal name, St. Mary College of Winchester near Winchester, dates from 1382, when it was founded by Bishop William of Wykeham to prepare boys for his New College, Oxford, known as St. Mary College of Winchester in Oxford. The organization of the school, established as a self-governing and sovereign body, was the pattern for Henry VI’s foundation at Eton College and, more generally, the pattern for other English public schools.
School uniforms in England were first introduced on a large scale during the reign of King Henry VIII. The uniforms of the time were referred as "bluecoats", as they consisted of long trench-coat-style jackets dyed blue. Blue was the cheapest available dye and showed humility amongst all children. The first school to introduce this uniform was Christ's Hospital and it is the oldest uniform of any school.
In 1870, the Elementary Education Act 1870 introduced free primary education for all children. The popularity of uniforms increased and eventually most schools had a uniform. During this period most uniforms reflected the trends of the age, with boys wearing short trousers and blazers until roughly the age of puberty and then long trousers from about 14 or 15. Girls mainly wore blouse, tunic dress and pinafore later progressing towards the beginning of the 20th century to gymslips.
These uniforms continued until the 1950s when after the Butler reforms secondary education was made free and the school leaving age was raised to 15. These reforms encouraged schools to implement uniform codes which were similar to other schools. Distinct "summer" and "winter" uniforms were sometimes required, particularly for girls where dresses were mandated for summer and gymslip for winter.
Today, the Government believes that school uniforms play a valuable role in contributing to the ethos of schools: The Department for Children, Schools and Families strongly encourages schools to have a uniform as it can instil pride; support positive behaviour and discipline; encourage identity with, and support for, school ethos; ensure pupils of all races and backgrounds feel welcome; protect children from social pressures to dress in a particular way; nurture cohesion and promote good relations between different groups of pupils.
There are some punishments used in Britain schools.
Lines: When a teacher gives you “lines”, you write out some sentence again and again, perhaps 50 or 100 times. For example, you can write “I must do my homework” or “I must not be late”.
Detention: If you are in detention, you stay after school to do extra work – lines or clean the room.
Report: If you are “on report” you have a card which you give to the teacher at the end of every lesson. Each teacher reports if you behaved well or badly.
Suspension: If you are suspended, you cannot come to school for a few days. Your parents have to see the head teacher. This is serious.
Exclusion: If you are excluded, you are sent away from your school. This is very serious. You have to go to another school.
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