|Students return to university in September
September is traditionally the end of summer and the beginning of autumn in the UK. It is also the month when children go back to school after their long summer holidays, but what do you actually know about British schools?
There are two types of school in England.State-runschools are paid for by the government, so are free toattend. Independent Schools are private, which means you have to pay to attend.
The school day usually starts at 9 in the morning and finishes around 4, with breaks for lunch of course! In many schools, you have to wear auniformtoo.
Children start school when they are 5 years old. This is called primary school, andlastsuntil the child is 11 when he or she will go on to senior school.
Secondary school iscompulsoryfrom 11 until 16 years of age. At 16, students take national examinations called GCSE’s. After this, students can stay at school for another 2 years and take A Level examinations. These examinations are necessary if they want to go on to university at 18.
Some universities start in September, but others begin in October. Courses normally last 3 years, but some, such as languages, engineering or medicine, can take much longer to complete.
Students usually go to university in a different town, so need to get used to living alone, payingbillsand washing their own clothes! For many, this is a difficult time, but everyone soon becomes used to it!
Universities in Britain used to be free, but many students now have to pay for part of their course. Similarly, students used to receivea grant– money from the government in order to live. Nowadays, they have to borrow money from banks or the government, called a studentloan, or takepart-time jobs. Either way, it can be difficult and many students have money problems.
School and university life are not just about studying, however. Many students take part in drama productions or play music. Others, of course, take part ina wide rangeof sports, such as football, rugby and cricket.
Many of the friends British people make at school and university remain friends for life, so it seems to true to say that your schooldays really are ‘the best days of your life.’