The educational system in the UK 

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The educational system in the UK

In England and Wales, the education system goes from reception (the first year at primary school) to year 12 (the final year of sixth form college or secondary school). Parents can send their children to nursery school between the ages of about three or five. The children spend a few hours at nursery school each day, playing and doing activities with other children. From the age of five, education is compulsory. Between five and eleven, children go to primary school. Primary schools are usually divided into an infant school (for children aged five to seven) and a junior school (for children aged seven to eleven). When they are 11 years old, children go to secondary school and take their GCSE at the age of 16. They can leave school when they are 16, but if they want to stay in education, they study for a further two years and take A-levels at the age of 18. They either stay at school, or go to a sixth form college or a technical college.


The educational system in the USA

In the US, the education system goes from kindergarten (the first year of elementary school) to 12th grade (the final year of high school). Parents can send their children to nursery school from the age of two or three. Children must attend school from the age of five onwards. The first year of school is called kindergarten. Children aged between five and eleven go to elementary or grade school. Between 12 and 14 they attend junior high school and between 14 and 17 they go to high school. Students in high school take examinations at the end of each semester. All the grades they have earned are given a number value and a grade point average (G.P.A) is calculated. Students who have passed enough courses graduate from high school. If they want to go to university, they must earn good enough grades and take a special test.



ТЕМА 6. Sports. A Healthy LIFESTYLE

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Sports in Great Britain

English people are fond of all kinds of sports. During the autumn and winter shooting and fox-hunting are the great sports in Great Britain. Boxing is very popular especially in the large towns and important boxing matches are attended by many spectators.

Horse-racing is also a great national sport. Among games football and cricket take the first place in public interest; huge crowds watch the matches between the most important clubs, while practically every school or large business firm has its own particular cricked and football clubs.

Tennis is another very popular game while golf has firmly established itself in favour and there are golf-links all over the country.

The numerous rivers afford excellent opportunities for swimming and rowing and the Oxford and Cambridge boat-race, in which crews from these two universities compete, takes place every spring on the Thames.


1) What are the great winter sports in Britain?

2) What games are especially popular?

3) What sports event takes place every spring on the Thames?


The Olympic Games

The Olympic Games have a very long history. They began more than 2000 years ago in Greece. The Greeks were very fond of music, plays and all kinds of physical exercises. The games took place every four years at Olympia. All the cities in Greece sent their best athletes to take part in the Olympic Games. The strongest athletes ran, jumped, wrestled, threw a discus, and were boxing. There were also chariot races.

The Games were very popular, thousands of Greeks used to watch them. It was a tradition to stop wars during the Olympic Games. The competition lasted five days. The winners got olive wreaths. It was the highest honour. When the champions came home the people greeted them with flowers.

For a long time from 394 till 1896 there were no Olympic games. Since 1896 the best athletes of the world have met again every 4 years. The games have always been exciting. The winners who show the best results are awarded gold, silver and bronze medals.


1) When were the first Olympic Games held?

2) What did the strongest athletes do during the competition?

3) What was the highest honour for the winners?

4) When were the Olympic Games revived?

5) What awards do the winners get?


A healthy lifestyle

To have a balanced healthy way of life is very important for every person. Here are some tips to follow if you want to be healthy.

1. Daily regime with enough of sleeping hours, regular meals, proper time for work and relaxing.

2. Healthy meal. A well-balanced diet will bring your body exactly what it needs. There should be a balance between the pleasure from your favourite meals and their usefulness for your body.

3. Getting rid of bad habits including oversleeping and overeating. Your mind and body should master your habits, not vice versa.

4. Keeping fit will help you to be in good shape and feel more energetic after work. Good variants are morning exercises, gym, swimming pool, jogging, aerobics, yoga, fitness training.

5. Good mood. Positive mood is not just good emotions, it’s very powerful healing energy for your mind, body and soul.

Following a healthy way of life makes you more energetic, active, gives you new emotions and changes to the best all aspects of your living.


1) Which of these tips can bring the most benefit for you?

2) Are there other aspects of making your life healthier?

3) What is your idea of a healthy life style?




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Britain – The Right Names

Britain – or Great Britain (GB) – is the name for England, Wales and Scotland. Britain is the eighth largest island in the world. The British Isles is the name for England, Scotland, Wales, both parts of Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. The United Kingdom (UK) is England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The British government is the government of the UK.

People who live in Britain are called British. Many people think that ‘English’ is the same as ‘British’. But England is only one of the four nations in the UK. The Scots, Welsh and Northern Irish are British too. They sometimes get angry when they are called ‘English’.

There are also millions of British people whose parents first came to Britain in the 1950s and 1960s from the Caribbean, India, Pakistan, Hong Kong and other places. Their homes are mainly in the big English cities like London, Birmingham and Manchester.

1) What does the name Great Britain refer to?

2) What does Great Britain include?

3) What does the political term the United Kingdom mean?


Задание 2. Прочитайте текст и ответьте на вопросы.


Here are some facts about the weather in Britain.

a) The climate is temperate, neither very hot in summer (average temperature 15 centigrade) nor very cold in winter (average temperature 5 centigrade).

b) The weather often changes rapidly during the day.

c) There is no dry season.

d) The west of Britain has much more rain than the east.

e) Britain lies in the zone of contact between tropical and polar air. This makes its weather very complex and difficult to predict.

f) There are at least 150 weather forecasts every week on the five main British television channels.

g) In winter there is often heavy snow on the hills and mountains, but little or none in the lowlands.

h) In summer the sunniest and warmest places in Britain are on the south coast.

i) In winter, the east of Britain tends to be colder than the west.

1) What is the climate like in Britain?

2) Why is Britain’s weather called changeable?

3) Why is it difficult to predict the weather in Britain?

4) Where is there heavy snow in winter?

5) What part of Britain gets more sunshine in summer?

6) Where is it warmer in winter in Britain, in the east or in the west?

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The Monarchy

Britain is a constitutional monarchy. This means that the monarch, at the moment Queen Elizabeth II, is the Head of State. The Queen is also head of the judiciary (all the judges) and of the Church of England, as well as the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. Her face is on all British bank notes, coins and postage stamps.

The Queen’s constitutional role, however, is mainly symbolic. True power lies in the hands of the Prime Minister and his or her Cabinet. It is the Queen who formally opens Parliament every autumn, but the speech she makes from the throne, giving details of the government’s future plans, is written for her by politicians. It is the Queen who officially appoints the Prime Minister, but traditionally she always asks the leader of the party with a majority in the House of Commons.

1) Who is the Head of State in Britain?

2) What are the Queen’s duties?

3) Who does real power in Britain belong to?

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The British Parliament has two houses, or chambers: the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The House of Commons is the most powerful and decides national policy, but the House of Lords can ask the House of Commons to rewrite certain parts of a bill before it becomes a new law.

The House of Commons consists of Members of Parliament, MPs. Each MP is elected by voters in one constituency (region). There are 651 MPs, or seats, in the House of Commons. The 1234 members of the House of Lords are not elected. Some are life peers: they are members of the House of Lords, but their sons or daughters cannot be members. Life peers are usually former members of the House of Commons. There are also a number of judges or bishops. The majority, however, are hereditary peers, the heads of aristocratic families. This means that most members of the House of Lords are there because of something their ancestors did. The head of both Houses of Parliament is the Queen, but she has very little power.

The party with most MPs forms the government. The leader of the winning party automatically becomes Prime Minister and appoints the Cabinet. The members of the Cabinet are the leading government ministers. The Prime Minister is the most important person in Parliament. The party who comes second is the Opposition and forms its own Shadow Cabinet.

British Prime Ministers have lived at 10 Downing Street since 1731.

1) How many chambers are there in the British Parliament and what are they called? 2) How many members of Parliament are there in the House of Commons? 3) Who can be members of the House of Lords? 4) Who forms the government? 5) Who becomes Prime Minister? 6) Who are the members of the Cabinet?

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The Royal Family

For more than a thousand years Britain has always had kings or queens except for the ten years between 1649 and 1659. In the past, kings had great power and they really helped to make history. They started wars, made laws, and did things in their own way. But gradually more and more power went to Parliament. What does the Queen do now? Why does Britain need monarchy? And does it?

Elizabeth II calls the Windsor family a ‘Firm’. She thinks of it as a business rather than a family. And the main business of the royal family is … well, probably being royal. And they are paid for it. The Queen is one of the richest women in the world and yet she gets about 8 million pounds a year to be Queen. But many people agree that she does her job well and she deserves her salary.

Being Queen is a really busy job. Elizabeth II gets up early and begins the day by looking through the newspapers. Then she reads letters from the public (she gets more than 1000 each week), and tells her staff how she would like them to be answered. The Queen has daily meetings with her Private Secretary who helps her to go through her paperwork, and lots of meetings with ambassadors, new judges, and bishops.

In the afternoon Elizabeth II often goes out on public engagements – she gets thousands of invitations each year. She opens new hospitals, bridges and factories.

Once a week, the Queen has a meeting with the Prime Minister and they discuss government business and important things that are happening in the country.

In the evening the Queen reads the report of the day from Parliament. She isn’t a politician, and in modern Britain the power belongs to the government, but she must agree to every new law. It’s formal agreement: no king or queen has refused a new law since 1701!

Being a Queen is not a 9 to 5 job, and Elizabeth II has to work from early in the morning until late at night. And people watch her all the time.

Of course, she has some free time, and some private life, but less than most people.

In her spare time Elizabeth II enjoys horse racing, fishing, and walking in the countryside. She also enjoys photography and likes taking photos on her travels.

Many people think that the Royals are useless and monarchy is outdated. But… the British people seem to like them that way. They like to read about the royal family, royal scandals and shocking secrets. They like to watch royal ceremonies, they are proud of the tradition of monarchy. Britain has had kings and queens for a thousand years – probably they’ll have them for another thousand.


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London is the capital of Great Britain. London is more than two thousand and five hundred years old. More than eight million people live there. The river Thames divides London into two parts. There are three main parts in London: the City, the West End and the East End. The City is a very small part of London but it is known as the heart of business and financial life of the country. St. Paul’s Cathedral, which was built by sir Christopher Wren in the 17th century, is situated in the City. It was destroyed during World War II and then restored.

Trafalgar Square is in the centre of London. It is the finest place in the city. It is the place of meetings and demonstrations. Nelson’s column is in the centre of the Square. This column was built in memory of Admiral Nelson. He destroyed the French fleet in the battle of Trafalgar in 1805 and became a national English hero.

The West End is the richest part of the capital. Large museums and art galleries, most theatres and cinemas are to be found here. The famous Hyde Park is also situated in the West End. Here one can see Westminster Abbey where all British kings and queens are crowned. Many great Englishmen, Newton, Darwin, Dickens and others, are buried there.

To the west of Westminster Abbey there is Buckingham Palace, the residence of the English Queen. Some guardians stand on guard in front of the Palace. It is very interesting to see the Changing of the Guard. It is a tradition.

Not far from the Abbey you can also see the Houses of Parliament with the famous Big Ben and a huge clock. Everybody knows the British Museum with its finest collection of books from all over the world.

The Tower of London is on the Thames. Since the 11th century it was a royal palace and a fortress. It has played an important role in the English history. For many years English kings and queens lived there. Then it became a prison. Now it is a museum. The famous collection of jewels is kept here. Every night at 9.53 pm the chief warder locks up the Tower. This is known as the Ceremony of the Keys and it has been taking place almost without any break for 700 years. A number of ravens have their home at the tower. They are on guard here.

On Sundays most Londoners do not work. Some people spend their weekend at home, some go to Hyde Park, where they can lie on the grass, ride on horseback or listen to speakers at the Speakers’ Corner.

The East End used to be the poorest part of London. Now it is home to small industries, blocks of flats and many houses. It has become a desirable place for business.

There is so much to see in London that even Londoners can always find new sights. They like to say, “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life”.

1) Where is London situated?

2) What are the main parts of London?

3) What is the financial and business center of the country?

4) What places of interest can be found in the West End?

5) Where is the residence of the English Queen?

6) What are the Houses of Parliament famous for?

7) What is the role of the Tower of London in the English history?

8) Where do most Londoners prefer to spend their weekend?

9) What is the East End?




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