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The English School System

From:Chris Bates <christopher.bates@...>
Date:Wednesday, April 23, 2003, 15:04
Oh. :( I was looking forward to an interesting explanation and instead I
get boring reality lol. I can't remember where I read that about French
and English courses being different now... in case you don't know, here
Maths is compulsory to sixteen only, just like every other subject. If
you decide not to go get a job at sixteen, you go to college (I know,
its confusing when you talk to americans or some english people, but
college more often means 16 - 18 education here than it does college in
the sense of oxford or cambridge colleges). Some schools have a college
attached which we call a sixth form.
 I think something you did say highlighted a key difference between
French and English teaching, I'm not sure which is better. There's a lot
og splitting people up depending upon their ability (or their ability as
much as any test can measure ability) in the core subjects like English,
Maths, Science and Foreign Languages in secondary school (11 - 16). I'm
not sure at all which approach is better at all... you get a GCSE at 16
at the end of it if you pass however you were streamed, but what level
you were classed as affects the maximum grade you can get. The
disadvantage of course is that it imposes a limit on  the maximum grade
people can get if they're not the most able at the subject, and you can
get zero on a paper and fail when you might have taken an easier paper
which would not have let you get above a C say but you could have at
least passed. But on the other side if you stream people and they don't
improve in the subject, then you can concentrate on the more important
or managable things so at least they go away having learnt something
rather than spending the whole year doodling in their exercise books.
 After 16 the streaming ends and you go to college if you did well
enough in your GCSEs, and the subjects there are taught the same for
everyone (since they wouldn't let you do A level maths for example if
you got a D in it at GCSE). But with maths (I've never heard of any
other subject doing this) you can take Further Maths as an extra A level
and cover material which is harder or not as central to the subject at
the same time. Thinking back on it I don't think complex numbers entered
into the normal Maths A level, I think I only did them in Further Maths,
so I would have had to wait to 18 at University to learn about them had
I not done Further Maths.
 BTW, you don't know anything about north sea cod do you? I think I
mentioned before I'm in the first year of a maths degree, and my
sadistic Modelling and Dynamics (Mechanics by another name lol) lecturer
has set modelling cod populations as the group project for my group.
*sigh* I've come up with a model but there's something wrong because I
just have a feeling looking at the data that the poor cod would be
driven to extinction if my fishing quotas were used (we were supposed to
come up with patterns and amount of fishing to stop the cod going
extinct). But never mind.. there are other fish in the sea....



Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>