10 best public schools in UK: requirements

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British education is a brand recognized all over the world. And although the school system is constantly criticized within the country, the flow of families sending their children to study in prestigious English educational institutions does not decrease.

Why do so many parents want their children to graduate from British schools? Apparently, this is due to the prestige of English universities. English higher education is one of the most expensive in the world, and foreigners pay one and a half to two times more expensive than citizens and residents. The path to a good university often begins at a good school. But you can't get into top secondary schools just for money: they are accepted there according to the results of the "11+" exam, which they pass at the age of 11. It includes mathematics, English, and sometimes additional tasks that every private school has the right to develop. Usually these are tasks for logic and understanding of literary texts, essays and very often interviews, where you can be asked to tell about anything: about a student's hobbies and achievements or to express your opinion about Brexit and other events in everyday life. and foreign policy. If a child did poorly in elementary school and has low grades on final exams( SATS), then there is very little chance of getting into a prestigious institution of the next stage.

It's all about private schools. By law, everyone must enroll in state educational institutions. However, public schools are also very different - the results of final exams, reputation, the general atmosphere. There are always more people who want to enroll in educational institutions with good ratings than the school can accept. Therefore, most parents begin to be interested in this problem when their child is still wearing diapers. Almost every English family for whom education is valuable has a history of what tricks they went to to get a child a place in a good school. You can move to an area where educational institutions are on average better, or you can specifically rent an apartment for a year or two next to a rating school-just to get there.

What schools are there and how to get into them

Education in England is mandatory for all children, starting from the age of 4. From 4 to 11 years old, children go to primary school (primary school), from 11 to 18-to secondary school (secondary school).

All schools, both primary and senior, can be divided into two main types: public (public schools) and private (private schools, they are also called state or independent schools). Public education is legally free for all children. Parents pay only for school uniforms, school trips in high school and clubs in junior classes. Private tuition fees start at £ 12,000 per year.

In public schools, children are distributed according to their place of residence: the closer you live, the more chances you have to get a place. You just need to submit your application on time. Every year, within the time limits set by the municipality (until the end of October for secondary schools and until mid-January for primary schools), parents fill out a form, indicate several schools of their choice, and then wait for the district administration to respond. "about four months. Not everyone manages to get to the school they want to go to, and the closer X-day is (in March for secondary schools and in April for primary schools), the greater the excitement of parents and heated discussions on the Internet.

The fact is that not all schools are the same. The standards of education in England allow every school, even a state one, to develop its own curriculum. Only a general basis is required. For example, in the primary school standard there is a section "Changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age". Each school can determine for itself what and how to study within the framework of this large topic. "Students can study hunting in the Neolithic era, early agriculture, Bronze Age religion, technologies and achievements such as Stonehenge; the culture and art of the Iron Age, " the National Educational Standard says. "Can", but not "should". That is, these are only examples and recommendations, the document emphasizes the optional nature of their implementation. One school will give a huge list of literature to study, organize a trip to Stonehenge. On another day, the children will be taken to the British Museum in London and invited to give a lecture at the School of Art Critics. And the third one will be limited to photos and materials on the board. There are no textbooks, especially the same for everyone, either, in primary school children are given printouts and sheets with tasks pasted in a notebook.

The material base in different institutions is very different: somewhere in each class there is an iPad for each student, and somewhere paper dictionaries are still used.

Until you arrive at the school, it is almost impossible to see the details. Therefore, parents actively exchange information and go to various tricks, trying to get a child to a school with a good reputation.

There is a special type of public schools - religious schools. There are about a third of such schools in England. They are free for parents, but are funded not only by the state, but also by church organizations. They adhere to the same educational standard as regular schools, but with additional study of the relevant religion.

In England, children are readily enrolled in religious schools, even if the family is an unbeliever or considers itself professing another faith, because according to the ratings, religious educational institutions are almost always better than ordinary state ones. Catholic schools stand out especially from the general background. They are known for their discipline, rigor, and since there is a certain contingent of children there, the learning results are better.

The most likely chance to get into a religious school is given by the official confirmation of the priest that the child regularly goes to church, attends all services for at least two years. Otherwise, all other things being equal, the place is given to the one who lives closer to the school, as in other public schools. Since most of the budget comes from the state, religious schools are required to accept some children from non-religious families or those who consider themselves professing other religions. But there are few such places allocated: on average, 15-20% of the total number. Often, parents begin to take their child to church specifically in advance to get a place in a good school. Schools understand this and try to weed out pseudo-believers. In many Catholic schools, in addition to the letter of the pastor, they are now asked to bring a certificate of baptism of children and parents.

Another type of free schools for children over the age of 11 is gymnasiums. These are public secondary schools, which are not inferior to private ones in terms of education. For capable and hardworking students from not too well-off families, this is a rare success and a happy chance to "break out into people". But there are not many such schools, and the competition for admission is huge: sometimes 20-30 people per place.

10. Newport Girls’ High School

Status: grammar school for girls

Percentage of candidates who received five or more A*-C grades on GCSEs exams, including English and Mathematics: 100

Percentage of candidates who received A*/A: 84.3

Newport Girls ' High School is a school that was founded in 1920 in Newport, Shropshire, and currently educates about 420 students. Since 2013, the school accepts 84 students every year.

9. Chelmsford County High School for Girls 

Status: grammar school for girls

Percentage of candidates who received five or more A*-C grades on GCSEs exams, including English and Mathematics: 100

Percentage of candidates who received A*/A: 85.24

Chelmsford County High School for Girls, located in Chelmsford, Essex, is an academic school for girls aged 11-18, considered to be a school with one of the most difficult exam programs for admission. At the moment, the school has 890 students who, from year to year, achieve some of the highest grades in both GCSEs and A-levels exams.

8. Reading School 

Status: grammar school for boys

Percentage of candidates who received five or more A*-C grades on GCSEs exams, including English and Mathematics: 100

Percentage of candidates who received A*/A: 85.5

Reading School goes back to 1125, when the school was founded as part of Reading Abbey. Students do not pay for full-time education, and boarders only pay for food and accommodation.

7. St Michael’s Catholic Grammar School 

Status: grammar school for girls aged 11-16, a co-educational school with sixth form

Percentage of candidates who received five or more A*-C grades on GCSEs exams, including English and Mathematics: 100

Percentage of candidates who received an A*/A: 87.11

In 1908, St Michael's Catholic Grammar School was founded at the request of the Archbishop Archbishop Bourne of Westminster and was opened as St Michael's Convent by the Sisters of the Poor Child Jesus. The school still remains under the jurisdiction of the church and since 1958 has received the status of a voluntary aided grammar school in addition to the Catholic Grammar School for boys, located nearby in Finchley. In 2009, the school allowed the admission of boys to the sixth form and at the moment about 750 students are studying there.

6. Tonbridge Grammar School 

Status: Co-educational grammar school

Percentage of candidates who received five or more A*-C grades on GCSEs exams, including English and Mathematics: 100

Percentage of candidates who received A*/A: 87.96

The school was founded as a girls-only school in 1905 and was located on the top floor of the library in Tonbridge. At the very beginning of the school's existence, there were only 19 students in it. In 2002, the school began accepting boys to study at the sixth form. 

5. Colchester County High for Girls 

Status: grammar school for girls

Percentage of candidates who received five or more A*-C grades on GCSEs exams, including English and Mathematics: 100

Percentage of candidates who received A*/A: 88

Founded at the beginning of the last century, Colchester County High School for Girls moved to the building in which it is located today, in 1957. The school's motto since 1909 has been ' Wisdom Gives Life’, and while the school maintains its incredibly impressive academic success, classes in circles and clubs outside the school curriculum also occupy an important place in school priorities. A new dance studio and a swimming pool are just two of the new additions to the school infrastructure.

4. Kendrick Girls’ Grammar School 

Status: grammar school for girls

Percentage of candidates who received five or more A*-C grades on GCSEs exams, including English and Mathematics: 100

Percentage of candidates who received A*/A: 88.07

Located in Reading, Berkshire, Kendrick School specializes in science, mathematics and foreign languages. In 2006, the Kendrick Federation was formed in conjunction with the Reading Girls ' School, with the aim of raising the standards of education in the district for women. The school was found to be excellent in all four of the last inspection visits from Ofsted.

3. King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Boys 

Status: grammar school for boys

Percentage of candidates who received five or more A*-C grades on GCSEs exams, including English and Mathematics: 100

Percentage of candidates who received A*/A: 90.72

The King Edward VI Camp Hill School, which currently teaches 750 boys, opened in 1883 and moved to Kings Heath, Birmingham in 1956. Currently, the school is located in the same building with a sister school for girls. Recent A-level results showed that more than a third of all exams received an A* grade, while 17 boys received places to continue their studies at Oxbridge. The school, however, does not focus on academic success: the school's infrastructure includes 4 rugby fields, two cricket fields and 4 tennis courts. Most of the sports teams are headed by professional athletes.

2. The Tiffin Girls’ School 

Status: grammar school for girls

Percentage of candidates who received five or more A*-C grades on GCSEs exams, including English and Mathematics: 100

Percentage of candidates who received A*/A: 91.51

Founded in 1880, the Tiffin Girls ' School lives under the motto 'sapere aude', which the school's students understand as "being brave enough to take risks". In addition to academic classes, girls take part in a huge number of clubs and circles outside the school curriculum, held all year round, including sports sections, music clubs, subject clubs and political debates.

1. The Henrietta Barnett School 

Status: grammar school for girls

Percentage of candidates who received five or more A*-C grades on GCSEs exams, including English and Mathematics: 100

Percentage of candidates who received A*/A: 94.14

Located in the London borough of Hampstead, the school first opened its doors to students in January 1912, which was the result of many years of work by Henrietta Barnett to establish a school for girls in the area. The school originally opened under the name 'Institute Kindergarten and High School' , and Queen Mary laid the foundation stone for 'The Barnett School' in 1918. In addition to excellent academic results, the school boasts a wide range of different circles and clubs, including art and creativity classes, chess, political science and gardening.

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