At the request of School English, the youngest generation of our British friends, the Wrights, tell our readers about their school life. No doubt, you remember from our past issues that the children live with their parents in Abergavenny, South Wales, where they attend infant, junior and secondary schools correspondingly.
My name is Max. I am 5 years old and I go to Park Street Infant School. This September I started my second year at school. My teacher is called Mrs Baggert. Last year I had Mrs Roberts and I liked her a lot.
My Dad sometimes takes me to school on his bicycle, I like that very much but I don’t like it when we have to walk home after school because it is a long way and I’m too tired. Most of the time we go in the car.
When we get to school we can play with different things in the classroom. I like the computer. When the bell rings we sit down and Mrs Baggert reads out our names and we say “yes”. She ticks1 us in the register2 and sometimes I get to take the register to the office and give it to Mrs Pitt. We have to all go and sit very quietly in the hall for assembly. Mrs Roberts is the head teacher3 and we sing songs and pray to God. Sometimes the Vicar4 comes to talk to us in assembly but mostly it is Mrs Roberts.
Back in our classroom we either do number work or we do writing work. I like both. We can write in our books something we have done and draw a picture about it, too. We have a break and then do more work. When it is break we play in the play ground. I like playing aeroplanes with my friends.
When it is dinner time we eat in the hall. The food is great, we get meat and potato and we get chips every Friday and for pudding5 we sometimes get chocolate cake with custard,6 that is my favourite, or orange jelly. Some of my friends bring sandwiches from home for their lunch. After you have eaten you can go and play but the dinner ladies tell you, “You have to eat all your dinner first”.
In the afternoon Mrs Baggert makes us read our reading books to her and on Monday we can choose a new book from the library to read at home. Then Mrs Baggert reads us a story or talks to us and our Mums and Dads come and we can go home. In my class we have got two gerbils7 called Meg and Polly, they run around in a glass box and we can see them digging tunnels. I like Meg and Polly and I like Mrs Baggert and I like my school.
1 tick – делать отметку, ставить птичку
2 register – (школьный) журнал
3 head teacher – директор школы
4 Vicar – приходский священник; викарий
5 for pudding – (брит.) на десерт
6 custard – сладкий крем (из яиц и молока)
7 gerbil – тушканчик
My name is Eleanor, I am 10 years old. In September I started what will be my last at Harold Road Junior School. I started at this school when I was 7 after leaving Infant school. My school has about 300 children in all and I am in class 6W. There are 28 children in my class. Mrs White is our teacher for this year.
I have to be at school for 9 o’clock in the morning. I walk to school with my friend Ellie who lives next door and her brother. It takes us about 20 minutes to walk to school but if it is raining hard my Dad gives us lift1 in the car. After register we do either Maths or English for the first hour or so. Twice a week we have an assembly where Mr Morgan our head teacher talks to us and sometimes we can show our work in assembly or somebody is chosen to play a tune they have learnt on an instrument. Half way through the morning we have the first break. I like breaks because we can talk to our friends from the other classes then.
After break we might do some of our project work. This term2 we are doing about the Romans. We learn about how they lived, where the Roman Empire was and about what sort of things they did. Quite near to where we live is a town called Carleon, this was a Roman settlement3 nearly 2000 years ago. We have been on a trip to Carleon to see the remains4 of their settlement, the barracks where the soldiers lived, the amphitheatre where they held sports events and the Roman baths where we could see pieces of pots, jewellery, and the mosaic tiles that they used to decorate the baths with. As part of our studies on the Romans I am making a time line5 which tells you when the Romans first came to Britain and how it took them a long time to conquer the whole of England. I like doing this project on the Romans because it is interesting to think about how people lived a long time ago and how it is different from today.
On Wednesday and Friday afternoons we do P.E.6 In the summer term this means we do running and athletics but when it is winter term we are doing hockey or basketball and the boys are doing football.
If it is raining we have to do P.E. in the gym hall which is more boring because it isn’t big enough for everybody to play games at once so we have to take turns. We also play netball7 after school on a Wednesday, I enjoy that and our team is quite good. In the summer term we will be able to go cycling after school with Mr Griffiths.
Year 6, this last year at junior school is a good year because we are the oldest in the school and we get to do all sorts of exciting things that the other years can’t do, like going on the cycling trips. In October we are going to an outdoor training course for a week where we can do things like rock climbing and abseiling8. At the end of the year, next June we even get taken on a trip to London where the teachers take us to see art galleries, museums and to the theatre.
One bad thing about this year is that we have to do SATs (Standard Aptitude Test). Every 6 year student in the country has to do them and they test you on everything you are supposed to have learned in your whole time at Junior school. I don’t think they will be very difficult but I saw the year 6 students doing them last year and it looked very serious and not much fun. Another good thing to look forwards to this year is that I will be going on a Trip to France with the school choir. Every year the choir goes over to France to sing for the people of a town in Normandy and they send their choir to sing over here. I sing in the school choir each week, this term we will probably be starting to practice our songs for the Christmas concert. I also play the violin in the school orchestra. We practice after school on a Monday afternoon, the orchestra will probably be doing a concert at Christmas for the parents. So my school life is busy but very exciting, I enjoy being with my friends and I like my school.
1 give a lift – подвозить
2 term – семестр
3 settlement – поселение
4 remains – (зд.) руины
5 time line – хронология
6 P.E. – physical education
7 netball – женская командная игра похожая на баскетбол
8 abseil – (зд.) заниматься альпинизмом
My name is Emily, I am 12 years old and have just started my second year at Secondary School. The school that I go to is called King Henry the VIII Secondary Comprehensive. It is the only secondary school in our town and it has about 1500 pupils aged from 11 to 18. It is a much bigger place than my junior school. It has two main parts, the Upper school and the Lower school. The first three years are spent mostly in the lower school but we do have to go to the Upper school for some of our lessons, like Chemistry because that is where the science rooms are. There is a canteen where we can buy our lunch in each of the two parts of the school. There is a huge field by the school where we go at break, this is where the sports pitches1 and the athletic track are. We also have tennis courts, 7-a-side2 football pitches and a sports hall where we play indoor games like netball and basketball. This year I am learning to play hockey for the first time, there is a club I go to after school on a Monday.
My school day starts at 8.45. It takes me about 25 minutes to walk to school but I walk with a few of my friends so it is ok. Most of my friends arrive at school on one of the school buses as they live too far away to walk. When the bell goes at 8.45 we have to be in our form room or else we get a late mark3. If you get too many late marks you get a detention4 where they keep you in at break or at lunch time. The school day is divided into 5 hour long lessons with a 15 minute break between the 2nd and 3rd lesson and the lunch break is 45 minutes before the last lesson. The day finishes at 3.15 but on Monday and Wednesday I do sport clubs for an hour. It always takes me a long time to walk home because we can look at the shops in town on the way home, sometimes we go to the park on the way home too if the weather is nice.
There are 28 people in my form and we do most of our lessons together except things like languages where some of us do Spanish and some do German, we all learn French and Welsh5 together but we had to choose to do Spanish or German, we couldn’t do both. We are streamed6 for Maths and Science, this means if you are good at Maths or Science they put you in a different class where you do more difficult work. There are 3 streams for maths and 2 for science, we get mixed in with the people from the other forms for these classes.
In Maths we are tested all the time to make sure we are in the right stream but for Science it depends on how well you did at the end of last year. The other subjects we do are English, History, Geography, Craft design technology7, Religious Education, Art, Information Technology, Music and Physical Education. I have guitar lessons at lunch time on Fridays. Most of my teachers are quite good, the worst ones are just a bit boring. Once a week for each subject we are supposed to get homework but not all of the teachers give us something to do every week. Usually we have to write an essay8 on what we have been talking about in class. Sometimes we have to research something on the Internet which I like doing. I often do my homework on the computer but some of the teachers say we have to write it out by hand. Maths homework isn’t too bad, we have to do the exercises from the text book but least we can do is in our own time.
We have to wear a school uniform at my school, it is a white shirt, black trousers or skirt and a dark blue sweatshirt. We have to wear black shoes all the time, too, we are not allowed to wear trainers9 although some people do. We are not supposed to wear any jewellery or any make up either. I don’t mind the uniform but I wish I could wear my trainers because we have to do quite a lot of walking around the school and trainers would be more comfortable.
Apart from the Sports clubs I also sing in a choir once a week, we do a concert in the local church once a year for the parents to hear us. And I go to a Dance class on Wednesday, we do modern and disco dancing, we also put on a performance for the parents once a year at the local theatre. Last year some of my friends were involved with an amateur theatre group and they performed a pantomime at the theatre, I’d quite like to get into that, too, this year.
1 sports pitch – спортплощадка
2 7-a-side – разновидность футбола (команда: 6 человек и вратарь, поле: 50x70, два тайма по 20 минут)
3 get a late mark – отметка об опоздании
4 detention – оставление после уроков (в качестве наказания)
5 Welsh – валлийский язык (напоминаем, что дети живут в Уэльсе)
6 stream – (зд.) формировать класс с учетом способностей учащихся
7 Craft design technology – уроки труда
8 essay – сочинение
9 trainers – (разг.) «кроссовки»
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