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  1. #1
    shabani is offline Member
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    Schools in Britain and the US

    Hi all,
    I feel kind of confused about the names of some schools in British English and their difference with the American ones. For example, "secondary school" seems to be in common in both but we also have junior high school and senior high school in the US which becomes more confusing when middle school comes into play.
    Can somebody help me out with this?
    I'll also be very thankful if someone could explain the same differences in tertiary education in both countries.

    Many thanks.
    Last edited by shabani; 15-Dec-2011 at 18:09.

  2. #2
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
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  3. #3
    TheParser is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Schools in Britain and the US

    [QUOTE=shabani;833070]Hi all,


    NOT A TEACHER


    (1) Yes, it is confusing.

    (2) Before I was born, "high school" in the United States referred to four

    years of a student's secondary (as opposed to "elementary") education. That is,

    grades 9 -12. (Elementary was grades 1 - 8.)

    (3) Then somewhere along the line, the authorities decided that children in grades 7

    and 8 were too old to mix with children in grades 1 - 5 and that children in grade 9 were too

    young to mix with children in grades 10 - 12. Thus was born the so-called "junior

    high school," and grades 10 - 12 were renamed "senior high school." (junior h.s. = grades 7 - 9)

    (4) Then in the last 25 years or so, the authorities changed their minds again. They

    decided that children in grade 6 were now too mature to mix with grades 1-5 and that

    children in grade 9 were now ready to again mix with grades 10 - 12. Thus was born

    the so-called "middle school" (grades 6 - 8).

    (5) And to make things even more fun, kindly remember that elementary school, middle school, and senior high school are called "public schools," but that in the United Kingdom, I believe, "public schools" refer to private schools, such as Eton and Harrow.

    (6) Oh, and don't forget: Some American children do not attend either public or private

    schools. They study at home, and their teachers are their parents!

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Schools in Britain and the US

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    (5) And to make things even more fun, kindly remember that elementary school, middle school, and senior high school are called "public schools," but that in the United Kingdom, I believe, "public schools" refer to private schools, such as Eton and Harrow
    Independent schools is often used nowadays, which sidesteps the issue. ;)

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