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Education In Northern Ireland Secondary And Uni
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Education In Northern Ireland Secondary And Uni

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Secondary Education in Northern Ireland

Secondary Education in Northern Ireland

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  • 1. Education in Northern Ireland Secondary school and University
  • 2. Post- primary
    • After primary school, children start secondary school at age 11.
    • There are three types; grammar schools, secondary schools and integrated schools.
    • The main subjects to study are English, Maths, Science, French, Home Economics, Technology, ICT, Art and Design, Religious Education, Physical Education, History and Geography. In my school we also did Latin and Greek in our second year there.
  • 3. 1 st year and 2 nd year
    • Children are sorted into different classes through different ways. In my school in was alphabetical order but in others there are tests.
    • All subjects are compulsory in 1 st and 2 nd year, you cannot choose between them.
  • 4. 3 rd year
    • At the end of the second year, classes are changed according to different subject choices.
    • The Key Stage 3 exam is sat in this year. There were 3 exams, one for English, one for Maths and one for Science but this has now changed.
    • At the end of this year you can then choose which subjects you want to do for GCSE.
  • 5. GCSE
    • The GCSE years are very important and take place during your 4 th and 5 th year at the school.
    • You can take either 9 or 10 subjects in a grammar school or less in a secondary school.
    • Children must gain a grade A* – C in at least 5 subjects to return to some schools. The better the school the higher the grades you must get.
  • 6. GCSE contd.
    • Some subjects are compulsory for GCSE; English, Maths, Science and French in some schools.
    • Religious Education must be studied until the end of 5 th year but you can take a short course in it and not do an exam.
    • Physical Education is not compulsory as a subject but ‘Games’ is.
  • 7. GCSE contd.
    • In most subjects it is possible to submit coursework for a large percentage of your mark.
    • I did coursework in English Language and English Literature, Maths, ICT, History, Science.
  • 8. AS and A Level
    • If you get the grades to get back into school after your 5 th year / GCSEs, you go back to do two sets of exams within two years.
    • You can choose any 3 or 4 subjects, there are no compulsory subjects.
    • These exams will be the exams you sit to get into university.
  • 9. AS Level
    • AS Level stands for ‘Advanced Subsidiary’
    • These 3 results will count towards half of your final A level result.
    • Like GCSE, it is possible to submit coursework for a percentage of your final mark.
    • Because there are only three subjects, students get a lot more free time for revision and doing coursework within the school.
  • 10. A level
    • A level exams are the most important in your school career.
    • The results of these will determine which university you can go to.
    • In this year you will apply for two universities to attend and what subject you will study there.
    • When the results are processed at the end of this year, the universities will then make a decision and you will find out if you are accepted.
  • 11. A Level contd.
    • An example of different grades:
    • If a student wants to do medicine, they will more than likely have to get at least 3 A’s (mostly only 4 are accepted) in their A levels, however different universities accept different grades. Some will even judge you on your GCSE grades also.
    • For certain subjects you must have studied certain subjects. For example, to do medicine you must have done biology and chemistry for A level.
  • 12. Tech
    • If you do not get the grades or do not want to return to school, you can go to a place called Tech.
    • You can study for your A levels here but they are not rated as highly by universities as A levels from schools are.
    • You can also study for NVQs here (National Vocational Qualifications).
    • These would be if you wanted to go into a trade like beauty or hairdressing, you can gain the qualifications necessary.
  • 13. University
    • Your university choice is very important as different degrees mean different things to employers after you graduate. E.g. A degree from university ‘A’ might be okay, but they would prefer a degree from university ‘B’.
    • You can do a range of subjects and get different types of degree at the end.
    • E.g. A Bsc Honours is a degree in a science and an LLB Hons is a degree in Law.
  • 14. University contd.
    • You can also choose to do two subjects in University but major in one. E.g. A degree in French and Business would be 75% French and 25% Business.
    • You have a lot of work to do at university, and the year is split into two semesters and each subject is then split into modules.
    • In one subject in one year you will do around 8 or 9 modules, but these are split between the two semesters. You can choose which modules you prefer.
  • 15. University contd.
    • The classes are split into lectures and seminars.
    • Lectures are for very large groups where presentations are made and seminars are for smaller groups in case anyone is having problems they can communicate directly with their lecturer.
    • There are exams at the end of each semester and if you pass them you can carry on into the next semester or the next year. If you fail, you have one more chance to resit the exam.
    • There are a lot of projects and coursework marks in University.
  • 16. University
    • Most courses only last for three years, although some can last longer if they include a year long placement or need extra qualifications after graduation.
    • The graduation ceremony happens after the results from your final exams are in and you find out what class of degree you have achieved.
    • The best is a 1 st Class Honours, then followed by a 2.1, then 2.2, then a 3 rd Class honours.
    • At the ceremony a cap and gown is worn and students are presented with a certificate.

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