Jump to content
Chinese-forums.com
Learn Chinese in China

  • Why you should look around

    Since 2003, Chinese-forums.com has been helping people learn Chinese faster and get to China sooner. Our members can recommend beginner textbooks, help you out with obscure classical vocabulary, and tell you where to get the best street food in Xi'an. And we're friendly about it too. 

    Have a look at what's going on, or search for something specific. We hope you'll join us. 
NinjaTurtle

British English - "First grade in high school"

Recommended Posts

NinjaTurtle

Here is something I have come across a number of times. A person will say someone is in "first grade in high school" (meaning first year of high school). We Americans do not say this. Is this said in British English?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

Jim

Never heard it; back in my day we usually said secondary school anyway though some places did have high schools, Scotland more IIRC. Think these days they tend to say Year X, e.g. Year 7 which is I think eleven-year-olds starting secondary education: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Year_Seven

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
NinjaTurtle
11 minutes ago, Jim said:

secondary school anyway though some places did have high schools,

 

Is there a difference between secondary schools and high schools in British English? "Secondary education" is from year 7 to year 12?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ChTTay

Nah, no one says “grade” in the U.K. for one. Then we’d just say “year __” regardless of primary or high school (e.g year 3 or year 10). 

 

Sounds like a Chinese thing to me!  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jim
10 minutes ago, NinjaTurtle said:

Is there a difference between secondary schools and high schools in British English?

Not really an expert but AFAIK secondary schools covered all education from 11 to 16 years of age (perhaps to 18), a high school could I think be just a name for a particular secondary school or in some areas they'd have shorter primary education, then a middle school then a high school. So a high school is a sub-category of secondary school. But don't quote me; real answer bound to be on Wikipedia somewhere!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
NinjaTurtle

One more thing: Are UK high schools 3 years or 4 years? American high schools are 4 years, Chinese (and Japanese) high schools are 3 years. (Does anyone know about Korean high schools?)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
anonymoose
53 minutes ago, NinjaTurtle said:

One more thing: Are UK high schools 3 years or 4 years?

 

The one I went to was 5 years, or 7 if you include the A-level years, which was the case for most students.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mungouk

It has changed over the years, and what's more since 1999 it's down to the devolved "regions" how to run it. 

Practically speaking, Scotland has been different from the rest of the UK for a long time, with different qualifications.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_the_United_Kingdom

 

But yes, nobody in the UK says "grade". When I was at school in England* we called it "3rd form", "4th form" etc... with "6th form" being the 2 years (usually when everyone is 16-18) when you studied for A-levels, which are required to get into university. 

* A very long time ago.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ChTTay

I agree, strictly speaking high school is 5 years. When I was at school you could just leave after that (at 16) and not bother with college. Now the leaving age is 18 so once you’re done with year 11 you do A-levels at a 6th form college. I’d still say 6th form college isn’t high school. Some schools have colleges attached/included while others don’t. Seems more common to have them these days. 

 

There were no middle schools where I’m from (“The North”) but they seemed a lot more common in the North-East. I assume that’s why you’re talking about “3 or 4” years. I guess that would be true if a middle school was “in the middle” but it often tends to just be primary to high school.

 

It was like the below for me and still is where I’m from. 

 

Primary

Reception class

Year 1 -6 

High school

Year 7-11

6th form college 

Year 12-13 (sometimes refered to as this)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
somethingfunny
3 hours ago, ChTTay said:

Now the leaving age is 18 so once you’re done with year 11 you do A-levels at a 6th form college.

I'm not sure how true this is.  Although a quick search tells me there is some truth in it, which I find surprising.  I remember a lot of 16 year olds at my school who would not have been happy if you'd told them they couldn't start full time work.

 

Just as an aside, I used to find the US system difficult to work out until I realised that 12th grade was the highest year and therefore, every US 'grade' is just one less than a British 'year'.  So, British high school generally* starts at Year 7 (6th grade) and ends in Year 11 (10th grade), with the option to study two more years of A-Levels to Year 13 (12th grade).  It's also useful to think of a US high school as compromising what would traditionally have been the two GCSE years (Freshman/Sophomore) and the two A-Level years (Junior/Senior).

 

*I say "generally" as, as others have pointed out, there are exception which involve an additional middle school between primary and high, reducing the number of years spent in one, or both.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Shelley

I have been to school in Canada, US and UK. It was some time ago though.

 

Canada and US

Kindergarten

Grade 1 through to 7  - Elementary school

Grade 7 through to grade 9 Junior High school,

Grade 10 - 12 Senior High school - some "special education" students left at grade 10 it wasn't considered worth them doing more. 

Some places combine Junior and Senior High in to one building and is just High school.

 

See here https://www.justlanded.com/english/United-States/USA-Guide/Education/The-American-school-system

 

In the UK there is reception class and then year 1 through till 6 - was primary school - sometimes the reception class and year 1 were called Infants school and might be a separate building.

Year 7 through to year 11 was Secondary school

The school I went to had an Upper and Lower 6th form - Lower 6 did O levels and Upper did A levels and were generally working towards university or college.

When I went to school you could leave at 16 if you had a job to go to.

 

  http://www.free-for-kids.com/uk-us-education-systems.shtml

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ChTTay
5 hours ago, somethingfunny said:

I'm not sure how true this is

 

I mean ... it’s the law. It should now mean you enter into part time education with working 20 hours max, do an apprenticeship, or do A-levels. 

 

Edit: It seems about 4-5% of 16-18 year olds weren’t doing anything (none of the above) as of 2015 (the most recent data I could see). Then about 81% we’re in work based learning or education 2015-16 according to this nice report. 

 

What happened at my school - and this was before the leaving age was raised - was that a fair number of students who weren’t that suited to academic study stayed on and did more practical courses in sports and I.T. We were a specialist

college in these 2 things. 

 

I’m not sure how old you are but a half-decent job at 16 now is a lot harder to find.    One issue is that the massive increase in the number of students who got degrees meant that jobs where you used to just need A-levels,  now need a degree. Jobs that used to not need A-levels, now need them. I’m fairly sure it’s not just a U.K. trend but has happened generally with the devaluation of degrees. It’s an interesting topic. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
NinjaTurtle

My goodness, the UK primary/secondary system is a lot different than the US system (and, it seems, from the Chinese system.) It's good to hear about all of these differences. It's interesting to hear how (some?) students in the UK can leave at 16 if they have a job.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
oceancalligraphy
14 hours ago, NinjaTurtle said:

A person will say someone is in "first grade in high school" (meaning first year of high school).

 

I would say this is more common in East Asian education systems where the years get renamed as the school changes.

Grades 1-6 = Elementary school grades 1-6

Grades 7-9 = Middle school grades 1-3

Grades 10-12 = High school grades 1-3

 

In the US, the system I was accustomed to was:

Elementary school: grades 1-5

Middle school: grades 6-8

High school: grades 9-12

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
somethingfunny
4 hours ago, ChTTay said:

 

I’m not sure how old you are but a half-decent job at 16 now is a lot harder to find.

 

To be fair, most of the guys that left at 16 to work full-time weren't after a "half-decent job".  Anyway, thanks for pointing this out - I had no idea, and in theory it sounds like a good idea.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ChTTay

Yeah, it seems like those guys make up  about 5% right now! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Shelley
12 hours ago, ChTTay said:

I’m not sure how old you are but a half-decent job at 16 now is a lot harder to find

 

If this is aimed at me I did say it was long time ago when I went to school. I started Kindergarten in Canada at age 6 in 1963 because my birthday was the wrong timing for me to start at 5. I went to Grade 1 through to grade 7 at my elementary school and then grade 7 and 8 at high school. Then I moved to Scotland did 9 months of Year 4 at a secondary school. Then I went to the US and did 10 months of grade 8 at high school. Then moved to the UK and started at a high school in Lower 6th form but it was decided that going to the local college and finishing my education (4 months) in the less strict environment of the collage ( read what you will in to this :)) would suit everyone.

 

It was in approx the middle 1970 that you could leave if you had a job to go to, the general aim was anything, shop assistant, work on building sites, apprentices and similar, also you could get work very easily, you could apply for and get 2 or 3 jobs a day if you wanted, there was more work than people.  Anything else and you went on to A levels and collage or university. In those days this was not something most people aspired to. I find it remarkable that so many young people want to go to university, especially now it costs so much. A university degree has become common and most people find it doesn't really help with getting a job but is useful for starting a career.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
陳德聰

This seems like evidence of a need for learning more about Chinese language and culture as this is a direct translation of “高中一年級“ which means “First grade in/of High School” and that translation to me is less a reflection of language skill as it is of cultural knowledge. The numbers reset at each subsequent school, and this is the case in China, Korea, and Japan.

 

Canada has high schools that are either four years or five years depending on whether or not the region also has middle schools. But I don’t tell people who started high school in grade 8 that, actually, they were in middle school, not high school.

 

In a similar vein, I wouldn’t tell someone that they are not in first grade at blah blah high school just because my country has a tenuously equivalent “Grade 10” or “Year 10” or whatever. You’ll find they’re probably learning vastly different material too so why bother pretending it’s the same thing.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
somethingfunny
44 minutes ago, 陳德聰 said:

In a similar vein, I wouldn’t tell someone that they are not in first grade at blah blah high school just because my country has a tenuously equivalent “Grade 10” or “Year 10” or whatever.

 

I find it useful to translate my own country's system into the equivalent system of the person I'm talking to, and I usually do in terms of the age of the year group (or time left before leaving high school).  Therefore, if I'm telling someone about what I learned in the year I took my GCSEs (Year 11), I'll tell an American it was 10th grade (or Sophomore year), and I'll tell a Chinese person it was 高一, although I try to do this with the implication that I had already been at my high school for four years by then.  This works well for me as most conversations I have come with the implicit understanding that high school leads directly to university and therefore UK Year 13, US Senior Year, and Chinese 高三 are all roughly equivalent in terms of importance, even if not in content.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
陳德聰

How very accommodating of you, but what do you tell a Thai person or a Japanese person :P  I think there’s an implicit understanding in “first grade of high school” that the particular high school system has a first grade, as many do all over the world. Surely, English education is not just so that people can communicate with Americans and Brits. If I recall correctly, there are more speakers of English as a foreign language than there are native speakers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...