Education: School

The system

Most children in England and Wales follow this route in the state system (= free education).


• You go to school (as a pupil to study) and go to university (as a student to study). You don’t use the definite article ‘the’ here. Other expressions like this are go to bed (to sleep); go into hospital (when you are ill); go to church (to pray / to worship).

• In some areas of the UK there are not many grammar schools.

• There are also public schools. In fact, these are private, and parents pay to send their children there. Some are expensive. About 5% of the population go to public schools.

A school timetable

Maths is an abbreviation of mathematics.

As you can see, the pupils have five lessons every day, and altogether they do (= study) eleven subjects a week plus Physical Education (PE). Every morning they have a twenty-minute break. There are three terms (= periods of continuous work) in a school year, and the timetable changes every year.

Note: Some words in English which end in ‘s’ look plural, but in fact they are singular: Maths isn’t my favourite subject, and physics is very difficult.
Most nouns of this type refer to subjects; other examples are economics and politics.