UK Magazine Releases List of State Schools that Offer Unique Programs

March 10, 2017

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. unconventional / ˌʌn kənˈvɛn ʃə nl / (adj.) – not traditional or common
Example: Holding concerts is an unconventional way to raise awareness about social issues.

2. extracurricular /ˌɛk strə kəˈrɪk yə lər / (adj.) – describes something done in school other than academics
Example: She has a lot of extracurricular activities like tennis and chess.

3. grow / groʊ / (v.) – to make something bigger
Example: He was able to grow his savings by investing his money.

4. resolution /ˌrɛz əˈlu ʃən / (n.) – the solution or end of something
Example: The resolution of the incident was the teacher’s resignation.

5. in terms of / ɪn tɜrmz ʌv / (idiom) – about or concerning something
ExampleIn terms of attitude, he is one of our best students.


Read the text below.
UK magazine Tatler has released a list of primary and secondary state schools that offer unconventional programs.

Tatler’s “2017 Schools Guide” enumerated government-funded schools that offer more than just academics. The list featured unique extracurricular programs that are being offered by the schools that aim to develop practical skills using creative ways.

For instance, a school in Northern London equips students with business skills through a junior business class. In the class, all students receive around £5 each to invest and grow. Another school teaches conflict resolution, or skills for settling disagreements with other people.

Other schools offer programs that aim to teach students about the world they live in. One school takes its students to France for croissant / krəˈsɑnt / making classes and a snail farm visit, while another school holds special classes at night to watch animals like badgers / ˈbædʒ ərz /.

State schools have usually been compared to private schools in terms of reputation and cost. However, in Tatler’s first school review launched in 2014, the magazine said that reputation and cost should not be the only basis for selecting schools. Instead, schools should be evaluated based on whether their programs can prepare students for the real world.

Tatler adds that aside from having unusual programs, state schools also offer a unique learning experience to its students. State schools give every child a chance to interact with people from different backgrounds. These schools also teach them that they have to work hard to get what they want.

In 2014, a former UK Education Secretary made headlines for being the first Education Secretary to send his child to a state school. He said that he believes sending his child to a state school will give her a more comprehensive education.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Among the programs mentioned above, which would you like to join? Why?
·         What are other unique programs that schools could offer to its students?

Discussion B

·         Do you think that everyone would benefit from an unconventional education? Why or why not?
·         Which subjects or lessons should be taught in an unconventional way? Explain your answer. 

March 10, 2017