Grammar Schools

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Related to Grammar Schools: Comprehensive Schools

Grammar Schools


(1) In ancient Athens, a primary school for boys between the ages of seven and 12, providing instruction in reading, writing, and arithmetic.

(2) In ancient Rome, a more advanced school (beyond the elementary school) for the children of patricians and equestrians, providing instruction in Latin grammar, Roman literature, and the Greek language.

(3) In 17th-century Russia, a school attached to a monastery; the grammar school taught Greek and Latin grammar and classical literature.

(4) In present-day Great Britain and some countries in the British Commonwealth, a secondary school of general education.

In Great Britain grammar schools made their appearance as early as the seventh century, but they became widespread only in the 12th century; these offered a classical education. By the 16th century these schools had evolved into class schools for the British aristocracy. By the education act of 1902 the grammar schools became part of the state school system. Only about 20 percent of those finishing elementary school enter the grammar school. The complete course of study covers a period of seven years, sometimes eight years, and the age of the pupils ranges from 11 to 18. However, almost 60 percent of the children, chiefly from families of limited means, leave school after completing a five-year program and passing examinations for a general certificate of so-called ordinary level education. The rest finish school, take so-called advanced level examinations, and enroll in institutions of higher learning without taking entrance examinations. For the first two or three years all children in the grammar school follow approximately the same curriculum, studying traditional secondary school subjects. Specialization begins in the fourth year. About 45 percent of school time is devoted to instruction in the humanities and 30 percent to the natural sciences and mathematics.

In 1970 there were 1,100 grammar schools with 632,000 pupils in Great Britain. In connection with the school reform under way in Great Britain the grammar schools in a number of areas are gradually being incorporated into the so-called comprehensive secondary school.


Mizhuev, P. Londonskie shkoly i nachal’noe obrazovanie v Anglii. St. Petersburg, 1902.
Mizhuev. P. Sredniaia shkota v Anglii i ee reforma v 20 veke. St. Petersburg, 1914.
Aranskii, V. S., and V. P. Lapchinskaia. Sistema narodnogo obra-zovaniia v Anglii. Moscow, 1961.
Simon, B. Angliiskaia shkola i intellektual’nye testy. Moscow, 1958.(Translated from English.)
Davies, H. Culture and the Grammar School. London, [1965].
Davis, R. The Grammar School. Harmondsworth, 1967.


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e I cannot understand why Theresa May should want to pick a fight so early in her premiership over the proposed introduction of new grammar schools.
Grammar schools had three times more money spent on them, they had the best teachers and facilities, with a secure route to higher education.
For Jeremy Corbyn to slate the proposal to return to grammar schooling is a joke, he says "to bring back the grammar schools will return us to the bad old days" and this is a man who spent many, many years in an attempt to gain A levels at school and later at full time at college.
But the Tory proposals were condemned by Roger Godsiff, the Labour MP for Birmingham Hall Green, who said grammar schools divided children into winners and losers at the age of 11.
Radical plans to open a new tranche of grammar schools were leaked yesterday in a memo signed by UK Department for Education Permanent Secretary Jonathan Slater.
Tories say grammar schools should be allowed to create satellite outposts for high achieving children.
Mr Roden said there had been 4,700 applications for 1,019 places at the eight King Edward grammar schools in Birmingham for the next academic year.