This article belongs to the lore of Astyria.

Education in Great Nortend

Education in Great Nortend
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Board of Schooling
Master of the Board of SchoolingDr. Thomas Welfuller
General details
Primary languagesEnglish

Education in Great Nortend is overseen by the Board of Schooling, a ministerial level board subordinate to H. M. Clerk's Office. State schooling is provided by the Board of Schooling, whereas private independent schooling is provided by tutors as well as endowed independent schools.

Overview

Compulsory education in Great Nortend starts at the age of six for both boys and girls, and ends at the age of fourteen. The Schooling Acts prescribe the two stages of junior schooling and senior schooling. However, a pupil may attend up to four schools whilst still only completing the two stages of schooling.

Academic year

The academic and school year corresponds to the civil year used in Great Nortend. That is, the year begins after Michaelmas. Though there are four terms in a civil year, the academic year treats Marymas term as the summer holiday or 'Long Vacation'.

Religion in education

Education in Great Nortend is influenced by the doctrines and teachings of the Church of Nortend, which is the state church of Great Nortend. This is evident through both primary and secondary schooling as well as university and apprenticeships where chapel services are commonly compulsory, along with scriptural and theological studies as well as a general culture of religiosity in academia.

Schooling years

Junior schooling

There are six compulsory grades during junior schooling known as juniors :— Bottom Junior (or sometimes First Junior), Second Junior, Third Junior, Fourth Junior, Fifth Junior and Top Junior (or sometimes Sixth Junior). Junior schooling is offered at most schools from the age of five, in an Infants grade, although it is not compulsory.

At a junior school, pupils learn to read, write and do basic arithmetic sums. They also are instructed in basic history, religion, civics, geography, art, music, grammar and poetry. In Third Junior, Latin is begun. This starts with memorisation of grammar and vocabulary, then turning to translation of texts and construction of Latin prose. Pupils are generally required to learn the top 100 Latin words by the end of junior schooling.

Religious instruction is grounded in the Catechism of the Church of Nortend, including instruction in the Ten Commandments, the Lord's Prayer, the Nicene-Constantinople Creed and the Liturgy. There is also study in Holy Scripture, focussing on chapters in the Books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, the Psalms, the Gospels and the Epistles. The Bible used is St Edmund's Bible, with Latin and English text side-by-side, although the Latin text is emphasised.

The vast majority of junior board schools are mixed sex, at least in the lower juniors. Many schools, however, have separate classrooms for boys and girls where practicable.

Senior schooling

Senior schooling begins at the age of twelve and consists of seven forms :— First Form, Second Form, Third Form, Fourth Form, Fifth Form, Lower Sixth Form and Upper Sixth Form. The majority of pupils only complete up to Fifth Form, as the two last forms are dedicated to preparation for the matriculation examinations for university entrance.

At a senior school, which is almost always single sex, pupils are taught more advanced subjects such as algebra, trigonometry, calculus, ancient and modern history, world geography, literature analysis, exegesis and rhetoric. Skills in Latin construction, translation and debating are developed. For boys, an introduction to Greek is common.

Religious instruction includes continued analysis of scripture, as well as the history of the Church, theological topics such as that of the basis for doctrines and dogma. Both the Old Testament and the New Testament are read through. Chapel services are usually three times a week, as in junior schools, along with additional classroom lessons.

A notable feature of Erbonian senior schooling for boys is service in the Cadet Corps company. Over 90 per cent of boys' senior board schools maintain cadet companies, and over three quarters have compulsory membership from the Second Form.

Though senior schooling is only compulsory until the age of fourteen, which usually corresponds to during the Third Form, pupils are encouraged to stay on until the end of the Fifth Form, when the Grammatical Examinations are held. Despite this, many pupils do leave school at the end of the Third Form with only a Third Form Report as a qualification.

Grammatical Examinations

At the start of the Fourth Form, pupils at schools normally begin study for the Grammatical Examinations, or 'Grammaticals' as they are commonly known. There are three or four compulsory papers — English; Mathematics; History and Geography; Latin — and pupils are permitted to choose up to four or five supplementary papers. Latin is only compulsory for boys, and girls may choose up to five supplementary papers.

Grammatical Examination papers derive from the mediæval origins of grammar schools as a place to learn Latin grammar before attending university. The exams historically were set by the schools themselves, and to this day, some schools choose to set their own exams. Most schools, however, use the exam papers provided by the Board of Schooling or the universities.

As of 2020, there are eighteen supplementary papers offered :—

  • Additional Mathematics
  • Ancient Greek
  • Arts
  • Biology
  • Book-keeping
  • Chemistry
  • Chinese
  • Dutch
  • Erebian
  • French
  • German
  • Housewifery (girls)
  • Literature
  • Mazurian
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Theology

At the end of the Fifth Form, pupils are examined, and receive a letter grade :— O for Outstanding (95%); E for Excellent (90%); G for Good (80%); A for Acceptable (65%); P for Passing (50%); S for Substandard. If the pupil receives at least three (girls) or four (boys) pass, and at least one pass in a compulsory paper, he will receive the School Certificate, a nationally recognised qualification.

Matriculation Examinations

Though most pupils leave school by the end of the Fifth Form with their School Certificate, a small percentage stay on to take matriculation examinations for matriculation at a university. This takes an extra two years, known as the Lower and Upper Sixth Forms.

Schools

State schools

State schools are known as board schools, or as parish schools (junior) and high schools (senior). They are administered by the Board of Schooling which appoints and pays the schoolmasters, mistresses, staff and employees under the terms of the Schooling Acts of 1902 and 1945. They are free of charge to attend, being funded from the Treasury. Parish schools usually do not have uniforms per se, though all senior schools do. Parish schools are often located adjacent to the parish church, and there is usually one in every parish. High schools are more often provided to serve a particular hundred, and thus are situated in the market town.

Board schools are bound by the ordinances of the Board of Schooling. In the case of a parish school, ordinances give powers to the local authority (whether it be the parish vestry or borough council) which may control the appointment of the headmaster, admissions and finances inter alia. For high schools, a governing body is appointed by the Board, which includes members of the local authorities, local dignitaries, and other personages, as well as official visitors.

Otherwise, like most independent schools, they are operated on a day-to-day basis by the headmaster and usher, who generally have a high degree of freedom.

Independent schools

The independent schools are schools which not operated as part of the state system, and are not established under the Schooling Acts of the 20th century. Many are many centuries old. The term 'independent school' includes a wide range of schools such as cathedral, monastic, grammar, common and charity schools. Most independent schools are endowed under their original charters or endowments for the education of a specified number of pupils on foundation, often known as scholars. The rest of the pupils would be required to pay fees.

Tertiary education

Tertiary education in Great Nortend is offered at universities and (vocational or professional) colleges (not to be confused with university colleges), as well as through formal guild apprenticeships. Most workers, however, have no formal tertiary education but rather undertake informal on-the-job training.

Universities

There are only three universities in Great Nortend, each dating back to the mediæval period :— Aldesey, Limmes and Rhise. University education is focussed mainly on academic and scholastic teaching, rather than research, although there is some emphasis on the latter. University students must attain a generalist Bachelor of Arts degree and then read for a specialised Master of Arts first, before they can study in the higher faculties to obtain a specialised Bachelor of Letters, Philosophy, Medicine (Physic), Laws or Divinity.

For most of the upper class, a university degree is only a status symbol of learnedness. Whilst there are some occupations which one can proceed to directly upon graduating with a degree (such as a clergyman or scientist), most professional occupations require additional vocational training in a vocational college, or in clerkship or pupillage, in addition to any required or recommended university training, before one is qualified to practise (e.g. as a physician, surgeon, apothecary, engineer, architect, barrister).