Sunday, 10 May 2015

Pre-trip task about sacred hearts high school

Senior high school and the Basic Competency Test

Senior high school education prepares 15 to 18 year olds for the Joint University Entrance Exam (JUEE). Children are also encouraged to participate in a wide range of extra-curricular activities; doing so will help them with university admission. Students are also required to do a military education class where they learn about national defence, military drills, civil defence and basic firearms training. 

Entrance to senior high schools has traditionally been based on a child’s scores in the Basic Competency Test (BCT), which is taken at the end of junior high school. The score achieved determines which senior high school a child is eligible to attend. Separate exams are taken by children wishing to attend a vocational school. There is currently a move to change the entrance procedure to a more varied approach, including recommendations from teachers and a child’s performance throughout junior high school. At the moment the examination remains very important, with many children attending special cramming classes to improve their chances. Many schools offer extra, examination-oriented classes at times outside the standard school day and in the school holidays.

The BCT covers five subjects: Chinese, English, social science, mathematics and natural science. The examination includes a series of multiple-choice questions and each student is awarded an overall mark out of 300.

Elementary School

Elementary schools span grades 1 through 6, classes are held from Monday through Friday, typically from 7:30 AM through 4PM (or noon on Wednesdays). Subjects include:

  • Mandarin: The official language of instruction.
  • Mathematics: Mathematics education begins with the basics and reaches introductory algebra and geometry by the 6th grade.
  • Science: Comprehensive science classes covering basic biology, physics, and chemistry.
  • English: English is a compulsory subject within the mainstream school system from Grade 3 Elementary School and up.
  • Native languages: Additional language classes in Taiwanese and Hakka are offered.
  • Social studies
  • Music
  • Art

Like middle schools, students are typically assigned to the elementary school closest to their registered place of residence. This leads some parents to file their children's household registration with other relatives or friends for the purpose of sending their children to what are perceived as better schools.

Junior high school

Junior high school spans grades 7 through 9 and is the last half of compulsory education. Unlike the slower pace of elementary school, junior high students typically have a single goal in life: to score high on the national senior high school entrance exams at the end of 9th grade. Consequently, the pressure on students from teachers and parents is intense, because there will be only one test per year. Though instruction officially ends around 5PM, students often stay in school till as late as 8 or 9PM for "extra classes" (which typically consist of extra quizzes and review).

Subject matter covered includes:

  • Literature: Classical and modern Chinese literature and poetry, composition and public speaking.
  • Mathematics: Covers single and two variable algebra, geometry, proofs, trigonometry, and pre-calculus.
  • English: Contains essential English grammar
  • Science & Technology
    • Biology: Taken during first year, includes more in depth studies and lab work.
    • Chemistry: Taken during second year. More rigorous introduction to atoms, molecule, and chemical reactions, including lab work.
    • Physics: Taken during third year. More rigorous introduction to physical laws and equations, including lab work.
    • Earth Science: Taken during third year.
    • Technology: Taken during the whole three years. Introduce some basic technology in daily life.
  • Social Studies
    • Civics: Basic demotics, politics, and economics.
    • History: Focus on the history of Taiwan and China during the first two years, and world history during third year.
    • Geography: Contain introductive geography accompanied with geography of Taiwan during first year, geography of China and East Asia during second year, and the world geography during third year.
  • Home economics & crafts
  • Art: Inclusive of three independent parts: Fine Art, Music, and Drama.
  • PE
  • Scout education: Outdoor survival skills.

At the end of their third year, students participate in the national senior high school entrance exams and are assigned to senior high schools based upon their scores. Students may also participate in a separate national vocational school entrance exam if they wish to attend vocational school. In both cases, public schools are usually the most popular while private schools have traditionally been viewed as a backup for those unable to score high enough for public schools.

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