For the 4-th Form

    Topic№1

                                             PRIMARY SCHOOLS IN ENGLAND
         In Great Britain school begins at the age of four or five. Many boys and girls usually leave school at the age of sixteen.
         In England the school year begins in September, but not always on the first day of the month, as school rarely begins on Monday. The English think that Monday is not a good day to start school. So pupils usually begin their school year on the first Tuesday of September (not always on the 1st of September as we do).
          The weather is usually fine. It is warm. The sky is often blue and the sun is bright.
         Little children going to school with their parents on their school day look so clean and nice. They don't have any bags or books with them, as there is no need for these things on their first day at school. Pupils will get them later. They will get pencils, exercise books, pens, rulers and rubber too.
        Classes usually begin at nine. Pupils have a break at 10.30 and may have a drink of milk or orange juice. At half past twelve or at one o'clock they usually have lunch - meat, pudding, juice, an apple or a cake.
        English children have classes five days a week. They have classes on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Classes are usually over at about four o'clock and then the pupils go home. They rarely have classes on Saturday and never on Sunday. Saturday and Sunday are their days off.
        At the age of four or five, primary school children go to infant schools or infant classes where they spend three years till they are seven. In infant schools they spend much time outdoors.
        They play different games, run and jump. They sing songs, act and play a lot. Infant pupils learn how to use money in their classroom shop. They look at the pictures in interesting books, draw pictures in pencil and colour them. They learn how to get on with other children. Their classes are quite informal, but they begin to learn how to read, count and write a little too.
        Junior schools are real schools. The atmosphere is more formal in junior classes than in infant classes. Pupils sit in rows and follow a regular timetable. Their subjects are: English, Maths, History, Nature Study, Geography, Art, Music. In junior schools Swimming, P.E. and Religion are on the timetable too.
    But children spend a lot of time outdoors. They visit different museums and other famous and interesting places. Sometimes their teachers take them to London and other big cities. They walk and play a lot. In many primary schools children wear uniforms but in some primary schools they don't.
       Schools in England have names, not numbers. They often get named after place where they are (Green Hill School, Cedar Grove School) or after some famous or important people (St. Mary's School)


                                  Topic№2

                                                             School Life
         Schooling is the most interesting time in our life. We study and learn a lot at school. We meet many people and make a lot of friends. School becomes our second home. And it is one of the places you always want to come back to.
        My school is a five- storied building situated not far from the metro station Molodezhnaya. I study at a specialized English school number 1293.I would like to tell you about our school life. I go to school 5 days a week. Our classes start at half past eight and last till 1 o'clock (p.m.). So we have 5 lessons a day. We study many different subjects: Russian, English, Literature, Mathematics, Music,         Drawing, Handicrafts, Nature Study, P.E. The school year is divided into 3 terms.     It begins on the 1-st of September known as a day of Knowledge and finishes in May. Every pupil has a day- book where teachers put down marks that a pupil has got in classes. During classes pupils answer the teachers questions, do some exercises, write, count, read. After every lesson teachers give us home assignment. At the next lesson the teachers check them up.
        Our school has many classrooms. They are very much alike. The classrooms are light but not large. There are two windows in each classroom with flower pots on the window sills. Each room has a teacher's table, pupils' desks, a blackboard, bookcases, maps and portraits on the wall. But there are specialized rooms for studying English, Chemistry and Physics.
        There is an Assembly Hall on the 4-th floor. It is rather large and light. We usually gather there to celebrate holidays. Before holidays we decorate the Assembly Hall with colourful newspapers, pictures, slogans, balloons and flowers. Our gym and canteen are on the ground floor.
        To be good at school one should do home assignments regularly, be active at the lessons and spend at least two- three hours every day for studying.
        I like studying. My favorite proverb is "Live and learn".


                                     Topic№3

                                                                   MY FLAT
           I live in a new seventeen-storeyed building in Rooblevskaya Avenue (street).
        In front of the house there is a children's playground and a small garden. My little brother likes to walk there.
           Our flat is on the thirteenth floor. It is very comfortable. We have all modern conveniences, such as central heating, electricity, gas, cold and hot running water and a telephone. There are 3 rooms in our flat: a living-room, a bedroom and a study. Our sitting room with a wall-size window facing the park is quite large. It is nicely furnished. In this room there is a furniture unit. There is a colour TV-set, a video-recorder and a tape-recorder here. A sofa and two armchairs are cosy. A nice thick carpet covers the floor. The curtains on the window match the wallpaper. We spend evenings in this room. We watch TV, listen to the music or discuss the problems of the day.
           My parents' bedroom is also nice and cosy but it is not large. There are two beds, a dressing table with a mirror and a wardrobe there. On the bedside table there is an alarm-clock, an electric lamp and some books. A lovely carpet is on the floor between the beds. My room is my study. There you can see a sofa where I sleep at night and have a rest in the day time. There is also a writing table, two chairs and some bookshelves. I have a lot of books. They are on the shelves (all) around the walls.
    Besides we have a kitchen and a bathroom in our flat.
           Our kitchen is rather large. We have an electric-stove, a dining table,
    four stools, a refrigerator and a cupboard in which we keep cups, plates
    and all our dishes (все наши столовые предметы) The kitchen serves us as a
    dining-room.
            But when we receive guests or have our family celebrations we have the meals in the living-room.
           The bathroom is very cosy, too. There is a bath and a washbasin with hot and cold water there.
           We are happy to have such a nice flat and try to keep it clean.


                                 Topic№4

                                                The History of London
        The Romans went to England many, many years ago. They built a town on the River Thames. The name of the town was Londinium. The Romans built Londinium near the river. The place for the town was very good. Soon the Romans built a bridge over the River Thames.
        Londinium got bigger and bigger. The Romans built a lot of roads from Londinium to other parts of Britain.
        By the year 400  there were fifty thousand people in Londinium. Soon after 400, the Romans left Britain. We do not know very much about Londinium between the years 400 and 1000.
    The River Thames has always been a part of London's history. In Roman times Londinium was a small town with the Thames in its centre. Now London is a very large city but the River Thames is still in the centre of London. Until 1749, there was only one bridge over the river: London Bridge.      The old London Bridge looked very strange. There were houses and shops on the bridge. In the nineteenth century there were already a lot of new bridges  in London. Now there are more than twenty bridges over the Thames.
        At the beginning of the 11th century England was already a great country and London was a very important city. In 1066 William the Conqueror and his people went to England from Normandy in France.
        William the Conqueror became King of England. The King lived in London. Many of his people lived in London too. But William was afraid of the English, of the people of London and he built the White Tower to live in it. Now it is one of the most important and beautiful buildings of the Tower of London. As it is very famous, a lot of people visit it every year.
        All Kings and Queens of England have lived in London. It became the biggest city in England. By 1600 there were more than two hundred thousand (200 000) people in London.


                               Topic№5

             The History of London (William the Conqueror, the Great Fire)   

        At the beginning of the 11th century England was already a great country and London was a very important city. In 1066 William the Conqueror and his people went to England from Normandy in France.
        William the Conqueror became King of England. The King lived in London. Many of his people lived in London too. But William was afraid of the English, of the people of London and he built the White Tower to live in it. Now it is one of the most important and beautiful buildings of the Tower of London. As it is very famous, a lot of people visit it every year.
        All Kings and Queens of England have lived in London. It became the biggest city in England. By 1600 there were more than two hundred thousand (200 000) people in London.                                                 

      In those days people usually built houses of wood, and they often were near one another. Sometimes there were fires in the city, but they were usually very small. Then came 1666, the year of the Great Fire of London.
        On Saturday, 2nd September 1666 there was a strong wind from the river and a big fire began. It started in the house of the king's baker, near London Bridge.
        The baker's wife woke up in the middle of the night because the house was on fire. Soon the next house started burning and then the next and the next... The fire burnt until Thursday. Many houses in London were burnt. The fire burnt for four days and destroyed 80% of the city. More than 250 thousand people didn't have home any more.
        After the Great Fire people built a new city. The city became larger and larger. By 1830 there were more than one and a half million people in London. The railways came and London became richer and richer, but it didn't become nicer. The city became dark and dirty and people lived in bad houses. There are still some poor people in London today, but life is better now as there are many new houses and flats. The city is also much cleaner.


                                   Topic№6
                                                  The Places to visit in London
            London is the capital of England. It is its political and business centre. The heart of London is the City. It is the oldest part of London. Many people work in the City but very few live there. There are a lot of banks and other offices there too. You can visit some interesting places in the City or near it. One of them is the Tower of London. The Tower of London was a fortress, a palace, a prison and the King's Zoo.
           Now it is a museum. You can see a lot of interesting things in the rooms of the White Tower. Its square walls are white and very tall.
           William the Conqueror built it in the eleventh century. There are always black ravens in the Tower of London. People keep them in the Tower of London and look after them very well as they believe that London will be rich while ravens live there.
    One of the greatest English churches, St Paul's Cathedral, is not far from the Tower of London. The famous English architect Sir Christopher Wren built it in the 17th century after the Great Fire. It took Sir Christopher Wren 35 years, it is a beautiful building with many columns and towers. In one of its towers there is one of the largest bells in the world.
           Trafalgar Square is in the centre of London. Some people say it is the most beautiful place in London. In the middle of the square stands a tall column. It is a monument to Admiral Nelson. Four bronze lions look at the square from the monument. There are two beautiful, fountains in the square. They are in front of the National Gallery which is one of the best picture galleries in the world. Every day a lot of tourists visit this fine building with its tall columns.




                                     Topic№7
                                                                 Westminster
           The political centre of London is Westminster. It is that part of London where there are a lot of offices. If you go down Whitehall from Trafalgar Square on the right you will see a small street where the British Prime Minister lives. He lives at number 10 Downing Street. Whitehall is a wide street leading to Parliament Square. This square is very large. On the left you can see a long grey building with towers which is the Houses of Parliament.
            The large clock in one of the towers is Big Ben. Big Ben is the name of the clock and the bell in the clock tower of the Houses of Parliament. You can  hear the sound of Big Ben every hour in London. The clock and the bell got their names after Sir Benjamin Hall. He was a tall man, whose nickname was Big Ben. So people know the clock as Big Ben.
           The Thames is behind the Houses of Parliament and the bridge across it is Westminster Bridge.
          On the other side of Parliament Square is Westminster Abbey. It is one of the most famous and beautiful churches in London. It is very old too. It is more than nine hundred years old. There are so many monuments and statues there. Many English kings and queens are buried there. Westminster Abbey is famous for its Poets' Corner too. Many great writers are buried there: for example Charles Dickens and Rudyard Kipling. The Abbey with its two tall towers is really wonderful.
           The Queen of England lives in Buckingham Palace. It is a wonderful building with a monument in front of it which is the Queen Victoria Memorial. It takes people ten to twenty minutes to get from Buckingham Palace to Trafalgar Square, in the centre of London.
           There are so many other places to see and visit in London, but you can't do all during one short trip.



                                                                            Topic№8                                                 

                                                                 Travelling
           Travelling is fun. There is nothing like travelling. A lot of people all over the world like to travel very much. They travel on holidays, on business, for pleasure, to see different countries, meet different people and to learn more about their traditions.
           First, they plan their travelling, what place to choose, transport, how much luggage to take, a season and which places of interest to visit.
           People usually travel by coach, car, train, or on foot. Certainly, means of transport should be fast, comfortable and pleasant.
          I think that the best season for travelling is summer when I am on holidays.    We don't have to take a lot of luggage with us. We usually take some clothes, shoes or sandals, caps, a book and, of course, a camera, because we like to take pictures of different places — old churches, monuments and nature. It's a great pleasure to look through them after your travelling.
           A lot of people like to travel by train because they can look at passing snow-covered mountains, sunny valleys, vast forests. They admire this beauty.
    Some people like to travel by sea and especially on the river. They travel by ships up and down the Volga, the Dnieper, the Yenisei and other rivers.
           Usually there are many passengers on board the ship. They like the sea and the wind. By the way there is a swimming pool on board the ship, so people can swim a lot.
           If you want to get somewhere as quickly as possible the best way is to travel by plane. More than one hundred people can board a modern airliner and it carries them to a place of destination. They take off in one place and land in another in some hours. It's very quickly and comfortable. Those who travel by air say: "There's nothing like flying".
           All means of travel have their advantages and disadvantages. And people choose one according to their plans and opportunities.
           My parents usually book tickets in advance or buy them at a booking office.   Then we get everything ready for a journey or a voyage if we go by sea.
           While travelling you can meet interesting people, talk a lot, see different places. If you are tired you can sleep or read a book.
          Travelling is the best way to spend holidays. I like to travel very much.


                                                                   Topic№9
                                                           HOBBIES
           A hobby is a favourite pastime of a person. Many people are interested in different things. So hobbies differ like tastes.
           Numerous hobbies can be divided into 4 classes: doing things (делать что-то), making things (создавать что-то), collecting things (собирать что-то), learning things (узнавать что-то новое).
           The most popular of all hobby groups is collecting things. Many people collect something at some period in their life: stamps, coins, boxes, postcards, toys and so on. Those who are fond of music and books collect records and books. At first people collect every kind of things. But soon they begin to make thematic collections. Some collections have no real value but others become so large and valuable that people house them in museums.
           The popular hobby group is doing things. It includes everything from gardening to travelling. Gardening is one of the oldest man's hobbies especially in Britain. There are many new hobbies now. Many people enjoy "hunting" sea animals and fish with a camera. Both grown-ups and children are fond of playing computer games. These new hobbies are becoming very popular.
           Making things includes drawing, painting, making sculpture, designing costumes and so on. Some hobbyists write music others are hobby painters.
           No matter what kind of hobby a person has, he always has the opportunity of learning something new. Learning things are the most exciting aspect of a hobby.