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School Rules

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school rulesSchool Rules is a lesson that provides you with the opportunity to explore the different rules in other educational institutions across the world and how they affect students. This lesson is centred around the theme of Work and Education from the B2 First curriculum which explores how different societies create roles for people to develop their skills and knowledge.  In this lesson, we will learn how school rules are different in five countries and some reasons behind them.

Exercise 1Exercise 2Exercise 3ArticleWord ListExtension
The school is the place where you go to learn new things, but also to spend time with your friends. Watch the video and find out different school rules in other countries. Name the five countries mentioned.

Click here to view transcript and answers

1. Germany
2. USA
3. China
4. UK
5. Japan


Hi, fellas, the school is the place where you go to learn new things but also to spend time with your friends, of course, we are all different. Someone likes to study and some are lazy even to open a book in order to learn a simple theorem. Nevertheless, everyday students sit at their desks talk with classmates during breaks and do homework but have you ever thought about the fact that your school could have been completely different if you had lived in another country; the clothes, the schedule, the grading system some traditions and even your holidays would be radically different from what you are used to In Today’s video we’re gonna tell you about the school system in five different countries sit back because we’re about to start.

Germany most of us don’t like to wear the same clothes as others and merge with the crowd. German educational institutions understand that and give their students the opportunity to be unique regardless of the type of school. There are no special uniforms here the tradition of dressing formally to go to school doesn’t exist in Germany. It is believed that children at school should feel uninhibited and free as if they were at home. In this country students should like to attend class, therefore, freedom is very important for example in elementary school there is no strict subject division and many disciplines are taught in a complex way. There are also no unified textbooks and education standards the learning process and the programs here can differ not only for individual schools but also for different classes under different teachers. By the way, this becomes a problem when the child needs to change school

USA – the school uniform in our country has a classical cut and soft colours but this is not so important so we’d better tell you about one of the distinctive features of Education in the US. When a kid enters school the parents have to sign a document and agree to all kinds of rules of behaviour. This paper states what can and cannot be done and also what measures can be applied to the child. Generally, teachers are not engaged in discipline here for this each school has special administrators to which the teacher will send the raging child. PE classes are also quite interesting in our country each year each class chooses a particular sport to practice then train the whole year and finally choose another sport for next year.

China – as you know this country likes to create little geniuses children, start to learn from the age of 6 and their daily routine sounds kind of horrible. They get up at 5 in the morning, do their homework and lessons begin at 8 o’clock. You might think they should get a lot of resting time once the school year is done, but no vacations only last one month in August and weekends and holiday are used in China for additional classes and self-training. By the way, the school uniform here is not similar to the one in other countries usually it is a sports suit including wide trousers and a jacket the cut is almost the same everywhere only the colour and the school logo on the chest are different and there’s a good reason to have such an unusual uniform during the school day students exercise three times. Can you imagine that?

UK and the United Kingdom – In almost every educational institution it is customary to wear a special uniform usually, clothes are blue or blueish which according to psychologists gives a sense of calmness also the school can establish its own uniform rules. Therefore you might even see kids and skirts. Oh, brilliant ideas to make students feel comfortable. Although we are not sure that boys like the idea of putting on skirts and stuffing their shirts and unfortunately this is an element of a uniform they don’t wear often. And English schools take care of the health of their students very much which is why they provide them with balanced nutrition during the school day.

Japan – Girls all over the world try to dress up and embellish their image to stand out from the crowd, strangely enough, the uniforms of Japanese schoolgirls are really helpful because they resemble the outfit of the main character of the anime Sailor Moon; a white shirt with a wide blue-collar a checkered or monochrome skirt and pleat and knee socks. By the way, young boys in Japan have many clothing options to choose from so, for example, they wear shorts when they are in primary school. As you probably know in most countries children usually study with the same people throughout their school life but Japan has its own rules. Every year students are appointed to a certain class from scratch thus if a new kid arrives at the school the class will be practically new. We don’t know the exact reason but before starting a new year in a whole new class Japanese school children are allowed to write their preferences on special sheets their name and to people with whom they would like to be in the same class. That’s all for today folks see you soon.

Listen to a news report about a Japanese girl who broke the school rules. Answer the questions.

1. Who is an 18-year-old girl suing?

2. What colour is the girl's real hair?

3. What did the girl have to follow?

4. How often did the school tell the girl to dye her hair in the second grade?

5. What did the girl suffer from at school?

6. How much is the girl suing the school for?

7. What was the girl stopped from attending?

8. Where did teachers embarrass her?

9. What kind of damage did the girl say her treatment caused her?

10. How did the girl get to hospital?


Click here to view transcript

An 18-year-old girl in Japan is suing her local government after her school told her to dye her hair black. The third-year student attended a high school in the city of Habikino, just east of Osaka. Even though she had naturally brown hair, the school repeatedly told her to dye it black. She said she had to dye her hair black to follow the school’s rules. Japan’s ‘Mainichi’ newspaper reported that school staff started telling the girl to dye her hair every one to two weeks. In her second year, this changed to once every four days. The student’s mother said her daughter eventually developed a rash on her scalp and that her hair became badly damaged. The girl also suffered from stress throughout her three years at high school.

The student is suing the local government for $20,000 in damages. She told the court on October 27th that the school bullied her for three years to dye her hair. She said that the school would not accept her hair was naturally brown. She was banned from school trips and school festivals because of her brown hair. The girl told the court that teachers said things to her in front of the class that caused great embarrassment to her. This caused her psychological damage. She said that a teacher told her that she should not come to school if she didn’t dye her hair. The girl said that she was so stressed one day that she collapsed and had to be taken to hospital by ambulance.

Adapted from Japanese school ‘forces girl to dye hair black

Read a news report about how a school is using classical to stop bad behaviour.

Here are keywords and phrases covered in the talk about school rules:

  • additional classes
  • bad behaviour
  • detention sessions
  • educational institutions
  • elementary school
  • grading system
  • local government
  • misbehaving
  • psychological damage
  • schedule
  • special administrators
  • stress
  • truants
  • unacceptable
  • uniform
  • well-behaved
1. Write a magazine article about if students should be able to dye their hair at school. Include imaginary interviews with people for and against the school rule.
2. Write an email to a friend about a rule at school you disagree with. Ask him/her three questions about their school’s rules. Give him/her three of your opinions on the school rule.
3. Write a blog post about a day you got in trouble at school and what were the consequences.

Especially helpful are exercises that are focussed on a theme or topic as these provide word retention practice so you can be confident to read, write, speak and listen successfully.

Customs and Traditions explores how we celebrate our cultural identity across the globe.

Entertainment and Leisure explores how we spent our free time.

Environment and Nature explores the way humans and animals live, adapt and change on our planet.

Exploring how different societies create roles for people to develop their skills and knowledge.

Exploring how we learn and adjust to the world around us. .

Exploring how we experience the world through our life journeys

The more words you encounter and understand, the broader your day-to-day vocabulary will become. Our word games and puzzles are an excellent way to help to reinforce spellings in your mind.

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For this part, you practice how to understand the details of a text, including opinions and attitudes.

For this part, you practice how to understand the structure and follow the development of a text.

For this part, you practice how to find specific information in a text or texts.

In addition, we add listening and speaking exercises in order to practise for this part of the B2 First Exam.

In this part you talk to the examiner about yourself and your life, e.g. your name, school, interests and future plans.

In this part, you talk about two photos on your own which you have to compare for about 1 minute. After you have finished, your partner will be asked a short question about your photo. When your partner has spoken about their photos for about 1 minute, you will be asked a question about their photos.

In this part you express ideas with your partner by looking at a discussion point that the examiner gives you.

This will be available soon.

In this part, you focus on general aspects of a topic with the examiner or you may involve your partner.

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In this part, you will hear people talking in eight different situations.

In this part, you will hear someone being interviewed.

In this part, you will hear five people talking about different things.

In this part, you will hear an interview.

Cambridge English Examinations:

Cambridge English exams are designed for learners at all levels from the pre-intermediate level Cambridge English: Key (KET) to the very advanced level Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE). These exams give candidates proof of their ability to use English in a wide variety of contexts, relevant to work, study and leisure activities.

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