Proefwerkweek 2 / sew 2 Engels mondeling Kennis van land en volk The political system in Britain

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Proefwerkweek 2 / SEW 2 Engels mondeling

Engels Mondeling

Kennis van land en volk
The political system in Britain

  • No written constitution

  • The power lies with – parliament

        • House of commons

        • House of lords

        • Sovereign


Thee are people who each represent a constituency (= kiesdistrict)
House of commons

- 640 elected members

- the main law making body
House of lords

± 350 members are in the house of lords and there are also 2 Archbishops and 24 Bishops of the church of England as well as some 20 senior judges


Queen Elisabeth II is a constitutional monarch


The one who gets the most votes becomes an MP (= Member of Parliament) representing the constituency in the house of commons. The poltical party that has won will deliver the Prime minister (PM)

The leading members of each party (i.e. ministers) sit in front and therefore called ‘frontbenchers’; the other members who do not hold cabinet posts are the ‘backbenchers’. Parliament is often referred to as ‘westminster’, because it is housed in the alace of Westminster, or as ‘whitehall’ after the street where there are many government departments (in Nederland in Den Haag)
Het system is The winner takes all

  • The labour party

Are for ore government involvement in the economy

  • The conservative party (or ‘Tories’)

Are for mostly for business and property owners

  • Liberal democrats (or ‘lib dems’)

Reform of the electoral system, more power to local government, more emphasis on the environment
Scotland and Wales

In 1997 the people of Scotland and Wales – in referendums – voted for ‘devolution’: a federal form of government, in which Scotland and Wales have their own parlements

Scotland already had its own system of education and law as well as its own church
The Netherlands

Eerste kamer: Elected members

Proportional representation

A coalition government

Some political post and offices to remember

Prime minister: minister-president

First minister: minister-president van het Schotse parlement

Home office / ministry of home affairs: Ministerie van Binnenlandse Zaken

Home secretary Ministerie van Binnenlandse Zaken

Foreign office / ministry of foreign affairs: Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken

Foreign secretary Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken

Chancellor of the exchequer Minister van Financiën

Secretary minister

Secretary of state minister

Minister staatssecretaris

Minister of state staatssecretaris

Memorable events in the history of Britain


The ‘norman conquest’: wiolliam of Normandy beats King Harald of England in the battle of Hastings and conquers Englands up to the Scottish boarder; French influence on the English language

1509 – 1547

Henty VIII breaks with Rome and declares himself head of the Church of England (a position held by the monarch to this day)

1558 – 1602

Queen Elizabeth I

1642 – 1660

Civil war; Oliver Cromwell lord protector of the Enlish Republic (‘commonwealth’): the only period in history that Britain was a republic


The National Health Service (NHS) comes into operation offering free medical care to all citizens

1952 – now

Queen Elizabeth II


Britain enters the European community

1979 – 1991

Margaret Thatcher (Conservative) Britain’s first woman Prime Minister


Labour Party returns to government (‘New Labour’) in referendums Scotland and Wales vote Devolution


Scotland elects its own Parliament, Wales its own Assembly


Australia celebrates its 100th anniversary as an independent country in the Commonwealth


Queen Elizabeth celebrates her Golden jubilee


Britain joins the us in the war against Iraq


After then years Tony Blair gives up his position as Prime Minister of the Labour government to Gordon Brown.


A new Northern Ireland Assembly (with devolved powers like in Scotland and Wales), is formed with protestant Ian Paisley as First Minister and Martin McGuinness, the Roman Catholic leader of Sinn Fein, As Deputy First Minister

Britain: the country and its inhabitants

  • Great Britain includes England, Scotland and Wales

  • United Kingdom includes England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland (=Ulster)

  • British Isles includes Great Britain, Northern Ireland and the republic of Ireland (= Eire), The channel islands, The Orkneys and the Shetlands.

However, for informal use Britain is most common name
School system in Great Britain and the USA

Compulsory between the ages of 5 and 16 in England, Scotland and Wales(4 and 16 in Northern Ireland, as in the Netherlands)

England / Wales The Netherlands






Playschool/Kindergarten/nursery school



Basisschool groep 1


Infant school

Basisschool groep 2


Year 1

Basisschool groep 3

7 - 11

Primary school / junior school

Year 2 - 6

Basisschool groep 4 - 8

12 - 16

Secondary school

comprehensive school

Grammer school

Year 7 - 11

Voortgezet onderwijs


vbo/mavo/havo – niveau

gymnasium/vwo - niveau

16 - 18

Sixth-form college

Year 12

Klas 5-6 vwo


16 - 18

Vocational training

Middelbaar beroepsonderwijs



Further education college (work-related)

18 +



United States The Netherlands





2 - 3

Nursery school



Basisschool groep 1



Basisschool groep 2

6 - 11

Elementary school

1st – 6th grade

Basisschool groep 3

12 - 13

Junior high school

7ht – 8th grade

Basisschool groep 4 - 8

14 - 17

High school

9ht – 12th grade

Voortgezet onderwijs

(Brug)klas 1 – 2

17 - 21

College university

Klas 3 -6


Graduate school



In England and Wales people take exams at the ages of 7, 11 and 14 all puples have to take them there called the SATs = Standard Assessment tasks (core subjects are English, mathematics and science (and welsh in Wales))

At the age of 16 pupils take their GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education)

In Scotland they call this SCE (Scottish Certificate of Education)

And A-levels are call Highers

In the US high school students who want to attend college or university must take the SAT ( Scholastic Aptituede Test) in their last or next-to-last yearto high school or th ACT (American College Testing Program) both are NOT government-controlled but are national

Marks / Results / Grates

British = seven grades from A – G (A is top)

A-levels are classified by five grades from A down to E

And GCSE by 10 down to 4

American =for grades from A – D (A is top D is a 5 in Dutch)

And a F means fail so you have to redo your test

Higher education

Britain = Oxford and Cambridge

American = Harvard and Yael

Read pages 11 up to and including 20

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