The Australian and British Education Systems

Three or four years ago, I had a teenage rant in response to something on some expat forums, and it became my most successful post. I’m constantly getting comments and questions from people who, for some reason, think I’m an expert on education system comparison and want advice.

Some of the information on that post is now outdated, and most of it was unclear to begin with. It wasn’t meant to be an informative post, just a rant! The main point of the post was that the Australian and English systems are really very similar. One is not really better than the other (although a couple of rankings would say that the Australian system is actually better.

If you want to find out about the education systems or how the curriculum compares, the best thing to do would be to look at the curriculums for yourself.

If you want to compare a couple of schools, contact those schools directly.

Here is a table comparing the three systems (Australia, England/Wales/NI, and Scotland) in terms of school years, curriculum phases, certificates, and so on:


Click to enlarge, of course. And here are links for the curriculums themselves:

Australian National Curriculum

British National Curriculum

Scottish Curriculum for Excellence

Here are the links for the overseeing institutions:

Education Scotland / Foghlam Alba

The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA)

Here are some school comparison and finder sites:

The Good Schools Guide (UK)

The Good Schools Guide (Australia)

The Australian Schools Directory

My School (Australia)

And finally, here are the online educational games, support materials, and websites:

BBC Bitesize

Learning Scotland

ABC Splash

So, if you have a problem or a question:

Compare the curriculums, visit the school comparison sites, ask the schools.

If you really, for whatever strange reason, decide you want to ask my opinion on something I really have no right to have an opinion on, here’s what I’m going to say:

Australia, New Zealand, and all the UK are all well within the top 20 education systems in the world, and more than that, all the systems are fairly closely aligned from either years of contact or a similar origin.

In primary school, there’s really not going to be much difference between the countries – in fact, you’ll probably find more difference between two schools in the same country than between two schools in different countries. Your main problem’s probably going to be dealing with the different school years between the northern and southern hemispheres.

In high school or secondary school, it’s better to change sooner rather than later, so that you or your child can be settled into a school before beginning the leaving certificates, which do actually vary quite a bit in terms of composition and requirements between the three countries, and even within Australia.

In university, there’s more difference between Scotland and England than between either with Australia, but all three countries recognise high school qualifications from each of the others, and it really doesn’t matter if you’re a year or two older when you start.

And again, do your own research. Don’t rely on the opinion of a random not-still-a-teenager expat kid. Check with the curriculum authorities. Take a look at the curriculums yourself. Visit or phone the schools in question to get accurate information about that school. And use your own common sense.

Also, if you want to read about the problems of a bunch of other people who have considered moving from one system to another, as well as my replies to them, check out the original post.




Thought of the Day #11

So… Am I to understand that, at the moment, both of my countries have no prime minister?

And that one of them is once again considering breaking up with the rest of itself?



It’s all giving me a headache. Hmm… an absolute monarchy is looking pretty good right now.


(Looking Back At) Eurovision

This weekend is a big weekend.

Okay, yes, it’s Pentecost, so it was a big weekend at church, as well. We had a combined service with the neighbouring parish, which resulted in a packed-out church and a shared lunch made entirely of red food.


Also, the neighbouring parish doesn’t have a church building big enough to host us all, but it was their year to host, so they hosted at our place. It was confusing. And then our priest got out his firebreathing equipment.

So what else am I talking about? Have I spoilt it by putting it in the post title?

Eurovision is basically my version of sport. I’m not a hardcore fan. I’m not going to start getting up at 3am to watch it live. I pay attention to the extent that I’m typing this while watching the finals repeat. But Eurovision has just sort of always been part of my life.

Yes, since before it was the “cool” thing. I was talking about Eurovision at primary school when I was one of just two pupils who knew what it was.

So, here are some of my favourites (and not-so-favourites) from this year and previous years, in no particular order.

As I look back over what I’ve already typed, and glance up at the screen, I realise that a packed-out church with red and sparkly robes and a priest breathing fire is basically Eurovision, isn’t it? Anglicovision.

Germany, 2010 – Satellite, Lena

This was Year 9. I started going to the German school a year later, and this was the dance party song. It was right up there with Schnappi, and Lena was talked about almost as much as Justin Beber (as we insisted on spelling it).

France, 2015 – N’oubliez pas, Liza Angell

I shared this one last year. It’s still my favourite from last year’s Eurovision.

Sweden, 2016 – If I Were Sorry, Frans

Moderately good, but not a favourite, mostly because it’s a bit repetitive. I’ve mostly included it because he sounds almost exactly like a male Lena. (Julia Zemiro thought of that one, not me, but it’s true).

Russia, 2012 – Party for Everybody, Buranovskiye Babushki

Okay, I’ll admit it, I can’t actually really remember the song. I just remember these dear old ladies. They came second.

Italy, 2016 – No Degree of Separation, Francesca Michielin

Not an absolutely brilliant song, but amazing background graphics.

Italy, 1958 – Volare, Domenico Modugno

Speaking of Italy, my primary school choir learnt this for open day when I was in Year 6. (I grew up in a very Italian area. Almost all of the grandparents could probably speak Italian. And not English.) I didn’t realise until last year just how old this song was. I assumed, because we were learning it, that it was a recent Eurovision entry.

Lithuania, 2006 – We Are The Winners, LT United

My sister and I were singing it for months. Still are, occasionally. Well, I am, anyway.

Finland, 2006 – Hard Rock Hallelujah, Lordi

I ran out on this one, back in the day. I still don’t think much of death metal – although I am a fan of Klingons. But it’s not a song you forget easily.

England, 2003 – Crybaby, Jemini

Speaking of songs you don’t forget easily, have you ever heard anything so off-key? It’s so awful, the official Eurovision channel doesn’t even have it.

Ireland, 2008 – Irelande Douze Pointes, Dustin the Turkey

And speaking of complete flops… I’ve been assured that the turkey was very popular in Ireland, but… I’m convinced they should have been disqualified for exceeding the 6-person limit.

Germany, 1982 – Ein bisschen Frieden, Nicole

This is easily, absolutely, completely my all-time favourite Eurovision song ever.

Israel, 1979 – Hallelujah, Gali Atari

See, how can you say Australia isn’t European enough? Israel’s been in Eurovision since the 70s.

On another note, a great song for cheating on Hebrew homework with. “But I have been practicing Hebrew!”

Austria, 2016 – Loin D’ici, Zoe

Speaking of unusual languages… It’s not a bad song, but my head hurts just thinking about it. Merci, Autriche.

Russia, 2016 – You Are The Only One, Sergey Lazarev

You don’t have even to listen to it, just watch the amazing visuals. The song isn’t bad, though. I just can’t really remember it because I was distracted by the visuals.

Australia, 2016 – Sound of Silence, Dami Im

It’s not just patriotic. I definitely think it’s one of the best this year, even if I’m completely sick of it. Not worse than Ukraine, though. I don’t mind not winning – two years isn’t enough for Europe to be okay with it, and Eurovision is ultimately political – but I’d have rather lost to Russia or Italy or Austria… or Sweden again.





Mo Theaghlach

Seo an topaic a bh’ ann an t-seachdain seo:

Faodaidh tu a-nis innse dhuinn mun teaghlach agad-fhèin. A bheil iad seo agadsa?: bràithrean, peathraichean, nigheanan, mic, balaich.

Agus dè mu dheidhinn nan daoine seo?: nàbaidhean, caraidean… (searbhantan!)

Ma tha bràithrean no peathraichean agad, a bheil mic no nigheanan acasan?

Tha mi a’ smaoineachadh nach eil teaghlach mòr agam-fhìn. Tha mi a’ fuireach comhla ri mo phàrantan, mo phuithir, agus mo sheanair. Chan eil ach aon phuithir agam – tha dithis nighean aig mo phàrantan.

A-nis, ‘n uair a tha mi a’ sgrìobhadh an t-òraid seo, tha mo phuithir an-seo anns mo sheomar. Tha i a’ laigheadh air an làr agus tha i ag ràdh gun robh i bored (ciamar a chanas mi bored anns a’ Ghàidhlig?). Agus bhris i am fionnaraich. Fuirichibh mionaid.

Tha mi air ais a-rithist! Tha seachd bliadhna agus deug aig mo phuithir agus dh’fhalbh i às àrd-sgoil ann an t-Samhain. Thèid i a Chreagan (Geelong) am bliadhn’ airson oilthigh.

Tha mo sheanair a’ fuireach còmhla rinn cuideachd. ‘S e athair mo mhathair a th’ ann agus tha ochd bliadhna agus ceithir-fichead aig. ‘S e Astràilianach a th’ air, agus thàinig a shinnsir às a’ Chòrn. Tha e às an dùthaich an tuath air Adelaide – ‘s e “Kernow Bichan” a th’ air an dùthaich seo (Còrn Beag).

Tha mo sheanmhair (am bean athair mo mhathair) marbh a-nis, ach bha ceathrar chloinne aca – triùir nìghean agus aon mhac. Tha a’ phiuthar-màthar nas sheaine na mo mhàthair a’ fuirich ann am Baile Mhòr Shidni. Tha triùir chloinne aice. Tha aon mhac agus dithis nighean aice – mo cho-òghanan. Tha aon mhac, Seumas, agus aon nighean, Caitrìona, pòsta agus tha mac beag air Caitrìona. Tha a’ phiuthar-màthar nas òige na mo mhàthair a’ fuirich an tuath orm ann an Creag Mhòr agus tha dithis chloinne aice. Tha mo bhràthar-màthar a’ fuireach ann an Coirea a-nis.

Tha mo sheanpàrantan eile (na phàrantan aig m’ athair) marbh cuideachd, agus bha iad a’ fuireach anns an Alba. Bha mo sheanair às Alba fhèin, ach thògadh mo sheanmhair ann an Dùn Èideann anns a’ Shealainn Nuadh (bha Gàidhlig aice). Tha na co-ògha m’ athair a’ fuireach anns a’ Shealainn Nuadh cuideachd. Chan eil ach aon phuithir aig m’ athair agus tha i a’ fuireach ann an Sasainn. Tha dithis mhac aice.

Chan eil mòran nàbaidhean ann far a bheil mi a’ fuireach a chionn ‘s nach eil mi a’ fuireach ann am baile. Tha leth-cilemeatair eadar an taigh agam agus taigh mo nàbaidhean. Ach tha mo nàbaidhean snog co-dhiugh. Tha dithis “chaorach nan rathaid” againn – aig mo teaghlach, aig na nàbaidhean air suas an rathad agus aig na nàbaidhean air thairis an rathad.

Chan eil searbhantan againn idir-idir! Ach tha mo mhàthair ag radh a-nis ‘is a-rithist gu bheil searbhant aice!

Tha mo phuithir an-seo a-rithist agus seo an t-òraid Gàidhlig aice-fhèin (thuirt i e agus sgrìobh i e):

Pheska ma. Hun yell un galig ackum. Tscheerie.

Agus sin e!

Group Photo

Teaghlach no caraidean? Chan eil fios agamsa!


Anns a’ chlàs a-raoir, dh’innis mo thìdsear dhuinn,

“‘N uair a chì sibh air accent, feum sibh quadruple the length. Èistibh: Nà-à-àbaidh, everybody needs good nà-à-à-à-àbaidh…”

Uill, seo dhà rudan a smaoineach mise:

A h-Aon: tha fuaim “nàbaidh” coltach ri “nappy”, agus ‘s e drathais leanaibh a th’ ann “nappy” anns a’ Bheurla Astràilianach.

A Dhà: Cha do sheall mi air caibideal “Nàbaidh” idir. Chan eil eòlach agam ri duine sam bith a’ sealltainn air “Nàbaidh”. Tha mi a’ smaoineachadh gum bheil nas motha daoine anns a’ RA a’ sealltainn air “Nàbaidh” na daoine anns Astràilia.

Air an adhbhar sin, seo sgrùdadh beag mu dheidhinn “Nàbaidh”.

In class last night, my teacher told us,

“When you see an accent, you need to quadruple the length. Listen: Nà-à-àbaidh, everybody needs good nà-à-à-à-àbaidh…”

Well, here are two things I thought when that happened:

Thing One: “nàbaidh” (Gaelic for “neighbours”) sounds like “nappy”, which is (Australian) English for a baby’s underwear.

Thing Two: I’ve never seen an episode of “Neighbours”. I don’t know anyone who watches “Neighbours”. I think more people in the UK watch “Neighbours” than people in Australia.

Therefore, here’s a short survey about “Neighbours”.

Cuando era niña

Aquí hay una pequeña tarea escrita de febrero 2013.

Cuando era niña, era hija única. Vivía en parte en Inglaterra con mis abuelos (porque cuando era niña, tenía abuelos). Mi abuela y yo íbamos a pasear. Había muchos los poneys ahí (porque vivía en El Bosque Nuevo), y veíamos muchos los poneys, los conejos, y los ciervos. Un vez vimos un caballo con un carro! Otoños recogíamos las moras, y cocinábamos las tartas.

Cuando era niña, mi familia y yo nos mudábamos a Australia. Yo iba a la escuela y nadaba muchos. Nadaba en los concursos y cuando tenía doce años gané tres medallas en un concurso nacional. Inviernos mi familia y yo esquiábamos, y yo esperaba ser una profesora de esquí.

Cuando tenía ocho años, nosotros visitamos Alemania y Austria. Pero yo hablaba sólo una lengua (inglés) y no comprendía alemán. Mi hermana y yo veíamos muchos los “Bob der Baumeister” porque habíamos visto el programa de televisión en inglés.

Después visitamos Alemania, mi madre era muy enferma. Era en el hospital por tres o cuatro meses! A el mismo tiempo, mi padre era en Inglaterra porque mi abuela murió, y mi abuelo (mi madres padre) era también en el hospital. Mi hermana y yo comíamos muchos los guisos de los otros gente de nuestro iglesia!

Le Tunnel sous la Manche

Voici une des mes recherches approfondie du mai 2012.

Bonjour tout le monde ! Aujourd’hui je vais vous parler du tunnel sous la Manche. Il y a en fait trois tunnels de cinquante et demie kilomètres et c’est le tunnel avec la plus grande section sous-marine dans le monde.

J’ai choisi ce sujet parce que j’ai voyagé à travers le tunnel sous la Manche avec ma famille quand j’avait huit ans. Ma famille est anglaise et mon père est née en Folkestone, Kent, où le tunnel est en Angleterre. Le tunnel sous la Manche est dans le détroit de Douvres, entre Folkestone dans le Royaume-Uni et Coquelles dans Pas-de-Calais, près de Calais dans le nord de France.

En l’année dix-huit cent et deux, un ingénieur des mines que s’appelle Albert Mathieu-Favier a l’idée d’un tunnel sous la Manche, avec la lumière de lampes à huile, calèches, et une île faux dans le centre de la Manche ! Dans les années trente, un ingénieur français que s’appelle Aimé Thomé de Gamond fait un étude géologique et hydrographique entre Calais et Douvres et a proposé de Napoléon le Troisième et la reine Victoria un tunnel ferroviaire exploité de Cap Gris-Nez de Eastwater Point. Mais n’est rien fait.

Il y avait beaucoup des idées pendent le prochaine siècle. Dans dix-neuf cent dix-neuf, le premier ministre de Grande-Bretagne a proposé souvent un tunnel entre France et Angleterre, à aider à combattre les assauts allemands. Mais les français n’a donné aucune attention à l’idée. Dans dix-neuf cent vingt-neuf, il y avait un autre idée pour un tunnel sous la Manche, mais ce fois, il était les anglais que pensait, c’est dangereux être si simple d’aller dans Angleterre. Dans l’année dix-neuf cent cinquante-cinq, les arguments sur la défense sont décidées être sans pertinence, à cause de les avions.

Dans dix-neuf cent soixante-dix-sept, les anglais a proposé ‘le projet trou de souris’. Le gouvernement britannique n’avait pas d’intérêt, mais Margaret Thatcher, le premier ministre de Grande-Bretagne, n’avait pas d’objection à un projet financé privé. Les anglais avait le « Channel Tunnel Group » avec deux banques et cinq compagnies de construction. Les français avait le « France-Manche » avec trois banques et cinq compagnies de construction. Le deuxième juillet dix-neuf cent quatre-vingt-cinq, les groups a formé le « Channel Tunnel Group/France-Manche » (ou « CTG/F-M »), que ont construit le tunnel. Plus tard, CTG/F-M est une partie de « Eurotunnel », un compagnie du train.

De l’année dix-neuf cent quatre-vingt-sept à dix-neuf cent quatre-vingt-quarante, le tunnel était construit à partit de ses deux extrémités par onze aléseuses. Deux tunnels ferroviaires et un tunnel de service ont été creusés. Les terminaux de navettes conduisent directement à une grande autoroute à chaque extrémité. Huit travailleurs britanniques et deux travailleurs français sont mort pendant la construction. Les deux extrémités du tunnel a joint dans le trente octobre dix-neuf quatre-vingt-dix, mais ils sont officiellement joint le premier décembre dans le même année. Le tunnel était ouvert officiellement le sixième mai dix-neuf quatre-vingt-quarante dans Calais par la reine britannique Elizabeth et le premier ministre français François Mitterrand.

En décembre dix-neuf cent quatre-vingt-quarante, mes parents sont rendues visiter l’Angleterre et après là, ils sont voyagé à travers le tunnel pour visiter Europe. Quand ils sont arrivés dans Londres la semaine dernière, les tunnels ne sont pas encore exécutant !

Beaucoup des personnes utilisent le tunnel sous le Manche ; touristes, hommes d’affaires, et bien sûr beaucoup des trains de fret aussi. En l’année deux mille huit, huit et demie million touristes a voyagé à travers le tunnel. Il y a vingt-trois mille gens par jour ! Aussi, trente-neuf mille tonnes de marchandise sont transporté à travers le tunnel par jour. Cette année, il en coûte trente euros pour voyager une façon pour une voiture et jusqu’á neuf passagers. C’est jusqu’á quatre départs par heure et le voyage est trente-cinq minutes.

Quand j’avait huit ans, ma famille (parents, sœur, et moi), avons voyagé à travers le tunnel aussi. Voilà le billet et le cintre nous avons reçu là. J’ai trouvé le voyage sous le tunnel très intéressante, et je recommande que vous utilisez le tunnel sous la Manche quand en Angleterre ou en France.

Merci pour écoutez. Avez-vous des questions ?

Voici quelques images.