Factfile Official name of the country: The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Type of the state: a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary democracy Area: 244,100 square kilometers, an island state. It is composed of some 5,500 islands, large and small. The two main islands are Great Britain (in which are England, Wales and Scotland) to the east and Ireland (In which are Northern Ireland and the independent Irish Republic) to the west. Administrative divisions: England – 39 non-metropolitan and 7 metropolitan (that is including a big city) counties. Scotland – 12 regions; Wales – 8 counties; Northern Ireland – 6 counties. National holidays:British «bank holidays» are New Year`s Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, May Day, Spring Bank Holiday, Summer Bank Holiday, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.The Patrons Saints Days:St. David`s Day, St. George`s Day, St. Andrew`s Day, St. Patrick`s Day.
Executive branch: the Queen (the head of the executive branch in law), the Prime Minister, the Cabinet Legislative branch: the Queen (a part of the legislative branch in law), bicameral Parliament which consists of the House of Lords and the House of Commons Judicial branch: House of Lords, Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, Supreme Court of Judicature (Court of Appeal, High Court of Justice) Political Parties: the Conservative Party, the Liberal Party, the Labour Party, the Party of Liberal Democrats, the Social democratic Party, the Scottish National Party, the Welsh Nationalist Party, the Communist Party of Britain. Elections: Parliamentary elections must be held every five years. The minimum voting age is 18. The voting is taken by secret ballot. Factfile
Population: over 57 million people Capital: London Largest cities: Cardiff, Edinburg, Belfast, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow. Longest rivers: the Severn (354km), the River Thames (346km) Highest points: Ben Nevis (1,343m), Snowdon (1,085m) Currency: pound, consists of 100 pence Language: English
Flag of the UK The flag of the United Kingdom, known as that Union Jask, is made up of three crosses. The upright red cross is the cross of St. George, the patron saint of England. The white diagonal cross is the cross of St. Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland. The red diagonal cross is the cross of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.
The symbols of the UK The symbols of England is the red rose. The symbols of Scotland is the thistle. The symbols of Wales are the leek and the daffodil. The symbols of Northern Ireland is the shamrock.
Location The fact is that the United Kingdom is situated in the north-west coast of Europe between the Atlantic Ocean on the north-west and the North Sea on the east. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is situated on the British Isles. The British Isles consist of two large islands Great Britain and Ireland and about five thousand small islands. Their total area is over square kilometers.
Location The United Kingdom is one of the world's smallest countries, although its population is over 57 million. By the way the overall population density is 238 persons per sq km (616 per sq mi). About 80 percent of the population is urban. The population lives mostly in towns and cities and their suburbs. Four out of every five people live in towns. Over 46 million people live in England. Over 3 million - in Wales. A little over 5 million - in Scotland. About 1.5 million- in Northern Ireland. The British nation consists of the English, the Scots, the Welsh and the Irish. There are many people of all colours and races in the United Kingdom.
Climate Britain is as far north as Canadas Hudson Bay or Siberia. Edinburgh is 56 degrees north of the equator, the same latitude as Moscow, yet its climate is generally mild and temperature rarely exceeds 32ºC or fall below -10ºC. Thats because of the Gulf Stream which brings warm water and air across the Atlantic from the Gulf of Mexico. As a result snow falls occasionally and doesnt remain for long(except in the Scottish mountains). Rainfall is well distributed throughout the year. The wind brings rain from the Atlantic to the hills of the west. This means that the western parts of Britain are wetter than the eastern, which are sheltered. London is much drier than the conti- nental cities. Its weather may be unpredictable, but no too wet.
System of Government Britain is parliamentary democracy with a constitutional monarch – Queen Elizabeth II – as a head of State. Today the Queen is not only the head of State but also an important symbol of national unity. In law the Queen is the head of the executive, an integral part of the legislature, head of the judiciary, the Commander-in-chief of all the armed forces of the Crown and the Supreme Governor of the established Church of England.
System of Government Parliament is the supreme legislative authority in Britain and the Prime Minister is the virtual ruler of the country. Parliament comprises the House of Commons, the House of Lords and the Queen in her constitutional role. The British Parliament works in a large building called the Palace of Westminster (The Houses of Parliament ).
London London is the capital of Great Britain, its political, economic and commercial centre. It is the chief port of Great Britain. It is one of the greatest cities of the world. Its population is about 9 million people. The English are very proud of the long history of their capital. The city became extremely prosperous during the 16th century.
London The City is the heart of London. It is financial and business centre. The City has within its square mile such famous institutions as the Bank of England, the Stock Exchange, the Royal Courts of Justice and Guildhall. There`s a lot of famous ancient buildings within the City. The most striking of them is St. Paul`s Cathedral, Sir Christopher Wren`s masterpiece.
London The Houses of Parliament is the seat of British Parliament, which is officially known as the Palace of Westminster. The first building was constructed as early as the 11th century. Most of the old palace was destroyed in a fire in The present Houses of Parliament were completed in 1865.
The oldest of all the royal residences in London is the Tower of London. Founded by William the Conqueror in 1078 the fortress was enlarged several times. Now it is a museum, which houses the national collection of armour and the Crown Jewels. For many centuries the Tower has been a fortress, the Royal residence, the Royal Mint, the first Royal Observatory. London
London has many parks and Gardens. The best known are Hyde Park, Regent`s Park and St. James`s Park. Hyde Park is a royal park since It was once part of the forests where Henry VIII hunted wild animals. Regent`s Park is in the north-west of London. It is the home of the London Zoo. St. James`s Park is the oldest and the smallest of the royal parks. It is near Buckingham Palace.
Education in Great Britain In England schooling is compulsory for children of 5 to 16 years of age. Any child may attend a school without paying fees. Over 90 % of children of compulsory school age go to state schools. Compulsory primary education begins at the age of 5 in England, Wales and Scotland and at 4 in Northern Ireland. Children start their education in an infanf school and move to a junior school at 7 years old.
Education in Great Britain classschoolage Nursery school playgroup or kindergarten 3434 Reception class Year 1Infant school 5656 Year 2Primary school7 Year 38 Year 4Junior school9 Year 510 Year 611 Year 7Secondary school12 Year 813 Year 914 Year 1015 Year 1116
Education in Great Britain classschoolage Year 12Sixth form college17 Year 1318 First year (fresher)University or Polytechnic19 Second year20 Third/final year21 PostgraduateUniversity23
Education in Great Britain The school year in England and Wales begins in September and continues into July. In Scotland it is from August to June. In Northern Ireland - from September to June.
Oxbridge Oxford and Cambridge are the oldest universities in Great Britain. They are the Oxbridge to denote an elitarian education. Only rich people send their children to these universities. Oxford and Cambridge universities consist of a number of colleges, each self-governing and independent.
Oxbridge Oxford is one the oldest universities in Europe. It didnt come into being all at once. Oxford had existed as a city for at least 300 years before scholars began to resort to it. Cambridge universities dates back as the 13th century. Today there are more then 30 colleges. The University is situated on the River Cam. The colleges Line the right bank
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