Nosey Notes: United Kingdom


Oftentimes we find ourselves wondering what it would be like to live elsewhere. Here at Pentucket, students are fortunate to be presented with various opportunities regarding education, sports, and the arts, but what is it like at other schools? What about schools on the other side of the world? Well, the Nosey Notes has those answers, reaching out to students from all over the world to learn what life is like in other states and countries.

For this installment of the Nosey Notes, I got in touch with Charlotte Jones and Annie Knight from the U.K., and asked them what a normal day is like for them over in England.

Charlotte is fifteen-years-old, and since the grading system is different than it is here in America, she is in year eleven at school. If she were to go to school in the U.S., Charlotte would be in tenth grade. She lives in Wiltshire, England, and goes to school at the Dorcan Academy. The Dorcan Academy has approximately 140 teachers and 1,022 students.

School starts at 8:00 a.m. and goes until 3:00 p.m. at the Dorcan Academy. Charlotte has five one hour classes per day, and each week rotates on an A/B week schedule. One week she will have certain classes (A week), then have a different set of classes the following week (B week), and then go back to the A week schedule the week after that.

Twelve-year-old Annie goes to Thornton College, an all girls private school, which has around 400 students and 88 teachers She is in year eight (seventh grade), and lives on the border of the south east and Midlands.

Annie starts school at 9 a.m. and goes until 4 p.m. She has ten 40 minute classes every day, which vary day-to-day. Her classes include design and technology, geography, English, math, games, French, music, history, art, religious education, PHSEE, core PE, and science.

Charlotte’s classes consist of PE, sport (which is different than PE), English, math, Spanish, religious studies, geography, drama, and triple science (biology, chemistry, and physics all in one class).

Annie gets two pieces of homework on weekdays and three on Friday for the weekend. At Thornton College, hockey is their big sport in the winter. In the spring, they play netball (which is very similar to basketball, but you are not allowed to dribble and the basket is lower) and summer athletics consist of swimming.

Instead of getting nightly homework assignments, Charlotte gets about seven pieces of homework for the week. At the Dorcan Academy, they have three major sports: netball, basketball, and rounders. Netball is played in the fall from September to Christmas, they play basketball in the winter season, and to wrap up the year, they play rounders in the spring. Rounds is like American baseball and softball, except the bats are smaller and typically swung with one hand, and only one pitch is thrown per batter as opposed to the strike system.

Like Pentucket, each sport has a girls and a boys team at the Dorcan Academy. I asked Charlotte if there is anything she wishes her school did differently, and she said that the girls’ teams are always getting new equipment, so it would be nice if the boys could get some, too, instead of having to use old equipment. She also commented that the school could use a better lighting system.

As for Thornton College, Annie said, “I wish that the school’s report system was written down where the students could see their own records and not have to remember them.”

I met Annie and Charlotte a year ago when they came to the United States for Dance United, an international dance festival held at Nancy Chippendale’s Dance Studios in North Andover, so I know that spend most of their free time dancing.

Charlotte goes to dance right after school every day until nine. They both dance for Tap Attack, which has won 29 World Titles at the World Tap Championships in Riesa, Germany.

Charlotte has been to the World Tap Dance Championships in Riesa, Germany twice, in which she won the World Cup for the Production category in 2016, and first place in the junior formation category in 2017. In 2018 Charlotte’s junior trio also won the gold at the European Tap Championships in Prague, Czech Republic.

Annie has also been to the World Tap Dance Championships twice. In 2016, she was in the Production number with Charlotte that won World Cup, and received sixth place in the children groups category. She returned in 2017, and not only did she win fourth place for her junior group and first in junior formation, but she also won the title of World Champion in the children solo female category.

Because Charlotte and Annie have been to America before, I asked them what they thought some of the biggest differences are between the U.S. and the U.K. Charlotte said the United States is more fun and that everything is within a close vicinity, referring to how amusement parks such as Canobie Lake are less than a half an hour away, even from small towns like the Pentucket district. She also noted the houses here are much bigger than the ones in England.

As for the differences between Brits and Americans, Charlotte said that ¨Americans are more outgoing, Brits are more reserved.¨ Similarly, Annie commented “Americans are more friendly, even to strangers.”

Lastly, I asked the girls what specific aspects they love about living in England. Charlotte responded that she enjoys living in the U.K. because of London, and it is where all of her family lives. Annie, being the comical person she is, said she loves England because of its “very, very, very low natural disaster risk.”

I want to give a special thanks to Annie and Charlotte for telling me about life in England. Even though they live 3,269 miles away, they are some of the greatest friends I have. I am so fortunate to know them, and I wish I could see them more often. I have my fingers crossed that I can visit them across the pond soon.