English Reading Exercises for A1 – Small schools

1. Look at the pictures and complete the labels with the adjectives below.

dangerous      dry      large      narrow      safe      small      wet      wide


1) a __________ boat


2) a __________ boat


3) a __________ path


4) a __________ path


5) a __________ rope


6) a __________ rope


7) a __________ bridge


8) a __________ bridge

Show answers

1) small   2) large   3) wide   4) narrow   5) wet   6) dry

7) dangerous 8) safe

2. Read the texts below. What is unusual about the schools?

SMALL is beautiful?

1) Scoraig, a small region in the north of Scotland, needs a new teacher for its primary school. It’s a very beautiful place, but nobody wants to work there. It’s a real problem for the local council! So why can’t they find a teacher? Well, perhaps one reason is the isolated location. You can’t drive to Scoraig; you have to walk along a narrow, four-kilometre path next to the sea or take a boat. The region does not have a shop or a post office, and every home has to find its own supply of water and electricity. The school itself is small – very small. In fact, only five children go there! But those five children need a teacher, so the council hopes to find one soon.

2) Rum and Canna are two very small islands near the west coast of Scotland. Rum has about 40 inhabitants and Canna only has twelve. Each island has a small primary school and the same head teacher is in charge of both schools. At the moment, the head teacher does not have a difficult job because the schools have no students! So why do the islands need a head teacher for their schools? According to the local council, the answer is simple: ‘Things can change. We need schools for tomorrow’s children.’ So for now, the head teacher’s job is safe.

3) Budaixi Primary School is in an isolated region of central China. It is difficult to find jobs here, so a lot of families leave the region and move to big cities. Because of this, the schools in the region are often very small. Budaixi Primary School only has one student. Her name is Xianzi and she is six years old. Her teacher, Mr Guo, teaches her maths and Chinese. Because Xianzi is the only child at the school, she can’t play games with other children at lunchtime – so Mr Guo plays with her. They enjoy table tennis and basketball. Then it is time for lessons again. And of course, Xianzi is always top of the class!

Show answers

They don’t have many students.

Reading Strategy

When you match sentences to texts, make sure the whole sentence matches the information in the text. Do not just look for one or two words that are in the text and the sentence.

3. Read the Reading Strategy. Then match the sentences (a-g) with the texts (1-3). 

Which text talks about ___

a two different schools?

b a school without a teacher?

c a school not in Scotland?

d a school with more than one student?

e a head teacher with an easy job?

f a teacher who plays games at lunchtime?

g a region without a shop?

Show answers

a 2   b 1   c 3   d 1   e 2   f 3   g 1

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