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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 11:10 pm 
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Here's a provocative idea that might lighten the mood...

I have a theory that I hold with varying degrees of conviction/belief that a child's outcome (in the broadest sense) is far less affected by the choice of school than most parents believe.

I'm curious to know what the views of others are.

Other related issues are - if selective schools have a sibling policy, is it a good thing for a sibling to take the place if they'd not have got in on academic ability? I suppose here I'm really thinking of someone who not even have got close.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:14 am 
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Location: Herts
BarnetDad wrote:
Here's a provocative idea that might lighten the mood...

Other related issues are - if selective schools have a sibling policy, is it a good thing for a sibling to take the place if they'd not have got in on academic ability? I suppose here I'm really thinking of someone who not even have got close.

I had two children through Parmiters, both now at Uni. The academic etrant did not do as well on the GCSE/A level front as his Less academic sibling. This surprised us all (though I must say, both did very well) Does that prove that once inside an academic school the less bright child began to shine? I guess all children reach their potential at different times?


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:29 am 
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Whatmum,
Very interesting statement of facts,and in reply and this is not directed at you , but something a quite a few friends have told me with older DC who have or have not got into GS.
"Could it be that a child that has not been tutored for years , and is not made to sit lots of exams as practise but is very bright , will flourish in a great school that they have got into due to sibling policy, whereas some , but obviously not all of those who sail in with high scores , soon struggle to keep up the high standard as they have been coached to get in, then left to their own devices."


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 9:49 am 
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Location: Watford
........ I guess all children reach their potential at different times?

Very very true


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 9:58 am 
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ttmum wrote:
........ I guess all children reach their potential at different times?

Very very true



completely agree!


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:36 am 
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Location: Harrow
I think one concern is the peers they will have at a given school, if your DD or DS is in a school where all their friends call you a swot if you hand in your homework on time, then doing well could be a challenge...


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 11:41 am 
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I would through this into the pot.

Husband one of two children. Older child went to selective grammar school and traditional Red Brick university. Husband youngest, deemed not academic and not much expected, attends local non-selective comprehensive, did poorly at A level, but managed to get into polytechnic. Both read computer science.

Fast forward to adulthood. Husband discovers in his forties that he was not slow but dyslexic. Makes partner in global firm and considered more successful in industry and financial terms than older "brighter" sibling.

There is this tendency in modern parenting to be obsessed with early success at age 11. No one knows what the future holds. Given enough support by parents together with good social and communication skills, the school that a child attends may have little bearing on future success.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 12:04 pm 
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Did anyone see this?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/201 ... l-mobility

It makes it quite clear that no, going to a grammar school does not guarantee greater success in life, in financial or career terms.

What I would say, as someone who went to HBS and who is sending my DD to grammar this September, is it guarantees you a slightly easier time at school if you're bright and actually enjoy academic work - you won't get laughed at by your peers for being a swot, won't feel under social pressure to appear unacedmic and can actually enjoy studying the academic subjects you love.

Anyone who sends their kids to grammar school in this day and age thinking that that's it, they can sit back and their child's future is 'made' is stuck in some fantasy past world - it certainly doesn't apply now.

But for genuinely academic children, it will provide the stimulation they crave. It won't turn a slow child into a bright one - and isn't necessarily suitable for all kids.

That sounds elitist, but I don't fundamentally believe all kids are academically equal - many have other strengths in nn-academic areas and would actually be better served by a less academic school.

As for financial success, get real - I'm a teacher/examiner and earn peanuts, as does my friend from HBS who is now a Cambridge don.

The less bright kids who went into higher earning fields earn more - that's life.

Academic success is certainly no guarantee of financial success!


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 12:46 pm 
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....but surely we are hoping for children who are caring, interesting and rounded human beings too? The academic performance is what we look at first, but there are many postings currently about 'which offer should I accept?' and these are between equally good schools. The question is which is 'right' for dc. My dd was given a place at St Michael's, but also scored well enough for a place at Latymer.

I had to balance Latymer: Great for science & maths (favourite subjects and dd currently wants to be a zoologist), mixed large famous school with excellent facilities and shorter journey time. Better for A level results until this year, when St Michael's was listed higher in 3 out of 4 tables I saw. No Spanish, which we think will be more useful than German in the long-term. Stories from multiple sources about a wild element amongst the older children (drugs, underage s-e-x etc).

St Michael's: Excellent pastoral care, very little bullying and almost no s-e-x (harder at a girls school!) and drugs, better exam results this year than Latymer, a girls school which dd wants as she is 'fed up with silly boy's disrupting lessons'(!) and Latymer has an element of this, longer but safer bus journey as she is a dreamer and crossing the Great Cambridge Road at 8.30am is not for the inexperienced and faint-hearted. St Michael's on the down side has a school uniform costing silly money and an annual contribution is requested towards the upkeep and development projects at the school (up to £1000 in some years).

We chose St Michael's on balance, but the scales where almost evenly balanced.

Our choices had she not passed her 11+ at either school were dire as we live in Haringey. Our 2 'best' choices were la Sainte Union in Camden, which is one of the top comps in N.London, but I hate the uncaring strictness of the place and would never send dd there, and Haringey Heartlands - a school which is still being built with only Y7 pupils currently enrolled. It was oversubscribed this year (again) with 888 applicants for 162 places and a distance cut-off measuring 0.876 mile. I think that is shows the state of schools when there are 5.5 applicants for each place at a school as yet unfinished, and with only Y7 to judge it by!! I don't think that peer pressure in secondary school can be underestimated. Children are 'finding themselves' at that age and if they don't fit in to their peer group they will feel lonely, if the peer group is wrong then you can't put them on the 'naughty step'. It can be a nightmare as friend recently found out when she returned to the UK, placed her daughter in a liberal Camden Comp. and after 5 months had to withdraw her from the school due to peer pressure (boy's, drink, staying out all night at 14) and apply for a place in a more traditional Barnet school.

Herty - dd has 2 cousins who both attended St Michael's, scored 2nd and 3rd in the entrance there, and although pushed towards Oxbridge went to Bristol and Durham universities. One is now working on her Phd at Bristol Uni, the other messed around and ended up with a 3rd in Chemistry, studied Art for a year and is now starting work as an assistant to a Fine Art dealer. She realised half-way through her degree that she took the wrong path as she was torn between art and chemistry and was equally good at both. Things are working out for her now because she is a confident, polite and well-educated young woman - something St Michael's Grammar are good at!


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 12:53 pm 
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....and the individuals studied in the Guardian article sat their 11+ in the late 1960's when there were about 1,400 Grammar schools and England was a different country to the one we know now! I'd guess the pass mark then to be around 55-60% :lol:


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