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PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:26 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 9:51 pm
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Just wondering how our DC's are getting on and what we think of our schools?

We've been quite satisfied with HBS, but not overly so. I would accuse them of being generally unsupportive and not much good at nuturing - so a pretty hard-nosed stick not carrot approach. There's a real mix of kids - the Justin Bieber fan club at one end and the geeks at the other, with a fair number of wacky characters in between.

I also get the impression that teaching and marking is somewhat erratic and I suspect some of the teachers are playing the age-old game (which we've come across at primary school level, too) of giving low marks early in the academic year and higher marks at the end - just to "show" what fantastic teachers they are! Is it this way in all schools, I wonder? ;-)

There's one particular assignment that I intend to investigate in depth to get a more considered view, albeit not statistically significant.

My mid-year report summary on HBS: A little big for their boots, and could do better.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:13 am 
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My DS is in Year 8 at DAO and my DD is in HBS in Year 7. My thoughts based on our experience of both schools.

DAO - The classes are very mixed ability although the settings for Maths and Modern Foreign Languages have commenced in Year 8. Consequently, some children are perhaps not challenged to get the best out of them in subjects like History etc. The feedback on teachers is somewhat mixed with some very good ones and some not so great. The school is very well organised, friendly and has a community feel to it. There are a lot of extra-curricular activities on offer for the more musical and sporty students.

HBS - Early days but not at all impressed with their organisation. We have noted a lot of instances whereby emails and correspondence has been sent at the last minute. Thankfully, they have finally updated the antiquated website but I cannot understand why a school like HBS has no card system at lunchtime and our DD constantly moans about the queues at lunchtime. As far as the curriculum is concerned, it is definitely a lot more challenging than DAO and it is pleasing that the school appears to actively promote skills such as public speaking. My DD had to do a book review (equivalent to Year 10 standard) and speak publicly about it.

Overall, happy with choice of both schools.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:27 am 
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My Ds is in yr8 but one of his class mate is in HBS and I remember comparing one day when we met up. She did say that HB does not want them to be loaded with work. IF they have not finished their work in two hours no matter what they should stop! And also that the homework was not marked regularly!
QE sets and marks homework regularly and not just marks it but mark it so closely that they will write a comment on every detail right from underlining the topic, date writing to the quality of homework. And this is all teachers not one exception!
They set standards individually too. They are given feedback (positive and constructive) if they need help they are advised to go to clinics which are run by older boys and also teachers encourage to go to them any time.
For even something like social development and making more friends .. being introvert is not encouraged, They even pick up the phone and call you should there be any concerns other than lessons. This is seriously appreciated by me as a parent, for me I really couldn't ask for more.

They have a efficient way of communication via parent own log in and students log in too where they have all resources available at home.

Lunch times there are ques but they are quick due to finger scanning things! (whats the word?)
They have all parent pay system so they don't need to carry any money/cheques for any payments/dinners. just Oyster cards is all they need and a basic phone

In the end I thought no matter how differently the schools work, perhaps it is how they QE needs to work because it is BOYS they are dealing with they know it is only this way and praises that works. Whatever HBS does, IT must be also right because in the end they too get good results. That was the one thing I forgot to say.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 10:17 am 
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Location: Herts
Gosh, What an interesting thread, thanks BarnetDad! My dds are in Y7 and Y8 and have more opportunities available to them than they can possibly take advantage of. The homework and workload is as challenging as you want to make it. It is their version of streaming. Some students will produce Level 7 homework, some a scrappy Level 4. It is left upto them what level of effort they put in, except of course in maths where there can only be one right answer! The school does not disappoint but some of the other students certainly do, especially some of those who have secured a place at the school through exam. I am puzzled at their parents who put all this effort into getting them into the school and now seem to sit back and think the job is done and now the school can take over. In my opinion many of the siblings are much more focused than the exam students. Maybe they feel they have a point to prove. I am particularly puzzled by the career focused mothers of girls who let them come to school looking like they are on their way to a nightclub. When I see the way some of these girls behave and dress and particularly act silly and dumb round boys and hear about how they behave in class and then I hear what job their mother does I finally it difficult to tally the two things. I am sure it is the same everywhere but foolishly I expected better from academic girls! Do you have these type of girls at HBS BarnetDad? Somehow I think not! DG


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:45 pm 
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DAO I am interested in how you manage to maintain some involvement in your DDs work as my dd does not even bring homework home to do.

I would be more interested in being involved but really dont know in what way I can be.

One thing is for sure, I could never carry on having the same input as for the 11+ :)


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:21 pm 
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Where does your dd do her homework? Does she do it all in the library at lunchtime? Do you read her books and look at her success criteria in Maths and topic results? What sort of feedback did you get at consultation evening? DG


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 10:00 am 
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Location: Herts
Daogroupie wrote:
I am particularly puzzled by the career focused mothers of girls who let them come to school looking like they are on their way to a nightclub. When I see the way some of these girls behave and dress and particularly act silly and dumb round boys and hear about how they behave in class and then I hear what job their mother does I finally it difficult to tally the two things. I am sure it is the same everywhere but foolishly I expected better from academic girls!

Maybe it is just possible that a teenager can be a bit silly & ditzy but still actually grow up to become a responsible fully-functioning adult?!


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 4:39 pm 
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My DD is in year 8 in HBS.
As far as school work is concerned, she is quite happy and is able to cope very well with the course work. From the feedback I get, her teachers are quite impressed with the quality of her work, but tend not to praise her too much!
Of more concern are the friendship groups that have formed in Year 7 and continues into Year 8...
My DD is a little introvert, and has difficulty in approaching the other girls to make friends with, with the result that she is left hanging with some 2-3 girls. This wouldn't be an issue as such, except that they come from very affluent homes and their talk is generally about this brand or that, SPA parties, expensive shopping, etc. She has now become aware of this "class" divide, and is constantly comparing with her more "happening" companions.
I guess this could be just a growing phase, and she may grow out of it. She would ideally like to be a part of a similar group but doesn't know how.

I'm not sure how much of a help HBS staff will be in encouraging a proper mix in a group - I guess they wouldn't much bother with that.

Are any of your children having similar issues, and how are you and DD/DS coping with this.
Any tips appreciated!


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 10:27 pm 
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Hello, sounds like she needs to meet some more likeminded friends. Can she perhaps join some clubs where she might meet girls who are more suitable? How about the choir? DG


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 8:01 pm 
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Location: London
Thanks for replying DaoGroupie.
Yes, we have considered after-school clubs. Infact she did go to some clubs last year, unfortunately she didn't find it interesting enough.
Some other friends of mine have similar issues with their DDs... They have already handled this with their older DCs, and they say the DCs will soon grow out of it. Trick is to spend more time with them, listen to their concerns, appreciate them.
They are entering their teens, so there is bound to be some upheaval.
I just wish though that the school could be a little more nurturing.
Thanks again for your suggestion.


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