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PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:22 pm 
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My son has just been awarded a place at an independent school in the North of England. He is very excited about. Today he and other children were invited to spend the morning at the school, and spent time with the year one class. He was expecting a high level of discipline in the lessons. Unfortunately there were about 5 boys (currently) pupils, who were disruptive in a few lessons. He didn't feel that they were disciplined effectively. He is quite a bright boy (though no angel), he wants to learn, and he fears that, if his own class is like this, he may be drawn into the 'naughty' behaviour, and doesn't want this to happen.

I have never heard about any behaviour issues with regard to the school before, and am not sure what to do? I am tempted to ring up and speak to a senior member of staff, and say that though my son, is really excited about the possibility of joining the school, he was shocked by the behavior of some of the boys in the current yr. 1 class. We haven't excepted the place yet - but this is an issue I think is of some importance.

Any advice please?


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:30 pm 
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Hi - difficult problem! Is it actually year 1 ? so the lads are probably aged 5 or 6..... can be a bit lively.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:32 pm 
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No sorry, - It is Yr 7 (I meant first year secondary age - Opps). - So 11 and 12 year olds.
He is in Yr 6 at a state primary at the moment.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:46 pm 
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ah makes more sense.

from DS's comments (he is @ an all boys GS in North Yorks) - year 7's can be REALLY ANNOYING and bouncy .... far too much energy, usually calm down by year 8.

might be worth asking to go on a look round yourself on a working day - can say you are still making up your mind, indie school should be happy to oblige. May give you the chance to get a better look at the behaviour...


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 9:02 pm 
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Is there a parallel year 7 class he can try? Was it an atypical day for some reason? Was the fact that your son was there a reason for some to show off?


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 9:09 pm 
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Mmmmmmm ......... I would say it does not bode that well as from what your son says it sounds as though this group of 5 reigned supreme in more than one teacher's lessons.

They need splitting up into different form groups perhaps. Is it more than one-form entry? Maybe in a roundabout way you could ask the school do they ever do this if the behaviour of a particular form becomes irritating. They had to do this at a state grammar in Kent one of my children attended. It only happened after many parents had complained for nearly a whole school year I think.

Do you have other possibilities? This potentially does not sound like the best use of your money. If in doubt, you could go and ask to see this group yourself in action. Maybe don't say what is concerning you yet - come up with some other pretext for going and observing yourself? Have you been round this school yourself on a normal day and seen the classes in action? You could ask your tour guide to let you see the Year 7 lessons and a few other year groups for comparison - e.g. Year 11 and Year 13?


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 9:28 pm 
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Location: Herts
Hello, what a shame for your ds when he was so excited about winning the place. It must have a been a real let down for him but how lucky to have that trial run while you are still in a position to do something about it. You ask for suggestions, here is what I would do. Firstly I would sit down with ds and a notebook and go through the morning bit by bit. Was it every session or just a few? What were the triggers? Were these boys allowed to sit next to each other. Were they showing off to him? How was it dealt with? Then with these notes I would ring and ask for a meeting with the Head of Year Seven, take your notebook and discuss your concerns. It only actually needs one student to ruin the prospects of all the other students in the class if he/she is being disruptive. Ask for a copy of the school's behaviour policy. When my dd was doing entrance exams last year she actually encountered such bad behaviour by some of the boys at one of the exams that I made a formal complaint to the admissions officer. Obviously their parents thought money can buy you anything and forgot to tell them to actually behave while applying for the school! Much as we liked the school there was no way we would have accepted a place somewhere where the cohort cannot even behave when applying! I run evening coaching sessions for children from a wide range of backgrounds and always have a couple of boys and girls from private school who seem to feel that all the rules and guidelines apply to everyone but them. I have always wondered if their behaviour at school was better or far worse. Is your ds really put off? You must be in a real quandry. I once had a job I really loved but we got a new boss and I was forced to accept that the job as I knew it was gone. If it really was as bad as your ds reported then in that class he will not be able to achieve the very best education he deserves. If these five boys are the IT crowd it may be impossible for your ds to make a stand against them. My dd has spent years being called nerd, egghead and keeno. She continued to focus but could have achieved so much more in a different peer group. Is there an option for him to be in another class? DG


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 9:39 pm 
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Can you name the school? Some may know of it and can advise you better.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:16 pm 
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Thank you for your thoughtful responses. The school is quite large and I think there are about 5 classes per year, with 17 - 20 children per class. It is a well respected independent that produces great academic results.

My son has also passed the 11 + for the same north yorkshire grammer that hermanmunsters son goes to, but we live out of area - (shipley), so I am not too hopeful that we will be allocated a place there, which is why we entered him for the (local) independent. He did so well in his entrance exam, and came in the top ten, much to his and our surprise, and I do believe he would be challenged there. But - not if there are discipline issues. I feel hopeful that this was just the one class, and he was unfortunate enough to be with that class, but obviously I am very concerned. In the event we accept the place, they are in the year above, so not his cohort. One of the reasons we thought of going down this route, is that he loves learning, is smart, but can also be influenced by his peers. Plays the clown a bit at his state school to fit in with the 'footie' crowd, but actually is really motivated when he is academically challenged.

Your suggestions are very helpful. My feeling is if we are to be paying for his education, I want to make sure that it is the right place for him, and that my concerns at this point are addressed in some way before we accept a place.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:22 pm 
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I think I can work out which school he is looking at and TBH if you can get a place at Ermysted's I think it is likely he will be challenged (academically) more there.

Each year I hear of kids getting bursaries as they have done v well in the indie exam yet have to appeal for the GS.

However I also hear good reports of the school and many like it and are happy there. Some I knew who went, I really thought wouldn't settle but did (despite parental anxt!!)

Have you got the figures for Ermysted this year - with the info about the exam result you should have got the number passing the exam - do you know what it is - likely to give a clue about whether you will get a place..


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