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PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 10:19 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2007 2:02 pm
Posts: 662
Location: Herts
Firstly, sorry if this is in the wrong place. Wasn't sure whether to post here or in "everything else".

We are thinking about moving our Year 4 DS from a state school to a private one - he is pretty bright - as I'm sure all our kids are :lol: - and we feel he would really love the extra attention / facilities etc that I know private education can buy. As his older DD passed the 11+ & now goes to a great state school with a sibling policy, we are only looking for a school for the next 3 years (hence why we can afford it !).

We've only looked into one school so far, but I was really surprised that there were 26 boys in each class. I had naively imagined there would be about 14 !!! I'd really appreciate it if people could give their views on what is usually the average number of children in a primary class (as you can tell this would be my first brush with the independent sector!).

Thanks.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 11:13 am 
I think class sizes relate to area and selectivity. If a school is selective then whatever numbers it takes their class will be full. Also, urban schools tend to have higher class sizes, as do schools which are middle-priced. It isn't really about class size but how they manage discipline within the classroom.

If you're paying top money at prep level (£5-7k per term) then class sizes are usually a maximum of 15 but and average of 10-12.

Selective schools normally don't go above 20.

Personally, between 16-20 is probably around the average at prep level. If you do want your child to go to GS then I would suggest a school that goes up to Year 6 and sends a number to GS. Be careful though as sometimes with these schools you are only paying for entry to GS and they don't always offer as rounded or balanced an education as a traditional prep school, so it may not be value for money in that sense. But, if its a means to an end then it will be fine.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 12:50 pm 
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my experience of primary level preps that went to year 6 was that the first had 10-15 in the class and the second had 15-20. The first was very good - not necessarily anything to do with the class size. I think the fees for both were probably lowe end of the scale


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 Post subject: Class sizes
PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2008 11:02 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 2:36 pm
Posts: 459
Location: Rugby
Hi all, My first child has just gone to University. She went to a prep school in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire. The atmosphere there was very stimulating and the facilities were great. Class size was then about ten to twelve but each class had a teacher and a teaching assistant. Their approach to foundation skills and establishing the 3 R's was very thorough and successful. In my view (and I have a second daughter who has never put a foot ouitside State schools) State scools cannot realisticly come anywhere near these facilities. One other often overlooked point is the huge committment that parents make towards supporting the school and it's ethos. Within the maintained sector, only Grammar schools get anywhere near approaching such levels of committment.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2008 6:19 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 11941
Sassie's Dad

There ARE state Primary schools that far outshine independent schools and where parents are just as committed. Just because parents pay it does not make it a good school - many staff in state schools are far better qualified as you need to hold a teaching qualification. I have taught in both sectors and have chosen state for my child.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2008 6:56 pm 
I have to say that although there are excellent primary schools I've never experienced ones that FAR outshine independent schools. There are a handful of c rap independent schools but on the whole there are not many.

My sons have been in three of the best state primaries and the class sizes and low academic and behavioural expectations were poor. He was also in an independent which was awful, but that was privately owned by the headmaster. The other 10 independent schools, between two children, :oops: were much better than the state schools.

Also, having a PGCE does no make you a good subject teacher.

(Luv you Guest55, but you know we can't help ourselves!) :wink:


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2008 7:13 pm 
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But having a PGCE at least means you have had to think about effective ways of teaching - and have been mentored by a good teacher.

The worst teaching I have ever seen was in the Independent sector.

I could name several in Bucks that do outshine anything else on offer around here.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2008 9:56 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 9:27 am
Posts: 2086
Location: Barnet, Herts
Agree with Tipsy. My DS was in a very good state primary and was not stretched at all - all the lessons were pitched at the average child. He had virtually no homework except pre- SAT's !! :roll:
He has now started at independent and the standard of teaching and input ( marking , effort and achievement grade monitoring ) is phenomenal.
You can always contact his Housemistress by phone in the morning or by e-mail.
The school has such a happy feeling as if everyone is in a family.
Last week we went to the House Music Competition and the musical standard and variety was amazing - from a violin recital to a rock group!But the overwhelming feeling was of different teams working together and the cheers when the results were announced nearly raised the roof.
My DS has changed and grown up in the 6 weeks he has been there and we are all delighted in his enjoyment of the school despite a very long day and lots of homework!
I had never been pro- independent schools but in retrospect if we had known the standards achieved we would have sent DS to prep school from Day 1.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2008 11:08 pm 
Hi Zorro,

I'm so glad your son is having a great time and that he and the school have high expectations of him, which I'm sure he'll rise to. You can't put a value on high self-esteem amd courteous behaviour, and there is so much more to schooling than Gcse grades. That's not to say that GS do not seek these values.

I have never heard of anyone who has said a state school was better for their child than the independent school they're at now, but I'm sure I'm about to be proved wrong! :D


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 6:06 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
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Well I've already said it!

There would be a lot of people - but they probably will never visit this thread as it's is the Independent section and their child are post 11+.

It does depend where you live and the alternatives.


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