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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2015 6:41 am 
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The first episode has to be in my opinion one of the best school documentaries I've seen in a long while.Far more impressive than Chinese school and far more illuminating.

Watched it with my youngest dd she loved it and have the rest of the series on record.I am not sure if its only one more episode.Its quite illuminating to read the news paper reviews of the programme.The Guardian and Independent are quite negative towards the programme whereas the Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail are quite positive.Like the title it depends on your political perspective as to how some appreciate this documentary.Both headmasters in their different ways were very impressive charachters each having their preconceptions of the state or independent sector.The following links show the different attitudes.

http://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio ... ide-review

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/ar ... -s-TV.html

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2015 7:46 am 
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Funny - I watched on catch up and have to say that I was quite underwhelmed. I think it could have been a much more enlightening programme but felt it was all a bit too fuzzy - I didn't see the private head offering any real alternative solutions and the state school head was very prejudiced in her views about it being who you know (she is very likely right) but I don't see her changing her views.

The girl from the private school I thought came across very poorly - worryingly lacking any sort of plan or ambition - "I like baking and art so maybe I'll be a primary school teacher" - versus her state school counterpart - possibly the background of family money took the pressure off her? The two boys came across better - Xander definitely showed confidence (although one could argue that his counterpart, although showing it in a different way, was pretty self confident in his own environment) and the other boy, who had to work hard at maths, was charming - but had been at a state primary so was more versed in the differences anyway.

I will watch next week - the preview implies that Xander's counterpart was the most impressed by the private school - and I almost hope they offer him a place - that would be more interesting to me - making a real difference - as I am not sure a one week swap really can.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2015 9:25 am 
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I agree, the show was underwhelming as there wasn't really any point of debate. I think everyone agreed that they all had good education for the financial means at hand.
The private headmaster was saying that they were lucky with having well behaved pupils (he meets all the parents), having the facilities, the time with the kids, etc...
And the public headmaster seemed to do a fantastic job with what she had.

The only surprising bit I had was the calibration of the young private pupil in math who was deemed A material in state and below par in private.

While this echos some of the advice I was given in other threads (intake determines a lot the outcome), it still points to how much more difficult it is for a kid to give his best in a less favorable environment. The Syrian girl probably had her ambition and focus fueled by her parents and environment (middle-eastern are quite focused on academic achievment, and if the father was a political exile, that could indicate a certain level of education), without that, it would have been hard, or rather harder to maintain focus. The private pupils did say that it's unlikely they would have kept focus in the state school (based on their limited exposure to it).

As such, for now, the "documentary" will probably corroborate my impression of the educative system that selective schools (whether private or state) are probably the best bet.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2015 9:54 am 
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Whilst growing up we used to have numerous trips to see my uncles families in the same streets those children in Derby were growing up.I remember the old baseball football ground the home of Derby County in the area.My uncles were first generation immigrants working in the iron foundries and there wives working in the textile sweat shops.Their children my cousins were pushed to reach better horizons than their parents.The second generation and their children are all now distinctly middle class all living in different areas whether it be the suburbs in Derby, Coventry,Leicester or working in San Fransisco or Singapore working in business, as professionals e.g as surgeons or in IT or Human resources or as housewives.Some educate their children in State schools others privately.What matters is the ambition and how hard children want to work to succeed.They grew up as working class children by most definitions they are now middle class.This class divide is not static and can be bridged by those who want to overcome those hurdles.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2015 10:10 am 
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"The only surprising bit I had was the calibration of the young private pupil in math who was deemed A material in state and below par in private.

While this echos some of the advice I was given in other threads (intake determines a lot the outcome), it still points to how much more difficult it is for a kid to give his best in a less favorable environment."

This actually showed the opposite - in the private school the boy (I think his name was Joseph) had only been entered for a Foundation Paper, meaning the maximum he could achieve was a C, whereas in the state school, based on what they saw he could do, they would have expected him to achieve an A grade (i.e. would have entered him for the Higher Paper). They showed greater belief in him, based on their experience. The boy was actually being limited in maths by the private school.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2015 10:14 am 
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quasimodo wrote:
What matters is the ambition and how hard children want to work to succeed.They grew up as working class children by most definitions they are now middle class.This class divide is not static and can be bridged by those who want to overcome those hurdles.


Of course.
However, I do believe that the environment can make things easier or harder.
Depending on personality, family environment, you may be strong enough to fend off. Or you may fail.
Not sure if there are studies on the topic, but all my anecdotal evidence (based on myself, friends, family), show that you have a higher chance of being an achiever if you are surrounded by achiever, and a higher chance to give-up if you are surrounded by people who give-up.
And since "people" is not made exclusively of family, but also includes friends, other pupils, teachers, the broader world, TV, etc... it could be a disadvantage to go to school where the only ambition kids have is to survive rather than aim for the stars.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2015 3:26 pm 
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quasimodo wrote:
Whilst growing up we used to have numerous trips to see my uncles families in the same streets those children in Derby were growing up.I remember the old baseball football ground the home of Derby County in the area.My uncles were first generation immigrants working in the iron foundries and there wives working in the textile sweat shops.Their children my cousins were pushed to reach better horizons than their parents.The second generation and their children are all now distinctly middle class all living in different areas whether it be the suburbs in Derby, Coventry,Leicester or working in San Fransisco or Singapore working in business, as professionals e.g as surgeons or in IT or Human resources or as housewives.Some educate their children in State schools others privately.What matters is the ambition and how hard children want to work to succeed.They grew up as working class children by most definitions they are now middle class.This class divide is not static and can be bridged by those who want to overcome those hurdles.



I agree - much of the success of children comes from the attitudes and ambitions of the parents and the determination to just do a bit better. We have all come across parents who had great hardship and may have fled other countries and their kids have become exceptionally successful in whatever walk of life they chose.
Also I found a mining family where father and all but one son were miners, the remaining son continued to study (presumably supported by the others) became a clergyman and later his own grandson became a government minister


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2015 3:11 pm 
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ConfusedFather wrote:
quasimodo wrote:
What matters is the ambition and how hard children want to work to succeed.They grew up as working class children by most definitions they are now middle class.This class divide is not static and can be bridged by those who want to overcome those hurdles.


Of course.
However, I do believe that the environment can make things easier or harder.
Depending on personality, family environment, you may be strong enough to fend off. Or you may fail.
Not sure if there are studies on the topic, but all my anecdotal evidence (based on myself, friends, family), show that you have a higher chance of being an achiever if you are surrounded by achiever, and a higher chance to give-up if you are surrounded by people who give-up.
And since "people" is not made exclusively of family, but also includes friends, other pupils, teachers, the broader world, TV, etc... it could be a disadvantage to go to school where the only ambition kids have is to survive rather than aim for the stars.


I agree. Its much easier to achieve your potential if your friends, family, school, parents etc all expect you to and have all done so themselves. Its much harder if you are surrounded by people who couldn't care less if you work or not or friends that try to get you involved in bad ways or whatever.
Totally and utterly surmountable of course, given determination. I know many who have and I admire them, especially those who came from totally uninspiring backgrounds. But it I'm honest? I'm sure my ambition and drive was as much due to the 'expectations' around me as my own inner drive and I'm grateful for that. And that is why I am a fan of selective and private education, although not seeing it as either guarantee or fair on those who can't access the system.

Utopia of course, as has been said before, would be to have totally state funded and excellent schooling - with a mix of clever/less academic rich/poor motivated/non-motivated in each one, but of course that can never happen as those who can afford it will always congregate around a perceived 'best school' - thus driving up the property prices and driving out those who would benefit most from the great school. Hard to know what to do, which doesn't mean we shouldn't constantly assess and see how far towards it we can go.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2015 3:54 pm 
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Quote:
Utopia of course, as has been said before, would be to have totally state funded and excellent schooling - with a mix of clever/less academic rich/poor motivated/non-motivated in each one, but of course that can never happen


I totally disagree - you can have fantastic comprehensives - I used to work in one. There was a huge social mix but a teaching staff that wanted every pupil to love learning. Every year students went to top unis and other were inspired to be the first in the family to not leave school at 16.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2015 5:11 pm 
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Guest55 wrote:
Quote:
Utopia of course, as has been said before, would be to have totally state funded and excellent schooling - with a mix of clever/less academic rich/poor motivated/non-motivated in each one, but of course that can never happen


I totally disagree - you can have fantastic comprehensives - I used to work in one. There was a huge social mix but a teaching staff that wanted every pupil to love learning. Every year students went to top unis and other were inspired to be the first in the family to not leave school at 16.


There are always exceptions. But if you have a large school serving a large deprived area then it is much harder and with the best will in the world it is hard to find the best teaching staff and the most motivated pupils. Not impossible, but harder. If you look at 100 schools in more socially deprived areas vs 100 schools in more middle class aspirational areas I am quite sure you would see the difference. But individually, just like the are smokes who live to 100, there are exceptions. And in amongst the 100s of schools in poor areas, your exceptions could be several.


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