Go to navigation
It is currently Tue Jul 23, 2019 2:26 pm

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 18 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 10:33 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:49 am
Posts: 2
Hello everyone,

I am relatively new to the UK and London, have two children (my son is starting Reception this September, and my daughter is due to start in 2019).
The local state school my son has been accepted into, just around the corner, is "outstanding", but how reflective this rating actually is of the quality of teaching? The nursery they have been attending also was given an "outstanding" rating, while I personally would not rate it above "average", and was quite surprised at the assessment result.
I tried to meet his class teacher before he starts, but was quite harshly brushed off and advised to read the prospectus.
The open day for new reception entrants was rushed through, and - to be honest - the parent population at the workshop day scared me a little bit. The teacher asked whether there are "working mums" in the new class as they expect parents to subscribe to a rota to come into the class to assist the teacher with reading etc (??? Is this even legal?), and apparently there is only one apart from me.
Now I think whether I made a big mistake by not considering a private prep school. I never researched it in detail, thinking that it must be for aristocracy / very well off people, but it turns out it is relatively affordable. With some careful financial planning, I will just about manage two sets of fees.
I am in South East London, so within relatively easy reach of Colfe's, Blackheath, St Olave's (with a stretch). Dulwich is unfortunately is a little bit far away.
Both my children are quite bright, but English is not their first language, their English speaking father has moved abroad (so there is no one really to help with that), and my daughter is very shy.
Will they be disadvantaged by going into a state school when it comes to 11+ exams? I am more concerned about the general atmosphere at the state school, rather than about particular academic elements that can be tutored.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 1:30 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 8:51 am
Posts: 9279
Hi Mentat and welcome to the forum

Can be a bit daunting when kids start school and TBH schools are just schools much of the time. They are full of kids whose parents dote on them and want the best for them and apply to outstanding schools etc, some of the parents work and some don't.

I can remember visiting our local primary 20 years ago and being told that one of the children was going to a private school "but then both his parents go to work" - struck me that they were completely out of touch with the actual population as I knew that plenty of those mothers worked.

You will find that many private preps / primaries are not wildly dissimilar - they have fancier uniforms, sometimes nicer buildings, probably more mothers working to pay the fees (though they tend to be more frazzled as they are juggling lots of things), the fees can also have lots of "extras" (be careful of these as they can really add up - you nay find that they charge more to help with English Language teaching for example).

I think if I was you then I would start out with the local school - it may all turn out OK and he will have lots of friends locally and who knows, the non working mums may be very helpful :wink: . Meantime if you want to look at preps etc then go and have a look round and see what is on offer - quite a few schools take kids later on eg year 2 or 3 and that could be an option for you if you don't want to continue at the local school.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 1:33 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 5:27 pm
Posts: 4572
Location: london
Welcome!

I would advise against thinking of this as a state v private decision and concentrate on the particular schools involved and how you feel about them, irrespective of which sector (there are good and bad in both, obviously).
However, on the specific points you make see below:
mentat wrote:
The local state school my son has been accepted into, just around the corner, is "outstanding", but how reflective this rating actually is of the quality of teaching?
Part of its rating will reflect the teaching,although not necessarily of the specific teachers your DC get. Do not invest too much energy in analysing external reports and go with what you see/feel.
mentat wrote:
the parent population at the workshop day scared me a little bit.
Parent populations are scary in all schools :lol:
mentat wrote:
The teacher asked whether there are "working mums" in the new class
Parent helpers are commonplace in schools in both sectors but I would be appalled at this question in term of its gender specificity, very dated and sexist in my view.
mentat wrote:
Will they be disadvantaged by going into a state school when it comes to 11+ exams?
No. But they will be disadvantaged if they are at a school from either sector to which they are unsuited or about which you have negative perceptions (which they will pick up on, trust me.)
Good luck

_________________
mad?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 2:17 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:29 am
Posts: 1636
mentat wrote:
Hello everyone,

I am relatively new to the UK and London, have two children (my son is starting Reception this September, and my daughter is due to start in 2019).
The local state school my son has been accepted into, just around the corner, is "outstanding", but how reflective this rating actually is of the quality of teaching? The nursery they have been attending also was given an "outstanding" rating, while I personally would not rate it above "average", and was quite surprised at the assessment result.
I tried to meet his class teacher before he starts, but was quite harshly brushed off and advised to read the prospectus.
The open day for new reception entrants was rushed through, and - to be honest - the parent population at the workshop day scared me a little bit. The teacher asked whether there are "working mums" in the new class as they expect parents to subscribe to a rota to come into the class to assist the teacher with reading etc (??? Is this even legal?), and apparently there is only one apart from me.
Now I think whether I made a big mistake by not considering a private prep school. I never researched it in detail, thinking that it must be for aristocracy / very well off people, but it turns out it is relatively affordable. With some careful financial planning, I will just about manage two sets of fees.
I am in South East London, so within relatively easy reach of Colfe's, Blackheath, St Olave's (with a stretch). Dulwich is unfortunately is a little bit far away.
Both my children are quite bright, but English is not their first language, their English speaking father has moved abroad (so there is no one really to help with that), and my daughter is very shy.
Will they be disadvantaged by going into a state school when it comes to 11+ exams? I am more concerned about the general atmosphere at the state school, rather than about particular academic elements that can be tutored.


Why would you 'personally' not rate it 'above average'? what is your benchmark and against what set of criteria are you measuring?

When you claim to have been 'harshly brushed off' - do you mean that the teachers were rushed off their feet at the end of term and simply did not have the time?

You say 'there is no one to help' with your dc learning English - so you expect the school to do it? why can't you?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 2:28 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2015 10:14 pm
Posts: 194
Location: London
Difficult situation. Regarding the 11+ point, no state primary will prepare adequately for the 11+ nor will an all through private school. Private prep schools will prepare for independent schools entrance exams, not state grammar schools ones.
And you don't even know if your children will be academic yet, difficult to know until the end of year 4 really. If I had to start all over again, I would go for outstanding state primary and start extra tuition in year 4 (if child is top of the class and enjoys school work), aimed at the entrance exams of the grammar school of my choice and have an outstanding secondary comp as back up.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 3:38 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2017 1:52 pm
Posts: 86
It must be really daunting for you to try to get your head around a school in a, to you, new country.

I agree with the sentiment that don't just compare private v state but look at each school individually. Also, Outstanding is not necessarily the only measure. E.g. my children attended an excellent state school (regularly rated in the top 3 in the borough and top 200 in Greater London) in terms of outcomes and it has never been Outstanding simply because it's a very small church school with some limitations in terms of facilities (but with excellent teaching/pupil cohort).

Word of mouth is always a good indication. Otherwise also look on the following sites for comparing state schools with other nearby schools:
https://www.compare-school-performance.service.gov.uk/
https://www.schoolguide.co.uk

If you are absolutely set on aiming for the 11+, there is no harm in going state and supplementing with tutors (though, to be honest, many kids at preps/privates have tutors too). If you wanted to get a feel for schools who tend to do well in the 11+ you can look for the 11+ results of last year (e.g. Kent, Bexley) and as the data are presented in an excel, you can order it by school and see roughly how many children pass. Of course you need to bear in mind that some state schools will have 5 forms, others only one. Still it gives you some idea....

Good luck!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 4:08 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
Posts: 7392
Location: East Kent
Don’t worry too much about the language. At that age,your chikdren will pick up English easily. We regularly have children starting school with little or no English and they pick it up easily. Being bilingual will give a great advantage.

It is perfectly normal (and legal) to have parents in school, listening to readers and helping with trips etc. I have done it myself.

Did your son visit the schools? What did he think?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 4:26 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:41 am
Posts: 8930
Location: Essex
yoyo123 wrote:
Don’t worry too much about the language. At that age,your chikdren will pick up English easily. We regularly have children starting school with little or no English and they pick it up easily. Being bilingual will give a great advantage.

It is perfectly normal (and legal) to have parents in school, listening to readers and helping with trips etc. I have done it myself.

Did your son visit the schools? What did he think?


Re the parent helpers in class thing, I read the OP's question as whether 'this' was even legal? as referring to the requirement for mothers to take part in some formalised rota, rather than the doing it in the first place.

As parent helpers in various classes in our DC's primary school, even helping out in our own DC's class involved an enhanced CRB (now DBS) disclosure. Even in the most Outstanding school in the leafiest area, there may be the odd parent whose record will not bear such scrutiny; for that reason, I would not expect any school to insist on any parental involvement which necessitated every single one of them being checked (but on the other hand, how many people would be happy with a school insisting on such an activity on a regular basis without the disclosure being required?).

_________________
Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.Groucho Marx


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 5:20 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 16127
How old are the Ofsted reports? If they are before September 2012 then they were judged n a very different framework. You can look at results on the DfE performance tables to look at the progress of children at the school.
There is a lot to be said for a local school and Private is often not better.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 6:27 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
Posts: 7392
Location: East Kent
ToadMum wrote:
yoyo123 wrote:
Don’t worry too much about the language. At that age,your chikdren will pick up English easily. We regularly have children starting school with little or no English and they pick it up easily. Being bilingual will give a great advantage.

It is perfectly normal (and legal) to have parents in school, listening to readers and helping with trips etc. I have done it myself.

Did your son visit the schools? What did he think?


Re the parent helpers in class thing, I read the OP's question as whether 'this' was even legal? as referring to the requirement for mothers to take part in some formalised rota, rather than the doing it in the first place.

As parent helpers in various classes in our DC's primary school, even helping out in our own DC's class involved an enhanced CRB (now DBS) disclosure. Even in the most Outstanding school in the leafiest area, there may be the odd parent whose record will not bear such scrutiny; for that reason, I would not expect any school to insist on any parental involvement which necessitated every single one of them being checked (but on the other hand, how many people would be happy with a school insisting on such an activity on a regular basis without the disclosure being required?).


Ah , yes, I read it that way now! Definitely not good to insist!


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 18 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: KLJ77 and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Privacy Policy | Refund Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright © 2004 – 2019