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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:33 am 
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hermanmunster wrote:
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 .

Thank you. I did not mean to slag off non working mums, apologies if it came across like that. I was just surprised at the assumption that in the 21st century a working mother of a school-aged child is some sort of an eccentricity.
mad? wrote:
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).

Thank you, that's a good point. This particular school is "outstanding" from Ofsted (full inspection several years old, and a short inspection last year which confirmed "outstanding" rating), but in the bottom third of the borough's league tables for two years in a row (even below the national average). I just wondered how this could be consistent with the Ofsted opinion.
piggys wrote:
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?

I personally would rate it quite low as the premises are tiny, staff turnover is high (my son's key person changed twice in 10 months, my daughter's - once, due to people leaving), and the practitioners do not seem interested in their charges' development. But they ticked all the boxes on the Ofsted report apparently - they even have a 4 sqf corner of "forest school".

It may be that the teacher did not have the time, I saw them for the first time. Not a particularly encouraging sign then, if the teacher does not have any time for parents, is it?
I cannot teach my children academic English because I do not speak it to a sufficient standard myself, and won't be able to help with the homework etc. They obviously are fluent, being born here and all, but it is a second language fluency. What's wrong with the school actually, erm, teaching stuff?
Bazelle wrote:
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.

Thank you. I definitely won't have funds for private secondary education (from what I see, it starts from 18K+ a year, therefore 36K+ for two), thus looking at grammar schools (we seem to be in the catchment area for a couple of good ones). I am very afraid now to make a mistake that will have consequences at a later point, and not sure I fully understand this system of schools / feeder schools / assessments / grammars / preps / pre-preps / year 4+ 7+ 11+ 13+/ bursaries etc. All my colleagues seem to have their children in private prep schools, and were horrified when I mentioned that my son will attend a local state school.
turnip08 wrote:
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).

That's where I struggle to understand. It is Outstanding, but "well below average" in terms of students' progress, and at the bottom of the league tables for the borough.
yoyo123 wrote:
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?

Thank you. It probably just a cultural difference, feels totally weird that non-teaching staff related to some of the students will come to the class and be responsible even for a tiny part of the children's education. Does it not create a conflict of interest?
We visited the school on the open day, he liked the playground, that's pretty much it :lol:
ToadMum wrote:
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.

Well, it was not a requirement, but rather informing that the school expects mums to come two or three times every term to help in the class, the schedule is with Mrs X (teaching assistant), please sign up for the slots that suit you so we can plan ahead. What happens if I am unable to do this (my work does not allow half days), will my children actually not be read / listened to?
Guest55 wrote:
How old are the Ofsted reports? If they are before September 2012 then they were judged n a very different framework.

A full inspection is several years old, and then there was a "short" inspection recently.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:54 am 
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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 5:27 pm
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Location: london
Don't worry too much about the 2nd language thing. Yoyo is correct and your written English is very good. Reading is key to vocabulary development so when the time comes ensure they read, even if they are books you would struggle with, and ensure they do this irrespective of which sector they are in.
WRT the inspection, read the report, it will tell you why and where the school was rated outstanding. Things may have changed since it was written.

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mad?


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 10:46 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2014 4:04 pm
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My sil's school is Ofsted outstanding (she is a deputy head). Their results are very poor when looked at the entire borough. SHe happens to work in a London borough where the difference between the haves and the have-nots is maybe more stark than in most (I don't know the figures; it just happens to be a relatively wealthy borough where there are many streets of multi-million-pound houses with parents who do send their children to local state schools but there are many high-rise poverty-ridden areas too). There are two schools almost next door to each other. Their intake is vastly different; her school takes pretty much all of the poorer children. They get an excellent Ofsted because of good progress (many of the children come in unable to speak a word of English, others unable to hold cutlery etc) and also because of superb pastoral care/leadership etc. It's a school where the progress is excellent because the intake is so low - it's a school with little parental support due to all sorts of factors. Ofsted (for all its failings and there are many) looks at a bigger picture than just results at the end of the school.
My children are at selective secondary schools having gone to a non-outstanding state primary throughout. I loved their primary school. It was caring and supportive. But I picked it (we have a lot of choice where we lived) because when I went and visited, I considered it the one where they would be happiest. I did not consider whether they would do better academically at another school (they were 4; I have no idea how I could even have made that judgment). My personal friends with children at private schools do not have children who are happier (than those of my friends with children at state schools). They also don't have children who are more "academically successful".
I think only you can judge whether you can see your children fitting in to the school and being happy there.
(And I think schools can still be very old-fashioned about parents working. Most of the parents at my children's primary did work; many of the parents shared child care and pick-ups etc. There was still an assumption that mothers could attend more than fathers and a bizarre assumption that parents' evenings starting at 3pm were easy to attend! However in reality they did try and make things work for those of us who couldn't just go in. And I was never expected to help out!)


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 2:04 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
Posts: 7377
Location: East Kent
I don’t know what your first language is but have you looked in you local library (free yo join) They often have bilingual children’s books. The text is in both languages and you can share the book together. It’s a great way to link their 2 cultures together. I borrowed some for a boy in year 1, his home language was Lithuanian and he knew very little English.
He loved them because he read the same book at school and home and got to share it with his Mum.
If your branch doesn’t have a particular book, you can reserve them from anywhere in the county.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:18 pm 
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mentat wrote:
I personally would rate it quite low as the premises are tiny, staff turnover is high (my son's key person changed twice in 10 months, my daughter's - once, due to people leaving), and the practitioners do not seem interested in their charges' development. But they ticked all the boxes on the Ofsted report apparently - they even have a 4 sqf corner of "forest school



I may have mis-read this, but I thought your children hadn't started school yet. How do they have key workers?

For me I'd go with where I thought my children would be happiest. Also make sure you have a back up plan for secondary, at 4 you can't know if they'll be suitable for grammar school, or more importantly if grammar school will be suitable for them. Hope you find something that works for you.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 4:23 pm 
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Location: East Kent
Red Velvet, mentat said that her son was at nursery, but soon to start in Reception year.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 8:15 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 1:06 pm
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Oh, I assumed she was talking about the school.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 8:31 pm 
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mentat wrote:
A full inspection is several years old, and then there was a "short" inspection recently.

So it is still outstanding after a recent check - great!


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