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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 8:29 pm 
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Interesting stuff, Sassie's Dad.

Private/Public (tchah, only in this country could they mean the same thing re schools :roll: ) schools have a long history of vertical tutoring, as many of them (like Rugby School) are predominantly boarding schools with a house system where boys and girls actually live. In such an environment, vertical tutoring is just an instrinsic part of daily life. And has been for over 100 years in most, hence its success in these establishments.

More interesting how it works in day schools, regardless of sector, intake or catchment, as this post shows. I still think it could work, but it would require a HUGE input from families. A lot of successful VT schools have many evening/weekend/school holiday 'house' events to help the VT tutor groups to bond and, crucially, for the parents to get to know one another on a social, relaxed, non-time pressured basis. (Part of me thinks this is the real key - everyone just seems so busy/pressured/serious/miserable/mistrustful - take your pick, these days, that creating a truly warm and supportive family atmosphere in ANY school is extremely hard.)

Sassie's Dad; Marshall House - don't they eat in senior houses and have formal links with them? (And how closely do they work with their close bequested next-door neighbour, LSS, regarding spreading best practice in this regard?.....mmm, thought not :roll: )


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 8:40 pm 
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I think one of the problems is that we and our children do not want a "warm family atmosphere" at school! My DDs would like more time at home with their own family and for school to be relegated to doing what it says on the tin; providing good teaching and exam results in a pleasant and congenial setting.
After all, when I visit J**n Lew*s to buy some new saucepans I want polite and knowlegable service from nice people but I DON'T want new quasi members of my family, nor do I want to go back there for some kind of social event in the evening.
My DDs see school (I think quite rightly) as a 7 year interview for university and are content to enjoy themselves at home and out of school. The icing on the cake would be a shorter day or less days per week and longer holidays!


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:12 pm 
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How depressing. :cry:

Maybe I'm just unusual.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:32 pm 
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Word of advice Magwich2; do not, under any circumstances, allow your children to mention during Oxbridge interviews that they view school as a 7year uni entrance hurdle to overcome.

Or, for that matter, any other university that still interviews.

Dear o dear, there I was looking forward to Saturday night and now I feel depressed. Many thanks :cry:

Out of interest, what were your school-day experiences like?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 5:37 pm 
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I do know what you mean about it being depressing, Preston but I don't think much has changed since I was at a girls grammar school many many moons ago. I was lucky enough to have a mother who only worked part time and I used to get very cross that I could not spend more time with her at home or going out with her. School wasn't awful but I felt it wasted a lot of my time and most lessons were just boring. The actual work could have been completed in a quarter of the time in a library or at home.
DDs seem to have exactly the same experience nowadays.
DD1 has just been through university interviews and got a place but she is as cynical as I am and certainly did not say what she really thought about school!!


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 2:48 pm 
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Location: Rugby
Hi Preston,
Yes it is true that MH pupils eat in senior house and already identify with the school house system they will join in F block (Year nine); boys and girls in MH eat in Bradley House (I would guess because of its central location and the fact it has three dinining halls) but most of the girls will go on to be members of Southfield and the boys Town house. I am not aware that there is any contact between MH and Lawrence Sherrif , though there is plenty of contact through sports with most of the local schools.

As far as I know the contact between LSS and RHS is still largely in the sixth form. This I think for a number of reasons but chiefly because RHS does have a problem funding its staff and meeting requests for low numbers of children choosing certain subjects. I think this is to be encouraged as single sex schools, for all the supposed benefits to their bretherin of the absence of the opposite sex, are very much in the minority in recent years.

It is pretty invideouse to make comparrisons between such different schools. For instance at Rugby, where there are only 26 weeks of term, from year nine the pupils are at school monday through friday as a matter of course. Their day typically statrts around 8a.m.and often finishes at 5 or 5.30. There are four compulsory chapel attendances (Sunday) per term. So as individaual they are very heavilly involved in school, whatever their involvement in their immediate familly.
My eldest dd attended an all girls school but I cannot honestly say it benefitted her either academicly or otherwise!

I think one of the easy to overlook aspects of this VT thing is that different schools have a different take because of their own unique identity. LSS for example is a boys only school. My personal view is that boys are likely to find this system (in a day school with no strong house sysytem) alien and few of them are blessed with the altruism streak!


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 4:42 pm 
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Sassie's Dad - not sure if your last sentence is talking about LSS, but LSS does have a house system and it does seem to be fairly strong with inter house sports competition, merit points being awarded to houses etc.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:52 pm 
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Location: Warwickshire.
You're a little mistaken Sassie's Dad. From year 9 the children are schooled Monday to Saturday and attend Chapel on Sundays every week (unless they can prove that they worship elsewhere). Marshall House pupils eat in another house as there is no kitchen within the junior department. My son, who is in the equivalent of year 9, is often home much later than you suggest. It will be quite a shock for you when your daughter enters the main school! I love the school and would struggle to fault it, but it takes over everyone's' lives. Thank goodness for exeat!


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:06 pm 
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Location: Rugby
I don't think I have lost the plot. I was generally comparing ( apples with pears perhaps) years seven/eight at an indy with a state GS. At the former, all the children are joining a school with a substantial school history entirely revolving around a house system, albeit a system entirely devoted to boys and deliberately calculated to emphasise the competative nature of the house system.
During those years (7 & 8) there is a requirement at indy to attend school on Sundays for religious observance (unless one has a dispensation) at least four times a term. I realise that in year nine the requirement to spend much more time at school is far greater, but that is not a drawback, rather a privaledge.

The school hours I was quoting were intended to compare and contrast years seven and eight at a prominent indy with a very significant State Grammar (allbiet founded through the good offices of Rugby School). I know full well that in year nine the committment made at indy by all children becomes far more significant.

To my mind that simply strenghthens the argument I was putting forward. Yes LSS does have four houses but the heart beat of the school system is not, cannot be the same. That is essentially because Rugby is so much older and has sixteen houses, and at the end of the day it is a boarding school first and formost.

All I am really saying is that their VT system has taken some bedding in and is not without its difficulties. But I am also sick and tired of hearing how privaledged my daughter is. She deserves it, like all her counterparts. They simply had the nerve and audacity to strive for the greatest challenge. Many of them passed 11plus, so they are not the patronised spoilt cum latelyies they are so often portrayed as being in parts of this forum. They also keep in touch with their former classmates from their state schools, where they were once members, and continue to remain firm friends. I see paralels between horses and school children. Those who try hardest, longest, achieve the most!


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