Love to know your thoughts... I know we're all focussed on getting our kids into these schools - but is there much difference in teaching styles once they're in????
I've been a little thrown by y7 and 8 complaining that the teaching can be boring - and I confess DH and I were underwhelmed by what we saw of it at several of the top private schools we're considering - Habs, Latymer, Highgate, City, etc....It didnt feel as if it had moved on as much as I'd expected since our day.
What are your thoughts? Have any of you experienced or seen great teaching in these years and where?
Ds did a taster week at a top indie in Surrey. What he said to me was that the speed of teaching was notably different. They expected you to understand and keep up. For him this was a huge plus. He gets really bored and frustrated at (state) primary, when teachers go over and over stuff he learned three years ago, and then set risibly easy homework. He did his maths last night in 3 minutes.
At our local schools they read The Tempest in first term of yr7 at the indie and they read The Hunger Games at the comp. Both are intriguing dystopias, both deserve critical attention. But DS has already read HG. He hasn't read The Tempest. He needs help grasping Shakepeare, his language and iambic pentameters. He doesn't need help understanding the modern, accessible prose of Suzanne Collins. At the indie he'd be stretched and learning something new. At the comp he'd be interested-ish because HG is a fascinating book, but so well within his comfort zone that he'd be coasting with his eyes closed.That's the difference for us.
I thought the OP was getting at the difference in styles between private schools (not between private schools and comps), but perhaps thrown to read it that way by the fact that OP has posted a similar thread on the eleven plus forum
Hiya - definitely between different privates... beginning to feel that we're paying just for the cohort DD will be with, rather than great teaching.... agree with racingheart though - my DD is really bored in y6 repeating stuff ....so most interested in people's experiences of different teaching styles at private schools - So little seems to be known and it seems to come down to individuals being great teachers, rather than certain schools having a certain approach....
I taught at several prep & senior schools in London and elsewhere (in addition to the maintained sector) and from my experience, and observations of colleagues, there can be huge differences in the quality of teaching across independent schools.
It's important to remember that independent schools (senior & prep) serve a wide and varied pupil base. If the school is highly selective then teaching standards tend to be high, less so for those who are less descriminating in their intake. The exception to this tends to be those independent schools offering education for pupils with 'specialist' needs - perhaps some form of physical or edu handicap. In these cases teaching standards are high (but not comparable to mainstream independent because what's required in the classroom is different). Teachers at these 'specialist' schools are dedicated and seem to have a vocational calling (sounds quaint nowadays, but is true from what I've seen).
The schools you list in your original post are not particularly high in the echelon of independent schools. Perhaps you should consider North London Collegiate or St Pauls Girls? Both are academic powerhouses, with top quality staff/teaching styles, and offer an excellent all-round education as well.