Holland Park School(14 Posts)
I was in McDonalds the other day (DD begged) and witnessed some very poor behaviour by HPS boys who McDonalds staff were trying to evict including bad language, threats against members of the public who tried to intervene etc. The latest Ofsted report says HPS pupils' behaviour is exemplary, but as a local I find this hard to believe due to what I witness outside school. I suppose my question is should I be put off applying to HPS (or indeed any other school) by the behaviour of certain of the pupils outside school?
I witnessed appalling behavior from HPS kids before my daughter went to the school and was worried but she had to go there. Bad behavior on the premises is extremely rare, my daughter never feels threatened and the teachers are extremely strict and controlling.
I haven't seen any of the incidents you describe for several years and even in the bad old days never saw a member of the public threatened. Why didn't they call the police? Or are you exaggerating? There are PCSOs attached to the school, as other schools in London.
I noticed when my daughter was in year 7, people would flinch and clutch their bags tight when they saw her walk down the street in uniform with her friends. The school has an undeserved reputation and behavior is generally good these days in public.
Esko-I'm not exaggerating. I have many friends with delightful children at HPS and was considering it for DD. I was therefore a bit shocked as I had hoped that this sort of behaviour no longer took place-I used to live very close to the school and remember when the HPS kids used to smash car windscreens in neighbouring streets etc. I'm glad to hear that behaviour is generally good although my understanding is that the behaviour of the pupils deteriorates as you go down the bands so it is much better if your DC gets into the top band. Is this correct? Or do the bands not matter much?
I'm sorry to hear about this experience. I am quite surprised, as the kids I see are generally ok. DD is year 11 now and she herself says that the school was really 'chavvy' when she started but the kids are getting posher with each intake - not that that guarantees good behavior.
DD has been in the top set throughout and there have been some disruptive kids from time to time, though they tended to be moved down as they don't study. The top class of the top band tend to get the better teachers - not sure if that is mere coincidence, and they are very good at managing the classes. My daughter has friends in other bands and they seem to be doing well, so I think disruption is not a big issue. I always got the impression they distribute the really disruptive kids around the bands, especially in Year 7 & 8.
I think most schools including independents have a disruptive minority. I am sorry your daughter witnessed this. I have a photo on my own daughter on her first day and she looked terrified as her primary was in Notting Hill Gate and she thought the HPS kids were monsters, but she has always felt safe at school and was shocked at the 'bad' behavior she saw when she went for a 6th form interview at Greycoats.
The teachers are incredibly strict (too strict) and kids get away with nothing - the glass walls help! Despite its faults it is a good school and I wouldn't let this incident put you off.
There are rude children at every school.
I wouldn't hesitate in emailing the HT with your concerns.
Esko-thanks that's reassuring. You're right that most schools have a disruptive minority and also that the HPS kids seem to be posher these days. The incident hasn't put me off but perhaps made me more realistic about what to expect; what with the new building/strict regime and outstanding Ofsted report etc you can perhaps have unrealistic expectations about kids' behaviour!
I don't know about the school in general ( and did not consider it for our child ) but what I see occasionally by McDonalds is very worrying - loose behaviour especially by the boys around 13-15 years of age .
Witnessed that a boy was surrounded by a group of other boys and taken his mobile away from him , one of the boys was really hurting him and passers by had to step in .
They always buy snacks at the Tesco Metro and are very rude , push in front of the queue , throw doughnuts and drinks at each other. There are few other schools around the area and I never saw kids from those schools behave in such poor manner .
Think that the School is very strict inside but once the kids are out , they really don't know how to behave in public .
Well complain to the school then and get them to post SLT in Notting Hill Gate. HP behaviour is a lot better than other schools in the area IMHO. You can't judge a whole school on a couple of incidents. I think a lot of people resent a state school in a posh area.
I have indeed called to complain and was reassured that measures will be taken but of course it's all kept within the school and they don't have to inform me or any other member of public of what has been done but so far it didn't change , same kids same behaviour .
I also have friends who's kids got HPS and they are happy there and it suits them . My husband went to HPS as a kid but hated it .
That's why I said that I don't know about the school in general and it may well changed to be a good school so I would not judge it by any means but personally ( just my personal opinion ) would not consider it for my kids ( we go to public school too )
Esko-I don't think it's that people resent a state school in a posh area. Its simply that, although HPS is now strict inside the school gates,there is still a lot of unacceptable behaviour outside which I have personally witnessed recently in both Notting Hill Gate and High Street Kensington. Schools can legally discipline pupils for misbehaving outside of the school premises and I think HPS still needs to do more to clamp down on unacceptable behaviour outside the school gates and to encourage local shops/Mcdonalds etc to provide CCTV of pupils who misbehave. I was shocked at how brazen the misbehaviour I witnessed in Mcdonalds was (including e.g. threatening violence against a member of the public sitting next to me who tried to assist staff) as though the pupils had no fear of punishment at all.
I met the head of HP at some event and congratulated him on his pupils' exemplary behaviour in the street. He was thrilled. Later, I realised I'd confused them with pupils from the Vaughan
Margaret the next time you see Mr Hall make sure to correct your mistake! To be fair there is quite a big a difference in background with probably around 20% of the Vaughan kids eligible for free school meals as against over 50% at HPS.
Unlikely ever to see him again since he told me my kids didn't have a chance in hell of getting into his school, since neither can draw to save their lives
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