Thick as muck

(79 Posts)
Kenlee Thu 02-Jan-14 01:08:37

I was asked this question at a party when talking about our DC...

If your child was thick as muck would you have still sent her to private school or bother tutoring her if she was in state school?

I really didnt have an answer for that as I was rather dumbstruck at the question.

After some thought I think I would still send her private.As she maybe a late developer or she was not engaged with her teachers.

If I couldn't afford it I would most likely find tutors that could engage her and get her moving.

If couldn't afford either I would then read books myself and try to engage her...

But I would never give up on her....

I think the main reasons why children fail is because parents give up on their children. It doesn't matter what socio econmic background you are from but if you give up. Your children will do the same....

Although being a helicopter tiger mum is also not very helpful to your child either....

TheGervasuttiPillar Thu 02-Jan-14 02:35:11

A friend of mine is a teacher and one of her Y5 pupils is not proficient in single digit addition (esp. if the sum is above 10).

The child gets a great deal of help in school. I think your friend would describe this child as 'thick as muck' (TAM). I do wonder what the point is of going over, day after day, stuff the kid just does not get. Why not find something the kid does well instead and do that?

The monetary equation of private vs TAM would have more to it for me. t could easily be that the TAM would get loads more benefit from some paid for schooling than your run-of-the-mill kid of affluent parents.

Magrug Thu 02-Jan-14 02:43:17

Nothing wrong with being TAM. Just because schools measure academics (because they have to) doesn't mean that's the only worthwhile way for a child to develop.

If I had a child who was TAM (and I suspect I may have), I would do all I could to discover their 'thing'. I think they'd be more likely to find it at an independent school (in our area, anyway...) as there is more of an emphasis on extra-curricular activity, but as TheGervasuttiPillar says, why go over and over and over and over something the child simply won't ever grasp? Why set them up to fail?

Kenlee Thu 02-Jan-14 04:20:34

Hmm a good point....I was just thinking along the lines of different approaches to help them understand..

But it does make sence to find something they are good at and develop that....I think being TAM is also conditioned into them. If they can build self esteem I think most can do well maybe not in academia but in other fields...

I just don't think any child should be written off because they can't compete with their academic peers...

In fact my brother was TAM until he reached University and now he is a chartered civil engineer... So its not all doom and gloom.

adoptmama Thu 02-Jan-14 07:51:29

The child may have a learning difficulty like dyscalculia which makes it hard for them to acquire and retain mathematical skills. You wouldn't give up on teaching a dyslexic to read. Basic numeracy is an essential life skill. It is not 'setting a child up to fail' to keep trying to reinforce the learning. It is not giving up on them, teaching them not to give up on themself, and hoping that you can find a way to help the learning stick.
The overwhelming majority of people are of 'average' intellect, some at the high end, some at the low end. A very small percentage are gifted or profoundly struggling. In 20+ years of teaching I have never met a child who is 'thick as mud'. Personally I wouldn't have considered it a question worth answering, beyond saying that if you only consider investing in you child's education (time, money or emotion) worthwhile if your child is 'bright' then you suck as a parent.

17leftfeet Thu 02-Jan-14 08:24:12

How can you describe your brother as TAM if he made it to university?

schoolnurse Thu 02-Jan-14 09:20:11

I find it hard to accept that a "normal" child can't learn to do single digit addition. I've worked with adults with a variety of syndromes whose IQ are barely over 80 and high functioning Down's syndrome children/adults who can easily do this both were/are statemented at school and living in support accommodation!! As already said some skills like simple addition are an essential life skill.
I personally would spend the money if I felt the school was the right place for that child and that there would more opportunities and more time would be devoted to them to ensure that they do quire the necessary life skills.

Enb76 Thu 02-Jan-14 09:25:41

I would be more likely to send a TAM or even average child to private school. I think if your child is bright then as long as you are interested in their education they are able to do ok wherever they are. An average child will be more likely to get better results going private and a TAM… well I think you should find something they excel at outside of academia. It must be hateful to bump along the bottom and is unlikely to do much for ones self esteem.

schoolnurse Thu 02-Jan-14 09:25:55

Sorry meant to right IQ barely over 50.

curlew Thu 02-Jan-14 09:30:01

What a deeply unpleasant thread.

MrsSteptoe Thu 02-Jan-14 09:30:34

DSis, whose son is very bright and went to a very high achieving independent school, asked me why I'd bother with private school if my DS was closer to the average. Leaving aside the patronising tone, which after all these years is pretty much water off a duck's back, seemed like a ridiculous question to me - for very much the reasons that Enb76 cites above.

Marmitelover55 Thu 02-Jan-14 09:40:57

Agree with curlew

adoptmama Thu 02-Jan-14 09:41:13

Just as we'll, schoolnurse, you are not a support for learning teacher then. There are plenty of 'normal' bright, able children who struggle with dyscalculia. A learning difficulty does not make a person 'thick' or stupid. Whether or not you find it 'difficult to accept' or not, does not make it any less real. It is attitudes like yours that make it so hard for teachers, parents and the children themselves.

As curlew said, a deeply unpleasant thread populated by comments I would have thought were from eras long gone.

ReallyTired Thu 02-Jan-14 09:50:47

"If your child was thick as muck would you have still sent her to private school or bother tutoring her if she was in state school?"

I think that there are kinder ways of describing someone with learning difficulties.

Before shelling out thousands on a child with learning difficulties I would pay a private ed pych to work out what provision the child needed to reach their full potential. It may well be the that the local state special school is the best provision in the area for such a child.

For a child who is a bit dim, but not got major learning difficulties the right private school can be a kinder enviroment than the bottom set of the local comp. Even if they learn nothing at the private school, prehaps its nice not to be bullied and unruly classmates. A lot depends what your local state schools are like.

It may well be that investing the money that you would have spent on fees is better for the child. Ie. if you can't give them a private education then having their own flat as an adult might help them become independent.

I have met secondary school children who have an IQ above 80 who can't do basic addition. There are many types of intelligence. Often brain damage affects one part of the brain but not another.

schoolnurse Thu 02-Jan-14 09:52:29

The point I'm trying to make adopt is that those with low IQ's can learn simple addition subtraction etc and that if they are able to learn it it is an essential life skill. I'm not saying they will learn it over night or even of course in a classroom situation but no one should give up trying to teach them because they don't see a point in doing it. I would also like to point out as have others that the inability to do simple addition is not an accurate measure of intelligence.

ReallyTired Thu 02-Jan-14 09:58:12

Someone with a cognitive impairment needs specialist teaching to learn basic skills. There are private schools which are horrendously expensive that do cater for children with substantial learning difficulties, but they are incredibly expensive. Most parents have to fight tooth and nail to get a statement to cover the costs.

I have met children (with brain damage) who at the age of eleven cannot count objects beyond 10. In some counties such children are taught in mainstream, other counties have MLD special schools or units attached to secondary schools. Most private schools would not have a clue on how to educate such a child or the connections to arrange suitable work experience later on.

schoolnurse Thu 02-Jan-14 10:14:41

I think the problem here is how the term thick as mud (I'm very reluctant to even write this) is defined. As reallytired has pointed out many children with severe learning difficulties and low IQ's will be better off in the state sector or even a specialised state school where their often complex needs can be hopefully met because staff are specialised in dealing with them. Most independent schools wouldn't take them because they are aware of their limitations.
If by thick as mud we're talking children at the lower end of average then if money was no object then the choice depends on what is available and what is the best fit for the individual child. A childhood friend of mine who I suspect would be categorised at TAM went to a well known boarding school because she was a talented horse rider and was able to take her horse and have lessons from top trainers and ride 7 days a week she is now a professional event rider. She lived breathed ate slept horses and struggled in primary school academically although interestingly she also left her school (many years ago) with a selection of O level passes in the core subjects and even two A levels perhaps making up horse feed everyday helped her with her maths!

curlew Thu 02-Jan-14 10:18:31

"I think the problem here is how the term thick as mud (I'm very reluctant to even write this) is defined."

Is it? I think the problems on this thread are much deeper and more extensive than a mere definition of term!

Gunznroses Thu 02-Jan-14 10:28:23

curlew would you care to expantiate on the problems you see on this thread? i'm asking genuinely as i don't see what they are, the thread title if provocative but OP is relaying what she was asked and people seem to be giving reasonable opinions, however I do agree with schoolnurse that its unclear what the person in the OP was referring to as TAM (deeply unpleasant whatever he/she meant) but political correctness aside i'm sure most of us have come across people who use this term. On MN alone i've come across posters referring to children as 'thick' if they score anything less than an 'A', didn't go to an RG university, or don't attend a secondary school in the top 10.

ReallyTired Thu 02-Jan-14 10:41:43

"curlew would you care to expantiate on the problems you see on this thread?"

Prehaps the biggest problem of this thread is the implication that a family should apportion its resources to children based on ablity. In real life the hurtful term "thick" is part of the english language. In the past children used to be refered as "retarded" or "educationally subnormal", but these terms have now become taboo as they were used as insults. The term "special needs" is vague as to be meaningless.

I suppose that if this thread had asked what is the best education in the world for a children with a learning difficulty then it would had not had any kind of reaction.

Gunznroses Thu 02-Jan-14 11:03:40

Reallytired but how do we know the term was used in reference to a child with learning difficulties ? the OP doesn't say that, which is why one needs more clarification before we can adequately contribute to this confusing thread.

curlew Thu 02-Jan-14 11:08:38

"curlew would you care to expantiate on the problems you see on this thread?"

Not really. Frankly, if the language used and ideas expressed don't outrage you, nothing i could say is likely to make any difference.

Gunznroses Thu 02-Jan-14 11:10:44

curlew Sheer outrage is not going to make any difference either. Its simply shutting the door to any opportunity to educate or be educated.

schoolnurse Thu 02-Jan-14 11:24:42

curlew is right to be indignant about the term TAM and the implication that if you're below average intelligence then you don't deserve or justify as much money spent on you as say you bright sibling.
The reality this who really do have a low IQ deserve more money spent on then because teaching then to acquire a whole range of skills just to enable them to function in society but this takes time patience and specialised teaching. Sadly they are for the want of a better term an unromantic group when compared to prem babies or oncology children and are therefore under rescourced and in fact as the Winterbourne Home case demonstrated often abused. If you had a child with a below average IQ, had the money and could find an independent school which could meet the child's needs better than the state sector could then it would be morally wrong not to send them. Most parents of these children are enormously dedicated and caring often fighting a difficult and unwieldy system I suspect few would even query whether it was money well spent; if they had it they'd spend it

ReallyTired Thu 02-Jan-14 11:58:05

It is not always possible to throw money at a problem and get a solution. We all want our children to become independent and happy adults and it is a good question to ask how this can be best achieved.

I think its naivity to assume that private education is always better. There are some truely fanastic state schools for children with special needs in the UK. Depending on the child's disablity then it may be the case that the best school in the world is a state school.

Supporting a child who finds learning difficult often requires lateral thinking. The world is far wider than academic achievement. My brother got very few qualications inspite of attending really expensive private schools. He is now working as an electrican, one of his school friends is a long distance lorry driver and another friend is a chef.

Even children with substantial learning difficulties can find worthwhile employment. I know someone who has a very low IQ and went to special school who is now sorting recycling at the local dump.

Kenlee Thu 02-Jan-14 23:21:55

What was meant I think from the parent I met was a child who underperforms at school...Although with her it could be difficult to say what she meant.

Although I do whole heartly agree that children with learning difficulties need more time and resources spent on them. As I said If my child was in that situation I would also go private...Although it is quite clear there are state provided provisions and I think there should be more.

Im glad this thread has open the door to some open discussion. Its not about labeling but what can be done.

I do have a friend whos son does not have any impairment but just can not focus. He has been sent to private school in the UK to no avail....He is now teaching native English to the locals...So getting no qualifications is not a barrier to finding work.

ReallyTired Thu 02-Jan-14 23:37:35

Being as lazy as sin (ALAS) is very different to being TAM. I suppose that a private school will ensure that ALAS child with supportive will get five decent GCSE. State schools don't have the time chase naughty children who haven't done their homework properly as teachers have less ppa time and bigger classes. A typical state secondary school teacher teaches 300 children in a week!

My son is ALAS child, but I have taken the view I would rather he fails his exams at school than fail at university. Since he is only in year 7 at a state comp and I hope he will grow up a bit and do his homework when he is older. At the moment all he wants to do is sing and play his guitar.

Gunznroses Fri 03-Jan-14 11:38:40

Thanks for clarifying Kenlee that's kind of what i thought you meant so was a bit surprised some posters were assuming it was children with special/learning needs that was being referred to.

curlew Fri 03-Jan-14 11:42:53

I didn't assume the thread was about children with additional needs. It didn't need that element to be unpleasant.

Att100 Fri 03-Jan-14 15:37:40

agree awful way to describe any child....every child has some positive attributes and IQ doesn't measure imagination or creativity....a child that cannot focus at school could be ADHD; gifted and ADHD, gifted and bored; or just plain bored or frustrated.......it doesn't mean they are "thick"...and formal schooling has its limitations (often does nothing to foster creativity for example) ...and some are simply not suited to its restrictions...many examples of very successful business and other folk who "failed" in formal schooling. ...Some folk hate school but love their subject at university...people change.

SoupDragon Fri 03-Jan-14 15:42:24

I think there are some children for whom a vocational education would be more fulfilling than an academic one. However, there does not seem to be this option in private or state education - at least not until they have left standard secondary.

Att100 Fri 03-Jan-14 15:47:11

yes, and that is why they should have vocational schools from a certain age with apprenticeships and parity with academic ones....my DS happens to be very academic but also loves building /creating stuff...I have no idea what career he will choose...hopefully something that will combine the two ...some kids are very good with their hands and creative but not academic in the strict sense...and the formal education system should cater to them not write them off.

Att100 Fri 03-Jan-14 15:52:18

Wishing I wasn't posting under this as I hate the title, but vocational meaning something like this....http://www.young-germany.de/topic/study/courses-degrees/germanys-dual-vocational-education-system

It shouldn't be about state vs private or tutoring but decent alternatives to children who don't want to be academic....but end up as GCSE or A level "failures" because that the system they are pushed through.

curlew Fri 03-Jan-14 18:01:45

What sort of jobs would the vocational schools prepare people for?

I am cynical because in my experience people tend to raise the idea of vocational schools to make themselves feel better about the "elite" choices they have made for their own children. "Oh, that sort of school wouldn't suit the rest of them- they would be so much better somewhere where they can learn to work with their hands"

SoupDragon Fri 03-Jan-14 18:04:48

Well, right now, I would give my right arm for a plumber rather than someone exceptional at maths and privately educated grin

My eldest brother was crap at school doing academic stuff but excelled at mechanical engineering at college. His last 2 years at secondary were pretty much wasted IMO.

SoupDragon Fri 03-Jan-14 18:07:32

in my experience people tend to raise the idea of vocational schools to make themselves feel better about the "elite" choices they have made for their own children. "Oh, that sort of school wouldn't suit the rest of them- they would be so much better somewhere where they can learn to work with their hands"

I find that quite offensive actually. I raise the idea of vocational schools not because my DSs are at private secondary but because I can see that there are children who are failed by the current academically biased educational system because they would be far better learning a trade.

curlew Fri 03-Jan-14 18:26:47

At what age do you decide that someone would be much better learning a trade?

Squiffyagain Fri 03-Jan-14 18:29:41

The breadth of experience available at some indies from yr3 onwards - design technology, arts, classics, music, games, etc on top of the typical academic subjects, would provide any less academic child with a wealth of opportunities that might not be appreciated by the more academic child, and this could lead to a really fabulous school experience in senior school (as many indies specialise in DT, or Arts or Sports, etc).

And remember there are many other social advantages. Not even his parents could have given Mark Thatcher the kind of social links he picked up at school which have kept him going. Not of course that one would describe him as being thick as muck. Oh no.

I think SEN is a different subject, with a whole different set of criteria. My DC have SN and the question of which setting is best is a far trickier one and boils down to circs. At the end of the day you do what's best for the kids and if you can afford to fork out for the best option (should that turn to be private) then thank heavens for that. For one of my DCs private will be best, for another we are looking at state. Horses for courses. But if I had a DC who was not a high flier but was NT then I'd not hesitate to educate privately at a vocational-leaning school.

ReallyTired Fri 03-Jan-14 18:43:00

The german system is far too narrow and selection is far to early. Children are seperated into academic, vocational and thick as mud before the end of year 5. Do we REALLY want such glorious system where children are written off as TAM and uneducatable at the age of NINE? (Unlike England, German children start school at the age of seven so have less time to prove that they are not TAM.)

Most sane parents want their children to be happy. If private education achieves this then its money well spent. However making your child into a happy and independent adult is far more complex.

Att100 Fri 03-Jan-14 18:57:38

why do people think "trade" or vocational means inferior or "written off" ...I know a child who was very academic but then really got into DT at private school and loved doing stuff with using his hands ....he decided to not pursue academic courses at university and having won an Arkwright Scholarship went into design and will no doubt make a mark for himself.... he could have been non -academic and still pursued this once he found his penchant ........we are going to need creative people like him in the future as much (and perhaps more than) as accountants, lawyers...etc. Og not everyone is going to reach those heights, but if that is a child's interest at 15 or 16 there should be an alternative route if they prefer to take it.

A bit like this guy..... who learned his "trade" early on from his silversmith father..

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-16367022

Att100 Fri 03-Jan-14 19:01:18

Here's an extract:

[Sir Jonathan] Ive has been lauded for the tight fit between form and function seen in Apple gadgets such as the iPod and iPhone.

Born in February 1967, [Sir Jonathan Ive] inherited a love of making things from his father, a silversmith, and reportedly spent much of his youth taking things apart to see how they worked.

From the age of 14, he said, he knew he was interested in drawing and making "stuff" and this led him to Newcastle Polytechnic - now Northumbria University - where he studied industrial design.

mummy1973 Fri 03-Jan-14 20:25:56

I'd never think any child was as thick as muck.

TeenAndTween Fri 03-Jan-14 20:37:33

At DD's secondary, from y10 there is are options to do Construction or Hair and Beauty. About 10% of a year group get to do them. They don't help league tables, but the thinking is that kids who might otherwise drop out, get to learn something vocational, keep coming into school, and thus keep also doing their English, Maths etc. There are also quite a few tech options and you're not limted to one only. I think it's a great system. (And the top kids still get to do 3 science, extra latin, etc etc etc).

I don't think private education should only be aimed at the bright kids. If you are inclined to go private and there is a private school that you think will bring out the best in your child, better than a state, then go for it, irrespective of how bright your child is. You aren't (or shouldn't be) paying for 'A' grades, you shopuld be paying for the all round experience, plus good education.

Marmitelover55 Fri 03-Jan-14 20:50:30

I thought that private schools (by and large) weren't aimed at the brightest and best but more the average child - our local and well regarded (selective) private school sell themselves on increasing GCSE grades to 2 levels above what would otherwise be expected. So someone predicted a C at the start of year 7 should achieved an A and someone predicted a B should receive an A*. If your child is going to get the higher grades anyway then I'm nog surf private school would be worth the huge expense. We have gone comp by the way.

ReallyTired Fri 03-Jan-14 21:30:05

It could be argued that the point of private education is your child enjoys a particular lifestyle rather than necessarily gets better results. State schools are like Ikea, it does the job, but its no frills. School is how you spend your childhood as well as preparing someone for the world of work.

I am sure that a child who is not academic would enjoy the lovely sports facilites, beautiful grounds, lots of attention and higher quality school dinners. There is no point in paying private for low ablity child if you feel the purpose of private education is to churn out A*s. Private schools cannot perform mircles, but a good private school can ensure that child without academic ablity has a good child hood.

Kenlee Fri 03-Jan-14 21:35:34

I also don't like this idea that if your thick as mud your a wtite off... I have a friend at school who wad terrible at school he did city and guilds at school as he was passed over for the O levels and CSE.

He became a mechanic and now owns a thriving business. Has he failed in life? I think not.

Vocational training is an important part of education for those who are not academic.

I know of a person who failed all of his exams and now works as an executive chef in a very large hotel working up through the ranks. Has he failed in life?

Not everyone is academic but what they do in life also impacts on our lives too. Yes he was thick as mud (academically) at school but I don't think you can say that these two very successful guys haven't succeded in life.

Gunznroses Fri 03-Jan-14 23:46:20

What I find annoying about the academic v TAM debate is the smug attitude of 'we are the academic elite'!, no one has a hand in their own cleverness. Being extremely academic is as much a lottery draw as being born with a lovely singing voice, artistic ability etc. Even if you have academic parents its not a given that they will in turn have a highly academic child, despite some people believing if you have children with someone very academic they will spew little Einsteins!

Clearly a good education goes along way, but the natural innate ability we are born with is a lottery draw. Infact I have 2 sets of old school friends who would be considered absolutely non academic whilst at school, both have highly academic children now at super selective schools. In our family dsis can draw for england, ive never been able to draw, ds1 has amazing artist talent, ds2 couldn't draw to save his life. I think people with amazingly academic dc need to be a bit more humble and less sneery and condescending and remember no one is gifted in everything and also that is it a GIFT!

ReallyTired Fri 03-Jan-14 23:53:57

Its easy to forget that many very academic people are "good with their hands". For example a brain surgeon or a even a humble dentist has to be "good with their hands".

I think its a mistake to pigeon hole children too young or make choices for them ie. deciding that they HAVE to go down an academic route. There are lots of completely unemployable graduates at the moment.

I disagree with the last post. I believe that academic success is very much made rather than being innate. Natural ablity on its own simply isn't enough. Prehaps parents hope that good schools will moviate children.

Gunznroses Fri 03-Jan-14 23:54:57

Reallytired
State schools are like Ikea, it does the job, but its no frills

hmmm...the ones near me are like Primark, you wash it once and it falls apart.

Gunznroses Sat 04-Jan-14 00:03:19

Reallytired - i didnt say say academic success is all innate ability, I said
Clearly a good education goes along way, but the natural innate ability we are born with is a lottery draw. Point is we are all born with a certain innate ability which we can then build upon with good education, so for instance if you were born with below average ability , a good education might push you up to get 5 GCSEs, but you will never achieve 11 A*s perhaps i'm not explaining it very well, of course natural ability alone isnt enough, it also has to be nurtured, but some have a head start and that part is predetermined by birth.

nibs777 Sat 04-Jan-14 00:09:56

I also do believe one is born with a certain level of innate intelligence (which could be used in the broadest sense of the word, artistic, numeracy, linguistic) and some will have a higher innate intelligence than others, but your academic success may be helped or hindered by your environment (parental involvement, schooling etc.)

ReallyTired Sat 04-Jan-14 00:13:33

Gunznroses Some people do really well from state schools. (I'll let you in a secret that some children in those nasty state comps are let into Oxbridge!)

I believe that many private schools are coasting on the high ablity of their pupils. I feel that every school in the land should be inspected by OFSTED. Prehaps this would stop top private schools kicking out the nice but dim children.

nibs777 Sat 04-Jan-14 00:23:42

Agree with that comment ReallyTired....people need to look behind the "brand" especially when paying so much...but the statistics are often misleading and often hard information is lacking ....I have noticed marketing has become very slick for some privates..... often selling themselves as "aspirational" places to aim for.

Kenlee Sat 04-Jan-14 01:24:06

Actually we know of many schools in Hong Kong that take on non academic children to Year 10 then will suggest your child go eleswhere to take the Year 11 ...

That way they keep their elite status....the ones who won competition for them but are not academically bright are asked to move on.

I do hope that is not the case in the UK....I think all schools should be forced to keep their children from day 1 to the last days of the O levels or A levels....

Then its all about teaching not rejecting....

I also think inate ability is inherited but to bring it out you need good teachers and good parenting.... You usually find the TAM children have parents that don't care and teachers who would rather not bother...It is this combination that is lethal....

nibs777 Sat 04-Jan-14 01:40:57

there's quite a few privates that cull at sixth form here Kenlee, including some famous ones, and then also give out scholarships to attract very clever new children at sixth form, some of whom may come from state, so this further enhances their A level A* and Oxbridge success results...which in turns keeps new parents coming...this is what i mean about stats/league tables being misleading....there should be open info of how many original year 1 students stay on, and how many new join at 6th form, so you can determine how much is value add and how much just further selection and filtering out the bottom % per cent who may be encouraged or asked to leave.

curlew Sat 04-Jan-14 01:50:13

State schools are like Ikea, it does the job, but its no frills

hmmm...the ones near me are like Primark, you wash it once and it falls apart."

Words absolutely fucking fail me, they really do.

Kenlee Sat 04-Jan-14 06:29:41

I agree with you there Nib....

I kinda like the analogy of Ikea and Primark Im not sure it encompasses all state schools but it did bring a smilet o my face.....

All we need is to find a crap brand name so we can tar some of the crap indie schoola with it too

curlew Sat 04-Jan-14 09:09:59

Oh, there are loads of independent schools that are just like those brands that aspirational people think are posh but aren't- like Louis Vuitton and Snythson........

curlew Sat 04-Jan-14 09:10:26

Smythson, even! grin

summerends Sat 04-Jan-14 09:15:05

Actually we've had mainly great quality clothes from Primark, perhaps relating to what we chose. All goes to show that some bad experiences may not be generally representative.

curlew Sat 04-Jan-14 09:27:50

It also goes to show how damaging to one's world view blinkers are!

Kenlee Sat 04-Jan-14 09:54:21

Speaking about LV I have one but I don't se what is so special about it...

Marmitelover55 Sat 04-Jan-14 09:58:33

We have some really good state schools (comps) where I live (my DD1 is at one) and TBH when I looked round all of the local schools I felt that some of the private ones were looking a bit tired and the facilities at the state schools were amazing, thanks to the Building Schools for the Future programme (what a shame thi was scrapped in favour of free schools).

Gunznroses Sat 04-Jan-14 11:53:51

Reallytired I think you really need to read posts properly before replying because you're beginning to sound silly...i refered to the state schools.. 'the ones near me' and yes i know very well about about state school children going to Oxbridge but thanks for sharing your nuggets of wisdom hmm

Curlew Words can continue to fail you but the truth is not all schools are like IKEA! they don't all do the job, and the ones near me like i said are failing the children. Be shocked all you like.

Elibean Sat 04-Jan-14 18:31:13

I remember a classmate at secondary school. Everyone quietly or not so quietly thought she was thick. She had poor writing skills, was clumsy, inarticulate and was bad at sports (irrelevent I know, but for some reason a lot of the girls pigeon holed those of us who were bad at sports as either very thick or very clever confused). She was kind, and always bottom of the class.

She, however, went to Oxford and became a scientist.

Whereas some of us top of the class-ers took drugs and dropped out.

I will never, ever write anyone off or give up on them, or think I have them pegged forever.

Ericaequites Sun 05-Jan-14 00:25:11

There are some children who are not clever or talented at anything. No amount of pushing will give them five good GSCEs. It would be better for them to be shunted off into work at 16 rather than wasting further time at school. Note: this is not more than a tenth nationwide.
I'm an American, and far too many children here are encouraged to attend university. Some sort of sorting at thirteen or so would be highly beneficial. I only wish we had nationwide Regents exams or GSCEs.

Ericaequites Sun 05-Jan-14 03:09:31

A school doesn't need lovely facilities to give an outstanding education. I went to a selective private alive with asbestos, and tiny dark classrooms, but excellent teachers, hardworking students, and committed parents. Now, there are lovely light rooms, many oversized Macs and other computers, a distinct lack of student selection and discipline, and far worse results.
I think aptitude is a mix of genetic and environmental factors, but good parenting can greatly increase the expression of innate talent.
However, no amount of tuition and diligence can compensate for a lack of talent. No one in my family has an ear for music, and can't play for toffee. Practice and music theory tuition can't help us, as nearly all notes sound the same. We know the National. Anthem only because everyone stands and uncovers for same.

I have been reading this thread and feel that I really need to post.

In some people's eyes my DD3 is that " thick as muck" person. She is now 19 and does not have any GCSEs. I would like to say Kenlee that I NEVER gave up on her! We knew she would never achieve academically, but she is the loveliest young lady you would ever meet and I am incredibly proud of her. I feel that she has achieved so much more through hard work and perseverance than her sisters who have gone off to uni and done so well academically. She is far happier than they are!! School was hell for her - being judged as not good enough, being told by teachers that she was "thick" and would never get anywhere in life...... She is dyslexic and dyspraxic NOT THICK!!!

Kenlee Sun 05-Jan-14 11:59:14

The point is positive you never gave up...the teachers may have but you never did. Although I think if the teachers were any good her dyslexia should have been picked up at school. My brother was also dyslexic but he worked it out and is a chartered civil engineer...So being 'TAM' at school in the academic sence shows no resemblance to what may happen in the furture.

I think once you give up that is the end...people say why children are TAM ....its not them that are TAM but the system that failed them...

Schools that don't care and want to get rid of them...Teachers that don't care as it requires to much timr to teach them. Parents who dont care enough to spend their energy on helping them.

Then people say why schools are failing...

Thank you for the post, I do agree, but some people, no matter what you put in are just not going to "get there". DD3 was diagnosed as severely dyspraxic at the age of 3, went to a fantastic school where it was always known she would be dyslexic as well and yes, some teachers seemed to waste her time and she had some bad years. On the other hand she had some amazing teachers who were absolutely brilliant and she did really well with them. If she had had those teachers all the way through, would she have been more "successful"? No, I dont think so! We did all we could, she did all she could, some teachers did all they could and she just does not have "it". BUT she is happy, a qualified hairdresser and so very happy with her lot in life. - far happier than those struggling with uni and chasing endless money etc. I have learnt an awful lot from her and her attitude to life.....a far better lesson than any academia!

Kenlee Sun 05-Jan-14 23:56:28

The point being positive is you found something good that she was good at...I bet she enjoys her life and most likely will earn more than the Uni student too...

Yes, I agree. I wont share that with her sisters who are slogging their way through uni though! wink grin

Kenlee Mon 06-Jan-14 12:21:21

ha ha she may even have to help them pay of their student loan....ha ha ....

ICanTotallyDance Thu 09-Jan-14 02:56:06

Well, this thread is all over the place but here's my two cents in regards to the original question.

If I had a TAM child and the school was:

a) Highly academic and private : no, of course not, that would be cruel. Imagine struggling to learn your times tables while every other child in the class was busy learning the area of shapes.

b) Not pushy but very supportive private school : if I could, yes, I think this is the best place for a TAM child at least in primary school (or a very good state version), maybe they would be better suited to a vocational school later on. The small class sizes would be a great help, I think.

c) Great state school I would not bother going private, unless it was only "great" for middling or bright children, or DC was lost in the numbers.

d) Okay/crap state school well, I would go private then if I could.

If the choice was between a) or d) I might cry.

Oh please do not say "TAM child" it is incredibly hurtful and derogatory.

happygardening Thu 09-Jan-14 10:01:02

nib77 culling in the 6th form to ensue your results look good is not the sole preserve for the independent sector nearly all the comps rounds here do it as do our nearest grammar schools.
The league tables are misleading what ever school state or independent they're ranking.

Elibean Thu 09-Jan-14 16:25:56

I'm not keen on 'TAM' applied to anyone, tbh - am with you, Positive.

I remember a question in an entrance paper I took once 'what is intelligence and can it be measured?' and I can categorically state that they weren't looking for black and white answers.

IMHO, academia only considers a narrow band of human aptitude and ability. The ability to process numbers or write well isn't necessarily any 'brighter' than emotional intelligence or the ability to grow successful crops.

But the Brits, historically, worship academic intelligence and fail to appreciate the importance of other equally important varieties sad

ICanTotallyDance Fri 10-Jan-14 03:50:50

positive Yes, you're right, sorry. I don't know if that was aimed at me or the whole thread but it is a bit nasty.

Thank you Icantotallydance smile (not aimed just at you, but the whole thread too.....it was just after I had posted earlier I assumed people would stop using the phrase)

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