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To be unsure of schools?

(52 Posts)
daysgoingby Tue 07-Mar-17 17:04:48

Hello - hoping for honest advice here.

I had a pretty dire experience at school (primary and secondary) and learned very little, if anything really, until sixth form.

My impression of schools (NOT individuals within that school!) seems to be:

- governed by petty and inflexible rules, like children having to do homework regardless of what's happening in their personal life, uniform rules, and so on.
- focus on assessment rather than learning
- bullying rife
- children expected to put up with behaviour you just wouldn't take from an adult, screaming in faces and so on
- SEN dealt with by punishing the child for it
- children set as soon as they set foot in secondary schools

Now, as i've said - I haven't had very positive experiences myself so that colours this and I'm NOT talking about all or even most teachers, but what are schools really like now for the children who attend them?

Hoppinggreen Tue 07-Mar-17 17:31:39

Schools vary enormously so it's hard to say what schools are like as a whole.
My experience of my children's State Primary was that although it was generally ok the emphasis was on catering to the majority. That's understandable at a large school but if your child is very bright or has Sen then the attention isn't there. Also, they do tend to take the path of least resistance so will reward a badly behaved child who manages to briefly behave more than a child who is consistently good. Effort was rewarded ( a good thing obviously) but much more so than attainment, whereas higher achievers aren't praised enough.
My daughters Secondary is very different but it is Private

Sirzy Tue 07-Mar-17 17:32:52

Well your example is nothing like ds and his primary school. Nor is it like my own experience of school

WorraLiberty Tue 07-Mar-17 17:36:27

How many schools have you been to in your life, and how recently?

What you describe was not my experience and nor was/is it the experience of my 3 DC.

allowlsthinkalot Tue 07-Mar-17 17:41:04

I agree with you, that is my experience of school and I have sent dc to four different schools where I have seen nothing to change my mind.

My daughter thrives in school. However, that's in spite of the system rather than because of it. So much depends on the individual teacher and she has had very good luck with the amazing teachers she has had. She was home ed for a while but school suits her better even though I believe home ed is better educationally.

My son is home educated. You couldn't pay him to return to school.

daysgoingby Tue 07-Mar-17 17:43:08

Thank you. It's hard because I do like home ed in theory but in practice it could be so isolating - not sure.

I just remember how I used to feel about going to school!

TiredMumToTwo Tue 07-Mar-17 17:43:13

That is not my experience of school as a pupil or as a parent, you must have just had a bad experience, can't tar all with the same brush.

Merlin40 Tue 07-Mar-17 17:43:56

That really wasn't my experience whilst at school, and I really don't think it is how the school I work in operates.

Boiled7Up Tue 07-Mar-17 17:47:17

That's not my experience, as a pupil or as a teacher.

That1950sMum Tue 07-Mar-17 17:48:21

I don't recognise any of the things you describe from my children's schools.

My children have been really happy at their schools. They've got plenty of friends and have never been bullied. They have, of course, encountered children they don't like and occasionally had to put up with individual acts of spitefulness. That's just life though and certainly isn't limited to schools.
Teachers have always been great. My children are always on time though, have everything they need with them and do their homework 99% of the time. On the odd occasion they've been ill or we've had some sort of family emergency and they've not done homework the teachers have been incredibly understanding and supportive.
Of course children are assessed (and I don't agree with the increased testing in schools), but my children have learned so much it astounds me.
I have never heard of children being punished for SEN. Not sure where you've got that from.
I really hope you don't have children. They'd have no chance at school with your negative attitude towards it. Like everything in life you get out what you put in to it.

daysgoingby Tue 07-Mar-17 17:57:59

To be honest 1950s, you talk about my attitude, I'm talking about yours.

In other words, if you have good health, stable homes, encouraging parents, no SEN, schools are fantastic. God forbid you don't. then you have a "negative attitude" and poor kids.

PumpkinPie2016 Tue 07-Mar-17 18:00:02

At the school I work in children are not set for most subjects until year 8 and in the others are not set until after Christmas in year 7.

There are off incidents of spitefulness but these are dealt with very swiftly and firmly. The vast majority of children never experience this and never do it to others.

Homework - I'm always understanding if a child generally does their homework but had missed a piece because of something genuine.

We do have to assess children but there is definitely a focus on learning and we try to make it as interesting /fun as possible.

I (nor any of my colleagues ) would ever 'punish' a child for SEN - I go out I my way to ensure the children I teach who have SEN can access the curriculum fully.

Not all schools suit all children but the experience you describe certainly doesn't describe the school I work in.

WorraLiberty Tue 07-Mar-17 18:01:12

This is not about you, OP, it's about your kids.

Your school days are gone.

Please try to approach theirs with a much more open mind, or I'm sure they will pick up on your fears.

Have you had any kind of counselling?

Sundance01 Tue 07-Mar-17 18:01:56

I went to 7 different primary scools and loved them all, my children went to a lovely primary but as my youngest got to the last few years I began to notice things change - uniforms, SATS etc started to come in and I felt really uncomfortable with it all.

My grandson is 7 and went to school for a couple of years and it was awful - exactly as you describe. He is now Home Educated and I do not think we could get him back into a school now.there are no plans for the younger ones to go to school at all.

HE is really not isolating - quite the opposite, chat to HE parents and find out what it is really like - it is not school at home.

PhilODox Tue 07-Mar-17 18:05:23

How old are your children, when would they start? You cannot go and visit them on open days- check your local schools' websites.
Your experience of schools is nothing like mine has been- they vary so much.

That1950sMum Tue 07-Mar-17 18:05:59

daysgoingby you are making massive assumptions about someone you don't know.

You asked for an honest opinion and you got mine. You might not like it, but you did ask!

You don't know anything about mine or my children's health, whether my family is stable or my income. The only thing you might glean from my reply is that I am supportive of my children and the school. I think this is true of most parents who want the best for their children.

witsender Tue 07-Mar-17 18:06:43

Our experience has been better, but we still home ed. Not at all isolated though. wink

daysgoingby Tue 07-Mar-17 18:08:04

I have no liking or disliking of your opinion 1950s but I did not ask for and did not appreciate your smug surmising that my children "don't stand a chance."

One of the reasons for my post is trying very hard to overcome a natural mistrust and uncertainty I have about school.

I think the problem is that it's possible for children to have vastly varied experiences in the same school.

Wando1986 Tue 07-Mar-17 18:08:20

We're going to be home educating unless our Son is better suited to a more structured academic environment, if that's the case we'll be going with more tutors and probably online or private schooling which we'd be looking at when he was slightly older anyway.

Both myself and my partner did not thrive in the school system but as soon as we were out of it we did. I feel that's the same for a lot of children these days.

I do not agree with the way the state schools currently dictates how children should be raised, fed and all this b.s. over fees and soon convictions for term time holidays.

We're his parents, the Head Teacher and EWO are not.

Toysaurus Tue 07-Mar-17 18:08:20

You've accurately described the primary school my son goes to. It's awful and I will be moving him soon. But the school I work in is a delight and the opposite of what you describe. All schools are very different no matter how close to each other.

daysgoingby Tue 07-Mar-17 18:11:36

Thank you. It sounds as if some of the things I feared are true, but that this largely depends on the school.

Sirzy Tue 07-Mar-17 18:11:42

Ds has special needs. His school are a part of the reason he is thriving so much and he is getting the support he needs.

PP is right, you need to stop being so negative about school because otherwise that will have a negative impact upon your children at school because they will pick it up

witsender Tue 07-Mar-17 18:11:55

Neither my husband nor I enjoyed or thrived in school, despite good (public) schools and parental support. We were both bright so achieved well, but were unhappy and insecure. We are both qualified teachers and don't like modern education as the govt have it at the moment. We tried primary school for our first and although it is a lovely school, it wasn't for us/her.

witsender Tue 07-Mar-17 18:12:05

Neither my husband nor I enjoyed or thrived in school, despite good (public) schools and parental support. We were both bright so achieved well, but were unhappy and insecure. We are both qualified teachers and don't like modern education as the govt have it at the moment. We tried primary school for our first and although it is a lovely school, it wasn't for us/her.

Trifleorbust Tue 07-Mar-17 18:12:26

Schools are full of people who care deeply about children. They are wonderful places from which children emerge with knowledge and abilities most of them would have never have dreamed of only a few decades ago. Many children enjoy school.


Schools are institutions. Institutions need rules. They also exist within social, cultural, political and economic contexts, so some realities can't be altered.

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