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Michaela School and behaviour - AIBU

(988 Posts)
herculepoirot2 Fri 23-Aug-19 10:36:28

AIBU to think that you might read this behaviour policy and think it is authoritarian and unnecessary, but to also think that, with results four times better than the national average, these people might have a point about the benefits to young people of being expected to work hard and behave well?

https://mcsbrent.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Behaviour-Policy-11.02.19.pdf

herculepoirot2 Fri 23-Aug-19 11:43:15

*I agree, but you also have to understand something before you can think critically about it.

Drilling students can make them pass tests, but it doesn’t provide them with an opportunity to make sense of the material.*

These kids clearly do have understanding, though. 37% of exams taken were passed with 9-7. Top grades!

BelindasGleeTeam Fri 23-Aug-19 11:44:03

The rote learning is the foundations for some things not all.

Knowledge then can be applied for understanding. Which leads to critical thinking.

Blooms taxonomy is basically bollocks because you cannot have the top stuff without all the huge amount of learning etc from the bottom.

soulrunner Fri 23-Aug-19 11:45:30

All the great results in the world won't help you if you cannot function in the wider world.

I’m not sure whether this sort of school environment is necessarily problematic in that respect though. A lot of very well regarded schools operate with a high level of routine and strong enforcement of behaviour. A lot of extremely successful people operate within a self- created frame of habits.

BelindasGleeTeam Fri 23-Aug-19 11:47:23

Exactly.

I love the attitude they have of not expecting less just because kids come from pooorer background. That's they're 100% entitled to learn the same as kids at Eton and to push that ethos of achievement, hard work and respect for all.

herculepoirot2 Fri 23-Aug-19 11:47:36

Blooms taxonomy is basically bollocks because you cannot have the top stuff without all the huge amount of learning etc from the bottom.

I actually think Bloom’s T. is fine, just wisely misinterpreted by school leaders and parents. It is showing you a progression of learning, but people take it to mean ‘analysis’ is ‘better’ than ‘knowledge’ therefore you should jump straight to analysis, or, better still, skip the analysis and jump straight to creating. Creating what, I hear you ask?

Cheese? 🧀

herculepoirot2 Fri 23-Aug-19 11:47:55

Widely, not wisely.

JacquesHammer Fri 23-Aug-19 11:48:19

37% of exams taken were passed with 9-7. Top grades!

That doesn't seem an especially startling level of results unless I'm misreading you!

Tonnerre Fri 23-Aug-19 11:48:35

Those results are achieved by pretty ruthlessly managing out children with disabilities and SEN, as demonstrated by their behaviour policy, and likewise with children liable to put a chink in their statistics. Zero tolerance policies, if they really are zero tolerance, simply aren't compatible with compliance with the Equality Act.

SignedUpJust4This Fri 23-Aug-19 11:50:52

I teach in a school like this. For years we were told there was no such thing as bad behaviour. If students misbehaved it's because you weren't engaging enough. We planned singing, dancing, entertaining, interactive, fun lessons only to have results continue to go down and never being able to complete the content due to low level disruption. After 12months of this new behaviour policy we are now one of the top schools in the country. Behaviour and discipline matter. Even those more vulnerable students enjoy coming to school now because they are not in a stressful classroom any more. However, I do think those with more challenging SEND do not get the support they need. This is a problem with funding though and these students will continue to struggle in mainstream education anywhere unless funding is increased.

herculepoirot2 Fri 23-Aug-19 11:51:01

That doesn't seem an especially startling level of results unless I'm misreading you!

It’s nearly double the national average.

herculepoirot2 Fri 23-Aug-19 11:51:38

Zero tolerance policies, if they really are zero tolerance, simply aren't compatible with compliance with the Equality Act.

Has there been any legal challenge?

echt Fri 23-Aug-19 11:52:46

AIBU to think that you might read this behaviour policy and think it is authoritarian and unnecessary, but to also think that, with results four times better than the national average, these people might have a point about the benefits to young people of being expected to work hard and behave well?

mcsbrent.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Behaviour-Policy-11.02.19.pdf

A one-off result means fuck all. You need to look at longitudinal studies to arrive at any meaningful conclusions. Because education is a political football, that is hardly any evidence that proves anything.

SolitudeAtAltitude Fri 23-Aug-19 11:53:30

it depends on the child

My kids have not had a very authoritarian upbringing, and would find that type of school intimidating/unpleasant/unnecessary. It would probably make my kids anxious/worried.

I completely agree with SpinsterofArts

JacquesHammer Fri 23-Aug-19 11:53:33

It’s nearly double the national average

Our local comp has just posted results of 77% of all results at Grades 9-7.

For the behaviour policy which does, in effect, make the school selective I'd want results inline with truly and overtly selective schools.

herculepoirot2 Fri 23-Aug-19 11:56:04

JacquesHammer

Well, that’s fantastic, but my citing of that statistic was in response to the allegation that the children at a school will be learning by rote and not understanding. That clearly isn’t the case when nearly 40% of exams are awarded top grades.

SunnySideDownBriefly Fri 23-Aug-19 11:56:30

9-7 is the equivalent of A, A* or A**

37% at A+ is pretty amazing!

Brefugee Fri 23-Aug-19 11:57:14

I think it sounds completely stifling - as a teenager I'd have resented having to go there and probably would have been expelled.

I'm also not on board with their mobile phone confiscation policy. I get that schools don't want children to have phones at school and I would get behind a non-use or checking-in policy (where they have to hand it in to reception on the way in and get it at hometime, for example) but there are legitimate valid reasons why a parent might want a child to have a phone.

Basically - if that's what you want from a school, fine. But i prefer children to be able to be a bit creative, push a little rather than just follow instructions blindly.

herculepoirot2 Fri 23-Aug-19 11:58:10

A one-off result means fuck all. You need to look at longitudinal studies to arrive at any meaningful conclusions. Because education is a political football, that is hardly any evidence that proves anything.

It’s not a one-off, it’s a composite result made up of the thousands of exams taken by hundreds of children. Yes, a study over ten years would tell you more, but this isn’t a fluke.

Nicolamarlow1 Fri 23-Aug-19 11:58:31

As far as I know, they do not manage out children with SEN. Read Katharine Burbalsingh's book, 'Battle Hymn of the Tiger Teachers' which gives much more information on this. Many SEN children make excellent progress with them, as they are freed from the label of being SEN, which can lead, in some schools, to lowered expectations of them.
As for these children adapting to life in the wider world, they will go out into the world knowing the basics of kindness and good manners, which is more than can be said for many children coming out of undisciplined state schools, who are not equipped for the workplace and think that the attitudes they displayed at school will be accepted when they at work. IMHO, as a former teacher in a fairly strict primary school, I think all schools need to be far more like Michaela.

herculepoirot2 Fri 23-Aug-19 11:59:14

Basically - if that's what you want from a school, fine. But i prefer children to be able to be a bit creative, push a little rather than just follow instructions blindly.

The attitude that children following instructions given by adults in charge of them makes them “blind”, and actively wanting your children to disregard them, utterly flummoxes me.

But they’re your kids!

BelindasGleeTeam Fri 23-Aug-19 11:59:41

Oh the kids at Michaela push. They're teens.

The just get set back on the straight and narrow rapidly.

BelindasGleeTeam Fri 23-Aug-19 12:01:06

The have a policy of teaching to the top and scaffolding so all kids can reach that. Not differentiating down so SEN kids get "easier" work.

NavyBlueHue Fri 23-Aug-19 12:03:55

The biggest barrier to learning in schools is bad behaviour.

Fix the behaviour by tackling small stuff consistently so that it doesn’t become big stuff.

I’m all for strict rules around behaviour in schools. DD’s school is tackling this over last few years and results have gone through the roof.

Tonnerre Fri 23-Aug-19 12:04:28

Has there been any legal challenge?

I think there have been a few cases where schools have basically rolled over and changed their policies when they get a pre-action letter, but in the nature of things that doesn't tend to get reported. This is sort of an example, except that it relates specifically to the use of isolation booths rather that the bigger picture discrimination issue.

ThatCurlyGirl Fri 23-Aug-19 12:04:37

My school was very much like this - not an independent school, an all girls grammar school.

I think coming from a very poor family meant I knew this was unusually strict (I actually enjoyed it so much because I was desperately craving some routine and boundaries!) so I had a fairly good idea of my own school life versus that in the 'real' world.

Some of my school friends who had been to independent primary schools really struggled with the jump to university, much more so than the couple of us who were from disadvantaged backgrounds, foster care in my case. A couple of the ones who struggled have said now that we are in our thirties they look back and think this was probably because had never experienced anything other than very well behaved environment where respect for authority was absolute.

Of course that is lovely environment don't get me wrong, but it's good for children to also know they are in a privileged position and be able to interact with people who have had very different experiences to them.

It's all about balance I think smile

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