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Private school vs state school - the two tribes

(98 Posts)
UrbanDad Tue 19-Oct-10 14:17:53

I have been walking DCs to their (state) junior school and have noticed a marked difference in the two tribes on either side of the road (girls' independent and prep school on one side, state junior and comprehensive secondary on the other).

These two streams of humanity mark themselves out in the following way:

1. Private school kids hop out of SUVs, whereas there are scooters, bicycles and shanks' pony for the state school kids.
2. No dads or grannies taking private school kids to school - it's almost all mums and nannies.
3. Private school kids look like pack-horses with sports kit with hockey stick, racquet etc., school book bag and occasionally a monstrous musical instrument (sometimes several times the size of the child) whereas the state school kids carry a book bag or nothing at all.
4. Private school girls' skirts are so short they would not be acceptable in the state school (which is odd - there are no boys to impress at the private schools anyway - maybe a girly competitive thing?).
5. Immaculately coiffed hair is de rigeur for the girls' schools, although state school kids have more adventurous hairstyles (e.g. corn-braids, spiky hair).
6. Private school girls are much more diverse in height (some very little, some very tall), but state school kids seem to cluster around the mean.

jonicomelately Tue 19-Oct-10 17:07:09

There is a grain of truth I suppose in what you say but what is the point of this thread. It seems to me you can only offend both sides of the argument.

GetOrfMoiLand Tue 19-Oct-10 17:11:18

DD goes to a bog standard comp and carts all sorts of crap with her - hockey stick, football kit, guitar, bags full of folders and massive great big portfolios.

You can generally tell apart a lot of the private school children around here because a lot of them trip through town with CHELTENHAM COLLEGE emblazoned on sweatshirts,.

MenorcaFan Tue 19-Oct-10 18:08:03

Superb - another thread bashing public schools / children / mums. Just what the world needs.


ampere Tue 19-Oct-10 18:16:15

Is the OP 'bashing' it or observing it, Menorca ?

mummytime Tue 19-Oct-10 18:23:20

I didn't think this was a bashing thread. I would say, sixth formers at most schools around here are indistinguishable, except the boys grammar where they were suits.
The others you can tell by their blazers and ties. Outside the posh girls school the ones at the bus stop are going to the Comp. But then you can almost tell the comps apart by th skirt length, some are much shorter than others.

GollyMissMolly Tue 19-Oct-10 18:33:23

A child should not be defined by the school it goes to. Shame on parents that do this...

arizonagirl Tue 19-Oct-10 18:33:25

Ahhh - sweet sue52 - please don't worry - suspect Gollymissmolly is just having a bad day.

And Golly, Miss Molly....deep breaths - I don't think I have actually expressed a strong preference for either (perhaps slightly for private due to resources and class sizes). I certainly remain open-minded - ds was at an assessment prep day this week whilst we are also looking at our options for state. I know for a fact that some state schools are better than some preps and vice versa. As you obviously know (having read all my posts smile I have taught in both sectors and still remain unsure about my next career move. Obviously if I take your advice I will stay at home and not unleash myself on all those poor innocent children wink.

Urbandad - think you are getting a bit of a hard time for a light hearted bit of banter. I think some mums need to lighten up a bit - I didn't find your post at all critical or offensive. And I have been into more than 30 prep schools (both on a work and parental basis) and probably about 20 state schools. And the range rovers and volvo XC90's all heading for the prep schools is true (in this area anyway), not necessarily a good or bad thing... and I apologise if this made me laugh. {grin} [grin}

arizonagirl Tue 19-Oct-10 18:35:30

Shall I try again grin grin. Oh, Golly Miss Molly....what an idiot.

GollyMissMolly Tue 19-Oct-10 18:53:35

For someone that has sooo much experience with state and private schools you don't seem to have a clue what to choose or why and base your opinions on a picture in a website. Another poster mentioned that a few schools you looked at like Twyford were mainly day and not boarding and you still didn't believe it. I hope you never teach in my DC's prep schools - if you even are a teacher!

amothersplaceisinthewrong Tue 19-Oct-10 18:58:42

IF state schools want to up their ratings, they should just get a uniform of stripey blazer for boys, and kilt skirts for girls...

alicatte Tue 19-Oct-10 19:05:32

Umm ...

Seriously there is a different ethos. It is nothing to do with uniform, music or size. It is just a more traditional style of education in the independent sector and a different style of education in state. You choose. If you want a traditional education where more demands are placed on the children (and parents) you, most likely, will have to pay now.

Obviously this is not true in every case it is just an overall view I have formed over the years.

ragged Tue 19-Oct-10 19:31:07

What is a "traditional" style of education? DS (yr6) very recently started at a private school which I'm told teaches using "traditional" methods; not that I can figure out what the heck that means (I just sent him there because he gets bullied easily in large class situations).

DS says that the other pupils seem to all read quite badly (aloud very slowly), that as before he reckons he's the cleverest in the class (no change there, lol), that the work is much easier than at his Yr5 was at state school, but he ends up doing much more of it (less time spent faffing, not least due to smaller class size).

Oh, and almost no homework and no SATs. Are those Hallmarks of a "traditional style of education"? If not, what is?

alicatte Tue 19-Oct-10 19:38:29

You are obviously an exception. A year 5 where I am would get 2/3 subjects a night at 30 minutes per subject. We are generally teaching a year ahead of the state sector - its true, I came from there. We use text books and direct teaching a lot more - some children who have moved do say that they understand the work more easily because of this.

Like I said, its not all schools. If the children are not fluent/free readers in year six perhaps that is why they don't do SATs. How's the maths? Do they do other 'subjects' like French, History etc.?

arizonagirl Tue 19-Oct-10 20:17:42

GollyMissMolly - Twyford IS predominantly boarding with 80 percent boarding later on. And rather than focusing on the pretty pictures on the rather eye-catching website, I rang the headteacher to check this was indeed the case (which it was). I rest my case.

LynetteScavo Tue 19-Oct-10 21:49:10

Why is GollyMissMolly being so nasty and rude? confused

Have I missed something, or is she always like this?

LynetteScavo Tue 19-Oct-10 21:51:33

amothersplaceisinthewrong Tue 19-Oct-10 18:58:42
"IF state schools want to up their ratings, they should just get a uniform of stripey blazer for boys, and kilt skirts for girls..."

Yes indeed, and encourage the pupils to play large instaments such as cello or tuba.

GollyMissMolly Tue 19-Oct-10 21:56:30

No, just a tad frustrated with a certain member. All out my system now! blush

Sorry arizonagirl - I genuinely hope you find the best route for your DC's although I suspect that your bright child will not do well at state school and you will have him out within a term. I hope I am wrong but am speaking from experience.

arizonagirl Tue 19-Oct-10 23:12:35

No problems. As I said previously, my preference would be for private - simply because of the smaller class sizes, extra resources etc. However, as pointed out by another member (don't think it was you?) I should take my head out of the sand and realistically assess whether we can afford to fund four children through private and onto university. We have done that and realise that the answer is very likely to be 'no' - hence a decision made on acceptance, logistics and an acknowledgement that there are some very good state schools out there. If I end up frustrated after one term, as may be the case, I will have to think further - BUT there is no point going down a path we can not sustain. And again, I reiterate - I do believe that children can flourish in a state school given the right support at home; probably more of a challenge with budget restraints etc but possible.

Anyhows, sorry urbanDad - we seem to have usurped your thread. Off to bed incase baby arrives tonight grin

zanzibarmum Tue 19-Oct-10 23:28:28

Is there not as much difference between state schools and between private schools, as between state and private. Kids are Kids surely?

ForMashGetSmash Tue 19-Oct-10 23:36:22

My DD has a uniform almost exactly like the local state...cotton check frock in Summer, grey pinafore in winter...the only difference is the blazer. She does carry more crap friend came with me and said "Whay does she need all THAT!? She's SIX!"

Seperate bag for PE kit, book bag, snack bag and dance gear bag. I walk....we live over the road and other locals do too....more locals have begun to enquire since the school re-located here. Hardly any parents at ours hav really posh cars...we're the cheapest private school in the county! We're all "trade" dahling!

belledechocolatefluffybunny Tue 19-Oct-10 23:40:45

We catch the bus and a tram. The uniform is the same as any other secondary (black trousers, blazer). I take him and pick him up but I'm a single mother so do everything for him anyway. His hair is always a mess, he's untidy and he's at a priate school.

Your theory doesn't apply to us. wink

MollieO Tue 19-Oct-10 23:43:45

Your ds is at pirate school, belle? How fab is that?! wink

belledechocolatefluffybunny Wed 20-Oct-10 00:31:33

grin The blardy V is sticky so will only work if I smack it.

Oh argh! wink

seeker Wed 20-Oct-10 01:03:24

Well, my ds fits the stereotype in terms of instrument size - he's at state school and plays the ukelele!

thirtysomething Wed 20-Oct-10 08:52:29

<<apologies for hijack>> how is DS getting on belle? Is he happy at his new school? I remember which school he is at (same as my DS!)

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