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Sending DD to a Sikh school?

(19 Posts)
MangoJuiceAddict Wed 17-Jul-13 10:41:11

Hi, I need some advice (or maybe its more of a 'what would you do?' situation).My DD is 11 and due to start secondary school this September, she has attended a state primary school and independent prep school, DD enjoyed her time at both and is a quiet but very intelligent child. However, I don't feel the senior school that follows her prep school is quite right for her- although all of her friends are following on to there. DD would like to stay at her school as that's where her friends are going but DH and his family desperately want DD to attend a Sikh secondary school. I'm not Sikh but DH is and DD goes to the Gurdwara with DH and his family, we also live with DH's parents (cultural tradition) so DD is exposed to Sikhism at home and speaks some Punjabi. The Sikh secondary school teaches Punjabi and it does seem like somewhere DD could embrace both sides of her heritage, but i'm not sure if it will be too much of a change from what she has experienced at prep school. So I guess what I'd like to know is: how do faith schools, generally, perform in league tables? How big is the change in a faith school? Would a standard state school (non-faith) be better? The reason I don't want DD to carry on to the senior school at her current school is because I don't think its diverse enough- would we encounter the same problem (but in a different way) at a faith school? DH and I have no experience of faith schools as I was brought up in an Atheist home and the Sikh school wasn't built when DH was young. DD is the eldest grandchild so nobody else in our family has faced this choice- and everybody at the Gurdwara says DD should go the Sikh secondary, so its very hard to find an unbiased opinion {confused}

Xihha Wed 17-Jul-13 14:03:46

Faith schools in general tend to score quite well in league tables but I couldn't tell you how sikh schools compare to other faith schools. In my area the faith schools were considerably better than any of the state schools, so when my brother was at a catholic secondary there were actually a lot of kids who weren't catholic there so there was still some diversity. could you arrange to go round the school and look, maybe talk to some of the kids?

Unexpected Wed 17-Jul-13 15:22:26

It's quite late to be thinking about this for this coming September. Presumably your daughter is already on holiday from school? Are there even spaces available at the Sikh school?

cory Thu 18-Jul-13 09:48:14

Agree with Unexpected that it seems very late to be thinking about this now.

But passing over that, if it were me I would want to know not how faith schools perform in general, but how this particular faith school is performing. I would want to know if there is any difference in performance between boys and girls, I would want to know how many and what type of GCSE's pupils normally get and where they go on from there. And above all, I would want to visit the school and speak to staff and pupils.

justaboutreadyforbed Thu 18-Jul-13 09:53:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PhoenixUprising Sat 20-Jul-13 18:32:18

If you're talking about Guru Nanak it's a very good school

Xenia Sun 21-Jul-13 09:38:05

Guru Nanak is 413th in the FT league tables which is of course nothing like as good as schools like St Paul's, North London Collegiate, Haberdashers - top 20+ etc. However it is better than most comps.

MangoJuiceAddict Fri 26-Jul-13 21:47:13

Sorry for the awfully late reply-DH, DD and I went on a last minute holiday! Looking round the school is a good idea- I hadn't thought of that. DD has the offer of a place and the school want a confirmation by 1st August. DD likes the thought of being around other children from a similar background (she's the only pupil with an Asian name in her class), should I take DD with me to look around the school? Interesting point about how girls perform compared to boys, I hadn't considered that but its obviously very important. Is it possible to speak to pupils alone? Will I seem odd for requesting this? It's not the Guru Nanak school, we're in Birmingham smile.

Unexpected Fri 26-Jul-13 23:09:29

Yes of course you should take your dd to look at the school but it's really late to be trying to do this now. Presumably school holidays are underway, you'll be lucky to find any academic staff there and there certainly won't be any pupils to talk to. You need to be prepared for the possibility that your dd won't like the school because she will see it completely differently to its normal operating mode.

MangoJuiceAddict Fri 26-Jul-13 23:17:54

I've emailed the head teacher asking to look next week. Dh is going to take DD to the Gurdwara this weekend so she can speak to some of the children who go the school and ask them about it, and accompany me when we look round the school. Many thanks for your advice, i'm really rather clueless in this smile.

ReeC Fri 25-Oct-13 11:57:52

Hi MangoJuiceAddict, I wondered if you ended up sending your DD to the Sikh school and if so, how she is getting on?

We too are toying with the idea of sending our DS to a Sikh school (Guru Nanak school) but I had the same concerns as you as to whether it would not be diverse enough as 99% of the pupils are Asian.

We went to have a look at it recently and were impressed. Academic results are good, however was more impressed with the discipline that they seem to instil in the children. It was evident that the children respect each other and their teachers. Some may see the school as too strict, as the children don't get much freedom (picked up from school on the school bus / dropped home and can't go off the school premises in the day), but we liked this.

Would really be interested in hearing what you decided. Thanks smile

MangoJuiceAddict Sun 03-Nov-13 21:38:23

Hi! We did send DD to a Sikh school but she doesn't like it (I've just started a thread about it). It is a very good school but DD doesn't like it- the few non-Asian pupils don't want to be friends with her and the Asian pupils just don't seem interested in being her friend. DD is used to small class sizes though so I think she is very shy and doesn't put herself 'out there' enough. Is your son Asian? DD is half and I find it is very difficult for her to find friends with similar backgrounds. If your DS is confident and prepared to work hard though I think he will thrive there! DD felt pressure form her grandparents tot attend there so I don't think she has her heart in it.

Dancingdreamer Wed 06-Nov-13 18:48:31

MangoJuice - seen your other post but didn't realise you were in Birmingham. Not sure which area or if you can afford private school but it sounds like your daughter would really suit St Martin's school in Solihull. Deliberately small classes, great pastoral care, no discipline issues and always gets great academic results despite not being a hothouse.

Has an amazing ability to build confidence with shy and reserved girls. Certainly worked for my DD.

Mix of different backgrounds and think there are one or two with Asian/white parentage. Not that anyone is checking. Girls all just seem to get on well together and no one notices or cares.

blessedhope Fri 08-Nov-13 10:06:35

I would say she should definitely be in a Sikh school where she can learn superior moral and ethical values to any the nonfaith schools are providing, if this is the faith of one side of her family:

But then I'm very pro-faith in general having my experience with independent evangelical Christian education. If you were raised atheist and never found a reason to come to faith, then you may understandably balk at the prospect- I'm glad for you and dd that you sound very open to the idea and reasonable not focusing on a religious affiliation as being some sort of a drawback.

And if this is a concern- which I would very much expect with DH/DD of that faith and cultural heritage- Birmingham has a high number of non-faith schools being run by the sort of ultra-liberals who seem to congregate in the affluent belts around most of our cities, hostile to common sense discipline, responsibility for one's actions, moral stringency, any sort of traditionalism in faith or family and even sometimes the rights of parents to be the controlling influence, absent extraordinary circumstances specified in law, for formation of their moral worldview. There are schools where staff alas seem bent upon forcing their expansive non-judgmentalist ethos of self-indulgence on the rising generation in lieu of solid moral foundations! An example of an anti-parental pro-secrecy, fuzzy, effectively values-free "policy" typifying their work in that city can be located here:
A Sikh school would not begin with the arrogant assumptions of a right to usurp family relations by excessive entanglement in wholly inappropriate areas of our children's lives. Not that SRE in abstract is wrong at least to me but IME Sikh, Hindu and Islamic faith schools can be trusted to teach it properly as with those holding unbowed to the precepts of Judeo-Christian faith. Some nominally Anglican schools are just as bad or worse than the openly godless ones, and insofar as they claim to Christianity and virtue are doubly to be despised for this sort of perverting the purpose of schooling to an intrusive program. There you, your DH and everyone else involved can be assured your daughter will not be influencd by even one of the supremacist professionals with incompatible understandings of the world to those who believe in respect for a high view of family, training in self-control and integrity of character.

antimatter Fri 08-Nov-13 11:05:08

blessedhope - I hope you read OP concerns that her DD is not being welcomed as a mix heritage child in her surpassingly "superior" school

that tells me there's something fundamentally wrong with pastoral care in her current school...

how can it be superior if it doesnt teach kids to be friendly with each other????

I am hmm about your argument of superior moral and ethical values to any the nonfaith schools are providing

also blessedhope opinions here....

blessedhope Fri 08-Nov-13 11:30:58

I thought MN had a rule about not linking to other threads to start an argument based on past postings?
I believe in God and find in my life in general those who have faith in Him and take it seriously are more moral...I'm saying this is my life in this time and this country, so in case you were going to rant about all the bad things done in the name of religion since-some time B.C I do not say that influence of faith on people's conduct has been good or made them necessarily better than people totally spiritually insensitive to Him. with us being by nature sinful and apt to justify whatever is most self aggrandizing or in lesser things plain expedient.
I cannot and would not say that every single atheist, agnostic, spiritualist, secular humanist, New Ager, Deist, free-thinker etc. is never going to do what is good for anyone, only that my experience is that Faith of any strong orthodox sort and most especially in Christ Jesus as God in the Flesh is linked to people living well in this generation. [also to avoid any question that I may believe so, the designations of unbelievers are not equivalent, but all commonly deny the reality of a personal Supernatural Creator.]

You do appear to live in a lovely little bubble. Ask people about their experiences in some convent schools with the lovely devout nuns and lets not mention the priests.

Some of us manage to be moral without the fear of eternal damnation to drive us.

antimatter Fri 08-Nov-13 17:05:22

whose rant?

ReeC Mon 11-Nov-13 14:23:39

Hi MangoJuice Addict, sorry but I have only just seen your reply.

I'm sorry to hear your DD doesn't like it sad I hope things get better or you have other options.

My son is Asian and quite sociable so should hopefully fit in, but he's only 2 years old so won't be starting for another year. I'm still a bit apprehensive at him just mixing with Asians but we will haver to see how it goes.

Thanks for replying and good luck x

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