Poll: Would you rather...?(38 Posts)
Would you rather your pretty-average, not too terribly gifted DC attend:
A) a school with a relaxed attitude to academic study, not likely to push your DC. However, DC is likely to be middle of the class with mediocre grades. DC is likely to enjoy being at this happy go-lucky school, which is fine except that I am the one worrying about their academic future.
B) a school full of over-achievers, teachers who push DC and provide a strict study environment, and generally high standard of teaching and learning. Risk is that DC will likely be at the bottom of the class wrt grades, which might knock confidence but can benefit from being influenced and inspired by tough teaching ethos and other DCs who are "reaching for the stars".
Please vote! Thanks!
I'd go with A every time.
You don't want school to push him. You want him to be self motivated.
And you want him to be happy.
I would go with B. To me, the chance of better GCSE's and A levels means more career oprions. Is this what most children would want when they leave school?
Life isn't simple.
You could go 'A' but bolster it with tutoring and change at sixth form.
Or you could do 'B' but ensure that they go to community clubs so they gain confidence there (by being good at a non-academic thing eg sport) and also see the wider world so they get some idea of their place in the overall pecking-order (not just the school pecking-order).
anyway, the important thing is the home environment, not the school.
As I teacher I would say B - your child will still need encouragement, and getting the best out of your school years is important, it would be terrible for them to look back and wish they had done more. I always set high targets for my students, half of the fun is showing them that they can achieve them - there is nothing better than doing something someone told you was not achievable.
Your support as a parent will help shape their self-belief and give them stability and faith in themselves.
There is nothing worse than an overly pushy parent, especially if the student shows no aptitude, but settling for less than they could possibly achieve is possibly as bad. They may find the teacher that inspires them to future greatness.
Do schools like B exist?? "Full" of over-achievers? Would be amazed if there aren't a fair amount of pretty-average pupils in School B (after all, average is by definition the dominant category), unless this is a hidden state vs private poll and School B is highly selective (in which case presumably DC wouldn't get in?).
On those assumptions, I'd go for School B because the teaching sounds better and if it's state/non-selective I can't believe DC would be bottom of the class just because they're not terribly gifted. If the teaching is good, they should be good at stretching all levels to fulfil their potential.
Depends on what I know of the dc, I suppose, but generally speaking: A.
Emotional health and maturity beats academic school results every time.
I'd go for C.
Move house if necessary. It would have good teaching BUT not be too pushy. That's what I went for for dds (and did move house to be near enough, incidentally).
Are you talking primary or secondary?
I am assuming secondary, but just to clarify.
For primary I would go for a. For secondary it would depend on other factors such as ease of travel to school. Are friends going there, what place pastoral care has in the school, does the school specialise in any subject area, and do I feel the head is trustworthy.
If you are talking secondary, most schools will have open evenings in the next six weeks, so go to all schools which are possibilities, stay the maximum amount of time and ask questions about the school and talk about her academic ability - you may get a few answers from that. Obviously take your daughter with you. We only looked at two schools, one the Headmaster was in reception to welcome and answer questions with, loads of teachers were around, they were all proud of their children and their work. Teachers interacted with our daughter and gave her and us plenty of time. The other school we looked at was the opposite on every count and we just stood there not knowing were to go, there wasn't work on display, not many teachers around, had no idea who the Headmaster was. We felt so much more comfortable with the first school and are pleased we made that decision.
You don't really say what DC is like do they thrive on competition, do they naturally try their best, or are they a coaster?
For my DD I would choose B, but even she herself admits that she needs teachers who expect the earth from her.
For my sensitive DD1, school B has helped in some ways (she needs the organisation and structure of the day) but really knocked her confidence. Schools like B definitely exist, DD1 is there, but it is private. She now thinks she is bad at certain subjects like maths (she's not, it's just that she is in a class full of incredibly bright kids). Also think about what the other kids will be like at school B. It's been an eye opener for me!
For year 7 she will go to school with a more gentle ethos. You need to think about what your DD is like. I wouldn't send DD2 to school B for example, but DD1 has coped.
I would go for B if your DC had a chance to do well in something eg sport, music, drama, art to balance out the academic side.
My guess is both are private ?
For most children in that situation I think B would be the right choice, although it is possible to envisage circumstances in which A would be the right choice (eg child is a rebel who is likely to end up expelled from school B!)
I should qualify that.
A for primary ed, B for Y7 - 13.
B, but that's because I know what my children are like and they would never do any work in A
Inclined towards A. I would always choose social happiness over academics, anyway.
If your child got run over by a bus in middle of yr9, which school would you be happier she had attended?
Some kids rise to a challenge, though, DS is misplaced in top set maths but he seems happy enough being bottom of the class and sometimes even inspired to try a bit harder.
If B is selective, and your DD meets the criteria, then it would be B.
If its not selective, then it'd still be B as they can't all be 'over achievers'' ( whatever that is - surely you mean 'achievers of their full potential'?)
If B is selective and your DD doesn't get in, it still wouldn't be A because a casual attitude to achieving your best still wouldn't cut it for me.
Me, I would be hoping for C: a school where there are enough academic children and enough support of their aims to show ds what can be done, but also understanding and empathy towards pupils who might struggle academically.
But if only A and B were available, then I would make it about the personality of the child: how sensitive are they, how would they be likely to react if they did find themselves towards the bottom (some children work harder, others give up, yet others become rebellious and disruptive).
How do you know where your dc is likely to be in each class?! Have you been given class lists and grades of the other pupils?
I guess it can only mean that B is selective. You may be surprised at how many children of similar non-genius ability there are at selective schools. And assuming that the selection was done on 2 or 3 tests rather than in every subject there is every chance your dc may have some talent at a language, or drama or geography or science.
You seem to have written off your dc's abilities rather early. In which case, yes, they may well have their confidence knocked in whichever school they go to. But more importantly you seem unhappy with school B, and think that your dc won't thrive there. For that reason, and only that reason, I would avoid it: if you are unhappy with their ethos and approach now, you will not get happier over the next 5 years.
What does your dc think out of interest?
DC went to very academic selective schools, they are both now at uni. I was talking to them about whether they found them pushy because I, as a parent, didn't find them pushy. Never had tons of homework until GCSE/Alevel and even then it was on par with most other less selective schools, no chucking pupils out because they weren't good enough.
DC both said they never felt any pressure other than that their peers were all working hard but in some ways that was a comforter as there was no embarrassment or stigma about getting on with the work and wanting to do well. The environments at both schools were great, atomsphere of sucess (For every pupil), opportunity and that in life you try to achieve your full potential in whatever it is you are passionate about.
DC were both just below middle of their year groups and never felt inadequate or not good enough, they knew it was a selective school and at most other schools they'd be near the top. Their reports recognised their effort and their attainment was not compared to other children but to the teacher's recognition of your individual child's abilities/potential.
I like BeckAndCall's comment - can't all be 'over achievers'' ( whatever that is - surely you mean 'achievers of their full potential'?
DC had a lot of fun at school, lots of great friends, happy memories. They spent sixth form balancing parties, boyfriend/girlfriend, uni applications and hard work... but that is the real world, they have great work ethics and very much work hard play hard.
Well, if I went for A and I was left worrying about the education and academics, DC would have fun at school but none at home! Seeing as I send DC to school to learn, I would prefer school B, then home becomes the fun, relaxed place it should be.
School A sounds as if my DC would coast and I know they actually like learning and find it fun. Many children actually do like being pushed to acquire interesting knowledge.
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