Primary schools bromley highfield infants(5 Posts)
hello, I am new at this but feel the need to share my, and other's experience about one of the schools in bromley, highfield infants. This school at first and for few years now, has been proud to be outstanding and the reason why most houses around it became really expensive.
I speak as a dad of pretty average kids and now after few years at the school I realised that it is unfair to new parents to present this school as an outstanding one. The school does not push students to become better, the school just accepts good or bad and works to a minimum.
The school, and maybe like many other state schools counts with limited resources however the school has now become very pretentious and claims to be better than what they are. To give an example, and this is the reason why I am writing this post, I came to the school to accompany a friend of mine as a new parent when I saw a student (I guess he would have been either 6 or 7 years old) sitting outside the offices doing nothing but sitting there, my friend asked me if he was waiting for something and to be honest I didn't know what to answer so I asked and the response was that because the teacher said this kid was being naughty he was sent to seat outside the headteachers' office. I was almost in disbelief to hear that as there was no adult there, to a point that we managed to have at least a 5 minute conversation with the child who surprised us by saying that this is a regular tactic and that sitting outside this office is a regular thing for her/him. Apologies for being vague but I have kids at the school and the way it works, I have now became very aprehensive about speaking out. The headteacher was nowhere to be seen, not for us neither for the child. It took me back to the 70's when tactis like that were regular. Another parent known to my wife claims to have issues with teachers discouraging children by highlighting their bad writing and drafting to other parents, it is almost like a public humilliation to both children and parents. There was no need in those years and even less now when education has become so accessible and improving that it is almost unreasonable for the headteacher to accept these behaviour from her staff. I am hoping that the headteacher is not aware of this and if she is, shame on her. I really hope that an ofsted visit comes to the school soon as this school needs a bit of a shake. Students doing better than average in juniors are not being encouraged to continue to do great and those below average are not getting the right approach, the teachers need training, the headteacher needs to update her style of education in a more coherent way to 2016! I am sorry to say that although my children and my relatives' children have attended this school, it is not what it used to be and new parents need more information and maybe the opportunity to share experiences with current parents to be able to make the right choice. Someone recently said to me that this school is ok for stright line children and I now wonder where are those children, straight line children do not exist, each child has his/her own personality behaviour and way of growing therefore a school only good for children who are described as straight line children cannot be good either. I hope the school has access to this post and instead of ignoring the current issues by claiming to be so good, work harder on going back to being a good or at least an average good school in bromley. thanks.
Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.
Truth will speak for itself one day. It's the children that we care about, nothing else matters.
As a parent of a child who started in Reception at Highfield Infants School in Bromley in Sep 2014 - and bought a home and paid a ridiculous price as the catchment area for this school unjustifiably commands - I concur with the OP's comments, in full.
My husband and I made the decision to take our dd out of this school in June 2016 after she reported to us in Sep 2015 when she was only in Year 1 that she had been assaulted in the school toilets by another girl in her class. At the time they she was only 5 years old and the other girl was 4. We reported this disclosure to our dd's class teacher and headteacher and to cut a very long and upsetting story short neither the class teacher nor the headteacher ever bothered even speaking to our child, or, as far as we were aware at the time, the other girl about this disclosure.
They made us feel as though we were fabricating what had happened and we were wholly unsupported throughout this ordeal. It was one of the most shocking examples of victim-shaming I know of. As my husband kept saying at the time they just wanted to sweep it under the carpet. To make matters worse the other girl's mother was a 'volunteer parent' helping in our daughter's classroom at the time. Highfield Infants School very much likes volunteer parents working in their children's classrooms and this is something we were never entirely happy about even before this as the potential for conflict of interest is clear. We were forced to make a formal complaint about this after our daughter also reported to us in Dec, following on from her being assaulted in the Sep and the school doing nothing to look into this, that this mother had told our daughter, in the class room, not to tell lies about her daughter. She obviously denied saying this and the school believed her. The mother was barred from helping in the class room while our formal complaint was apparently being considered by the school but she was then allowed back into the classroom when the school decided that they had no justification for asking her to help in another classroom as we had requested and therefore rejected our complaint on that basis. As the other child's parents were both foreigners we did wonder at the time if it was political correctness gone mad. However having gone through the process and knowing the school and the headteacher we now know it was just garden variety bullying because we had dared to defend our child and in doing so were a threat to their carefully but disingenuously cultivated reputation as being this great school. The fact that I couldn't and didn't want to spend my little free time helping out in the classroom clearly didn't help us either. They just wanted us to shut up and go away.
As our dd disclosed to us near her departure date from this school, when she and the other girl were still 'friends,' this girl had told our dd - after apologising to her for what she'd done - that her mother had been assaulting her in this way, and had apparently told her to assault our dd too, this woman's unnecessary presence in our dd's classroom was wholly unacceptable - in fact creepy - to us and this school completely failed to understand that.
The police confirmed to us a crime had been committed but that naturally as the child was under the age of 10 she could not be held responsible. My daughter continued to say hello to this child in the playground after this going in and out of school and she and her mother would walk past without saying a word and the school knew about this and did nothing to try to repair things between the families. Given these assaults (it happened on three occasions) happened on school premises this was particularly galling but it was also part of the overall bullying that we were subjected to.
We were put through months of absolute hell by this school. We gave them the benefit of the doubt and trusted they would step up and take responsibility for what happened and show some compassion but they were incapable of it. Contrary to what another poster says above about the truth will speak for itself one day and that the children is all they care about I can categorically say based upon our traumatic experience with this school that is simply not true.
Before this our dd was humiliated by her teacher in Reception for making a 3D rocket with her dad out of a diet coke can. We were meant to be mindreaders apparently as the school had never bothered issuing a list of things not to be used, but then criticised a 5 year old, in front of her peers, who did not chose the materials. They also said nothing to us about this. She came home and told us she had been told off and she had cried in front of her classmates.
She came home many more times in Reception than in her previous 2 years at nursery in school clothes as she had not been allowed to go to the toilet when she needed to and so she wet herself. For a child who was toilet trained in 2 days at age 3 this was a regressive step and again when I raised my concerns about this with the headteacher, and my worry about the effect this could have on my daughter's self confidence, she just didn't seem to get it - or care more like.
We asked the school many times to assess her reading. She started school knowing how to read and they were lazy in encouraging her to achieve higher in her reading. She didn't progress in her reading very much at this school at all. You got the feeling that it was just all a bit too much like hard work for them. I think this general laziness tied in with getting as much free help from parents as they could, parents who they thought should consider themselves privileged to be part of the Highfield community. Of course it was only the parents who wanted to be intimately involved in every minute of their child's school life who were actually interested (or able) to provide this free help. Before our experience with this school I thought school years were meant to be about children learning to be independent of their parents but that didn't seem to be the case at this school. If my husband and I had to sum up this school in one word it would be this: weird.
The headteacher's arrogance was astonishing. This naturally trickled down to the rest of the staff, especially the two teachers we dealt with. I don't think staff at Eton would be as snooty and detached.
In our experience this is a lazy, uncaring school resting on its laurels. Incredibly it's 9 years since they had a full Ofsted inspection. How that's even impossible is beyond me. We made our complaints about this school known to Ofsted in Dec 2015 (as well as the EFA) and to date they still have not inspected this school. They each spent months referring me to the other one saying it was basically nothing to do with them. Highfield Infants School is relying on an outstanding inspection they received nearly a decade ago, under a different headteacher to the current one who we had the misfortune of dealing with and it is, at best, an average school pretending to be better than it really is and defending their reputation through whatever means necessary including bullying.
We also discovered when reporting our dd's assault to the police and social services (who were both very empathetic and supportive) that the school didn't even inform Bromley children's welfare about what happened to our dd for nearly 4 months, and they did so only when they received our formal complaint. Discovering that fact confirmed to us how outstandingly self-serving, incompetent and uncaring this school is. The police and social services thankfully took what our dd reported to us very seriously, unlike Highfield Infants School.
I would like to say that we as parents always tried to work with our dd's teachers and the school generally. We fully understand the pressures facing schools nowadays and that teaching is not an easy job at all. However the attitude, the bullying, and the lack of empathy, impartiality and professionalism we experienced was so extreme I feel it incumbent upon us to warn other parents out there considering this school for their child(ren). Had we known then what we now know about Highfield Infants School in Bromley we would not have considered it for even a nanosecond.
I was referred to this post by another unhappy but still suffering parent of this school. I would urge any parent thinking of sending their child(ren) to this school to try to find any other school, if possible. There are more and much better alternatives in Bromley. You might even save yourself some money paying the overinflated prices that being in the catchment area of this school unjustifiably requires which is a bonus as this school is definitely not what we would consider an outstanding school i.e. one that actually cares about the children as well as encouraging them to extend themselves in their work to reach their full potential, and applauding their efforts when they try to / do. They do not care about the children at Highfield Infants School. They care about their reputation, and nothing else. The lack of empathy shown to us was utterly shocking and we as a family will never forget our horrendous experience at this school no matter how much we might like to.
Thanks if you've stuck with me through a long (sorry) but important post. Good luck with your school search.
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