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'reality' Secondary Modern

(17 Posts)
hmb Wed 18-Aug-04 08:06:25

Anybody watch the program on last night that has re-created a 60s Secondary Modern?

I realise that these things are all in the 'cutting'. however the surly bad behaviour and amazing superiority of some of the kids (while admitting that they couldn't locate London on a map) was very similar to some of the little cherubs that I teach.

I wonder what their parents thought of their little darling's behaviou, flouncing off and saying that all of their teachers were 'fucking wankers'.

coppertop Wed 18-Aug-04 08:12:45

I think a few parents might have had a shock after watching that programme. I often read on MN about how awful behaviour in schools is getting and genuinely believed it, but seeing it for myself (edited or not) was still a real eye-opener.

muddaofsuburbia Wed 18-Aug-04 08:18:43

Although I'm not a teacher, I was a youth worker before ds and the attitude and behaviour of the kids was not a surprise - I've definitely seen that all before both in and out of shools.

I was dismayed at the geography lesson, but again not surprised. When we first moved down to the south east from Scotland, our 14 going on 15 year old neighbour asked how long it took on the ferry from Scotland
My theory on that however is more to do with WatfordGap syndrome rather than educational standards.

muddaofsuburbia Wed 18-Aug-04 08:18:59


hmb Wed 18-Aug-04 08:24:15

I teach in the East Midlands but I still have a strong Welsh accent. One of my top stream kids (Y10) seriously asked me if I went home to Wales each night!

Dis a maths cover at the end of term to Y7 and was horrified to find that the kids couldn't do 65-26= One of the lads told me he didn't need to be able to add and subtract because he was going to be a gamekeeper.....poor bloody birds was what I thought!

tallulah Wed 18-Aug-04 08:48:40

DS1 auditioned for the programme & got into the final 60. Watching it last night he said to me he was glad he hadn't got in! We did recognise 2 of the boys from our 2nd audition.

The mother of the really lippy girl was grinning when she described how bad she was- thereby lies the problem. Wasn't it interesting that having given all those other teachers a load of lip she was suddenly all yes sir, no sir when sent to the Head.

Moomin Wed 18-Aug-04 09:10:24

yeh but ime, kids like her know which strings to pull and at what point. When they are sent to the head (or head of year or whatever) they are usually meek and mild and say all the right things, because they know they get another chance that way and they can go back to classes and start all over again!
What struck me was the way that so many of them would not take no for an answer; they were obsessed with getting their view across and arguing the toss; banging on about respect whilst having none of it themselves. I must say, at our school, back-chat and answering back is very poorly received and is a sending to senior management offence.
Agree with tallulah about sophia's mum.

hmb Wed 18-Aug-04 09:12:45

With my cynical hat on, I would say that is because she has learned to play the system. She knows that she can act like a brat with classroom teachers but the head can exclude her. Parent would get hacked off if they had to look after her in the day I suppose

And I think you are 100% right about the parental attitue being at the root of the problem.

Interesting how they seem like larger toddlers, isn't it

hmb Wed 18-Aug-04 09:13:56

Kids in the bottom sets try it all the time in our school, moomin. It gets wearing coping with it day in, day out doesn't it?

Moomin Wed 18-Aug-04 10:36:58

don't, hmb! I'm already in denial about the next 2 weeks disappearing. I think I get more depressed than all the school kids when the 'back to school' adverts come on the tele!
I bumped into an ex colleague yesterday who's just retired along with her husband (also a teacher). They said they've booked to go away on holiday on the 1st day of term, something they've dreamt about for 40 years!!
Watching this programme, though, made me think that a lot of the kids we teach could do with these type of practical lessons (except nowadays, boys and girls to do everything together of course). I know some schools run GNVQ-type courses and some practical things like building, etc. but really, would be it be terribly un-pc to suggest ALL kids do some practical cookery and food hygiene, basic childcare, household financing and even (dare I say it) housework?!!

nutcracker Wed 18-Aug-04 11:05:19

I am 26 and so it's been 10 yrs since i was at secondary school. I thought the programme was hilarious and alot of the behaviour similar to when i was at school.
Dp is 46 and he thought they were all terible, and was on the tecachers side.

The geography lesson reminded me of me at school as i hadn't and still haven't a clue where anywhere is.

I'm not saying that i think it's funny how teachers get treated I just think the programme was funny.

Oh i wish i was back at school, and not for the chance to do better either.

hmb Wed 18-Aug-04 11:51:47

You wouldn't like my classes Nutcracker

Lots out our lower ability girls do child care, which is quite demanding and they seem to enjoy it. They even have an electronic 'baby' for the weekend, which they all find very hard work.

None of them seem to do enough 'cookery' IMHO

tallulah Thu 19-Aug-04 08:56:37

My boys do "Food Tech" which has no actual cooking in it! They design packaging & study the content of food... all very interesting but surely it's more important to be ble to actually cook?! I did a Food & Nutrition O level & had to cook a 3 course meal under timed conditions. We still regularly use the recipes from my school cookery books.

Would there be time under the national curriculum for all kids to do the things Moomin suggests? (& isn't that what "citizenship" was for?

tallulah Thu 19-Aug-04 08:58:05

If any of you have been watching Lad's Army, they all have to have the last word & bang on about respect. They always give me the impression that nobody has ever said no to them.

hmb Thu 19-Aug-04 09:05:10

I wasn't sure if I should laugh or cry at the 16 year old girl who didn't know that you had to peal onions before you slived them for a cornish pasty! It isn't the ignorence that worries me so much but the arrogence that goes with it. The kids who excused her not knowing where London was on the map by saying, 'Well if I wanted to ge to Portsmouth I'd go by train'. Ignorant and proud of it .

Ah yes, the 'respect' thing. The 'i can behave how I like and you still have to respect me' line. Cobblers is all I say. I'd love to see the look on these kids faces when their first boss tells them that they are behaving like a bunch of spoiled 2 year olds. As you say, no-one has ever said the word 'no' to them.

Moomin Thu 19-Aug-04 09:39:05

I sometimes wonder if we do them any favours by negotioating so much as you have to do a lot in the classroom. Obviously, I have the ultimate say but to get the best results and a more positive working atmosphere I tend to do a lot of cajoling and reasoning. The same goes with pupils who are in trouble with senior staff. We always give them an opportunity at some point to have their say and try to get them to realise things for themselves, but we all know it's often not like this in the Real World.

I was reading dh's report from the lower 6th recently - he went to an all boys' grammar school - and we're talking 21 years ago here. It was so funny to read the very un-pc, scathing and ultimately honest comments by his teachers: "X argues that he should be treated like an adult but often behaves like an infant"... "If X arrived at work as late as he does for classes he would be sacked", etc. We just can't do that these days! FWITW, though, I do think dh had a crap schooling and it failed someone like him - he'd fair much better in today's system, but that's because he was fairly reasonable and his parents were supportive of the school and quite strict.

hmb Thu 19-Aug-04 09:53:08

A mate of mine, now a consultant in A & E go 'It is hard to belive a boy this intelegent still cannot tell the time' LOL.

I don't think that we should return to this, and I am in favour of accentuation the positive, but it has to based on reality.

If a kid leaves school and goes to work in an office he/she may be asked to porduce, say, a report. If they do a crap job the boss isn't going to say, 'Well I think you chose a good fone, and the layout is good and the colour of the cover is nice', they are going to say, 'This is crap, go away and do it again'

I taught some Y7s last year. I asked them to do a poster on plant reproduction. This class was quite able. One boy spent 10 minutes cutting a wavy line on the pottom of the poster. When I told him to do some work he looked flabbergasted and told me that he *had* been working, 'Look at the wavy live' he said. So I told him this should have taken a minute at the most and this wasn't satisfactory for a boy of his age an ability. He was astonished! Within 5 minutes he called me over and showed me his work, which was good, and I told him so. Sometimes they need a dose of honesty. I praise what is praise worthy but expect the best from all and if they don't do *their* best I let them know. I feel that is part of what I must teach them.

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