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"A rose will bloom wherever." True? Experiences?

(137 Posts)
fircone Tue 16-Jun-09 11:46:31

Ds is by all accounts very bright.

He is off to the local comp this September, which is very good, the best in the county even, but obviously not an academic powerhouse.

Please reassure me that even though he won't be doing classics and wearing a blazer and tie he'll do as well as those who do!

pagwatch Tue 16-Jun-09 11:51:18

If he is in the right school for him he will do well regardless of what type of school that is.

As always - despite our love of stereotyping - the specific school in question is the only issue.

AMumInScotland Tue 16-Jun-09 11:55:25

If it's a good school, he'll do fine. I don't think children will bloom just anywhere, certainly not if they're in a school with zero expectations of the pupils and terrible behaviour.

But if it's "very good", then he has every chance of achieving his full potential there.

I went to my local (very good) comprehensive, and did very well academically. I can't imagine that I would have done any better in a selective independent school. Their statistics just look better because they're selective.

dilemma456 Tue 16-Jun-09 12:38:14

Message withdrawn

kidcreoleandthecoconuts Tue 16-Jun-09 12:42:26

My friend went to the local comp ( quite rough TBH)and ended up getting a 1st in Maths at Cambridge.

allblondegirls Tue 16-Jun-09 12:59:45

I went to a grammar school and did ok but not brilliantly and my husband went to the local comp and did very well. When the time came for my dd to move to secondary school we deliberately avoided tutoring for the grammar school and let her choose between a very good all girls comp and a mixed comp (still good but maybe not achieving quite the same results). She chose the mixed comp and after completing her first year there seems to be doing very well. More importantly she is very happy at school and because of that I am sure she is in the right place. I'm convinced a bright child will reach their potential if they are happy and given the right encouragement.

WolframAlpha Tue 16-Jun-09 13:17:31

It's not exactly a dung heap, is it, if it's the best comp in the county??

fircone Tue 16-Jun-09 14:07:18

No dung heap, but the wind has been well and truly put up me by an acquaintance who waxed lyrical about her ds who is learning Greek, Latin etc and plays Go and chess blah de blah at his grammar school. And sings Jerusalem at frequent intervals.

I went to a grammar school and I feel I could have done better, as could many of my friends. But that was in the late 70s/early 80s, when it was cool to not try, and many of the close to retirement bitter old teachers didn't even know most of our names, but I digress...

AMumInScotland Tue 16-Jun-09 14:17:10

Perhaps your child will learn subjects which those at the grammar school won't even get to try, and play games which are slightly more popular than chess out here in the real world? And don't get me started on the words to Jerusalem....

Fennel Tue 16-Jun-09 19:31:33

Bright children can flourish in comps, I know many who have. My dc will be heading for the local comp in a few years and it's certainly nowhere near the best in the county, quite the opposite. I am confident that they'll achieve their potential by this route as much as they would by any other route.

Fennel Tue 16-Jun-09 19:33:51

in terms of personal stories, I went to local comp and then to Oxford, and then a Russell group Phd, DP went to local comp and then to Russel group for a 1st and a phd, dsis went to local comp and then read Medicine, dbil went to local comp (in area with grammars so really a secondary modern, he refused to go to the grammar) and then to Cambridge and is now a medic. I know loads of similar stories, those are just the people closest to me.

southeastastra Tue 16-Jun-09 19:35:18

my ds(15) is in the local (def not best in county) comp, but is still bright and all in all a nice chap. hmm

cory Tue 16-Jun-09 20:49:42

if it's a good comp, then that's a very long way from "wherever" imo.

and clothes matter little- the only state secondary that does not do blazer and tie round here is also the one with the best results and best behaviour

Milliways Tue 16-Jun-09 20:56:16

DD "failed" the 11+ and Grammar place, and also went to local (very good) comp.

She was frustrated in Yr7 as nothing "set" so had all sorts in every class, including those who loved to disrupt etc. However, they were eventually set in all subjects and she was with those more willing & able to stretch themselves.

She has done very well, and will be at an Oxbridge college come October if she gets her predicted A grade A levels.

If they want to work, and they school is halfway decent, they will be supported!

Milliways Tue 16-Jun-09 20:57:25

Oh, and no-one wears a blazer at her school, and they have a wider range of GCSE subjects to choose from than DS's Grammar school offer.

chosenone Tue 16-Jun-09 21:02:09

Well I have taught in 2 failing schools and would say he'd struggle there! but the best comp in the country! It will be amazing, plus its completely different to the private sector which is about class rather than education. The teaching in good or outstanding comps is fantastic, varied and engaging in Private it can often be 'talk and chalk' based. But the difference is he'll be mixing with kids from a range of social backgrounds and not just a bunch of middle/upper class kids.

Ozziegirly Wed 17-Jun-09 00:31:02

I went to a comp and got good results and went to a good uni (Bristol) and then to law school and am now a lawyer.

I think at comps it is easier to slip beneath the radar as they tend to be bigger and not all the parents are bothered how well their children do.

But if your child is self motivated and clever, then chances are they will do well.

Latin and Greek are all very nice, but honestly, I have not felt disadvantaged not having a knowledge, even in the legal world.

I think private schools are excellent if your child needs a bit more of a push, or would feel overwhelmed in a larger school environment, but if you are willing to put in all the work required, and do a little more, and are pretty intelligent to start with, chances are you will end up doing well.

Plus, nothing wrong if you're not so clever, the vast majority of jobs don't require a First from Cambridge, and at least if you go to a comp and do "averagely" well, you won't feel like a failure, as some of my "clever but not exceptional" friends did at their private schools.

Clary Wed 17-Jun-09 00:46:53

I don't think he'll suffer from not learning Latin and Greek (and I speak as someone with an A-level in Ancient Greek hmm)

It sounds like a great school which will give him a wonderful opportunity to be what he wants to be - more so I bet than the narrow academic only education I got at my all-girl grammar <frustrated>

sunnydelight Wed 17-Jun-09 02:59:19

A very bright kid in a very good comp will do fine. No, he won't get the "extras" at school that you may get in the private sector, but that's why most kids do after school activities and weekend sport.

I pay school fees only because state schools on two continents have shown clearly that they haven't got the time/resources/motivation to ensure that my dyslexic kids achieve their potential (whatever that may be).

campion Wed 17-Jun-09 14:02:11

Those are a couple of sweeping statements there,chosenone.Do you have first hand experience of independent education or are you nursing prejudice?

The independent school I teach in has a wider social mix than some local comprehensives which are mono-cultural socially, with places largely dictated by house price. No chalk these days and the lessons in a good independent school will be at least as good as, and often better, than lessons in a good comprehensive. When you run a business you can't afford to coast along - parents are paying good money and want the best.
A big advantage of independent education is that it is outside the dictat of the National Curriculum and can tailor its own curriculum to satisfy the long term needs of its pupils.

In answer to the OP - a bright child will do well if they are motivated,well taught,stimulated and given any necessary 'kick up the backside' / encouragement!

Flibbertyjibbet Wed 17-Jun-09 14:08:33

None of you have mentioned something that I've heard over and over again from secondary teachers (including a good friend who had the pleasure of teaching at THe Ridings in Yorkshire while it was subject to special measures)
A child can do well in any school with the right support and encouragement from the parents.

I know people who have had the best education money can buy then not had any kind of decent job because their self esteem and motivation were just not there. Then I've seen many people who've been to 'sink' schools and done really well because they did have that motivation and confidence, and I think those two things are greatly contributed to by the parents/immediate family.

chosenone Wed 17-Jun-09 16:13:43

I have experience of one Independent and 7 Comprehensives Campion, so to be fair I am clearly skewed in one direction. However, the Independent I worked at did have members of staff who would coast, as small class sizes meant they would have a captive audience and little behavioural problems. There was no chalk but the teachers standing in front of a powerpoint presentation seemed to adopt the same monotonous tone to talk and chalk! Teaching styles in Comprehensives seem to be more diverse, kinasthetic and therefore very engaging. It's true that our client group are not paying but we have the spectre of Ofsted looming over us. Independent schools have a lot of positives but I feel the name and the kudos means more than the teaching and learning! There is a more competitive edge in the Independent sector as academic achievement seems to be held in high regard, its seen as geeky and uncool in mainstream education sad

However, the new curriculum is very different from the 1989 one, far less prescriptive and more skills based. I think the OP child will thrive in the chosen school.

OrmIrian Wed 17-Jun-09 16:18:26

Within reason. Assuming that the ground is reasonable fertile that is. A rose won't bloom on concrete, or choked by weeds to extend the metaphor.

fircone - you appear to be suffering from education anxiety hmm. You need to stop listening to aspirational aquaitance. Greek is not a measure of academic brilliance per se. Neither is singing jerusalem.

OlympedeGouges Wed 17-Jun-09 16:29:01

I did wish I had learned Greek and Classics when I was at Oxford actually, we were not even taught basic grammar at my comprehensive and i did feel i started on a back foot behind my privately educated [or grammar educated] contemporaries. Knowledge of Greek would have been very useful for Anglo Saxon translations and Classics as a cross referencing tool in my Lit degree. The standard of music is also, generally, much better at private schools, and very important if you want to have a chance of doing that professionally.

If I have financial capacity i hope to educate my dcs privately when they get to secondary school age.

Paolosgirl Wed 17-Jun-09 16:36:56

I agree with the OP. I went to one of the top state schools in Scotland (it's consistently in the top 5). Some kids did exceptionally well, and others from similar backgrounds did less well - it all came down to their personal motivation. My next door neighbours both went to the same poorly performing school in Fife, yet despite this both went onto university and now have good jobs - he's a civil engineer and she is something in finance. Conversely, I know people who went to private school - some did very well and others have more mediocre jobs. I really do believe that, within reason, a rose will bloom wherever.

Blazers are expensive, pointless things anyway - and I speak from experience grin

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