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Tynecastle high school

(22 Posts)
loc Thu 01-Feb-18 10:00:08

Hi all, we currrently live in the catchment of Tynecastle high school. My son is due to start there in August. They are currently in a primary school outwith our catchment area, so he won't know any of the children when he moves up.
We've been to look round and were both happy with what we saw.
I know it has a pretty bad reputation, which we were ok with once we'd had a look round, but as the start date gets closer we're feeling a bit nervous about it.
It's not helped by the faces people pull when we say he's going there.
Are there any Tynecastle families on here that can give me the inside info of what it's really like?

tribal Thu 01-Feb-18 21:00:52

As it is a new build school the facilities will look good. It is our catchment school and we chose not to send our dc there as we were not impressed with a lot of things. We had a plan A and a plan B. Plan A worked out for us.

loc Thu 01-Feb-18 22:05:38

What is it that you didn't like? I haven't put in an out of catchment request for his primary's linked secondary but am now slightly regretting it.
Edinburghs secondary system leaves a lot to be desired with it's divided have and have not state and private system.

tribal Fri 02-Feb-18 23:52:16

loc "what didn't we like?" Well I will start with exam results. At the open evening the head said they were celebrating because the previous year 1 child went to university. I don't think that is anything worth celebrating. I hoped that my dc would get the opportunity to go to university if they wanted to. The exam results were not great (although I will admit I have not looked at them recently! - they may have improved). My father had a local business and they were frequently bothered with schoolchildren before, during and after school. He knew the local police and they told him that they were in the school nearly every day, sometimes more often.

You also state that you are aware of its bad reputation. We also put in an out of catchment request and we considered the catholic alternative.

loc Sat 03-Feb-18 09:16:56

Thanks tribal, we are not from Edinburgh, we moved here 18months ago. I can't seem to pick up on exactly why it has a bad reputation other than people rolling their eyes whenever I mention it! Your post has helped though thanks. Although we are in catchment we don't live near the school so don't see any of the pupils.
I do see the pupils at the secondary opposite my DS primary school which has a good reputation and they are awful! Not really looking forward to the next stage.

Edinburghgirlie Sat 03-Feb-18 09:37:53

Tribal- what you have said is blatantly untrue. Many students from Tynecastle go on to university each year to study various subjects, including medicine and law.

Loc- there are many positives about the school including the facilities, at the forefront of digital technology (an Apple distinguished school) improving exam results and good teachers.

loc Sat 03-Feb-18 10:41:50

Thanks edinburghgirlie, I want to hear from people who have up to date knowledge about the school as there is this general sense it is bad but I know reputations can be outdated and the reports online are old.
Thanks for your positive input, it is a bit scary my first going to secondary, and he won't know anyone else there. He admitted he was nervous too. 😣

fluffygreenmonsterhoody Sat 03-Feb-18 11:12:41

I’d say it’s an improving school rather than a currently great one.

Tbf your dc is going to be nervous starting any high school, and extra nervous starting one where you’ve chosen for him not to know anyone at.

I can assure you more than one person per year gets the grades for uni.

craiglockhartmo Sat 03-Feb-18 11:13:03

I don't have direct experience of the school but just a suggestion, have you thought about trying to get in touch with the school PTA or parent council to have a wee chat with parents who have kids there? Might give you a better insight to how the school is now. Will your son be included in any of the transition stuff where the primary 7 kids of the catchment primaries go to visit the high school etc? This might at least mean he gets to know some of the faces before he starts. Good luck with this!

loc Sat 03-Feb-18 12:43:42

Thanks for your replies. The fact he won't know anyone is more a case of moving house into a different catchment rather than a conscious decision to send him to a completely new school.
When we looked round it he liked it because it was small, had Apple stuff and the afterschool clubs are right up his street.
I have asked the deputy head to keep me included in transition program.
Good tip about contacting the parent council.
Thanks for the more positive replies too!

emmaoconnorauthor Sun 04-Feb-18 22:11:29

We sent our son there as an out of catchment choice. We toured both our catchment school, and Tynecastle, and Tynecastle won for us.
Here's why.
It is bright and light (helped by the fact that it's a new build).
It is smaller than most secondary schools, leaving less chance of our son falling through the cracks.
It has an outstanding support system for children who may need it.
The 'parents evening' was all about the kids, (the catchment school was not)

After half a year in the school I am still more than happy. We recieve a regular tracking report, letting us know whether he's on track in all subjects.
We know immediately whether he's run late, even if just by 1 minute.
The teaching staff are outstanding.
There are plenty of extra curricular opportunities.
My son went to a lovely primary school with a good reputation, and everything was lovely... Until he got a teacher who was a bully, and he got anxiety... The school had no idea how to help us at all.
We changed to another 'not as good ' school where the support was amazing... He went from being unable to attend his first school in p5 to winning the P7 maths prize at the second school.
The experience taught me 2 very important things about schools.
Firstly, the reputation of a secondary school depends on which primary school gate you stand at.
Secondly, 'good schools' are not good for every child. Quite often the 'good reputation' comes completely from exam results, in schools that are machines for exam prep.... Not much scope if your child needs more than that.
Follow your instincts, If you felt OK when you walked around, then go with that, and if not, look around at some other schools.
Personally, I would sing it's praises from a mountain top.
Good luck.

emmaoconnorauthor Sun 04-Feb-18 22:18:54

Ps. You will find contacts for the PTA and parent council on the school website.
There is an enhanced transition (my son joined that because of his anxiety) which was really useful and might be worth asking about.

loc Mon 05-Feb-18 07:33:14

emma thanks so much this is what I want to hear.
Have contacted the parent council and am going to meet some current parents. 👍

Cookandbook Tue 06-Feb-18 19:40:51

My friend has taught there for 15 years and is happy there. She wouldn't have stayed so long in a bad school, her subject is in demand and she would have no trouble finding work elsewhere. But she chooses to stay.
My eldest starts s1 in August at Portobello and I worry too. It's not got a great reputation either.
But we liked it when we looked round so we'll just put our efforts into making it a great experience for him. I'm going to join the Parent Council for example.

loc Wed 07-Feb-18 20:03:03

Thank you cook I'm definitely feeling happier now I've had some positive feedback.
Also agree we have to put the effort in as a family.

Groovee Thu 08-Feb-18 07:49:15

I went here many moons ago and my results weren’t brilliant but I got into college to do what I wanted to do and many of my friends went to uni.

My friend’s Dd started here last year knowing no one. Has made lots of friends and the pastoral care has been amazing for her Dd. A number of friends who’s children have left in the last few years from Tynecastle have all gone different directions like my own Dd is experiencing. Some have gone into college or uni for their chosen paths, a few have gone down apprenticeships to do their desired career. If we lived in catchment we would have sent our children here.

As it is our children are at our less than desirable catchment high doing very well. But people will always look down on certain schools even if the reputation is from 1978!

KingLooieCatz Thu 08-Feb-18 12:44:07

I don't have any personal experience of Tynecastle, but I'll throw my thoughts in the pot.

DH is a police officer and ends up dealing with troublesome/troubled kids from high schools with the very best reputations. He was panic stricken about Ds going to either Boroughmuir or Gillespie's at one stage. He's just had to accept there are kids like that at every school.

Also, there are a good chunk of Edinburgh families that are borderline obsessive about the reputation of the school their child attends. The reputation can be either dated or superficial e.g. fantastic school in slightly gritty setting less well regarded than mediocre school in leafy setting.

Horses for courses as well. What's perfect for one child/family might not be for another.

duck94 Thu 08-Feb-18 19:04:26

I’m sure it largely does depend on the individual as people have said but I would like to understand (as it’s our catchment school too) more about why Tynecastle is consistently one of the lowest achieving schools in terms of exam results out of all the Edinburgh schools. In 2017, 63% of Boroughmuir pupils managed to get 5 or more highers, while only 16% did so at Tynecastle. That is a very poor result, however you look at it.

Ellboo Tue 20-Feb-18 14:24:46

I have a friend who teaches here and loves the school. I will be sending my daughters there when they reach that point. Exam results are held down by the more affluent parts of the catchment, where kids have lots of advantages to do well, disproportionately sending their kids to private schools or St Tams.

duck94 Tue 20-Feb-18 17:31:56

Please can I ask what is the view of your teacher friend as to why the pupils who do attend the school are not attaining good results?

Ellboo Wed 21-Feb-18 18:03:23

I don’t know the answer to your question because I haven’t seen recent exam results. Would you share a link to those you have seen?
But I can guess what she’d say: There’s a wealth of education research showing the combination of catchment effects and vicious circles where concerned middle class parents move catchment areas or go private, leaving schools disproportionately occupied by students from deprived families so the next year group of parents with options assume the same and follow suit. It doesn’t mean there isn’t good (even excellent) teaching happening within the school.

duck94 Wed 21-Feb-18 21:01:23

Here are the results Ellboo. Almost the lowest results of all Edinburgh schools.

I suppose I don’t really understand why a lot of people seem to take it for granted that because parental income is low that this a reason children would not achieve well in school. I come from a working class background myself and don’t generally recognise that from my experience at school.

What concerns me most is what I hear about bad behaviour (police at the school etc) and worry that this may be part of a non aspiratonal /non achieving culture within the school kids there. I wouldn’t like my children to be hanging out with people who have little interest in doing well at school. If you have any more info on that I would be grateful if you could share it. Thanks

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