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Primary with disadvantaged intake

(32 Posts)
Apathyisthenewblah Fri 21-Apr-17 19:24:55

We didn't get any of our preferences for primary school admissions and have been offered a school which while rated good by ofsted was previously in special measures.
It has a high level of pupil premium pupils and is generally viewed locally as where children go if their parents are not bothered about their education (not saying I share this view). Most parents from our background in this area go to church to get their kids into church school by feigning interest in a deity for as long as it takes to have their attendance noted!
Does anyone have experience of their child attending a school with lots of kids from a different background? Did this impact on their ability to make friends or their aspirations?

Kellycat84 Fri 21-Apr-17 22:07:32

My ds goes to this type of school and it sounds terrible but I do try and guide him regarding friendships after some issues last year but he does have a nice group of friends now . Although I doubt I know everything! I am more concerned about secondary.

There are benifits to the pupil premium, his school never seems to be cutting back. There are 2 teachers in the class this year (instead of 1 teacher and 1 TA) and apparently they have new ipads this term. There is also a trip each term.

I have found aspiration and importance of education is something we influence at home. He also does a few out of school clubs so has a good mix of friends.

jamdonut Sat 22-Apr-17 11:54:50

The parents may not be bothered by their children's education, but to get a good rating from previously special measures, the teaching and support staff most definitely will care!
As long as you are interested in what your child is doing, don't worry about other parents. As for friendships, they will be ,however much you try to steer. We all want ' nice' people for our children, but just because someone is not as fortunate as you, does not make them a bad person to know.

Aspirations...well , they can be fostered at home as well as school.

Although...

My daughter, who is taking a music degree, has wanted to be a music teacher ( as a secondary subject teacher) for a very long time, but her uni recently told her she should aspire to more than that!!! This is what she has been working towards for all these years, but that is apparently not a good enough aspiration! hmm

jamdonut Sat 22-Apr-17 11:57:17

I should add, her primary school was full of the sort of parents you describe, and ended in special measures, as did the secondary she went to, which was rated good by the time she finished her A levels there.

Astro55 Sat 22-Apr-17 12:01:34

DC went to different schools

The poorer kids were difinately more rounded and valued friendships over 'stuff' and were naturally less competitive

I also think they valued education more, not less

I would say 95% of parent swant the best possible outcome for their children - in every school

Have you visited

GetInTheFuckingSea Sat 22-Apr-17 12:17:36

Ds1 left a school like this last year and my other two are still there. I think on balance it's given them a good start. The teachers are all absolutely committed to working in a deprived area and provide a very rich experience with lots of extra curricular activities and most importantly they "get" the kids they are teaching.

We are friends with people from literally all over the world which is a perspective I myself didn't get until I moved to London as an adult. My kids now think that this is normal.

The vast majority of families are the same as families everywhere in that they want the best for their kids. Yes there are some hard nuts around but actually I think you'd rather be on friendly terms than have them as enemies - that goes for both me and my kids. Also if a child learns tolerance and a bit of street smarts at a young age, in a safe environment like a well managed school, that sets them up for adult life far better than never talking to anyone who isn't exactly the same as them.

Of course if the staff aren't committed to the area and don't do anything to engage families (ours does *a lot*) then that's different. But if they do, it can absolutely be great.

GetInTheFuckingSea Sat 22-Apr-17 12:32:38

Btw Ds1 left as in now goes to secondary school - I didn't remove him!

Ylvamoon Sat 22-Apr-17 12:35:17

I chosen a secondary school in our town that is frowned upon for DD. Over half the children come from a disadvantaged non caring background! In contrast to having been to a small "excellent" primary school, where she only ever encountered one type of family/ friend/ .... adult life will never be like that.
I think being able to mix with different kind of people from very different backgrounds is an life skill that should not be overlooked!

2014newme Sat 22-Apr-17 12:59:29

I wouldn't fancy it personally but we moved for schools so we take the options available quite seriously.

FerrisMewler Sat 22-Apr-17 14:08:55

My DC go to a school like that. I've even heard the "where children go if their parents are not bothered about their education". The person who told me this then visited the school and ended up putting it down as their first choice. grin

The children base their friendships on who wants to play chase in the playground, or who can make the most mess in the water tray. They really don't care whether the other children live in a bedsit or a mansion.

The staff are used to dealing with all kinds of different backgrounds and needs, so the pastoral care is fantastic. The children themselves are also very accepting of each other's differences. It's very much like a small community.

My DD was shocked when she heard that her cousin had been bullied at her (church) school because she had a different accent to the other children in her class. At DD's school, many of the children are bilingual and no one pays any attention to accents.

The school does a lot of work on inspiring children to achieve more and try out new experiences. They do this through trips, visitors, workshops, and as part of the class topics.

A lot of the families start off there because there were no places elsewhere. Many choose to stay even when their preferred school later has a place for them.

Fortybingowings Sat 22-Apr-17 14:46:34

Our two will be going to a school with this type of demographic (high % free school meals etc) and it's on our doorstep so we'd never get in anywhere else. I take my kids education very very seriously but not so much that I'm going to suddenly take them to church every Sunday to get into church school, or to move house. The school seems ok, motivated enough. Very similar to the one I went to aged 5-11 which was right by a council estate too. If mine don't achieve well or get in with a bad bunch then I'll react to it if the problem arises. For now I'm just really glad I'm not dealing with the awful yummy mummies at school my best friend's kids go to. They instagram their work- outs each day and absolutely must have the right 4x4 or BMW saloon for drop-off.

EwanWhosearmy Sat 22-Apr-17 15:11:25

My DD is at a school like this. Pastoral care is excellent, and the PP money means they have always had a healthy budget. The HT is very clear that her very first priority is the children, and that comes across as soon as you walk in.

EYS and KS1 are excellent. Unfortunately that doesn't continue up the school. My DD has SEN so the school has been a good fit but now she's in Y5 a lot of the nice families have pulled their girls out. The first term was unsettling for those left.

Apathyisthenewblah Sat 22-Apr-17 20:20:19

Thank you everyone who has replied. I feel much more reassured now. It is so easy to feel whatever you do is wrong as a parent!

Apathyisthenewblah Sat 22-Apr-17 20:23:57

I have a friend with a son the same age who has chosen to go private rather than send her non-white son to a local school as she has already encountered racism. I've spent most of my adult life in cities and work in HE so I'm finding that bias against other races/cultural backgrounds a bit of a shock.
But no worse than my class bias I guess blush thanks for not giving me a roasting and telling me to get my head out my arse.

Astro55 Sat 22-Apr-17 21:32:54

Because racism doesn't happen at private school? I think she'll find it's worse.

mumofthemonsters808 Sat 22-Apr-17 21:59:53

My son attends a school like the one you describe, I was devastated when he didn't get a place at the nice church school. He has been happy there since day one and really likes going to school. I feel a bit ashamed that I judged the school so harshly. It has been the making of him, pastoral care is excellent, the staff are approachable and dedicated, his lovely teacher turned up on my doorstep with an EAster Egg, because he had been poorly and she didn't want him to miss out, all school trips and after school activities are free. He is achieving above the expected levels in every subject. He has lots of friends, I don't tend to get involved in play dates because he plays out at home with his little posse and we only attend parties if we have nothing planned, so I don't do much socialising with the parents, but that would be the case whatever school he went to.Many of the church schools teachers now work here.Im now very quick to defend the school when I heard it spoken about negatively.I don't know if things will continue to be so positive as he progresses through the school but we have got off to a mighty fine start.

bojorojo Sat 22-Apr-17 22:38:28

That's interesting, mumofthemonster. You like the school but you don't socialise with any parents or children. You keep your son to handpicked friends for play outside school! He only goes to parties when you allow him to. Presumably to handpicked ones that are suitable and fit in with your schedule. That's quite handy if you really want to keep your DS separate socially. So you don't really know anyone and don't intend to. These poor people don't seem to be your cup of tea, do they?

GraceGrape Sat 22-Apr-17 22:44:18

That's a bit unfair Bojo. Mum said she wouldn't socialise much with the parents at whatever school her DC went to.

OP, I teach in a school in a deprived area. There is still a good mix of children with a real variety of interests.

Astro55 Sat 22-Apr-17 22:45:20

That's a bit harsh - you don't know how far away they live or how many hours she works/is available for play dates

I think she's saying he has local friends so the school distance isn't a huge problem

bojorojo Sat 22-Apr-17 22:56:24

So in that case, it is a bit odd to comment on a school with disadvantaged parents that you never meet! Or indeed any parents you don't intend to meet. It would be impossible to know what their values are and whether you want your child educated with their children. I always think people who avoid other parents do so for a reason. I know hospital consultants who socialise at school. No-one is too busy if they value relationships with other parents and children and support the school. Some parents don't do it if the other parents are not like them but would make every effort to go to the parties and the PTA events if they are comfortable with the school tribe. Parents who are not at home with the dominant tribe make excuses and avoid social events. I bet it would be different if it was a prep school!

oklumberjack Sat 22-Apr-17 23:13:25

My dcs go/went to a school like this, although locally it's classed as by no means the worst. Some of my very middle class church-going friends would definitely not feel comfortable there.

On my dd's first day I stood in the playground with various people who were related or went to school (this school!) together. I noticed one parent near me wearing a tag! I did judge.
My dd left year 6 with stunning SATS results, after having an enjoyable school life. Lucky enough to have no friendship problems. She had good friends. My ds is in Y5 and is having a similar experience. Lots of variety in school trips, lots of teaching assistants, good quality teaching.

We chose a different secondary to our feeder secondary school which ruffled feathers. It was just a better fit for dd. Incidentally, some of the cleverest academically and most talented musically have emerged in her Y7 so far have come from the most deprived nearby area.

My dcs have seen some 'sights' in their time and heard some terrible language. They've had to learn to rub along with some children very different to themselves. I feel it's made them fairly streetwise and able to strike relationships up with all kinds of children.

Southeastlondonmum Sat 22-Apr-17 23:52:51

My DD goes to a primary like you describe. I think she's the only one in her class not on pupil premium, she's the only white girl, we are the only owner occupied. Some of her friends live in temporary accommodation. It was our first choice, and although outstanding now, was previously in special measures. People were utterly appalled that we rejected the Boden clad middle class enclave up the road. The inlaws openly thought we were mad. I work in education and was moved to tears when I visited as thought it was so incredible. My daughter has utterly thrived. She is very able academically and she is doing better than we ever could dream. (also my inlaws have been converted and think it's a great school. I'm very friendly to other parents but am careful to not to reveal that we earn well.

Fortybingowings Sun 23-Apr-17 00:23:14

Boden clad middle class enclavegrin

Apathyisthenewblah Sun 23-Apr-17 08:41:01

astro sorry I wasn't clear/missed a bit. The private school has a much more multicultural intake so she feels her DC will not "stand out" so much.

When DH and I discussed sending DC to this school one thing we committed to was being part of the life of the school and joining PTA etc. I think/hope our DC will find friends wherever she goes.

I can see how it would be easy to just keep meeting up with friends from nursery/the local area if you are a distance from the school. In our case we are less than half a mile away so if DC is invited to play/parties then we will easily be able to do that.

NoLotteryWinYet Sun 23-Apr-17 08:53:05

It sounds as though you have the ability to expose your dc to support a wider education outside of school. I've got different family groups in schools like these (as a younger boden twat I felt they were so bad I'd be rioting if I had to send my kids there) and the overall area is not at all good. Surprise surprise, the family group with the more involved and clued up parents and better support network has kids doing just fine and the other group doesn't seem to be.

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