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Curious: Bristol girls state secondary- with 9 weeks summer holiday??!

(32 Posts)
Erebus Mon 18-Jul-11 21:51:28

I am just curious! My mum was telling me about a neighbour's GDD in the Bristol area who attends a girls secondary which apparently was private before gaining presumably academy status, though it would have been in an early round, not the latest 'free-for-all'.

Whilst my mum, bless 'er, has been known to get her facts confused, she was adamant that this DD had begun 9 weeks of summer holiday along with the private schools over a week ago!

Can this be true? Could it be a throw back to private status?

HauntedLittleLunatic Mon 18-Jul-11 21:53:22

I thought that the lea holidays were fixed...so I would have thought it was private.

But then - having said that I haven't worked out where the academies fit into that.

franticallyjugglinglife Mon 18-Jul-11 21:54:53

This will be my old school in Bristol... And yes, they started summer hols on July 8th!

Ohforfoxsake Mon 18-Jul-11 22:05:52

I'm wondering if that's my old school...

franticallyjugglinglife Mon 18-Jul-11 22:13:45

OFFS... CGS I reckon....

RitaMorgan Mon 18-Jul-11 22:16:12

Colston Girls' School I expect - academies are still independent even though they are state funded.

Erebus Tue 19-Jul-11 08:16:37

So, let me get this straight in my mind- this is effectively a girls private school where the government picks up the fees?

I had no idea they existed! I though that the moment a school became wholly LEA funded they had to tick the same boxes as other state schools! Like length of teaching day/holidays etc etc.

But there you go!

My DS's secondary became an academy recently (on the 'outstanding' program)- but there's no way it's anywhere near that free of LEA rules!

Ohforfoxsake Tue 19-Jul-11 09:47:58

Yes, CGS - going back 23 years now! Blimey - how did that happen?!!

robingood19 Tue 19-Jul-11 09:57:08

9 weeks? Its more than MPs. Lucky for some

crazymum53 Tue 19-Jul-11 11:40:40

Academies are funded directly from the government and are outside LEA control so they can have longer holidays. Most academies still stick to LEA dates though.
Colstons Girls School and Bristol Cathedral choir school are both former private schools who coverted to academies under the previous government. They are very oversubscribed with almost 10 applicants per place and a banded lottery system for entry.
The longer holidays do not seem to put most parents off applying !

Erebus Tue 19-Jul-11 12:29:51

Well, the GDD applied, failed, went to a local comp which her mum hated, then one term into Y7, get a letter advising a place had come up, hence DD was moved.

So perhaps competitive, but...

I certainly wouldn't be applying at a school with such long holidays! I mean, our own state ones are ananachronism with the 6 weeks 'helping with the harvest', but where 9 weeks comes from, I don't know! I shall post that Q separately!

TalkinPeace2 Tue 19-Jul-11 12:53:24

Do not forget that State schools have to provide a certain number of HOURS teaching a year.
So if they timetable a longer day by 20 minutes every day, that adds up to an extra week and a half on the holidays...

Erebus Tue 19-Jul-11 13:02:08

So I guess their school day must be longer to compensate. That would be handy- 8.30am to 3pm, anyone?! Secondary!

TalkinPeace2 Tue 19-Jul-11 13:12:44

They get away with the 3pm because the lunch hours are short - because at the Chandlers Ford school otherwise they would all wander off in to town.
The two Romsey schools have their lunchbreaks at different times
and DH was at a school where lunch was 20 minutes (in total) so they could keep the 1200 kids tightly on site

Erebus Tue 19-Jul-11 13:17:23

Yes, interestingly the (new) HM at MB said a couple of years ago at an Open Day, in as many words their lunch break was deliberately longer so the DCs could a) attend clubs and b) learn how to manage their own time constructively without being tightly guided. I think it's a good point. I don't think they're allowed to wander around Romsey any more, are they?

Thornden's break is so short DS barely has time to eat!

TalkinPeace2 Tue 19-Jul-11 13:23:58

No, MB kids are not meant to leave site without permission.
Romsey kids are often in town at lunch.

Its a tricky balance - but personally I would rather a slightly longer school day and then longer non summer holidays to make up for it.

Erebus Tue 19-Jul-11 13:39:45

Yes, I don't know what this unfettered wandering about the local shopping centre- by 11 year olds!- is all about.

I wish DS had a slightly longer lunch break AND finished school a reasonable amount later- so maybe half an hour extra at lunch so that say choir isn't 20 minutes all up, but an hour later in the afternoon. I am not cruel and heartless, I just think it would be of long term benefit to DC, esp older ones, to spend a bit longer in a learning environment each day.

I don't regard the school as 'babysitters'- I can well manage the 'being here' at 3.10pm but, given the derisory amount of homework DS has been set over the past term, I think that the school might like to spend a bit more time teaching him! We are back to the 'battle' when he does get more than 'remember your piece of coloured card for Thursday' as homework! But I won't turn this into a Thornden rant!

Erebus Tue 19-Jul-11 13:41:18

And bring on 2 weeks in June and 5 weeks in August! The weather's practically always better earlier on in the year these days.

TalkinPeace2 Tue 19-Jul-11 13:42:29

I know Thornden well. Your kids have almost certainly met my husband!
DD is in year 8 at Mountbatten - stuff all homework
roll on year 9!!

Erebus Tue 19-Jul-11 14:43:45

My friend has a DD in Y7 at MB and she says the poor girl's been given stacks of 'project' type HW to do in these last couple of weeks! There's the perfect balance there somewhere.

My 'objection' to Th. and HW, such as it is (no other complaints, really!) is that they make a huge song and dance about the sanctions against the DCs for failing to complete the oh-so-important task of HW- yet, out of a possibly 15 HWs a week, DS1 has possibly been getting 4? I don't think it encourages the steady, bit at a time, constantly committed approach that 'pass-as-you-go' GCSEs demand.

Riveninside Tue 19-Jul-11 14:55:44

Colstons and the Cathedral school both finish near 4pm so have longer days. I dont see how a longer summer would affect parents. 11 yo's can be left surely?

TalkinPeace2 Tue 19-Jul-11 15:01:05

Year 7 is hard.
Year 8 is easy for those in the higher sets
Year 9 is a pig

freerangeeggs Tue 19-Jul-11 16:15:30

Talkinpeace and Erebus, I know this is off-topic but you really shouldn't judge a school by the amount of homework it gives. Evidence suggests that homework is of limited use and only certain forms of homework are of any use at all. Homework is usually given to placate parents, who for some reason think it's really important.

Of course if the quality of teaching is poor then that's a different kettle of fish.

jenniec79 Tue 19-Jul-11 16:21:54

Riveninside If you have a longer holiday to deal with you have to sort out more childcare (admittedly not so much with older teens perhaps) Most people don't get 9 weeks of annual leave from their job in a year - ie bigger problem for the parents until the oldest can be in charge at home for a chunk of the summer (that would have been me, aged about 14 with 9-10 yo DB, until mum's state school broke up)

Riveninside Tue 19-Jul-11 16:36:26

total schools holidays is 13 weeks or more. Once they are 11 I dont see why they cant be left unless they have SN.
I dont really have an opinion about school holidays for NT kids. Its a total pain for kids who require constant care.

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