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Thick as muck

(79 Posts)
Kenlee Thu 02-Jan-14 01:08:37

I was asked this question at a party when talking about our DC...

If your child was thick as muck would you have still sent her to private school or bother tutoring her if she was in state school?

I really didnt have an answer for that as I was rather dumbstruck at the question.

After some thought I think I would still send her private.As she maybe a late developer or she was not engaged with her teachers.

If I couldn't afford it I would most likely find tutors that could engage her and get her moving.

If couldn't afford either I would then read books myself and try to engage her...

But I would never give up on her....

I think the main reasons why children fail is because parents give up on their children. It doesn't matter what socio econmic background you are from but if you give up. Your children will do the same....

Although being a helicopter tiger mum is also not very helpful to your child either....

Kenlee Thu 02-Jan-14 23:21:55

What was meant I think from the parent I met was a child who underperforms at school...Although with her it could be difficult to say what she meant.

Although I do whole heartly agree that children with learning difficulties need more time and resources spent on them. As I said If my child was in that situation I would also go private...Although it is quite clear there are state provided provisions and I think there should be more.

Im glad this thread has open the door to some open discussion. Its not about labeling but what can be done.

I do have a friend whos son does not have any impairment but just can not focus. He has been sent to private school in the UK to no avail....He is now teaching native English to the locals...So getting no qualifications is not a barrier to finding work.

ReallyTired Thu 02-Jan-14 23:37:35

Being as lazy as sin (ALAS) is very different to being TAM. I suppose that a private school will ensure that ALAS child with supportive will get five decent GCSE. State schools don't have the time chase naughty children who haven't done their homework properly as teachers have less ppa time and bigger classes. A typical state secondary school teacher teaches 300 children in a week!

My son is ALAS child, but I have taken the view I would rather he fails his exams at school than fail at university. Since he is only in year 7 at a state comp and I hope he will grow up a bit and do his homework when he is older. At the moment all he wants to do is sing and play his guitar.

Gunznroses Fri 03-Jan-14 11:38:40

Thanks for clarifying Kenlee that's kind of what i thought you meant so was a bit surprised some posters were assuming it was children with special/learning needs that was being referred to.

curlew Fri 03-Jan-14 11:42:53

I didn't assume the thread was about children with additional needs. It didn't need that element to be unpleasant.

Att100 Fri 03-Jan-14 15:37:40

agree awful way to describe any child....every child has some positive attributes and IQ doesn't measure imagination or creativity....a child that cannot focus at school could be ADHD; gifted and ADHD, gifted and bored; or just plain bored or doesn't mean they are "thick"...and formal schooling has its limitations (often does nothing to foster creativity for example) ...and some are simply not suited to its restrictions...many examples of very successful business and other folk who "failed" in formal schooling. ...Some folk hate school but love their subject at university...people change.

SoupDragon Fri 03-Jan-14 15:42:24

I think there are some children for whom a vocational education would be more fulfilling than an academic one. However, there does not seem to be this option in private or state education - at least not until they have left standard secondary.

Att100 Fri 03-Jan-14 15:47:11

yes, and that is why they should have vocational schools from a certain age with apprenticeships and parity with academic DS happens to be very academic but also loves building /creating stuff...I have no idea what career he will choose...hopefully something that will combine the two ...some kids are very good with their hands and creative but not academic in the strict sense...and the formal education system should cater to them not write them off.

Att100 Fri 03-Jan-14 15:52:18

Wishing I wasn't posting under this as I hate the title, but vocational meaning something like this....

It shouldn't be about state vs private or tutoring but decent alternatives to children who don't want to be academic....but end up as GCSE or A level "failures" because that the system they are pushed through.

curlew Fri 03-Jan-14 18:01:45

What sort of jobs would the vocational schools prepare people for?

I am cynical because in my experience people tend to raise the idea of vocational schools to make themselves feel better about the "elite" choices they have made for their own children. "Oh, that sort of school wouldn't suit the rest of them- they would be so much better somewhere where they can learn to work with their hands"

SoupDragon Fri 03-Jan-14 18:04:48

Well, right now, I would give my right arm for a plumber rather than someone exceptional at maths and privately educated grin

My eldest brother was crap at school doing academic stuff but excelled at mechanical engineering at college. His last 2 years at secondary were pretty much wasted IMO.

SoupDragon Fri 03-Jan-14 18:07:32

in my experience people tend to raise the idea of vocational schools to make themselves feel better about the "elite" choices they have made for their own children. "Oh, that sort of school wouldn't suit the rest of them- they would be so much better somewhere where they can learn to work with their hands"

I find that quite offensive actually. I raise the idea of vocational schools not because my DSs are at private secondary but because I can see that there are children who are failed by the current academically biased educational system because they would be far better learning a trade.

curlew Fri 03-Jan-14 18:26:47

At what age do you decide that someone would be much better learning a trade?

Squiffyagain Fri 03-Jan-14 18:29:41

The breadth of experience available at some indies from yr3 onwards - design technology, arts, classics, music, games, etc on top of the typical academic subjects, would provide any less academic child with a wealth of opportunities that might not be appreciated by the more academic child, and this could lead to a really fabulous school experience in senior school (as many indies specialise in DT, or Arts or Sports, etc).

And remember there are many other social advantages. Not even his parents could have given Mark Thatcher the kind of social links he picked up at school which have kept him going. Not of course that one would describe him as being thick as muck. Oh no.

I think SEN is a different subject, with a whole different set of criteria. My DC have SN and the question of which setting is best is a far trickier one and boils down to circs. At the end of the day you do what's best for the kids and if you can afford to fork out for the best option (should that turn to be private) then thank heavens for that. For one of my DCs private will be best, for another we are looking at state. Horses for courses. But if I had a DC who was not a high flier but was NT then I'd not hesitate to educate privately at a vocational-leaning school.

ReallyTired Fri 03-Jan-14 18:43:00

The german system is far too narrow and selection is far to early. Children are seperated into academic, vocational and thick as mud before the end of year 5. Do we REALLY want such glorious system where children are written off as TAM and uneducatable at the age of NINE? (Unlike England, German children start school at the age of seven so have less time to prove that they are not TAM.)

Most sane parents want their children to be happy. If private education achieves this then its money well spent. However making your child into a happy and independent adult is far more complex.

Att100 Fri 03-Jan-14 18:57:38

why do people think "trade" or vocational means inferior or "written off" ...I know a child who was very academic but then really got into DT at private school and loved doing stuff with using his hands ....he decided to not pursue academic courses at university and having won an Arkwright Scholarship went into design and will no doubt make a mark for himself.... he could have been non -academic and still pursued this once he found his penchant ........we are going to need creative people like him in the future as much (and perhaps more than) as accountants, lawyers...etc. Og not everyone is going to reach those heights, but if that is a child's interest at 15 or 16 there should be an alternative route if they prefer to take it.

A bit like this guy..... who learned his "trade" early on from his silversmith father..

Att100 Fri 03-Jan-14 19:01:18

Here's an extract:

[Sir Jonathan] Ive has been lauded for the tight fit between form and function seen in Apple gadgets such as the iPod and iPhone.

Born in February 1967, [Sir Jonathan Ive] inherited a love of making things from his father, a silversmith, and reportedly spent much of his youth taking things apart to see how they worked.

From the age of 14, he said, he knew he was interested in drawing and making "stuff" and this led him to Newcastle Polytechnic - now Northumbria University - where he studied industrial design.

mummy1973 Fri 03-Jan-14 20:25:56

I'd never think any child was as thick as muck.

TeenAndTween Fri 03-Jan-14 20:37:33

At DD's secondary, from y10 there is are options to do Construction or Hair and Beauty. About 10% of a year group get to do them. They don't help league tables, but the thinking is that kids who might otherwise drop out, get to learn something vocational, keep coming into school, and thus keep also doing their English, Maths etc. There are also quite a few tech options and you're not limted to one only. I think it's a great system. (And the top kids still get to do 3 science, extra latin, etc etc etc).

I don't think private education should only be aimed at the bright kids. If you are inclined to go private and there is a private school that you think will bring out the best in your child, better than a state, then go for it, irrespective of how bright your child is. You aren't (or shouldn't be) paying for 'A' grades, you shopuld be paying for the all round experience, plus good education.

Marmitelover55 Fri 03-Jan-14 20:50:30

I thought that private schools (by and large) weren't aimed at the brightest and best but more the average child - our local and well regarded (selective) private school sell themselves on increasing GCSE grades to 2 levels above what would otherwise be expected. So someone predicted a C at the start of year 7 should achieved an A and someone predicted a B should receive an A*. If your child is going to get the higher grades anyway then I'm nog surf private school would be worth the huge expense. We have gone comp by the way.

ReallyTired Fri 03-Jan-14 21:30:05

It could be argued that the point of private education is your child enjoys a particular lifestyle rather than necessarily gets better results. State schools are like Ikea, it does the job, but its no frills. School is how you spend your childhood as well as preparing someone for the world of work.

I am sure that a child who is not academic would enjoy the lovely sports facilites, beautiful grounds, lots of attention and higher quality school dinners. There is no point in paying private for low ablity child if you feel the purpose of private education is to churn out A*s. Private schools cannot perform mircles, but a good private school can ensure that child without academic ablity has a good child hood.

Kenlee Fri 03-Jan-14 21:35:34

I also don't like this idea that if your thick as mud your a wtite off... I have a friend at school who wad terrible at school he did city and guilds at school as he was passed over for the O levels and CSE.

He became a mechanic and now owns a thriving business. Has he failed in life? I think not.

Vocational training is an important part of education for those who are not academic.

I know of a person who failed all of his exams and now works as an executive chef in a very large hotel working up through the ranks. Has he failed in life?

Not everyone is academic but what they do in life also impacts on our lives too. Yes he was thick as mud (academically) at school but I don't think you can say that these two very successful guys haven't succeded in life.

Gunznroses Fri 03-Jan-14 23:46:20

What I find annoying about the academic v TAM debate is the smug attitude of 'we are the academic elite'!, no one has a hand in their own cleverness. Being extremely academic is as much a lottery draw as being born with a lovely singing voice, artistic ability etc. Even if you have academic parents its not a given that they will in turn have a highly academic child, despite some people believing if you have children with someone very academic they will spew little Einsteins!

Clearly a good education goes along way, but the natural innate ability we are born with is a lottery draw. Infact I have 2 sets of old school friends who would be considered absolutely non academic whilst at school, both have highly academic children now at super selective schools. In our family dsis can draw for england, ive never been able to draw, ds1 has amazing artist talent, ds2 couldn't draw to save his life. I think people with amazingly academic dc need to be a bit more humble and less sneery and condescending and remember no one is gifted in everything and also that is it a GIFT!

ReallyTired Fri 03-Jan-14 23:53:57

Its easy to forget that many very academic people are "good with their hands". For example a brain surgeon or a even a humble dentist has to be "good with their hands".

I think its a mistake to pigeon hole children too young or make choices for them ie. deciding that they HAVE to go down an academic route. There are lots of completely unemployable graduates at the moment.

I disagree with the last post. I believe that academic success is very much made rather than being innate. Natural ablity on its own simply isn't enough. Prehaps parents hope that good schools will moviate children.

Gunznroses Fri 03-Jan-14 23:54:57

State schools are like Ikea, it does the job, but its no frills

hmmm...the ones near me are like Primark, you wash it once and it falls apart.

Gunznroses Sat 04-Jan-14 00:03:19

Reallytired - i didnt say say academic success is all innate ability, I said
Clearly a good education goes along way, but the natural innate ability we are born with is a lottery draw. Point is we are all born with a certain innate ability which we can then build upon with good education, so for instance if you were born with below average ability , a good education might push you up to get 5 GCSEs, but you will never achieve 11 A*s perhaps i'm not explaining it very well, of course natural ability alone isnt enough, it also has to be nurtured, but some have a head start and that part is predetermined by birth.

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