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Hillpark v Shawlands

(26 Posts)
allgood71 Mon 02-May-16 17:26:01

Hi all Glasgow mums, does anyone have any input into these to schools, perhaps some personal experience good or bad? Are the teachers and facilities better than one or other?

Just trying to get some insider knowledge!!

prettybird Tue 03-May-16 09:10:33

I'm biased because I've only had positive experiences at Shawlands but I know kids (and parents of kids) at both schools and they seem to be happy and achieving good results.

Is your kid interested in sport? Shawlands also has the School of Rugby and the School of Basketball (open to both boys and girls): extra time given to the sport for S1and S2 but the kids involved still do well academically. To date, it's just been kids who're interested going into those classes - no selection.

prettybird Tue 03-May-16 09:12:21

You can ask to go and visit the schools: dh and I visited Shawlands when ds was in P6 as we were planning on putting in a placing request (which was accepted).

prettybird Tue 03-May-16 09:13:13

You might get more of a response if you post in Scotsnet smile

nulgirl Tue 03-May-16 09:18:12

I'm facing the same dilemma as Hillpark is our local school but I'm really not keen on it. The latest government statistics show that it is failing children across the whole spectrum - on average all of the socio-economic groups did less well educationally than their benchmark. The gap was particularly big the "higher" up the scale you go so middle class kids were massively underperforming.

I've got friends who feel the school failed their eldest so have moved so that the younger ones can go elsewhere.

If we don't move to East Ren, which is a consideration due to various factors as well as schooling, we will put in a placing request for Shawlands. I don't want my kids to go to Hillpark.

prettybird Wed 04-May-16 21:42:55

I also always get Hillpark and King's Park mixed up blush

I know kids sitting Nat 5s this year who're at King's Park, Hillpark, Ross Hall, Shawlands and Holyrood. It'll be interesting to see how they get on smile

CeciliaCaracciolo Mon 13-Jun-16 18:26:30

Hi, my experience with Shawlands Academy is not positive, my child has been repeatedly bullied (the fact that he is a foreigner hasn't helped) and he has been very unhappy down there, so I'm presently applying for another school. I don't want to generalise, possibly for many children Shawlands Academy is perfectly fine, but if your child is a sensitive one and he/she needs a warm friendly polite safe environment to flourish, then on my opinion this is not the best choice ever. Also, it's a very big school (1500 students) and the situation can easily get out of control: fights, bad words, nasty pranks and thefts are everyday occurrences there. Maybe not a problem for many, but definitely something my child (and me as well) cannot cope with.

allgood71 Mon 13-Jun-16 19:08:59

Seems there is a mix of good and bad. In the East Ren shcool are there fights etc or just less of them? The whole school thing i horrible!! Prettybird I dont know what Scotnet is?

CeciliaCaracciolo Mon 13-Jun-16 19:59:21

Yes, I wouldn't say that there's such a thing like a school "good" or "bad" for everybody: each one of us (children, teachers, headteachers ;-)... ) is different and we all have our own point of view, peculiarities, sensitivities, etc. My child for example is the kind of guy who really cares for others, his values are very high, he has a spiritual life very developed for his age, he is kind and polite: in Shawlands Academy these prerogatives seem to be not too much appreciated... On the contrary, he has been sometimes bullied just because of that. As for East Renfrewshire schools, I've been told that in the average they are much more quiet and safe than the Glasgow ones, but unfortunately it's not easy at all to find a space in there.

prettybird Mon 13-Jun-16 20:09:18

allgood71 - Scotsnet is one of the topics on Mumsnet (in the same way way that this is in the "Secondary Education" topic).

I'm sorry your ds and you have had a bad experience Cecilia - I hope he'll be happier at a new school.

All I can say is that that's not been ds' experience (just begun his S5 timetable, so been there 4 years), nor that of any of the other parents I know (of both boys and girls, different nationalities/ethnicities and across many different years). Doesn't make it any less acceptable for your ds and you though sad

Ds had a few problems with being bullied at primary (which they dealt with very well) so I can empathise with your experience but we've not had any issues that we're aware of at secondary. (Ds learnt to ignore the "bully" and not react to him - ironically he was supposedly one of his friends --fortunately he went to Holyrood--)

However, re its size, the 15/16 Handbook says the school has an agreed capacity of 1250, with a current school roll of 1109. Still one of the larger Glasgow secondary schools but nowhere near 1500.

CeciliaCaracciolo Mon 13-Jun-16 22:26:00

Yes, well, as I've already said we are all different, we have different needs, and we see things from different perspective - all of us. So perhaps you have a child who is willing to learn how to "ignore" bullies, whilst mine is not willing to ignore them at all, but just cannot cope with that in any possible way. To be more clear: my child is equally hurt when the one who is bullied is not himself but some other child - if not even more.

prettybird Tue 14-Jun-16 01:19:43

I understand that - and agree that all cases are different and I'm sorry your ds has been hurt, even indirectly, by bullying sad

FWIW - ds didn't just "ignore" the bully at primary school (I was simplifying) nor did he stand by and watch others be hurt --it was never physical but even words can hurt--: he also helped others and other children would come to him for advice. That was the particular strategy that worked in this case (the boy was looking for attention with his teasing and name-calling, so, by not rising to him, he couldn't feed off the power he perceived that he had).

Often bullies are over-compensating for their own lack of confidence or inadequacies hmm

What I've liked about Shawlands is that unlike at some other schools (in fact there was a thread on here recently when someone was complaining about academic achievement being sneered and scoffed at), ds seems to have a good mix of "clever" friends (some of whom are real computing geeks), sporty friends and musical friends - with no apparent resentment that some of them find exams easy and will do really well while others struggle/have to work really hard even to get a C (if they sit Nat 5 at all).

As he gets older, he's developing a more informed sense of fairness and respect. He was very upset at the murder of the local newsagent (as were many of his friends) as he went in every day on his way home and Mr Shah had always shaken ds' hand. He's recently spent a day (sunrise to sunset) fasting after one of his Muslim friends suggested it so that he could understand what they experience during Ramadam.

He has friends who often have to work most of the night in their parents' shop/warehouse/restaurant and others who have rooms full of their own specialised computer equipment.

They can talk politics (some Labour, some SNP, some one Tory, some apathetic), have strong opinions -- with the certainty of youth-- wink and still remain friends.

It's that sort of breadth that I'm glad that the school environment encourages, which broadens his experience beyond his relatively privileged home life.

No school is perfect but if you really feel there is an issue with pastoral care, you should take it up with the school - either directly or via the Parent Council (although iirc, Parent Councils can't look at specific cases, they can represent the parent forum on generic policy issues, so if you think there is a general issue with bullying or theft, that would be of concern to them).

CeciliaCaracciolo Tue 14-Jun-16 02:00:17

Of course there is: it's not a feeling, it's a reality. But of course, again, our background, education, tradition, culture, roots, convictions, make the difference: something unacceptable for me can be acceptable for you, and vice versa. For example I've notice that to have fights at school is considered something quite normal here in Scotland (or just in Glasgow???), whilst in the schools of the Italian city where I come from fights just NOT HAPPEN. Then you can understand very well why my child and me are in trouble in a school like Shawlands Academy where fights are daily bread.

CeciliaCaracciolo Tue 14-Jun-16 02:05:41

Sorry, what does "ds" mean? :-)

prettybird Tue 14-Jun-16 09:09:45

Ds is a Mumsnet acronym for "son" (dear/darling son). (So dd = darling daughter, dh = darling husband etc). There's a list of commonly used acronyms on the full Mumsnet website, but you need to know to look for it and it's not accessible on the app.

I don't know whether fights occur any more commonly in Shawlands than at other schools in Glasgow/Scotland (as far as I was aware, they were not a common event although I did know they occur occasionally). I'm presuming you're referring to fights in corridors/playground, not in class.

I do know that when I was at school (albeit a loooong time ago blush) at a school North of Glasgow (well regarded state school in a "good" ie well off middle class area), fights did break out occasionally but were always broken up quickly by teachers.

So maybe it is more "normal" here - although I also recall fights breaking out occasionally at the school I taught in for a year in France as part of my degree.

I also don't recall any actual fights at ds' primary school (nor, after 4 years at secondary has he been involved at any at secondary, although he has mentioned seeing a couple - quickly broken up by the teachers who patrol the corridors --he's more concerned about smoking which he hates--) - but maybe the increased hormones of teenagers is a contributory factor.

All fights, wherever/whenever they occur, are a breakdown in discipline and should be taken seriously.

CeciliaCaracciolo Tue 14-Jun-16 10:24:21

Well, my ds ( smile ) and me take fights so much seriously than it's enough for us to move to another school. Then of course there's the possibility that we will have to face more or less the same problem in the new school as well - who knows? However, it's a fact that my child have had some trial days and tests in some other local schools, and no fights were in sight in there at that time.

prettybird Tue 14-Jun-16 13:11:50

I genuinely hope your ds is happier at his new school smile. We only ever want the best for our kids. smile

You might find it helpful to get involved with the Parent Council of the school that you ultimately decide upon. I did that at both primary and secondary school for a few years - it helped to get to know the Senior Management Team and understand the issues they face and how they're dealing with them, which is useful if there are any concerns smile I've only had one minor issue at secondary (not discipline related wink) and it was dealt with very quickly after I raised it.

CeciliaCaracciolo Tue 14-Jun-16 13:25:34

Thank you very much, prettybird, I will follow your advice.
Have a great rest of the day :-)

allgood71 Tue 14-Jun-16 14:57:19

What schools did you visit? Unfortunately at the induction day at HP a fight did occur. !

CeciliaCaracciolo Tue 14-Jun-16 16:46:02

One was St Ninians and the other one was Belmont House School, and we received a very good impression from both. Unfortunately the first one is jam-packed (no spaces available at the moment) and the second one is private, then very expensive. Huge differences between them and Shawlands Academy.

nulgirl Tue 14-Jun-16 16:54:01

There will be a huge difference between the schools you listed and shawlands and hillpark. St Ninians (although not private) has a very affluent catchment area. Don't think the different ethos/ discipline has much to do with the school but more to do with the family backgrounds of the kids who go there. Saying that, if you go to Roukenglen park next week, you'll see another side to the St Ninians pupils. On the last day of term they all congregate there to get drunk in the afternoon. Quite an eye opener seeing hundreds of drunk vomiting school kids in broad daylight.

prettybird Tue 14-Jun-16 17:34:07

I have one friend whose eldest boy went to Shawlands (and did very well) but sent her middle boy to Belmont. They moved away before her youngest kids were old enough to go to secondary, but her plan was to send them (boy and girl) to Shawlands as well; her choice for her middle son wasn't to do with being unhappy with Shawlands but more to do with him being happier in a smaller environment.

I doubt Belmont will have a Parent Council (although they'll no doubt have other means of encouraging parental engagement). Only state schools are required to have Parent Councils (to whose meetings the headteacher is required to attend or send a deputy) - but only if the parents are organised enough to have formed one (but I'm sure that St Ninians will have one).

You'll be extremely fortunate if your ds gets a place at St Ninians - but good luck to him smile

allgood71 Tue 14-Jun-16 17:37:31

Cecilia, thanks for sharing if you can place your child somewhere else then I think go for it especially if it gives you both peace of mind. Glasgow is a strange place affluent areas right next to some real poverty stricken estates. Although there will be some brilliant people living there, there will also be problems going back generations. Wouldn't it be lovely to break the cycle in these areas but unfortunately I wonder if it will ever be solved. Not that I am meaning to generalise as of course abuse and violence etc bullying or whatever happens in families from affluent areas too but probably not in such high numbers.

Its a shame that all things are not equal.

I think realistically though if you do happen to become a dorctor or a lawyer or something like that an ability to deal with people from all walks of life would be advantageous.

So rubbish the school dilema. Interestiing Nugirl re drunken antics in the park :-)

nulgirl Tue 14-Jun-16 18:45:38

I know what you mean Allgood. Have you decided what to do yet? Which is your catchment school?

There are some brilliant kids from my dc's primary going to Hillpark who I'm sure will do well but I also see a lot of others who I want to avoid at all costs. I want my kids to have a big enough peer group that they can thrive. I doubt they'd get that at Hilpark. Can't comment on shawlands.

allgood71 Wed 15-Jun-16 09:06:22

I think thats my concern is there enough local, like minded peers at HP , for that I think Shawlands is probably better as catchment primaries are all local. HP they are much further away over Silverburn way. Our catchment is HP and I think we will give it a shot, we can always move schools if problems arise! I do know kids at both schools doing well. So you just have to hope it works out for your indvidual child.

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