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Michaela head: Children are horrible

(122 Posts)
noblegiraffe Fri 30-Dec-16 19:57:22

“You will find in other schools children are not kind at all, they are horrible. And they are horrible because nobody has taught them how to be kind,” Birbalsingh says."

www.theguardian.com/education/2016/dec/30/no-excuses-inside-britains-strictest-school

In an article that slates pretty much everyone else (other teachers = crap, other schools = crap, other kids = crap), it was probably the assertion that kids in other schools are just horrible because they aren't taught kindness that got me most.
On twitter she said that children will tear insects apart without thought to their pain unless taught otherwise. It struck me as a religious position to assert that children are born bad, and indeed she confirmed further on in a discussion that she believes in Original Sin (is she catholic?).

If you know any kids that are kind, by the way, who don't go to her school, then they must have been taught kindness from someone else, maybe a kind aunt or someone.

She also believes that most teachers think that the children know as much as them.

I'm a bit confused

RemusLupinsChristmasMovie Fri 30-Dec-16 20:02:55

Don't get me started!

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Fri 30-Dec-16 20:12:54

I'm beginning to worry she might not actually be completely sane. This is more batshit than the 'Santa is what's wrong with schools' blog she wrote.

noblegiraffe Fri 30-Dec-16 20:57:13

I don't understand that on twitter there appear to be plenty of people going 'good article', like it's entirely reasonable confused It's deliberately antagonistic.

fourcorneredcircle Fri 30-Dec-16 21:07:07

Perhaps she's the Katie Hopkins of the ASCL?! Deliberately saying things that people will rise to because "all publicity is good publicity" if it raises her "brand" profile?

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Fri 30-Dec-16 21:30:11

Your twitter feed might be a bit different to mine.

I have vague mutterings about how if she's supposed to be modelling respect for others, then she's setting the bar very low.

HPFA Fri 30-Dec-16 21:30:28

I read the Tiger Teachers book and it was interesting - fantastic review here

debrakidd.wordpress.com/2016/12/06/battle-hymn-of-the-tiger-teachers-a-review-part-1/

which I can't improve on.

But this assumption that every other school is some violent hell-hole full of nasty children and despairing teachers really got on my nerves and this interview is just the same. And it's pretty arrogant of them to just assume that their children are going to do brilliantly in exams before they have any proof of that. The essays they point to in the book as being superb simply aren't - they may very well be by the time the children reach Year 11 - but they really ought to wait until that time before proclaiming the genius of everything they do.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Fri 30-Dec-16 21:40:40

I was looking for somewhere to leave this. This thread seems like an appropriate place.

I had a feeling this might be the logical conclusion of all the Michaela hype. If we're really lucky, we can push it down into Reception and Nursery too. [hmmm]

RemusLupinsChristmasMovie Fri 30-Dec-16 21:47:14

Those essay extracts they tout as being brilliant read like parodies by Reeves and Mortimer.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Fri 30-Dec-16 21:52:24

I've managed to avoid any essays since that Dickens one. grin

HPFA Fri 30-Dec-16 21:58:24

Rafa You should read the Macbeth essay in the book!

RemusLupinsChristmasMovie Fri 30-Dec-16 22:01:56

The Macbeth essay is even worse than the Dickens one. Utterly ridiculous.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Fri 30-Dec-16 22:13:57

There's something worse than the dynamic, didactic and definitive Dickens essay? shock

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Fri 30-Dec-16 22:17:49

Actually, if it's one of these, I may already have seen it.

mcsbrent.co.uk/english-12-03-2016-year-8-on-macbeth/

RemusLupinsChristmasMovie Fri 30-Dec-16 22:24:06

Nope. It was an alleged intro saying something like 'The witty, wonderful and wombling William Shakespeare wrote the magnificent, meandering and meaningful Macbeth. He uses alliteration, onomatopoeia and shaving foam in order to present the witches as devious, destructive and divine. It is fascinating, fictional and fun' - or words to that effect.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Fri 30-Dec-16 22:27:12

I'm considering developing a new writing style for my NVQ. From now on all nouns will be preceded by exactly 3 adjectives. I'm also going to add some random and unnecessary clauses and make liberal use of the thesaurus.

I may add alliteration, but that might be going too far.

Emochild Fri 30-Dec-16 22:32:46

Do those year 8s understand half the words they have included in their paragraphs?

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Fri 30-Dec-16 22:45:42

Judging by how some of the words are used, I would say not. I'd guess they could all rattle off a word perfect definition of them though.

Given how much emphasis they place on reading high quality texts, it's surprising how badly they've managed to teach this. Good writers always read widely and have developed an ear for language patterns and what works and what doesn't. What they seem to have done is developed the children's ability to over ride their 'ear' in order to tick random boxes.

G1raffePicnic Fri 30-Dec-16 22:51:53

It's really sad. So much for the claim they didn't think were superior to everyone else on that other thread from the michaela supporter/teacher/ publicist.

It's almost cultlike...

noblegiraffe Sat 31-Dec-16 00:16:39

More than cultlike. It's a shame that their interesting pedagogical ideas (and they do have plenty) are overshadowed by this shameless self-glorification. If your ideas are good then they will stand on their own without someone saying 'we're awesome but you, you're shit' all the time.

And if my head said what has been said to the papers about children being horrible and then started wanging on about original sin on the internet as justification, I'd be a bit concerned about the leadership.
Still, original sin does explain their behaviour management policies.

CauliflowerSqueeze Sat 31-Dec-16 02:37:44

I agree. There's nothing wrong with boasting about your school or saying how you do things, but slating all other schools is pathetic.

FastWindow Sat 31-Dec-16 02:57:04

I never particularly enjoyed English lit back in the late 80s, even though it was well taught at a good no longer pc private grammar school, because the plot was destroyed by the dissection of the 'stanzas' and all the rest. I love reading and miraculously still do, but I'll probably never read Lord of the Flies ever again.

Oliversmumsarmy Sat 31-Dec-16 03:33:30

I want to know how the kids let off steam when they are not at school.

Doesn't seem to be much room for dyslexia or dysgraphia.

FastWindow Sat 31-Dec-16 03:35:53

oliversmum they go mad at home. Haven't you dc? They go bloody mental grin

Oliversmumsarmy Sat 31-Dec-16 03:36:58

Friends dd went to a similar school. She pulled her out when after her DD witnessed a traumatic event and was struggling there was no understanding of what PTSD meant.

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