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Harris Westminster Sixth Form 2017

(6 Posts)
Parabole Sat 18-Feb-17 14:52:44

Hi guys. Does anyone have any experience with this school? Sounds fab on paper and promising though the results are not that great yet. Our DD is seriously considering it. She loves the fact that it is so socially diverse, however I worry about her romantic view of it. On exam day she said she was the only white person in her room and she comes from a relatively secure financial background. I fear that she may not feel as welcomed as she hopes and a lot of her energy would have to go into "fitting in". Any thoughts?

Funny2005 Sun 19-Feb-17 10:56:53

Why would you assume that she wouldn't fit in and that other families would not be from a "secure financial background" just on the basis that they were not white? This sounds like a very dodgy set of assumptions to me and not quite sure what your trying to say?!

Parabole Sun 19-Feb-17 11:08:48

Oh my god. I do hope that's not how my message read! What I meant is that the school and all literature referring to it mention that it is set up to prioritise children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Preference is given to those kids, and in my opinion, rightly so. This is not my assumption but the premise upon which the school was set up! Hence, my question wether a kid from a middle class background will be seen as having taken a space that could have gone to someone else and therefore less welcomed...

Funny2005 Sun 19-Feb-17 11:23:50

Hi parabole if it helps I know a very middle class family with a daughter there. She is very happy there. It sounds pretty hard work and Saturday school etc so I think you'd probably find families who are really dedicated to educating their kids well and very committed to education. So I think would suit an academic child who wants a very academic environment. I reacted to your post partly as I have a mixed race DD and do at times worry about the assumptions being made about her based on her colour.. I think if possible you should go and have a look and see how the school feels and what the general
Atmosphere is. Hope that helps

Needmoresleep Sun 19-Feb-17 11:59:02

I think their admissions criteria are quite clever. They are clearly trying to avoid a grammar school dilemma of the sharp elbowed middle classes, of whatever ethnicity, bagging all the places.

If you read them, they aim to ensure that disadvantaged children who meet tough entrance criteria get places. Which is a long way from disadvantaged children forming even a majority. And those that do meet these criteria are likely to be quite impressive.

Perhaps an approach that grammars might adopt. Children on FSM get a place if they are good enough, not simply if they manage to score better marks than perhaps heavily coached middle class kids.

Parabole Sun 19-Feb-17 13:11:31

Thanks Funny2005. That is quite helpful. As the school is fairly new and we are not very near it we don't know anyone that goes or has gone there. DD got a conditional offer from Tiffins but ended up ruling it out because although the results are spectacular, the level of overal 'happiness' of the girls she knows there seems to be quite low. We do want her to do well, but not at any cost...
Also, I'm really sorry if at any point I gave you the impression that I was assuming anything based on skin colour. TBH the cross-cultural aspect of the school is one of its strongest points for us.

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