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Does anyone know Great Yarmouth Charter Academy? The one with the sick buckets?

(20 Posts)
noblegiraffe Sat 02-Dec-17 13:56:04

You remember the Great Yarmouth School that made the news in September because of its behaviour policy (since rewritten) that said that kids who wanted to leave lessons because they felt sick would instead be given a bucket? It had been taken over by Barry Smith, previously deputy head of Michaela.

Since then, I've read a couple of blogs by teachers who have visited singing its praises. However, both those teachers work for Michaela. Here's the latest
I'm finding it very difficult to believe that a school full of disadvantage and disaffected students is now full of nothing but neat work and kids extolling the virtues of Shakespeare.

The latest news report I could find says that 41 pupils (the story has been updated since the headline) have been removed from the school in about a month.

Does anyone know what's actually going on?

Rachie1986 Sat 02-Dec-17 14:05:31

No idea but I'm interested so placemarking!

noblegiraffe Sat 02-Dec-17 15:54:20

Argh, I hope someone knows the school. I want to know if it really is possible to turn around a school so quickly. I understand Michaela being able to achieve stuff because they start training the kids in the summer before Y7.
It reminds me a bit of the Demon Headmaster.

I suppose the 41 kids who have been removed could make a big difference if they were all trouble-makers.

AlexanderHamilton Sat 02-Dec-17 18:14:29

I imagine amongst the 41 kids noble there are lots like my Ds who need a bit of extra support & understanding due to having an autistic spectrum disorder/anxiety etc.

Much easier if you don't have to deal with those pesky SEN kids.

noblegiraffe Sun 03-Dec-17 19:07:34

Does no one know the school? How annoying! Because the blog where even the most disruptive pupils are skipping off to isolation with a smile on their face just smells of bullshit.

TheFifthKey Sun 03-Dec-17 19:15:28

I’ve seen schools that looked like that - when I was being shown around, on a normal day, by the head during an interview day. Silent classes, teachers lecturing, all the rest of it. Was it like that when I worked at that school? Was it bollocks! I had a year 9 refuse to come into my first lesson, before I’d said a word to her, and they managed to blame me for it...oh, I got an email from SLT apologising that I’d had to put up with that behaviour - but the stress of dealing with these kids that chose to be feral for me (because they hated me literally on sight), and the way I was repeatedly found wanting and judged because of them, gave me a breakdown. Funnily enough I’m an outstanding teacher at a different school. Still, they lined up silently for assembly. So it must be a good school. No behaviour issues! It was just me who was so poor I deserved it. Which doesn’t explain why I tried to isolate a pupil one day and had them sent back because there was no space in the isolation room...sounds like classic smoke and mirrors to me. What I’ve read referred to as “proxies for good teaching”. Silent transitions between lessons must mean your students are making progress, right?

MiaowTheCat Sun 03-Dec-17 19:28:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Yellowheart Sun 03-Dec-17 19:30:53


Etymology23 Sun 03-Dec-17 19:40:56

I'm visiting some schools near there later this week - will have see if I can glean anything from them.

noblegiraffe Sun 03-Dec-17 20:04:37

That's really interesting, FifthKey. How do you think they managed to show you a bunch of silent lectures at your interview? Careful selection of teachers? Classes warned the head was on his way?
Or were they silent for other teachers and just awful for you, the newbie?

Etymology please do ask! Teachers must be gossiping about it.

TheFifthKey Sun 03-Dec-17 21:24:02

It was a combination of things, I think. Some classss were genuinely like that - indeed, I taught some of them! Top sets in y 9/10 who sat down, shut up and did the work. Whether or not they actually thought at any point is debatable. But still. They existed.

It’s also a rural school full of second- or third-generation students and lots of long-serving staff. If you were one of them you were laughing. They did not take well to new staff. And Heads of Year tended (not all but many) to rule totally by fear, by dishing out detentions, confiscating stuff, doing that thing where they bollock someone else’s class while the teacher is standing there if they’re not behaving to their standards...

So I think the head knew whose rooms would pretty much always be silent (the old-timers, heads of year and so on), and went to those, he knew what years were on where all the time because he was a massive micro-manager so chose his routes well. The trouble was, if you were one of the above staff, you had a great life! Top sets or classes who were too scared to put a foot wrong. And it’s very very hard for those people to understand that it could be any different for anyone else, and therefore if it was, it must be the teacher’s fault. Because look how meekly Ryan went to detention when Sir fetched him! The fact he’d been lying under the table on the pretence of getting a dropped pen was just a testament to the weakness of the teacher who was letting him do that. And so the staff weeded staff who weren’t like them out quite ruthlessly. Without hardly having to do a thing. Just offer “support” (hollow laugh).

lljkk Sun 03-Dec-17 22:19:28

I vaguely know someone working in another Yarmouth school. I may dig around for local gossip.

A story about Yarmouth/Gorleston primary age kids: a school trip to Norwich is sometimes the first time they have ever been to Norwich. It's a low-aspiration insular county.

Etymology23 Tue 05-Dec-17 17:20:59

Not much other than just rumours here: parents apparently v unhappy because they think it's their job to discipline their kids but that's about all the info I can get. I'm not dealing directly with teachers though so was never going to get the most in depth analysis.

BubblesinTheForest Tue 06-Mar-18 21:23:47

This thread was last commented on but let me say something, please. I doubt I should be on here, as a student of this very academy, but I figured I should contribute. To begin with, I'm year 11 and the change was pretty drastic. We do get in trouble for picking our pen up, as we have to 'SLANT' or, essentially, keep our arms crossed. They think it prevents fiddling, which it does, but it was pretty painful to begin with. I don't think we preach Shakespearian quotes although, as year 11, we didn't have to learn the Romeo and Juliet prologue while the lower yeargroups did so they are probably reciting it when asked to. All of the new rules took lots of getting used to but there has been a marked change - people in my mathematics class used to always throw things and swear at the teachers so everyones grades were fairly low. Granted, some of the rules are pretty extreme (i.e asking to pick up your pen or drink water) but if they were less extreme then I think the school would be pretty improved. I liked the teachers before to be honest, so I can't really comment on that. Most of them are fairly nice. Of course, I go to this school so take everything I say with a pinch of salt, but I'd much rather have you believe me than a facebook group or some news article. They could do more for disadvantaged people or such, as I'm naturally timid so I find it hard to look people in the eye. I also give fairly weak handshakes, as many people have pointed out. There's a facebook group, 'Yarmouth High worried PARENTS', if you want to check it out, however they banned students from entering and sharing their opinions so its quite biased based on the what media tells them. Overall, the rules are fairly extreme but it's been comparatively better!
Thank you for your time aha~ Have a nice day! Or evening!

OpalTree Tue 06-Mar-18 23:56:44

Thanks for your interesting post Bubbles. Good to hear from a student. smile

StickStickStickStick Wed 07-Mar-18 00:30:11

Ooh following. I was on the original.thread and references my local michaelaesque school (happy to pm for details!) Woth the silent transitions and head of detentions etc.

Locally (not yarmouth) people choosing secondary do sometimes like the shi ny image/behaviour/increased grades and the thought that their child will toe the line so it's all.okay. But I can't help think at what cost.

And then I read the above blog and thought "gosh may be it does work after all I've said about It," until I realised its writen by a friend and 41 people left!!

OpalTree Wed 07-Mar-18 17:00:13

There was a school near me that got taken over by a super head a few years ago who got rid of lots of kids and teachers. I thought ofsted frowned on permanent exclusions though so how do these schools get away with it?

youarenotkiddingme Wed 07-Mar-18 17:12:54

Happened near me. Super head took over school, excluded loads of kids and removed nearly all LSAs. Then converted to Academy. The exclusions made the news!

HT then left to go to another school but was 'forced to resign' as she tried it on there.

My ds attended the academy she had been Ht at and her legacy had remained and they still weeded out the kids with Sen with bullying tactics. My MP wasn't any help at all.

Guess which school my MP is a governor at?!

Luckily ds is now in maintained MS with an EHCP. The school still continue the same games but the amount of time the la spend in there I think they are onto it now!

StickStickStickStick Wed 07-Mar-18 17:26:43

Opal - locally it wasn't so much permanent exclusion s as those that couldn't cope with/didn't like the system left.

OpalTree Wed 07-Mar-18 17:51:21

The one local to me, the super head said in the local paper something along the lines of "those students and teachers who didn't share our aims had to go." Was a few years ago

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