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Sorry the old private v's state school thing extra ciric

16 replies

sorrento · 29/01/2009 10:59

My DD will be starting senior school in September 2011, I'm a bit of a planner
I have my eye on this school
and could move the younger 2 to it at the same time.
If we did so it would mean an end to all after school activities though except maybe brownies/rainbows/guides.
So my million dollar question is, I am currently topping up a lot of their state education with drama, music lessons, french and maths tution, not to mention tennis after school and tae kwon do for the physical activity and swimming.
So if we went private would their be enough happening at school that would mean I could not do all that ?
Hope this makes some sense.
Thank you

OP posts:
Brangelina · 29/01/2009 11:02

I had the same dilemma with my DD (although not senior school level). I chose state + activities in the end.

marialuisa · 29/01/2009 11:07

It depends on what activities/clubs the school offers. DD's school offers all that you mention as part of the curriculum or as extra activities in lunch time/after school.

Katiestar · 29/01/2009 11:08

I think a good state school would do all those things anyway.Certainly our secondary school has alist of extra curricular activities as long as your arm (and usually beat the independaents in conmpetitive music and drama festival.
Our primary provides instumental tuition , swimming lessons coaching in tennis,football,rugby and cricket and learn french as part of the curriculum.

sorrento · 29/01/2009 11:12

She seems to keep missing out on the music stuff, won't put her hand up when it's offered and they've now said flute etc won't start until year 5 and yet they were meant to have recorder at lunchtimes and the head was taking that so needless to say she was busy and it just didn't happen.
They do some French but it's extremely basic stuff, again swimming they have no lessons at all on a weekly basis and were meant this term to be having a 2 week block where they would go every day for an intensive course to ensure they can all swim a length, which she can so seems a complete waste of time, surely they hsould be developing this further ?
Unless things improve dramatically at senior level, i'm very underwhelmed so far.

OP posts:
cory · 29/01/2009 11:21

It depends on what activities your dd likes I would have thought, and what quality tuition she is getting outside of school atm compared to what quality tuition the school could offer. And how ambitious she is at pursuing her interests.

Dd's state school offers dancing, but not to the high standards the local ballet school does.

sorrento · 29/01/2009 11:23

I think this is the trouble Cory given an actual choice she'd like to sit and watch Hannah Montanna all bloody day and do nothing, she has very little motivation for anything hence I need to jig her up.

OP posts:
lljkk · 29/01/2009 11:25

Crikey, I have 3 school age dc and they do exactly No Extracurric activities at all (they attend State school). Not like the 8 activities the OP's kids do (between them, I mean, or do they ALL do 8 activities outside of school hours...? Mind Boggles).

I thought in private schools they usually got lots more homework (goes along with shorter terms), so they wouldn't have time for all that, anyway (maybe?)

willali · 29/01/2009 11:31

After school activities still cost at a private school - mine charges about £40 a term for things like sports, pottery, drama / dance etc. Music instrument lessons are also extra. The school day will generally be longer and there will be more homework, and more sports lessons within the timetable. It depends how important the paid for activities are to you and your children, and if you feel any latent talents will be untapped if they don't do them.

sorrento · 29/01/2009 11:35

Thanks Willalli, I guess that was what I was getting at.
lljkk, mine would all sit and watch TV given the chance and frankly I cannot bear that or the bickering that goes on if they are just left to it between school and bedtime so they have structured activities to keep them busy.

OP posts:
cory · 29/01/2009 11:37

In that case, Sorrento, that may well be a reason for going for the alternative where activities are provided on school premises and she sees her friends doing them.

Mind you- she does seem to do an awful lot of organised after-school activities: does she also have time when she has to organise herself or get bored?

sorrento · 29/01/2009 11:40

When they are bored the little ones wind each other and me up, so not if I can help it. The older one will go off into her room and shut the door when we're just pottering around which I don't mind on a Sat afternoon or an odd Sunday but I wouldn't like her being so isolated on a daily basis, she's quite a deep thinker.
This is the worry, no doubt as she gets older she might want to drop things which I don't mind if the school picks up the baton which I know they will with languages, drama i'm not bothered about if she isn't but I do feel music is important and the physical exercise.

OP posts:
cbtrue · 29/01/2009 11:43

Re extra ciricular activities, our independent (primary) offers a lot of extra classes, either at lunch time or after school Some by external provideres i.e. ballet, tap, & some music these are all charged at going rate. But save a lot of time and fit into school day/week. The also offer after school clubs, from Gym, craft to musical workshop - clubs are available up to 4 days a week (increasing with age) and have a minimal subcription. Extra French and Chess coaching is also available. We get Spannish, swimming and lunch as part of fees. The advantages are that they are all on one site and save a lot of time runing from one venue to another. The other advantage is that these activities are part and parcel of school and pupils see that school has a lot of fun activities also. Downside, fitting in the copious homework and practice for music, drama and assemblies is a logistical nightmare at times. So decision in the end must be based on what is best from children.

cory · 29/01/2009 12:32

Oh please, Sorrento, can I put in a plea here as a university teacher! I know music and exercise are important but do also let her have time to be bored and to do her own organising. I waste so much time on students who have always had their lives organised for them because parents are afraid of what might happen if someone else does not pick up the baton, as you say. It comes as a rude shock to them to find out that at uni they are expected to be in charge of that baton themselves.

Don't mean to sound negative- I'm sure your dd is fine- but I've had some depressing conversations with students over the years on this subject.

sorrento · 29/01/2009 12:39

I do agree cory in that my younger brother sits at the table at 6pm waiting for his tea and if my mum gets stuck in traffic he wouldn't think to do it himself at the age of 23 so we're not having any of that nonsense.
They will be cooking, cleaning tidying their own rooms, getting themselves ready for sleepovers etc.

OP posts:
LadyMuck · 29/01/2009 12:45

I don't think that there is a single rule about whether a private or state school will enforce a wider curriculum. It is down to the individual school.

If you are looking at moving the younger ones and these extra-curricular activities are part of your decision in doing so then I would ask the school the following questions:-

  1. what range of activities occue during normal school lessons where everyone participates? [you may need to ask about Sports, Creative Arts and Music separately]
  2. what range of activities are available during lunchtimes/after school? How do children get onto these activities (eg do the children select, are they selected by ability, is there a waiting list?)
  3. Are the number of activities limited in any way? Are there additional costs attached?

    The dcs school offer a reasonable range of extra activities, but all of the sport related ones are limited to being part of the relevant squad. So those activities are limited to only a third of all children. Additionally choir is selective. So whilst the school has the best sports and music facilities locally of any primary school there is no guarantee that an individual child will be able to fully benefit. So I would check your future school's ethos quite carefully.

    I wouldn't get too scared off by homework either until you check it. Some of the local state schools seem to give more homeowrk than the "hothouse" the dcs attend.
nomoreamover · 30/01/2009 15:47

I went to a private school and then later a state school - I found I had more autonomy at the private school and my time was more down to me to fill - the extra curricular things were offered and it was down to me whether I chose to do them or not basically.

Interesting what you've written I am currently having this dilemma myself - thanks for raising the point.

I would honestly try not to "fill" their time too much - it is very tiring being a child and I think we load too much on them sometimes!

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