Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Typical

Today I put in the applications for bear to go to grammar school.  I don't know what will happen, and if he doesn't make it then the local school is awesome, but he is showing all the signs of being really bright, and the teachers and tutors agree.  One school is free, but has around 800 applicants for 180 places (and is a massive bus ride away) and one school is not free and will be a serious stretch (and is a massive bus ride away).  I don't know if I'm doing the right thing by bear, whether he will be better off in a challenging academic school, a local school with a good mix of people, or what.  I am pretty sure that the system ought to be that bear would be best in the local state school.  I worry that I am making the wrong ethical decision.  I worry about every facet of it.  Besides, bear may not make it.  It won't be the worst thing if he doesn't get into a fancy school and it may end up being a positive, I just wish I knew.

While I was sitting here, desperately wondering if I was doing the right thing, I put on the latest episode of Lucifer.  This week's murder took place is a very selective school.  I watched all the parents backbiting and the scramble of the playground politics and I am now officially terrified.

10 comments:

  1. Difficult decision.
    We looked at a so called better high school for our son, which involved travelling across country for 30 mins. Opted for smaller not so "good" local high school- 10minutes, with friends and he got plenty of help to get to uni and is still an archaeologist. Eldest and youngest daughter both did fine there too. But only you can know the difference in results and pupil support between the schools

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    1. You made the right decision. I am really worried about bear travelling. Thank you for commenting - it's really helping. WS x

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  2. Cream will always rise to the top Sybil, Bear will shine wherever he goes.

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    1. Thank you for saying this. I hope so. WS x

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  3. Don't be terrified. Find some other parents and talk to them. We still have grammar schools and private schools in this area and about half my piano pupils take the entrance exams. There is a marked difference between those who go and those who stay in the state system. I had one pupil who was very bright but rarely said boo to a goose. After one week of being in his new school he was bright, cheerful and actually initiating conversations. Yes, he has a long bus journey but he's coping better than others from his former class where Mum takes them to and from school in the car. You want the best for Bear, we all want the best for our children, so think about where he will have facilities, be challenged, where learning will be fun and taken for granted and where the contacts he makes now will stand him in good stead for the rest of his life.

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    1. Thank you so much for this. What you've said is very much how I feel. I really appreciate your take on this and your informed insight. WS x

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  4. You would think that I would be in a good position to comment about grammar versus comprehensive education as my son went to a comprehensive and my daughter a grammar. Both got about the same grades at GCSE, A level and degree. The main reason we considered the grammar school for our daughter was that she was in year 6 in a mixed class with year 7 (this was under a middle school system, when they went to secondary school in year 8). She was top of the class and it really felt like she would be held back. Initially we tried to get her into a good comprehensive out of catchment area but she was placed tenth on a waiting list. It was only when her teacher said why don't you put her forward for the 11 plus at a school in the adjoining county. We were unsure and deliberated hard, then found ourselves at the school the following Saturday. To cut a long story short she passed and enjoyed her time there. As for my eldest he went to the local comprehensive ( a mid ranking school) but with excellent teachers.

    Bear seems very bright and has a thirst for learning, I think a grammar school would suit him well. But I would not in anyway knock the comprehensive schools as it was the right place for our son and he flourished. Good luck in whatever you choose.

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    1. This is really helpful. It is so hard to know what is best. I really appreciate this as it reassures me that bear will be fine no matter what. Thank you WS x

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  5. It is always hard to know if we are doing the right thing for our children, isn't it? I think you did the right thing for bear by sending in the application for a more academically challenging school. That's what I did for my daughter and yes, it was a very long (over 1 hour) bus ride for her. Plus, she had to cope with being bullied at that school, which was not good. Eventually, however, it all worked out very well for her and I think we made the right decision. I hope things will work out well for bear, too. (((HUGS)))

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    1. You would not believe how much the hugs help! All schools being considered have good bullying policies as that is something that has REALLY worried me. Your daughter has turned out awesomely, so you must have made a good choice. Thank you WS x

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