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What is the difference between a grammar school and an independent/boarding school

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TSR's new app is coming! Sign up here to try it first >> 17-10-2016

    I've been to a grammar school and private school.

    From my experience, there is a lot of pressure and stress in the grammar school environment, and the competitive nature of the students can even become unhealthy. It is extremely competitive. Probably because it really is just the top percentage of people who get in whereas at private schools, there is usually a range of abilities. This lead to all sorts of problems, including tensions between friends or depression. Important to note however that this might just be my school. I also find teachers are stricter. However, you do learn an awful lot in grammar school about working independently and individually because the teachers only give you the basics. This gives you invaluable preparation for the 'real world' because your teachers don't really help you as much as private schools do. Beware some teachers are good while some are bad whereas in private schools, the majority are usually pretty good. I find the major difference is that a private school really takes a holistic approach and builds not only on your learning but you as a person. So private schools (as they can afford to do so) focus a LOT on sport and the arts, as well as academic subjects. Ptivate school kids are also very confident. But the 'spoon-feeding' element of teaching is really noticeable, e.g. past papers get printed for you/revision packs/notes are given to you. None of that happens in grammar schools really. I would also say that there are more resources in private schools and a lot of school trips which kinda enriches your whole school experience. Also, teachers are often more willing to give up their time to give you extra help, etc.

    So both types of school do prepare you for the outside world in different ways.
    I would definitely say going to both types of schools have been really beneficial to me and wherever you go, it's really about you making the most of the resources and opportunities given.

    Disclaimer: all of the above is based on my experiences only and it doesn't represent what all private/grammar schools are like.

    I feel like a lot of it is down to the students but obviously the teachers play into part. I've been in mine since year 7 and I absolutely love it which is why I decided to stay there for sixth form. The teachers were amazing but there were a few teachers that weren't really great. There are two that I could've chosen to go to but I chose mine because most of my primary school teachers went there.

    Exam preparations are alright I guess - I mean in some subjects, we finished the course right before the exam date for gcse which stressed us out big time. Because of that a lot us had to look for tutors or seek out our teachers during the weekends. Also, for bio, we had 6 different teachers throughout the year because our main teacher had a maternity leave and the replacements were all covers who had no idea what they were teaching, Due to this, we had to self-study for the exams but that was a one time thing.

    Resources aren't so great since we had a sudden drop in the school finances last year. Because of it, our sixth form classes are a lot bigger compared to the 10-15 students we used to have. Except from those two things, I don't regret my choice at all. The teachers genuinely want you to do well and many have given up their time for extra lessons at 8am and after-school sessions.

    (Original post by emmald583)
    I go to a Grammar school; it's advertised as very selective with excellent teaching (not to mention that it's free).

    In reality, the teaching is mixed - some teachers are outstanding, the majority are average, and there's a number who are mediocre or pretty poor. The school's 'excellent results' are not the product of the teaching, but the quality of students that go here - since we have over 2000 applications for 210 places, they can afford to choose the best people.

    Don't be fooled by the title 'grammar school'! Although many get good results, it's not always down to the teaching. Since no one pays school fees, we rely on the local council and donations from money, and so don't have the best resources.
    This is spot on, especially the bit in bold. The same goes for independent schools, they're only better because the standard of pupils that attend them is much higher than that in state schools. Take a cohort of pupils from a *****y state school in east London, put them in Eton and they wouldn't know what to do with them.

    I went to a *****y state school and the truth is we do have people who are now just working as waiters or cashiers, but importantly we also have people who went off to Oxford and Cambridge etc. 'Better teachers, better resources' etc is a load or rubbish.

    I go to a grammar school and my brother private. Like a few comments above, I've realized that my school's results, which are pretty impressive (im not trying to be up myself, im trying to give an unbiased answer ), are not particularly down to the teachers or the school itself but that they chose the 'best' students that applied, so clearly most of them have a good work ethic. The atmosphere of the school however and attitudes to learning do help encourage this though.
    My brother's school, while it is a nice place, is quite relaxed in terms of work, grades etc., and to be honest, seems more concerned with keeping the students happy than than grades. Im pretty sure me and my brother are equally capable of getting good grades, but the truth is the differences in our schools mean that i have turned out to be a much higher achiever than him. (he is only in the year above me, so it is not too difficult to compare.) Our parents have often complained that this is the fault of his schools ethos to grades.
    I do have tutoring sessions at his school however, so i can see the differences clearly as i spend nearly 2 hours there a week. His school is a really nice place and doesn't have the competitive atmosphere that mine does (which really pushes students to achieve higher, although isnt always the best thing), but i think that definitely makes a difference in terms of grades

    -- this is only based on what i've experienced in the differences of the two, so clearly im not saying this about all grammar and private school, so sorry if anyone disagrees .

    I've been at private schools and institutions all my life so will not be able to offer an opinion about grammar schools as I simply do not have the knowledge. From my experiences you have a large spectrum of people with varying academic capabilities, whilst there was a selection process I feel that for some people, that they were heavily tutored in order to get in. School life in general isn't overly strenuous; albeit we have tests whenever we finish a topic and a significant amount of prep (homework) every day. I'm in my GCSE year as we speak and for most of my subjects we finished the entire course around the February / March mark - leaving us with ample amounts of time to revise. I believe that I have been fortunate in the respect that I've never had any poor teachers and on the whole they have been engaging and have made me want to turn up to their lessons. Subject dependant I normally have around 16-22 peers in my classes so it is not that hard to get your teachers attention to get help and advice. All my teachers are very open and during this revision period I have been able to email and come into school to see them in order to help me with a topic I am not overly comfortable with or to mark a practise essay of mine. In the school there is an aura of competitiveness with awards at the end of the year to the highest achiever and most improved in every subject, and you are ranked in terms of effort in your termly report. The schools I have been at focus on academics but there is also a strong focus on sport, with a wide array of sports to choose from to do during games or after school. In the last few years I have been on trips to UCL for lectures, Iceland for a Geography trip, China for economics, Norway for a chemistry trip and Costa Rica for Biology next year and South Africa for rugby next year also. My school is a combination of Grade I and Grade II listed buildings with its own zoo with large amounts of wildlife from Wallabies to Peacocks roaming the grounds, which in my opinion makes the site a more enjoyable place to be in and provides a great area for academic learning. Overall I feel very fortunate to go to an independent school as most teachers act in a manner in which they want you to achieve and the friendly competitiveness form fellow students makes the experience that much more enjoyable.
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