To those who have been to private schools and state schools

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Princepieman
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What would you say were the main differences between the two environments and which one did you prefer?

I personally went to various private international schools from the ages of 2 (yeah, private preschool) to 13. I then transitioned (unwillingly) to a Scottish state school once my father passed away.

The differences I saw were that the engaged kids were few and far between at my state school - you would literally be bullied for trying hard in lessons, the teachers cared a lot more about the classes they taught at the private schools - conversely, I felt most of my teachers were demotivated by the lack of attentiveness and disruption and the facilities were obviously bette at the state school.

So, yeah, just want to hear some opinions/experiences really.



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Broscientist
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I think I have significant experience in this regard. Please keep in mind that it may be specific to my country (Bulgaria).

Grade 1-2: Private School 1
Grade 3-4: Private School 2
Grade 5: Public School 1
Grade 6-7: Public School 2
Grade 8-9: Private School 3
Grade 10-12: Public School 3

I got bullied and got into fights in all of them. My childhood was an absolute nightmare outside the comfort of my home and my loving family.

In public schools, I got bullied because I did very well academically and come from a wealthy family. I was surrounded by mediocrity, which was quite demotivating as you might imagine. It made excelling that much harder, as you got mocked for trying to do something with your life.

In private schools, I got bullied for not parading around with my family's wealth status as much as the other rich kids did. I would say they were just as bad as the public school kids, with the exception being their significantly wealthier background.

My interest in computers and technology made everything even worse.

Despite everything, I achieved a GPA of 5.77/6.00... But by grade 12 I was so broken and indecisive that I had no idea what to do with my life. I went for a business degree in a business school which has partnerships with many international universities, including British ones. The business programme I enrolled in was delivered in partnership with a UK university.

I got bullied there as well - most of my classmates were the same type of inconsiderate rich kids I described above. However, some of them were even worse - the stereotypical IB wannabes, big shot businessman wannabes, CEO wannabes etc. It was a corporate snake pit. I ended up hating the atmosphere and my degree as well. Despite not putting any effort in it, I managed to graduate with a solid 2.1.

It's been one hell of a ride, to say the least, but it made me the person I am today. I decided to follow my passion, which I have been ignoring for a very long time - studying computer science at university level. I am set to start at The University of Nottingham in September 2015. I am 22 years old.
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Princepieman
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(Original post by Broscientist)
I think I have significant experience in this regard. Please keep in mind that it may be specific to my country (Bulgaria).

Grade 1-2: Private School 1
Grade 3-4: Private School 2
Grade 5: Public School 1
Grade 6-7: Public School 2
Grade 8-9: Private School 3
Grade 10-12: Public School 3

I got bullied and got into fights in all of them. My childhood was an absolute nightmare outside the comfort of my home and my loving family.

In public schools, I got bullied because I did very well academically and come from a wealthy family. I was surrounded by mediocrity, which was quite demotivating as you might imagine. It made excelling that much harder, as you got mocked for trying to do something with your life.

In private schools, I got bullied for not parading around with my family's wealth status as much as the other rich kids did. I would say they were just as bad as the public school kids, with the exception being their significantly wealthier background.

My interest in computers and technology made everything even worse.

Despite everything, I achieved a GPA of 5.77/6.00... But by grade 12 I was so broken and indecisive that I had no idea what to do with my life. I went for a business degree in a business school which has partnerships with many international universities, including British ones. The business programme I enrolled in was delivered in partnership with a UK university.

I got bullied there as well - most of my classmates were the same type of inconsiderate rich kids I described above. However, some of them were even worse - the stereotypical IB wannabes, big shot businessman wannabes, CEO wannabes etc. It was a corporate snake pit. I ended up hating the atmosphere and my degree as well. Despite not putting any effort in it, I managed to graduate with a solid 2.1.

It's been one hell of a ride, to say the least, but it made me the person I am today. I decided to follow my passion, which I have been ignoring for a very long time - studying computer science at university level. I am set to start at The University of Nottingham in September 2015. I am 22 years old.
I can resonate quite heavily with your story man, especially the feeling of being mocked for wanting to achieve and work hard. Despite this, you still managed an extremely high GPA yet I fell deeper into the mediocrity of my school mates - just to "fit in".

It was an absolute shocker to be socially excluded and called "tryhard" or "nerdy *******" - my grades dropped severely from solid straight As to a smattering of As, Bs and my two of my first ever Cs - even then I was somehow in the top 10%.

It's only now, after meeting people at an MIT summer program and interviewing for prestigious private schools (I couldn't afford to go in the end) that I feel self-motivated, I couldn't give a damn about the people in my year trying to bring me down. It's great because I've been consistently beating the people who achieved straight As las year - without much efforts I might add.

Honestly, your experiences define you. Sure, life would have been easier if I just stayed in the private school bubble but I'm fairly certain I wouldn't have become more independent or come across the range of friends I have now.

I'm glad there are cool people like you going to Notts with me, and I can't wait for the fresh start!

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Broscientist
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(Original post by Princepieman)
I can resonate quite heavily with your story man, especially the feeling of being mocked for wanting to achieve and work hard. Despite this, you still managed an extremely high GPA yet I fell deeper into the mediocrity of my school mates - just to "fit in".

It was an absolute shocker to be socially excluded and called "tryhard" or "nerdy *******" - my grades dropped severely from solid straight As to a smattering of As, Bs and my two of my first ever Cs - even then I was somehow in the top 10%.

It's only now, after meeting people at an MIT summer program and interviewing for prestigious private schools (I couldn't afford to go in the end) that I feel self-motivated, I couldn't give a damn about the people in my year trying to bring me down. It's great because I've been consistently beating the people who achieved straight As las year - without much efforts I might add.

Honestly, your experiences define you. Sure, life would have been easier if I just stayed in the private school bubble but I'm fairly certain I wouldn't have become more independent or come across the range of friends I have now.

I'm glad there are cool people like you going to Notts with me, and I can't wait for the fresh start!

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Keeping the few good friends and ambitious people I knew close by is what kept me sane. It is vital to find someone who encourages you and challenges you to do better.

I think the most valuable school/university experience, which provides priceless knowledge unmatched by anything else, is the opportunity to collaborate with other smart people. Unfortunately, I never got to experience anything close to it due to the toxic atmosphere.

From my experience, the schools in my country are not much different. I have been to a variety of public and private ones. In the end it did not seem to matter - one way or another you find yourself getting bullied by the same *******, his/her economic status (or that of his/her parents to be exact) being the most obvious variable.

Throughout the years I have been hearing and reading a lot of positive things about the British private schools, but I have nothing else to base my opinion on. They certainly seem a lot better than what we have here, that is for damn sure.

So yeah, the fresh start is definitely something I have been looking forward to.
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jelly1000
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I went private from Reception to year 11 and then state for 6th form (two schools). The younger kids in years 7-11 were a lot better behaved at the private school outside lessons- they were calm and orderly, there were never any fights. The younger kids at one of the state schools I went to used to run through the corridors sometimes knocking me over and would shout at older kids like myself. They had no regard for others- they would push to get onto the bus first and shout whilst on there annoying other passengers. They also hang around the shops before/after school (I live near the school so I see them around) in groups where as the kids at the private school would never loiter like that. At the other state school I went to the girls sometimes got into fights.

In class the atmosphere was largely similar- the kids who didn't want to learn had left by 6th form at the state schools and no-one commented on how much you did or didn't appear to be trying.

Whilst their were cliques at the private schools they weren't based on wealth, more personality which was the same at the state schools.

Overall I much preferred the private schools.
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Le Nombre
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I was state primary, private secondary and state 6th form.

The behaviour was similar at sixth form and secondary, worse at primary but I was never bullied anywhere (although I was 'popular').

Teaching was excellent at both secondary and college, although the state was much more 'sink or swim', private held your hand a lot more. I suspect that was in part just because it was a college not a school though.
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Princepieman
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(Original post by Le Nombre)
I was state primary, private secondary and state 6th form.

The behaviour was similar at sixth form and secondary, worse at primary but I was never bullied anywhere (although I was 'popular').

Teaching was excellent at both secondary and college, although the state was much more 'sink or swim', private held your hand a lot more. I suspect that was in part just because it was a college not a school though.
Interesting. Overall, would you say there was a large difference in behaviour and attitude between the state primary and the private secondary?

I'd imagine that people at sixth form would be much more focused on attaining/getting into university. That's certainly how it feels at my school now (although we don't have sixth form its all integrated), the majority of hooligans left in 4th year (year 11) - thank heavens for that.

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Le Nombre
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(Original post by Princepieman)
Interesting. Overall, would you say there was a large difference in behaviour and attitude between the state primary and the private secondary?

I'd imagine that people at sixth form would be much more focused on attaining/getting into university. That's certainly how it feels at my school now (although we don't have sixth form its all integrated), the majority of hooligans left in 4th year (year 11) - thank heavens for that.

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Attitude more so than behaviour, but I don't think the kind of low level disruption you hear complained of is as big an issue with primary age kids.

Yeah, sixth form we turned up, got drilled for exams then interviews and left.
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