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I went to a private school. AMA. watch

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    With only around 7% of people attending private schools, and with a lot of subsequent misconceptions, stereotyping and perhaps curiosity around what it might be like to go to one, I thought it might be useful to take some questions on the subject.

    So go ahead, ask me anything
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    (Original post by tazarooni89)
    So go ahead, ask me anything
    What time was your school's dinner time?

    Don't just say 'at dinner time'. :hmmm:
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    (Original post by Davalla)
    What time was your school's dinner time?

    Don't just say 'at dinner time'. :hmmm:
    We had over an hour long lunch break from 1:05pm to 2:10pm most days, but on Thursdays we'd have some extra time (12:45pm until 2:10pm) to be able to fit in some extra-curricular activities too
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    Apparently "Private schools feature extracurricular activities and sports as an integral part of their programs." - is this true and to what extent?

    What about this: "private schools provide constant supervision and have zero tolerance policies."

    http://privateschool.about.com/od/ab...choolfacts.htm
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    How many were there in each year?

    Why did you stop being a Mod here?
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    (Original post by ForestShadow)
    Apparently "Private schools feature extracurricular activities and sports as an integral part of their programs." - is this true and to what extent?

    What about this: "private schools provide constant supervision and have zero tolerance policies."

    http://privateschool.about.com/od/ab...choolfacts.htm
    I'll weigh in as I also went to private school.

    The first quote was definitely true for my school - we had mandatory double/triple games lessons one a week throughout year 7-13 and a single PE lesson every week from yr7-11. On top of that we had mandatory after school drill nights if we were taking part in the team sport of that term (ie hockey/rugby, netball/football, cricket/rounders). There were also some people who were part of the county and national sports teams outside of school and those people were not allowed to not play those sports for the school (so they couldn't do the second games option and do rowing or tennis instead). We'd actively participate in a lot of tournaments across all sports and sports scholars were given up to 10% scholarship in sixth form. So sports was encouraged and everyone participated in them one way or another (the sixth formers had a gym membership paid for as part of their fees, and we have an annual run as well as house sport competitions which contributed to house points that you could earn).

    The second quote was true for us up until year 12 where we had free periods and could do what we wanted during them but we also had some free periods called directed study where we had to work during them/would be given projects to do and a teacher would supervise. As for zero tolerance policies that's sounds about right, for the most part nothing serious ever really happened but if something did on the rare occasion, pretty much everyone would hear about it by the next day (not a very big school ~60 people per year) and there would be some form of punishment and it would be talked about during assembly to make sure everyone knew that it was not to happen again otherwise there would be more widespread disadvantages.
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    (Original post by tazarooni89)
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    (Original post by Hopefulmedic15)
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    How much were your school's fees, what grades did you get (GCSE/A Level) and would you say it was worth your parent's money? Do you think you would have done as well (grades-wise) if you'd gone to a state school?
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    Do you find its only really northern crackers that give a **** about private schools/parents wealth etc...Cos I swear its something BME either subscribe to absolutely (esp Indians) or else just dont give a **** about....
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    (Original post by ForestShadow)
    Apparently "Private schools feature extracurricular activities and sports as an integral part of their programs." - is this true and to what extent?

    What about this: "private schools provide constant supervision and have zero tolerance policies."

    http://privateschool.about.com/od/ab...choolfacts.htm
    I go to a somewhat... posh, I guess, private school, so I guess I can answer this one.

    1-Extra curricular activities are widely supported and play an integral part in school life. Up until sixth form, which I'll get onto later, most people attent 2 clubs/societies etc. This is alongside games (a whole afternoon) and PE (50 minutes).
    School sport is serious stuff, but not on an American level. Rugby is pretty important, but doing well in any school sport will eventually earn you half/full colours, which is a tie. This has some status, and people do want to get them.

    However, sport done outside of school, without their support, is generally ignored. An example would be sailing, a guy a few years above me won a world championship event, and was just below Olympic level, but he got a small mention in the school magazine, he did eventually get half-colours, which I think was not enough. I went to a world championship event after doing very well nationally, and was completely ignored, which is ok with me but still odd.

    The only extra curricular activities that really survive sixth form are Rugby, Debating and History society. Everything else is pretty dead. Understandable, given how many students are pulling all-nighters even before sixth-form to complete the work we get.

    The one thing which prevails, and flourishes in sixth-form, is CCF. It used to be pretty dull, but the old RSM left and the new one is promoting people based on merit, and giving huge power to non-commissioned officers. He also divided us into 4 groups, competing for a trophy. We, the NCOs of each company (group), then planned how we would teach our cadets, and did so. There are lots of traditions with CCF, and social events.

    So I would say it's integral, but it diminishes in Sixth-form.

    2. I would say that the argument we are constantly supervised and have zero tolerance is somewhat true. There are very fine lines at school, which if you cross, you'll be in huge trouble, but if you do not, you'll be largely left alone.
    For example, a fight might not warrant a detention, but stealing something from the tuck shop will get you suspended.
    It is year dependent too, in the first year, they are harsh to you, and they do supervise you. Once that's over, though, it decreases. By sixth form, we can leave school, and only a few people will ever get punished at all. They do not supervise us, as they don't have to. Teachers set us a lot of work, and we have to complete it, that sort of dulls people into a trance seen in some Uni students really.
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    (Original post by celloel)
    How much were your school's fees, what grades did you get (GCSE/A Level) and would you say it was worth your parent's money? Do you think you would have done as well (grades-wise) if you'd gone to a state school?
    1) £9-10k a year but in sixthform there were scholarships that went up to 20% and also bursaries so that if you couldn't afford it they would reduce the cost down to as much as £1000 a year.

    2) 5A*6As which is decent and about 10% of my year got 11/12A*s (year of 60 people) and I'm still sitting my Alevels but got AAAB at AS

    3) for the whole experience/opportunities available to us by going to the private school, yes I think it was worth it but I don't think it is essential in the slightest.

    4) I'm a strong believer that someone who is smart and motivated can succeed in a range of environments and so it's difficult to say whether I would have achieved the same results in a state school but I think the support I got from the teachers would be more than what I would have received in a state school. You can easily be not motivated or not bright and go to a private school and still get bad grades so it depends on you as a student first and foremost but the school does tend to help to an extent on the amount of time/effort the school puts into you.
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    (Original post by ForestShadow)
    Apparently "Private schools feature extracurricular activities and sports as an integral part of their programs." - is this true and to what extent?
    The schools that I went to used to place a great deal of emphasis on extra curricular activities. I'm not sure how it is in other schools, but alongside the 2 hours of P.E. we had per week, there were 2 hours of the timetable designated for Games, and an additional 2 hours for non-sporting extra curricular activities. So everyone had to participate in these to some extent. For people who really weren't interested in extra curricular activities, that's as little as you could get away with. For people who were particularly keen, there were additional extra curricular activities available at lunch time, before and after school, at weekends, during the holidays etc.

    With the variety of options available, I think there was truly something for everyone.

    Standard sports like rugby, hockey, cricket, tennis, basketball and athletics were available, but we also had things like table tennis, golf, eton Fives, archery, water polo, sailing, fencing... and many many more The only obvious one missing was football, and I'm not sure why we didn't have that.

    In terms of music, the school organised lessons for pretty much every instrument I can think of, as well as a large number of orchestras, choirs, bands etc. Lots of pupils formed their own bands independently and the school would find them opportunities to perform (e.g. we had a rock concert every year). A lot of the performances would be in large public venues and attract huge audiences, not just in the school itself.

    Other activities included chess, computer programming, academic clubs, young enterprise, leadership and professional skills, community service, cooking, dance, drama, debating etc. And the school would often organise trips abroad for activities like skiing, cycling, camping, water sports, language practice, visits to sites of historical, religious, geographical or artistic interest, competing in rugby and cricket against schools in Australia...

    I really can't run out of things to say about this, so I'd better stop here!

    What about this: "private schools provide constant supervision and have zero tolerance policies."
    In Primary School it started out as being constantly supervised, but I wouldn't say there was constant supervision in secondary school, especially in the later years. By that time people were more or less trusted to behave themselves, and they did on the whole.

    There were zero-tolerance policies, and if people were caught doing certain things (particularly stealing, drugs, dangerous violence or anything illegal), they'd just be removed from the school immediately, no questions asked. But those kinds of policies weren't usually needed. In general, social cohesion was excellent, without there being any need to punish anyone for anything other than late homework.
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    (Original post by Ravenous)
    How many were there in each year?
    In my (mixed) primary school, there were around 50 people per year.

    My secondary school was unusual, in that it was segregated by gender. Officially they were two separate schools, one for girls and one for boys, with separate buildings, lessons, teachers, management etc. But in some ways they were considered to be the "same" school, in that they occupied the same grounds, and shared the outdoor areas as well as lots of extra curricular activities.

    So in secondary school there were around 200 people in each year. 125 boys and 75 girls per year, roughly.

    Why did you stop being a Mod here?
    It started to become a lot of work and I didn't really have the time to do it anymore. Particularly because I was modding the Debate and Current Affairs section of the forum where arguments always break out!
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    (Original post by tazarooni89)
    In my (mixed) primary school, there were around 50 people per year.

    My secondary school was unusual, in that it was segregated by gender. Officially they were two separate schools, one for girls and one for boys, with separate buildings, lessons, teachers, management etc. But in some ways they were considered to be the "same" school, in that they occupied the same grounds, and shared the outdoor areas as well as lots of extra curricular activities.

    So in secondary school there were around 200 people in each year. 125 boys and 75 girls per year, roughly.



    It started to become a lot of work and I didn't really have the time to do it anymore. Particularly because I was modding the Debate and Current Affairs section of the forum where arguments always break out!
    Lol did you go to St. Paul's? (I have a friend who went there)
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    (Original post by celloel)
    How much were your school's fees, what grades did you get (GCSE/A Level) and would you say it was worth your parent's money? Do you think you would have done as well (grades-wise) if you'd gone to a state school?
    My school fees were around £10k a year, which for most middle-class families is probably not astronomical.


    My grades were 10A*s for GCSE and 5A's for A-Level (though one of them was General Studies).


    Personally, I think it doesn't really matter which school you go to, and that when it comes down to it, your grades are almost entirely a result of how hard you worked for them. Private schools have some good and some bad teachers like any other school, with no magic power to make you become more intelligent or get better grades automatically.

    I think the reason that people tend to do better at private schools is because they're part of a culture where academic success is considered very important, your "social status" at school and in life is heavily dependent on how well you're doing academically, you're constantly comparing yourself against hugely successful people, and getting a grade C is considered to be gross underperformance rather than a "pass". That kind of environment tends to make people want to work hard, gives them the confidence that top grades are achievable wth hard work etc. so they're more likely to do it.

    I think I would have done pretty well academically regardless of which school I went to, because even if the school didn't provide that kind of environment, my parents and my family overall were very education-oriented, wouldn't have been satisfied with less than top grades in anything, was full of other very successful people etc. So I would have still felt the incentive to work just has hard. Obviously I can't say for sure what I would have got had I been at a different school, I'm just speculating. But it's certainly possible to do just as well at a state school, and many people do.


    I would say it was worth my parents' money, yes. Not because of the impact it would have had on my grades (because I disagree that private school is just an opportunity for people to "buy good grades"). Rather, I think it was worth my parents money for the same reason that it's worth buying yourself a nice house to live in, or paying for a five-star hotel when you go on holiday, or spending money on going out rather than staying at home in one place. I would consider school to have been some of the best years of my life as a result of how luxurious the environment was in terms of comfort, the activities I got to do, the experiences I had, the people I grew up with etc.

    If you were at Disneyland for a limited amount of time and money wasn't an issue, you'd want to go on every single ride, visit every shop, stay in the nicest hotel they had etc. and similarly we attend school for a limited amount of time too, so I think it's worth spending the money to gain as much of a variety of experiences from it as you can.
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    (Original post by Hopefulmedic15)
    Lol did you go to St. Paul's? (I have a friend who went there)
    No, I didn't go there lol...
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    (Original post by ForestShadow)
    Apparently "Private schools feature extracurricular activities and sports as an integral part of their programs." - is this true and to what extent?

    What about this: "private schools provide constant supervision and have zero tolerance policies."

    http://privateschool.about.com/od/ab...choolfacts.htm
    well, we go on rugby tours to australia and south africa and cricket tours to antigua and india and we also have colours for doing well in sports.
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    (Original post by tazarooni89)
    My school fees were around £10k a year, which for most middle-class families is probably not astronomical.


    My grades were 10A*s for GCSE and 5A's for A-Level (though one of them was General Studies).


    Personally, I think it doesn't really matter which school you go to, and that when it comes down to it, your grades are almost entirely a result of how hard you worked for them. Private schools have some good and some bad teachers like any other school, with no magic power to make you become more intelligent or get better grades automatically.

    I think the reason that people tend to do better at private schools is because they're part of a culture where academic success is considered very important, your "social status" at school and in life is heavily dependent on how well you're doing academically, you're constantly comparing yourself against hugely successful people, and getting a grade C is considered to be gross underperformance rather than a "pass". That kind of environment tends to make people want to work hard, gives them the confidence that top grades are achievable wth hard work etc. so they're more likely to do it.

    I think I would have done pretty well academically regardless of which school I went to, because even if the school didn't provide that kind of environment, my parents and my family overall were very education-oriented, wouldn't have been satisfied with less than top grades in anything, was full of other very successful people etc. So I would have still felt the incentive to work just has hard. Obviously I can't say for sure what I would have got had I been at a different school, I'm just speculating. But it's certainly possible to do just as well at a state school, and many people do.


    I would say it was worth my parents' money, yes. Not because of the impact it would have had on my grades (because I disagree that private school is just an opportunity for people to "buy good grades"). Rather, I think it was worth my parents money for the same reason that it's worth buying yourself a nice house to live in, or paying for a five-star hotel when you go on holiday, or spending money on going out rather than staying at home in one place. I would consider school to have been some of the best years of my life as a result of how luxurious the environment was in terms of comfort, the activities I got to do, the experiences I had, the people I grew up with etc.

    If you were at Disneyland for a limited amount of time and money wasn't an issue, you'd want to go on every single ride, visit every shop, stay in the nicest hotel they had etc. and similarly we attend school for a limited amount of time too, so I think it's worth spending the money to gain as much of a variety of experiences from it as you can.
    Completely agree and fair enough, I assumed because St. Paul's is the only school I know that is segregated by gender! That being said, the first few years in my school we had a separate girls-only entrance that has its own room to put our stuff away but was usually our common-room/place to do stuff away from the guys 😂
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    (Original post by NetworkTahweed)
    Do you find its only really northern crackers that give a **** about private schools/parents wealth etc...Cos I swear its something BME either subscribe to absolutely (esp Indians) or else just dont give a **** about....
    I don't really understand your question...
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    was Matron very strict with you ? :holmes:
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    (Original post by tazarooni89)
    With only around 7% of people attending private schools, and with a lot of subsequent misconceptions, stereotyping and perhaps curiosity around what it might be like to go to one, I thought it might be useful to take some questions on the subject.

    So go ahead, ask me anything
    How much do you pay per year?
 
 
 
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