Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Church schools

As parents are apt to do, I trawl through websites once in while looking at school statistics, pictures,SAT results and the such like. Greenwich primary schools don't seem to do so well. I do often wish they would produce a distribution of the results so I could see if it's all kids doing well/badly, a few bringing up/down the many and also compare native English speakers to non-native ones.
I would be horrified to send my child to a school where native English speakers had poor results in English and Maths. Having said that while at University, I noted that it was the non native English speaker who had the best written English.
I loved doing English at school, both Lang and Lit. I really hope our tot has that passion. Since her father is an arty creative geek type who studied Maths at Uni but yearns to be a writer, she may be lucky and get help with both Maths and English. I, for one, am going to have to brush up on the old Maths which was never my favourite subject (except when I got an A during my degree for statistical maths!).
What struck me in reading Sat results is how well Church schools do. My sister in law who was a lapsed Catholic suddenly rediscovered her religion so that her son could get into the local, very good Catholic school. It worked and he did well. She'll have to dust off the church clothes when her other kids get to school age. I hear stories of other parents religiously attending church, donating, cake baking to also improve their chances.
Maybe I should start becoming a bit pious. Yesterday the news reported the first Hindu school has opened up in North London http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8486375.stm. I'm not sure what to make of that. They probably wouldn't be too impressed with my mixed marriage and our half Hindu/half Christian child. Growing up there was no such thing as state funded Hindu schools; we had to just swallow our pride and mix with the general populace. I can't imagine going to a Hindu only school though I like the thought of yoga and meditation being taught to calm the little buggers down. I would love for my tot to learn about our religion but I'm afraid she won't from me as my parents never taught us (they really took on the whole integration thing with amazing, almost religious, zeal). I guess it's not too late to pick up Hindu texts but I'm always a bit shy of going into temples in case I'm pointed at and scorned for being a heretic. I'm sure as I near my meeting with God, I'll get a bit more religion in my life. It's not uncommon for Hindus to become more "HINDU" as they age.
Getting back to schools ... I'll just keep trawling the available information, visiting schools and so on. In the meatime, I'll read constantly to the tot and make her count from morning to night. We'll leave the religious education to visits to the Presbyterian family in Scotland and the occassional attendance at Church for Christmas Mass.


Raven said...

We worry too about schooling in the borough for our two children. We're actually very happy with the primary school they attend (above national average results and lovely, happy atmosphere) in Eltham but it's secondary schooling in the LB Greenwich which is below average.

As you say, the best sec schools are religious schools and that really, really annoys me. I don't think the state should fund any kind of religious schools.

The relatively new 'Harris Academy' in Falconwood is impressing some parents at my kids' schools (though Academies as a concept are not unproblematic...) - anyone know anything more about this place?

The schools picture seems to change quite rapidly, so hopefully by the time our kids are ready to attend, things will look up...

Anonymous said...

I think the key thing for a primary school at least is that it is a happy environment where your child can flourish. Primary education is not that difficult and with some coaxing and guidance from parents I think most children will do well at primary schools in Plumstead. We know a few children who have now gone on to Plumstead Manor for girls or to the local grammar school for boys (probably won't exist by the time my son gets to secondary school)!
I think there is some hypocrisy in suddenly finding a God and what message does that give to your children? Why not arrange to go and have a look around some of the local schools. We did and we felt instantly happy in some and not in others.

Emma said...

I agree with the anonymous commenter. A happy environment where a child will learn to want to learn is key at Primary level. Secondary schooling is not so easy, but it is worth remembering that a school's reputation will lag a few years behind the actuality so visits are vitally important.

I could go on about education for hours, but I'm on holiday, so I shan't.