Moving schools - taking a child out of St James

Discussion of the children's schools in the UK.
stjparent
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Moving schools - taking a child out of St James

Postby stjparent » Thu Mar 09, 2006 5:33 pm

Hi - first post on this forum so apologies if I'm posting in the wrong place.

We have a daughter at St James junior school in London and have decided to take her out of the school and move her to a more conventional school.

Reasons being:

1) The curriculum diverging widely from the norm - in particular Vedic Maths as a poor grounding (it appears to come good in the end judging by the GCSE and A level results) but in the interim it does not give a rapid grasp of maths basics. Also the huge emphasis on Sanskrit and no modern language taught.

2) The underhand nature of the SES's involvement with the school - like many parents we only became gradually aware of the SES's "ownership" of the school - but if e.g. you visit www.stjamesschools.co.uk, there is no mention anywhere of the SES!

3) Linked to this (and to the horrific events in the schools past which I think are well covered in other threads), a fundamental breakdown in trust as to exactly what and how the school is teaching our daughter, academically as well as culturally.

4) The "girls must be subservient" culture that gradually extends as they go up the school. It has been also been described as a "break them and remould them" culture.

Our decision developed gradually but was finally triggered by a recent assessment of our daughter by a "conventional" school showing a high IQ, great English, but really atrocious Maths. The new school commented that they had not seen results like it and that the only possible explanation was very poor Maths teaching.

Our daughter has also been showing signs of losing self-confidence and becoming fearful of discipline and we feel that we are just getting out under the wire.

We are lucky that we have managed to secure alternative (and good) schools for next year.

It would be great to chat here with other current parents who are also considering / deciding to withdraw their child from St James. I know that there are a lot of people going through this thought process.

Also, in particular, are there any parents reading this who have recently withdrawn their child from St James? How did you find the move? Do you have any recommendations on how to manage the change - both in terms of filling in the curriculum gaps and bringing a child out of the St James culture?

I have tried to keep this focussed and it would be great if this thread could stay on topic - I don't know how many other parents of current pupils have found this forum but I haven't found any other places to share current experiences.

stjparent

Jerome
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Postby Jerome » Thu Mar 09, 2006 6:35 pm

I sympathise with yourself and your daughter. Although I don't have first hand knowledge of the girls branch, I do understand some of the issues you raised. The maths in the boys school is beginning to pick up after a recent recruitment of some young brilliant maths teachers, but for at least 5 years previously (the period I have been in), nearly everyone had a problem with it, and the grades do not truly reflect the quality of most teaching. I would say about 2/3 of my GCSE class had outside tutoring at additional costs, including me.
In light of the method of teaching maths, it was only implemented for the first few years of my career, and when it came to the GCSE period (spanning 1.5 years) the conventional maths was taught.
I myself have had no problems with the SES connections with the school, but that's one person's opinion. Good luck with the next school!

Jerome

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Stanton
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Postby Stanton » Thu Mar 09, 2006 8:06 pm

I hope your daughter enjoys her new school. In fairness, however, SES is mentioned on the website. Just click on About Us.

Justice
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Moving Schools - Taking a Child out of St. James

Postby Justice » Thu Mar 09, 2006 8:46 pm

Dear Stjparent,

Congratulations on removing your child from St. James and the threat of Cult Mind Control.

Lets hope that lots of other parents who have finally woken up to SES deception follow your example!

mm-
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Postby mm- » Thu Mar 09, 2006 8:53 pm

Hi StJ Parent,

I totally sympathise and agree with what you say, especially when you mention your daughter's lack of self-confidence and fear. I have children at St James who I am also removing from the school, having successfully gained places for them at a more traditional establishment. Entrance exams at other schools show that they are below average, although their school reports from St James state the opposite.

I can see why the school does not push children too hard at junior level, why they are not taught a modern language or geography, but yet these are introduced at senior level. In this way, passing entrance exams at other prep schools is made all the more difficult; thus making leaving St James extremely hard.

Having gone to a Senior Girls open evening I was surprised to find that Vedic Maths is not taught at senior level. In fact the maths teacher that I spoke to had no understanding of it whatsoever. One has to ask therefore what the use of it is at junior level. I have often had my child in tears when doing homework when I have tried to help solve a maths question with my more traditional methods only to be told that I do not understand and that, that is not the way that it is done.

In short, most children from St James junior schools are not at the same standard as children at other schools. I have been told that once children move into the senior school they catch up very fast as they are crammed with work that should have been taught during their earlier years. The standard of teaching at St James leaves a lot to be desired. It is only when you visit other schools that you realise the gaping hole in your Childs development and education.

As far as leaving St James I have been told that the school will put up a fight for fees unless a terms notice is given. There are stories of children needing to be de-programmed on leaving and having trouble adapting to other schools and socialising with children their own age. I have been told that it takes about a year and a half for a child to get back to normal. The issue surrounding pausing and the implication of self hypnosis also raises a big question mark in that some parents feel that children can somehow be detrimentally affected by being left for a whole term in a school that uses these practices. The biggest fear though is that by saying no to a St James education you are effectively saying no to the SES. My take on that, is that while your child serves out their terms notice all kinds of things can take place. As a parent you just don?t know what lies around the corner or what the eventual effects of the schools close ties with the SES will have. Only time will tell. It is a great pity that the schools decided not to be transparent about its teachings and beliefs when we signed on the dotted line.

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a different guest
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Postby a different guest » Thu Mar 09, 2006 9:32 pm

Stanton wrote:I hope your daughter enjoys her new school. In fairness, however, SES is mentioned on the website. Just click on About Us.


That link is a very recent addition to the site. A fact you shold know stanton.

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Stanton
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Postby Stanton » Thu Mar 09, 2006 9:43 pm

Well, so is stjparent's post. Recent I mean.

Matthew
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Postby Matthew » Thu Mar 09, 2006 9:49 pm

The point is they've only put that link there becasue of all the mounting pressure and criticism they've been under for the last two + years, and not because they felt a genuine need to be more transparent.

Matthew
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Re: Moving schools - taking a child out of St James

Postby Matthew » Thu Mar 09, 2006 10:15 pm

stjparent wrote:Our decision developed gradually but was finally triggered by a recent assessment of our daughter by a "conventional" school showing a high IQ, great English, but really atrocious Maths. The new school commented that they had not seen results like it and that the only possible explanation was very poor Maths teaching.

mm wrote:I totally sympathise and agree with what you say, especially when you mention your daughter's lack of self-confidence and fear.

Just to add, these were all pretty much identical experiences for me as a consequence of my St Vedast / SES encounters. The teachers at my new school could never understand why my maths was so poor yet my English and French were so good - I was in set 1 for French and set 5 (the lowest stream) for maths. I happened to have a natural flair for languages, but this was after being taught zero modern languages at St Vedast, and on my leaving/escaping having to spend my whole summer holiday and the following year at an 11+ crammer school learning French from scratch.

And mm and stjparent, just like your children, my self-confidence was totally shattered after being subjected to the methods of that sinister organisation.
Last edited by Matthew on Thu Mar 09, 2006 11:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Justice
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Moving Schools - Taking a Child out of St. James

Postby Justice » Thu Mar 09, 2006 10:24 pm

MM said:


I can see why the school does not push children too hard at junior level, why they are not taught a modern language or geography, but yet these are introduced at senior level. In this way, passing entrance exams at other prep schools is made all the more difficult; thus making leaving St James extremely hard.



This is a common complaint from parents with children at St. James!

It is clear proof of just how devious the SES are, and how they attempt to keep children in their clutches throughout their school years, followed by a major push to indoctrinate them into the SES Cult during their sixth form years, after which they may well have them for a 'life sentence'!

bluelight
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Postby bluelight » Thu Mar 09, 2006 11:11 pm

I left St James at age 9 and was also put in the,"good english,shame about the maths", category by two different schools.
I would , however, like to suggest an "exit strategy" for parents who wish to remove their children ..... simply give the terms notice required but state it is for financial reasons and that you will have to pay the current terms fees over two or three months. The school then has to let the children go or offer you a cheaper education for them...and that wont happen!
Good luck to any parents this helps.

Bluelight

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Postby a different guest » Thu Mar 09, 2006 11:38 pm

Stanton wrote:Well, so is stjparent's post. Recent I mean.


So? It's not as if stj's daughter started her schooling 6 weeks ago, which is about the time the link finally went up. *taps foot*

Stj wrote

How did you find the move? Do you have any recommendations on how to manage the change - both in terms of filling in the curriculum gaps and bringing a child out of the St James culture?


There is at least one parent here (called Temporarily Duped) who removed her child recently - but this was in an aussie primary school and the child was only 5. Once in a 'normal' setting the kid bounced back pretty quickly.

I'm not an SES school parent but some of your issues could come about naturally with a child anyway. For instance, my DD is well ahead of her years in English, but a bit behind the 8 ball in maths - but this is not because of schooling, it's just her! :)

She also went thru a period when she was being bullied by some girls at school - and it knocked around her self-confidence.

Without having an idea of your daughters age I can only talk generally. But things like encouraging new friendships by networking with other parents at the new school as quickly as you can, organising 'play day's after school to help cement new friendships. And is there something she has always wanted to do? (a sport? horseriding? Ballet?). If it's within your means an extra curricular activity that she loves, and can also make new friends at, may help. How about a dog and she takes on going to dog training? Working with animals is a great boost to many kids who are shy and lack confidence.

Just some thoughts.

As to the maths - it might be a matter of having to get some coaching. But if that is something she won't enjoy maybe worry about that a bit further down the track.

stjparent
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Postby stjparent » Fri Mar 10, 2006 8:56 am

Many thanks for your replies so far - in particular mm, it is good to hear your similar thinking.

It is also good to hear about the teaching of boys at St James - while pretty clear about the drawbacks of our daughter's education, we are currently deciding which school to put our son down for and it is very good to help our decison making to understand how similar it is for boys.

.. and stanton, thank you for pointing out the website link (which I'm not surprised to hear has only recently gone up) - it may be an oversight, but it is not accessible via the Junior Schools section of the site, only the Senior Schools. As the Junior Schools are the primary intake point, this is the point where the SES needs to be most transparent.

stjparent

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Postby a different guest » Fri Mar 10, 2006 9:00 am

stjparent wrote:.. and stanton, thank you for pointing out the website link (which I'm not surprised to hear has only recently gone up) - it may be an oversight, but it is not accessible via the Junior Schools section of the site, only the Senior Schools. As the Junior Schools are the primary intake point, this is the point where the SES needs to be most transparent.
stjparent


Be it's not an 'oversight', particularly as the junior school curriculum then entraps you to stay on.

Matthew
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Postby Matthew » Fri Mar 10, 2006 10:46 am

stjparent wrote:thank you for pointing out the website link (which I'm not surprised to hear has only recently gone up) - it may be an oversight, but it is not accessible via the Junior Schools section of the site, only the Senior Schools.

That's a very good point. There is nothing at all on the junior school site about its SES links; it's only on the senior school sites. Why is this I wonder? I agree with ADG that it is certainly not an 'oversight'; and no doubt there will be further protest and criticism over this, and once again they will be forced into change, and once again for all the wrong reasons, i.e. not because of any genuine desire for transparency and openness.

Bottom line - it'll be a cold day in hell before the SES ever willingly relinquishes control over its precious children's schools. They are its lifeblood after all.


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