Moving schools - taking a child out of St James

Discussion of the children's schools in the UK.
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Keir
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Postby Keir » Fri Mar 10, 2006 1:27 pm

stjparent,

I wish you well with what I think is a well informed and loving decision.

Although I am not a parent I would like to suggest a few things that might make the transition easier, although I am sure that a consciencous and loving parent would find their own way to it.

Children are very perceptive and will pick up on any anger and fear that their parents are feeling in regard to their school, which to them might be a place full of familiarity and friendships.

It would be good imo to reinforce the message that it was not any bad behaviour on her part that led to the move, and if possible the continuation of friendships with fellow pupils beyond the move. However delicately you try to handle it, she will of course arouse the curiosity of her fellow pupils as to why she is leaving, so a positive explanation to your daughter will give her the wherewithal to answer and reassure the current pupils and her friends.

To be able to understand and answer every query from her friends will put her in very good stead for gaining in confidence. As has been mentioned on other posts on this board, pay particular attention to encouraging discussion with her and trust what she says. One of the reasons why the abuse that took place in the past has only come to light now is that pupils stopped feeling that their parents would listen to them and trust what they said. Listening and trust will inspire her confidence that she matters and will give you regular feedback about any bullying tactics that she might be experiencing from fellow pupils or teachers.

I wish you the very best of luck in handling the change over, and urge you to be confident and calm in the knowledge that as a loving parent you do know best.

NYC
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Postby NYC » Fri Mar 10, 2006 6:27 pm

stjparent wrote:the website link [to SES]?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.


I'm totally disgusted. Surely this is illegal.

mm, I hope you won?t take offense, but when you first posted that you didn?t know St. James was affiliated with the SES until it came out in the inquiry, I thought you might be posing as a parent?it is just so incredible to me that a private children?s school would have an affiliation with a particular philosophy and not get parents to sign some type of acknowledgement that they are aware of the connection.

If you can demonstrate that St. James never told you they were affiliated with the SES BEFORE you registered your child, I should think you would have legal grounds to sue for at least partial recovery of tuition. It?s another matter to decide that you want to do that, but if the school is holding you hostage for another semester, perhaps it?s worth seeking some legal advice. In the US, it wouldn?t be difficult to find a lawyer who would do an initial consultation for free, and take payment out of the court award if you win.

I also wish that the Parents & Pupils group & the SESSA would get in touch with one of the large law firms in London?often the big firms have a pro bono program, where they assign entry-level associates to work on public-interest litigation in whatever downtime they have. Here in the US, it seems most of the death-penalty cases which has been retried and dismissed based on new DNA evidence have been brought by pro bono lawyers.

Here in NY the children?s school is housed in the same building as the adult night school, so the connection is pretty obvious. You would have to be really unobservant to miss the ties between the two. But in London, the different children?s schools are far from Mandeville Place, correct? So if St. James doesn?t tell you they are affiliated, you really have no way of knowing.

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Stanton
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Postby Stanton » Fri Mar 10, 2006 7:49 pm

stjparent - I clicked on the link you gave in your first post to the St James website. On the first page on the top bar there's a link called About Us. Then another click takes you through to the SES website. A step in the right direction surely?

NYC
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Postby NYC » Fri Mar 10, 2006 8:28 pm

Stanton,
Yes, www.stjamesschools.co.uk has an "About Us" tab and if you click on "History" underneath it the School of Economic Science is mentioned, with a link. HOWEVER, once you connect to the Junior school section of the website there is not a single mention, anywhere, of the SES affiliation. And there are several places it would seem obvious to include! For example, when you click on the "Education" tab & scroll down to the "Spiritual" category, the only outside affiliation mentioned is Christian:

Scripture lessons for all pupils are taken weekly by the Headmaster and, although non-denominational, St James has an Anglican School Chaplain. Four assemblies a week are based on the Christian tradition. There is also input from other traditions.


There's a bit about stillness and weekly Philosophy lessons, but nothing connecting St. James to an adult organization.

Likewise, there is not a word about the SES affiliation under the "Community" tab, OR on the "Home" page.

Shonky, shonky, shonky. Someone in Britain should request a prospectus, and see if the mention there is as well-concealed.
Last edited by NYC on Fri Mar 10, 2006 8:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Stanton
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Postby Stanton » Fri Mar 10, 2006 8:30 pm

Sorry, it's not concealed on the website. It's on the front page and a second click takes you through to the SES site. Took me all of 5 seconds to get there.

NYC
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Postby NYC » Fri Mar 10, 2006 8:36 pm

Stanton,
You must have known where to look.

If I were a prospective parent, studying up on schools, I would certainly pay very close attention to the description of the spiritual education that school would provide, and I would expect ANY affiliation with an adult organization to be listed.

There is currently no mention anywhere on the Junior Schools section of the website of any connection to the School of Economic Science. If that omission isn't legally actionable, it is still hugely misleading.

Jo-Anne Morgan
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Postby Jo-Anne Morgan » Fri Mar 10, 2006 10:03 pm

On the junior school-specific part of the website I can see no mention whatsoever of links to the SES.

However, it's noticeable that the whole thing is written in the characteristic 'up their own arse' SES style.

Jerome
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Postby Jerome » Sat Mar 11, 2006 8:52 am

mm

In this way, passing entrance exams at other prep schools is made all the more difficult; thus making leaving St James extremely hard.



your making it sound as if they do it on purpose just so people can't leave! This idea is ridiculous, maybe 1 person leaves every 2 years from each class in the boys school, I don't know about the girls but that is pretty average across the country.

And whats this about no being pushed? I was positively pushed in the senior school, and although I've been complaining about maths, the maths I learnt (in a state primary school) was far worse than any SJ taught me.

Jerome

quote error fixed -- mike

mm-
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Postby mm- » Sat Mar 11, 2006 9:42 am

Jerome,

your making it sound as if they do it on purpose just so people can't leave! This idea is ridiculous


I do feel that this is a fact. A child from the junior schools is ill equipped to sit entrance exams at other schools because they are not at the same standard in English and Maths as other children being taught elsewhere. You can totally forget a child passing verbal and non-verbal reasoning tests, the school make damn sure that logical thought is more or less wiped out by the time they get to the end of the junior school.

More likely than not, a child will fail an entrance exam and therefore not be accepted into a prep school. The whole reason of making a child sit an entrance exam is so that another school will take them on and prepare them for an 11+ exam. St James do not cater for this eventuality as they obviously want children to continue into the Senior schools. They certainly don't want children leaving and entering other schools. I feel that the curriculum on offer and the standard of teaching make life very difficult for parents wanting to remove their child from St James.


NYC,

mm, I hope you won?t take offense, but when you first posted that you didn?t know St. James was affiliated with the SES until it came out in the inquiry, I thought you might be posing as a parent


No offence taken. Actually I found out about the SES in July after another parent in my younger childs class told me about it. When my oldest child joined St James the web was a very new thing. I'm not even sure that St James had a website at that stage at all. Certainly the prospectus that I have relating to that time does not have any mention of the schools affiliation with the SES at all. Even the links concerning the SES now in the St James website is a very new addition. They certainly did not exist a year ago.

The school withheld the fact that there was an inquiry taking place until a few days before it was published (although I do know that the senior children?s parents knew about it a few months beforehand). Obviously the school did not feel that junior school parents needed to know of such matters. It is truly appalling.

Jerome
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Postby Jerome » Sat Mar 11, 2006 9:56 am

mm

I feel I have to question you on this

You can totally forget a child passing verbal and non-verbal reasoning tests, the school make damn sure that logical thought is more or less wiped out by the time they get to the end of the junior school.


Now, when I joined in form 1 I remeber feeling completely blown away by the level of intelligence and reasoning skills that my peers showed, and it took me a few terms to catch up. It was also not only a few clever individuals, but a norm throughout the class. How did you come up with that conclusion?

Jerome

quote error fixed -- mike

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Stanton
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Postby Stanton » Sat Mar 11, 2006 11:21 am

I assure you, NYC, that I spend no time at all monitoring the St James website. I went to it when a parent posted that there was no mention of the SES connection on the St James site. I looked at the St James front page, and saw a link on the top bar called About Us. One more click and I got through to the SES website. I don't know when the About Us link went up to include the SES connection, presumably quite recently, but it's certainly there now. Agreed it's not in the junior schools section but it is on the front page of the main site - and it's not hidden away.

Making the connection clear between SES and St James schools for the benefit of parents has been a long-standing aim of many on this board. That the website now does so is a significant step

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a different guest
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Postby a different guest » Sat Mar 11, 2006 11:36 am

Jerome wrote:Now, when I joined in form 1 I remeber feeling completely blown away by the level of intelligence and reasoning skills that my peers showed, and it took me a few terms to catch up. It was also not only a few clever individuals, but a norm throughout the class. How did you come up with that conclusion?
Jerome


Well so it might have looked to you. When I first started reading posts here from SES members their posts had the superficial appearance of being SO intellectual that one could be forgiven for thinking that any fault in understanding of their posts was the reader's, not the poster's.

However I also happen to be well qualified in communications.

So I re-read the aforementioned posts. They were full of rhetoric, jargon, ambiguity and self-contradiction. Essentially they said NOTHING! Oh on the surface they sounded smart, but they weren't.

As a child without the benefit of a BA how discerning do you think you were of all those 'smart' kids you were thrust into school with.

The fact remains that so far parent after parent, both here and in the UK, has discovered their child is 'behind' the kids in convential schools.

Stanton - stop making excuses about the website. The link went up 6 weeks ago or so. You may say 'better late than never' but the fact that once you click into the junior school (which prospective parents would do) the connection to the SES is not there. Not what was said about "spiritual' education. It is NOT christian at all!
Last edited by a different guest on Tue Aug 01, 2006 7:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Stanton
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Postby Stanton » Sat Mar 11, 2006 1:33 pm

The St James senior girls is in the top 20 (by league tables) of all independent schools in the UK. The boys are more average. Clearly there's work to be done there. But as to being 'behind', the results show otherwise.

mm-
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Postby mm- » Sat Mar 11, 2006 9:10 pm

Jerome wrote:

How did you come up with that conclusion?


I have come across a number of children (mine included) from St James that are unable to complete the most basic of maths problems. I base my conclusions on my own child and other children who have just scraped through various entrance exams at other schools where parents are told that the children are behind and will need extra tuition to catch up. For your information most of these children are at the top end of their class at St James and have received glowing reports with high exam marks. It just doesn't add up.

One other thing that I have noticed from my own children and remarks made by other parents is that St James children ask permission for everything that they do, even when they are in familiar surroundings. For example even the older children ask for permission to use the bathroom at home, they ask for permission to play etc etc etc.... I wonder if any other parents have noticed this? I feel it is rather odd.

There seems to be no spontaneity in these children, no ability to make their own decisions, there is no sense of urgency with them. They look and act as if their very blood has been sucked out of them. There just doesn't seem to be any individuality about children at St James.

Stanton wrote:

But as to being 'behind', the results show otherwise.


We are aware of the results achieved at the senior school.

I made the remark based on the junior school. Junior school children are most definitely behind. Junior school children transfer into the senior school a year earlier than children at other schools. It is during this year that children are crammed with what they should have learnt during their formative years. By the time they reach year 7 they are at the same level academically as those children joining the senior school (at the correct age-btw) from other schools. Very clever of them indeed.

The phrase " they all catch up in the end" has been used by a number of junior school parents. Able children are made to wait for those less able to catch up to their standard. In the meantime those able children are left twiddling their thumbs and learning next to nothing. Personally I do feel that the school do this so that children find it difficult to move to other schools. It is not that these children are less capable than those at other schools just that it is in the interest of the school to keep them at a low academic level until they reach the senior school.

Obviously good results are achieved if you stay, but as a parent you have to ask yourself whether it is worth the risk of allowing your child to stay in a school run by a mind control cult

Planet
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Postby Planet » Sat Mar 11, 2006 9:57 pm

mm- wrote:I have come across a number of children (mine included) from St James that are unable to complete the most basic of maths problems.


It sounds as though some things don't change in 20 + years. I struggled with maths when I was there. I still had trouble with long division and multiplication when I left. A year later in an ordinary comprehensive state school I was laughed at but they fixed it within 6 months.

mm- wrote:The phrase ?they all catch up in the end" has been used by a number of junior school parents.


It was also the same when I was there but then I never caught up till after I left the senior school. We were often told that academic achievement wasn't everything and the "truth" and Sanskrit / classics etc were the things we should learn. Mind you some of those pupils that excelled in some of the alternative subjects have failed to get a decent job today. Unfortunately the "truth" or "Sanskrit" won't put bread on the table in the modern world. But I suppose for some that?s a sacrifice they choose to make.

It seems in the total exam results etc they have improved overall. That is assuming that that all pupils are actually entered for the exams.


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