Money Can Buy a Lot of Things – Determination Isn’t One of Them

November 21, 2017 by Adrian Thorpe

This week a State Funded Primary School ‘St. Stephen’s School‘ has topped the UK’s league of top schools, beating prep schools, boarding schools and elite schools like Eton, charging up to and above £30000 a year.

The Sunday Times award for the best schools is a coveted award, and is the Academy Award to the education sector.

The schools head teacher, who incidentally was privately educated, said that she systematically has pupils working at a year group above, meaning that they have the best chances in life, despite ‘only’ going to a state funded school.

The children are well versed in difficult literature and are competent with their times tables up to 12’s. By the time they leave the school, they also have the tools to be selected for top set Maths, English and Science when they progress.

Culture is also high on the priorities list. With trips to the ballet, museums, galleries, theatres and sleepovers at the science museum regular occurrences. So, what does such a coveted award require?

The answer is simple. It starts at the top with 2 branches, Head teacher and Parents. Then from those branches they intertwine and it’s teachers and assistants. If you can get a good team together without in house politics and bitching, you’re set for a smooth operation.

I’ve dated teachers, and I have seen some of the terrible things they can and will do to jeopardize each other. The constant undermining, throwing spanners into the works, one teaching assistant once complained because another teaching assistant was reading a dyslexic students question to them.

We all learn in different ways. We all have different fortes. If you can group a load of students with a similar mind set with a group of teachers who teach in that way, and who are like minded in their methods, the education system would be more streamlined, and the brightest wouldn’t be left behind, and those needing a little extra help would also not be embarrassed because they don’t ‘get it’. I am a firm believer in education for all, but I’m also a firm believer in not holding the brightest back because the other 25 kids in class are struggling to get what is being taught.

It’s unfair, that I of all people could have been a doctor, or a solicitor, but never got the chance, because my teachers couldn’t teach the way I learn. Or that my sister constantly got into trouble, because she was being held back in school and was bored. She incidentally was doing A-level science in detention because her head of sciences saw she already knew everything that could be taught to her in school.

We need a tier system, the bright, the average, and those who need a little more guidance. It doesn’t matter in the end how we learn. As long as we learn it and I can guarantee you, you can put me against one of my former pupils with any question, and we’ll get the same answer, we’ll just have a different method of getting to the conclusion.