Early Lent Half Term

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Re: Early Lent Half Term

Post by englishangel » Wed Feb 10, 2010 12:24 pm

My primary school teacher gave me extra tuition (probably paid for by my grandfather) and I did stuff I didn't do again until O level.
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Re: Early Lent Half Term

Post by J.R. » Wed Feb 10, 2010 3:33 pm

NEILL THE NOTORIOUS wrote:It has been posted, that "Exams were current in the 50s and 60s"

They were the NORM before the War -- I got in, via a competitive Scholarship, from the Parish of St Sepulchre's, which selected three boys (?) annually. (I know not about Girls)

Due to the intervention of the Luftwaffe, I got in , although coming Fourth.

Most (If not all) of my contemporaries joining in 1940, had to pass an Exam, and to my certain knowledge, at least two had Parents, who paid NO FEES ---- My Father (a Police Constable) complained to me, that my Music Fees (Standard) cost him more than my School Fees (Graded.)

I realise that we are in the 21st Century and things have changed ----- but I have very grave concens about the way "MY" School has changed it's Ethos.
Did Hermann Goering put in a good word for you then, Neill ??


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Re: Early Lent Half Term

Post by cstegerlewis » Wed Feb 10, 2010 4:19 pm

Ian, you have a bl**dy good memory!!!!
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Re: Early Lent Half Term

Post by jhopgood » Wed Feb 10, 2010 6:15 pm

I still have my 1959 school journey book, and discover that on May 7, 1959, I went up to Queen´s Square for the CH exams.
In the morning we had an Intelligence Test, Arithmetic exam, followed by interviews with the Head of English and then Maths.
After lunch was a medical and chat to the Doctor, followed by an interview with the Headmaster and then the English Exam.
Looking at it now, as far as I can remember, I had never had an interview before, so it must have been a little nerve wracking.
I got in via the LCC.
I see that in the evening I had to baby sit my brothers and sisters , ages 9, 6 and 3, whilst my parents went out.
The whole thing seems to have made little impact as it only takes up half a page of writing (pen and ink).
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Re: Early Lent Half Term

Post by midget » Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:36 pm

wurzel wrote:
Academic selection and striving for excellence is at least 30 years old
Not half! At least 66 years old. There was a highly competitive atmosphere at Hertford. I was astonished thatwhen we came to do school exams, after the 2nd result was given people were rushing around asking "What's your average?" I hadn't come across that before.
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Re: Early Lent Half Term

Post by sejintenej » Wed Feb 10, 2010 9:15 pm

midget wrote:
wurzel wrote:
Academic selection and striving for excellence is at least 30 years old
"What's your average?" I hadn't come across that before.
Hardly surprising given the state of education in those days. In my local primary school division wasn't taught because the teacher didn't know what the "/" symbol meant! She was off a lot of the time because Exeter refused to accept that, whenever they put rabbit in the school meals, she would get ill and the entire school would be shut for several days. In the year I left, the school had the first 11+ pass in the whole of its existance. Not that that meant much because the girl would not have been able to get to grammar school in any case. (We had one bus into town - 15 miles - each week).

After I left they shut the school which created a problem for education in the area - the ferry to the nearest school was frequently stopped by gales in two of the four quarters of the year. This had already dogged those who were supposed to attend secondary school but helped on the farms and fisheries instead.

Think yourselves lucky to live in "civilised" surroundings. Averages? what is the pecuniary benefit if you sow those and what fertilizer?

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Re: Early Lent Half Term

Post by huggermugger » Thu Feb 11, 2010 8:13 am

Once again - an innocent question turns into a controversial topic...

To answer the original question, I was a bit surprised but rather resigned - things do seem to change at fairly short notice at CH and because leave weekends usually finish on a Friday afternoon I changed my working pattern so that I am "at home" then anyway. So for me it isn't a major inconvenience and I am glad to have a whole weekend out of the car!

As for the rest... I would infinitely prefer weekly boarding and I know my DS would absolutely jump for joy. I am sure the likelihood of it happening during our time at the school is practically zero and I suspect if it were to happen it would be after a very long thought process (I was going to put consultation but CH doesn't really do consultation does it??). We don't live within 20 miles (more like 70) though I have wished I could move closer to the school to improve my own quality of life and that of my DS.

My DS has had a very up-and-down career at CH. I think the theory of spending a jolly weekend having japes with your friends and taking part in all sorts of wonderful extra-curricular activities is a good one but not borne out for everyone. He finds life in the boarding house extremely hard. He has always said the school is not the problem (he does well), but the boarding is. I am fully aware that changing the boarding arrangements could make it a very different school, but then it already is a very different school from 20, 30 or 50 years ago. Anyway - it's all academic really because it isn't going to happen any time soon.

As for deficits - all I know is I was incredibly shocked to learn that it costs 20 million pounds a year to run the school. It doesn't take a skilled mathematician to work out that even with a 260 million pound endowment (or is it less than that now?) the school will be eating into its capital, especially given the work that needed to be done to the boarding houses and the ongoing refurbishment of the kitchens etc.. And you can argue that everyone survived in the past and all our children are mollycoddled but not refurbishing was simply not an option if the school wanted to stay open.

So how long can it go on in the same old way? Not very long is the answer to that. As a longstanding institution it has weathered all sorts of storms, made difficult decisions and changed and evolved to meet the circumstances around it, often in the teeth of great opposition (various very eminent people predicted the end of CH when it moved to Horsham and no doubt the amalgamation with Hertford was greeted in the same way). It will continue to do what it has to do in order to survive; that will work for some and not for others.

I still have very mixed feelings about boarding. So does my son. I am sure that there are other parents who feel the same way. It would be absolutely extraordinary if at least some of the staff didn't also sometimes question it, particularly when faced with tired, unhappy children. Frankly, I'd rather they did - I'd rather there was a healthy scepticism in at least some of them. At least then they can understand how difficult the decisions are that some parents and pupils have to make.

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Re: Early Lent Half Term

Post by NEILL THE NOTORIOUS » Thu Feb 11, 2010 10:00 am

In reply to JR ----

Hermann Goering was a figure of fun, during the war -- particularly about his medals !

However some of them were genuine, as a 1st War Air Ace -- he took over from the Red Baron.

I am not a closet Nazi, and rumours about my Birthday Parties and Swastikas are libellous -- I have consulted Mr Mosely !

:oops: :oops: :oops:

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Re: Early Lent Half Term

Post by KenHo » Thu Feb 11, 2010 10:42 am

huggermugger wrote:As for the rest... I would infinitely prefer weekly boarding and I know my DS would absolutely jump for joy.
I share you view and would much prefer weekly boarding, in fact I would really like my son to attend as a day pupil. But here is the problem ......

I live 250 miles away and can't move to Sussex. If CH starts doing mainly weekly boarding then it will serve the population of Sussex and leafy Surrey. Surrey not being a place well known for its social deprivatiion or lack of good schools. Of course some children can say at weekends, but what will they do when their friends are away?

I also note that ealier in this thread someone expressed concern about making up the lost time due to the weeks swine flu closure. The reply was that CH also works on Saturdays so can make up the time. Not if it has weekely boarding it doesn't!

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Re: Early Lent Half Term

Post by wurzel » Thu Feb 11, 2010 11:20 am

cstegerlewis wrote:Ian, you have a bl**dy good memory!!!!
Hey I can remember the len cummings and tim slater were in Colb with me for exams and Len decided to call me clown. I remember there being some kind of partitioned off bit of dorm with windows and a bed inside - roughly where we had the civvies & best coat rooms in LHB.

Remember my second form sat timetable for 2X it was Maths (Mr wright prep block), Double PE (old gym Hailey), back to LHB for break then double History (new block). reckon with going to and from dining hall we walked a good number of miles every day

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Re: Early Lent Half Term

Post by wurzel » Thu Feb 11, 2010 11:27 am

KenHo wrote:
huggermugger wrote:As for the rest... I would infinitely prefer weekly boarding and I know my DS would absolutely jump for joy.

I also note that ealier in this thread someone expressed concern about making up the lost time due to the weeks swine flu closure. The reply was that CH also works on Saturdays so can make up the time. Not if it has weekely boarding it doesn't!
I agree - I would much preferred the longer holidays in return for working saturdays.

And in purely practical terms you will find when your DS hits 16 and wants to work in the holidays to earn some cash, being back before everyone else will give him the pick of the jobs and extra time to earn. Alternatively it allows you to go on hols out of peak weeks if you are lucky

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Re: Early Lent Half Term

Post by Richard Ruck » Thu Feb 11, 2010 2:03 pm

I'm wondering how exactly lost time can be made up on Saturdays. Surely the hours are filled with lessons which have already been timetabled?

Anyway, reading through this topic, I can understand the various misgivings some staff and parents may have about fully-boarding education but if, after due consideration, they truly considered that the disadvantages outweighed the advantages, then why do they not remove themselves or their offspring from Christ's Hospital? I can see that nobody can have a thorough understanding of the ups and downs of life at a large boarding school until they have experienced it for themselves, either as a pupil, member of staff or, more remotely, as a parent. However, CH always been at pains to advertise the fact that it offers places to those children who, for whatever reason would reap great benefits from a boarding environment.

Everyone concerned must surely buy into this ethos at the beginning of their involvement with Christ's Hospital. As things stand at the moment, if they cannot cope with this then there are many, many others who would dearly love to have the chance.

On the other hand......

From a financial perspective, there may indeed come a time when Christ's Hospital may find itself unable to carry on as it has done for the past 450-odd years. There were mutterings a few years back about the feasibility of admitting day-pupils, as other independent schools already do. Assuming that this could be done without too many expensive alterations to the school's infrastructure, how would people feel about this?

As day-pupils would presumably come from better-off local families and would be of financial benefit to the school, this would have a fundamental effect on the school's character, but may enable it to continue to offer a large number of highly-subsidised places to those in need.

Thoughts?
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Re: Early Lent Half Term

Post by huggermugger » Thu Feb 11, 2010 3:08 pm

Richard Ruck wrote:I can understand the various misgivings some staff and parents may have about fully-boarding education but if, after due consideration, they truly considered that the disadvantages outweighed the advantages, then why do they not remove themselves or their offspring from Christ's Hospital?
If that's a question directed at me, the answer is: I am still considering. And if only it were that easy.

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Re: Early Lent Half Term

Post by Richard Ruck » Thu Feb 11, 2010 3:18 pm

huggermugger wrote:If that's a question directed at me, the answer is: I am still considering. And if only it were that easy.
Directed at nobody in particular - just a general comment. And I'm sure it's anything but easy.....
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Re: Early Lent Half Term

Post by wurzel » Thu Feb 11, 2010 3:39 pm

one of the things i liked most about ch was the equality - being in the same uniform sleeping in the same circumstances etc meant that there was no snobbery. It wasn't until the UF that people started talking about clothes and stereos etc and by then friendship groups were already pretty set in stone.

By admitting day pupils you may find a whole new load of issues to deal with that CH has not really faced in the past. Along with the fact that despite the odd bit of animosity ch and the local schools have kept to themselves, local day pupils will I propose lead to far more friction (teenagers, hormones and perceived slights) than with a distance from the community.

Being honest about it - personally I don't feel that CH can compete head to head with cranleigh, farlington, arundell, epson, eton, ardingly unless it spends such soms of money that the ROI would take decades to achieve as all those schools have pumped in millions already. As I think I said elsewhere as in any business you have to look to your niche. The challenge is to make CH's niche pay it's way not to try and up sticks and look aim for another

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