Going nuts at CH

Anything that doesn't fit anywhere else, but that's still CH related.

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time please
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Re: Going nuts at CH

Post by time please »

It's a balance act! The BBC once stood up for reporting what was going on in the world no more and no less. ( this explains why for those of us who have spent years abroad the World Service was so vitally important ) The BBC has now developed it's own political bias which leans to the left. The Mail is rubbish but it does echo in someway the voice of very many people. Don't read the articles, headlines and comments only. I bet that the majority of politicians in England read it to try a get a sense of feeling. There are no political leaders in England at the moment. Boris with his Rorkes Drift mentality and coining phrases such as " Moonshot, Circuit Breaker " has completely lost the plot. The country is in tatters and presumably at the end of the year it will get worse.
rockfreak
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Re: Going nuts at CH

Post by rockfreak »

I've come across some further reading on this matter, from right inside the system itself. When he resigned as headmaster of Eton in 2015 Tony Little made an interesting valedictory speech. He said with some candour that the type of pupil he was seeing coming into the school had changed in his time teaching. He recalled that years ago many more pupils wanted to go into the civil service or into doctoring, lawyering or at least into some profession where they thought they might make a difference. He said that even if they wanted to become businessmen the school still tried to instill in them the idea that they had some civic responsibility somewhere along the line.
He said that in more recent times these ideals seemed to have disappeared and he complained that there had been a growth in parents wanting to live their lives through their children and pushing them on. This was also backed up by Clarissa Farr, head of St Pauls private girls schools, who complained that many parents showed frenzied anxiety about success, leaving their children unable to cope with failure. Little quite openly thinks that these pupils are often "Thatcher's children" who have a sense that there's a world out there to grab.
Of course these days you need a degree just to get onto the lowest rung of a profession. But even Barnaby Lenon, ex-head of the Independent Schools Council, questions whether all these university degrees are of use when graduates may come out to a crowded jobs marketplace and possible disillusion. No wonder young people are pressured and stressed.
Foureyes
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Re: Going nuts at CH

Post by Foureyes »

"...he complained that there had been a growth in parents wanting to live their lives through their children and pushing them on."

I am not criticizing rockfreak, but is that new? I think that there have always been parents who seek to ensure that their children progress in life. Maybe, not all - but a fair proportion. Sometimes their advice is positive, sometimes negative.

In my case my great-grandfather was a miner in the Forest of Dean, and my grandfather was a miner at the Easington colliery in County Durham and lived in Wheatley Hill, an archetypal mining village (at 9, Moor Street, and complete with earth privy, if anyone wants to check it out.) Grandad's firm advice to all his male children was that they would never go down the pits. Heeding that, the boys did well, one running a large hotel in Hastings, the other becoming a flight-lieutenant in the RAF and then a director of a large grocery chain in the North. The girls all became nurses and did very well in that profession before making what, in those days, were termed 'good marriages.'

On a less personal note, I would add that when I joined the Army in the 1960s there were many young officers who had been bred from birth to follow in their father's footsteps - often not just into the Army, but also into the same regiment/corps. A few rebelled, but not many, and some served for the minimum period and then left, but most made a full career of it. The navy was worse, since up to the mid-60s entry to Dartmouth was at age 12-13, and how many boys of that age and in that era could resist a determined father? In both instances the parents had a baleful influence and, in many cases, caused a lot of unhappiness.

I don't deny that many modern parents seek to drive their children ever upwards - I just do not think that it is a modern phenomenon.

David :shock:
William
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Re: Going nuts at CH

Post by William »

Foureyes wrote
The navy was worse, since up to the mid-60s entry to Dartmouth was at age 12-13, ...
Surely this is not entirely correct. I certainly remember boys who went to the RN College at Dartmouth throughout the 1950s, who left CH at the usual leaving age (eg Robert Griffiths of Col B who was a button grecian and often contributed to this Forum).
Foureyes
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Re: Going nuts at CH

Post by Foureyes »

"Surely this is not entirely correct. I certainly remember boys who went to the RN College at Dartmouth throughout the 1950s, who left CH at the usual leaving age (eg Robert Griffiths of Col B who was a button grecian and often contributed to this Forum)."

Perhaps I was a few years out. Cadets for the 'executive branch' originally joined the Royal Naval College, Osborne at the age of 13 and spent two years there before moving to Dartmouth, and spent four years there. RNC Osborne closed in 1923, and the entry age was raised to 16 in 1948, and to 17 and 6 months in 1955. Until 1941, Dartmouth was in effect a boarding school, where parents had to pay fees for tuition and board. This, incidentally, is why so few Old Blues were in the executive branch before WW2, since their parents could not afford the fees at Dartmouth and, in any case, the boy had to leave C.H. at 12-13. Entry to the RN for other branches - engineers, pay, supply, secretariat, etc - was by different channels and with higher entry ages.

Anyway, this is a side issue and not really relevant to the main discussion on parental influence.

David :shock:
loringa
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Re: Going nuts at CH

Post by loringa »

All decent parents wants what's best for their kids. I am sure that was as true in the past as it is now. I think that the problems arise when said parent tries to live his or her life vicariously through the child. There is quite a fine line between trying to ensure that children don't make the same mistakes as their parents and trying to live their lives for them. It's a balancing act which will be recognisable to everyone on this forum who is a parent. We make certain decisions early on in a child's life that will have long-term consequences for them. One of these is where we decide to send them to school and it is just as much a decision to educate them in the state sector as it is to choose to educate them privately, particularly if one can afford the latter and chooses the former for political (or ethical - you choose) reasons. And these decisions don't come without a cost. My wife and I have chosen to spend a significant proportion of our income on educating our dd; the cost to her is that she is off to school at 7.30 am and doesn't get home again until 7.30 pm. One of her friends at the local sixth form has about 3 periods a day. On the plus side; she obtained outstanding GCSEs and is in with a fair chance of doing well enough in the sixth form to get in to veterinary college which, by the way, was entirely her choice of career.

As for ways of joining the Royal Navy, this excerpt from Hansard provides the background to Foureyes' post: https://api.parliament.uk/historic-hans ... new-scheme

My father joined as a 13-year old cadet on, I believe a scholarship, having gone there from Grammar School (Bolton School then a State School). I don't think there was any parental pressure and I never thought my Grandfather was a massive fan of his children and grandchildren joining the Armed Forces. For myself, the decision to join the Royal Navy was mine but my father was pleased and there is no doubt that he pressurised me to become an engineer and thereby obtain a degree. The chances of my own daughter joining are zero; I thought she might consider the Royal Army Veterinary Corps but that is not be. So, we try and help our children with the choices they make but we often get it wrong. As Philip Larkin wrote ...
sejintenej
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Re: Going nuts at CH

Post by sejintenej »

rockfreak wrote: Sat Oct 10, 2020 10:03 pm
Of course these days you need a degree just to get onto the lowest rung of a profession. But even Barnaby Lenon, ex-head of the Independent Schools Council, questions whether all these university degrees are of use when graduates may come out to a crowded jobs marketplace and possible disillusion. No wonder young people are pressured and stressed.
I HAD an aversion to employing people waith degrees because they didn't try to understand the "nuts and bolts" of the profession - I preferred those who started by making the tea because over time they saw all the possible problems and how to (how not to) tackle them. it got so bad that one graduate foisted on us by HO was a bad problem"I've got a degree so you mustn't tell me what to do"; he got sacked for a very serious refusal to obey orders-.

I started this with the word "had"; school standards have slipped so far that the exams are of little use. A grand daughter spent five evenings with some French kids and felt she learned more French in that time than in the years up to GCSE which she passed just weeks before. She went on to work outside Paris!
The amount of bad Covid-19 jokes being circulated is starting to reach alarming figures
Some scientists suspect that it might be a pundemic.
loringa
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Re: Going nuts at CH

Post by loringa »

sejintenej wrote: Mon Oct 12, 2020 8:56 am I started this with the word "had"; school standards have slipped so far that the exams are of little use. A grand daughter spent five evenings with some French kids and felt she learned more French in that time than in the years up to GCSE which she passed just weeks before. She went on to work outside Paris!
I am not at all sure that this idea that school standards have slipped is entirely true. Maybe they have since you (David) were at school but I am not sure this is the case since I was. The depth and breadth of my dd's knowledge in the subjects she studied at GCSE does not seem to be fundamentally different from my own, and is probably better in some areas. There has, for example, been a thread on this forum about the 'divinity' taught at Christ's Hospital. We had a chat with John Robson once a week, mostly about his experiences during National Service as the Army's least-likely ever Sergeant (his own words). My daughter took a full GCSE with really quite an in-depth look at World religions including Islam which is rather useful at this current time I think. Her other subjects seemed to be at least at the level of my own though there has been rather more history since I left school in 1980!

When I was undertaking teacher training a few years' ago, I took an IGCSE in maths; I got almost exactly the same marks (average 95% in 2 papers) as I got at O Level some 37 years previously. They certainly award more of the higher grades nowadays but I am not sure that the underlying level of knowledge is any worse. As for the French language, the appalling accents of most of those from the older generations makes me feel that standards have at least been maintained, possibly improved. I would agree that there are aspects of grammar that are no longer taught, both in English and Modern Foreign Languages, and few students take Latin these days, but I suspect that there has been a commensurate increase in their knowledge and understanding elsewhere. They certainly work hard enough to obtain it.

A final point, everyday really is a school day. I am always learning new stuff with age comes knowledge, if not actually wisdom. I watched a lot of quiz shows over lockdown and wondered why the contestants knew s little; that was until I thought back to what I would have known at their age! I wonder if your exasperation at these youngsters is simply down to what you know now and in reality whether your knowledge and understanding would have been so much greater at their stage of life.
sejintenej
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Re: Going nuts at CH

Post by sejintenej »

Andrew. I do appreciate your thoughts on current education. I am minded of a gentleman who was brought up in France, spoke French fluently (I went to France with him and could listen to him talking to the locals there) and who taught agents at SOE. I have mentioned his contempt for the ability of my CH French teacher (name forgotten thank goodness) but he read my French O level GCE paper and opined that although he could have done it he would have found it very difficult. I would ask you to re-read my granddaughter's B in GCSE French. All schools are different; I was very glad to see that CH has native speakers involved in teaching at least some languages - in my day the concept was not even thought of - hence our atrocious accents!
Regarding that comment about accent, as in the UK, I think most countries suffer from regional accents. I don't know if MidA ever heard Gaucho - if he did then I doubt if he could understand half of it unless he knows German.. I used to have all sorts of fun in Sao Paulo with my boss over local accents! because I (deliberately) used a different one. France has a mass of local accents - I find that from the Midi easiest to understand, Paris OK but difficult and it took me two years to understand my nieghbour! Spain the same - mine is closer to western South America than Madrid,

(An aside on that point; I learned two languages by imitation "on the streets" and a third with a native teacher who strongly enforced her pronunciation. I think I got the regional pronunciation about right in three languages. I was pleased that a visiting Dr Doolittle type named the town I from in his own country - the local knew better!

In primary school we had to know the times table up to twelve by the time we were seven (but six with Miss Welsh!), reading and copperplate writing with ink pens, long multiplication and division, tricks for mental arithmetic, some religion, basic UK geography, local botany!, all that before I had prepared a two page historical essay about Grace Darling for my CH exam when I was 8 1/2. My children were far behind though one now has five degrees.
OK so now we have computers but for a while the shop assistants I dealt with simply could not add two prices together and as for working out the change - spatial navigation would be easier. I had an argument with the head of fish sales at a Waitrose supermarket; I had commented that his salmon at £25 a kilo was expensive (then). He was totally incapable of understanding that the marked price of £2.50 per hundred grams is £25 a kilo. Well, they do say that 20% of the population is dyslexic.

I also understand your comment about TV quiz shows. in some areas (which have never interested me) I would fail miserably but as to the general knowledge I am not sure I agree with your view. It is very much a question of just remembering the odd things you hear which sometimes are semi or historical. (I admit that with age my memory is already failing badly) I did enjoy Mastermind. Occasionally even I might have done well on the specialist subject but I could handle the general knowledge. If I had the nerve I would have chosen "The Duchess", also known as Hertzogin Cecilie because as a kid I used to dive on her.

We are in a highly competitive world where knowledge is paramount. Some cultures (I know of the Chinese) really push their kids and just look at the results. Nothing is "good enough" and Britain MUST compete or we will fail just as Argentine (once number 9 in the world) did To do that the schools, state and private (public) must do far far better
The amount of bad Covid-19 jokes being circulated is starting to reach alarming figures
Some scientists suspect that it might be a pundemic.
William
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Re: Going nuts at CH

Post by William »

Although there has been criticism of the teaching of French at CH in the 40s and 50s (OK, Frank Macracken had a terrible accent and was a both a terrible teacher and a worse man) my teachers, Messrs Reggie Dean and JE Massen, who both taught all modern language grecians, and Arthur Rider were excellent. (I was not a ML specialist, never going beyond O level.) In particular AR was superb for lower forms and had an unusual teaching method. Every lesson started with about 3 or 4 min of chanting the strange French sounds that do not exist in English (especially the nasal vowels). Sometimes this was interspersed with the fun-singing of appropriate songs to reinforce these sounds. But more importantly he insisted on far more spoken French in the class than was then usual. There were two results. Progress initially was a bit slower than with other teachers. However his pupils ended up far more fluent than those taught elsewhere. Today’s most modern techniques of foreign language teaching use AR’s approach. All this was much aided by his strict discipline and the fear he could engender in lower forms, without being vicious or unjust. He never hesitated to punish with a ‘bring-up,’ or detention of the whole class, even though it was a big inconvenience for him. So AR was far in advance of his teaching peers. I interacted later with France and many French speakers and realised my extreme luck in having experienced AR’s most successful teaching methods.
Last edited by William on Thu Oct 15, 2020 3:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
sejintenej
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Re: Going nuts at CH

Post by sejintenej »

William wrote: Thu Oct 15, 2020 7:03 am But more importantly he insisted on far more spoken French in the class than was then usual. There were two results. Progress initially was a bit slower than with other teachers. However his pupils ended up far more fluent than those taught elsewhere. Today’s most modern techniques of foreign language teaching use AR’s approach. I interacted later with France and many French speakers and realised my extreme luck in having experienced AR’s most successful teaching methods.
I went through teaching like that for Portuguese - I don't know if my teacher even spoke English! The first lesson was her pointing at things and pictures and naming them and making me repeat to get the accent - for 45 minutes! After a coffee she would point and I had to have remembered that close to 50 nouns. In the 40 to 45 lesson days I didn't write anything but at the end of it I had to live and take an active part in business meetings in Rio de Janeiro. The only release was a half hour over a beer with my boss when we spoke English! It took a long time but I ended up seconded to work in the lawyers' offices of a couple of customers - and I am still nervous about languages thanks to CH
Apart from the old fashioned CH element I would also recommend that teaching method though it was t o u g h
The amount of bad Covid-19 jokes being circulated is starting to reach alarming figures
Some scientists suspect that it might be a pundemic.
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