Artnextdoor's Blog

My place to be creative

State versus Private

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With our last child is coming up to the age where we need to decide on which senior school he goes to; to that end we have we have started the process of school visits.  Last night it was a trip to King Edward’s School in Birmingham.  A school of that name has been established since 1552; it was created during the reign of Edward VI, hence the name.  Formerly situated in New Street, in fact during the 1980/90’s my husband worked in the building that replaced the school.  The current building is beautiful on the inside unfortunately I am not a fan of 1930’s architecture, therefore the outside I find not to my taste, but this is a school which is a living entity not just a building.

The Chief Master, John Claughton, himself an old boy, spoke eloquently on why and how our sons should attend his school.  The passion, so sadly missing from head teachers and teachers of state schools, was very much in evidence both from the chief master, the other teaching staff, parents and those boys who were our guides for the evening.

Our child attempted archery, succeeding in hitting a target on the second try.  He participated in some experiments in the very well equipped science rooms.  He was very much enamoured with the whole place.

The school has adopted whole heartedly the IB as of September this year which is a step forward as it offers a broader educational experience, it covers all the major areas plus community type service, creativity skills etc rather than the A level route of specific narrow subject learning.  This is probably a very simplified description of the IB and may be wrong but having had our daughter follow the programme she grew far more after having many experiences on the IB that would not have been relevant or feasible had she done A-levels.  We thoroughly endorse the IB even though it is a lot of very hard work; this our daughter undertook happily even though her day started at 6.30, with her return from college some 12 hours later followed by several hours homework.  She was glad she left her A-level only school to attend Warwickshire College IB.

Next is a trip to the state grammar school to see if they will offer the same standard of education.

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