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Michaela School - Opinions?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by Godmeister, Mar 23, 2016.

  1. Godmeister

    Godmeister Occasional commenter

    I know threads have been posted about this place before, but I was just wondering what people thought about some of the things you can read about the place.

    I regularly check https://hackingattheroots.wordpress.com/ which is written by their French teacher. He always talks about the kids being in silence, eyes front, not talking to each other, etc. I just don't like the sound of the place to be honest. It sounds like a military boot camp.

    Kids get demerits if they utter a word to each other, at lunchtimes they have to discuss agreed topics and sit in a seating plan, and it's all didactic teaching according to that blog.

    What do others think? Anyone have any direct experience in the school itself?
  2. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    They sound fantastic but as far as I can see they prevent any kids that may ve difficult from getting in and then get rid of any awkward ones who do manage to get in. So what is left is a compliant bunch of automatons. have a school like this by all means but don't hold it up as an example of how all schools can be when the other schools are having to cope with the dysfunctional families and the kids with SEN.
    JL48 and Owen134866 like this.
  3. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    It sounds like a nasty way to treat children.
    welshwales likes this.
  4. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Middlemarch likes this.
  5. stupot101

    stupot101 Established commenter

    Sounds pretty abnormal to me
    Deirds likes this.
  6. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    I have just looked at the link and read four blogs.

    All the same, really. Promotion of the school. I have no plans to read any more.

    The author seems like a brown-noser to me!
  7. Malaguena

    Malaguena New commenter

    I have met Mr Smith and he is an excellent teacher. However, I am also of the mind that kids are kids, they will chatter, they will try it on sometimes and I don't mind a bit of talk. I insist on silence when I am talking and during tests. I get nervous if they are all too quiet at other times!
    -myrtille- likes this.
  8. Godmeister

    Godmeister Occasional commenter

    This is my opinion about silence/talking too. A classroom doesn't need to be totally silent to be productive.
    Middlemarch likes this.
  9. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    I think they place great value in their methodology without realising that a different intake would give very different results.

    I couldn't work there. No freedom. Which is ironic since I'm supposedly shackled by the demands of my LA.
  10. JL48

    JL48 Star commenter

    Hmmm. Seems decidedly Stepford Children to me.
  11. -myrtille-

    -myrtille- Occasional commenter

    I think as usual it's a reaction that's gone too far.

    Some schools have an obsession with pupils doing group work, reducing teacher talk, etc. to a nonsensical extent. So Michaela has gone the opposite way - no group work, all teacher talk. In reality, both can be appropriate at different times. Personally I tend towards more teacher talk (broken up with lots of questioning to make sure pupils are actually paying attention) and use group work quite infrequently (though pair work a fair bit). So I do sympathise with the Michaela point of view on this, just think it's gone too far.

    Most pupils (and some schools/teachers) don't have high enough expectations of behaviour. Most pupils should be perfectly capable of lining up in silence for a lesson, and being silent when the teacher or another pupil is talking, during the register, or when doing a test. Some teachers don't enforce this because it isn't always easy. But Michaela has gone to the extreme of insisting on the silence almost all the time, rather than at specific key points.

    I can understand their aims, and don't think demanding these standards means they hate children or anything. I just think they go a bit too far and like other posters, would find it creepy if pupils walked around the corridors in silence.
    Godmeister likes this.
  12. Skeptical_John

    Skeptical_John New commenter

    I think as a student I would've preferred it to my school which had awful behavior and little to zero aspiration. As a teacher, well the dozen or so bloggers seem to love their job there...

    If they high exclusion rates then they should get a penalty for that (I think it's one of the changes in the whitepaper?)
  13. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Indeed - that great myth peddled by this government to justify their privatisation of education. Scandalous.
  14. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    Surely there is some middle ground?You can have aspiration and good behaviour without treating kids like robots. In fact, I would say giving kids a bit of respect and allowing some individuality is key to creating good behaviour.
    welshwales and Middlemarch like this.
  15. slingshotsally

    slingshotsally Star commenter

    After reading the blogs.

    I had to get my AS Neill book out as an antidote.

    JL48 and Flere-Imsaho like this.
  16. abacus1982

    abacus1982 Established commenter

    Lining up straight and quietly and being quiet when the teacher is talking is great and absolutely the right thing. Going on a trip in quiet, straight lines, not talking and not engaging with each other is, in my opinion, not. I'd be bored as a teacher if it were all me standing there and talking and I'd have been bored as a child.
    Godmeister likes this.

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