SMS received this email a few days ago and thought it demonstrated why upper schools are excellent within the 3-tier system too – constructive and positive comments are welcomed – click on the comment link below the story and follow the instructions – your email will be invisible to everyone and you can choose a pseudonym if you wish.
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I have just read your site and its blogs and wonder exactly how altruistic you really are? Should we not be fighting to keep the three tier system alive – not just the middle schools? Your site causes the very division you aim to correct. Not only is there open setting of middle school professionals against colleagues in lower and upper schools but also you allow various myths about upper schools to perpetuate. We are not huge soulless places! Many students and parents also see Upper schools as advantageous, reinvigorating pupils and giving them a fresh start. The children are not all dating (horror!) and snogging/ truanting/ dossing! Students increasingly come to us from middle school with these issues (a problem often put on the back burner during transition!) – it’s 21st century life and I feel like some are almost hankering after ye olden dayes. There is a huge diet of unusual A Levels and vocational subjects on offer at Upper Schools, in contrast to many 11 – 18 schools.
In seeking to preserve the middle schools , you are doing down the other ends of the three tier system – this is crazy! Focus , too, on the fact that several upper schools are rated outstanding for their pastoral care and guidance and are proper focuses of the academic work in the upper ends of education. There are people who want to save upper schools, too!!! yes, there is work to be done on effective liaison between schools (despite what heads may tell you…) and recruitment of specialist teachers for year 8 and 7 in some middle schools – but, on the whole, standards are rising in the upper and middle schools – and have always been high in lower schools. Stop bleating on about the Harpur Trust. They’re not going away – and the more you make us appear to be in a mess, the more affluent, middle class parents will compromise Bedford’s efforts by putting their children in BMS, BHS etc etc.
A disgruntled upper school teacher