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Bolingbroke Academy

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judiblackstone
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Bolingbroke Academy

Postby judiblackstone » Thu Jan 18, 2018 1:29 pm

Does anybody have children/grandchildren/friends at Bolingbroke? My grandson is in his first year and is completely demoralised by the number of detentions he is getting. He has asked to leave and is sometimes in tears of desperation. He doesn't know what some of them are for and when he asks he is either given another one or a longer one. I have heard that this is happening a lot for almost anything and would be interested to hear if anyone else has the same experience. I have also posted this on another local website and had several replies saying that their children are also suffering - because that is the word for what is happening. If enough people are willing to speak out we may be able to do something about this, or at least find out what is happening.
SW12Pops
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Re: Bolingbroke Academy

Postby SW12Pops » Thu Jan 18, 2018 1:36 pm

I don't have children there but have heard quite a bit about the discipline.

They operate a zero tolerance approach so even the smallest transgression is jumped upon like a ton of bricks. I actually think in the long run you may find your grandson feels that this creates an environment of stability and calm BUT if it's his first year I can imagine this zero tolerance approach will be a big shock.

If I can gently offer a word of advice, I would suggest as opposed to agreeing with him (unless you do want him to leave and go somewhere more relaxed) I would suggest encouraging him to see this as part of growing up. However I also know that for some parents/grandparents they feel that this is too much. I'm not trying to take sides just to say that if you want him to stay he'll have to adapt as the school won't.

I found this on the web:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-dorset-40367326

similar approach!

good luck!
judiblackstone
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Re: Bolingbroke Academy

Postby judiblackstone » Thu Jan 18, 2018 2:00 pm

Thank you for this. I totally agree with the need for discipline, especially at school. The problem here is that the reason why children get a detention is very often not explained and a child is given no chance to 'defend' himself. Eg - Jake got a long detention for 'making a noise at the back of the class'. The boy who in fact was the culprit owned up, backed up by others but he did not get the detention Jake still did. I heard this from an unbiased source. Jake has a huge sense of justice and this is hard for him to take. We will not take him away, of course, but I think the school needs to make sure that these detentions have the appropriate effect. I would like to think that this form of discipline creates stability & calm but I'm afraid it has the opposite effect at the moment. Several of the children feel that they are walking on eggshells, feel very nervous, don't like to ask questions and that they are not respected in any way and that the number of detentions is way out of order. One girl had a detention for not zipping up her coat when she left the cloakroom. Yes, she'll remember to do that in future but was that really worth a black mark and an hours detention? Many thanks for your advice anyway, it is kind of you to reply.
SW12Pops
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Re: Bolingbroke Academy

Postby SW12Pops » Thu Jan 18, 2018 2:05 pm

One girl had a detention for not zipping up her coat when she left the cloakroom. Yes, she'll remember to do that in future but was that really worth a black mark and an hours detention?
Although I know that this may seem harsh the school are trying to create an atmosphere where there is absolute authority for the teachers/establishment. Whilst I agree it may sound harsh this is not dissimilar to the approach taken in some local independent schools and I really do think there is a trade off between exam grades (high when discipline high) and a relaxed atmosphere (low when atmosphere relaxed and discipline low).

I think you'll be praising the school to the high heavens in a few years when GCSE results come out.

As I say, not affiliated to the school in any way.

Good luck again!

:-)
judiblackstone
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Re: Bolingbroke Academy

Postby judiblackstone » Thu Jan 18, 2018 2:14 pm

Thank you so much - I hope you're right. I've just read the article and it mentions 'disruptive pupils', which is not what is happening at Bolingbroke. However, I very much appreciate your input and advice which I shall pass on to his mother.
windmill26
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Re: Bolingbroke Academy

Postby windmill26 » Thu Jan 18, 2018 2:53 pm

If you feel that the child is unhappy in such strict environment I think you should move him . My child is gentle and slightly immature for his age and a school so strict would just demoralise him.If you are thinking of moving him do not apply for a place at Ashcroft as it has the same approach on detentions etc...
There in no perfect school but you can find some that are a better fit for each individual child.
judiblackstone
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Re: Bolingbroke Academy

Postby judiblackstone » Thu Jan 18, 2018 2:59 pm

Thank you for your reply. We will just have to see how we go and whether he can adapt. I know all about Ashcroft as my elder grandson went there but at least when he got detentions he knew what they were for - and usually deserved!
onthecommon
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Re: Bolingbroke Academy

Postby onthecommon » Thu Jan 18, 2018 6:13 pm

Judi,

We have 3 children at the Bolingbroke with my youngest in Year 7 and the oldest thriving in the 6th form. All are very happy and whilst between them they have picked up a handful of detentions it is not something that affects them or their friends.
Whilst the discipline may appear tough at first it is straightforward and rules are generally consistently applied.
My own children see the rules as fair and do not feel they are in fear of breaking them - in fact they actually like the fact they know where they stand and what is and is not acceptable. All really like some of their teachers and don’t like some - often disagreeing with each other.
The advice from the children is to always turn up on time with everything you need for the day, homework completed as best you can and then do not disrupt classes or mess about too much. They say you get warnings and it is only the persistent offenders who get detention.

As a parent, on the occasion the children have received detentions I have always supported the school and it is fair to say that all were deserved.

The transition from primary can be tough but at secondary school the Year 7 s do need to adapt and what may have been acceptable at Primary will no longer be acceptable.

Send me a Private Message if you would like to discuss further.
SouthLondonDaddy
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Re: Bolingbroke Academy

Postby SouthLondonDaddy » Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:55 am

Well, just like with uniform codes, there is a clear difference between rules meant to ensure a minimum of decorum, and capricious, unsubstantiated rules, created by repressed control freaks, and which do not serve any clear purpose, other than instilling fear and blind obedience.
Just like with uniforms, the huge variability in policies from school to school suggests the matter is not as clear-cut as some would like to believe.

Detention for not zipping up a coat, if true, falls in the latter category. By the way, this ‘offence’ does not seem mentioned in their behaviour policy http://arkbolingbrokeacademy.org/sites/ ... 017-18.pdf . This reminds me of those cases of teachers keeping children under the rain to inspect that their trousers were the correct shade of grey. Or of that school where students were forced to walk with their hands behind their back (links to news stories for both are easy to find).

These type of rules can, IMHO, be counterproductive - they certainly would have been with me! – because the institution loses credibility.
Phoenix
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Re: Bolingbroke Academy

Postby Phoenix » Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:50 am

My daughter is in Year 7 at Bolingbroke and absolutely loves it. She’s had one detention for forgetting her homework. She’s had a couple of negative house points and she’s had hundreds of positive house points. Some of her friends get a couple of detentions a week but they also get positive house points which can lead to rewards at the end of term. Some haven’t had any detentions at all. They all know why they get the positives and negatives and they normally get a verbal warning then a negative house point (ie warnings) before they get a detention.
In my opinion my daughter wouldn’t be happier at any other school. She thinks it’s brilliant and feels so lucky that a group of local parents had the brain wave and determination to set it up in our neighbourhood.
Sloaney Pony
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Re: Bolingbroke Academy

Postby Sloaney Pony » Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:53 am

Don’t tolerate this.

Sounds like a Victorian workhouse-type place. We have moved on 125 years since then.

I have heard of new-fangled ideas, but this is out of the spectrum.

I would complain to the school and ask for a transfer to another school. Copy in councillors, MPs, OFSTED, local authority.

Sloaney
Phoenix
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Re: Bolingbroke Academy

Postby Phoenix » Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:00 am

‘Victorian workhouse-type place’ :lol: :lol:

My daughter is gobsmacked and laughing at the same time about Bolingbroke being referred to like this.... but it’s 08:10am so I have the cane out and I’m threatening to use it if she doesn’t leave the house to get to school on time.
LastMumStanding
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Re: Bolingbroke Academy

Postby LastMumStanding » Mon Jan 22, 2018 9:46 am

This is a serious issue - a child who is suffering at school and feeling that he/she is being treated unfairly cannot and will not learn effectively and reach their potential. It is not to be dismissed or trivialised - if the approach works for other children - good for them, it doesn’t mean that it can’t be hugely damaging for others.

Nothing can be gained from a discipline approach in which the child does not know what they are being disciplined for - how can they adapt their behaviour. Nor should any discipline approach result in children not feeling that they can stand up for themselves in the face of disruptive or worse influences around them - every child must be given the chance to explain what happened from their perspective (in a respectful and considerate manner).

I would not accept this situation for one minute - go and talk to the head of year, deputy head or headteacher. And if you don’t get the response you need - move him - life is too short and childhood too precious to stay somewhere you are unhappy. Parents who do not stand by their children and advocate for them - but leave them to conclude that the world is unfair and cannot be influenced and adults won’t protect them - too often find themselves with children with more severe behavioural and/or mental health issues later on.
schoolgatesmum
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Re: Bolingbroke Academy

Postby schoolgatesmum » Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:26 am

I also have children at Bolingbroke Academy and it is fair to say they have had their fair share of detentions between them. If a child doesn’t know why they have received a detention it is very easy to find out. The school keeps a log of every single negative and positive House point and what that point is for. I very much doubt that someone had a detention for “not zipping up their coat”. It would have been the culmination of being asked to do something, then refusing to do it and then being defiant and possibly rude - of course the child may see it differently but that is teenagers for you (from my own experience teenagers have a very limited idea of truth!). What the school doesn’t tolerate is rudeness, defiance and disruption and I don’t see a problem with that. The school is always happy to have conversations and meetings to talk about a child’s behaviour and will very often initiate that meeting if the behaviour of a child is not improving. I’m pretty sure that if you heard the way some children speak to teachers you would be pretty shocked and expect them to be reprimanded - but they are not going to tell you they were rude are they? They’ll just tell you it was for “dropping a pen”. There are plenty of children who don’t get detention. The rules are very clear and are generally followed consistently. If a child feels that something is unfair they have every right to question it (but in a mature way). My children have explained things before and have sometimes had a detention taken away other times not. And I’m sure they have got away with things without getting seen as well! Sometimes my children complain that “it’s not fair” but generally they know what their detentions are for and accept them. I support the school because as soon as you go down the line of blaming the school for your child's behaviour they will blame the school themselves and will never take ownership of their behaviour. If you are worried as a parent/grandparent contact the tutor and ask for a meeting with your child there so that you can come up with some ways of helping your child behave.
SouthLondonDaddy
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Re: Bolingbroke Academy

Postby SouthLondonDaddy » Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:52 am

schoolgatesmum wrote: It would have been the culmination of being asked to do something, then refusing to do it and then being defiant and possibly rude - of course the child may see it differently but that is teenagers for you (from my own experience teenagers have a very limited idea of truth!).
Maybe some more colour on the incident is needed before jumping to conclusions? That's why I said "if true" in my comment.

There are lots of capricious repressed control freaks among teachers and headmasters (e.g. those of my comment on some uniform rules), but also lots of unruly teenagers that would behave exactly like in the comment quoted above.