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Teddington School(15 Posts)
Anyone know anything about apparent current bullying and behaviour issues at Teddington School? About to submit secondary school application form. Many many thanks in advance.
Hi, my daughter is in Year 11 at Teddington and has not been effected by bullying at all - I have driven her demented over the years by checking she isn't being bullied every time I read an article about bullying or she looks a bit miserable. She insists that not only has she never been bullied but she has never heard of anyone in her year being bullied. However in a school with 240 kids in each year there are almost bound to be some problems. A friend's daughter in a different year had a problem girl in her class who went round telling all the girls they were fat in year 8 but they told her to get lost after a while. So I think I can say that in my experience bullying is not a major problem at Teddington and I think the students have a pretty feisty attitude to bullies on the whole and the school would act if it was told. As to behaviour issues I know that there has been a recent issue with the boys around years 8-9 flipping water bottles which has now been banned (you can look this up on You Tube!) I suspect there is some disruptive behaviour in lessons. Some of the children do seem to act up in Year 7 to try to get attention and gain new followers and there was a problem with one boy in my daughter's class in year 7 who was eventually moved on to another school as he seemed impervious to punishment. My daughter says the layout of the school with the open design where people can see what's going on means there used to be quite a lot of jolly japes such as everyone suddenly starting to clap or make the Mockingjay sign from the Hunger Games with accompanying raised arms and whistle. This has led to various bans on looking over the edge of balconies etc. but she can't think of anything else. Overall I am not aware that it's very different from what you would get in any mixed school but maybe it's worse than some? I am probably a bit irresponsible and tend to find it rather amusing when I am told about things like the clapping and to think that it's good they are having fun, but it must be annoying for the teachers.
Wow thank you for your very detailed response, much appreciated.
I know Teddington used to have a reputation for this, but none of the children I know currently there seem to think the school has a problem (which doesn't mean it never happens, of course).
I think one thing I would be aware of is that most of the children going to Teddington will come from Collis, SMSP or St Johns and if your child is coming from another school without knowing anyone it may be a bit more daunting if they are shy. Same applies to any secondary I think. My friend's son went to Grey Court because they moved to Twickenham whilst he was at primary and he couldn't get in to Teddington. He didnt know anyone and it rook him a long time to find his feet as lots of other children knew one another and he lived a long way from the school so he felt an outsider. I would definitely say stick with your child's primary school friends if you are debating between two schools which seem to be at a similar standard. Dont worry about a 2% difference in GCSE results or something equally ephemeral.
The site is nice and I am sure the students are great. Have to say, however, that I have suspicions about rapid staff turnover and a rather intolerant attitude towards badly behaved pupils. All schools have some. Teddington seems ridiculously extreme with its way of dealing with them.
I don't think the staff turnover is particularly rapid for secondary schools in this area where young staff often move on quickly because of accommodation being so expensive. Quite a few older teachers have also retired in last few years, possibly encouraged along because they didn't want to start teaching A-level. Teddington parents and students do complain quite a lot if they think teachers aren't up to scratch - a new science teacher was ejected after a term or so last year because there were a lot of complaints.
I am quite intrigued by your comment about badly behaved pupils and an extreme way of dealing with them. I came across this a few years ago when there was an exceptionally badly behaved boy in my daughter's year 7 class who had also been in her primary school class. The school didn't really know what to do with him as he was totally uninterested in feeling chastened by any form of detention/suspension.
I worked there a couple of years ago and there was a high staff turnover, and behaviour was pretty bad in some classes ( the open plan meant that you could hear the noise from nearby classes that were the rowdiest), compared to other nearby schools. However, there has been a new head since then, and any school ethos is dependent on an effective Head, so may have changed, although this one is spread thinly because of the obligations to Twickenham Academy
Well basically, although young and retiring staff might explain the turnover, only a naive person would assume that's the whole story. Staff do come and go rapidly and the students must feel frustrated and some of the less mature ones will act up. Then a new head comes in, which, in teaching circles, is synonymous with kicking out older and more expensive but good staff. Then more leave. The new regimes tend to obsess I've really image and uniform and little things whilst not attending to the big issues such as staff and student conditions, retention, and morale. Complaining parents is not actually necessarily a thing to boast of. I cannot go int details, but, like Hampton adacemy, I think this is a troubled school which is failing a nice area of SW London. I'd look at other schools.
"troubled school which is failing a nice area of SW London". Wow, I must live on another planet, not in Teddington. Or perhaps you are referring to a different school, not Teddington School? Do you have anything more substantial to back up your statement?
I'm really concerned, you see, as my child is due to start secondary school in a couple of years and currently Teddington school seems a great option for us.
My dd is going to Teddington next year. Please do tell usmore, SmileyHamptonTeacher
My dd has been at Teddington since 2012 and now in Year 11. I am not sure what Smiley Hampton Teacher's connection with the school is but I assume she or he must have taught there at some point? I think the school has had ups and downs since 2012 but it has had a lot to cope with including virtually forced academisation, a well respected head having to retire due to ill health, a gap of a year til a new head started, having to open a 6th form, complete overhaul of GCSEs and A-levels, being pressurised into taking over Hampton and Twickenham Academies and the financial squeeze that all schools in the state system are facing. There has been some staff turnover as I said before but I know several of the longstanding staff who stepped down and none of them did so because of the way the school was managed, although some did so due to the overall pressure of the job and all the changes. I don't have any experience of other secondary schools so I can't say whether or not this is normal but I can't imagine that Teddington is unique amongst other local state secondaries in facing these issues. The ongoing funding crisis is not going to help - see letter that I posted on the main thread and today's National Audit Office report. Anyone sending a child to any local secondary school from now on needs to be aware that all schools are struggling financially and this may mean larger classes etc. Despite all this my daughter and all her friends seem very happy there. The parents round here do grumble a bit about certain situations, by far the most grumbling having been about the setting up of the new MAT, and it this does at least mean that situations usually get addressed. Over the 4.5 years I don't know of a single student in my daughter's year that has been removed from Teddington and sent to another school, but there are several in her year who have arrived from Waldegrave and other local schools where they were not happy.
That's interesting and reassuring to hear, LProsser, thank you.
I agree that TS is feeling the strain a lot, and I also agree that it HA sbeen forced to join up with the well-documented failing Hampton Academy, rebranded now as Hampton High. It's a case of too much change too quickly. Parents often only see the outside version of school events, not what is really going on with staff placed under more and more ridiculous pressures. Some of the teaching there is very good, but a lot is rushed and some of the feedback and instruction the kids get is plain wrong. I cannot add detail without upsetting subject teachers. Maybe the new Head should worry less about uniform and more about retaining and training his staff. I feel that the results should be much higher for this area, and, oddly, they are not. It seems to be a school undergoing painful changes where there isn't a very coherent management. It is on a good site and I know when I worked there that some kids were very able, but, frankly, a lot seem worryingly demotivated and amibovvered. But everyone has their own view.
Also...No, Teddington is certainly not aloneness in its struggles...plenty of local schools are facing huge funding cuts an slow staff morale. BUt not many have also got themselves yoked to the dead duck known as Hampton Academy. I worry about this situation because I've seen more and more 'results-conscious' new Heads clamp down on all the wrong things whilst new in post, getting really strict on little things and not really offering staff and students a good working environment where they can focus on learning. That's how to raise results. I do know staff and students there. Best thing is ask to view the school on a working day, so you can see what it is really like.
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