Category Archives: School

An Awkward Question

Harpurhey, north Manchester, is a poor area, and was in the 1950s and 60s as I grew up. Rows and rows of terraced houses, with no bathroom or indoor toilet, straddled the Rochdale Road. There were no luxuries, but my … Continue reading

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The benefits of immigrant children in school (USA)

“… the presence of immigrant students has a positive effect on the academic achievement of US-born students, especially for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Moreover, the presence of immigrants does not affect negatively the performance of affluent US-born students, who typically … Continue reading

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Lockdown! Bring it on

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Michael Gove and the Politics of School Uniform

We will support schools to introduce traditional blazer-and-tie uniforms, prefects and house systems.1 Michael Gove, parliamentary debate, 2010 Background Michael Gove, alumni of Robert Gordon College, Aberdeen, parades traditional values, which he claims to epitomise. He’s a Conservative cabinet minister. … Continue reading

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Sir Philip Magnus School: The 1950s weekly games lessons appraised

I’ve written how I truly hated the weekly sports lessons on a previous occasion.* Summer was bad enough, with cricket and its incomprehensible rules. Winter was worse. Every week I waited, for the coach to turn up. Often I stood … Continue reading

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The Mozart Problem: Educating Exceptional Children

He was playing the harpsichord and the violin at the age of five, and writing little pieces of music.* Introduction Mozart’s father was a musician and realised Wolfgang was exceptional. Leopold home schooled his son, constantly expanding his musical frontiers. … Continue reading

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Failing Maths at Sir Philip Magnus school, 1958

In June 1958 our class was told about the annual mathematics examination. This didn’t fill me with enthusiasm. I feared exams and I especially hated maths. Our teacher, Mr Jones, a hard Welshman from the Rhonda, made the announcement with … Continue reading

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Thornhill Road School: my first day in 1949

My first day in infant school in 1949 wasn’t the best. I wasn’t used to being bullied by adults. My two older brothers had told me horror stories in our shared bedroom. “You have to obey orders straight away… if … Continue reading

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Len Deighton on Etonians

Eton, Oxbridge, Buddha class: sadistic, self-sufficient apparatchiks who controlled Whitehall by stealth, wealth and consanguinity and — no matter how friendly — inevitably closed ranks against intruders like me. Len Deighton. Hope (1995) (Kindle Locations 1945-1947). HarperCollins UK. Chris

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Drug addicts in San Francisco

San Francisco has more drug addicts than it has students enrolled in its public high schools, the city Health Department’s latest estimates conclude. There are about 24,500 injection drug users in San Francisco — that’s about 8,500 more people than … Continue reading

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