This webinar was delivered by Brian Putman on Sunday 16 October 2016.

In the words of our esteemed Pastor the webinar was:
Extremely information.  Parents should take on these opportunities that Sound Mind deliver. They are truly a godsend.


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So here is the transcript:

I went to a grammar school outside London.  When I was 10, I lived in Kent where grammar schools still have a significant presence.  I went to a great school and, although due to some trauma that happened in my life at 14, I left there at 16 to labour on a building site.

The education was good enough, with just GCSEs, to sustain a latter career in financial services and then propel me to a good degree in law some 10 years after I left school and following that six further college courses.

Grammar school taught me to enjoy learning.

Telegraph Article 14/10/16

Grammar school pupils progress faster and outperform children of similar ability who attend non-selective schools. 

An official analysis of GCSE results has found that children benefit from grammars where children who were previously not high attainers make even more progress in grammar schools than their highly performing peers.

What are Grammar Schools?

Grammar cchools have been with us for longer than any other school.  Since the middle-ages to teach languages at a time when only 5% of the population was literate.  They taught Latin, Greek, logic, public speaking and were originally all boarding schools and single gender.

Fast forward a few hundred years and they attract distaste because not everyone can go to one.  This distaste with selection was particularly acute in last century because the Government didn’t provide an alternative for the children who didn’t pass the 11+ exam.  They were left at what Tony Blair called ‘bog-standard comprehensives’.

Margaret Thatcher

But, for an example you may recognise, I offer you Margaret Thatcher.  She was the daughter of a grocer, lived in a flat above their shop and went to Grantham Girls Grammar School.

When she finished at Grantham, she went to study Chemistry at Oxford and became, what many consider the greatest British Prime Minister of modern times.

That was the kind of social mobility grammar schools were responsible for.  From grocer’s daughter to Prime Minister.

My experience

My report may not be quite so dramatic, but I think the greatest report someone can give their school is that they enjoyed their education…I am still in regular contact with about twenty people I first met over twenty years ago.

That each of the pupils has demonstrated certain qualities by passing the 11+, caused the school to have a high expectation of each of them.  One shared for the same reason by the parents, I went to one of their 70th birthdays just the other week.

The national curriculum was seen as a minimum:

I was taught 4 languages, French ‘Bonjour’, Spanish ‘Hola’, Latin ‘Salve’ and German ‘hallo’.

I learnt 4 crafts:  Art, pottery, metalwork and woodwork.

I played 5 sports, rugby, hockey, athletics, swimming & unofficial football every lunchtime with others from my year that caused plenty washing for my mum!

With such an intense timetable and the School day from 8.45 to 4.30, the school helped their charges concentrate on their work by helping to burn off excess energy.

The 90 mins of contact sports each week during two of the three terms developed a competitive team spirit among the year.

Two of my friends are investment bankers, one in NYC, one Hong Kong.  One is on to setting up his second business, several other their first.  Some are qualified lawyers and accountants and many more in industry, manufacturing and services.

School was challenging but fun.  The pupils supported each other and the teachers were familiar with everyone so would notice if there was a need for additional support.

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