Tuesday, September 30, 2008


The Times reports that the new Supersized school, Nottingham East Academy will not be setting any homework.

I certainly never had any before going to 'big school' at age 11 and firmly believe that by giving out often pointless homework to the little ones we probably put many of them off school for good.

What strikes me most about this school though is its sheer size. It is bigger than our new Geography teacher Miss Wade's backside. They are going to have about 3500 pupils of all ages which suggests about 300 in each Secondary Year Group. Assume classes of 30 and that means that some poor sod like me is going to end up teaching Maths to Set 10!

Big Schools Bad, Small Schools Good is my view.


Anonymous said...

I was going to reply; however, the dog ate it, sir.

Boy on a bike said...

The very excellent Headmaster of the school that I attended was insistent on keeping numbers down around 700 - that way, he knew every boy by sight, and how they were doing with the swotting, what sports they were playing, who their parents were etc etc etc.

It also meant every teacher knew every boy, so there was no way you could do something naughty and hide behind a cloak of anonymity.

As soon as you hear a teacher say, "Boy, what is your name?", you know the school is too large.

Ranting Teacher said...

The only positive thing about larger schools is that you can get away with more slackery. And so can the students.

Anonymous said...

Problem is...headmaster's salary is linked to pupils on roll.
You just get paid more being head of a school of 1200 than being hed of a shcool of 300. Much, much more. so, yes, the heads wil welcome the big schools because they're ever so "diversified and inclusive and what-have you"....
and then the ELA's go and say it's the "headteachers expertise and experience" that suggest the big numbers are beneficial. Of course theyare..heads get paid more and pupils get less input and the government have to dish out les. Of course that adds up!!!

MarkUK said...

I too never had homework until "big school" - and precious little for the first two years of that. (It was an ex-secondary mod, with small sec mod attitudes and failed staff for the most part.)

However, the Nottingham school WILL have homework for the over-11s.

Yes, that size of school is simply too big. Obviously you need a critical size to be able to employ staff to cover enough options at GCSE and A Level, but that's a lot fewer kids than this one will have.

Considering the performance of City of Nottingham schools, I'd have thought that they'd want quality over quantity.

Anonymous said...

will the city of nottingham be charging itself £350 for parking spaces for each of the teachers? this would seem the ultimate bureaucratic dream?

Anonymous said...

This school is all about bussing by other means. There is already an element of white flight in the area and this will be exacerbated when parents, from the better off parts, see their children going to a school that recruits from the City's notorious St Ann's estates.

Anonymous said...

No mandatory homework gets a big thumbs up from me. Forward thinking school.

My healthy ids come home from school knackered and just want to enjoy themselves. Getting them to do an hour or so of homework makes them miserable and makes me miserable. I'd rather spend time playing with them or just letting them relax! Trouble is, their in primary and it's only going to get worse for them and me unless their high school also realises the futility of mandatory homework.