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private or state school for gifted child

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  • 03-07-2015 6:12am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 724 ✭✭✭


    Hi! I am a single mum of a gifted child - attends DCU. My son is down for Belvedere and also for Mount Temple. His sister is in transition year in MT and loves it. However, i've heard it described as being 'too loose' for boys. Also, my son gets bored easily and needs to be constantly academically challenged - he's on the 99th percdntile. Age 12 with reading age of 16 yrs. It's likely that he may get a place in Belvedere - my dad and several of my uncles went there - places offered in August for 2016 - and I have to pay the deposit e1000 almost immediately. My friends who have children going there say it is a wonderful school, that gives boys 'polish' and confidence. My heart says send him to Belvedere, but I'm concerned about managing it financially - I work full time in a good job, but have health issues so may not be able to work full-time in a couple of years. Also, if I pay for Belvedere, then that cuts out foreign travel for us - that's any holiday outside of Ireland, water sports for my daughter and robotics and techy camps for my son during the long summer holidays. Does anyone have any advice on this. I went to a state school myself for 3 years and then transferred to a well-known private school down the country. I felt the teachers were better in the state school. In the private school - teachers knew that a lot of the children were going to go into their parents' business, whereas children in the state school were expected to find a career to support themselves. However, as a very conscientious student I was far happier in the more easy going private school. My son is a worker but wouldn't be a swat like I was.


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,283 ✭✭✭Dog walker 1234


    You want the best for your son, that is what every parent should want. However you need to balance this with the needs of your daughter and yourself. If you send your son to Belvedere you will have to pay a heavy price of no summer camps, water sports for your daughter etc. How would your daughter feel about this?

    You say that there is a possibility that you may not be able work in the future. Would it be wiser to try to save money now for third level education?

    It is a hard decision. Best of luck with it, whichever path you choose :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 724 ✭✭✭Hannaho


    Thanks for your reply. I think it is important for me not to favour one child over another - I don't think I can favour one child over another much as I would like to be able to send my son to Belvedere. I


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,181 ✭✭✭2xj3hplqgsbkym


    Teachers can be good or bad in private or state schools. The curriculum and exams are the same in both. As unfair as it may seem to you any resource hours allocated to the school will probably be used for those with learning difficulties, not gifted children.
    If I were you I would probably send him to mount temple and use the money to pay for extra classes for him in an area that interests him. You could also use it to send him to grinds so that he could do additional subjects for his leaving cert such as classical studies or Latin which aren't offered in either school.
    Going on holiday and extra curricular activities for both your children can them still be an option.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,729 ✭✭✭Millem


    Send him to mount temple. I am sure they have "gifted" children there.
    I would only send him to belvedere if I could afford to send your daughter to go to fee paying school too. I know she is happy in Mount Temple but what if she asked to go somewhere for 5th and 6th year? Or needed grinds or revision courses etc. I think she could perceive it as favouritism or because her brother is brighter than her.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,644 ✭✭✭✭lazygal


    Millem wrote: »
    Send him to mount temple. I am sure they have "gifted" children there.
    I would only send him to belvedere if I could afford to send your daughter to go to fee paying school too. I know she is happy in Mount Temple but what if she asked to go somewhere for 5th and 6th year? Or needed grinds or revision courses etc. I think she could perceive it as favouritism or because her brother is brighter than her.

    +1.

    I see this so often, the boy sent to the best of private schools and the girl sent to whatever is handy, usually a state school. I think its really unfair to split their education like that. My secondary was only ok but I was a hard worker so I did well. My parents offered all of us the option to transfer to a private school for the leaving cert to maximise points (it was a grind school) and some of us did and some of us didn't. I'd have been pretty peeved if only my brothers got the option, regardless of their academic abilities.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,423 ✭✭✭tinkerbell


    Agree with the above. If you cannot afford to send both to private school for the full 5/6 years of secondary, then send them both to public school and then offer to send them both to private school for 5th and 6th year.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,344 ✭✭✭Diamond Doll


    I assume when you mention DCU you mean the CTYI courses? As far as I remember they're fairly pricey! But I think he'd get far more benefit out of doing their summer/weekend/correspondence courses and attending MT, than if he attended Belvedere and that all had to be cut out. Have a look on the CTYI website at the programmes they offer for secondary school students, they've a really good variety of courses.

    In your position I'd absolutely choose Mount Temple, and save your money for the CTYI courses, and things like Gaelteacht/language camps in the summer, grinds if necessary when it comes to Leaving Cert time, etc. I think it would be heartbreaking if you sent him to Belvedere and he was coming to you asking you for those sort of things over and over again throughout the years in secondary school, and you would constantly have to refuse him. And of course you'd have to be constantly refusing things for your daughter too. Far better to have him in MT with a wide variety of challenging extra-curricular activities to keep him busy, then to have him in Belvedere and having to cut out most of the other stuff.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,644 ✭✭✭✭lazygal


    The DCU centre has also gotten a lot more savvy about pushing their courses in recent years. It's not just about talented youth, it's also about making money by enrolling as many as they can take for each course. I remember a cousin of mine doing them and while they were good they didn't turn her into a super achiever. She attended a bog standard state school and did fine.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,231 ✭✭✭deandean


    I reckon your son would get the same leaving cert points plus minus a few per cent in either school. it's not as if one school is right and the other is wrong for him.

    Very important: have you asked your son which school he would like to go to? things could work out badly if he's not on board with the choice.

    and best of luck. Both those schools are excellent.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,729 ✭✭✭Millem


    The whole fee paying school notion is a Dublin thing. There are plenty of areas down the country where there are no fee paying schools and the kids do just fine. In fact isn't the school in Ireland who had the highest number of students getting straight A's a community school in Wexford?

    At the end of the day the students have to do the study and sit the exams themselves...the teachers and parents are there to guide them.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 12,644 ✭✭✭✭lazygal


    Millem wrote: »
    The whole fee paying school notion is a Dublin thing. There are plenty of areas down the country where there are no fee paying schools and the kids do just fine. In fact isn't the school in Ireland who had the highest number of students getting straight A's a community school in Wexford?

    At the end of the day the students have to do the study and sit the exams themselves...the teachers and parents are there to guide them.

    Not just Dublin. There's plenty of fee paying schools outside the Pale too, many of them very exclusive boarding schools. I think in Dublin considering a fee paying school might be seen as a regular enough decision when picking a secondary school, and its something we're considering for our children, because there's probably more of them about. But its by no means a Dublin only thing.

    ETA I do think sometimes parents, especially dads, overestimate the leg-up a fee paying school provides. I know so many dads who spout the same thing about Belvedere or Blackrock or Gonzago, that it gives a polish and confidence you don't get in a state school. But at the end of the day parents are the ones who spend most time with their children before they attend a secondary school and sending your child to a certain school is not a guarantee of anything. I remember students who attended the grind school I went to thinking going there would be enough to see them through the leaving cert, but that's rubbish.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,729 ✭✭✭Millem


    Lazygal I would have to disagree with you yes there are boarding schools in the country but the vast majority of fee paying schools are in Dublin.
    Some of the country fee paying schools have recently entered the free education system... Gormanstown college, kilkenny college, our ladys bower I am sure there will be a few others in the coming years.

    I don't want to go off topic though.
    OP mount temple's website looks great, it seems like a very progressive school :)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 12,449 ✭✭✭✭pwurple


    Hannaho, I can only give you the advice that was given to me, by my grandfather, who was a teacher in a private school for years, and tended to take smaller advanced classes for the children who were interested as well. He told me the school does not matter much. Parental participation is the most important part of education. Becoming interested in what they are doing, helping with study and homework, doing little quizes with them. And even things like basing your holidays or summer activities around things they see in school.

    If you can't afford to travel or are spending less time after school with him because of the financial strain it puts you under, then it's defeating the purpose. Educationally, your participation is worth more than what any school can provide.

    What the school does provide, is a specific group of friends, and this is possibly one to weigh up if your son is heading for the type of career where contacts are an advantage.


    Millem, there are at least 4 fee-paying schools in Cork city that I know of. Non-boarding.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,729 ✭✭✭Millem


    As I said before I don't want to derail the thread but the list speaks for itself. The majority of the schools are in Dublin.
    http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/education/private-schools-pupil-numbers-and-day-fees-30592044.html


    I am not anti fee paying schools I spent some of secondary school at one. I am not from Dublin but the school I went to was in Dublin. I would say it is highly likely that I will send my son to the boys fee paying beside our house (in Dublin) the reasons being the ethos, subject choice, smaller class sizes and extra curricular activities but if I couldn't afford to give all my children the same opportunities well then I would send him to a state school.

    OP is there an all boys secondary school (non fee paying) in your area as that could be another option if you were worried about mount temple not pushing him enough?


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,644 ✭✭✭✭lazygal


    Where are you based OP? Close to MT? There's a very good school in Dublin 13, boys only and fairly strict in terms of work. Non fee paying too. Are you in the Howth deanery for secondary schools?


  • Registered Users Posts: 724 ✭✭✭Hannaho


    Hi! All, my son has now ended up with places in Belvedere, MT and Ard Ris. We now won't accept Belvedere for the very reasons every one mentioned above and it being seen possibly as favourtism by my daughter. It is now down to MT and Scoil Ard Ris - just wondered if anyone would have anything to say on either MT or Ard Ris - my son is happy to go to either and has friends in both schools.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 12,687 ✭✭✭✭Penny Tration


    Hannaho wrote: »
    Hi! All, my son has now ended up with places in Belvedere, MT and Ard Ris. We now won't accept Belvedere for the very reasons every one mentioned above and it being seen possibly as favourtism by my daughter. It is now down to MT and Scoil Ard Ris - just wondered if anyone would have anything to say on either MT or Ard Ris - my son is happy to go to either and has friends in both schools.

    Can't speak from personal experience as I don't have children but -

    I know five people who went to MT. All of them bar one failed their leaving cert, but were really creative and good at music. All repeated the leaving cert and two went on to college.

    Two friends went to Ard Ris, got decent leaving certs and went to college.

    It depends on the person, though. If he's an intelligent child, he'll do well in either school. If he's creative, that'll be nurtured in Mount Temple.


  • Registered Users Posts: 28 bluedragonfly


    Interested to know what op decided in the end? And how it's working out so far?


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