My mom was a teacher and I was educated thoroughly through public schools, so I do tend to have strong feelings about education in general and private schools specifically. I understand why wealthy parents might feel the need to send kids to elite private schools for middle school and high school – that’s when the difference between public and private schools is really notable, and you can see if your kid needs more specialized education. But I do wonder if parents are really getting their money’s worth when it comes to exclusive, private early-childhood education. Take Prince George, for example. His fancy school costs £20,000, which… seems like a lot for nap-times and drawing and kid stuff. But because fancy schools want to make it seem like you’re paying for SO MUCH, they’re making it seem like 5 and 6-year-olds are learning how to code and ballet dance.
Like children everywhere, Prince George will soon be heading back to school for the start of the new term. The five-year-old royal will next month join his classmates in Year One of the £20,000-a-year Thomas’s Battersea, south-west London. Not only will George be settling into a new classroom and meeting a new teacher, he will also be taking on new subjects like Science, History and Geography, as the curriculum becomes more challenging.
According to the school’s website, Year One pupils will build on what they learned in reception and develop key skills including joined-up handwriting, fluent speech and a greater understanding of Maths. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will also find themselves doing more homework with their eldest son, with pupils expected to read for 10 minutes a night and to complete a weekly spelling assignment.
George and his classmates already know some basics in French and will expand on this through learning fairy tales and songs in a weekly 35-minute class taught by a specialist teacher. They will also expand their vocabulary with winter clothes, days of the week and classroom objects.
In Religious Studies, taught by George’s Form Teacher, children will ‘develop knowledge and understanding of Christianity’ and be taught to ‘appreciate the cultural differences in Britain today’. Bible study will introduce the children to key stories including Noah, Joseph and David and Goliath.
In a show of the school’s incredible facilities, George and his classmates will be given weekly Computing lessons in a dedicated suite equipped with 22 computers. There they will improve their mouse usage, be introduced to Microsoft Word and ‘develop a greater understanding of algorithms’. Outside of the classroom, George and his peers will enjoy Drama, Art and Ballet classes. Ballet is taught to all pupils in Year One by a specialist teacher in one 35-minute lesson per week and each class is accompanied by a live pianist.
The idea of trying to herd 30 five-year-olds into doing soubresauts and grand jetés while the pianist stifles laughter is enough to make me need a drink. Bless all the early-childhood educators. My mom got slightly burned out on it too, and she loved little kids, but in the years before her retirement, she always referred to them privately as “those booger-eaters.” Seriously, you can spend all the money in the world trying to “teach” your five-year-old how to code and speak French and do ballet, but mostly what they’ll retain is how glue tastes good and how naptimes are nice.
Photos courtesy of WENN.