2012 / England

School culture at St. Saviours Primary School in London

The public school culture at St. Saviours is drastically different from the public school culture we would have back home! To begin with, it is UNCOMMON for a public school to not be church affiliated here!  I say uncommon because they do have some schools that are not church affiliated.  It was a very new experience to have to go to church during school time and to teach religious education during the school day.  At my school we go to church every Monday afternoon and it depends on the week if the mass is going to be a long mass or short mass.  If it is a long mass the priest comes in and does the mass, if it is short our head teacher runs the mass.  Each week a class is in charge of telling a bible story along with whatever else is going on in the mass that day.  At least once a week we have to teach religious education in the classroom!  Another different aspect of this is that you can actually teach the religious side of holidays compared to back home where that does not happen!

Another interesting thing about St. Saviours being a public school is the fact that they have to wear uniforms!  Typically back home this is once again only in what we would call a private school!  Much to my surprise, I have actually grown to like the idea of uniforms!  We do have non-uniforms days at the school but in order to not wear your uniform you have to bring something in for the charity the school donates to (usually it is just like pay 1 pound and you can dress non-uniform)

I have found some of the day to day routines at school to be very unfamiliar as well! One of the biggest differences is the amount of break time that staff receive.  Although the “break” time is usually spent doing things for the classroom they seem to get a bit more than we do!  I was shocked when I learnt (yes learnt not learned, its a british thing) that they get a little over an hour for lunch!!  Another thing they do is at the end of the day the class teacher stands at the doors while the kids wait in a line and they need to be called by the teacher once the teacher sees their parents/guardians/nanny.

I have seen some similarities in the schools as well! The kids do act very similar to our students back home.  The only difference there is when it comes to children who are in special education or what they call SEN here.  It is very common here to have separate schools for children in SEN.  If they are not in a secluded school, they use full inclusion in the schools; not even a resource room!

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