View Full Version : British boarding school question

Becca C.
08-04-2011, 05:42 AM
Would classes use an assigned seating chart, or would students be allowed to choose their own seats? I went to Canadian public school and it varied from teacher to teacher, would the same hold true in a much more formal institute?

08-04-2011, 10:20 AM
Choose their own seats, at least at the school I attended.

08-04-2011, 11:06 AM
At my school it varied by teacher. Some put us alphabetically, some put us according to the last exam results (lower results at the front), some let us sit where we wanted. That was twenty years ago - dunno how it is today...

08-04-2011, 11:36 AM
It would vary by teacher. Some would assign seating specifically, some would let the kids choose, some would do something else (both my kids have some teachers who seat the kids alphabetically by surname).

Most will insist that you sit in the same place each lesson, at least for the first few weeks until they've learned your name. And it's absolutely standard that anyone misbehaving or struggling to concentrate will be moved to the front.

08-04-2011, 01:47 PM
in my experience seats are sometimes assigned, sometimes not. Some teachers are pretty strict abotu it, some don;t care. Usually it's less of an issue when the teachers know the kids and can tell who is who.

08-04-2011, 04:20 PM
It also depends on the age of the pupils. The older they are, the more likely it is they'll be allowed to choose where they sit.

Some of my primary school teachers would sit pupils of similar ability together so they could work on the same things. ("Red table, do this worksheet. Blue table, I've got a different one for you.") Secondary school teachers never bothered with this; in those classes we were all doing the same thing anyway.

You need to think about whether the students carry all their stuff to each class with them, or whether they have a desk in the classroom to store it in. In my secondary school it was always the former, but in primary school it was the latter, so we had to sit in the same place all the time.

Note, I didn't go to boarding schools, but I don't think they would be different.

08-05-2011, 06:22 PM
I don't think a boarding school's policy would vary from a state school.

In my (state) school, it was boy/girl seating up until Year 9 (8th Grade US) and then wherever you wanted beyond then - but the teacher reserved the right to move you if you misbehaved where you were.

It's down to the teacher, head of department, or headteacher. Our boy/girl policy was handed down by the headteacher, so teachers had no choice.

08-05-2011, 07:53 PM
I don't think Eton would have a boy/girl seating arrangement, given it's all boys.

08-05-2011, 09:42 PM
I don't think a boarding school's policy would vary from a state school.


08-05-2011, 11:19 PM
My (bog standard freebie) school didn't dictate seating plans, although they reserved the right to move disruptive students. The main reason being, as one teacher informed us at the end of one class, that if students sit where they want it is easier to monitor the misbehaving ones, since they tend to position themselves away from the "good t" - the front row, and those down the centre.

My lil' sis in law goes to a boarding school, although she is a non-boarder, and has informed me there is no seating arrangement dictated there.

08-06-2011, 01:18 AM

Well, a seating plan is one of the most powerful weapons a teacher has. Sitting with friends can lead to disruption and lack of concentration, so sitting next to strangers tends to reduce this. This is why boy/girl is popular where the kids are at the age where friendship groups tend to be single sex.

Teachers don't need to do this if the kids are focused and and well-behaved if they sit with their friends. I don't see a grammar school's kids being absolutely perfect.

Of course, some kids react badly to not sitting with their friends, and some teachers don't believe in them. When our boy/girl head teacher left, her replacement promptly scrapped it, meaning many teachers let us sit where we wanted until we did something which "lost" us that privilege.

Becca C.
08-06-2011, 07:32 AM
Thanks, everybody. Everything's in order for my WIP, then :)