Tag Archives: school rules

What is the difference between schools in Orkney and schools in England?

What is the difference between schools in Orkney and schools in England?

By Lottie 

Schools in Orkney are quite different to ones down south as you would expect especially during these confusing times but how different actually are they? 

Well firstly, there’s the size.  In schools in England you can expect to see about three different buildings/blocks with classes in and the number of pupils can range. In some you get around 800 but in others you can get thousands: it just depends on if it’s grammar school or not. But in Orkney they are much smaller schools.

And then there’s the Uniform…

In Orkney there aren’t uniforms: you get to wear what you like. But schools in England aren’t like that: you must wear a uniform in primary school and secondary school and that sometimes includes blazers, ties, socks, and there’s a uniform for PE too.  Brooke*, from  Stromness, said “It’s nice not wearing a uniform.  You feel comfy.”

Phones were a big issue down south too as people would go on them in class and so some schools have banned them. Louise, a school pupil in England, said “It’s a bit annoying because if you’re bored at break or lunch there’s nothing you can do except walk around with your friends”. Jamie said “if I want to get hold of my parents to ask something like can a friend come round I can’t, because phones are banned” However, Samantha Jane said “It’s got an up-side I guess: you talk to people more and socialize more and you actually catch up with friends”.

Being allowed into town is quite different as well.  In England you aren’t allowed to go down the street and all the gates are locked so you can’t get out.  If you do leave the grounds, then PSP (isolation) would be in order for a couple of days.

In Orkney you can go to nearby shops, which makes things freer and means you’re not limited to do certain things.

During these COVID times things make it even harder because in England schools are back full time. Jamie said, “I don’t really feel safe being back at school full time because although we are testing every morning, what if it gives a false positive or negative”?  Whereas Jemima said “I like being back. I didn’t like being at home. I couldn’t see friends and if I didn’t understand the work I had to email a teacher and wait”!

The thing Orkney schools and English schools have in common at the moment are masks.  Pupils have to wear masks all day, in classes and on public transport. Social distancing is difficult too as Maddy said “You just forget and stand next to someone, then jump apart when you realise, and that’s a pain”.

Sanitising is a bit different as well.  In Orkney there are dispensers on the walls as you go outside and come in but in England you should be bringing your own and sanitising when you know you should be. Jasmine said “It makes my hands sticky, and some sanitisers don’t smell the best”

Classrooms formats have changed as well: in Orkney schools there is tape on the desks where you can’t sit so you stay 2m apart from everyone else. Ella’s opinion on this is “It’s horrible, you don’t feel like you can talk, and you have to stay silent plus one slight movement and it makes the loudest noise.” Robert’s opinion is “I like it. Teachers can’t tell if you’re laughing or not because they can only see your eyes”.

In general, as you would expect, the rules are different on phones, uniform and school grounds.  But rules are in place for a reason…

So, the difference between Orkney Schools and England’s schools in these weird times and in the normal times are quite different but they are different in their own way and that good.

*names are changed for anonymity

Different schools; different rules

Different schools; different rules 

By Lucy S

TWS is a large school in England.  If is quite different from Stromness Academy, which is a small school in rural Scotland. Pupils from each of these schools share their opinions of how the school rules differ in their experience.

The rules at TWS and the rules at Stromness Academy are extremely different. At TWS you’re not allowed to leave school during the school day and at a certain time a member of staff goes around and locks all the gates so no one can leave school, although there are a few ways you can leave the school but it’s risky.

However, at SA there is nothing like that: there is trust in the pupils and S2s and up can go down the street at lunch times and buy their lunch/food there instead of using the dining hall.

Talia*, a pupil at Stromness Academy, said, ‘I like the freedom you get here, you have lots of choice on how you spend your day’.

TWS have a phone ban so pupils must have their phones switched off and in their bags for the whole school day, and if a member of staff sees it out, they will take it off you and call a member of your family to go to the school and collect it.

Judy, a pupil at TWS said, ‘I hate the phone ban: nothing’s fun anymore.  There isn’t anything to do anymore; you just get bored’.

At SA you’re allowed your phone and some teachers play Kahoot!, a game which involves using your phones as a multiple choice control pad.

Edward. From SA, said, ‘Having your phone during school is very helpful and it gives you something to do.  I don’t think phones should be banned anywhere unless they have a really good reason to take action like that’.

TWS students must wear uniform and anything incorrect in the way you are wearing it must be corrected immediately or you will potentially be given a detention, or you will be sent to isolation (PSP).

At SA however, there is no uniform:  you can wear what you like and it’s up to you to dress appropriately.

Callum from TWS said, ‘I hate having to wear uniform, it’s so annoying.  If you get hot, you’re still wearing rather hot and tight clothes.  I wish I could wear my own clothes, that way I choose how I dress – not the school’.

TWS tend to give out detentions often to those who misbehave, and pupils often get sent to PSP (isolation) as well if they continue to misbehave or if what they have done deserve isolation.

Clare said, ‘Sometimes the teachers are unreasonable and just don’t listen to you and sometimes they don’t even let you explain, they’ll just punish you anyway’.

SA don’t have anything like that: the teachers are must more understanding and give you chances.

Jade-Rose said, ‘The teachers are understandable, and they listen to you, I like not having any strict rules in place’.

Overall, the two schools are completely different but unique and good in their own way.

“TWS is an amazing school despite any strict rules in place.  Follow them correctly and the experience will be great, and you will really enjoy it.  The teachers are understandable if you give them chance to get to know you, and soon the teachers will start being reasonable once some ground rules are laid down.”

So, there we have it: some very mixed opinions about the two schools and how different they really are.

*names have been changed for anonymity.