Sending my average DS to the local comp....or private?

(76 Posts)
Parmarella Wed 09-Oct-13 11:52:54

DS in y6 is average. To me this is an achievement as only 2 years ago he was 18 months behind!

I was thinking of sending him to our local comp, as it is quite good (good pastoral care, friendly, 85% 5+ A-C GCSE INCL Maths and Engl. but of course big classes and some low level disruption which is distracting)

Most MNers seem to have above average kids.

So I was wondering if anyone who has a more average DS, and sent him to the local comp, could tell me how they fared?

Lots of my friends send kids private, but the private schools here do not have better results than the comps, apart from one super selective he would not get into anyway.

Am I deluded in thinking an average kid at a local comp could do well in the end? Or will they slowly sink without a trace in a middle- bottom set? ( as MIL seems to think).

He is clever enough, just not "school clever" IYKWIM.

Have my heart set on the local comp, DS would liek to go there too, but no experience myself of the state system so am I seeing it with rose tinted spectacles?

Please reassure me about average kids at comprehensives!

ShellingPeas Fri 11-Oct-13 15:04:24

My DD, year 7 this year, is average academically. She goes to the local comp which gets 70% A*-C including maths, but this has improved from around 45% 5 years ago (new head). They have small classes - 26 in tutor group, other classes around 22. This is in comparison to my older DS who is at grammar in the next county - his classes were all minimum 32 up to year 10, and now are around 28 on average.

In my DD's comp they have put children into streams and then set within those streams right from the outset (they did CAT tests on induction days plus SATS results) - there is flexibility to move within sets and within steaming groups too so they do seem to cope well with the variety of learning abilities. So far my DD hasn't complained of any disruption in classes.

I think you've made the right decision especially if the private schools aren't producing any better results.

The only comps achieving anything like 93% incl maths and english round here are selective via religion - it's amazing the number of people who find God in year 3...

VivaLeThrustBadger Fri 11-Oct-13 15:57:27

We have a comp near us which gets 98% gsce a-c grades.

However if they think a kid isn't going to pass their GCSE they refuse to enter them for it. Happened to a colleague of mine with a child there. They had to pay privately for his History fee. The school would refund them the money if he passed. Which means they could include him in the stats if he passed and not if he didn't.

VivaLeThrustBadger Fri 11-Oct-13 16:02:14

Just checked and I was wrong. They got a 99% gcse a-c pass rate.

VivaLeThrustBadger Fri 11-Oct-13 16:03:28

I refused to send dd there even though she could have got a place. I hear horror tales of the most awful, pushy environment who don't give a toss about pastoral care.

muminlondon Fri 11-Oct-13 16:10:10

Sounds like a good decision to me. And if your DS is happy with the school he will look forward to it and get more out of it. If the comps are so good round there, it suggests the whole community supports them so he is likely to make lots of good friends. Good luck smile

TheAngryCheeseCracker Fri 11-Oct-13 21:22:33

That sounds awful muminlondon!

It can be such a rat race, kids must be so stressed!

muminlondon Fri 11-Oct-13 23:17:45

Oh no, did I say that wrong?! State schools are great where I live too. I actually think some children at small private schools don't have the social advantages of a good local school where you know your neighbours and the school has a big role in the community.

clary Sat 12-Oct-13 00:10:06

viva is that figure including English and Maths?

A school near us got 100% 5 A-C last year bu that didn't include E and M which made quiet a difference.

VivaLeThrustBadger Sat 12-Oct-13 07:13:41

Yes, includes maths and English.

The school is in a league of its own as far as state comps go, it models itself on a private school.

Very strict, it has a planetarium, its own riding school, sixth form has a boarding house. It owns a property in France for school trips and freebie holidays for teachers and their families

Like I say if a kid is borderline for passing the school won't enter them.

muminlondon Sat 12-Oct-13 07:28:43

A planetarium?!

I've heard there are comprehensive schools with swimming pools, theatres and video editing suites (not near me though!). I was impressed by a 3D printing machine in the DT block.

TheAngryCheeseCracker Sat 12-Oct-13 08:17:23

Sorry muminlondon, I got mixed up, I meantviva's school sounded stressy, not yours

curlew Sat 12-Oct-13 09:07:23

"The school is in a league of its own as far as state comps go, it models itself on a private school.

Very strict, it has a planetarium, its own riding school, sixth form has a boarding house. It owns a property in France for school trips and freebie holidays for teachers and their families"

Where does the money come from?

VivaLeThrustBadger Sat 12-Oct-13 15:55:09

God knows where the money comes from. Especially as the exec of the academy and the head of governors were arrested last year for fiddling money out of the school.

VivaLeThrustBadger Sat 12-Oct-13 15:57:32

It's an academy which "has more control over its finances as its funded by central government rather than via a local authority".

VivaLeThrustBadger Sat 12-Oct-13 16:03:53
muminlondon Sat 12-Oct-13 16:27:14

That's not a comprehensive. 1% low attainers? 5% disadvantaged and 1% SEN? The admissions policy is one of the most bizarre I have ever seen, operating like a closed shop where places are handed down within the family. Once your child is in (if you move as close as possible to the secondary) and his/her sibling will be the lucky recipient of one of 2-3 places 'allocated' to each of 50 schools. But some schools are more 'equal' than others. Does it own the land around the school and charge ground rent or something?!

clary Sat 12-Oct-13 16:34:43

Actually my kids' comp has a swimming pool and a theatre. Not sure about video editing but they can certainly do some pretty fancy ICT stuff too...

VivaLeThrustBadger Sat 12-Oct-13 18:08:40

It's classed as a comp. though I wouldn't be surprised if something dodgy goes on with the admissions.

They admit 10% on ability which all academies are allowed to do. They run master classes for year five kids at weekends and even getting a place on these is invite only.

The admissions for the other 90% (off the top of my head) is that local primary schools are allocated so many places. Number of places depends on the size of the school. So dd's old primary gets six places. The six places will be given to the six kids who live nearest the secondary. But there can be another closer primary where all the kids live closer than my dd but if they're a small school they only get allocated two places. So a child that lives further away can get a place over a kid who lives nearer.

They don't own any land as far as I know.

KittiesInsane Sat 12-Oct-13 19:54:53

Riiiight.

So if its intake has 1% low attainers, the 93% A*-C are obtained by children 99% of whom would be expected to get at least 5 A*-C.

I'll stick with our local schools.

curlew Sat 12-Oct-13 22:44:13

A grammar school in Kent that got(I think) 95% A*-C has recently been put in special measures because the kids weren't making sufficient progress. You need to look at what goes in as well as what comes out. I wish I could post that in letters of fire at the top of every secondary education thread. You have to look at results in context.

losingtrust Sun 13-Oct-13 13:56:18

Average children at primary are not necessarily average at secondary so some really spurt ahead at secondary. Feel your pain though DD year 5 below average and wondering the same although DS sailed ahead in year 6. It is difficult. Is he a summer born.

TheAngryCheeseCracker Sun 13-Oct-13 17:02:16

Hi, Parm here with a silly name change.

He is September born, which is both good and bad. I guess.

Marmitelover55 Sun 13-Oct-13 20:26:21

My DD1's comprehensive school achieved 91% A*-C inc maths and english for its first academy intake this year. It is truly comprehensive as it uses fair-banding for admissions.

curlew Sun 13-Oct-13 23:00:06

"My DD1's comprehensive school achieved 91% A*-C inc maths and english for its first academy intake this year. It is truly comprehensive as it uses fair-banding for admissions."

What % of children on FSM does it have?

KittiesInsane Sun 13-Oct-13 23:21:33

...and what proportion SEN... and what does it do with the children who aren't going to meet the grade?

Betcha it manages them out.

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