Hampshire Sixth Form Colleges - opinions please

(51 Posts)
GorraHeadache Fri 11-Oct-13 15:09:31

These are the ones we're considering. Finding it a minefield. DS is quite bright but not superbright, he'll probably get a few As Bs and Cs at GCSE. Hoping to do 3 or 4 A levels. He's predicted A* in the subjects he'll take for A level.

Richard Taunton's
Brockenhurst
Peter Symonds
Barton Peveril

eatyourveg Fri 11-Oct-13 15:41:51

Peter Symonds - no contest
However if you did want a contest I would rank them as follows
2nd Barton Peveril
3rd Brockenhurst but not much in it tbh
4th Richard Taunton

eatyourveg Fri 11-Oct-13 15:48:33

there is another thread discussing this here

AvonCallingBarksdale Fri 11-Oct-13 18:03:30

I went to Symonds - fab! Not sure if this is still the case, but then it was much more academic than Barton Peveril. Don't know about the others.

fridayfreedom Fri 11-Oct-13 18:09:31

Oh no not the Symonds versus Barton debate!
They are both excellent colleges , both have very similar results but are quite different in layout and space.
We looked at both. DD preferred Barton, best friend son preferred Symonds. It depends on the young person and how they feel in each environment.
Symonds will not allow students to continue into the A level year if there grades are below a certain level at AS, Barton is more flexible.

eatyourveg Fri 11-Oct-13 19:03:39

dn had Ds and Es for AS at PS and they let him continue as did my dn although hers were Cs and Ds so not sure where the cut off would be. This was only last year and the year before

AvonCallingBarksdale I went there too! There are quite a few symonds alumni on mn

GorraHeadache Fri 11-Oct-13 19:09:24

We are relatively new to the area so interested to hear this is an age old debate Friday!

Thanks eatyour veg will look at other thread.

fridayfreedom Fri 11-Oct-13 19:40:49

Best thing is to go and have a look . Symonds have open days weds and thurs next week. Barton was last week but have more in the summer, but they may let you visit if you ring them. Check bus routes though as not all areas are covered.

JWIM Fri 11-Oct-13 19:48:01

Indeed - twas definitely 'age old' even in 1979 when I started at Barton Peveril. Main criteria for me then was we were on a bus route to BP and not PS!

I would agree - visit all you are interested in as they all have different atmospheres strengths and weaknesses. It has also got to be the choice that best suits your child, in their opinion as they will have to put the work in to do well and an unhappy child will do less well at a 'better' college.

MissMillament Fri 11-Oct-13 19:49:24

We looked at Barton but DD went for Bay House in the end. We were very impressed by Barton though. Didn't look at Symonds as a bit too far for DD to travel. Definitely it is about the feel of the place though. If he is not sure he should keep his options open as long as possible, do taster days at all the possibilities and weigh it up at the last minute.

AvonCallingBarksdale Fri 11-Oct-13 20:16:27

eatyourveg, ooh, are there? I was there from '88-90, had a great time there.

Lindor Fri 11-Oct-13 20:36:33

DS is at Brockenhurst doing A levels. He loves it. Nice atmosphere, nice to walk into the village at lunchtime to grab food, has made lots of new friends. He would definitely recommend it

eatyourveg Fri 11-Oct-13 21:11:19

I precede you AvonCallingBarksdale I was there 82-84, df was there during WWII db1 was the last grammar intake 72-78 db2 79-81 and db3 87-89 which overlapped with you!

cory Sat 12-Oct-13 13:03:49

Just posted on t'other thread. Dd has just started at Barton and is very happy. Loves the teaching, feels well supported pastorally (she has health issues) and is throwing herself into the work. She made her choice mainly on subject grounds: Barton has the strongest drama department, but we also felt Barton was more welcoming than Peter Symonds. Not at all worried that Barton's won't be sufficiently academic.

Friend's ds is at Brockenhurst; he chose this for their strong science department and is very happy: they offer a lot of careers support for students aiming at e.g. medical college.

Taunton's is less academic: the verdict amongst dd's friends is a bit mixed. To us they they seemed a bit less organised, a bit less academic, probably less likely to push students.

Talkinpeace Sat 12-Oct-13 17:49:16

posted on other thread ....

wonder if we could get MNHQ to merge them ?

ISingSoprano Mon 14-Oct-13 10:23:09

I'm an old Symondian too. I was there 83-85. Db was there 79-81. Perhaps we should start an OS thread! Anyone remember Jerry Fisher or John Taverner?

Mintyy Mon 14-Oct-13 10:24:29

I am a Symonds Alumni! Vintage 79 - 81.

eatyourveg Mon 14-Oct-13 15:25:54

I remember John Taverner - he was the Geography bloke, Andy Stables was the most memorable for me. Used to play his guitar in French lessons.

out2lunch Mon 14-Oct-13 15:41:52

my dd has just started at bp too cory smile

ds finished there a year ago now at uni

as others have said I don't think there is much to choose on results so I would consider travelling times and the feel of the place iykwim

ISingSoprano Mon 14-Oct-13 15:51:20

Andy Stables was my tutor!

Mintyy Mon 14-Oct-13 15:51:28

My history teacher, Andy Norris, wrote The Brittas Empire smile.

Talkinpeace Mon 14-Oct-13 16:31:14

which was filmed at Ringwood Leisure Centre ....

GorraHeadache Tue 15-Oct-13 21:18:01

Thanks for the opinions. We are going to all the open evenings. I didn't realise that you can apply to several until yesterday. Am clueless!

cory Wed 16-Oct-13 08:35:24

you don't even have to make up your mind when you get the confirmation

dd applied to three colleges and didn't make her final choice until the results were out

she wanted to be sure she got the marks to do the courses she wanted and we wanted to be sure her health was sufficiently improved to cope with the long commute

perfectly permissible

lainiekazan Wed 16-Oct-13 11:21:12

that is good to know

ds knows where he wants to go but is clueless about A Level choices. We are off again tomorrow to look around. We'll be the mother with the manically positive cheerful expression and son mooching three paces behind grumbling that it's all random confused

beachyhead Wed 16-Oct-13 11:28:47

Depending on where in Hampshire you are, you could consider Godalming as well. East access from Liphook, Havant area.

Talkinpeace Wed 16-Oct-13 13:13:32

see you there this evening any and all

shall we embarrass the CRAP out of our DCs by guessing who each other are and greeting each other wink ?

lainiekazan Wed 16-Oct-13 14:48:40

I think I embarrass ds full stop. My best one is to ask loudly, a la Lady Bracknell, "Do you know that girl, ds?" hee hee

ISingSoprano Wed 16-Oct-13 15:56:33

Not sure if we are going tonight or tomorrow. Spot me if you can, dh is very tall at 6'5", dd is about 5'7 (all legs and hair) and I'm the short one trying to keep up with them!

Talkinpeace Wed 16-Oct-13 16:01:42

I talk like I type grin

ISingSoprano Wed 16-Oct-13 16:10:13

This open evening is starting to get a whole lot more interesting! grin

doglover Wed 16-Oct-13 20:21:27

Just to add to the debate ................ We looked at St Anne's (So'ton) Sixth Form last week and Richard Taunton's last night. Both were very different - the former is tiny and very nurturing. RT's is larger (1250 students) but much more diverse. My dd (currently in Y10) really liked the atmosphere at RT's and their broader range of courses. As we live in the New Forest, we will also be visiting Brockenhurst but BP and PS are too far geographically.

ggirl Wed 16-Oct-13 20:27:24

minty-dh was at BP same yrs as you , he took economics, pure maths and stats

out2lunch Wed 16-Oct-13 20:27:33

bp is only ten minutes further on train than soton dog

doglover Wed 16-Oct-13 20:29:01

Yes but we live nowhere near a station unfortunately!!

Talkinpeace Wed 16-Oct-13 22:38:16

doglover have you looked at the bus maps for the various colleges
PS has buses from half of Hampshire ....
www.psc.ac.uk/support/studentservices/transport/routes.php
as does BP
web.barton.ac.uk/parents/transport/index.php?id=1

watchingout Wed 16-Oct-13 22:49:32

I was at BP '84-86 and my niece has just finished there with top grades in all sciences and maths. Highly recommended grin

Mintyy Wed 16-Oct-13 22:51:41

Oooh really? I don't think I would have rubbed shoulders with him as I took English, History and Drama. Did he know he was there at same time as Jack Dee?

doglover Thu 17-Oct-13 14:10:17

Many thanks, TIP. I appreciate your thoroughness! I don't want to 'out' myslef in RL, but, we actually live south east of Bealiueu (right on the coast) so our transport options really are limited. Both Brock and RT's now run buses to our area so these are our options practically. If I didn't work, it would be possible to ferry them to the nearest station but, as a working parent, it's just not viable. Also, my dd would prefer to live vaguely near her fellow students rather than constantly having to rely on us to drive her around.

Plus, around here at the moment, many people are pretty disillusioned with Brock. They are finding it rather impersonal and 'soulless' and are looking elsewhere ..............

It's a real connumdrum. You want them to attend the best college possible but not at any cost .....................

Talkinpeace Thu 17-Oct-13 15:53:51

doglover
Fair point - the transport in your corner is pretty dire.
The only other option to look at is whether there might be any regular reliable car shares up to the train station by the pub ....
each of the colleges will know exactly where their students are coming in from so might be able to help.

Tauntons is definitely on the up (admittedly from a low level) helped by the significantly improving Southampton GCSE results.
And its in a nice location to be a teenager semi off the leash.

doglover Thu 17-Oct-13 17:03:51

Absolutely, TIP! That's a thought about fellow students, though. I will definitely make some enquiries next year. smile

ggirl Thu 17-Oct-13 18:05:30

Minty- have just told dh about Jack Dee ..he had no clue !

GorraHeadache Fri 18-Oct-13 14:56:03

Doglover - we are in a similar-ish area but our transport links are OK and Peter S is do-able. I too am worried about what I've heard about Brockenhurst College lately. I thought a lot of the teachers seemed worn out and lacking in enthusiasm. Not so at the others.

Have now visited all 4. PS is winning the day followed closely by BP.

One thing that shocked me though at PS - students can't take textbooks home, they have one to use at school but are expected to buy their own home copy?? Didn't ask the question at the others, but is this the norm? No wonder children from disadvantaged backgrounds tend not to do well!

out2lunch Fri 18-Oct-13 17:20:15

we have had to buy textbook for bp gorra but we had a bursary

Talkinpeace Fri 18-Oct-13 18:50:46

Gorra TBH the amount that kids use books versus online resources has changed a lot.
I happen to have a house full of science related reference books that my kids hate opening!

TeenAndTween Fri 18-Oct-13 19:17:13

We've seen BP and PS. Really torn between them.

Just trying to decide whether to bother looking at Brock as it's further away than the other two. It would be good to see it to actively rule it out. But stories of traffic jams (TIP) are putting me off.

Talkinpeace Fri 18-Oct-13 19:31:25

LOL !
Winchester and Brockenhurst are both known traffic stress areas
add 1000 parental cars into the mix and it was inevitable.

DD has her heart set on PS - the form is ready to send as soon as she gets her predicted grades.

ISingSoprano Sat 19-Oct-13 09:54:29

Which subjects is she going for Talkinpeace?

Talkinpeace Sat 19-Oct-13 14:53:28

Chemistry, Biology, Maths, more maths, French

ISingSoprano Sat 19-Oct-13 15:15:38

Ha! our offspring may meet. Mine is opting for Maths, Biology, English, Psychology.

Talkinpeace Sat 19-Oct-13 15:16:57

LOL : they will probably end up in the same tutor group !

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