Grammar or outstanding comp for G& T?

(24 Posts)
CookieDoughKid Sat 30-Jul-16 17:46:52

My dd is more on talented range not gifted. Very bright exceeding expectations in everything consistently every year at Primary school. I'm considering grammar school rather than selective private school as well can't afford the latter.

However we have an outstanding ofsted comp on our doorstep. Moving to grammar would mean moving house.

How many of you parents would opt for grammar if you could for your dd or ds if very bright? I'm not sure about bright child would do well anywhere given the environment. Thoughts?

BossWitch Sat 30-Jul-16 17:48:33

Grammar, no questions.

Needmorewine Sat 30-Jul-16 18:02:00

Grammar if she gets in. Would you definitely have to move ? At the grammar near us the students come from all over, coach services etc.

OneEpisode Sat 30-Jul-16 18:04:41

We chose the outstanding local school. It's not just the ofsted rating, it's what the school is actually like & if it's right for your child

Brokenbiscuit Sat 30-Jul-16 18:09:13

No, I wouldn't choose the grammar if I had a choice to send her to a good comprehensive instead. I am assuming that the comp is truly comprehensive though, and not a secondary modern with all of the brighter kids having gone elsewhere!

Phillipa12 Sat 30-Jul-16 18:14:37

Better to be top of an outstanding school then bottom of a grammer. That and the fact that will the grammer suit your child?, just because their gifted dosent mean its the best school for them pastoral care wise.

Peppapogstillonaloop Sat 30-Jul-16 18:21:36

Comp. assuming you think your dd is going to be quite motivated to/excited by work and also had talents outside of academia. My experience of grammar was a lot of academic pressure with not much interest/emphasis placed on soft skills. I was not the most gifted academically within the school and it was a bit shit tbh.

CookieDoughKid Sat 30-Jul-16 18:45:01

Yes where I live is truly comp and it's really improved considering I live in a very mixed social area. The grammar I have in mind is Sir William Borlase in Marlow and their pupils reflect the area. It's not a superselective. For younger years in Yr 7 and 8 they have to do one hour compulsory on each of the following: dance , music, drama (music has music theory, music history , learning to play drums etc if you don't play a classical instrument. Ballet lessons also offer as well as hip hop dancing. Also they have 9!! choirs in the school. Compulsory annual plays and annual 'Come Dancing comps'. Art and Sport is outstanding including rowing (and they have their own equestrian team). So it's the kind of school where performing arts is big but very traditional sport. And to top it off, their GCSE grades last year was 70% grade A or A* . I wonder if this enforced enrichment means less bullying as kids have to learn to lean on each other as team. Or it becomes a more competitive environment?

For my boy I'm thinking of Royal Grammar..

Hands down, the grammar offers far more enrichment than my local comp but my local comp will have more social exposure which I think is invaluable and probably would make one more resilient.

I went to a comp, poor upbringing and didnt even know about things like The Proms, Opera etc. I felt quite thick at times as I move up the social ladder.

Really don't know if the comp is worth the disruption in house move given in could probably pay for the enrichment outside of school.

Is anyone familiar with the above 2 grammar schools mentioned? My local schools is Didcot girls and St.Birinius.

CookieDoughKid Sat 30-Jul-16 18:46:45

Yes I would definitely have to move. As grammars too far and I won't be in catchment.

Peppapogstillonaloop Sat 30-Jul-16 19:03:50

Borlase is in the next county to the grammar I went to and has a rep as being MUCH more well rounded. Have you visited? What was your feel for the schools? And what Would you do if she didn't get in?

CookieDoughKid Sat 30-Jul-16 20:09:46

Thanks Peppa just realised my previous post was really longblush. I'll be going to the Borlase open day come September but the prospectus looks amazing. I'll be renting a shoe box initially compared to my big 4 bed detached house which I'll rent out. So sacrifices will be made but then, it's the nearest I'll ever get to a private education. Which grammar did you to Peppar?

Peppapogstillonaloop Sat 30-Jul-16 21:25:19

I was at Kendrick, very academic, not much else. It was a while ago now but I gather from people I know who were there and who are now teachers locally it hasn't changed much. Fwiw I went there and my sister went to the local Comp and she has done much much better than me in terms of building a career In something She loves and is very good at. Her comp really encouraged her artistic and musical talents and she has done amazingly in related fields.

I would think very carefully whether all of the sacrifices you are making are really going to make that gmhuge of a difference. A lot of it will come down to the type of child your dd is, you might find she really suits being a big fish in the comp rather than just ok at grammar (obvs she might be high in grammar but with the competition nowadays you would probably know that already..)

Blu Sat 30-Jul-16 21:51:34

So would this be a permanent move?
Buying and selling houses is so expensive, given stamp duty.
What would your options be, if on the day, she didn't actually get a high enough mark for the grammar (it happens!)
Have you visited the outstanding school?
How old / what year is your dd in?

Is your DS younger? What if he isn't as close to grammar entry standard/ Where would he go?

If the comp is good and does well by high attainers (have you studied the stats on the DoE website closely?) then I would feel a bird in the hand, personally.

CookieDoughKid Sat 30-Jul-16 22:47:07

Thanks Peppa and Pig. I think Kendrick hasn't changed much since your days there. It's a superselective school so I would think highly pressured.

Wherease Borlase takes 25% in the local catchment but still, high academic standards expected throughout (and they achieve it too). The catchment is much smaller than Kendricks - Kendrick takes top 1% is that right?

The enrichment is outstanding in Borlase and my local comp (girls school only) although outstanding has nothing close to the opportunities compared to my grammar. High attainers do well in both schools but interestingly, the middle attainers do much better at Borlase (by a long margin).

But if my dd doesn't get in, it will have to be the Greater Marlow school. Still a good school (secondary upper)but it's not the same as a true comp. Or we move back at some point.

It won't be a permanent move. We'd just rent. For my ds, my local comp is boys only and it is pretty dire. There's no other choice for my ds as we have only the one boys school serving our town. And the one girls school. And I'm not in catchment for any others hence my idea of a move to a grammar county!!

Ultimately I need to really think it over, whether the outstanding grammar school can serve better for my bright dd than my outstanding comp. It's a luxury to have the choice (because I can afford to move) but we only get one chance at secondary. Just don't want to get it wrong!!

CookieDoughKid Sat 30-Jul-16 22:47:24

Thanks Peppa and Pig. I think Kendrick hasn't changed much since your days there. It's a superselective school so I would think highly pressured.

Wherease Borlase takes 25% in the local catchment but still, high academic standards expected throughout (and they achieve it too). The catchment is much smaller than Kendricks - Kendrick takes top 1% is that right?

The enrichment is outstanding in Borlase and my local comp (girls school only) although outstanding has nothing close to the opportunities compared to my grammar. High attainers do well in both schools but interestingly, the middle attainers do much better at Borlase (by a long margin).

But if my dd doesn't get in, it will have to be the Greater Marlow school. Still a good school (secondary upper)but it's not the same as a true comp. Or we move back at some point.

It won't be a permanent move. We'd just rent. For my ds, my local comp is boys only and it is pretty dire. There's no other choice for my ds as we have only the one boys school serving our town. And the one girls school. And I'm not in catchment for any others hence my idea of a move to a grammar county!!

Ultimately I need to really think it over, whether the outstanding grammar school can serve better for my bright dd than my outstanding comp. It's a luxury to have the choice (because I can afford to move) but we only get one chance at secondary. Just don't want to get it wrong!!

booellesmum Wed 10-Aug-16 07:44:38

Hi,
My 2 are at GS. I personally wouldn't have moved for it as we have a great comp on our doorstep, and they would have gone there had they not made it into GS - infact DD2 was all set to go to the comp until the end of July last year when she got into GS from the wait list.
It is such an individual choice though. I would recommend visiting the schools several times to get an idea of what would suit your DD best.
If you want help regarding specific schools you could try posting on www.elevenplusexams.co.uk.
Hope it all works out!

Ollycat Sat 13-Aug-16 00:29:52

Hi

My 2 are at Borlase and I am very happy with it.

The admissions arrangements regarding home address are very strict (I think you may need to dispose of your current property) so you should look carefully at those. Also this years allocation for non sibling catchment has only gone to 3.2 miles - so not all of catchment and I think all over subscription appeals have been refused.

You also mentioned RGS - I don't think SWBGS and RGS have any catchment overlaps. SWBGS and JHGS do.

Ollycat Sat 13-Aug-16 00:34:06

Forgot to say in response to your other question I wouldn't move house for a grammar school! We've lived here for many years pre kids - you would be moving away from friends, community etc for a school - you have a good option and a good standard of life where you are so I would stay put smile . With the timings for residency you would be putting yourself through a lot for a bit of a gamble.

CookieDoughKid Sat 13-Aug-16 14:16:18

Thank you for your input. Will think it over with careful consideration.

guardian123 Sun 23-Oct-16 22:23:57

Ask yourself this question. Oxbridge OR London South Bank, which one you will choose?

Super-selective grammar schools ARE NOT EQUAL TO top comprehensive. They are simply of different league! Both of these schools may have excellent teachers BUT they don't have the same type of students.

MaQueen Sat 05-Nov-16 16:29:36

Depends on the child.

For us, the grammar was the obvious choice as both DDs clever, mathematical, sporty and plenty of self confidence.

It's a fantastic school for them...but probably not so great if you're socially anxious, not competitive etc..

Our DDs take school very much in their stride and don't stress (much) about the relentless tests and exams. But I know some of their friends really struggle with stress.

SE13Mummy Tue 08-Nov-16 14:47:12

Local outstanding comprehensive and not run the risk of your application being deemed fraudulent would be my advice. My DD1 has just started in our local outstanding comp having turned down a guaranteed place at a not-so-local grammar. She's having a whale of a time and loves that she can walk to school.

M00MINMAMMA Sat 12-Nov-16 00:18:51

Sorry Guardian123 but Oxbridge or Southbank is a ridiculous thing to say. Not to mention extremely snobbish. There are kids from comps who get into Oxbridge and many at super selectives who go to Southbank or other 'non-traditional' unis.

It is really down to where you live and that particular school - whether comp or selective. It's also in no small part down to the atmosphere at home.

OP - my dh went to an independent school and I went to a failing comp (it was put in special measures and closed three years after I left). We met studying at LSE which was and still is considered a decent university. I left with a 1st and I don't consider myself a 'boffin'.

Although I went to an academically failing school I was happy because there were a lot of down to earth, normal kids there and I was very shy at 11 and it helped my confidence massively being one of the clever kids, whereas in a grammar or superselective I am pretty sure I would have been average.

If you have an outstanding comp on your doorstep I would consider it, but also consider what your dc are like - do you think they will be self-motivated or need more structure? If so then maybe it's worth the move. I would also take a look at both schools before making a decision, you may find you prefer the comp. HTH!

mumsneedwine Sat 12-Nov-16 13:12:11

I have 3 from the local comp now at Oxbridge wink. Comps don't always publicise their enrichment. Mine have had the chance to study not only Latin but Mandarin and Russian too - this is only offered to a few so not mentioned widely. There are also science trips and maths comps and geography things etc that the school didn't even think to mention - because comps don't usually bother with a sales pitch. They are just there. Whereas some Grammars and private schools want to sell themselves to parents.
Just a thought for you ...

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