Can anyone tell me - my sil is looking at the above schools - her ds is in year 5 - been tutored for the last 6 months. Top within his primary for maths and science, goodish at english. Is musical but not particularly sporty. Also looking at whitgift but would be looking for some type of scholarship.
I would recommend looking outside of Croydon and Sutton, since John Fisher stopped it's selection policy and Coloma has become more laid back standards among these schools (which were once very very hard to get into are slipping).
Trinity and Whitgift have benefitted from the demise of the few good state schools as have the Sutton Grammars and Tiffin's of this world too.
Try for Worth, around 15k per annum and not as selective or Ewell Castle (the same). My son failed his Fisher interview and religion test so we had to send him to Worth, then tried again for Fisher 6th form. Of course all this was back when John Fisher was one of the best state schools in Surrey.
The music at Trinity is phenomenal. I was at their Gala concert last week and it was a joy. The music dept is very well organised and the teachers are enthusiastic and committed. My son happily gets up at 6.30 am to attend jazz practice before school (something terribly wrong about jazz at that hour...). The music scholarships are tough though -- I seem to remember you need to be minimum Grade 4 to even be eligible to apply at 11+. Also, Soupdragon, I think you'll find that they now have a non-contact rugby team for those that are convinced that rugby is a blood sport. I don't think that delicate child was allowed to opt-out for long!
If you're going to go for Trinity or Whitgift scholarship, it is wise to sit both. Then if you get scholarship at less-preferred school you can try and negotiate.