Info re Wimbledon college, please(36 Posts)
DS is in y6, and tells me this is his first choice. I don't know anything about it, beyond what is on the school website.
What do y'all know? Is it hard to get into? (I am RC).
Your imput gratefully received
You've just said on another thread that your sons go there so why do you need information on the school? I'm confused
I need to find out more about this school so can someone please enlighten me about it and preferably other state schools in the area! Secondary only though. Would be rally grateful if some could help. Thanks
ps. ds has so far absolutely loved his time at the college! really do recommend it. Next year i have my other son (year 6 currently) going into it and i am half scared that he will not cope as well. my eldest son is as i said sport,confident,socialable and is the kind of person who will try to be the class clown. my middle son is different, definitely no where near as sporty, quieter, quite shy and nervous, and from what my other son has said they are not traits you want to be going into ANY secondary school with, as it marks you out as the weak or vulnerable. well im just happy that i do already have a son there to look out for him
i have a ds currently attending Wimbledon College, he is in year 8. he is also in the rugby A team and i can assure you that Wimbledon College is a most definitely RUGBY school. He is in good sets and says all of his teachers are very good. the pastoral care they get is amazing, as well as the teacher parent communication. Any punishment is told to the parent, and why the punishment has been given, E.G failing to hand in homework.
Yes i do know that Wimbledon College boys in Wimbledon are very boisterous and also meet with Ursuline and Ricards girls making large groups. Without trying to be offensive a large majority of the boys usually take the tram from Wimbledon to Mitcham. You'll find that if you head in the Raynes Park direction they are a lot better behaved and in general have higher standards, so to speak. This being said the new headmaster Mr. A. Laing has tried very hard to stop this loitering about, he has already banned pupils from taking the 200 from the ridgeway to Wimbledon as a result of bad behavior on buses. My son is quite a sporty person and as i said is in the A team for rugby. this season his year had 20 scheduled games (7 of which got cancelled due to weather). They went up against: Trinity College, Dulwich College, London Oratory, Eltham, St. Georges, Gunnersbry, RGS Guildford, Kings College Wimbledon and Hampton, as well as a couple of others. They beat all of them, in fact finished the season unbeaten. In 2014 2 years are going to America on a rugby tour (9&10) and years 11&12 are going to Australia. So anybody who says Wimbledon College is not a rugby school are either ignorant or deluded.
Final open evening report:
Wimbledon College had a guide for each family, making it easy for us to see exactly what we wanted to see. The pupils were very friendly and polite, and nothing was too much to ask of them. There was more of a laissez-faire atmosphere, compared to LOS. The buildings were large and sprawling, compared to LOS and CVMS and there seemed to be more recreational space. The headteacher made a speech at 8.30, but I didn't stay for it and so cannot comment.
I really appreciate everyone's input on this thread.
Tonight I went to St Joseph's SE19, so only one more to visit!
School grounds way more spacious than either LO or CVMS, but some of the (older) buildings needed sprucing up. This was one school where we saw so much of the classrooms and facilities that we made our excuses and left! This was because it was 8.30 pm and I have training to attend tomorrow.
We were shown around by 2 year 9 boys for whom nothing was too much trouble, whether it was guiding parents to the toilets (and waiting for them) or taking note of areas my son wished to see and making sure that he did, even if they did not appear to be on the official itinerary. They answered questions and were polite, just like the teachers who welcomed us to various subject rooms.
While we waited for the speech, one of the college's bands played a medley of tunes.
Headteacher's speech very clear, and he did not use a microphone. It covered the essentials about applying, same as the others, but was the most entertaining so far. Only Liverpool fans need apply to year 7, apparently. Being a Catholic does not appear to be a key selection factor for this school, from what he said. It appears to be the most diverse school I've visited so far, hardly surprising given its location.
@Bizzy: Not sure if I missed the point or more just responded to what you actually wrote in that you were relegating it to the bottom of your list based on the headmasters speech - which I maintain, on that aspect alone would be nuts for such a great school. I've heard over the years and even on another thread at this moment in time, people turning their backs on good schools based on things like a 15 minute journey, the uniform and the like. Now that you have expanded your reasons as to why, then of course, being a human being with my faculties still in tact, I can understand why it's not in anyway your first choice. I think you would agree that you've added quite a bit more important information. My nephew visited Westminster, the greatest school in the country based on academic results and hated it. Not for a millisecond did I encourage my sister to send him there when there are other great alternatives.
Indeed LO is not not for everybody but you can't expect one to deduce that your friends kids as well as families kids hated it and it absolutely breaking them from statements such as, it's going to the bottom of your list on the basis of the headmasters speech.
@*booksandbrunch*...thank you for your comments ...but I think you have missed the point of ANY headmasters speech. /and view around the school /,in that you listen to it and think is this school right for "us"?
Just because OFSTEAD rate it as outstanding ..doesn't mean I have to ..
I am very familiar with LO as my brother ,cousin and lots of their friends went there....and I agree actions however,is what makes or breaks....in alot of pupils I have known of ...it broke them .
I am entittled to put a "great school"at the bottom of my list if I feel it maybe it is not the best choice for my DS , and no it was not foolhardy or brave just ...sensible !
"Such a great school " for one person is not "such a great school "for another.
Friends ds just started Wimbledon College this year and not having a brilliant time, one even being bullied in an undercurrent menacing way causing mild distress. The other two just said it's okay (bearing in mind it's still early days). Friends with ds at at LO and Cardinal Vaughan who started this year absolutely loving it. Also dc happy at BTG but be aware not in the same league as the Vaughan and LO so not a fair comparison.
@Bizzey: With regards to headmaster's speech at LO, to discard such a great school to the bottom of your list on the words on one individual is brave, bordering on foolhardy. Words are wonderful things - actions however, is what makes or breaks. Still, the less people who apply is one less application among the 1000's they'd have to shift through I guess
St Joseph's and Wimbledon College.
Pretty sure our paths will cross at the latter, albeit unknowingly.
Found the YouTube video very blurry but unmistakeable as Mr Desa! DD1 aka PFB is at Ursuline. Going to kingdale next. Where are you off to next?
I like Mr Desa! There used to be a video of him dancing at a BTG disco on youtube - wonder if it is still there...
So paranoid was I in choosing a sec school for my PFB that I used to look up what their pupils might have put up on youtube showing their extra-curricular activities.
Where's your daughter?
Hi Barkiswillling I think we must be circling each other round south london and school open days!!
Am also RC living in south london have son in year 6 and older daughter (but not at st phils) I have been to see Oratory and BTG and liked both though found the head teacher at BTG a bit OTT. Am also going to see wimbledon college, kingsdale, elmgreen will try to get to cardinal vaughan on the same day as wimbledon college (que nervous breakdown!!!!!) but saw it last year and felt like we didn't have a hope in hell of getting in. Would love to hear more about what you think of other open days / schools
St Joseph's and Wimbledon College. Don't drive, so won't go to John Fisher.
Just got in from the open evening at Cardinal Vaughan Memorial. I found it much more pleasant although the head's speech was not improved by a slight muffle to the microphone.
At LO the staff sat onstage with the head, whereas at CVMS it was just the head, the headboy and a year 8 student. This, and the contents of the speeches given by the latter two, gave the impression that the evening was for the Year 6 boys as much as for their parents.
As we were there pretty late, we did not see any demonstrations in the science lab, or performances in the Drama suite (unlike at BTG), however teachers were on hand to talk about their specialisms and give a flavour of the daily life of a year 7 student.
We were led around by 2 sixth formers - a girl and a boy. No teacher led interaction so we could, and did, ask questions and see real live students close up.
Bark...interesting comment on your impression of LO open evening ....I felt exactly the same last year.I got the impression that they did not need to "sell"the school to us because we were all so desperate for our ds to go there ! Bit too arogant for my liking...it ended up low down on the list !
Try and go to the day time one(even less interaction on my visit !) but of our choices it was the only school that did a day one and I thought it would be good for ds to see a secondary schoolin action ifykwim.Primary mark him absent with a special code.
Having said that...there were alot of pros for the school and I dont mean the accademic results .
You are doing some of the schoolsI did last year ....please keep up dating ! It would be intresting to see if there are any changes !
I dont want to influence on your choices but gut instint and an honest pros and cons list helped us .
Been to the Oratory's open evening, liked what the headteacher had to tell us but not happy there was minimal interaction with actual students. In my group at any rate, they seemed reduced to a door-holding role and only spoke if you spoke to them first. The students were very polite and good representatives of the school.
Teachers indicate they expect DS to hit some 6s in SATS, so let's see what happens...
Thanks for all the info. It is most useful.
I will definitely bear your advice in mind, come October.
@ AngelEyes - thanks for that more detailed clarification (although it got a tad mind boggling at the 121st dc - 2nd school bit. Would you mind further clarifying? It helps when talking to friends in a similar position). I became aware only because I had a similar understanding to the op, not helped by the fact that a tutor friend, the admissions assistant in WC AND someone in admissions in the local council believe it or not, also giving me the same wrong information. So when people were telling me otherwise, it took me ages to believe them. This is why now it makes me so cross that schools are not taking time out to stress the actual system to the parents. So many parents are not aware.
I definitely didn't know either, that at appeal, they know if you placed a grammar school higher, which of course leads to a rather tricky situation if you're appealing against an RC place. Too funny.
bark - to reiterate what books says, schools definitely do not know your choices. All schools send in their respective list in order from 1 to however many have applied to your home LA. Your home LA then uploads it to their system and if for example, your 2nd school sends in their list before your 1st and you are in the allocated number, your dcs status is updated as 'provisional'. When the 1st school is received, if your dc is in that allocated list, the status is set as 'offer' and the 2nd school and anything below that is set as 'no longer required'. The system then looks at the 121st dc of your 2nd school but another dc's 1st and sets that to 'offer'. The system is continually changing and being updated until all schools have sent their lists in.
However, the schools do get to find out where your dc's choices of schools are before appeal. The concern for that is if you are appealing for a RC school but have put a grammar school higher.
23 Oh gheez, no that wouldn't have suited my ds either who is more footy. And that definitely wasn't the natter amongst parents that I know, who spoke about the school extensively and also selecting it for those very reasons. They were very MC parents, so I'm wondering if that has changed for this forthcoming year 7?
It was on our list and knowing he would have been in the top group and our ds is very focused, we wouldn't have been disappointed if we got it. We got our first choice though so it didn't happen.
Hi Re the 'rugby' have a look at their website, they are already holding pre season rugby training for y6s who will be in y7 in Sept. They don't even mention football as it is considered to be a minor sport in WC. However, with the new head and some new PE teachers football is starting to be played. A friend whose son went there last year said the y7s were told there would be no football till y8 but everyone had to competed at rugby even the E & F teams. Tbh the focus on rugby was one of the reasons I didn't consider the school for my son, as I said above though this may change in the years ahead.
For me the lack of space for the boys to play at lunch was offputting and the fact that they are only allowed a tennis ball to play with but I know other parents who don't mind this. Also the building though beautiful is very old and takes a lot of the school budget to maintain (also told by a friend who works there).
I must admit, I partially agree with Mumwithtwokids with regards to the calibre of kids, as in, when I used to use the same train station that WC kids used, there was definitely two groups of kids so to speak. Some that looked more troublesome, where I also witnessed a child being a bit bullish towards another child, but equally, there were a lot of lovely boys too. I also personally know of really beautifully brought up children who have lovely parents who go there. I at the time simply put it all down to what I heard about the settings situation, and assumed (never the smartest thing to do I know) that the nicer looking kids were those in the top two sets which is why I stressed the top two groups being key. It is also a comprehensive, so important to keep it real.
Bark is it likely that your ds will end up with level 5 in his sats? Without getting onto the politics of tutoring, one of my friends did tutor her ds to ensure he was in one of the top 2 groups for WC.
In terms of Oratory versus WC, I think it would really depend on your ds's character. Oratory is the far superior school, both in brand (Tony Blair's son went there and Nick Glegg, despite being an atheist but 'saved' by his Catholic wife, had a private viewing) and results (rough figs. 94 % GCSE's A- C including English and Maths vs 72% for WC). Having said that my own ds, unlike me, is more of a conformist and so wouldn't struggle with their strict regime. I've heard of dc's really rebelling against it. Dc's who would struggle to fit into a box would more suit WC. Also, if your dc dotes on footy, then Oratory would be a definite no, no and much better would be Cardinal Vaughan, which once again are for those more able to conform with results the same as Oratory, sometimes more. WC for those who love footy and not conformist.
23baloons Must admit, from parents natter, never really saw it as a rugby school and more all round sports
We went to the open evening last year. Wasn't particularly impressed with the school or the way the boys carried themselves. Definitely not in the same league as London Oratory.
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