The Trinity-Whitgift thread of 2013 continued(861 Posts)
Hi all as I posted on previous thread, I realised we had hit the 1000 mark, do felt obliged to open a new one. Hope everyone finds this thread easily
fatal so pleased for you and your DS. At interview W were very particular to stress diversity of the school and to point out that everyone earned their place there and not just kids from independent preps. This is part of what I like about the school - society is diverse and schools should reflect that and children need to learn to get along with people even those they may not like as that is what happens when you go to work. Be interested to see what cinders has to say
Cinder55, can you expand on 'issues with social dynamics'
IMO, there is not much difference between a class size of 20 and 25. 20 and 30, maybe?
Too much rumours going round, unfortunately not a comfort to all those people who didn't get in.
I don't think a lot of people were in any doubt that W, T etc are not super selective schools. Nor do I think most people are not able to look past the purple capes, peacocks and other assortments associated with W. As someone posted earlier, no school is perfect and I bet at least 1 person ( possibly more), could have written the same post cinder55 wrote about the super selective schools. I certainly have heard about people who have been bullied or struggled in the super selective schools. Each one to their own. What I would say, is yes, go in with eyes open, but don't let anything kill the joy & elation of now. And the anticipation of exciting times and the new challenges ahead. As parents we all have to help our DC somewhat, and not rely 100% on the schools, we have our parts to play.
rockwithu totally agree horses for courses and all that. I love ds's current school but could produce a very long list of things that could be improved!
Thank you Croydonmumtods, had a panic attack that my post could have been misconstrued!
We, too, like the diversity and the "aspirational" aspect of W. It may not be for everyone, but we like the exposure DS will get and hopefully there will even be some boys who may benefit from getting to know his odd little personality.
As we are not by any stretch of the imagination well off, we felt we would not have fitted in at our other option, although that school does indeed perform better in the league tables than W, fwiw.
Also - as I have stated before - DS is not sporty. So he certainly didn't get in on that account. But I do like the idea of him being in a school where sport is important. And art and drama and music and Dalek and robotics club. And mucking about with boys from a slightly or very different background (better and worse!).
Cinder55...I was estactic to accept my Ds's place at W11+ on a full fees basis (did so with my eyes very widey open; knowing full well that it is not ranked as highly in the league tables as some of the super selective independent schools.
However I did not look at league tables in isolation or listen to the rumour mills at the school gates..you cannot judge a school purely like that...There are so many other factors that you need to consider..my number one priority was/is mainly will my son be happy, learn and thrive to the best of his ability and have a good social mix of friends ..I still believe W can achieve this.
I am in no doubt that there will be bumps along the way....as no school is perfect. Life is not perfect....!
However as encouraging and supportive parents, I would like to think that we all know whats best for our own individual children,as each child is different; and everyones circumstances and reasons for choosing one school over another will be different.
I for one, as echoed by Croydonmum, Nothingyummymum, Fatal,BurntoutDad and others, am truely proud of my Ds's achievements...so I still say roll on September...can't wait!
Cheammum - i just wrote a really long post in reply to cinder55's seemingly bitter post and lost all of it. When i reloaded, yours was there and its almost identical to what i was going to say (although mine wasnt as polite!)
Cinders55 - regarding the bright ds not getting a plce at W. Could it not be a number of other factors that prevented it?? Perhaps he had an off day? Or W thought he wouldnt fit? Or parents said something they shouldnt have at interview?
And as for giving the cricketer a large scholarship do you not believe that 'talent' or 'potential' should be rewarded as well as 'academic prowess' ?
If Oxbridge was a parents main focus then research would direct them to kcs etc. My DS for one would hate sitting in a class of 8 being
pushed prepped for that.
Burntoutdad...you do make me laugh...I was fuming while reading Cinders post....oh well, everyone is entitled to their own opinion...and just when I thought I was free from this thread ...now its gone and got even more captivating!
I think it's very telling that these W/T threads are always enormous, and I think that says a great deal about the ethos of both the school and of the families that want their son(s) to attend. Look at us - we have supported each other since way before results were out, and we're still here weeks later! And I don't recall anyone mentioning league tables, not once...
Maybe I could've sat ds for somewhere more 'selective'. But why would I? I'm not the sort of person who wants 'top tier' or nothing. Whitgift is my local school. I've grown up with it. I know the type of boy it 'produces' (for want of a better word!) And league tables are just the tiniest part of an educational experience, afaic. Maybe it's not utterly perfect in every way. But the school has already shown enormous faith in my ds and I know it's going to offer him the kind of opportunities that his other school options can only dream about, and he will make the most of them. That's more than good enough for me.
cinders55- this is news to me too! I think my sons year is 191at present so I put the number discrepancy down to natural wastage over the 2GCSE years and/or boys taking exams early so not appearing on cohort stats. I'm a little bemused tbh. as I understand it, the lower achieving boys are in sets of 10 for maths, and last year 2/3 of them reached A*. so why would they be sitting at Croydon college?
Can I suggest that the thread will be most useful in future if you don't "shoot the messenger". Cinder55 is happy with the school for her ds's, but queries whether it provides the same value for money for the full feepayers. We've already had posters on here who have tried to answer that question for themselves. And of course anyone looking at W or T are looking at these schools with a particular context: and more importantly on the basis of what other schools are options for them. Those with offers also from KCS are in a different position from those with a place at Quest Academy.
Please note that the rumour this year is not that everyone who can afford to pay W has a place: it is only about those who passed the exam. Due to threads such as these, which have alerted many people to the offers made by W & T it is more and more common for parents who are aiming for grammar school places to sit W or T as a back-up. It's nothing new, but it has been more common. And this is a relatively "thinner" school year squeezed between 2 "fat ones". Which is not to diminish the achievement or ability of any child who has been offered a place.
I know that a lot of parents have been surprised to have received the class list and then realise the number of boys in the yeargroup, or even boys per form. And it is a difference between W&T (the latter of which try very hard to ensure that they keep to the same intake each year). This doesn't make W a poor school in any way - it is just one of the differences between these schools.
Anyway, all this is moot for the 10+/11+ ers now. And there are many years ahead!
Ladymuck dont think cinder is just a messenger of others but also expressing her and others opinions, and hasnt actually said that she is happy with her choice but that her DS,s are happy there.
The reason your post is a bit of a shake up is that it is the first time I have heard a W parent being so negative about the school, (although of course there must be others) as most have given glowing reports.
In response I would like to add to what others here have said:
1) We know its not a top tier school, never has been. If you judge output to Oxbridge as a factor in choosing a school then W obviously isn't the choice for you.
2) It's almost as if your post is saying 'the children of those earning under £75k per year are creating issues in the social dynamic of the school'. Im sure this is not what you mean but I am also, like others, very interested in the issues that are being created as it is this mix which makes W popular. I for one could have been someone who would have benefited greatly from the bursary system here (had my parents known about it) as someone who was a bright young child but would never normally have had the opportunity to attend a school like this. Conversely we are now in a position where we would not qualify for a bursary (although paying will be by no means easy) but do not begrudge those that have huge fee remissions good luck to them I say, if we could do it we would. We are just grateful that DS has a place here with a scholarship, its the ethos we wanted not the league table place.
3) My comment re class sizes was in comparison to state comprehensives not the super selectives.
Rumours, rumours, - we have said enough here to show that those rumours are hearsay or based on outcomes from just one small group from a single school. Of course all fee paying schools would need a percentage of full fee paying parents to survive, but the suggestion that you could just call and get a place sounds preposterous.
Not only that but actually posting that here shows a distinct lack of respect for those who have just been through a very taxing process with their children, are delighted with the outcome and are now coming to terms with a decision which in some cases is life changing. And also for those that are maybe now contemplating attending a school they would not choose for their bright DS knowing they passed the W test but just cant afford to send their DS there, but someone who has the fee could call and get a place without the stress.
Im sure that a lot of schools cull at gcse level in that way, this Im afraid is a by-product of the league tables that you seem to place so much importance on that losing bright boys to other schools is becoming an issue that you (or others) actually complain to the school about. If they wanted the bright boys you can bet your bottom dollar that the offers to them would have reflected that. Im also not sure that the GCSE rankings are as important to them now as the other IB rankings, in any case all schools (bottom to top) will have some method of massaging the numbers to get up that table. btw 'bright' or 'not so bright' boys still both have chances of gaining good grades if the effort and teaching is good. So a 'not so bright' (hate that term!) boy with additional talent in some area makes for a richer environment in a school than all 'very bright' but nothing else - Sutton grammar anyone!
It sounds as if you yourself wanted something that the school didnt/couldnt deliver and perhaps are thinking that kcs etc would have been better choices for you.
I thank you for your opinion, although do hope that its a minority opinion within the school, as I for one would not like to think that the majority of parents share your view .
With regards to value for money , I for one will keep a close eye to make sure that my DS is getting all he can out of his time there, in clubs and activities etc and would hope to know way before the GCSEs whether he is struggling to keep up.
We will go in with our eyes wide open, but more importantly with a positive attitude to our chosen school which we have all worked hard to get in to.
LadyMuck - how do you find out whether a particular year is a thin or fat one?
I don't think Cinder55 post was written the way you have interpreted. I know that you are all rejoicing in what your DSs have achieved - and rightly so, but they have not reached Nirvana!! These schools will have problems with bullying, fights, drugs, suspensions, expulsions etc. They do have a mix of pupils - partly due to the bursary system (which Cinder55 openly pointed out that she was in receipt of, so I think your injustice Burntout is bit misplaced!). If you are expecting all parents/pupils to be 100% happy about all aspects of the schools all of the time then you are being unrealistic. Cinder55 was simply pointing out some of the issues she has come across. You do need your eyes wide open to negotiate your way through the system - getting into the schools is only the first step. the point she was making about first-tier schools was in response to several posts made early on in these threads where there was a discussion on this point, not as a criticism of your choices.
cinder55- you mention in para 4 about a bright boy at ds2 state primary who didn't get a place at w and then in para6 about communicating with hm at ds2 prep school. forgive me for being a little suspicious...
I think it's the implication that you can just ring up and get a place that's rankled... all the talk of peacocks and capes has been very tongue in cheek after all.
I think most of us have our eyes wiiiide open. Doesn't stop the excitement spilling over sometimes though!
Please excuse my ignorance, but what does a "thin" year mean?
As most parents who'd apply to schools like W,T et al and are about to potentially spend a small fortune, I have done months of research (driving DH insane!).
I have spoken to many existing W parents. One could hardly fault anything and her son was happier and performing better than he'd ever been at a very good prep school (not the one with the all-knowing Head where the rumour seems to be emanating from).
Another mum complained about the pre- A level "cull", saying her son had been warned to improve his academic performance or would not be accepted for A levels. He is on a sports scholarship.
Yet another said it had been the best decision they could have made - their DS is a geeky, withdrawn boy who has found his niche and has been allowed to be different.
I have also picked up that existing parents are not necessarily happy with the new boarding facilities and how that would be funded.
Quite a normal group, then, probably very representative of similar schools.
I have to echo that nobody would imagine W to be Nirvana. To get 8 boys in one year goup to Oxbridge is still pretty impressive to me, though..
But I agree, Fatal, the suggestion you could just call up for a place is hard to swallow. Especially after what you'd just been through!
Btw - I know of at least one person on this thread who was offered a place at T and not at W after interview?
seeline - I didn't see cinder55's post as a criticism of my choice, really couldn't care less (Iim too thick skinned for that!) decision made - done - move on! And by no means do I think that my Ds has reached Nirvana, I don't quite understand how you came to that conclusion. My positivity has been driven by the perception that the school meets my criteria for choice, if my Ds was more musical say, I perhaps wouldn't be so positive about the sports opportunities.
These schools of course have those issues you have mentioned (although not to the extent and tolerance of some states) but not necessarily due to the bursary system, as cinder55 and perhaps now you are intimating (apologies if you are not). Cant tell if I am really misreading this or it is being inferred that all DC's disciplined in these schools are on Bursaries? or the majority? This would be an interesting stat to have.
I have said that of course not all parents will be happy with their chosen school, and again cant understand where you could make the statement about being unrealistic.
Of course Cinder55 may be making a statement about attitudes there towards herself being in receipt of a bursary, so lets give her the chance to respond or clarify (if she wishes), her view on the social issues. These are of course issues that wont be published anywhere so are important to hear first hand.
I am in no way criticising the bursary system - my DS is at T and I have no idea which of his friends are on bursaries and/or scholarships. They all seem charming boys. Parental income has no reflection on standards of behaviour.
Neither were my comments directed at you in particular Burntout - my comment re injustice reflected my feeling that you were perhaps criticising Cinder55 for commenting on the burary/social mix issue when she herself was in receipt of bursaries. I am sorry if that wasn't clear.
Wrt to the whole 'social dynamics' thing... well, we'll have to cross those bridges if and when we come to them. As long as cinder55 isn't implying that there is bullying of boys on fee remission then I think we can handle it. Am well aware that there may be some boys in ds's class who will find it strange/amusing/whatever that he lives in a 2nd-floor flat rather than a 6-bed house with a pool but, hey ho! Maybe they'll learn something from him
Just like to point out that Cinder55 initially states that Ds's DO NOT benefit from bursaries....so that's probably the underlying issue here!
Sorry...just re read Cinders post..got it wrong..Ds's DO benefit from bursaries....so I am now totally confused as to reasoning behind initial rant!
nothingyummymum - Parents shouldn't actually be surprised at the pre A level cull as its not hidden away, ive been trying to think where i read about it and have just found this published in the W 6th form curriculum booklet -
"Admission to the Sixth Form is not automatic, however, and internal students entering from the Upper Fifth Form are expected to achieve at least 21 points in their GCSE grades. (A* = 4 points, A = 3 points, B = 2 points). The usual requirement for external candidates is seven GCSE passes at A*/A grade. Certain subjects also have specific GCSE grade requirements and all students should achieve an A* or an A grade in the subjects they wish to pursue post 16. Similarly, students are expected to maintain these high academic standards throughout the Sixth Form."
Now we all know what we need to achieve not to get 'culled'!
seeline - No worries from my end , we have all been through too much here to fall out with each over mis-interpreted posts.
Anyway cinder55 post has certainly caused some debate which can only be a good thing I suppose and what forums like this are for.
Ill never get off now - checking and waiting for her response.
Easy to find which of his friends are are on bursaries btw - they will all be in detention! only joking!!!!!!!!!
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