13 plus - Latymer Upper vs St Paul's

(11 Posts)
mummyitalia Sat 02-Mar-13 21:36:55

I have already done a thread on this but I can't seem to access it, basically we're deciding between LUS and St Paul's for 13 plus for our DS, who is very academic and sporty. Now I know you'll all find it a bit odd that I'm hesitating on this one, seeing as St Paul's is the 2nd best school in the country, but the way Latymer is going at the moment it will soon catch up (to an extent of course). We just prefer the idea of co-education, so would it be wise to sacrifice the top school for one that's slightly lower in the tables (30th or something - but still top co-ed) but will be getting better in the years to come? Anyone got any experience of these schools (especially LUS)?
Thanks alot

singersgirl Sat 02-Mar-13 22:36:27

It's not really about which is the 'best' school (or better out of two) as either school will enable a child to achieve whatever they're capable of - if they want to.

There's a lot of understandable angst about choosing a school but so much of it is unknowable - how is your child going to change between the ages of 11 and 18? what will their cohort be like? will they find friends quickly? will they discover a love for a sport or subject they've not encountered before?

You just have to go on gut feel and throw in a few practical things.

Do you want co-ed? If so, there's no contest.

Do you want acres of playing fields outside your door? If so, there's no contest.

Which school is closer and easier to get to? By public transport and/or car? For example, for us, Latymer is pretty accessible by public transport but driving is terrible and parking pretty impossible.

In terms of results (though it's pretty marginal at this level) it would be interesting to split out boys and girls at Latymer; co-ed schools never publish this data (well, I've never seen it) so it's hard to tell whether for example girls or boys are doing better.

We know lots of children at both schools and without exception they seem to be making the most of their opportunities.

We chose the school that was closest to our house. It's made a lot of things very much easier.

mummyitalia Sat 02-Mar-13 23:50:49

Thanks singers. I actually did ask one of the teachers about the boys/girls thing and they said they both do just as well as each other. It seems that on the league tables there are more girls schools than boys schools in the top 30 or so, not sure what that shows. For us, we can get to both pretty easily (bus/walk) so travel doesn't matter so much. I know LUS has brilliant grounds (All Blacks train on them apparently) but so do St Paul's - and of course theirs are actually on site.
I think it's quite hard to pinpoint Latymer as there's no school to really compare it to, it's the best of its kind. I'll continue thinking about it and welcome any more advice smile

Eastpoint Sun 03-Mar-13 08:24:49

If your son sat Latymer rather than just single sex schools you must want co-ed so go for it. Lots of lovely children in yr8 who work hard & have fun together.

Needmoresleep Sun 03-Mar-13 09:10:29

I would not know about results, but it is generally assumed that the competition for places amongst boys is tougher, certainly at 11+.

1. The prep has tended to be have more boys as boys are more likely to do the 7+/8+. Numbers of boys and girls are then evened up in the senior school.
2. There are relatively few new places for boys at 11+ in the private sector in West London, the point at which boys leave state primary schools, as the main entry points for Kings Wimbledon, St Pauls and Westminster are at 13+ with Common Entrance which effectively needs a Prepatory School. In contrast girls living within striking distance of LU have a huge choice of GDST schools, SPGS, G&L, the other co-eds, and a lot of central London schools, eg Francis Holland.

Worth also remembering that boys TEND to do better in maths/science and girls in English, so it is difficult to compare across the board.

As others have said the big choice is whether you want co-ed or not. The other choice is about range. Both schools will have some very clever kids who will do well. LU is likely to have a wider range of ability, if only because some of the cohort will have started 6 years before when entry was less competitive. (Which when looking at their results suggests their "value added" is good.) One of my DC is at a very academic school which he loves and where he is relaxed about being in the lower half of the ability range. He likes education and likes having clever friends. The other is less academically confident and has thrived in a school where she is further up the cohort and where good credit is given for non academic achievements.

The only results that count are your own child's results. Both are great schools, and quite different. Your child should do best in the school they feel most comfortable in. As others have said, go with your own instincts. There is a lot of West London talk about which school is the "best", but at this level it should be about which school will provide the more constructively challenging environment and which will turn out the more rounded adult.

mummyitalia Sun 03-Mar-13 13:31:53

Thanks Needmoresleep. I suppose there isn't really much between these two schools anymore, so we'll need to think about it a bit more with regards to what DS really wants (i.e girls/no girls). He is highly academic, and would be in the top stream for both St Paul's and Latymer (or so we're told). Thanks to all

123flower Mon 04-Mar-13 11:00:02

I have boys at both schools. LU has improved dramatically in recent years, but the quality of the teaching at St Paul's remains second to none. If your boy is very academic (and sporty), you should opt for the latter in my view. Our son has met and made friends with loads of girls (SPGS, Latymer, Godolphin) outside school.

mummyitalia Mon 04-Mar-13 18:45:46

123flower thanks. Although I do think that the teaching will in a few years be similar to St Paul's. I think we are going to put our faith in Latymer's improvement as it will keep on moving up the tables. We were told this year they were expecting their Year 11s to get results similar to SPGS and St Paul's, so they obviously have the determination. Thanks smile

Mominatrix Tue 05-Mar-13 06:27:54

mummy, I think you are incorrect that the teaching will change at Latymer - what is changing is the quality of intake of students they teach. No matter, as the teaching is fine at Latymer - just don't confuse a better intake resulting in better results with a higher caliber intake resulting in better results.

I only know Latymer through its prep, and I do know that they recommend that certain of its students change at 11 to go to Westminster or Colet Court instead of continuing onto the Upper School(a very small number, but it still occurs) - according to the parents, it was because their child was very academically advanced, and would thrive at those other schools.

choselatymer Tue 05-Mar-13 12:05:53

We were recommended that we go for Westminster or Colet Court for DS but have chosen LU instead. The reason why is exactly what is being discussed here: that it is not at the academic and social level than those other schools. And even though I seem to disagree with mummyitalia on this one, I personally hope it never becomes Westminster or St Paul's which are excellent schools for some DC and may have better teachers but are not the school experience we want for DS.

Trippingthelightfantastic Wed 06-Mar-13 17:39:32

"the quality of the teaching at St Paul's remains second to none"
"put our faith in Latymer's improvement as it will keep on moving up the tables."
OP my DH was at St Pauls I think he would say you're missing the point. Your judging a school by only one criteria its postion in the league tables. I too have an academic child IQ 150+ I believe for these children its not just about results but how far the individulual school goes beyond the curriculum and extends the subjects often to undergraduate level that IMO matters. St Pauls is a thoroughly modern school and feels like a university the boys are constantly being taken beoynd the curriculum there is no limit and this is what makes it and the small number of similar schools e.g. Westminster so special. IMO its a no brainer St Pauls is best option.

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