Kings, Winchester, anyone any views?

(19 Posts)
lainiekazan Sat 17-Aug-13 12:02:07

Specifically, how much do they set? I can't find any information on this on website or internet searches.

Someone vaguely mentioned that they have a sort of "top band" which is separated from the other pupils for all subjects. Does anyone know if this is correct and if so how it is selected and if it is effective.

Thanks for any replies!

Winterfel Sun 18-Aug-13 14:37:57

I too am interested in this, Kings sounds very much like a grammar!

I also wonder when they are due an ofsted? I noticed that HB and Westgate have had theirs.

Erebus Sun 18-Aug-13 16:08:14

I'm sure a Kings parent will be along shortly, but I know a bit about the school as I know several DC there (I work locally).

I had a look around for DS1 when he was Y5 (we rented so had a certain freedom of secondary school choice which we decided to exercise!). To me it felt very much like my old GS though I am old grin. Yes, they are rigorously set; my friends speak of back-seat conversations between DC as they drive a mob to sports fixtures about who's in which set, who's up, who's down. I gather they have a system where you get 'set' for a block of related subjects rather than for every subject? Like if you're good at maths, you're also in a high set for MFL...

I have been told of there being a bit of a divide, socially, at the school between the DC from the posh MC villages that surround Winchester and the DC from the large council estate, Stanmore, in Winch. This person (who's DC had been a head child at the school recently) said the twain didn't tend to meet. Also, the school in this DC's opinion, appeared to only laud its Alpha acheivers

I hasten to add I'm only telling you what I was told. I can't corroborate any of it!

For the record we didn't choose the school as I was concerned that, though DS1 would probably be in set 1 (not A, maybe C) for most things, DS2 wouldn't as he is less academic (thus risked being in lower sets with not only the less able but also the disengaged and disruptive, not that Kings necessarily 'suffers' from this!) so we chose a nearby comp that effectively doesn't set yet, in fact gets better GCSE results fwiw than Kings; our choice is vair MC, however! grin So might not suit every one.

On balance, I believe Kings is a good school with a good reputation. You just need to decide if you want a GS feel or a Comp feel to your DC's education (assuming your DC will be in the upper end of the setting continuum at Kings, not labelled as a 'fail', or that you're or they're not too worried about how public declared averse setting might affect them).

Erebus Sun 18-Aug-13 16:09:47

A quickie: Do academies get OFSTEDs any more?!

ISingSoprano Sun 18-Aug-13 20:58:01

Yes they do Erebus. Perins is an academy and was Ofsteded last term.

SonorousBip Mon 19-Aug-13 10:54:58

It's funny how it has a grammar school feel as the school, in its previous incarnation, Montgomery of Alamein, was the boys secondary modern (and Peter Symonds was the boys grammar).

In my day it was as -- rough-- as boots not a destination of choice. I haved moved away but my parents live locally to it and I hear bits and pieces. To my mind it is always the example of how a fairly shocking school can completely reinvent itself within a reasonably short time.

I do hear good things about it. I'm sure it has quite a mixed intake (with the caveat tha that is mixed by Winchester standards) - that will be because it is, I think, a genuine comprehensive.

ISingSoprano Mon 19-Aug-13 15:17:52

sonorous that was a VERY long time ago. PS became a sixth form in 1974 and Montgomery of Alamein was a boys comprehensive (alongside Danemark, the girls comp). Montgomery was actually a very successful school under the headship of Dennis Beacham. Although Kings was formed from the amalgamation of Montgomery and Danemark it's campus is based on the Danemark buildings.

Netguru Mon 19-Aug-13 15:34:33

My son went there. Very very happy with the school. They do set and they do push the children but he and his peer group all did really well and have continued to do so since moving on.

Only sorry that due to a house move my two younger DCs can't go there.

Erebus Mon 19-Aug-13 19:08:50

Thing is about a school- you have to ask yourself- what constitutes 'a school'? A bunch of buildings? A group of Governors/Heads/teachers? A student body? Parents? Bit of all?

Saying a group of buildings was x, y or z back in my day is a tiny bit irrelevant. I went to the girls GS in Salisbury. Right here, right now, I doubt I'd've got a place (as evidenced by the spelling and grammatical howlers in my first post grin) as I was 'village primary' educated. In a school of maybe 70, all up, 9 of us got to GS in 1973. Today, that'd be 1 or 2, tops, as the places are filled with very well tutored Prep Schooled DC. Thus, if anyone asks me about my GS, I can only recall nostalgically a set of buildings and a 1970s ethos regarding 'clever gels' education.

However, I 'get' entirely what one says about 'feels'- I confess that my DSs were in what I considered to be a good inf/juniors nearby here but which fed into what is now a comp which I really didn't want my DSs to go to as I recalled it how it was back in the mid 70s- a disaster. Now, it's actually a perfectly good comp but my prejudices remained. So we moved. To a comp which workmates in their 40s tell me was a quite average comp when they were at school, locally!

So listen to current parents, not me! grin

SonorousBip Tue 20-Aug-13 11:25:46

Yes, I know, I was just being an old person, plus giving some context smile.

I left one of the feeder schools for Danemark in 1974 and a lot of my mates went to there and Montgomery. I do accept that my views are not particularly pertinent/relevant!

Erebus Tue 20-Aug-13 13:54:19

I just returned from talking to a bloke in his early 50s who went to the boys school there! Amusingly his own aged mother who was also talking with us said, with a sniff, 'It's a much better school now, you know' grin

Erebus Tue 20-Aug-13 13:55:39

Was Peter Symonds the Winchester GS, then? Was it called that? I just also found out that Barton Peveril was the Eastleigh GS, the other day, too!

SonorousBip Tue 20-Aug-13 15:14:05

Yes, it was called Peter Symmonds when it was the grammar school. I think Peter Symonds was only boys when it was the GS and I have a feeling that Westgate was the girls grammar school. HB was custom built as a comp, I think, and when I was younger was definitely the place eveyone wanted to go to - used to be very sought after.

ISingSoprano Tue 20-Aug-13 17:28:50

Yeah - Westgate was the girls grammar school, called 'County High School'.

The co-ed secondary modern was on the site which is now St Bede Primary and was called Danemark. This then divided into separate boys and girls, the boys moving to Romsey Road which in turn was subsequently re-named Montgomery of Alamein. The girls eventually moved up to the same site and kept the name Danemark. The grammar schools closed in the early 1970's with PS becoming the sixth form college for Winchester and County High becoming Westgate comprehensive.

Can you tell my family have lived in Winchester for a long time?? grin

ISingSoprano Tue 20-Aug-13 17:29:58

Sorry OP that had absolutely nothing to do with your original questions!

Talkinpeace Tue 20-Aug-13 17:38:56

but to go back to OPs question
from what I hear (DD is year 10 in a PSC feeder)
they set very heavily, as do all the schools and no they do NOT segregate : what would be the point of that if a late maturing kid came up or an early maturer started to slide ....

Erebus Tue 20-Aug-13 17:48:15

Thanks for the info. I am a bit sad and actually find this sort of stuff interesting! I was wandering through Eastleigh town centre a few months back and saw some old photos of class groups/prize givings at Barton Peveril grammar (in an undertaker's window grin) thus discovered that fact. Not sure if that's the same location, though; and on Leigh Rd in Eastleigh is the Fire Brigade HQ, and when we first drove past it, I remarked to DH that it looked exactly like the architecture of my GS, built 1928 (I think), in Salisbury. Turns out it in fact was once a school. It was North End school which then moved and anagrammed to Thornden; then it was Toynbee school which also then moved to its present site, so now it's the Fire HQ.

I gather that HB is now regarded as the 'lesser' option among the 3 comps in Winch? Though I'd've said that 'lesser' when it comes to Winchester is a very relative term!!

I also understand that they're making Westgate into a 4-16 school. Not sure how that'll work but it may go some way to easing the primary school place problem there. Ironic how Winchester is a mass (relatively speaking!) of ex-Londoners, and lo! Suddenly it has the same ishooz as London where you live next-door to a great primary- but your 4 year old gets allocated a school in a village 3 miles outside the city!

Funny old place.

Erebus Tue 20-Aug-13 17:48:54

Thornden doesn't set!

Erebus Tue 20-Aug-13 17:49:30

And also apologies to the OP for the hijack! blush

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