Wilson's vs. Sutton Grammar school?

(57 Posts)
Nups Sun 27-Oct-13 19:54:08

Hi! I would like some advice on which school is better in terms of all round development of the child- SGS or Wilson's? Please help with your own experiences if possible. Thanks.

GaribaldiGirl Mon 28-Oct-13 08:30:07

Any mums of older boys got any advice on where to send an academically average/lazy boy at 13 who is not into team/ball sports (but loves biking, climbing, canoeing, shooting) and who is not naturally confident - definitely NOT an alpha male. Can afford private schools, happy with weekly boarding, live in thames valley. Don't mind a bit of a drive. All his local mates going to Radley/Abingdon - definitely not right for DS even if he did get in. Lead option is the Oratory, but think I should consider some other schools. Someone has suggested Bryanston, anyone know that school? Thanks for any thoughts/ideas!

Willemdefoeismine Mon 28-Oct-13 09:08:05

Nups I think you would need parents with DSs at both.....Also you would probably need to find parents who have DSs who've 'gone thro' the school at least to the 6th Form....

DS is in Year 8 at one of these and is definitely a work in progress - academically, in terms of confidence, organisation and generally developing into an all-round good-egg (hopefully!).

Aside from all-round development which one impressed you most and is easiest for your DS to get to.....Those are also considerations which will help you to make up your mind...

I know that Wilson's currently seems the riding high choice of parents who regard the League Tables at the be-all-and-end-all of school decision-making, but there is more to school life than academic work - which is obviously why you're asking the question...

Sorry not to be more helpful and hope you get some more constructive answers!

Nups Mon 28-Oct-13 12:43:12

Willemedefoeismine..Thank you so much for responding. Unfortunately I could not visit either..DS has passed Wilson's and hopefully will pass SGS too..He is a bright boy, doing very well academically..but I do not just want academic brilliance. What I am looking for is a place where he will be nurtured warmly and encouraged to bring out the best in him in other areas too.
I know Wilson's is top of the league tables but that's not my consideration at all. I am not after A* is all subjects anyway..Hence the dilemma, as you rightly pointed out. Hve to submit the CAF by tonite..and want to obviously make the right choice!

Nups Mon 28-Oct-13 12:46:07

Can anyone please advice on how much emphasis is given to the all round development of boys at Wilson's? I certainly do not want an exam factory for a school.

Willemdefoeismine Mon 28-Oct-13 12:54:06

Oh dear that you didn't get to visit either because I think that would have gone a long way to help you make a decision...does your DS have any ideas/preference - what about travel considerations?

I truly believe that they tend to get into the school that's right for them so you could just trust to Fate...

From what I've seen of most of the grammar school children they are a credit to their schools....if you ever see the older SGS boys in Sutton at lunchtime they are always very, very well-behaved.... Not sure about the Wilson's ones as I don't frequent the area where the school is situated!

Good luck....

Nups Mon 28-Oct-13 13:17:26

Thanks a ton. We are renting at the moment, so we can move anywhere. Distance is therefore not a concern. But happiness of my DS is!!

Nups Mon 28-Oct-13 13:19:30

One more question..DO these schools predominantly have an Asian population? I more keen on a good cultural mix, and not just dominated by one culture.

Willemdefoeismine Mon 28-Oct-13 13:22:46

The only thing that I would say is that it's a difficult decision to make 'blind'. Some schools can seem excellent on paper but the reality of the atmosphere is a lot less inspiring/appealing...

Have you considered posting on the 11+Forum - there's a specific section for Surrey - you might get some more useful insights/'traffic' on there - it seems a bit quiet here this week with it being half-term....

Nups Mon 28-Oct-13 13:27:20

Have tried there...but no one seems to be talking about SGS there...Everyone going for Wilson's it seems...

Willemdefoeismine Mon 28-Oct-13 13:40:45

Well yes they would be because it's one of those highly competitive places where the league tables out-weight anything else ;-)!

You could toss a coin for it! Stranger things have happened!

It is worth considering that if your DS has done really, really well in the 11+ exams for both schools, even if you put one above the other, the other might try to poach you just after Offers Day - it does happen.

Given your current situation though I would be tempted to advise you put Wilson's above SGS because it's more of a 'given' - even the cleverest of boys can have off-days and you cannnot necessarily assume anything with the 11+ exams!

Nups Mon 28-Oct-13 13:59:43

You are really sweet Willemdefoeismine...Thanks ever so much for your prompt responses...Such a difficult choice to make..Tossing a coin is a great idea..smile

thecatfromjapan Mon 28-Oct-13 14:04:56

Ummm. I'm going to throw in one difference I can think of: SGS has swimming, Wilson's doesn't. That matters if your boy is into swimming.

(If he isn't, it's probably less of an issue.)

I think SGS is smaller and slightly less full-on, too. So I get the impression it's nice for the "good all rounder" types.

They are both really good schools. If I were doing it all again, I'd probably make the decision based on which is easiest to get to.

Nups Mon 28-Oct-13 15:48:26

thecatfromjapan thank you so much. Thats a very good point. DS really enjoys swimming. Also, I think SGS does some activities with Sutton High School..it may be a good idea to have some interaction with girls. Din't think Wilson's has any of it.

Classicsgirl Mon 28-Oct-13 15:59:45

Both great options so you can't go wrong really. we ended up choosing wilsons because it seems to have more allrounders (not just mathmos and scientists) than some of the others. they also do plays and music with girls from wallington, so there are links there, and it has a huge range of extracurricular eg gardening, cooking, strategy games, as well as sports music etc. I cannot quite believe my year 8DS is going to turn into one of the smart young men in the sixth form but here's hoping....

Nups Mon 28-Oct-13 16:11:11

Thanks. Thats a useful input. How would you rate the two in terms of academic pressure/stress of exams etc? Do they get time to persue their interests or is it just academics every day.

Blu Mon 28-Oct-13 16:14:01

Just curious - how can you have not visited either school? Has your DS visited?

anotherboringnickname Mon 28-Oct-13 16:16:28

When we visited we were shown around by two cheerful boys, big smiles on their faces, very sharp and funny. One of them plays Grade 7 piano and the other one is a football champion. They were discussing Alex Ryder books and Dr Who with DS, and telling us all about the chess club.
Judge for yourself!

Nups Mon 28-Oct-13 16:18:37

Because we are bit far from Sutton, and weren't reallly considering these schools that seriously until DS passed second stage of Wilson's. Also, generally speaking, from the Grammars we saw, we were a bit disappointed. They only seemed to be focusing on academics and results..not on the all round development of the boys. Hence the dilemma!!!

Nups Mon 28-Oct-13 16:20:27

anotherboringnickname...is that Wilson's you are talking about or SGS? Sounds great to me!!!

anotherboringnickname Mon 28-Oct-13 16:48:38

It is Wilsons.

Willemdefoeismine Mon 28-Oct-13 17:02:20

But I would argue that you could have just as easily had a similar experience at WCGS or SGS! Or even Graveney or one of the well-regarded comprehensives!

Dibbleofficer Tue 29-Oct-13 10:05:19

nups ....why are you so concerned about as you say " the racial mix" .... Not about the qualities of the school itself....

Ladymuck Tue 29-Oct-13 12:09:52

Dibble, even these schools tend to comment on the ethnic mix - certainly I've seen so etching in print from wilsons. It isn't representative of the local population, and, when there was suddenly a swing in the mix, caused some unexpected issues, with boys not mixing outside of their natural groupings. As far as I am aware all of the schools have put a lot more effort into team building exercises, and trying to encourage friendships across the different groups. Most schools are good at managing a diverse mix of children, but when one group dominates, then difficulties can arise for those in minority groups. Lots of parents avoid schools such as Caterham for similar reasons.

Ladymuck Tue 29-Oct-13 12:10:46

"So etching"=something!

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