Colet Court, St Paul's

(15 Posts)
MarriedDadOneSonOneDaughter Tue 11-Feb-14 21:29:04

Our boy has been offered a 10+ deferred place for Colet Court. Huge achievement for him against a very strong field (apparently). We need to accept by 26 Feb.

I'd love to hear from parents of boys at Colet Court and St Paul's either on this thread or PM etc.

Does the school live up to your expectations?
Are the boys in general happy?
Are there any material concerns (not looking for perfection)?

Just looking for the last bit of confidence that this big commitment is the right one for our boy and words from experience parents would help us make our decision.

Thanks all in advance.

singersgirl Tue 11-Feb-14 22:10:58

You can PM me if you like!

Don't hesitate! Can't speak for CC but my DS recently left SPS and loved it. The really fab thing was not all the sport, music and drama he did, nor the great friends, but the absolutely inspiring teaching. And that is what it should be about.

Realhousewifeofealing Tue 11-Feb-14 23:56:21

We accepted a 10+place last year - due to start in sept. Still feel it's too good an opportunity to miss

MarriedDadOneSonOneDaughter Wed 12-Feb-14 21:06:08

Kind of a detailed question but how much money do you spend a year on "mandatory" extras (school trips etc) that aren't included in the fees?

Also, what time does the school day end (4pm?) and how often do your boys stay after hours for clubs etc?

Lastly, is it about right to say they start with about 3 x 30 mins of homework per night around 11+ rising to about double that by A levels?

Thanks all!!

singersgirl Wed 12-Feb-14 23:06:54

School day ends at 4 in Colet, 4.15 in SPS. There aren 't really many mandatory extras; there is a geography field trip in Y7 that they really have to go on and a few books that they keep are charged for but most are included. Lunches are included too . Most clubs are in lunch break or some (choirs and orchestras) during morning assembly. If there are away sports matches they might be back late to school - depends where they have been playing.

These schools aren't cheap, for sure, but they do try hard to manage costs. For example at SPS the uniform is very basic and cheap relative to other schools. I think I kitted my son out for about £120 whereas a friend spent £6000 on her son going to Harrow.

Nordicmom Wed 12-Feb-14 23:26:45

You seem to have gotten a lot of the answers already so not much to add really than to say that my DS in his second year at CC ( First year) loves it and we've been really happy with the school. He's younger so has only say 30 min homework per night atm . He does after school activities on two evenings but at lunchtime nearly everyday .
Congrats to your DS on getting a place smile! I think he'll be happy there.

singersgirl Wed 12-Feb-14 23:35:30

And the second hand uniform sale (first Monday of the summer holidays) has lots of bargains including blazers - I got one in good condition for £20.
Homework in Y7 (4th year) is 2 subjects 3 nights a week and 3 subjects twice a week. Varies in length but not usually more than 30 mins per subject.

MarriedDadOneSonOneDaughter Thu 13-Feb-14 07:25:45

Thank you all for such useful knowledge.

I remember asking some of these questions at the open day but I seem to be having more "senior moments" these days. grin

Eastpoint Thu 13-Feb-14 07:53:26

The second hand uniform sale also has rugby boots, trainers, skateboards etc. This year it will have my son's rugby boots which were worn 6 times (not a rugby boy) as well as all his scarcely worn rugby kit & thermals.

MarriedDadOneSonOneDaughter Wed 19-Feb-14 19:53:15

My son also got and offer from City of London but chose Colet Court. Delighted either way. Both sound great schools. So lucky to be able to choose for himself in year 5 whilst all his year 6 mates are waiting to hear on the 3 Mar to see what they have got.

thanks for the update andninhope he is very happy there x

posadas Thu 27-Feb-14 09:25:23

I'm glad you (and/or your son) have decided to accept the offer.
As I know we ourselves continued to have questions even after making our own decision to accept CC for our son a few years ago, I thought I'd offer a few additional comments which might be helpful as you look forward to next year:
* there are almost no "extra costs". All costs for mandatory school trips are included in the tuition, as are costs of most clubs. Some clubs with outside leaders (ie not school teachers) have additional charges (fencing, aikido, chess) but most are "free". Private instrumental or singing lessons are charged by the instructors. In addition to the formal school trips, there are some optional trips that are not included (ie annual ski trip; trip to Iceland next year; etc). These are open to approximately 30-40 boys and can be expensive. My son has not gone on any such trips and has not felt "left out" as a result.
* the school uniform is very robust -- wash-and-dry blazer, for example -- so you can get by without much "kit".
* My son loves the school. It is a very stimulating and fun environment. He has not felt at all pressured, either by teachers or by other boys. He is truly thriving there and developing confidence in a very charming way.
* homework is very manageable. In fact, I've been surprised by how little there is and, in general, how sensible it is. I think the assumption is that the boys don't need to do lots of repetitive, "reinforcing" work if they "get it" the first time. Compared with his friends at other independent schools, my son has much LESS homework. when I comment on how little homework he has, my son replies "yes, but what you don't realise is how much we do during the day!". He says the lessons (fairly short -- just 35 minutes, though there are "double periods" or some subjects during the week) are intense and they do a lot of "work" in class.
* having said that, the teachers are very focused on the boys' progress. If they notice someone ISN'T "getting it" (whatever "it" is), they are quick to offer suggestions to help the boy catch up -- either with a bit of extra help during break or lunch or with a bit of extra work at home or, if necessary, with specialist educational support. There is no "stigma" attached to such extra work. My son had a term of support with the "specialist" to help improve his writing and he loved it.
* My son has has 13 different subject teachers (excluding sport coaches). I know them all and am very impressed with them. My son says they're all "excellent" and make lessons "fun".
* the school day has lots of "free" time. After the first two morning lessons, there is a 30 minute break and after the next two there is a 90 minute break for lunch and clubs. The afternoon break is shorter (10-15 minutes, i think) but, overall, the structure allows the boys to relax and play in between the intensity of lessons. They are encouraged to be outside (if not in clubs) during the break times.
* Some parents complain that communication isn't good. The school does seem to direct most of the "communication" to the boys and expect them to do whatever they need to do (remember games "kit"; remember their homework; remember any special supplies for a drama skit; etc). I think the approach works very well and encourages the boys to be responsible.
* There is a very strong parents' committee that organises some extra "fun" events for the boys during the year, as well as some social events for parents.
I hope your son will enjoy CC!

MarriedDadOneSonOneDaughter Thu 27-Feb-14 09:46:49

posadas

Thank you so much for your account of life at CC. I will share it with him. Gives me huge confidence that we've made the best choice possible for him. The rest is down to him and luck.

Thanks again!!

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