Your views on secondary schools for boys

(8 Posts)
Jollyphonics Tue 18-Mar-14 10:52:17

Could I asks people to share their experiences with me, as I'm really not sure what to do for DS1? (currently year 4, so bit of time to think)

He's bright, but likes to work within his comfort zone, and doesn't choose to challenge himself. He's also not massively into extracurricular activities, prefers to do his own thing when school finishes. He works hard at school but homework is a battle.

Our options are
1 - local comprehensive, good reputation, was an 11-14 school but about to become 11-16 so a bit of an unknown.
2 - state grammar school, a half hour bus journey - requires very high mark in 11+ exam, so would need a year of fairly intensive tutoring. Also boys only which I have some reservations about.
3 - private school, mixed, a 40 minute bus journey - very good but big focus on extracurricular activities, kids expected to do a fair bit, and also would be a huge financial struggle for us. Not much in the way of bursaries on offer.

I had a free place at a private girls school, and did very well academically. My brother went to the local comprehensive and did badly despite being clever. So I worry about DS at the comprehensive, but not sure I want him at a single sex school, or a school that bankrupts us!

Can anyone tell me that they did and whether they regret it or not?

Thank you

I would discount the private school if you are going to struggle as fees go up every year often more than inflation and the extras like trips can be more than a state school. (I have 2 in a prep school)

I would go with the comprehensive and use some of the money you would have spent on fees on tutoring and/ or extra curricular as needed.

If after a year or so at the comp things really aren't working you may find you can get an ad hoc place at the private school.

Blu Tue 18-Mar-14 11:12:08

Visit the comp and the grammar during the open days this summer or autumn.
You can't really make any form of decision based on theoretical types of school and without having visited the individual schools.

senua Tue 18-Mar-14 11:36:17

I had a free place at a private girls school, and did very well academically. My brother went to the local comprehensive and did badly despite being clever.

That was then, this is now. Don't make decisions based on your childhood experiences, life has moved on.

Jollyphonics Tue 18-Mar-14 11:45:47

That's true Senua, that was many many years ago and as you say, it's not really comparable. Thanks for the views everyone. I've arranged to visit the schools concerned, and I'm hoping that good old gut feeling will kick in and help me make a decision!

spababe Wed 19-Mar-14 10:28:53

Your DS sounds like mine. He had a year of tutoring, once a week then didn't get into grammar. Not sure why as his test papers were giving great marks. However he was delighted to be going to comp with his brother so may have thrown the exam (wish he told me so I didn't bother with the 11+) Anyway he is FLYING at the comp and being picked out as G&T in lots of subjects and being given extension work and special activities. He needs major nagging encouragement to do HW but he is perfectly able and getting great grades.

Preciousbane Wed 19-Mar-14 23:32:16

DH went to a boys independent school. The only commutable decent private schools are boys only and he has said there is no way he would send DS to a single sex school.

Don't stretch yourself for private school. My DS is clever but a bit lazy,he is in year 8 and doing well. DH has taken to doing some extra work with him at home, so it is tutoring but by parent. Pay for a bit of extra tutoring.

MillyMollyMama Wed 19-Mar-14 23:51:39

Single sex would not bother me if it the best school - less distractions! Don't do private unless you think you can definitely afford it all the way through. If he is not willingly doing homework, is a grammar school really the best fit? Would he respond well to intensive tutoring, or would he rather do his own thing? Same problem as the homework situation in my view. Also, if he is not one to join in, the private school does not sound a good fit either.

I am more concerned about schools without 6th forms as personally I think they have limited horizons, eg fewer sports teams, an enforced change at 16 therefore lack of continuity, lack of senior pupils who can be wonderful role models for younger children and teachers not being able to work with A level students. I would not know what to do either! Sorry!

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