Got offers for Alleyn's and Greycoat

(64 Posts)
Luna9 Fri 13-Mar-15 16:49:45

Hi. My niece has got offers from Alleyn's and the Greycot. She is not sure of which one to choose; Alleyn's is within walking distance and Greycoat is one bus drive, 45 min each way. My niece has an attitute to languages and got offered a language place at the Greycoat; she is also very artistic and enjoys sports; they can afford the fees at Alleyn's. They are both very good school but also very different. They are middle class but no wealthy. She has accepted both as she is not sure yet. Can people with children at both school give us advise; what are they like socially, academically, which one offer the best opportunity academically. Thank you.

Jinglebellsarenearlyhere Fri 13-Mar-15 17:01:28

Alleyns if she is and her parents are robust enough to handle a Dulwich high profile school. I have contacts at greycoats - a great school but in my opinion not a patch on alleyns for academic prowess and life opportunities.

duckyneedsaclean Fri 13-Mar-15 17:10:26

My dh went to Alleyn's - he still feels 'a part' of the school ten years later. I've been to events there and you can't help but be impressed by the running of the school and how confident the pupils are.

Luna9 Fri 13-Mar-15 17:17:11

Great! Thank you for the advise. Is Alleyns go socially for pupils? I know there are many pupils who travel from everywhere in London

Luna9 Fri 13-Mar-15 17:17:51

I meant good

AnotherNewt Fri 13-Mar-15 17:21:43

Greycoats offers went out as far as Dulwich?!?

<misses point, but thought it was all under 1km this round>

More to the point, the key things are whether you want coed or single sex.

And also how sporty she is (facilities and range available much greater at Alleyns) plus interest in drama (also very good at Alleyns).

And do not underestimate the value of having a school within walking distance, for things like early morning or after school clubs. Also as it would be ordinary bus to Greycoats, how long would you really have to leave to get there? 45 minutes sounds very optimistic for morning peak time (especially as she'd have to change bus at least once) and that's not allowing for roadworks, strikes etc

UptheRhine Fri 13-Mar-15 17:22:37

I suspect that the presenceof Ms Cameron will mean that Greycoats becomes a much sought after school!

Luna9 Fri 13-Mar-15 17:45:10

She got offered one of the 15 languages places which is not based on distance. It is 10min walk to the bus and only on bus; I reckon 1 hour door to door; maybe a bit more. She is sporty and loves arts so Alleyn's since to suit her well plus is walking distance.

Luna9 Fri 13-Mar-15 17:47:44

difficult to type with a toddler. I meant Alleyn's seems to suit her better

AnotherNewt Fri 13-Mar-15 18:01:50

Thanks! I'd forgotten the language places were super-selective (and the rest of the admissions policy is nigh on incomprehensible).

I think an hour from Dulwich to Westminster will be the time it takes on a good day. Evenings won't matter so much, but she might find herself having to leave very early in the morning to allow for hold ups.

I've heard that the music is very good at Greycoats. Is that an interest of hers?

Alleyns pupils can come from anywhere, but in practice many are SW Londoners. Mist Greycoats pupils are tight in Westminster.

Luna9 Fri 13-Mar-15 18:05:16

She likes music but is probably not her best strength.

NynaevesSister Sat 14-Mar-15 15:58:02

My friend's daughter did the commute from West Dulwich to Greycoats with no problems at all. But she did not do it solely by bus. She did a mix of train and bus. I don't know exactly but I would not want to do that trip on the bus during peak time. You will spend that much time just getting to the other side of Brixton (am assuming the number 3). That said she had a great experience at Greycoats and although you say fees are not a problem it is nice not to pay them, especially with the cost of university.

Needmoresleep Sat 14-Mar-15 18:43:16

I am surprised AnotherNewt suggests most Greycoats pupils live in Westminster. Unless things have changed markedly, Greycoats has been one of those schools which local kids find very difficult to get into, and then face seeing loads come in on the train, bus and tube. The effective catchment certainly used to stretch way into Kent and up into North and West London, as it was mainly based on religiousity. Alleys would be more SE/SW London though with some using the school buses that serve Central London.

I agree with Jinglebelles. Greycoats is a good school by many accounts but does not have anything like the resources of Alleyns. I also would not take the bus all the way. You would be commuting into town during the rush hour. You would only need one set of roadworks, and you would be pretty well stuffed. There is always a big crowd on the short bus ride from Waterloo, and even more on the bus from Victoria. (None of who seemed to know about offering their seats for the elderly etc - but then presumably the sort of religiousily tested does not include basic charity and good manners. Oddly in direct contrast to children from Harris Battersea, despite the latter being seen as a less desirable school.)

AnotherNewt Sat 14-Mar-15 18:49:17

It has changed. You won't get a first round Greycoats offer unless you're well under 1 km from the school these days.

Needmoresleep Sat 14-Mar-15 19:02:34

Interesting. Even up to a couple of years ago it was quite difficult for even very local children to get places, even if baptised.

Oddly the requirement for a very strong active commitment to religion, probably did not make the school any more "middle class" than with a local catchment, as there was a strong contingent from gospel churches who often commuted long distances. Does the 1km simply apply to Westminster or will they be taking children from Lambeth on an equal basis. Either way the catchment has quite a diverse population with estates and some very expensive housing. So a good chance for it to be pretty genuinely comprehensive.

Luna9 Sat 14-Mar-15 19:25:43

Not sure when the admissions criteria changed for Greycoats. Girls living in Southwark can apply. The main criteria is weekly church attendance for 4 years; however there are also 15 places for aptitude for languages, not distance taken into consideration and not church attendance required; there are a few open places for girls living closest to the school and studying at the local feeder primaries.

Thank you for the advice. Commuting at such at young age is not ideal, specially in winter; it limits the time for before and after school clubs. She seems to like being able to walk to school and the reputation Alleyns has for art as she is very creative. It is nice to have local friends as well. Anyway there is no perfect and there is always a compromise. She does have the option of taken the train from Herne Hill to Victoria and walk but my sister is a bit worried; sometimes there are delays and problems with the trains.

Notenoughsleepmumof3 Mon 16-Mar-15 11:34:18

You have a very hard decision indeed. We had a similar one, being offered JAGS and Grey Coats. Both a simple bus ride as we are in Clapham, so the commute to each was the same. I think, if I were in your shoes, I would consider Co-ed vs single sex. She is obviously a high achiever if she got a language place. Girls in the language places and the top bands at Grey Coats do just as well as privately educated pupils. And she sounds like she will do well at either. Weigh the commute as well. Being able to walk is a plus. The sport is actually pretty good at Grey Coats even if they don't have the best space. That's London schools. The Dulwich private schools have great spaces. Drama and Music at Grey Coats are excellent as well as Alleyns. She will be in a more ethnically and economically diverse community at Grey Coats. It depends on how you rate that for yourselves. Results at Alleyns are better for the majority of students, but that is because it is selective. Grey Coats is still a comp with kids in the middle bands and in the lower bands. So read the results with that in mind. Then think about fees since that isn't an issue for you. Good luck!

Luna9 Mon 16-Mar-15 13:50:05

Thank you. Notenoughsleepmumof3; did your dd go for Greycoats or Jags? is you dd happy?. I think the main disadvantage of going to Greycoats is the commuting; walking is a bit plus as other posters have said.

Luna9 Mon 16-Mar-15 13:51:02

big plus

Luna9 Mon 16-Mar-15 15:26:16

We do like the economic and ethnicity diversity of Greycoats because it shows real London. We worried a bit about the social aspect of Alleyns as we have friends whose kids have moved there from state schools and preserve the same friends; does not look like they have made any new ones. On the other hand not sure how easy is with Greycoats with everybody living all over London. How is Greycoat for creative girls? Do they have an art department? I know their main strange is language.

Luna9 Mon 16-Mar-15 15:39:10

Strength. This auto corrector drives me crazy

Notenoughsleepmumof3 Mon 16-Mar-15 17:01:41

Dear Luna, We chose Grey Coats, but only this weekend. It was a tough decision. For us, the Commute is the same. One easy bus ride and both buses practically go door to door. As our choices were both girls schools it made it easier to compare them. We will lose some things from not going to JAGS, but we will gain other things from going to Grey Coats. You should weigh the commute for her. In the end we ( My DH, Myself, and My DD) sat down and made a list and she decided. Our DD is in a State school now and she loves the diversity. GC was a plus on that. It is a very balanced school despite Cameron and Gove's kids going there and what people might say about it. However, JAGS is a great school and I don't want to knock it. We felt chuffed to get an offer. Had we not been given such a good State option we would have definitely taken it. Where does she want to go? This is a 1st world dilemma and the important thing is for her to feel happy about her own journey and her school. They can always change for A levels or before if they don't like it.

Luna9 Mon 16-Mar-15 17:37:50

Thank you Notenoughsleepmumof; I think you made the right decision; I live near JAGS and I think is a great school but feel there is too much pressure, that is only my feeling as I don't know anybody going there; Greycoat is more balanced in all aspects. She is inclined for Alleyn's as she can walk to school and is excited about the reputation Alleyns has for arts plus all the facilities. Hope your DD is happy there.

NynaevesSister Mon 16-Mar-15 18:21:53

A little confused here. Is it Alleyns or JAGs that she has an offer for?

Luna9 Mon 16-Mar-15 18:46:23

Alleyns. it is another poster who has offers for Grey Coats and Jags

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