Trinity school or Olaves

(41 Posts)
Hamico Thu 21-Jun-12 22:37:17

My son is academic without a doubt...trying to decide whether to sit him for St Olaves or Trinity Independent School in Shirley. Does anyone have any opinions from first hand experience or know of someone at either school.

oldgreyknickertest Fri 22-Jun-12 19:58:47

I know young men at both. Trinity has a broader range academically with some super stars, is brilliant musically and plays football as well as rugger.

Olave's very good academically and also a wide range of activities though the young men I know there do lots out of school.

Both produce very nice able young men. Feel free to pm me if you want, though am neither a teacher nor a parent.

Hamico Fri 22-Jun-12 23:21:06

Thank you...I have heard that St Olaves is a bit of an academic factory. Then again, am concerned that Trinity may not be enough. Do you think Trinity warrants the money. I know they offer scholarships and bursaries for some children. Just want to make the right decision and I wonder if giving him a private education, would be a really good start in life as opposed to grammar school.

teaandthorazine Sat 23-Jun-12 10:19:07

How do you mean 'Trinity may not be enough'? It's debateable whether any private school warrants the money - it depends what you want to get out of it! Trinity is fantastic for e.g. music but that might not be relevant for your ds. They do offer quite generous bursaries etc, but Olave's is free! grin

Have you been for a look around either school? That would be my first step. And then why not sit for both and see what happens? Afaik, Olave's sits in September and Trinity in Jan, so nicely spaced and not too exam-intense.

oldgreyknickertest Sat 23-Jun-12 16:25:43

Olave's is obviously more selective at this stage and competition is ferocious. If your child is going to sit the exams for both or either I recommend quite a lot of preparatory work and familiarisation.

Get a feel for each. Both will do well for your son.

SoupDragon Sat 23-Jun-12 16:36:53

DS1 is at Trinity and DS2 starts there in September. Obviously I think it's worth the money smile I don't know anything about St Olaves though so can't compare the two.

Hamico Sat 23-Jun-12 18:37:55

Thank you it's all really helpful. For DS1 at Trinity...would you still consider it to be academically high. I know it's great that they have all of the other stuff and we want that too but we want to make sure the academia matches?

SoupDragon Sat 23-Jun-12 18:38:57

Well, he seems to be thriving.

oldgreyknickertest Tue 26-Jun-12 20:27:28

Well, look at their Gsce and A level results and the destinations of their boys to Russell group universities. It's not strictly comparable with Olave's because Olave's have girls in the sixth who tend to do better, and trinity is just starting down that route. Also check Igcses v gcses as the former tend to be tougher.

I haven't done this recently so can't advise. I would be surprised if Olave's results weren't superficially better but if Trinity has a good top end range then presumably your question is answered. You might want, as we did, to check the subjects in which each school excels or predominates at A level.

MaverickAuthor Wed 21-Nov-12 14:01:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

wineoclocktimeyet Thu 22-Nov-12 20:19:07

My son has just taken the Olaves exam and the Kent and Bexley 11+'s. He passed all (got a probably for Olaves) and got over 90% in both the 11+'s.
We have decided not to put Olaves on the CAF form. The feedback we have had is very similar to the above, 'exam factory' being an expression we have heard again and again. The overwhelming message seems to be that results are EVERYTHING and forget it and dont expect the school to help (or care) if your son struggles or needs support in any way.
You dont mention the Kent or Bexley Grammar schools but depending where you are Dartford Grammar for Boys or Judd or Skinners in Kent are certainly worth a look.

MaverickAuthor Thu 22-Nov-12 20:50:42

Almost glad someone else has heard the same - sometimes think we are the only parents that question Olaves. Our son did Bexley and Kent 11+and passed - we might enquire if any are taking year 9 intakes but think we are unusual in looking to leave. He isn't struggling just doesn't like the school and with the stories he comes home with we can see why. School is very much reactive when it comes to dealing with issues - planning is definitely not a strong area.
All other grammars apart from Olaves difficult journey but we'll see - if we can't stretch to private (assuming he passes 13+) he might end up staying but that would definitely be the last resort! Would then look at possibility of home schooling.

wineoclocktimeyet Thu 22-Nov-12 22:11:15

I'm pretty sure you are not the only ones - a couple of DS's friends have older siblings at Olaves and what I think is very telling is that in both cases the younger boys are NOT going to the school, one is going to Dartford and one will be trying for Trinity.
I hope everything works out well for your son.

EduCrazy Thu 22-Nov-12 22:28:05

OP, the two schools you're comparing are miles away from each other. If distance is not an issue, why not also consider Wilsons Grammar (or even Wallingtons). I hear fantastic things about this school and they're way up there along with the likes of St.Olaves, but do it more organically.

Chottie Sun 25-Nov-12 06:41:38

Interesting thread, we did not chose St O for DS for the same reasons as stated above. We wanted a more rounded, holistic educational experience for him.

pannetone Sun 25-Nov-12 19:34:06

We have had/are having a very bad experience with the new head at Olaves. The school was brilliant for our eldest DS - he left just before the new head arrived. At that point DS2 went into the sixth form (having been at Olaves since 11). DS2, whilst just as intelligent as his brother, has SEN and we feel that the school has failed to meet these. Then having badly underperformed in his AS exams (though we were told he was on target) they wanted DS to go elsewhere. Cue continuing battle and forthcoming discrimination case. We have found the Head unwilling to address our complaint, and although a governing body appeal panel found in our favour, the Head has declined to follow its recommendations.

Sadly the focus of the School does now seem to be entirely on results and league table position. The many excellent staff seem increasingly under pressure just to produce high grades from the students. The atmosphere and ethos of the school have changed so much - and in my opinion, not for the better. We didn't even sit academically able DS3 for the test.

MaverickAuthor Mon 26-Nov-12 12:31:53

Interesting thread has now become a bit sadder - really hope things work out in pannetone's favour - the new head does have a lot to answer for!
Amazing how change at the top can change things for the worse.

sydenhamhiller Wed 03-Jul-13 23:16:26

Oh no! We went to the Open Day on Saturday, and DS (Year 4) loved loved loved it. He is quite academic, and I think he felt he'd 'come home', after 5 years of feeling a bit odd and getting called geek. I would like a holistic experience if possible, very sad to think a new Head can make this kind of difference.

Any good stories about St O?

happychick Sun 06-Oct-13 18:13:50

Our DS has just started at St Os and has SEN. So far they seem to have been amazingly attentive and helpful but it's early days yet!

Dibbleofficer Sun 06-Oct-13 19:16:22

Interested in st olaves , are these concerns widespread , my DD loved the open day and we are hopeful of results , but this is a stop to consider moment

wineoclocktimeyet Sun 06-Oct-13 20:17:22

I hope you mean DS Dibble smile

pannetone Sun 06-Oct-13 22:24:36

To update - we won our claim of disability discrimination against St. Olaves on the grounds that the School failed to make reasonable adjustments for our DS's SEN.

As I posted above, aside from the School acting unlawfully, we have been very concerned about the unwillingness of the Head and senior management team to take our complaint seriously. From initially making our complaint we were treated as being 'ungrateful' for the opportunities DS had (after A level tuition in a particular subject was withdrawn from him!) and the School refused to consider all the evidence we put forward that they were acting unlawfully. We spent many months trying to get the Governing Body to effectively address our complaint, eventually making them hold an Appeal Panel as they are required to by law. This Panel found in our favour but the Head refused to follow its recommendations. By the time our claim came to Tribunal the Head was accusing us of 'abusing' anti-discrimination legislation and stating he would seek costs against us if the school won for a period going back almost 2 years before the complaint was made.

I am certainly aware of other parents who are unhappy with St.Olaves - see the threads on the Bromley forum on the 11+ website.

happychick - part of our motive of going to the tribunal was to improve SEN provision at the School generally, as well as getting justice for our DS. I sincerely hope the School will fully put into place the remedies of policy changes and staff training ordered by the Tribunal. We feel there also needs to be a change in the 'mindset' of senior management which is much harder to bring about.

Dibbleofficer Tue 08-Oct-13 09:49:48

Well done panettone, still cannot get a grip on what I think of St Os

bananadrama Wed 09-Oct-13 10:21:38

Just wanted to add to this thread re. Trinity school. My DS sat the grammar tests a couple of years ago & was close to passing. He is now at Trinity and it is definitely stretching academically. There are some very bright boys in his class, some of whom were offered places at grammar schools but chose Trinity. Their exam results are excellent & are comparable to the grammar schools' results in our area. We have been very pleased with the school so far.

miss600 Thu 10-Oct-13 20:52:07

Yeah, this is a funny one. St. Olave's is not without it's problems (e.g. named stuff going missing never to be seen again) but it's fine to be a geek and fine to be a cool kid. DS1 very happy there but I am less so. If DS2 passes, I'm really not sure about sending him there to be honest. I am not dead set against it but am seriously exploring other options, even if it means much trickier journeys.

I know lots of Trinity parents but never heard any serious complaints or heard anyone taking their DS out unless migrating.

miss600 Fri 11-Oct-13 08:24:19

By the way, I don't think the exam factory label is fair. There are plenty of extra-curricular activities & sports to get involved in at Olave's. If you do have a spare 16k pa to fund sec school education surely you would expect a bit more than a free state school can offer and therein lies the difference.

MaverickAuthor Sat 12-Oct-13 21:53:53

After making the mistake of sending our DS to SO all I can say is think very carefully before committing.
In our experience bullying is rife and pastoral care is appalling - the school is now on its 3rd head of pastoral care in 3 years.
Results are on the decline – marked drop in quality and quantity of both A levels and GCSE’s from 2012 to 2013 – no song & dance from Önaç this year about results!
History department is apparently in disarray – look at exam results for confirmation.

Pannetone is not the only parent with issues with the school though many parents seem to think accepting the unacceptable is the only way – it’s not but you need the courage to go against the system which many people aren’t willing to do.
Önaç is anything but parent friendly but that doesn’t mean he’s untouchable, much as he seems to think he is – everyone’s accountable for their actions.
Most families at Trinity and Whitgift get some sort of financial support to send their kids there – unlike most independent schools the Whitgift foundation is a charitable foundation that provides money to support kids and not just a handful at that.
From bitter experience exam results are not the be all and end all to education – and afraid I can only disagree about exam factory label – SO was probably the school it was coined about.

Dibbleofficer Sun 13-Oct-13 08:40:21

Thanks,I must say that did not warm to the head . Arrogant and aloof.something strange about the atmosphere of St Olaves.

MrsZimt Mon 14-Oct-13 19:25:30

Nothing strange I can pick up.
Ds is happy there, feels well supported and we know of no bullying (and there are certainly quite a few eccentric personalities in my son's year group).
The head came at a difficult time and has made an unpopular decision about access to the 6th Form (6 As and 3 Bs). I have talked to him maybe half a dozen times and find him easy to talk to.
Extracurricular activities are more than plenty, I cannot see a complete focus on exams.
Read the newsletter on the website for details of what's going on.
My son knows if he doesn't like it he can change schools. He would be all right at any school, he's a self motivated all rounder.

Dibbleofficer Tue 15-Oct-13 09:47:51

Just to clarify you must get 6 As at A level and at least 3 Bs or you are turfed out? Also why did the head come in at a difficult time , the feedback I have from parents is the previous head was respected an well liked?

MrsCinnamon Tue 15-Oct-13 09:53:36

Difficult time financially.

You have to get 6As and 3Bs in GCSE to get into the 6th Form. Last year 12 boys didn't and had to leave. That's what is so controversial and that's a decision I don't like either.

It's too much pressure on the boys who should get these results easily considering how bright they are. It used to be 9 Bs but then some would not put any effort in to get As. I can understand the problem, but the solution is not to turf them out.

MrsCinnamon Tue 15-Oct-13 09:54:55

sorry, nc'ed

Dibbleofficer Tue 15-Oct-13 10:44:42

Thanks , I think this is a really huge sword to hang over the neck of boys until they take GCSE. More carrot less stick , and this may explain the wide scale exit of staff and the criticism of the pastoral system.

longingforsomesleep Tue 15-Oct-13 13:13:48

MrsCinammon - schools are meant to apply the same sixth form admission criteria for internal and external students. Once they've set their entry requirements they can't then make allowances for those internal students who haven't met them. If they lower the entry requirements for a few internal students then they would have to allow external students to join the school with similar grades. It's brutal, but most selective schools will lose pupils at the end of year 11 and 12.

Having said that, 6 As and 3 Bs is quite a big ask and I'm impressed that most of the boys achieve that - though of course I shouldn't be as they only take very high achievers. It's 7 Bs at our selective (but not super-selective) school and we probably lose more than 12 pupils at the end of year 11 (though some by choice)

MrsCinnamon Tue 15-Oct-13 13:55:06

longing, being a teacher I know that.
But it still makes me feel uneasy if a boy has been there since year 7 and been a part of the school and then get told you're not good enough.
I can imagine under which sort of stress the teachers are to get those grades, which they should all be capable of.

Dibbleofficer Tue 15-Oct-13 19:13:48

Surely boys are actual meant to enjoy school. Listen and learn Parent2013.

longingforsomesleep Tue 15-Oct-13 19:14:55

Mrs Cinnamon - you'll have to excuse me, I didn't know you were a teacher.

But when you say, "Last year 12 boys didn't and had to leave. That's what is so controversial and that's a decision I don't like either." it does rather read as if you think internal students should be allowed to continue even if they don't meet the entry requirements.

MrsCinnamon Tue 15-Oct-13 19:52:00

Sorry, longing, I meant the decision to change the entry requirements.

Yes, I agree, only 12 boys out of 112 is impressive. And I think all of them have the ability to do very well in their A-levels (they will only be allowed to do them in subjects they had an A in - now that I wholeheartedly support) it just seems a shame that they will have their confidence knocked because they didn't get those results, but the ones they got will no doubt have been very very good.

Oh well, I hope my son will not be in that situation. My dd is doing gcse at the moment, and she's at a super selective too, but with no pressure to get certain grades to be able to stay at her school.

Dibbleofficer Wed 16-Oct-13 14:10:02

There is by all accounts an unofficial open day at St Olaves this Friday for boys with likely or possible letters. This may help to confirm or dispell any views on St Os and get a chance to speak to Mr Onac.

Dibbleofficer Thu 17-Oct-13 21:23:20

Not sure about the open day timing tomorrow

lauramac Fri 18-Oct-13 09:30:22

I have had two sons at Trinity and cannot praise it highly enough. DS1 is at Uni now but loved it and DS2 is there currently. It has been the making of him. The pastoral care is second to none and the atmosphere is fantastic - warm, caring, friendly but with very high academic standards and results to match.

DS3 has just passed for St O's and Wilsons but TBH, if he's offered a scholarship to Trinity then he will follow his brothers. Trinity seems to get the results without excessive or undue pressure. In my view education is about so much more than churning out exams and it is really important to me that they remember their secondary years happily.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now