Colet Court or Kigns College Shcool - dilemma!(18 Posts)
DS has been offered places at CC & KCS, and we have to decide this week. Would appreciate any advice from anyone who has made this decision or knows boys at both and how they compare. On all objective criteria they are evenly matched, the only real difference we can identify is that KCS does IB rather than A levels, tho' that is a long wasy off so not sure whether that should sway us either way.
Kings College school is 34 in the times best 100 league table I.e not that good. St Paul's boys is 5th in the country. It's no contest. There is no school for boys above it - just 4 girls' schools and there is always that diference between them. So definitely CC.
Can I have the place you don't want for my son please? (joke)
They are both excellent schools. It depends on what you are looking for. If all else fails, go for the one that's closest to home.
I would put results to one side on the basis that the pure results side of it the difference at that level is infinitessimely small. Colet Court - or at least St Paul's, which it is the feeder for - is very highly rated academically. It also has a strong reputation for academic pressure and conformity. So some children would absolutely thrive there and others will feel uncomfortable, regardless of how academically bright they are.
I think the key is in your statement - that objectively they look pretty similar. You need to look at what would make your son more comfortable and would be a better fit for him. The plus is that as they are both good schools, any choice you are going to make is going to be the right choice if it is which school fits your son better.
I would be looking at travel arrangements and extra curricular activities, for example. Also, how it would work with any other children you have (if you had a daughter and were set on Godolphin I would go for CC, or Wimbledon High, I would go for KCS).
FWIW, boys in our area are at both (we are probably almost exactly halfway between the two) and all seem reasonably happy.
Congratulations to your DS - it is a nice problem to have!
What's your DS like in terms of personality? Thinking waaaaaaaaaay ahead for DS DH and I have thought that while either of us would have loved CC as children (well, obviously it doesn't take girls, but if I'd been a boy...) DS has a very different personality and we're not sure whether it would suit him (when he's older. And if he got in anyway ).
What did your DS think when he was looking round them? TBH if you can't separate them on any of your criteria it seems reasonable to let him have the final say.
P&L - yes that is why we didn't send him to a prep school - when he was a toddler we had no idea what would suit him as a 13 year-old and didn't want him to be on a rigid track. Now we can see this type of education will suit him. He likes both, and so will go with what we decide. The results tables are not really too important to us, because the differences are marginal, and I am more interested in him having an enjoyable and stimulating time at school wiht boys like him who enjoy learning than the quantity and grade of GCSEs.
We have another DS, too early to consider his destination yet.
from my impressions (current pupils and boys from my own ancient era) St Paul's is more of a hot house than KCS - there's no way we would have considered St Paul's for ds1 for instance even though he's easily bright enough as I knew that he'd have found it all a bit too much, whereas KCS was on our short-list
tbh the difference between no 34 in the times best schools and 4 really isn't going to amount to much in practical terms as far as your son's education goes, so basically it's whichever is going to fit in with your family best
I can't believe Xenia is so driven by league tables - the difference between 5 and 34 is not significant.
I would be swayed by impressions when visiting the schools. I know KCS but not CC; the green environment, journey to school, extra-curricular activities, attitudes of teachers and boys all come into play. We had to make a similar decision between two grammar schools a few years ago - DS was offered places at each of them. We chose the one that seemed more interested in rounded development of boys rather than just academic success (as it happens, our choice has now superceded the other school in league tables).
Yes, I agree - that is where the difficulty lies. The academic issue is not our key driver - the main thing is that he has a happy childhood and the chance to spend time with boys like him. CC/St Pauls has a programme where the senior boys go out into local schools and work with younger children - this appeals to us as it is part of a wider experience.
CC will be better all round in mmy view because it is slightly harder to get into so you get better boys getting in hence the better results at the other end. It's the school people have heard of more too in the wider world for his CV etc in later life. HOwever if there's a sibling I suppose there's less chance the sibling will get in as it's a harder school to get into if that's relevant.
Know a few people with your dilemma who have decided on KCS because of a more community feel to the school. At the CC exam, there were parents from all over London and Surrey whereas at KCS most boys tend to live in Wimbledon/Kingston.
Also does your DS know boys going to one in particular?
Xenia, schools go up an down the League Tables like yoyos, as you know perfectly well.
Gloriana, all good points, IMO.
I agree about the league table - that is not a consideration for us as at that level it is too close to call anyway.
We will probably go CC as at the moment he seems more of an 'A-level' type of boy rather than IB (insofar as you can tell @ age 10!! ) If he wants to go IB later (maybe will get turned ion to languages later???) and it is not offered @ St by then, well it IS at the mo offered @ our local 6th form college, which is getting good results so might 'save' us some dosh !!!
many thanks to everyone - next year if anyone hasd the same dilemma will be happy to give our experience
Well done to your DS for getting offers from both, MrsGuy.
I tuaght briefly at KCS a few years ago and was very impressed by the staff and the head - very professional and warm. I liked the boys too. Don't know CC to compare, though.
I'd definitely go for CC. St Paul's is an absolutely brilliant school with wonderful facilities and a really forward-looking policy on admitting kids with potential rather than money. They hope to increase their investments to the point where they will be able to admit purely on intelligence rather than cash in the next twenty years or so.
And well done to your son! He's obviously a very bright boy and will do well wherever he goes, I expect.
Returning to this thread 10 years later as had a PM about it today.
We chose CC and now have two DC at SPS having both entered via 10+ exam to CC.
Very happy with the school - our DC are very different - one very sporty, other hates sport, both have flourished.
DS1, whom the dilemma about 10 years ago, is just about to leave SPS - can't believe how the time has gone - it has been worth every penny to see him, and DS2 so happy there.
Of course, they might have been equally happy at KCS, so looking back from this end of the tunnel, was a very privileged choice to have, and I should not have agonised so much...
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