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Graveney school

(42 Posts)
Feelingthestrain Sat 19-Feb-11 15:52:16

Is anyone out there with positives or negatives about Graveney. I know how oversubscribed it is, but would love to hear the experiences of those of you who's dc's are there. Many thanks.

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Blu Sat 19-Feb-11 15:55:35

Jake Myerson went there!

Feelingthestrain Sat 19-Feb-11 16:07:27

Who? Or by asking this am I just showing my age!!

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Blu Sat 19-Feb-11 16:23:44

Son of novelist Julie Myerson and at the time Lambeth Councillor Jonathoin Myerson. In 2009 his mother wrote a novel detailing the familiy's struggle with Jakes alledged addiction to skunk, which led to them chicking him out. Julie Myerson was also revealed to be the authro of a Guardian column called 'Living With Teenagers' in which she also described the various feral activities of her 3 children.

Huge and endless press coverage - dubbed the TiresomeMyersons on MN.

Feelingthestrain Sat 19-Feb-11 16:38:51

Oh god.........

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Blu Sat 19-Feb-11 16:49:47

I'm not sure that it condemns Graveney as a den of iniquity, though! I know 2 girls who go there and they are as well-behaved, high achieving and law-abiding as anyone can be smile. They are in the section of intake that got in on the admission exam.

Feelingthestrain Sat 19-Feb-11 19:11:37

Has anyone got any direct experience out there?

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LondonMother Sat 19-Feb-11 21:31:36

A colleague's two girls went there and one is now doing a Ph.D. at Cambridge (she did her first degree there too). Her sister is also doing a hard subject at a good university. A neighbour's granddaughter recently graduated in English from Cambridge, also after attending Graveney.

Having read some of the coverage of the Jake Myerson affair, my feeling is that having a mother who used her children's growing up as a source of income from birth onwards is not a great asset for a growing child.

Feelingthestrain Sat 19-Feb-11 21:44:01

Thankyou, your comments suggest that graveney could be a good choice. It's hard to ascertain whether graveney really is a very good school or just potentially performed as better than other local options.....hence my original post.

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Feelingthestrain Sat 19-Feb-11 21:45:13

Sorry meant to say perceived not performed!

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SpringHeeledJack Sat 19-Feb-11 21:48:01

<<faints>> at the Myersons living near Streatham

I thought they'd be well Hornsey


sorry, don't mind me, am just hanging out here in case anyone mentions Dunraven (thinking of moving over that way)

Blu Sat 19-Feb-11 22:03:14

I think the Myerson's were more on the Clapham side of the intake.

But of course Graveney has two tpes of admission: the top 'selective' set, decided on entance exam, and in which case proximity is not an issue, and then the regular LEA admission criteria fo all other students. So if students have got in on the highly competitive selective ticket it is hardly surprisng that they do well. What I am unsure about (we live borderline in catchment and I will need to think about this soon) is how well it does for kids who are not in the top selective admission set or sets? Is it then the same as every other comp? Presumably it's overall good stats are boosted by the highly commpetitive top set?

SpringHeeledJack - there's a Dunraven thread atm.

Dunraven admits pupils across the range in an equal number of ability bands. I also know plenty of siblings of DS's friends going to Oxbridge and other top universities from Dunraven.

SpringHeeledJack Sat 19-Feb-11 22:22:48

thanks Blu- I'll have a looky

Blu Sat 19-Feb-11 22:43:43

And the last but one article in the endless stream of Myerson dramas was about their new house somewhere up near Walworth rd - so heading closer to Hornsey grin

CrystalChandelier Sun 20-Feb-11 11:13:22

My DS started at Graveney in September. There are four streams: extension, upper, middle and support. The top two are academically intensive and operate like a grammar. The support stream is for children with special needs.

My DS is in the extension stream and standards are high - they really do ask a lot of the kids. There are plenty of imaginative extra curricular clubs - he's joined science, debating and music - plus a very strong music department - lots have peripatetic tuition.

IMO teachers are formidable and push the children hard. Behaviour is good, and the kids speak of the head with a mix of awe and admiration - I took that as a good sign.

Parents tend to be journalists, musicians, academics and so on - the arty side of the professions. Myerson types, you could argue.

Feelingthestrain Sun 20-Feb-11 12:56:42

Thanks crystalchandelier. If you don't mind me asking, what did you choose g over? Ie what were your other options?

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SpringHeeledJack Sun 20-Feb-11 13:43:23

that Living With Teenagers was morbidly fascinating. It was the first thing I read every week

I thought the kids weren't that bad, but the mum


she was a huge bundle of passive-aggression, whining, controlling, self obsessed, continually retiring to her room with a 'headache' when her kids challenged her in any way. Ghastly.

If I'd been her, I would never have outed myself- let alone the kids.

In fact she was so awful every week I got more and more convinced that she was a fictional construct

just getting that bile off my chest, where it's obv been festering for the last three years odd feel free to get back to discussing Graveney


CrystalChandelier Sun 20-Feb-11 16:09:18

Feelingthestrain Graveney was our first choice. Others included the Sutton grammars, which we liked but prefered co-ed; Harris Crystal Palace and Dunraven. Really impressed with both of those, too - would have been happy with any on the list, tbh.

Graveney publishes a list of leavers' destinations every year. Ten or so are usually dispatched to Oxbridge, but on the last list I was given there are entrants to art colleges, London College of Fashion and to ICT/business degree courses, so on the face of it it would be reasonable to assume they do alright by the more technically minded/artistic kids, too.

Feelingthestrain Sun 20-Feb-11 20:04:20

Crystalchandelier can you explain the extension/ upper streams to me. Are these the selective places? If not, how are they decided? And do the children stay in these streams or is there some fluidity between the streams?
Thanks for all your help so far.

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therugratref Sun 20-Feb-11 20:26:00

I have several friends with children at Graveney. All in the extension set and all very happy with it. All those children scored at least 98% in the Wandsworth test. The extension set is decided on academic ability and therefore the Wandsworth test is the decider.
The remainder as far as I am aware are based on geographical distance and a few places are allocated to those children who have an older sibling at graveney before they abandoned the sibling policy.
The feeling seems to be outside the extension set its a bog standard comp and there does not seem to be much integration between the various sets. The extension setters are quite rude about the non-elite "grunts"

generalhaig Sun 20-Feb-11 22:48:29

not quite correct therugratref, only 25% of places are determined by the test scores, the rest are decided by distance (after looked-after children and medical/social need)

there are plenty of local children in extension who didn't 'pass' the test, and several candidates from outside the area who scored higher who gained a place but are in upper, not extension - the test scores are one element in the setting decisions, but not the only one - predicted and actual SATS scores plus current school recommendation all count as well. The school also does their own cognitive tests early in Y7. Children getting all level 5s at the end of Y6 could be pretty confident of being in extension. There is some movement between the sets and as children go further up the school they may be taught in an extension class for maths, but upper for English, for example

There is still a sibling rule, but it now only affects siblings of children who got in by distance not test scores. This means there are plenty of families parachuting in from Balham etc and renting somewhere on the doorstep to get their eldest child in, then moving back to their 'proper' house and watching all their other children get in.

The classes in extension are huge - usually 34-35, not much smaller in upper, support is usually 15 or so, don't know much about middle. The sets to be in are extension and upper - some kids we know prefer to be in upper as there's slightly less pressure, but it's still v academic. Behaviour in 'middle' is said to be problematic, but in the higher sets it's very good. Because it's a big school, although there are opportunities on offer, not everyone gets to take advantage of them - e.g. not every Y7 goes on the PGL trip.

The catchment area used to be truly miniscule but since the abolition of the test siblings rule and the reduction of the number of selective places it has got wider, so kids who a few years ago wouldn't have got in now do so comfortably.

CrystalChandelier Mon 21-Feb-11 03:28:45

feelingthestrain Would echo all by generalhaig. There are certainly those who got in on Wandsworth test scores in the upper stream, and children in extension who got in on proximity.

therugratref I've never heard or seen any evidence of stream divisions and rudeness. Of course it may well go on, but DS's experience is that the school puts effort in to ensure the children mix, with trips and other events. DS has made and kept friends in all streams.

Feelingthestrain Mon 21-Feb-11 11:45:58

Cc do you need very little sleep? Or work shifts? Or are you superhuman!! Not only are your replies informative and helpful but seem to come at all hrs of day and night. V impressed!!

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CrystalChandelier Mon 21-Feb-11 14:04:22

feelingthestrain - Shifts! Messes with the old sleep patterns.

Glad to be of help - it's a difficult and stressful time.

TheWomanOnTheBus Wed 12-Oct-11 13:06:39

Having just visited (and liked very much) the school on its open day, now trying to figure out whether its a realistic option.

DS is bright - in the top of his cohort at primary - and should do well in the Wandsworth test. But 98%!!!!! Isn't that just one silly mistake on the day?

(Looking at typical VR and NVR bond papers, sometimes he gets them all right, sometimes he doesn't. And IME there is very little difference indeed between any child that gets say 90% and one that gets 100%.)

Isn't the test then just a random allocation amongst the brightest kids but with added strees?

Also - is it true that its impossible to get actualy Wandsworth papers? How different are they - if at all - from the sample Bond papers for VR/NVR?

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