Urgent help request - cant decide- Habs or DCPS ?(11 Posts)
Hi there, We are moving from Singapore to London. We came in late on the whole 11+ testing and had to knock at doors individually. After many weeks of painstaking work - it has now come to this -
1) Dulwich College Prepratory ( not Dulwich College) is a prep school that DS and I instinctively liked. very warm reception, lovely facilities etc.
2) Habs Boys - said they had space but insisted we fly half way around the globe to sit tests and meet them, Which we did and now they have got back with an offer for DS.
Our dilemma is this - we have heard fearsome stories about the intensively competitive atmosphere at the school. DS has always been in IB schools that are very relaxed. He is a bright kid and academically inclined but would he get demoralised by a Habs type school where his best may not be good enough ?
On the other hand- DCPS while being wonderful is only a 2 year option in which the focus clearly becoming on the 13+ tests within a year of DS joining.
What would you do ? Are the Habs kids a happy bunch or stressed out ? ( I know this is a terrible generalisation to ask for but it will help).
Thank you ever so much. We need to decide and complete payments before both schools close mid next week so quick replies will be much much appreciated.. many thanks
Just going on what you say in your post ( have no inside info on either place ) it sounds as though DCPS is the right fit .
A year is a long time at this age and if he's happy at DCPS ( which it sounds as tho he will be ) there's no reason to think he'll struggle with the 13+ tests .
( whatever they are )
Th advantage of going for DCPS is that it gives you a two year breather to settle in and discover which school would be the right one for him through until uni. But sorry, I don't know the schools individually.
I know a couple of boys who go to Habs and they love it. Personally I would go with the Habs option, as I wouldn't want the stress of the 13+. If he doesn't like Habs, you always have the option of moving him after a year to say something like Aldenham, which is more laid-back.
It seems to me you are doing many things in a great rush and are being forced to make quick decisions which may or may not turn out right. For a start, there are many other schools you could have looked at other than the two you mentioned. It would be good to know are there any particular senior schools you hope to send DS to at 13. Different prep schools 'specialise' in different senior schools or at least they have a particular bias towards some of them.
With a Singaporean educational work ethic and background that your DS has, I honestly wouldn't worry a bit about Hab's 'fearsome' and 'intensively competitive atmosphere'.
I'm afraid I don't have any knowledge of HABS but I have had 2 boys go through DCPS. I'm afraid DCPS is also fiercely competitive and only those boys who are exceptional are 'visible' in the school.
My boys who were shy and reluctant to push themselves to the forefront were badly served by the school. I wouldn't recommend it unless your child was exceptional in an area and highly confident.
In my honest opinion, go for Habs. It is a terrific school and everyone there seems to enjoy it. Habs only accept boys that they know will fit in and excel in there sort of environment. As much as DCPS sounds great, he will be going into a year where they concentrate fiercely on preparing them for exams to get into schools just like Habs. If he went to Habs, he would not have the stress, nor will you, of preparing him for entries to school when he already has a place at an excellent one.
Many thanks - your opinions helped and we have decided to go with Habs. yes, coming from Singapore and considering DS did clear the test - he will hopefully be able to cope with the pressure. And far too many people are saying "go for it " - so habs it is :-)
Good luck and I hope he enjoys it, sure he will!
Hi i JUST WONDERED HOW YOUR SON IS DOING ? ALSO HOW YOU ARE ENJOYING THE AREA AS I HAD THE SAME DECISION TO MAKE WITH HABBS VS DULWICH COLLEGE AND CHOOSE DULWICH AS I LIKED THE AREA MORE.
Habsboys doesn't nurture excellence as much as it advertises. Not all boys are happy there. It is a large school and easy to get lost in. It does well as the entry is very highly selective from a great catchment area and it does offer many opportunities and good (and in some subjects, excellent) teaching.
But it isn't that well organised, the English teaching is very limited, some of the other teaching is outdated and stagnant and delivered by teachers on longstanding permanent contracts, with no reason to make much effort as the boys do it all.The extra currics are very very competitive because of limited spaces for each, so there is little room for a quiet child, however bright, to grow and flourish there. The mums are super super pushy and only make friends with those likely to contribute to social advancement. The boys vote Tory, reflecting parental politics, and are quick to estimate the square meterage of parental homes, though, in their favour they then couldn't care less what the result is.
The headmaster is a decent liberal caring person and is probably, apart from the superb facilities, the saving grace of the school.
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