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Parmiter's School Watford

(36 Posts)
hct123 Wed 07-Mar-12 00:59:18

we are in St Albans....should we send our child there (if he gets in!!!) or stick with local school where he will know more people??!!

bruffin Wed 07-Mar-12 07:51:03

Don't know much about the school, however the Deputy Head used to be Head of Lower School at dcs' school and she was excellent.

Pusheed Wed 07-Mar-12 08:48:58

Depends on which is your local school. Sandringham is the only local school that I rate near to Parmiters, at least academically.

bitweepy Wed 07-Mar-12 08:59:14

Oh you poor innocent... love the idea of someone deciding to "send" their DC to Parmiters - unless you live virtually next door to it, I am afraid Parmiters will be the one doing the deciding. Not sure how old your DC is and how much experience you have of the whole secondary school transfer scenario, but feel it only fair to warn you that in St Albans/Watford the feeling that you will actually, in reality, have much of a choice is rather misguided. You need to have a good look at the entrance criteria for Parmiters and the schools in St Albans close to you and work out which one, under those criteria, you will get a place at - if you are going to be applying to Parmiters via the entrance test, bear in mind that they take around 40 pupils per year on the test and that around 900 sit it.... If, when you have identified the school you know you will get a place at, you are happy with that school (and you can't really know that until you have looked around/been to the open day etc), then grab that place. If, on the other hand you are not happy with it, you need to look realistically at your chances of getting one of the schools you are "happy" with, and even that's not a given. In St Albans it more or less comes down to how close you live to a school, and the distances are not great (ie under2000 metres in some cases). If it's all looking hopeless, then moving house may be the only option, seriously. Good luck.

Pusheed Wed 07-Mar-12 09:06:28

bitweepy - The OP did say " if he gets in!!". Hardly deserving of "poor innocent" put down.

bitweepy Wed 07-Mar-12 09:12:01

Yes, but it was the 'sending' concept that made me say that - sorry if it came across as harsh, was actually trying to be realistic and therefore helpful. Having been to a Parmiters open evening, the strong message was very much that they do the choosing and that we would be very lucky if they deigned to choose our child. Not an ethos we wanted for our DC (who would definitely have got a place if we had wanted, so no disgruntlement here about the allocation process from our personal experience).

bitweepy Wed 07-Mar-12 09:25:17

Sorry, my comment also came out of the fact that under the application arrangements, you are making your choices before you know whether they have got in ie DCs don't take the exam, you get the results and then you decide whether to apply, so really the choice is not whether to "send" but whether or not to "apply". However, apologies if I offended.

CeciC Wed 07-Mar-12 09:33:10

Is Parmiters with the SW Herts. Consortium? I think they are. We didn't visit Parmiters so I can't give an opinion on what Bitweepy said about the attitude. But if they are part of the Consortium, the 900 applicants for the exam could be all the pupils that will seat the exam whihc is for several schools in Herts.
We have been throught the exam this year, as my DD1 is in Year 6, and most of the kids in primary schools will sit the exams.
I think you should have a look and decide which school is the best suited.
For Secondary transfer 2013 the Consortium exams will be held in September, and the kids will know if they pass or not before the application deadline. This should help (or not) in the decission making. as if you kid hasn't pass the exam it would be pointless to put names of schools that they have no hope to get in by distance. It would no had helped us to know as where we live the only school we would have any hopes to get in is St Clement Danes as all the other (that we like) are too far from our house. But we are very happy as DD1 will start St Clement Danes come September.
Good luck with all the process I know it is a very stressful time!

ReallyTired Wed 07-Mar-12 09:38:45

Parmitars is ridicolously over subscribed. Its also only a partial grammar school so there will still be rough/ low ablity kids there. You might as well pick a st albans school. There aren't any really bad schools in st albans especially if you choose to catch religion.

shootingstarz Wed 07-Mar-12 09:42:01

My friends DS just sat the 11+ apparently Parmiters had 1400 applicants for 80 places.

happigirl Wed 07-Mar-12 09:43:35

We live in St Albans and my son won an academic place at Parmiters this year. There is a coach from St Albans and it is quite full. That saying, the places are very hard to get and they are given purely on academic performance in the consortium test or by the sibling or music route.

bitweepy Wed 07-Mar-12 09:51:46

If they have changed the system and you find out where you are in the academic test before applying, then that is a huge help because at least it brings more realism to the process and avoids "wasted" choices. Hope that is the case for Parmiters, OP, as will certainly help you decide and apologies again for the "innocent" comment, especially if the change mentioned above by CeciC does come in, which completely blows my response out of the water (I am serious about considering moving house, though, because if your nearest school is not one you would want, then you may not have any other option).

moscow Wed 07-Mar-12 10:14:20

ReallyTired: interested to know what leads you to say 'not any really bad schools in St Albans'? What makes a school bad? And sorry, but I think a lot of people would disagree with you on whether there are any really bad schools. Hopefully that will change though.....

moscow Wed 07-Mar-12 10:17:56

Also, re. what you say about catching religion, of the three faith secondary schools I can think of, certainly two of them would rate fairly low on the 'scoreboard'. The third is much higher up in terms of academic achievement, but is a girls' school, and OP is looking for a place for DS. Not criticising what you're saying ReallyTired, just a bit confused.

ReallyTired Wed 07-Mar-12 10:27:34

If you live in st albans you have a wealth of good schools. The term "good school" is all relative.

Order the list by 5 good GCSE and you will find that the worst school in St albans, Francis Bacon had 49% of its children achieve good GCSEs. Even with Francis Bacon, the value added is quite respectible.

Imagine if you are unfortunate to live between two truely shit schools called Adeyfield and Astley Cooper, then none of the St Albans schools look that bad.

Pusheed Wed 07-Mar-12 10:37:17

We live in St Albans and we went private. Friends often ask why, since the area have a wealth of good schools. We always give a neutral answer that hopefully doesn't make us sound snobbish or elitist but the reality it that they aren't that great. As Really said, the term "good school" is all relative.

moscow Wed 07-Mar-12 10:54:44

The point I was raising was that I didn't think the statement there aren't any really bad schools in St A was that accurate, even if the term is relative. If you look at OP's original post, it mentions Parmiters... someone considering Parmiters via the academic route (as oppposed to geography) is hardly going to consider FB a 'good school', and tbh, I think few people would, as it has had, and still has, many many issues that may or may not be resolved over the next few years. In my view, all the schools, bar that one unfortunately, could be considered 'good' if 'good' means 'good enough'. But there are some really great schools here, so I disagree with Pusheed as well. But yes, it is all relative...if you want your DCs to go to a school with 100% getting good GCSEs, then not even Beaumont and Sandringham are going to do that for you...

ReallyTired Wed 07-Mar-12 10:56:59

Pusheed, the problem is the national curriculum at secondary school level rather than any particular school. I don't blame you for choosing private if you can afford it.

However I know that some children do extremely well at either Adeyfield or Astley Cooper. A child with the right attitude will do better than some children at St Albans School or St Albans High.

QueenofHerts Wed 07-Mar-12 17:28:34

Blimey OP you seem v concerned with getting in to 'best' school! I've answered on one of your other threads.

Parmiters - most children (even the exceptionally bright) are tutored from Y5 for the entrance exam. I know many who have got in there. Like any exam depends on performance on the day - there are some who are not that academic but do well in exam and get in, other bright kids who get offers from STABS or Habs but not at Parm. If you think your dc is bright it's worth a go; if (to judge from your other threads) you have Sandringham/Beaumont/Verulam as options then you've got a fantastic choice indeed and your ds will probably do just as well there as at P.

Pusheed - I am gobsmacked that you think St A schools "aren't that great" shock

Pusheed Wed 07-Mar-12 18:53:39

Queen - It depends on what your expectations are <puts on crash helmet> If you compare the academic record of these schools against St George in Harpenden, which is also a non-selective school, then they aren't that great, relatively speaking

QueenofHerts Wed 07-Mar-12 19:19:22

You need to secure that crash helmet, Pusheed <lines up concrete blocks>

St G's is selective by faith and by the fact that you need a PhD in admissions procedures to work out its pretty complex criteria and/or a large income bracket to live in the Harpenden area, 'cos that is posher than plebby St A wink. It also has fewer pupils with special needs, far fewer lower attainers and far more higher attainers than its st alb counterparts. Still an excellent school, but not quite comparing like with like

hct123 Wed 07-Mar-12 20:36:42

Good evening ladies and time out!!!!!!

Thank you All for your answers!!

Queen of hearts, you have answered me before on other links...thats great, thank you for being my personal guru xx

im not offended by any put a mum of used to it (hee hee!)

just to update you on St Georges...

they have changed the admissiond criterion from last month.

now its 80% from harpenden and 20% villages...None from St Albans anymore (sad face).

re Parmiters...ive re3ad about the earlier exam and i understand the basics of that BUT!!...i wonder if they will give those who fail the exam an idea of how close they were, so wether or not its still worth applying because others who get a place may not take it up...if u see what i mean.

(i did look around last year, and liked it...i like dissaplined schools.. i think i would have done better if my school was strickter!)

guess when it comes to schools, we all wast the best for our children xx

hct123 Wed 07-Mar-12 20:38:14

oh, and before anyone says anything..i know i cant spell!! smily fce!!! xx

breadandbutterfly Wed 07-Mar-12 22:26:52

Parmiters is good; Sandringham & Beaumont are regarded as the best locally in St A. Why not visit and see which ones you prefer?

If you want to apply for Parmiters the rules are changing this year, so everything will be much earlier - the forms to enter the exam must be in by June, the exams done in Sept and results back by early Oct. If your ds doesn't do so well, you've not lost anything, as application forms for the schools don't have to be in till end Oct - mightas well do the exams and see how it goes, as there is now nothing to lose.

Pusheed Thu 08-Mar-12 09:32:25

"You need to secure that crash helmet, Pusheed <lines up concrete blocks> St G's is selective by faith and by the fact that you need a PhD in admissions procedures to work out its pretty complex criteria and/or a large income bracket to live in the Harpenden area, 'cos that is posher than plebby St A . It also has fewer pupils with special needs, far fewer lower attainers and far more higher attainers than its st alb counterparts."

Do you want to borrow my crash helmet after I've finished with it? grin

There are a few SN parents on MN, sorry, I meant parents with children who have special needs (Apparently 'SN parents' is a derogatory term <roll eyes>) who will take offence at your comments.

You are also suggesting that people of faith and/or who are well-off have cleverer children.

And I thought I made inflamatory posts smile Teach me master. I have so much to learn from you grin grin

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