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Peter Symonds, Winchester- your opinions?

(62 Posts)
LittenTree Fri 19-Oct-12 13:50:49

DS1 is in Y9 so whilst we are a way off yet, he is about to choose his GCSEs. He is erring towards science but has already 'decided' he wants to go to PS rather than Barton Peverell 6th form...

Obviously it is early days, and lord knows, there is time for at least 3 major educational shake ups before then at the rate we're currently experiencing them, isn't there? grin

My question is, is PS a good place for identifying a DCs best choices for suitable uni/FE?

I read all the time on MN how 'good' Prep school Heads direct their DC to the 'right' public school for them; well, does a top-performing 6th form like PS do the same for uni/FE?

I am not for a second suggesting Barton Peverell doesn't help their DCs make the right choices of future direction, only that DS is probably destined for Science at a good uni, and a school like PS surely ^ should^ have that correct 'insider knowledge' to guide him, shouldn't it? I am asking in the same vein as the 'problem' of poorly performing comps in deprived areas not even assuming a DC of thiers might aspire to Oxbridge, etc, as it is 'beyond their ken'.

wonderstuff Fri 19-Oct-12 13:58:00

Don't know - but making place as interested - long way off for us but DD will have choice between PS and QMC (I think).

wonderstuff Fri 19-Oct-12 14:00:43

Just found this on website
'The acceptance rate at the Russell Group and other highly selective universities for Peter Symonds College students is significantly higher than from any other sixth form college in Hampshire. It is more than twice that of the national acceptance rate from sixth form colleges. In 2011, 41% of our students gained places at these highly selective universities. Nationally, only 18.5% of sixth form college students achieve this.'

ISingSoprano Fri 19-Oct-12 16:49:03

My ds is currently in upper VI at PSC. For all those taking A levels (which is not everyone) it is pretty much assumed that they will apply to university and there is lots of help and guidance with the UCAS application. Potential Oxbridge candidates are picked out fairly early on and are supported by a named tutor through the application and interview process. Potential Medics also have a named tutor to guide them. The careers advisory team are very good but the students have to be proactive and go to them.

So, to answer your question, there is lots of advice and guidance available to help the students make their own decisions but the college won't necessarily say 'I think you should apply to X, Y and Z universities'.

ISingSoprano Fri 19-Oct-12 16:50:23

Also, to be honest, if you have a choice of Barton Peveril or PSC it's a bit of a 'no brainer'. As a friend of mine once said 'why choose milk when you can have cream'!! grin

UsingAPsuedonym Fri 19-Oct-12 16:58:05

I've taught at both!! At the time I actually preferred Barton Peveril as in my subject they had better teachers and smaller classes. This was a long time ago though!

Ponders Fri 19-Oct-12 17:19:01

A family friend chose to go on to Peter Symonds from an independent school in Southampton (King Edward VI?) - his mother was not at all keen but he loved it & got a place at Oxford.

This was 10 years ago though but presumably things are still the same.

TalkinPeace2 Fri 19-Oct-12 18:13:14

Shall do my best not to turn this into another Peter Symonds Love in thread
BUT
- it gets fab results from the vast bulk of its pupils Oxbridge / Russell Group / Technical Unis / you name it
- it has fab sports teams
- its in Winchester

BP - gets fab results too - but it is in beastly Eastleigh ....

and yes, LOTS of kids leave the local private schools to go to the state Sixth Forms - poor HCS is already working on a friends DD and she's only year 9 !

fridayfreedom Fri 19-Oct-12 18:25:33

Isingsoprano
"why choose milk when you can have cream"...rude!!
Each college has its own assets and one is not better than the other.
Having looked at both for my DD, we would not have chosen PSC for her subjects or for her as a person.
Talkinpeace2, having worked in Eastleigh for many years, yes it is a bit scruffier than Winchester, but there are some great things happening in Eastleigh !!!
oh, and Colin Firth went to Barton Peverill!!!

TalkinPeace2 Fri 19-Oct-12 18:30:54

:-)
My office is relocating to Eastleigh at the moment - but I'm sure you know its called that anyway.

BP is just right for some people - a friends DD is 3rd year Oxford having thrived there
PS is right for others
Brock for others
Sparsholt for others
Tauntons for others

it ALL comes down to which one has the courses your child wants to do and gives the right vibe to work for them
and we are VERY lucky round here with the comp approach to education that ALL of the colleges are better than many elsewhere in the country!

Mintyy Fri 19-Oct-12 18:34:29

I went to Peter Symonds and I'm alright grin but I didn't go to a Russell Group University (I don't think).

ISingSoprano Fri 19-Oct-12 18:37:29

Yeah, sorry that comment was a bit rude - it just made me laugh a bit when my friend said it wink

LittenTree Fri 19-Oct-12 18:37:30

Settle, everyone grin- no, I am entirely of the 'horses for courses' argument.

You won't find me asking 'Which is the best Sixth Form College out of these?' because the answer is, of course, tell us about the 16 year old you're talking about, here! My boss' son was bright but lazy. She and he saw his tutor at school just about every week in Y11 to keep him focussed! They visited both of these colleges and she, in particular, was way more impressed with BP, saying they conveyed an air of enthusiasm and really caring; whereas PS were very 'we don't need to woo you because you want us more than we need you'.... And yes, I will lay my prejudice out here and say I am a bit concerned about how many privately educated, to date, DC might possibly be at PS- and most will of course be from KE6 or HC, won't they?- but enough to potentially form a clique? Enough, in terms of critical mass, to sway a learning 'type' or methodology towards the style more suited towards those DC?

I dunno!

out2lunch Fri 19-Oct-12 18:40:53

i'm with the bp crowd smile
ps has a fair few drop out due to high pressure - i don't believe there is that much difference in results between the two
go for what suits your child - we are v lucky here i agree
ps def has the winchester 'snob' value but if that's what you want go for it wink

out2lunch Fri 19-Oct-12 18:42:11

i'd say litten tree that half and half went to both bp and ps at my dcs state secondary

ISingSoprano Fri 19-Oct-12 18:43:42

It is true that there are a proportion of children who live locally and have been privately educated to age 16 and then opt to go to PSC. However the huge proportion come from local state secondaries.

I can obviously only speak from personal experience (my own and ds) but if you have an academic child with aspirations to go to a top tier university then PSC really is outstanding.

TalkinPeace2 Fri 19-Oct-12 18:45:03

Litten
HCS has year groups of around 60
KES has year groups of around 75
PS and BP have year groups of around 1500
Once the tidal wave of Mb, Th, RS, Wg, KS etc etc hit them they get diluted!
And actually so many kids are at the comps so their parents get better holidays that it seems to even out.
(friends of mine are teachers at PS - they have seen it!)

Lemonsole Fri 19-Oct-12 19:01:32

Lower 6 this year is 1900 students, and any cliques rapidly dissolve. DCs make friends from other schools very quickly. There is certainly no domination by ex indies, as suggested above.

Students are guided to apply for unis that reflect their likely outcomes at A2, but there is a Russell Group obsession about the place that matches that often found in private schools. Students don't tend to drop out because PSC is particularly pushy, but more because their GCSE grades show that they were a bit touch and go for A levels anyway. Probably would have struggled anywhere, tbh. There is heaps of extra support, but the students have to be prepared to access it. Students leaving after AS are those who haven't managed to pass enough to put together a viable A2 programme - and if you haven't passed AS, you're very unlikely to pass A2 unless there are very extenuating circumstances.

Open Evening tonight: why not go?

TalkinPeace2 Fri 19-Oct-12 19:40:58

friend of mine (whose daughter went last night) commented on how good the coffee was at PSC!!

Lemonsole Fri 19-Oct-12 19:44:54

The two coffee bars are pretty impressive, tis true.

Whatevertheweather Fri 19-Oct-12 19:52:05

I went to PSC from 97-99 so a scarily long time ago but I loved it! I took 3 science based a-levels pus English Lit and went on to do biomedical science at Cardiff Uni. I also had offers from Durham and Exeter. My tutor was excellent as helping me with applications and interviews.

I have heard that it is getting more selective on entrance now outside of the key Winchester secondaries so good gcse's a must.

I have also found that it is an excellent college for contacts post uni in terms of finding a job.

Whatevertheweather Fri 19-Oct-12 19:54:55

Oh and I went there from a state secondary in southampton and was the only 1 of about 5 from my school. Quickly made friends no cliquey Winchester schools problem at all

TalkinPeace2 Fri 19-Oct-12 19:55:50

Whatever
PSC has no catchment.
It has to cover all the areas without other sixth forms - as do all the other colleges
but they are UTTERLY strict about the 5 A-C
hence the mass re-mark that is currently underway

out2lunch Fri 19-Oct-12 19:56:24

i didn't think it was any more selective than the other colleges weather

Whatevertheweather Fri 19-Oct-12 20:03:10

Hmm it was anecdotal from parents I know with teen children who live near me in Fareham saying it was becoming harder to get in from our area.

My DD's are only 5 and 9 weeks so I've got a while before I have to worry about college grin

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