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Croydon Catholics (Croydon RC Schools)

(51 Posts)
ercroydonmum Sun 13-Jan-13 13:36:00

Hi All,

As one of several Catholic posters in the Croydon area, I want to know where you (the other Catholics) will be sending your kids to this autumn?

Will you go for John Fisher (even though it isn't selective any more? As some other posters have pointed out this school stopped selecting its boys via interviews, tests and exams in 1999/2000) or perhaps Thomas More (which I hear has improved) or will you go further afield to The London Oratory (which stopped selecting boys and parents with interviews in 2006).

Finally would anyone go the route of Sutton Grammars or Croydon Independents because of the lack of selective Catholic schools today?

penelopewellingtonbowes Sun 13-Jan-13 13:51:37

Erm..ER if we were still living close to Croydon JF could be an option? But no not really. For a couple of reasons:

a) the school no longer selects any of it's boys or vets parents with an interview, the school is much changed- there are no longer 4,5,6 applicants for every place
b) the school is much larger now than it was when I put my boys through the school when it was selective (1990s) as it went from 600 boys up to 1000+

Couple this with the fact many boys now go to the Grammars in Sutton it makes it hard for John Fisher to maintain the profile of it's intake, in the same way any independent school struggles when transferring to the state sector or a Grammar or other type of selective school would do.

I think if you are living in Croydon these days your only options are possibly the (Blair's!) Oratory in Fulham, one of the grammars in Sutton or possibly St Olave's (Kent). Only the Oratory is Catholic of course, but as stated is no longer selective. Good Catholic Indies would be Worth (at a huge financial cost) or Bishop Challoner (Bromley, around 10k a year).

Let me know if I can help.


surreydadcoolest Mon 14-Jan-13 13:50:38

As someone who attended The John Fisher School when it was very selective in the 90s I can confirm it was a fantastic school and full of bright articulate boys who wanted to learn in a pastoral & nurturing environment.

The school was renowned for its music, high academic achievement and prowess on the sports field. It was viewed as an alternative to independent schools and it's true that it was interviewing boys from all over the place as it could select boys from practically anywhere. In fact I subsequently went on to university with a boy who used to take a train from East Grinstead every day and numerous boys came from Kent having passed the religion test, interview and possibly some sort of music test or exam.

My son is only 3 so it really is pointless of me to comment as he won't be going to secondary school until 2021, but I would say there seem to be far less outstanding schools out there these days. For the masses at any rate.

AngelEyes46 Tue 15-Jan-13 20:44:13

My boys are at JF and are happy there (or as happy as year 9's could be!). I didn't really think about independent/private schooling as not really sure if I agree with it. DD at a RC all girls school and does seem to be more focused than the boys but is that the difference between girls and boys?

surreydadcoolest Wed 16-Jan-13 14:27:23

Angeleyes what is the school like today? I'm told there are many more boys from black and asian families and less prep school entrants in year 7.

AngelEyes46 Thu 17-Jan-13 22:35:55

My brother went in the 1990s and I have friends that went in the 80's. You're right that there are more boys from black and asian families now but it makes the school more diverse. There are less boys from the indi prep and PWB is probably correct in that they are choosing either Whitgift or Trinity. I know many families who have sent their DCs to RC primary schools but when it comes to senior school, sent their DS to independent but their DD to Coloma. Coloma seems to have maintained the 'old selection' whereas I don't think JF has. And we have to remember that schools should reflect the community that they are located in and Coloma doesn't do this. Private schools definitely do not but pleased to say that JF does.

Ladymuck Fri 18-Jan-13 10:05:49

"I'm told there are many more boys from black and asian families and less prep school entrants in year 7."

In fairness, I think that if you were to look at the boys at Whitgift and Trinity you would find a similar trend over the last two decades. Welcome to Greater London.

As an aside I see that the owners of Oakwood are now setting up a new Catholic independent boys secondary school, The Cedars, near Lloyds Park.

MordionAgenos Fri 18-Jan-13 10:28:00

@Angel Surely Coloma reflects the church community, just as it always did? Certainly in our day, what used to put people's noses out of joint was that they lived in nice big houses in Shirley and couldn't go to a school near them, while people like me from Waddon weren't forced to go to Haling Manor because of where we lived but were able to go to Coloma because that was the community we were part of........We always had people coming in from very far afield though, I remember that in your year there were people coming from Reigate and Streatham (especially after the merger with St Ann's) but they were there because they were Catholics, not because they were necessarily clever or posh....

AngelEyes46 Sat 19-Jan-13 22:17:21

Mordion - data from January 2011 - free schools meals:

St Joseph’s RC (boys) 10.2
Thomas More 17.3
Virgo Fidelis (girls) 12.1
St Mary’s Catholic High 19.9
Coloma 3.5

you and I (I know) are in agreement with faith schools (in principal) but these statistics speak volumes! Of course, I am delighted that my DD and DS's go to RC schools but should I be pleased that they are attending the 'better' ones?

MordionAgenos Sun 20-Jan-13 08:45:55

Coloma is 100% full of Catholics though, isn't it. I wonder if Thomas More and St Mary's still, even today, suffer frm being the 'ex secondary moderns' - ie people not wanting to apply there? Although Virgo Fidelis used to be really posh didn't it, in our day. Really really posh. Mind you I still maintain that if Coloma was using catchment area admission there would be fewer free school meals than now. It is after all situated in one of the poshest bits. That used to be the mean complaint - the people from Shirley not liking the people from Waddon (me) coming in on the bus every day to go to 'their' school.

What is st Phils free school meal percentage?

JakeBullet Sun 20-Jan-13 08:57:05

What a depressing thread...

"Parents not vetted by interview anymore".. God forbid you should have to mix with less privileged folk.
"More black and Asian boys" so shocked by this I am virtually speechless.

Lovely Catholic and may I say Christian sentiments. I am Catholic and would never select a school for my DS based upon some of the criteria which "matters" to some of the posters here. How sad.

JakeBullet Sun 20-Jan-13 08:58:24

Of course if I have got the wrong end of the stick here I apologise

surreydadcoolest Sun 20-Jan-13 11:09:35

Jake, what's all this? Are you trying to make a point?

No one on this thread is prejudice, only observing that many middle class boys go to the Croydon Independent schools instead of JF today or other schools (Olaves & Royal Russell). No one said anything about these black and asian boys and if they were prep schoolers or not.

Just go easy before jumping to conclusions.

idontgivearatsass Sun 20-Jan-13 11:22:33

Black and asian boys definitely not middle class only WASPs are. Great start to my Christian Sunday Morning. God bless you all.

littlecrystal Sun 20-Jan-13 14:25:49

Can I ask what's wrong with JF? That the children have some minorities or they come form working class rather middle class?
They still do well academically, by the way.
I find some of the comments very offending.

AngelEyes46 Sun 20-Jan-13 17:10:19

Mordion - I got the FSM data from a report about a prospective parent lodging an appeal with the adjudicators. The report concluded that Coloma's FSM and ESL should be higher so that it compared to other RC schools in Croydon. I'm not sure if I agree with you re: "if Coloma was using catchment area admission there would be fewer free school meals than now" as if that was the case, surely Thomas More would have lower FSM.

Surely, the fairest way to admit to RC schools would be the same as the normal state school, i.e. distance but practicing RC. In my opinion, the selective school should also follow this rule. For me, it would mean that my 3 children would be at Thomas More and I would therefore be promoting the community that I live in.

I understand that I haven't done this and perhaps if I was a braver person, I should have taken this route. However, you (and every other parent whose children are in year 6), knows it is not as easy as that.

Jake - interested to know - what criteria do you base on you choice?

Idontgivea - again interested to know - why are black and asian boys not middle class, and finally,

littlecrystal - I am very pleased with JF. I am happy that it is more diverse than in my brother's day (who was also a laylem lea boy). Is your ds at JF or are you thinking about it?

idontgivearatsass Sun 20-Jan-13 17:48:52

Angel - I am summarising the attitude that I am getting from surreydad! Surely not my view at all. He first said fewer prep school entrants and more black and Asian and then when challenged by Jack, he tried to backpeddle but only contradicted himself by saying middle class boys were going to independent while black and asians were going to RF. I was only left to conclude that black and asian cannot be middle class. Hence my post.

Now if you want my view on the matter, thank goodness it is more progressive, modern, open and diverse. Sorry if I caused you concern there!

MordionAgenos Sun 20-Jan-13 20:21:52

@angel the minute you start making distance the main determinant, you introduce selection by depth of pockets. And that's clearly completely inequitable especially when there is a croydon catholic parish which isn't actually served by a catholic secondary school (Waddon). I'd have no problem, if I still lived in Croydon, with not letting the kids from Caterham etc go to Coloma. I'd have a huge problem with adopting any system which disenfranchised the kids from Waddon. Since once upon a time, that was me.

penelopewellingtonbowes Mon 21-Jan-13 09:06:25

The problems is you have no middle class option in Croydon. Except for Coloma (girls only). So what you have seen from JF in recent years has been a white flight effect where those boys are going to Trinity, RR, Whitgift, Caterham and possibly some of the Sutton Grammars.

Shouldn't some young lads get a shot at going to a school like Coloma or JF (at least when it was exclusive) I just would not send any of my kids to a Catholic state school now except for Coloma or Oratory, possinlt Cardinal Vaughn.

littlecrystal Mon 21-Jan-13 10:19:30

I am speechless about pwb's comment. I'd like to make sure my children go to a more diverse school than selected by "middle class" definition.

pwb, I don't think you should even bother about catholic schools - why don't you go straight to indies if a middle class selective is above everything else.

Angel, my DS is in Y4. To be honest, I quite like Thomas More but it's considered not as good JF, and that rugby thing in JF bothers me a lot. DS is not sporty at all.

MordionAgenos Mon 21-Jan-13 11:02:58

I'd love the opportunity to send my kids to a catholic secondary school. Sadly, there are no catholic secondary schools in our LEA. sad

starlady Mon 21-Jan-13 13:53:22

pwb, are you for real? Or are you an atheist troll? Your views seem to be the antithesis of Catholic teaching. You give us RCs a bad name!!

My DH went to The Oratory in the 80's, you would have been shocked they let him in, as he is a) Asian, and b) FSM, living on a council estate.

CecilyP Mon 21-Jan-13 15:24:08

Shouldn't some young lads get a shot at going to a school like Coloma or JF (at least when it was exclusive)

You obviously think the wrong young lads get a shot of of going there - nice!

I just would not send any of my kids to a Catholic state school now except for Coloma or Oratory, possinlt Cardinal Vaughn.

So you wouldn't send your kids there because some other kids get a shot of going there and you do not like these kids?

MordionAgenos Mon 21-Jan-13 17:03:04

I grew up in a council flat. I went to Coloma. Looks like PWB will have to cross it off her 'acceptable' list.

AngelEyes46 Mon 21-Jan-13 21:38:53

PWB indeed comes out with some strange things. As other posters have said, surely what catholicity is about is sending your children to a catholic school - not about class. From other threads, I think she is inquiring for her grandchildren - I wonder if her grandchildren would be admitted to any RC school, i.e. do they attend mass, taken the sacraments etc or have they just been primed to give a good interview (which is illegal in state schools now anyway).

littlecrystal - I do understand what you are saying about Thomas More (although the results this year are fantastic). The onus on rugby is high in the beginning years at JF but it does settle down as your ds progresses.

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