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Thank you so much for all your help, but I need one last piece of advice....Graveney vs CLSG

(16 Posts)
BoringSchoolChoiceNickname Fri 01-Mar-13 19:30:00

Many thanks to everyone who has given me really good advice as I agonised over the great London secondary school application trauma for DD. You have saved the last remnants of my sanity, and kept me from going over to the Dark Side of the 11+ Forums which would have resulted in tutoring DD to death.

I made spreadsheets, I bought DD's own weight in Bond Papers (we didn't actually do that many of them, but I found it comforting to file them neatly smile), I found ways to practice for allegedly unreviseable language aptitude tests, and I panicked over the right clothes to wear to private interviews (right answer: school uniform, duh).

Having decided that the right school for DD was probably Graveney, we realised that the odds of actually getting in were slim, so we decided to have a fallback position in the private sector. Then rather foolishly tried for three extremely selective private schools, which rather defeated the object of having a fallback, and led to me panicking again.

Which brings me to today's dilemma, because inevitably she's got into all of them, because she is my clever DD and she worked hard (I swear I didn't overtutor her, I really didn't). I should have had more faith in her, shouldn't I?

She loves CLSG. I love CLSG. I love Graveney but DD doesn't really know it apart from a single open morning. The commute is about 42 minutes for CLSG, about 47 for Graveney, but at CLSG she'd be able to travel with me in the morning.

We have the money.

If you can find it in your hearts not to swear at me for this first-worldiest of all first-world problems - and heaven knows I know that there are people out there with actual genuine problems, and I reall do thank my blessings - can you please help me think?

I need someone to tell me that City will offer her something special that Graveney can't, so I can bring myself to throw back the place we worked so hard for. Or I need someone to tell me that Graveney is either brilliant or crap for boys with HFA, so I know whether the fact that DS could follow her there in three years time would be a good thing. Or I need a time machine so I can go back to October and not bother applying for any of the private schools. Please be gentle because the entire process has robbed me of all proportion, and I haven't had any wine yet.

Good luck to everybody who hasn't heard yet, or who is going to sit on waiting lists.

aliasPrickleandJones Fri 01-Mar-13 19:41:34

I think it's up to you (and your DD). Can't think how the rest of us can possibly advise you hmm

BoringSchoolChoiceNickname Fri 01-Mar-13 19:44:12

I know, I know, but people talking on here always helps me think. I need to get a grip and not stress in front of DD.

Blu Fri 01-Mar-13 19:53:45

Are Graveney changing back and re-introducing sibling places for 'selective' admissions?

How long do you have to accept the places?

Congratulations to you dd anyway.

BoringSchoolChoiceNickname Fri 01-Mar-13 19:57:57

Thanks Blu, you've always been a voice of sanity on the South London threads.

I don't know whether they're definitely reintroducing sibling places for selective intake but having a sibling there would be a significant factor in getting it named on his statement I think.

We've got until Wednesday to decide.

basildonbond Fri 01-Mar-13 20:13:17

yes to sibling priority for selective places

have pm'd you

Classicsgirl Fri 01-Mar-13 20:54:29

Hi my daughters are at graveney and do music with some girls from clsg; they wld both go for graveney, because its doing very well for them both, academically and socially. I think it prepares them very well for university and independent study. On the other hand,they don't get to perform at the Barbican; music does seem exceptional at city.....tbh it sounds as though your daughter will achieve wherever she goes, so go with your gut and stick to whichever decision you make!

BoringSchoolChoiceNickname Fri 01-Mar-13 21:38:30

Thanks classicsgirl.

WarmAndFuzzy Sat 02-Mar-13 13:28:15

I've heard that Graveney is opening an autism unit in a year or two, so an HFA boy would probably do well there (don't know any recent details though, might be worth googling). And yes, they are changing sibling priority rules (as you probably know by now).

That aside though, if you and your DD feel passionately about one school, go with that one, your DD has a far higher chance of being happy and successful in that school if it's the one she wanted!

anotherboringnickname Sat 02-Mar-13 13:54:13

Hi OP,
we were in the same dilemma as DC has a place at a superselective grammar and we had that "how can we throw away all that hard work" thought. Like you, we prepared DC ourselves while trying to have a life meanwhile, and this has come as a bit of a shock. Nevertheless, we have chosen the independent school. Apart from being coed, the independent school is closer, the extracurricular activities and music opportunities are superior and the class size smaller. Graveney is a really good school but the top stream can get quite big, about 32-33 per class. While you could say those are the children who don't need a small teacher-student ratio, I do think it can somewhow affect class participation etc. In your case I think you have to decide if you want single sex or coed, as it's a very different school experience! I have also heard CLSG is very academic, and also that they will no longer have drama as A level option. (You may want to double check that info by calling the school). Another thing to consider is that at Graveney, your DD may have more of a choice when choosing options. Independent schools want to safeguard their league tables positions by getting students to choose the subjects they excel at, rather than the subjects they like.

OhDearConfused Sun 03-Mar-13 10:31:35

I hope to be in a similar position to you next year (DS not DD). Your OP made me laugh - can see myself there. Graveney is so difficult, I'm thinking of having St Paul's, Westminster and CLBS all as back-up!

To be honest, if it were me, I'd save the money. Graveney is good enough (there is always "better" out there).....

Classicsgirl Sun 03-Mar-13 11:25:01

I agree - we deliberately didn't go for the independents to avoid this very dilemma, as it wld have xri

Classicsgirl Sun 03-Mar-13 11:33:53

I agree - just to expand my earlier post, we deliberately didn't go for the independents to avoid this very dilemma, as it wld have crippled us financially, and we really didn't need to. Graveney is giving our dcs 13 academic gcses with predicted excellent grades plus ample opportunities for extra-curricular and a good mix of friends, which i think will put them on an equal footing with those from independents when it comes to UCAS. yes the classes are bigger, but that encourages independent study skills. The main difference is probably that the children have more scope to choose not to do the extra curricular if they can't be bothered, but if your child has a passion for something they will have every encouragement. If you are in the great position of having the choice, i would use the money you save for university....

BoringSchoolChoiceNickname Sun 03-Mar-13 23:16:12

Thanks again everyone. I haven't been able to post under this name to reply, but DH and I have read all your comments and they're much appreciated.

I'll return to let you know what we (and DD) finally decide.

BoringSchoolChoiceNickname Thu 07-Mar-13 16:59:05

As promised, I'm returning to let you know, what we all three decided.

We decided unanimously that City was the school in which DD would be happier, and that making Graveney work for us as a family would require moving house, which everybody would have hated, so City it is.

Thanks for all your thoughts, even though we went against the mood of the thread in the end, they was much appreciated.

OhDearConfused Thu 07-Mar-13 17:26:41

Well done! sounds sensible.

It will also free up a place at Graveney for someone (who might not have had the money/choice you have), which will be nice for them.

Whilst on this, do you actually get Graveney results communicated to you (ie how your DC does in the wandsworth test)?

Any idea if the cut-off is as high as past years, or getting even worst?

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