Peter Symonds or Barton Peveril?(19 Posts)
Newbie confused mother here.
All opinions welcome please.
Son has places at both to start in September doing 4 A levels. PS is a pain for him to get to but it can be done. Seems to be the best on paper. He liked both equally.
I went to BP a good few years ago. Loved everything about it - teaching was excellent, lots of subjects, great facilities and opportunities. My username comes from my time there. But in hindsight..... the teachers gave us way too much freedom, and all of my friends (bar one) got lower grades than they should have done. The teachers were just not strict enough, treated us like undergraduates rather than the A level students that we were. I'm sure it has changed a lot since my day though.....
PSC every time. I went in the 1980's, ds did his A levels there last year and dd will go this year. If students are motivated there is a lot of support available but they have to be prepared to go and get it. It is an excellent stepping stone to university and independent studying.
Having said that, I really have no experience of BP!
BP definitely. DH's friend works there and it's a great college. As is PS of course, but you know that.
If things are still the same when DD goes to 6th form, she'll be going to BP. It gets a comparable number of people into RG universities despite having a less affluent intake overall. Considering that a lot of private kids go to PS (instead of staying on at their private school), it makes me think that BP edges it in the value added stakes.
I also know that DC from DD's school need more support at A level due to having been spoonfed by said school throughout KS4 and I feel more confident that she'll get that support at BP.
I really can't see any reason for her to traipse to Winchester when she has BP, and hopefully her friends, on her doorstep. HTH
Dd is at Barton- she is very happy. Works hard and feels her career plans are fully supported. She has a long commute but finds it worth it.
She chose BP rather than PS as she has health problems which might flare up and felt BP would support her if the worst came to the worst, whereas PS was a bit more "if you aren't our type of student we don't want to know".
Also she is interested in both the academic and the performative side and she felt that BP was the place that would support both parts of her education equally.
PSC does have a very high value-added rating - even when its intake is taken into account. It's also not fair to say that it doesn't care about students who may be struggling: tutorial and pastoral support are robust. I'd go for whichever college your DC feels most comfortable with. We're lucky to have that choice here.
My impression is that PSC is rigorously academic and BP is more 'pastoral'. PSC does very well in the 'Oxbridge' measure but hey, given its' intake and entry requirements, so it should!
For the record, I know a lot of parents (and DC) who went to both. An interesting observation from the parents was how much more welcoming BP were at the Open Evenings. PSC doesn't need to tout for business as the clever DC from the MC villages surrounding Winchester crowd there; BP has to be more proactive in recruiting students and my friends all preferred that, even though some DC then went to PSC.
It's horses for courses but I personally am glad that my Y10 DS who is reasonably clever hasn't discounted BP on 'snob-value' alone as I think some do.
We have looked at both for DD1 now in y10.
One thing I didn't like about PS was that it mandates General Studies A level for all students. Having had bad experience many many years ago with similar at my school as a scientist, I am not keen on insisting that pupils do such a qualification, as I can't beleive it is the best interests of all of them.
PSC does very well in the 'Oxbridge' measure but hey, given its' intake and entry requirements, so it should!
There is a big misconception that PSC is full of ex independent school students. This is simply not true. There are about 3000 students at the college and the vast majority are from the local comprehensives. Equally, entry to A level courses is a standard 5 A* - C GCSE grades. Some subjects have higher requirements (maths requires an A or A* at GSCE) but that is not uncommon at other sixth form colleges (BP asks for B at GCSE and Alton College ask for at least a B grade, preferable A or A*).
That's interesting as it is a misconception then.
DH says that more DC go onto BP from his school than a lot of people would probably think. Ultimately it'll be up to DD but as she'll likely be doing the sciences and DH knows the science department well at BP, we'll be nudging her in that direction. At the moment I can't think of a single reason why she would go to PS instead.
If all things were equal academically I'd personally like her to go to the place nearest to where we live as it'll be easier for her socially. This is why she goes to the school she does instead of going to Winchester as I didn't fancy traisping there every weekend to drop her off at a friend's house.
I think I'd choose the one that would give the most opportunities for extra-curricular activies that would help her stand out from all the other uni applicants who have the exact same A level results.
"There is a big misconception that PSC is full of ex independent school students. This is simply not true. There are about 3000 students at the college and the vast majority are from the local comprehensives"- no there's no misconception. There's the fact that PS is largely filled with the MC DC of MC+ Winchester and the leafy villages thereabouts. There' a good reason why Winchester has no 'middle ranking' private secondaries (I see St Swithuns and Winchester College as 'Major League', as opposed to say King Eddie's in Southampton which is 'what MC parents worried about the local comp send their DC to'. My DC attend such a school with something like 1.4% FSM. Their school, like the Winchester ones, is awash with the DC of hospital consultants.
And the difference is that BP will take a GCSE Maths 'failure' (a D) to study stuff like Sports Science, Business Studies and Geography AS-A2 (whilst teaching the resit Maths GCSE); PSC won't.
My DD is at BP and loves it. Very supportive staff and they take a keen interest in their students. Everyone at the college is welcoming and the principal is fab.
Transport is very important though. As they have free periods it's hard if they don't have lessons till later in the day and they only have one bus there and back.
Waves to WantsWineNow.
DD will be going to PSC in September.
She did not apply to BP
Well, she want to do sciences and PSC is stronger on Sciences
BP is stronger on Languages and arts
Also, with school she'd been to BP for various events and did not like the "feel" of it.
When we went to the PSC open day, she felt "at home" within minutes.
Our extra options were -
Tauntons : easy to get to, great for music, but not for her options
Brock : wonderful location, pig to get to, good for IB, not great for sciences
I'm also lucky that we live near one of the bus stop hubs (outs self to anybody local)
but yes, for the TVBC families, PSC is a bit of a pig.
It has to come down to "feel"
both of them get results that Londoners would chew their arms off for
try the taster days and see how it goes.
We got pretty well the same feel as you, Talkin: PS being stronger on sciences and BP on arts.
Dd who sits between humanities and performing arts felt BP was right for her because they would give equal weight to both the sides of her education and push her hard in both, whereas with PS she felt more that it was the academic side that was regarded as important and performance was seen as a bit of a frill.
Our other options were Tauntons and Itchen.
Itchen we turned down because we all felt the teachers gushed a bit too much and it made dd wonder about standards (being seized on by the teacher in her main subject and gushed over for what she knows is her weakest point did not make a good impression).
Tauntons wouldn't let her do the options she wanted and generally seemed a little less academic. Like Talkin, I'd think it would be great for music.
Also BP has much closer connections with the relevant industries and have a good record for old alumni.
In retrospect, those of dd's friends who went to Itchen seem the least happy and least motivated. A couple who went to PS have found that the college were quick to make them downgrade their options if they struggled in the first few months, but other than that they also seem happy and excited about their work.
Oooh hello, I'm waving back at you Talkinpeace. I thought this thread had died! We have looked at other SFCs and have narrowed it down to BP and PSC. Slight complication is that son is hoping to do an odd mix of arts and sciences for A level.
He honestly likes both equally, and liked the feel of both. I like the fact that BP gave parents free tea and biscuits at the interviews ha ha. However PSC seems to be winning in latest chats with him. We are lucky to have this choice, I agree.
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