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Cokethorpe for non-academic, non-sporty rather lazy year 9??

(22 Posts)
OxonConfusedDotCom Tue 09-Dec-14 19:05:00

Am wondering whether to move a reluctant ds from his current (excellent but let's him drift) state school to Cokethorpe as am hoping the smaller class sizes would mean he can no longer go under the radar. Plus will have to actually do something activity-wise during school day. He currently does bugger all, despite my best efforts. I am always, always chasing him up, lots of clashes over homework/effort. Find days with him very stressful and affects the rest of the family adversely.

Is an Indy school with long school day likely to help?

Also am worried that he'll be left out as a non-sporty boy.
He is v v reluctant to move as he likes his current school so that obviously is a concern. Dh not overly keen but never bloody here anyway.

Thoughts please?

OxonConfusedDotCom Tue 09-Dec-14 19:19:53

Am hoping a longer day would help though obviously would be quite tiring for him. At least he'd have opportunities laid out for him.

roguedad Tue 09-Dec-14 19:45:54

It's harder to hide in a smaller class and this school often does a good job in getting the best out of kids. The sports could go either way. They have two afternoons a week on it and they will probably try and rope him in to something, though I heard they'd got a bit less forceful about making everybody do the trad team stuff, with a bit more flexibility. I'd talk to the Head - they have new Directors of Studies, Sports and other changes this year so you probably need up to date info from him.

ZeroSomeGameThingy Tue 09-Dec-14 19:46:09

Hmmm .... I'm curious as to how you will persuade a v v reluctant boy to perform well in three interviews. (I have no experience of the school myself.)

Are you wanting to move him during this year? You'll obviously having missed the regular admission process but they seem quite thorough. And they also seem to want children who demonstrate enthusiasm.

The school may well work all kinds of wonders once you're there - but how would you get him in?

OxonConfusedDotCom Tue 09-Dec-14 19:57:58

zero, are you talking about this school specifically? Afaik iit's non-selective. Not expecting him just to walk right in of course. He can be enthusiastic if v interested. He's reluctant to leave. To be frank, don't think he knows what's best for him right now. He wants an easy life and thinks he has one now. So why change?

OxonConfusedDotCom Tue 09-Dec-14 19:59:19

Rogue- do you have dc there? You seem to think quite highly of it?

ZeroSomeGameThingy Tue 09-Dec-14 20:05:03

Yes - but I've only taken a quick look at the website.

Hard to know what to do for the best with a child of that age. They're so - unwieldy.

Have you both visited the school?

OxonConfusedDotCom Tue 09-Dec-14 20:07:42

Yes, visited a while back. He grudgingly admitted it was "okay" and "had lots of stuff" but said he wouldn't move. Think he's scared underneath all the nonchalance and bravado.

roguedad Tue 09-Dec-14 20:44:35

Have dc in the Junior Dept where very well looked after, and know folks with Senior kids. Both sections look after pupils very well. It's not a walkover for entrance any more, and they pay a lot of attention to interview. I'd seriously advise talking to the head as there have have been some changes in senior leadership, so past experience might not be a guide to the future.

OxonConfusedDotCom Tue 09-Dec-14 20:48:31

Ok thanks. Guess had assumed would get in. Not sure how he'd be in interview.

ZeroSomeGameThingy Tue 09-Dec-14 21:03:34

fgrinMy experience is almost all with avowedly selective schools so I have no "assuming" skills.

What sort of reference would he get from his current school? Talents? Leadership rôles? Teams? General effort?

OxonConfusedDotCom Tue 09-Dec-14 21:06:31

It would be okay. No, no leadership roles or teams, non-sporty!

happygardening Tue 09-Dec-14 21:18:47

As far as I'm aware and according to friends who are very much in the know it's become the fall back for Abingdon and MCS both have been very oversubscribed lately so it's becoming harder to get into. A work collegue looked at the senior school for her DS who was at a big name prep sounds similar to your DS and frankly felt it wasn't worth the money, not much better than her state options and definitely not as good as MCS, Abingdon or St Edwards.

OxonConfusedDotCom Tue 09-Dec-14 21:36:54

Not looking for MCS type school. Unlike his dsis, he's not particularly academic.

ZeroSomeGameThingy Tue 09-Dec-14 21:53:32

I heard "non-sporty" OP - but was hoping for chess or the spelling bee or something.

I'm sure your DS is perfectly lovely but you're not quite selling him as an unmissable candidate for a becoming-choosier school. Which is why I didn't ask if you'd considered MCS or Abingdon.

(It's true that the big name prep that I know best doesn't send anyone there - but that's because the pupils go on to boarding schools.)

When you visited did you gain the impression that it would be the ideal school for him? Or ...

OxonConfusedDotCom Tue 09-Dec-14 22:11:12

Sorry to disappoint!! Well, not at all actually.. Am tearing my hair out with him and have been frank as would like meaningful advice. But no, he's not a bad kid. Not going to give any identifying info except to say he is not even a spelling bee king...

summerends Tue 09-Dec-14 22:37:49

Not unreasonably you want a school that can inspire him. Independent schools who can be choosy more and more appear to want their prospective pupils to be all singing all dancing, enthusiastic, self organised etc etc. It must make the schools' job a lot easier. I don't really know Cokethorpe but an honest discussion with the head might be useful and give you an idea of his chances and what they would do for him. Leckford Place also gets some enthusiastic reviews so might be worth visiting.

ZeroSomeGameThingy Tue 09-Dec-14 23:40:30

It must make the schools' job a lot easier.

Why has this never occurred to me before? How horribly true.

But I guess the arms race is inevitable. It used to be that a school took a child and "made" a man or woman. But if the school next door is only taking Olympic athletes with A'Level maths before they arrive - and you're competing with that school for fees and the longest entry in Tatler and the biggest crowd at the overseas school fair ...

GrannyGoggles Wed 10-Dec-14 06:32:35

If he is in an excellent school and reluctant to move, maybe your best bet is to work with the school he is at. Sweeping generalisation I know, but Y9 pupils are often contra suggestive, on the cussed side, apparently disaffected. Perhaps if you back off a bit he might surprise you - but you might have to wait until he's a bit older and more mature.

And I'm sure you don't, but please, please do not compare him to his academic sister.

GoldfishSpy Wed 10-Dec-14 06:42:28

I agree with GrannyGoggles; if he is happy where he is, I would work with his Tutor at his current school. As other posters have suggested upthread, there is a reason why independent schools get the best results - they select motivated academic students. In my experience (of 16 years working in both Independent and State sectors), it is the attitude of the student far more than the status of the school that determine outcome.
State schools have a lot more experience at working with less motivated students. In the Independent sector, if they took him, they would have less idea what to do with him!

skylark2 Wed 10-Dec-14 08:02:07

I guess the question is: is he happy where he is because they're letting him coast?

DB was like that. My parents got in a load of prospectuses from boarding schools which would most definitely have not let him coast and told him it was his choice - work harder where he was or be sent somewhere else. He started working harder.

OxonConfusedDotCom Wed 10-Dec-14 10:07:35

Granny & Goldfish- you may well be right. Though i do think state schools with much larger class sizes and their need to deal with a wide range of ability can fail to spot, let alone push, the coasters. That's my big fear- that he could do well with the right encouragement/support/opportunities. What makes you say state schools can be better with the less motivated? Genuinely interested as not my impression.

Sklylark, yes i think he likes the school because they let him coast- in one core subject from 3rd set to 7th! He wants an easy life. I want him not to fail.

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