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Latymer Upper versus Kingston Grammar?

(29 Posts)
Pipsnow2 Wed 18-Feb-15 08:38:01

We are fortunate enough to have been offered places at both schools and really can't decide between them. We live half way between the two so the commute is not an issue. Would really appreciate any advice on what differentiates these school. DS is a confident and sporty type! Thanks.

Espresso3 Wed 18-Feb-15 10:03:24

Hi Pipsnow. We were in the same position last year. It's a tricky one - both great schools, forward-looking, co-ed, similar vibe in many ways.

In the end we went for LU because the results are better. It was as simple as that really. I know results aren't everything of course, but it is what it is and I'm just being honest!

KGS is a smaller year group though and the school may be a bit more personal I suspect?

KGS did feel a bit claustrophbic to us. Just our view though.

Espresso3 Wed 18-Feb-15 10:05:42

Claustrophobic!

Pop1ns Wed 18-Feb-15 10:16:55

KGS will write to you with a tour offered to those who have an offer.This invaluable and better than an open day as you meet great kids,see how the school works and a more informative.It will help you make your decision.I am sure LU is good too but I do not have any experience of it.

minoula Wed 18-Feb-15 11:59:51

Hi I have to say I suspect one difference may be the Maths (in Year 7 at least). For instance, DS was offered academic scholarship at KGS (maths) but he is in no way stand out in Year 7 maths at LU.

Maths at LU is definitely on the extended side and they are not in sets until Year 8. The rest of the curriculum at LU seems reasonably standard though and the homework is not too bad at all.

Beingfrank Wed 18-Feb-15 12:28:52

Think about the journey times/ease, and where friends are likely to live. LU draws from North and Central London as well as the area between Hammersmith and Kingston.

Espresso3 Wed 18-Feb-15 12:30:41

At the risk of making sweeping generalizations, I can only say what happened at my DC's (non-selective) prep (and what happens every year)-

There were 3 ability sets for English and Maths.

The top set were advised to have a go at LU, Hampton, LEH and, in a couple of cases, SPGS, Westminster or KCS. They were advised to sit KGS or Ibstock as "back up schools".

The middle set sat KGS as first choice, with other, less selective schools as "back ups".

Everyone got their first choice school with many from the middle set taking up KGS, but nobody from the top set.

Sorry to sound blunt, but, from what I've seen, the cohort at LU is likely to be more competitive. This can be an important consideration -would your DS thrive better at the top of his academic cohort, or not mind the competition?

Beingfrank Wed 18-Feb-15 12:43:29

I don't think KGS could be seen as a back-up this year. Certainly it it used to be a notch down but not any more IMHO. A lot of very bright children were turned away before interview.

Espresso3 Wed 18-Feb-15 13:41:04

KGS is an amazing school. If my DS had gone there I have no doubt that he would leave with exactly the same results as he will end up with having gone to LU. All these schools will enable their pupils to reach their full potential (let's hope so anyway)!

Admission to KGS is certainly getting tougher. I will not even be applying for DC2 for this very reason. But where KGS have about 600-700 applicants for around 100 places, LU have over 1200 applicants for 120 places. Its a numbers game for these schools -the more selective they can be, the more academically competitive the cohort is likely to be in Year 7.

But definitely go for the school with the easier journey -every time!

CountessDracula Wed 18-Feb-15 15:47:58

I would think about the type of demographic you would like as it is very different between the two schools.

We chose KGS over LU due to the more down to earth feel. It is a lot less monied (I know that sounds odd, but there are a lot of v rich kids at LU, fewere at KGS). It's a gentler and more relaxed seeming place and I couldn't see dd (or us!) fitting in nearly as well at LU.

Academically I think your DS will do equally well at either - LU results are better but then they are more selective so they should be IYKWIM.

Pipsnow2 Wed 18-Feb-15 21:21:37

Thanks everyone.

Countess - do the children get bused back to the school if they do sport after school at Thames Ditton or do they have to make their own way home?

Pop1ns Thu 19-Feb-15 06:53:00

Pipsnow-we went to tea with HM at KGS(stealth boasting) and he said that if they start at Kingston they will finish at Kingston so yes they are all bussed back and this includes away games too.

Pop1ns Thu 19-Feb-15 06:54:49

We went to tea with HM at KGS(stealth boasting) and he said if they start at Kingston they will finish at Kingston so yes they are bussed back and this will include away games too.

trader21c Thu 19-Feb-15 10:33:46

I wouldn't necessarily be taken in by the results of these top schools if they are more selective surely they are bound to get better results?! It would be a failure if they didn't!

CountessDracula Thu 19-Feb-15 14:55:31

Yes they bring them back
Depending on where you live there are school buses (paid for) which bring them straight home from sports too

Espresso3 Sat 21-Feb-15 11:12:49

Pipsnow. I have pm'd you back.

DiHappy Tue 14-Feb-17 09:04:55

We are trying to decide between KGS and LU.
Dd loves KGS but journey is a bit easier to LU. She is also strong in math and, from what I've heard, LU is exceptionally good at teaching math and science.
We are torn between the two and would really appreciate any fresh thoughts.

HunkyDory69 Tue 14-Feb-17 09:42:42

I know next to nothing about LU but can vouch for KGS being a very happy school.

amidawsh Tue 14-Feb-17 10:06:03

Describe both journeys, it will be the decider

DiHappy Tue 14-Feb-17 14:08:38

Amidawsh, It would be half an hour bus ride to KGS and 10-15 min tube ride to LU.

I was also wondering how the teachers at KGS reinforce discipline, timeliness and being organised, especially when it comes to homework? I already asked this question in the LU vs LEH thread because I had an impression that KGS and LU teachers are much less strict compared to LEH.

Do they also set kids in maths and other subjects at KGS as they do at LU and LEH?

amidawsh Tue 14-Feb-17 14:19:43

After Christmas iirc, they set in maths in yr7. 2 A streams, 2 B streams and a C stream.
My DD thinks that since yr8 they are also very loosely streamed for languages (or maybe those that struggle with languages are in a separate group) but this isn't definite, I haven't seen any policy for this.

Re discipline: any late homework triggers a "failure to produce homework" email to the student, form teacher, HofY and parents. This homework has to be handed into the office by 8.30am the next morning. If this is done, not a problem (though maybe if someone gets a lot of these it is probably flagged, i don't know). If they don't hand it in the next morning they have to go to a lunchtime work clinic (aka detention, but the wording is typical of KGS, it isn't a punishment but something to help you keep on top of your work).

Homework is never due the next day.
No homework over holidays. (this probably changes from yr9, don't know yet).

I know of a yr8 "organisation" club/group which is mandatory for some students, i guess those who are often handing in work late/incomplete/ regularly forgetting stuff to help them put in place effective strategies.

DD likes the teachers. They don't seem overly strict or distant, very approachable.

HunkyDory69 Tue 14-Feb-17 14:46:49

KGS - Official streaming for languages kicks in in y9; science in y10 as children are not forced into triple science if it isn't their thing, but do double science. Having said which, roughly 2:1 Triple:Double.

Very good at moving children up and down groups if it will help them, both in the subject and comfort of the class.

Year tutor moves up the years with pupils, so knows them academically just as the head of house knows them from co-curricular pov.

DiHappy Tue 14-Feb-17 14:58:12

Can kids email teachers directly at KGS?
I think they can at LU but not at LEH... not completely sure though.

DiHappy Tue 14-Feb-17 15:01:51

And what about foreign languages?

(So sorry to bombard you with so many questions but with offers in hand I realise that I missed on so many details and was looking at a more general level when we visited schools on open days.)

amidawsh Tue 14-Feb-17 15:08:09

yes they can and do email teachers directly.

happy to answer qu's, i remember the dilemma with DD1 and how helpful some mnetters were.

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