Kings vs Westgate, Hants (what you like and do not like about them)

(14 Posts)
Mikkalina Sat 15-Aug-15 23:52:14

In one year we would need to apply for a secondary school.
My DS is currently at a good primary school. He is a clever boy but struggling with the homework (reluctance to study harder ). At school he is described as a shy pupil. He told me that he is bored at school but from Sept he is having a new teacher so who knows how it is going to be. I would like him to go to Kings as it is an outstanding school and the clubs look great too but not sure as he is so immature when it comes to studies (his attitude is just grrr). I have also heard that they are quite strict so maybe it will wake him up (I also very hope he will mature in these two years). If the teachers at Kings, for example, see that the pupil is struggling academically or socially would they help or would they tell the parent to deal with it?

I would also like to hear about the classroom facilities and clubs. He is not into sport though. More into tech.

Thank you very much in advance. I will probably read your replies tomorrow.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mikkalina Sun 16-Aug-15 12:42:58

NeedAScarfForMyGiraffe, thank you. I have also heard very impressive things about the Kings but nothing much about the Westgate.

TeenAndTween Sun 16-Aug-15 13:46:26

I know people with kids at all three of the Winchester schools, and they are happy with their choices. It does seem to be horses for courses.

The thing that would put me off Kings, is I understand that they stream very early on, and then set within those streams. I also understand that the streams are very visible to the other pupils. This, if correct, would concern me for 3 reasons
a) what if you have a child with a very skewed profile
b) what if you have a late developer child
c) what if your child ends up in the bottom stream and their confidence is knocked by it.

However I may be wrong / out of date with my info, and it may not bother you anyway.

Mikkalina Sun 16-Aug-15 17:58:45

TeenAndTwin, I do understand your point. My DS needs a push. He is a dreamer or maybe immature for his age. He is able, I know it but I worry about the ability groups. It is a label on your child.
But to they help with studies, encourage, extra lessons if needed etc? I dom not like when schools don't co-operate with parents regarding academic progress. Once a year report doesn't help.
Someone has mentioned here on Mumsnet that you might progress further academically at Westgate than you would at Kings if you are a bit slow.

TeenAndTween Sun 16-Aug-15 18:40:29

Have you looked at the Dept of Education statistics info and checked the added value for both schools for different ability ranges? You need to look at that as well as headline rates (in case too many the 'academic' kids self select for Kings, and the average and below self select for Westgate and HenryB).

Sorry, I don't know details of how the Winchester schools operate, but I know what you mean regarding wanting to be able to work with a school, as my DD1 needed various interventions at her school (just waiting for results now).

Mikkalina Sun 16-Aug-15 18:44:24

I will look at the statistics later from computer. Thank you!

tutmeister Sun 16-Aug-15 19:51:54

Hi Mikka which secondary is your catchment school? It was very difficult to get into Westgate for Sept 15 from out of catchment. Also whilst historically it has been fairly straightforward to get into Kings from out of catchment, I understand that the forecast demand for Yr7 places in Winchester, for Sept 17 onwards, means that it will be difficult to get into Kings if you are not resident in catchment.
These caveats aside- both Kings and Westgate get good results. The Kings setting and streaming does happen - although under the new HT's regime- there are more lessons that take place within tutor groups rather than the set. ie in the past PE, Arts/DT were timetabled to fit with the 'set' so if you were in 2-2 for Engilsh then you would do PE etc with your fellow 2-2 pupils, now you will be with your tutor group for these and PHSE.

The teachers at Kings do help and encourage the pupils and in the run up to GCSEs they arranged extra lessons for revision.

I think that the teachers and HOYs are approachable, but you have to remember that once your DS moves from primary to secondary (whichever school you choose) there is far less interaction between parent and school. Unless there is something untoward that needs to be addressed -of course.

TalkinPeace Sun 16-Aug-15 20:08:46

I will second the point that catchment flexibility is declining due to housebuilding
which school does your primary feed into?

Mikkalina Sun 16-Aug-15 21:46:18

Thank you Tutmeister and TalkinPeace.
Currently it is Kings but we might move into the Westgate catchment not because of the school but because of our landlord selling the house we rent and we need to find something else. So I have looked at some properties and we might move into the Westgate catchment area. Not a big choice of properties at the moment. DS will continue attending his present school which is a feeder to Kings. I understand if we move to Westgate catchment he might not get a place at Kings. That is why I wanted to find out as much as possible about the Westgate to see if it will suit him. Otherwise we might be looking for something in the Kings catchment.

Mikkalina Mon 17-Aug-15 10:08:43

I wonder how do the pupils which are in the bottom improve with all this streaming at Kings? I fear DS would be in the lowest groups both in English and Maths. There are two more years so we hope he will mature by that time but the streaming worries me in terms of progress. Does it mean once you start in the lower group or whatever you end up in then you will most definitely finish the school in that group? Or does the school help them to progress?

TalkinPeace Mon 17-Aug-15 11:37:02

Mikka
Kings gets good results from all of its kids.
If you have concerns, go and talk to them.

tutmeister Mon 17-Aug-15 14:40:08

Re: Kings, as I said up thread - under the new HT - the streaming and setting is subtly changing and evolving year on year. There will be open mornings early in the Autumn term, you could pop along and ask your questions direct to the SLT. Re: Westgate, this too is evolving over time; the school is now an all through school with children starting at 4 yrs and leaving at the end of yr11. In the past Westgate did not set as early as Kings, nor as rigidly - however Im not sure whether they are continuing to operate like this. Again, WG will be having open mornings in Sept, you could ask then.

Have you discounted HB?

Mikkalina Tue 18-Aug-15 21:35:21

tutmeister, talkinpeace, I think I might be worrying too much and too early. I will definitely go to the open days. It helps, however, talking to parents as one thing what the school says and another thing what the parents say.

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