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Haberdashers Askes (Boys) or City of London?

(27 Posts)
Fillybuster Fri 19-Feb-16 15:26:39

So, on the one hand, hurrah - ds did brilliantly and received offers from both Habs and City in the post this morning. Very very proud of him grin.

On the other.....which to choose????? I've been totally refusing to engage in this discussion with dh for the past 6 months since it wasn't a real question until ds has actual offers....but now we are actually going to have to make a choice.

Both schools are totally brilliant, but this is my PFB so I haven't got much fact based evidence on secondary ed to help make the decision....would love to know what other MNers think please?

(Ps to avoid drip feeding, ds has been offered a small academic scholarship for Habs. Doesn't make much difference financially (& City is still cheaper) but maybe this should feature in our decision making process?)

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SinAndTonic Fri 19-Feb-16 16:22:08

A vote here for City - brilliant school grin

jeanne16 Fri 19-Feb-16 16:24:31

Choose the one with the easiest journey.

Bigbiscuits Fri 19-Feb-16 16:33:36

Easiest journey. And the one where he will have the most local friends.

Fillybuster Fri 19-Feb-16 17:34:31

Journey time pretty similar for both - one is coach (but expensive) the other public transport, but close by. I'd expect a similar number of local friends at each.

Gosh, this is going to be hard, isn't it?!

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Bigbiscuits Fri 19-Feb-16 18:05:05

Coach is fun. I know of a couple who got married who met on the coach!

Going into London by tube is probably something he will do for the whole of his adult life.

Where does he want to go?

Cookingwine Fri 19-Feb-16 19:44:34

The eleven plus forum has loads of posts at the moment about private schools choices if you want to have a look. Last year we opted for City (much cheaper because of added scholarship and tube journey) against Hampton (more expensive and coach) and it was a very difficult decision. The tube journey is straight forward and takes the same time as the coach would have but it is pretty grim particularly in winter. We are really happy with the school though, but the boys are under quite a bit of pressure IMO with school reports twice a term so far. On the plus side for us homework loads reasonable (under an hour) and no sports fixtures at week end during the first 2 terms, there might be some for cricket in the summer term. I didn't look at Habs so cannot comment.

Eastpoint Fri 19-Feb-16 19:47:45

Cooking I think twice termly reports are common in boys schools, grades are given at SPS & LU twice a term.

Cookingwine Fri 19-Feb-16 19:48:57

Thanks Eastpoint for clarifying this

Cookingwine Fri 19-Feb-16 22:02:14

This is second hand information but apparently Habs culls at sixth form, which is not really nice IMO, but with a scholarship you are probably safe?

Fillybuster Sat 20-Feb-16 09:34:56

Thanks for the comments - really helpful. I tend to agree that there's enough years ahead for the commute, although it isn't that bad from where we live...I worked almost next door until 6 months ago and could do the journey in around 50 mins door to door. But only when thameslink and tubes were running properly....!

I think the main thing is that ds prefers Habs - even though he's not very sporty, he loves the amount of space around the school and the overall look and feel of the place. Funnily enough dh prefers City, as he thinks it has a nicer ethos. I'm entirely on the fence!

Hopefully either choice will work out well - it's obviously a pretty close call smile

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Fillybuster Sat 20-Feb-16 09:36:10

Cookingwine can I ask how many of your ds' friends are local to you? Or does it just not matter?

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Cookingwine Sat 20-Feb-16 10:52:24

None. But they all network on whatsapp for homework last minute panic and Skype each other and met on virtual worlds...I am not particularly overjoyed with this but he is by no means isolated IYSWIM. Having grounds and playing fields on your doorstep (I assume this is what Habs offer?) is certainly a positive asset! The ethos at City is excellent, the school is really diverse in terms of ethnicity and means, I do like it.

Fillybuster Sat 20-Feb-16 11:10:06

It's the diversity and ethos of City that really appeal - so glad to hear that's what you're seeing irl. But although travel time to Habs is similar, the catchment is mainly our area so there's more chance of good friends close by.

But far less diversity.


Obvs we are hugely lucky to be in the position to have a choice, and that we can stretch to fees (although will be more of a stretch if dcs2&3 follow suit...) but still, this is tough!

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Cookingwine Sat 20-Feb-16 11:19:26

If we would have had an outstanding academic school locally we would have chosen it I think. We did have a place at LU but I didn't like it even if it was our local-ish school, no doorstep playing fields, co-ed, a bit too "cool" and dare I say it snob. But it really depends on whom you bump into at open days etc and your impressions can sway either way I think. Habs sounds like a good choice. Hopefully first hands Habs parents will join the discussion

Cookingwine Sat 20-Feb-16 11:32:07

But fees are an issue. I too have 2 other DCs. I made an excel spreadsheet last year including lunches, transport and an inflation rate of 6% over 7 years and that was an eye opener. We also went for the open days for families with offers which helped too.

Fillybuster Sat 20-Feb-16 13:03:28

Ok, time to break out the spreadsheet!

Thank you smile

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SAHDthatsall Sat 20-Feb-16 17:22:44

I don't know either school but do watch out for sports fixtures both in Y7 and later down the school. The location of the sports ground could be a pain for you (or not) for say Saturday morning matches if you are a keen spectator as I am!

anotherdayanother Sat 20-Feb-16 18:38:04

The City matches are mainly during the week I believe.

Tamesa Sat 20-Feb-16 18:49:48

The boy has French gcse oral in a couple of months and his accent is shocking. His French master says it is too late (and why he didn't raise this earlier is a question for the school!) but I want to help him.
Obviously there is the French conversation tutor option but I think he needs more than that and that shorter frequent bursts would be more helpful so an app or something like muzzy for 15yo if such a thing exists. He is a bright lad and I reckon we can do it when we establish where to start.
Fwiw: in the mocks he got A for reading and writing and c overall... The listening and speaking were so bad!

Fillybuster Mon 22-Feb-16 18:38:38

Tamesa, whilst that's obviously an issue for you right now, I can't help but wonder if you've posted on the wrong thread?! grin

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MamaTaxi Mon 07-Mar-16 20:16:43

Curious about your decision. I went through the same one and while I love the facilities Habs offer, I am worried about the lack of diversity. I did end up choosing Habs though and now I am worried whether I made the right choice.

DeoGratias Mon 07-Mar-16 20:51:55

I always thought Habs got much better exam results than City but I might be wrong. I would prefer habs but am biased as had a daughter at Habs girls who did terribly well there and we loved the school. Also rather nice to have all those grounds and horses in the field next door etc. Nicer non city environment.

MamaTaxi Mon 07-Mar-16 21:33:33

Checking the results, they are very similar. Agree with you on the grounds.

doesitevermakesense Tue 08-Mar-16 12:56:06

Where did you choose? Am very happy that I chose Habs for my (non sporty) DS. It actually wasn't my first choice initially, but now I am pleased I chose it smile

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