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Anyone with ds's at Kings College School Wimbledon?

(9 Posts)
M00MINMAMMA Tue 11-Oct-16 22:30:52

Hi all,

I have a year 5 ds who is fairly academic - top sets for Maths and English - probably in the top 4-5 for English and middle of his set for Maths at his prep school. I went to take a look at KCS mainly because ds's best friend's brother goes there and so ds's friend will be applying. It's also on our doorstep. The thing is, ds's best friend is probably a bit more academic than ds.

I don't want to raise ds's hopes of going to KCS with his friend if there's really no chance unless you're top of the class across the board, which is certainly what is rumoured.

Apart from Maths & English ds is great at art and drama and we'll probably be looking to apply for an art scholarship at schools where they are offered. He is well liked and kind and I know that in personality he would fit in very well at KCS as he is interested in everything and very positive, but my concern is, are we being unrealistic in even considering the school?

I haven't yet spoken to his class teachers about it, but based on his interest in art/drama/music his class teacher had previously suggested Alleyns which sounds lovely but ds's friend won't be going there because it's too far (his brother had it as his first choice but didn't accept the place as they decided it would be too much of a trek).

Any advice very gratefully received!

Maarias Wed 12-Oct-16 09:16:42

Hi I am in a similar position. We also went to the open evening last week. We are local but in my experience only the top boys from the top sets have a chance at Kings. I may be wrong about this but one of DS' friends moved at 10plus and is extremely academic.
My DS is in top sets (he is at a prep) but is not at the top of those sets IYKWIM. My concern is he won't thrive there. His headteacher did suggest the school to us based on his academics which makes me think it's only for the mega bright. One of DS' other friends is similar to DS and has failed to get through entrance exams at 7,8 and 9! Added to this the boy from yr 7 who showed us round was obviously outstanding academically as he's also had offers from Wilsons, SGS and Wallington. He may have been offered an academic scholarship to Kings - not sure.
Wish you luck in your decision. We may get DS to sit the exam but not expecting anything!

M00MINMAMMA Wed 12-Oct-16 10:14:48

Thanks Marias - it's hard to tell isn't it? ds's best friend's brother got a scholarship at Kings too. I would say he isn't much brighter than ds, but probably applies himself a bit better! Another friend's ds also got in but has been tutored to death and I wouldn't do that to ds as I think the prep gives them plenty of work.

Tbh I liked the school and thought the boys were lovely, but I'd be happy for ds to go to any of the other schools we have shortlisted. ds however is dead keen on going to school with his best friend so I feel like we should give it a shot!

cakeisalwaystheanswer Wed 12-Oct-16 10:38:48

DS is at KCS. He joined from a very academic prep where pretty much all the top third would get offers from KCS/St Pauls. He certainly wasn't top of his class at prep ( 1 Westminster Scholarship, 2 John Colet awards) but it was an extremely bright cohort and he was easily top third. He is probably about middle of his year group at KCS. What can potentially be a problem with such a bright peer group is that despite having 10A*s and 2 As at GCSE DS doesn't consider himself clever because they are very average results at his school. It is something to think about because some DCs need to shine (DS doesn't).

The school has a very strong drama department with lots of productions, and lots of music particularly rock bands and it seems everyone is in one or other of them. Sport is not great and DS2 will not be applying because he is very sporty. Can't comment on Art as its really not DS's thing.

I am not sure how the new entrance procedure has changed things. 11+ entry used to be the most difficult with only about 18-20 places mainly for state school boys. That has now been doubled, but because it is entry to the senior school 13+ prep school boys can apply as well and apparently the places were split about 50/50 last year. If I particularly wanted KCS from a 13+ prep I would apply at 11+ now.

Prep heads know their senior schools well and if they have reccomended a school it probably is the right one. And don't be put off by friend's DSs not getting into schools, it may not be the right school for them but could be perfect for your DS.

M00MINMAMMA Wed 12-Oct-16 11:11:02

Thanks for that very useful info Cake!

I know culture wise KCS will suit ds because he is very relaxed about working his way up if YSWIM. Another school suggested by his class teacher was Brighton College (again due to drama/art/music) which we loved. On the Open day they told us they have nine sets for Maths and ds pronounced quite confidently that he'd 'probably be in the bottom set but then get an A* at the end'. ds had a lot of health problems when he was younger and ended up taking quite a bit of time off school and then having to catch up, so he is quite relaxed about not being top dog and quite resilient, I think it helps him socially too as he isn't an Alpha male, tries his best but genuinely happy when his friends do well, even if they beat him! I hadn't initially considered KCS as we had thought co-ed would be best for ds as he is arty/gentle but having met a lot of KCS boys I think he would be fine there socially.

We have parents evening at ds's prep next week so I think I will see whether his teachers think it is worth a shot. For what it's worth Maarias I think it sounds like your boy could definitely be in with a chance.

TawnyPippit Wed 12-Oct-16 12:13:27

Mmm, I hear what you are saying Cake about GCSE results. We know someone who was there who got 5A*s and 5As and they were very disappointed - parents talked about the results in hushed tones about how he didn't do very well and he was very upset, so that fits in with what you are saying re the cohort. Bit of a shame really.

Maarias Wed 12-Oct-16 15:08:30

This is actually the very reason I'm discounting any too academic schools for
DS. He is bright but he won't shine in an overly academic environment.
Really useful to get this feedback on the school.
At the moment of the indies Trinity is our top choice - it feels like a more 'all round' school with still really good academics.

Maarias Wed 12-Oct-16 15:12:52

I am also very keen on Brighton College. It has fantastic results and Renu have a lot of flexible boarding options. DH won't hear of it though.
I may just sneak down on my own for an open day ;)
We know of an older boy who got a music scholarship to BC and loves it there!

M00MINMAMMA Wed 12-Oct-16 17:25:12

Maarias BC is really lovely - all the staff I met were wonderful (bar the DT teacher who seemed less enthused than some I've met at other schools) and I felt like pastoral would be really good there. I would get down to an Open Day - they are something else (we had a show with a band, dance, acting, speeches from students and lunch!) It was all quite flash but behind it all it does seem like a great school. It's our favourite at the moment although I really like Kingston Grammar too - their art department is fab and they do scholarships so if we decide against Kings/can't get in then these look like lovely schools. We're also booked into see Alleyns which everyone says we will love.

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