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Graveney Vs Kingsdale

(7 Posts)
user1477395067 Tue 25-Oct-16 12:38:45


First of all I would like to say that my post is to ask for advice and is in no way to boast. I would like to ask for feedback from Parents whose children currently attend or have attended either Graveney or Kingsdale schools.

My daughter scored well in the Wandsworth test, well above the level of 253 points (the lowest level for acceptance on 1.March to Graveney for the last 3 years). This means that she would almost certainly be accepted to Graveney on 1.3, should we put it as our first choice.

She also did extremely well in the Music scholarship tests for Kingsdale (Dulwich) and has been offered a full scholarship (she appears to be in top 15% on the list). This, as yet , this doesn’t guarantee that she will be accepted to the school, as we still need to go through a ‘lottery’ type of process the results of which will only be known on 1.3.

We now have two major choices for two very good schools – Graveney, which is well known in this area as a top academic school (we are in Balham) and Kingsdale – less known but very good in both the Music department and academically only slightly behind Graveney.

I would like to hear from parents whose child is attending Graveney and is musical (achieved Grade 4+ in their instrument). I would like to know how much support your child gets to improve musically, are the lessons free, and overall if you’re happy with your choice of school.

I’d also like to hear from parents whose child is a Music scholar in Kingsdale. I would like to know how intensive is the music learning, if your child misses out on any curriculum subjects because of music, and overall if you are happy with your choice.

I know that we will decide based on my daughter’s preference but at the moment, as I can see, she is guided by her friends’ decisions and therefore might be swayed for possibly the wrong reasons.

I’m extremely proud of my daughter’s achievements and am torn between the two options that we have as a result of her successful test outcomes in regard to choosing a secondary school.

Your feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Natasha985 Tue 25-Oct-16 13:10:46

I think Graveney is much better than Kingsdsle

bibbitybobbityyhat Tue 25-Oct-16 13:17:16

I would send her to the school which is closer to your home and where she will make more local friends.

Kingsdale's intake is going to be 360 or something like that this year.

user1477395067 Tue 25-Oct-16 13:51:01

Hi natasha985,
in which aspects? Can you, please be more descriptive. We really would like to make decisions based on first hand experiences. Thanks for the post and your opinion!

Hi bibbitybobbityyhat,
both schools are approx. 30+ min located from us - one by bus+walk and one by train+walk. Also they are both big schools so this is not as big criteria we will make our decisions upon. Thanks for the post and your opinion!

bibbitybobbityyhat Tue 25-Oct-16 14:08:31

There aren't many parents who will have meaningful experience of both schools, but good luck anyway!

My friend had a choice through siblings rule - she had one at Graveney and one at Kingsdale. She chose Graveney for the third child but I'm not sure why. More to do with dissatisfaction with KD than overwhelming love for Graveney, I think.

Dorisslurkingfriend Tue 25-Oct-16 20:52:21

I have a DD in year 8 at Graveney, who passed grade 4 violin prior to starting. I don't know Kingsdale, but the music at Graveney seems very good. There are lots of choirs, orchestras and bands, regular concerts and some kind of music weekend every year I believe. Instrument lessons seem good. Not free, but the second instrument is half price. She auditioned successfully for the early music gcse course and now both instrument lessons will be half price. The school is in general great - downsides: no lockers and a slightly chaotic approach to communicating with parents. But neither of those make me doubt our choice of school. Hope that is helpful.

user1477395067 Wed 26-Oct-16 11:17:18

I know bibbitybobbityyhat, there is never a clear answer and I can see good and not so good points in both schools. I know some kids who have left Graveney (for whatever reasons) to go to other schools. I live in an area where Graveney is huge and the kids who, in most cases, are only accepted based on the top Wandsworth test results.

Dorisslurkingfriend - many thanks for your feedback, and I'm very aware that, if she goes to G, she will still have plenty of opportunities to play music. It's also closer to us so she will be able to create friendships with local kids.

I suppose my biggest dilemma is that she got full music scholarship in Kingsdale which will give her many opportunities to grow musically (private lessons with teacher, visiting concerts and musicals, playing in orchestras...) and personally (getting confident in her own skin by regular performances). However I'm unsure how keen she is herself to get involved in music at such a high level. She is very musical and plays violin and piano, likes to sing, attends Sat music school but at 11yo it's an extremely hard decision ...

If she didn't get the scholarship we would definitely go to Graveney.

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