Perse Upper versus Comberton Village College(21 Posts)
Hello, I am undecided between the 2 schools and am wondering if anyone has any direct experience or advice about either/both schools? Preparation would be needed for the Perse Upper entrance exam (next January) and would anyone be able to recommend a tutor? I have also posted this in Primary education. Many thanks.
Perse no question , if only for the social aspect.
Well one is private and one is not....
There is your difference.
Social aspect is not a consideration I would have...
Many thanks jasperthehamster for your swift response - That's positive to hear
I've had 2 in Comberton village college.
They get good results and from my own experience the pastoral care has been fantastic for my dd13.
I was actually at CVC around 2007/8 and didn't find it overwhelmingly positive and it is a huge school.
Perse has a good Rep for academic success , and the extra curricular opportunities are much more than at CVC.
Saying that, any school is what you make of it. CVC is free which frees up money for extra curricular I suppose !
The entrance exams for the Upper aren't particularly strenuous, or so I am told by someone I know well who has DC there.
They say the exams are there to weed out the SEN, and to set a baseline standard etc, and about 6 years ago they abolished the need for Perse Prep boys (note, boys back then!) to even take the Upper Entrance, presumably believing all the 4 and/or 8 year olds they selected previously are still perfectly suitable for the Upper. And even so, prior to that, my friend says all the DC from both in and out passed the exam in her older 2 DC's years.
They do well for rather obvious reasons: they're selective, they can weed out unacceptable behaviour; they are wealthy; they've dealt with any problems about falling results when put up against the girls by going co-ed.
Like all privates, the fees have sky-rocketed. My friend's OH earns in excess of £150,000 pa, and they lament that the school has stopped being the go-to for the DC of Cambs academics as they've been priced out.
I find Draylon's post a bit contradictory. Although students at Perse Prep do not take the Upper entrance exam children are "let go" ie. told they will not be offered a place at the Upper and therefore they are deselected without having to take an exam. I know of children who have been in this situation.
Not all children "pass" the entrance exams. Indeed there are 3 to 4 candidates for each place available at year 9 entry. So although possibly everyone who takes the entrance exam may score well 3/4 of them will not be offered places. There is no "pass mark".
As far as fees go - The Perse is pretty much one of the cheapest independents in the area and there are still many kids of Cambs academics in attendance at the school. It is for each individual family to decide whether their family income/outgoings means they can/cannot afford private education.
Their results were high prior to accepting girls and have maintained a similar level since accepting girls.
I am not sure what you mean about weeding out SEN. There are a good sized cohort of students who qualify for extra time in their exams for reasons such as dyslexia, discalculia, on the autistic spectrum and so on.
Yes the school is selective but knowing that, people generally don't put their kids up for the entrance exams unless there is a decent chance of getting in (ie. generally in the top sets /possibly set 2) at their prep or state primaries.
Also having had children at other independents and at The Perse I would say that The Perse is the most diverse in terms of race and "wealth" I have come across. There are number of fully funded places and part funded places by way of scholarships and bursaries. It is also does not have boarders.
Having said that I understand that Comberton is an excellent state option and have known people move to get into catchment area so I would encourage you to visit both and get a feel for both schools especially if you feel your child is academically able.
Good luck with whichever you decide is the best fit for your child.
I am not spoiling for a fight, used.
The OP has asked for opinions, you've given your based on your knowledge; I've given mine based on mine.
Glad you have 'come across' so many schools to make those statements .
"Weed out the SEN" what a lovely turn of phrase
Wow!!! Weed out the SEN. How incredibly depressing.
Perse Upper is impressive. I know several DC from feeder schools (KCS, St Faiths) who haven't got in recently though. My DS was offered a scholarship without any preparation - I think they're very good at spotting good candidates whether they've been tutored or not.
Oh and "weeding out the SEN" is not only horrible, it's wrong. My son is autistic and was offered a scholarship. They were in no hurry to "weed him out".
I doubt it would chuck out a DC with autism if he were scholarship material, eh?
I am using the term my informant used re 'SEN', whether one considers that 'depressing' or not.
At which point I will bow out as the Perse Defenders Society (of which my 'insider' is not one, just a parent who sees the good and the bad in it) will gather strength and shut down any suggestion that there is anything less than 'impressive' about it.
The OP has asked for opinions, you've given yours based on your knowledge, I've given mine based on mine.
OP should add we didn't send DS to the Perse in the end so I have no reason to "defend" it, but it's definitely worth looking around and meeting the Head to get a feel for it - they also do taster mornings which are worth going to.
I have 3 boys and have lived in different areas. Oldest went through state system (his choice and a best fit for him ; middle went to prep and independent senior in one area (Berkshire)(now at uni);youngest through prep (in this area) and currently at The Perse hence having had experience of different schools. I assume you were trying to say that my child had been removed from various schools rather than realsing the reality of having 3 different children. As I finished my post to the OP each child will have a school that is the right school for them. Each of the children went to one infants, one prep and one senior school. Nothing sinister there.
My experience is, however, first hand experience whereas Draylon has said that hers is based on hearsay of friends who had kids there rather than first hand experience. I am not looking for a fight either Draylon. It is just that your anecdotal hearsay does not tally with my knowledge and experience of the school. I am sure that the OP will go to each school as I suggested to get a feel as to which may be the best for her own child.
Ho hum. So I have a couple of DCs in the Perse and broadly think Draylon above is not far off. Academic's kids have been squeezed out a bit for sure (and often go to Hills Road instead).
You don't need a tutor or indeed to be particularly capable to get into Perse Upper but being an over-confident extravert will get you in (and is needed to thrive there). The head is an over-confident extravert and values those qualities.
CVC has a very strong reputation. The friends with kids there are much most positive than the school gate chat at the Perse is.
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