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Indie/grammar schools for bright very dyspraxic ds south London

(32 Posts)
Ateallthechoccies Wed 25-Jan-17 14:29:47

Hi all,

So we have twins (year 5), this is a question for ds. He is doing well academically - top of the top sets in Maths and English, winning prizes in various inter-school comps etc and doing well in most things. However, he is really, really bad at sport. I mean, probably the worst in his school year at every sport there is. Outside of school he horse rides and swims and has physio every Thursday night. He is active and healthy and happy and we're just glad he enjoys sport. We are looking for an academic school where ds can continue to be stretched but where his being not in the least bit sporty won't cause him too many problems socially. We are easygoing re co-ed or boys, but think single sex may be better for ds just because he won't have girls witnessing his inability to catch/kick a ball (I am also dyspraxic and remember being so embarrassed when boys watched me struggle at sport). Any advice very gratefully received!

MrsPatmore Wed 25-Jan-17 14:59:27

I am getting the impression from school visits, particularly at the independent schools, that although children have to participate in sport, there is a level for everyone ie; E teams might only have one fixture a month and after Year 9, sport becomes optional in some schools. Sport' can also include activities such as chess. Eltham College springs to mind.

The grammars don't tend to have the sporting choices the independents have but again, there seems to be a level for everyone. Most schools, bar Alleyns, seem to do rugby unfortunately.

MrsPatmore Wed 25-Jan-17 15:03:45

City good for swimmers and easy to reach from South London. It doesn't attract the really sporty boys as there are no on-site fields but there is a pool. The boys we know who go there are very clever so that might be a good fit?

LIZS Wed 25-Jan-17 15:09:19

South London is pretty broad, can you narrow the area down a bit.

AnotherNewt Wed 25-Jan-17 15:14:42

You might be best off looking at the big boys schools.

For example, at Dulwich College, all 11+ joiners have to do the major sports in their first year to see if they are any good at them. If they're not, they can choose a minor sport. And because it's such a big school, the programme of minor sports is extensive.

And they have some link to the stables in Dulwich, so he might even be able to ride.

I expect the other bigger schools are similar.

But if you're after co-ed, one to scratch from your list is Emanuel, as the boys have to play rugby at least once a week all through. Alleyns doesn't do rugby at all, if a footie school might be preferable.

keely79 Wed 25-Jan-17 15:22:34

Where in South London? Would somewhere like Ibstock Place work - has a more liberal arts background I think.

Or if he's very very bright, somewhere like Westminster?

Mary21 Wed 25-Jan-17 15:45:38

Have you looked at the Sutton Grammars. And Tiffin boys. All hard to get into but he won't be the only non sporty boy.. The Whitgift foundation schools are generous with scholarships/ bursaries might be worth a look.

dinkystinky Wed 25-Jan-17 15:53:21

My very bright but not in the slightest sporty and abit dyspraxic boy liked both Emanuel (they have a pool so good for swimmers and while sport is part of the curriculum its not the be all and end all) and Thames Christian College, both near Clapham Junction.

Noitsnotteatimeyet Wed 25-Jan-17 16:17:08

There are loads of not particularly sporty boys at Alleyn's and boys and girls do sport separately so he wouldn't have sporty girls sniggering if he dropped a catch .. lovely new pool and lots of opportunities to swim and from Y11 riding is a PE option

SixthSenseless Wed 25-Jan-17 17:24:58

By grammar do you mean state?
Depending on which area of S London have you looked at your comprehensive choices?
There are some that do extremely well academically for high achievers , and none that I can think of that are especially sporty at all! The ones I am thinking of do not have playing fields, but do have a wide range of extra-curricula things like badminton.
But it depends on which area of S London.

Needmoresleep Wed 25-Jan-17 17:46:22

Would agree that Westminster offer a huge range of sport, usually something to suit everyone. Participation is encouraged, but it does not matter at all if you are not very good. Swimming is an option, and again not very competitive.

Latymer Upper has plenty of arty, drama, musical types who are not very interested in sport. Indeed one complaint is that there is not much for those who are not in a first or second eleven. It is probably more academic than some of the other schools mentioned. Alleyns probably has the same. LU's SEN department is very good. They take support seriously.

Wimbles101 Wed 25-Jan-17 18:58:00

Hi would highly recommend Trinity as a back up to the Grammars - it is sporty but is very open to sensitive types with SEN issues - really great ethos.
Re Grammars bear in mind SGS and Tiffin are super selective and even if you pass there's no guarantee of a place

Ateallthechoccies Wed 25-Jan-17 20:47:26

Thanks all, very helpful indeed, we are in Wimbledon but are open to moving as currently renting. Wimbles101 interesting what you say about Trinity, I have also heard good things although ds's prep weren't particularly interested when I suggested it. Having said that I don't honestly think they really get ds that well as they were suggesting some very sporty schools where I can't really envision ds getting on as well as some of the more academic day schools. Ds himself is interested in Whitgift because he has heard about the peacocks! I'm not so keen because it seems like a very sporty school indeed and the impression I get is it's better suited to quite robust boys. keely yes, we thought about Westminster but it is probably a bit too academic for ds. He is bright but not boffin-y iyswim, plus much as he loves learning the thought of Saturday school is not appealing at all. Re Ibstock, they don't do sn apparently so they were straight off our list!

MrsPatmore City sounds almost perfect but we have an issue with location. Ds tends to tire quite easily so don't want to add a commute into the mix and although we are happy to relocate he will have to take the tube no matter what with City.

Needmoresleep the impression I got was that LU is a very cool school with quite streetwise kids, that was the only thing that put me off. We haven't taken a look yet but felt ds's lack of sporting prowess may mark him out as uncool crowd material! I could be wrong though, this is all based on heresay!

Mary21 we are looking at Tiffin but I'm just not sure I want to put ds through the process of getting into a school like Tiffin and realistically as bright as he is there's just no telling if he is even in with a chance. It just seems so incredibly competitive, although the fact that it isn't hugely sporty is a big draw for us!

Dulwich seems to be mentioned a lot and although I was initially terrified due to their rugby rep, I have met a number of non-sporty Dulwich boys who seem very happy there, so that is definitely on the list.

Thanks all for the very useful suggestions, will look into them!

keely79 Wed 25-Jan-17 21:32:25

If you're in Wimbledon, I presume you've looked at Kings College?

If you're truly open to moving, my nephew (not sporty at all) has just started at Forest school and is thriving there. But that's over Walthamstow way....

Ateallthechoccies Wed 25-Jan-17 21:42:02

Hi Keely, yes we've looked at Kings and we all like it very much, the only issue is it is compulsory rugby for first two years so not ideal in that sense, and of course the other thing is it's very selective so although we are planning to apply we feel we need more options!

We are flexible in so far as we can travel a little further east or west, or even further south towards Kingston/Croydon but Walthamstow is a stretch too far!

omnishambles Fri 27-Jan-17 09:57:12

Sutton Grammar is probably the least sporty of all the grammars and easily reachable on the Thameslink from Wimbledon.

Lots of ds' friends went there and they were the sort of boys who would choose extra maths over sport and they don't do rugby at all but do have a pool onsite.

Wimbles101 Fri 27-Jan-17 13:07:47

Interesting - I've heard that SGS is the football school and Wallington the rugby school. We know many very sporty boys who are going to SGS.

Not sure which prep you're at Ateallthechoccies (great name! smile)), but Trinity is a really good all round school for academic types as well as sporty types. Very caring ethos. If you'd prefer messaging me do.

Wimbles101 Fri 27-Jan-17 13:09:34

BTW, having just sat the Grammars I would highly recommend SGS as good option, if you pass the exam (SET was tough this year), but I've had really friendly communications with the school and they are very clued up (or so it it seems) on SEN issues.

omnishambles Fri 27-Jan-17 15:04:35

Yes SGS do football but only the ones who are really interested - it isn't built into the ethos of the school like it is at the independents.

No really sporty boys went to SGS in my ds' year, they all went to Whitgift or Trinity on sports' scholarships or somewhere further away like Reed's.

Would also agree that Whitgift, like Epsom is best for a more, ahem, robust sort of boy.

BTW lots of indies and grammars will say that rugby is compulsory but very soon the ones who hate it are doing handball in the sports hall instead - I wouldn't overthink it.

Needmoresleep Fri 27-Jan-17 17:38:54

Choccies, LU takes quite a mix. They do have the super-cool Kensington kids, but equally plenty who come in from further west along the District line, often from state primaries. The more sophisticated can be a bit intimidating at first but by Yr 9 they are settled in their friendship groups and leave each other alone.

It is a busy school which does a number of things well. So scope to find your niche whether is back-stage theatre, swimming, art or music. Sports options are introduced reasonably early on, and there were some reasonably soft options. It has become increasingly selective in recent years which is starting to show in results. And which means some of its party-kids reputation is out of date.

Its learning support is very good. It is something they take seriously. It might be worth asking to speak to them directly.

Wimbles101 Fri 27-Jan-17 19:21:25

I'd definitely not class Kings as a sporty school - so wouldn't worry about that. Everyone we know who's going there is basically a boffin! Especially at 11plus. Less so at 13plus.

cakeisalwaystheanswer Sun 29-Jan-17 16:51:47

Having had a house full of King's 6th formers this weekend I can think of many adjectives to describe them but "boffin" is not one of them! They are just nice, normal rather loud boys. Kings isn't great for sport except rugby and cricket, but that doesn't mean that the boys aren't sporty, many like DS play out of school a lot. Most of his friends are very sporty.
From my DS's prep boys wanting to avoid rugby head for Westminster, which in the nicest possible way Westminster mums is full of boffins.

Pop2 Sun 29-Jan-17 17:04:26

Kingston Grammar school is very caring and has a great HT.DS was not sporty at Primary but all these schools mentioned will find a niche for your DC.He is now a XC runner.

Wimbles101 Mon 30-Jan-17 19:15:14

Cakeisalwaystheanswer - I suspect the entrance exam has got tougher for Kings over the years as it has for most schools unfortunately including KGS - only the really bright boys from my DS's school now apply for KCS at 11plus - I know of many who don't pass even though they've passed Grammars.

cakeisalwaystheanswer Mon 30-Jan-17 20:29:25

Are you infering that my DC and their friends are stupid wimbles just because they like sport? You may be surprised to hear that some of the brightest boys are also great sportsman, musicians, actors, whatever. There are very few one-dimensional fact churning robots in Kings and because of this it has always been common for boys who were offered grammar places not to get places at Kings. How long has you DS actually ben at this school?

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