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KCS - new 11+ stream

(15 Posts)
dinosaurinmybelly Tue 13-Feb-18 11:03:09

Hello - we are really delighted to have been offered a place at KCS to start in Year 7 at the senior school. I know that KCS senior school only admitted the first Year 7 stream in 2016 so this will be only the 3rd intake. Would anyone with DCs in one of those streams be willing to share their experiences with us?
To be clear, we have done our homework and are impressed with the opportunities in music, sport, drama as well as the enthusiasm for learning. My son is an all-rounder who is bright but needs a bit of prodding to apply himself. He loves science, computing and maths - but is less confident on creative writing. He is very sociable and keen to make new friends - just want to check if the social side of things is something you have been happy with so far? Also - he'd like me to ask about the food...

As a parent, are you happy with communication from the school (we've had a great experience with the admissions process), and the logistics (how do you manage any early starts / late clubs for example, do you take the school bus or public transport?) All info and tips to prepare ahead of time gratefully received...

sandybayley Tue 13-Feb-18 11:36:33

DS1 and DS2 say the food is excellent!

Keylimepie123 Tue 13-Feb-18 20:46:34

Very happy with the school. Food is apparently amazing and plentiful. I’m happy with the level of communication. No after school clubs in year 7 (maybe unless in choir? Ds not musical so I am not sure), but lots during lunchtime (boys encouraged to join 3 minimum). I guess journey depends on where you live? Ds goes on coach so all very easy.
Only 50 boys in the intake and according to ds all the boys know one another and play together. All very friendly as far as I can see. Good luck with your decision-making!

dinosaurinmybelly Wed 14-Feb-18 11:59:12

Thank you both so much. Food is very high on his list of criteria. Do you have any insight on when the boys play various sports? I have a football fan here, not so keen on rugby. Will he be an outlier in that regard?

cakeisalwaystheanswer Wed 14-Feb-18 13:05:48

This will be the first year that the Y7 & Y8s join with the junior school and 13+ entrants so it's too soon to say how it''s working, but at least they have 2 years to sort any problems out.
DS, now 6th form, has only kept playing rugby because it is the only sport they take seriously. Kings is pretty poor for football, if your DS wants to play a school sport competitively you should look for a rugby club, there's lot about.

jeanne16 Wed 14-Feb-18 13:33:05

I am told by a KCS parent that while they have increased the size of the intake significantly and have built new classrooms accordingly, they have not increased the sports facilities. It is really tough to make any of the sports teams so lots of boys give up. Would any existing parent comment?

cakeisalwaystheanswer Wed 14-Feb-18 13:54:51

Thats definitely a problem Jeanne. When we chose the school they had plenty of space on site, its no longer the case. Some after school sports team practices take place at Kingsway and the boys are taken there by bus but not returned to school. Because of the problems with the level crossings and traffic around Kingsway it then takes me an hour to pick DS up instead of him having a 5 min walk home. There are a lot of user groups for the facilities, junior school, lower school, middle school, upper school boys and then of course the girls and it is a big problem. It is not helped by the pitches at Kingway being constantly unplayable due to poor drainage.
Football is particularly criticised because they combine Year 11 with the two 6th form year groups, so thats usually about 300 odd boys selecting football but they only have facilities for about 30 for extra practice. The football is particularly poor which is why DS2 is going elsewhere in September.

Keylimepie123 Wed 14-Feb-18 13:58:38

Lots of the boys love football in the lower school and the football A team has done pretty well in matches.
In year 7, they play football for first half term followed by two half terms of rugby. They are about to start hockey for half a term. Summer term is cricket. They also have one lesson a week of either swimming, hockey and maybe basketball(?). The lower school goes to Kingsway for sports - a short coach ride away (5/10 mins?).

cakeisalwaystheanswer Wed 14-Feb-18 18:46:16

5-10 minutes? have you ever driven it? I am 5 min walk from school and its the best part of an hours round trip to pick up, it takes about 15 minutes sometimes just to get through the level crossing. It is ridiculous in 2018 to still have level crossings in such a busy place that bring traffic in the surrounding area all the way down to the A3 to a complete stop.

dinosaurinmybelly Mon 19-Feb-18 14:41:18

Thank you so much for your comments - the sports field situation is a bit worrying as DS does enjoy his sport and would be most interested in taking part in as much as he can. Do the boys find it frustrating?
There is no doubt that KCS is a great school academically, I love the community feel and the community service but in your experience, are the boys who love sport, music and drama happy there too? Does it cater well for the spirited boy who is bright, with lots of energy but wouldn't always be in the library IYSWIM?
This seems like such a monumental decision, and I'm keen to decide and free up the other offer we are holding. We will have the taster days this week for a final look around, but all views from current parents are much appreciated!

Tolacar Mon 19-Feb-18 16:27:33

This is very interesting in regard to the sports facilities. DS is on the waitlist but I may be tempted to take up an offer at another school where I know the sports is ample and encouraged. DS has been in a small primary with limited sports options so I would want him to have the choice to do as much as he wanted. KCS tempting for location and academics but this sports issue might put me off. Anyway still on the waitlist and can't see that shifting!

whataboutbob Mon 19-Feb-18 19:33:13

This is probably irrelevant and in no way do I have any inside track on KCS. My son attends a local state primary and KCS has been taking children who are able in maths for extra lessons, given by the A level maths boys once week
DS loves these sessions, says the boys are really nice ( fun and they know what kids are into but can also teach is what he said) and the facilities are amazing ( well, he likes the padded chairs and the 1ltop per kid). If I had a spare £100 000 I’d definitely be applying for him to go to KCS

whataboutbob Mon 19-Feb-18 19:33:58

That should “ 1 laptop per kid”.

Mummimoochkins Thu 22-Feb-18 09:41:21

My ds is in year 7 at KCS and we are delighted that we chose it against the other offers he had. He is really happy, academically challenged and there is so much extracurricular activity to try, both sporting and otherwise. Socially, he came alone from his previous school (as did many others), but the lower school team work hard to settle the boys in and friendships formed widely and rapidly! Communication from the school has continued to surpass expectations (like you I thought the admissions process was impressive, but didn’t necessarily expect that level of communication to has!).
We used the school coach service until recently (we moved to Wimbledon!), and that was fine. Ds didn’t seem to mind the early starts and enjoyed the social side of the journey. The coach services are very well organised and quite flexible too - you are able to “try” the service for a couple of weeks for example, before committing to a whole term.
Sports wise, my ds is not brilliant at sports but really enjoys them and has done so at KCS so far. I’d agree the traffic down near Kingsway can be heavy at certain times; however in the lower school, they are always transported to and from Kingsway by school coach and they generally return to school on time (and inform you in advance of fixtures if the return to school may be later).
Not easy to make these school decisions, and only you know what “feels” right for your ds. It was an easy decision for us in the end and we have no regrets so far! Good luck with your decision making.
PS My ds loves the food - plenty of choice and they can have as much as they want!

dinosaurinmybelly Fri 23-Feb-18 19:17:03

Thank you so much Mummimoochkins. Lovely to hear your DS is enjoying Y7 so far. xx

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