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So where's this years Trinity/Whitgift/Dul
wich/Alleyns Thread PART 2!!
The other thread reached the 1000 post limit so I've started this as a follow on
Thankyou! I was just about to post to ask how everyone is getting on!! We are still struggling to make a decision. Our issue is that we have been holding off from a house move so location isn't a problem, which is often the clincher when the schools are equally good (in our case much of a muchness, some slightly higher up the league tables but really all have positives and negatives). We are all finding this harder than the exams!
Have you visited again Sooooo ? It can help.
Is you DS particularly interested in anything, or have a hobby which would be supported better at one school?
Are you also waiting for the state school offers?
Seeline so yes, we have visited again and honestly we like each school even more with every visit. We are doing DC tomorrow and have a feeling we will come away more in love with the school than ever! Ds has been offered art scholarships - one of which is Alleyn's and known for it's amazing art - so that's definitely a consideration. Alleyn's actually ticks almost every box apart from this generalised feeling that I didn't feel as relaxed and at home there as the other schools, ds also said he thought the teachers were really nice and the kids too but he said it was less warm than say Trinity. Unfair really because they certainly haven't done anything to give a negative impression, it's just a general feeling. On paper it is pretty much the ideal school for ds but just can't shake that feeling which makes me think I shouldn't ignore it but equally it really does tick every box in terms of academics, being co-ed and the art! We are going with an alternative strategy of looking at areas we'd like to/can afford to live and then seeing how easy it is for ds to get to school and using that hopefully as a filter. Without giving away too much ds has a SN so that is also a very important factor, but as of yet all the schools seem to give the impression that dc's with ds's difficulties are well looked after so again, it's not really helping!
Well, if you really can’t decide between them and aren’t getting any “gut feeling”, then go with practicalities - either shortest/easiest journey to school, or money.
The art department at Alleyn’s is amazing and they attract lots of pupils who are very talented at art for that reason. The percentage of A*s at A level is often the highest of any subject and they send pupils to very prestigious art courses. But if you don’t feel the vibe, then I would choose somewhere else.
Go with your gut.... from the sounds of it, deep down you and your DS like the warmth of T. Don't be swayed by league table positions (all of these schools are academically brilliant) nor Headteachers (we LOVED Mark Bishop at T three years ago, but it's a good job we didn't choose T just for him because he left soon after).
You will know deep down where you picture your DS thriving... Go for it!
I feel your pain soooooooonowwhat. It's not easy and you can easily overanalyse. I'm deciding between two and keep referring back to my gut....so I think I'm almost there. Well for today! I also need to go back and the school once more. Thankfully this time next week, it will be done.
I agree Fire - if you really can't separate the schools on anything else, you have to go where you got that 'at home' feel. You will have felt more comfortable at one of them - or at least your DS will have done. They spend a lot of time there over the next 7 years - they have to feel happy, relaxed and as though they fit in. I think that is actually worth more than results, league tables (which don't mean much for indies as most of them don't provide the info) and curriculum.
Long time poster and lurker on here but now with a DD. St D's/ JAGs. She loves St D's - but on paper it's madness to turn down JAGs. Do you let them decide based on their gut? We are having serious chat about it tonight..... any wise words welcome
citykat it's a tough one. We sent our eldest DS to W when he desperately wanted ST D. He cried and whilst he would never criticise our choice and loved W. On reflection he would have suited St D better and instead of being in the middle to bottom set at W would have been middle to top. Which is a nicer position to be in. My DD goes to St D and her friend had Alleyns and Jags offers and turned them down. I know kids who left Alleyns for St D. My DD loves St D and it is a fantastic school. Our DS has been offered st D and W, he wants W so we have accepted that. If your DD is a super bright high achiever she will do well at either school.
Thanks all for your wisdom. Seeline and Firefox agree - what my gut tells me is I should go with where ds feels most comfortable. The complicated thing is that it's me who feels most comfortable at T and although ds likes it - he says he likes two others just as much! Dh thinks Alleyn's is best and it certainly ticks the boxes. I don't know if it's just a mum thing but I feel like ds will be safe at T, if that makes sense. And tbh I get a very similar vibe from DC too, if location was a decider then I would go with either but as it isn't for us it just means more choices! I think we are slowly getting there, just trying to absorb all the info. Tolacar and Citykat I know what you mean! Tolacar I think I saw on the other thread that you were choosing between Hampton and Dulwich - from everything you wrote Hampton seems like the obvious choice but I'm guessing that you have a soft spot for DC as we do! Citykat I'm not sure what to advise - my ds has currently rejected one of our more academic choices but still likes the other one. It's hard to say no to a school when you know it's in demand and equally I think the decision has to be a combination of what the adults and dc's think as ultimately they are only 11 and it's not fair to put the burden of decision-making solely on their shoulders, in an ideal world parents and kids will all come to the same decision. I don't know St D's apart from it seems to be very well regarded on Mumsnet and obviously JAGS is considered a great academic choice. I guess it's worth thinking about where you can see your dd, where you think she is likely to fit in and be happy. Our ds is very easy going so he kind of fits in anywhere, but definitely needs a gentle environment as he is not a pushy boy and unlikely to make his needs known. Good luck to all! I thought the hand holding was only going to be needed in the run up to the exams, little did I know!
spacecadet48 thank you. That is the sort of info that massively helps. I can see SDs getting better and better results, but at the same time want to feel confident that she will have others of the same ability to stretch her and engage her. Best wishes to all others still struggling. Any other views still post welcome!
Tbh Sooo, if you want somewhere that will look after a sensitive child, from the talking to other mums (so completely unscientifically!) I would think T and A might offer more.
Oops, meant to add - It is a massively tough decision, so good luck!
citykat she would definitely be stretched at St D but JAGs is a great school and one of the top girls school in the country. You also have to think about whether your DD suits an all girls school. If she is very bright she would excel in Jags. The only issue I have is she will be competing with many other super bright girls and that's hard if your used to being at the top of the class. (although she may stay top of course) Good luck!
soooo, my DS2 has many additional needs, and I had an extremely comforting and encouraging meeting with T last week about them (I’d already met with them prior to putting in the application, but just wanted to reassure myself and make sure there were no surprises for anyone come September).
Can you try to make appointments at T, A etc with their SENCO and see what sort of vibes you get from those? Even if you’ve already had meetings, it might help with the decision(?)
Also, are there any conditions that come with an art scholarship? - will the expectation be that your DS will take art GCSE / A level - even if he’s not so keen by that stage?
firefox, we were also gutted when Mr Bishop resigned just as we’d accepted DS1’s place. But Mr Kennedy is equally lovely, thank goodness!
Thanks very much all for the advice, did DC yesterday and doing all the others tomorrow, with a view to making a choice by end of day! Keep your fingers crossed for me! Tolacar did you end up going with Hampton or DC?
Seeing DC today...making decision by Friday. Fingers crossed for you!
Good luck Tolacar! We loved DC on our second look but are becoming painfully aware that ds is likely to be happier at co-ed. We have a family chat planned tonight but it looks like two of our choices - Trinity and Dulwich - will be out by the end of the day leaving us a decision between two academic co-eds. Painful because I love the boy's schools we have been looking at but ultimately it has to be where ds feels most comfortable!
btw Meetie I found the Senco at Trinity to be incredibly clued up as well as really likeable. A's Senco is definitely very competent but not as warm as the lovely lady at T. Ds has come away from his tours saying he's pretty sure he would prefer co-ed so I have declined the offer at T but I think I will be what-if'ing for a while!
sooooooonowwhat we loved DC today. Which has left me in more of a dilemma. I was really impressed with the set up of the Lower School, how they give them space away from the middle and senior schools, so not to be intimidated by the numbers. The facilities are amazing and the attention to detail. V impressed with the Head of the Lower school and his knowledge of each boy. Will be a tough call....
Glad to hear you're making progress with your choices. Good luck!
Oh, sooooo, I’m sure your DS will be very happy at whichever he chooses. They are all great schools - and he’s probably a good judge of which school he thinks he’ll like the best.
Good luck with the final decision!
Hello all! Wishing everyone good luck, if you're waiting for news and making that all important decision between grammar vs indie for some!
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