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Secondary choices, help! Graveney, Kingsdale, Norwood, Ursuline, BTG

(25 Posts)
sara75 Fri 19-Oct-18 22:48:05

Hello, feeling a bit confused and needing to hear from any of you who have kids in one of these schoolssmile)
I need to decide on what order to put these schools down on the CAF form:
Graveney; we got 245 which just might get my daughter in late August/early September. She is arty and decently academic. I liked the school when I visited but cannot remember what the Art department looked like, believe it or not..
Kingsdale; we got an half scholarship in music. With the intent of course to apply for the Srt one of she gets in. Looks like it might, just might, give us some kind of tiny priority when we are put on the waiting list. So, again, might be a late August business. Really really liked the school when visited.
Norwood; we got an art scholarship. Loved the art department but not an academic school and unsure about some of the kids’ behaviour when visiting. Coming from a strict catholic school, it did surprise me... My little one being a bit of a follower too.
Ursuline; a bit far from us but potentially my favourite catholic option. We have been doing the weekly masses for years and have priest’s reference etc. Good academically but not impressed by Art department. But very polite and sensible young girls produced by the school.
BTG: same as above really but I would probably prefer a girls only if I have to choose.

Not sure how to proceed on form. Do we stand a chance with Graveney (predicted mark for end of August offer is 248) and is it worth including it? Did anyone here got into Kingsdale on s half scholarship?
Anyone with children in Norwood who could tell me how they are finding it?
Any ad I’ve greatly appreciated!

OP’s posts: |
maz99 Sat 20-Oct-18 08:11:47

You have a good chance getting in to Kingsdale with a half scholarship, because there is a separate scholarship waiting list from the banding waiting list.

DCs on the scholarship waiting list are selected 2nd after Looked After Children.

My advice would be list all the schools in the order that you really want them, because if you match the criteria for your first choice school then that is what you’ll be offered.

If you’re not offered your first choice, then the system will works it’s way down your list until it finds a school that you match.

maz99 Sat 20-Oct-18 08:25:07

FYI - Kingsdale offers to DCs that have started at the school, the opportunity to apply for an art scholarship.

perfectpanda Sat 20-Oct-18 09:36:32

I'm in a similar kingsdale norwood dilema and am confused about the half music scholarship for kingsdale which dc also has. Am i right in thinking that the waiting list is in the order of the scores? And so all the full scholarships are above the half scholarships, and dc place on list depends on her score? I never knew about this scoring business that was on the letter. I thought you either get a scholarship or don't and then it was random selection from the scholarship bucket.... i loved norwood btw and have only heard good reports from local year 7 parents.

bookmum08 Sat 20-Oct-18 09:50:39

I much prefer Norwood over Kingsdale. The head at Norwood talked so much about what they do for Year 7s - introducing them to the Secondary world. I love how they have a big thing about bringing up confidence and public speaking. How they have events before the children start the school (the welcome tea) and a day (in Year 6) where the children get the whole school to themselves. All I learned from the Kingsdale head was how many GCSE A*s they get. Great. Lovely. But that's important for the 16 year olds. But what do they do for the tiny 11 year olds?

bookmum08 Sat 20-Oct-18 09:57:43

I have just thought if folks look at other posts I have done about Secondary schools they might think I have some kind of hate/vendetta against Kingsdale! I haven't! I promise. I just don't quite understand why people make such a fuss over it and send their kids miles to go there. Same with the Harris schools. I don't like them but loads of people are desperate to send their kids there. If the OP/others like Kingsdale and are fine with it then ignore me! Ha Ha.
Is vendetta a word?

maz99 Sat 20-Oct-18 09:58:58

Am i right in thinking that the waiting list is in the order of the scores?

Yes, that is correct.

And so all the full scholarships are above the half scholarships, and dc place on list depends on her score?

This is also correct.

Basically, having a scholarship (full or half) means you have better chance, than those without a scholarship, of getting a place from the waiting list.

FYI - Kingsdale run a 2 week summer school for new year 7s... you have of sending for a few days, 1 week or both weeks.

My DD went the whole 2 weeks and lived it... it gave her confidence for the 1st day if school as it was all familiar and she had already met some of the teachers.

BTW - I like Kingsdale... it’s good for a high attaining children.

Laidbackorlazy Sat 20-Oct-18 16:15:48

Just on Kingsdale - I know of several children offered half scholarships this year, and none have been offered a place, and also of Someone with a full scholarship who was only offered a place late August. They don’t limit the number of scholarships they give, so having one is not a guarantee of getting an offer - apparently this year they had 600 more applicants than previous years so number of scholarships given was higher.

Laidbackorlazy Sat 20-Oct-18 16:37:16

... posted too soon. Not putting this to piss on anyone’s chips.. but just to try & be clear that it seems to be more difficult to get in via that route than a few years ago as so many more applications. You will know more about the likelihood once you have waiting list positions. Person I know of who got an offer in August was in top 20 on scholarship waiting list on offer day.

maz99 Sat 20-Oct-18 17:48:02

Yes, it does depend on how many children with full scholarships are selected via the random allocation and/or put Kingsdale down as 1st choice.

It looks like one of the above must have happened this year. The school does offer more scholarships than places, because they don’t know how many DCs are going to actually choose the school.

But as we all know, Kingsdale is very oversubscribed - which means the over subscription criteria will always come in to effect.

So, by having a scholarship it improve your DC’s chances, as they will move up from 6th position to 2nd and be selected of
ahead of:
DCs with siblings,
DCs whose parent is a member of staff,
DCs with medical/social/psychological needs (no EHCP) ,
DCs on the banding waiting lists

* as per admissions policy (2.1)

marytuda Sat 20-Oct-18 18:44:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

newmum1976 Sat 20-Oct-18 19:37:52

That’s interesting, marytuda, so last year you needed to be top 50 on the waiting list to get a scholarship place. Glad to hear your child is happy elsewhere.

maz99 Sat 20-Oct-18 19:41:22

On offer day my DD was mid 30s on both lists 2 years ago - we got offered a place 2.5 weeks later.

Gretelpetal Sun 21-Oct-18 10:36:46

Re Graveney my DD scored 245 last year and by August 31st was still 22nd on the waiting list.

sara75 Sun 21-Oct-18 12:09:28

Thank you so much everyone. It sounds like the half scholarship might give us an advantage when on waiting list if I put Kingsdale as first option but obviously not 100% sure in any way. Gretelpetal thanks. I guess you went for a different school at the end? It’s good to know as I have to decide whether to put Graveney second or third on the list

OP’s posts: |
sara75 Sun 21-Oct-18 12:12:15

Bookmum08 thanks! I loved teachers and Art departments when I went to Norwood school! I am a bit unsure on whether it is academic enough for my little one and I did not unfortunately explored any further the A levels they offered as was so busy taking everything in.

OP’s posts: |
VenusInSpurs Sun 21-Oct-18 13:48:51

OK, you have 6 choices so can afford to list all these schools in the exact order in which you prefer them. What does your Dd think and how does she feel about single sex and about catholic?

Also all these schools would seem to depend on a ‘selective’ criteria.

All have a good reputation except that Norwood is still building and isn’t yet known for great academic performance. They have a very good music offer.

You need to take account if your Dd’s feelings.

What is your local school for which you would definitely be allocated a place?

sara75 Sun 21-Oct-18 20:01:54

Thanks. My Dd does not have a preference in terms of single sec or mixed and she is already in a catholic school so I guess it would be a continuation of what she knows already.
She seem to really like Kingsdale so will be putting it first. Saying that, she liked every single school we went to.
Most friends probably going to BTG, followed by Ursuline. Maybe one to Kingsdale and no one to Norwood.
Local school I think is BTG, followed by Norwood in terms of distance.
I do struggle between the mainstream we chose as options, as I like the fact that they bring inspiration, and the catholic, which are less inspirational but seem to be able to produce some well behaved and respectful kids and are quite academic

OP’s posts: |
BellMcEnd Sun 21-Oct-18 21:48:18

Have you considered Coloma (subject to baptism age) and St Phils or are they too far?

sara75 Sun 21-Oct-18 22:12:22

Coloma too far; I will put it on the form as no 6 I think but not much hope. I did not have a good feeling about St Philomena when I visited although I heard good feedback from parents of girls who are there

OP’s posts: |
VenusInSpurs Mon 22-Oct-18 00:13:39

Are you too far away for Dunraven? I would prefer Dunraven over Norwood if it was an option.

But it seems like BTG will be a goer. They do very well.

VenusInSpurs Mon 22-Oct-18 00:14:23

La Retraite?

sara75 Mon 22-Oct-18 10:26:39

Hi VenusinSpurs, went to see both La Retrait and Dunraven but I felt they were not for us. In what position would you put BTG? It’s our local option (have done the weekly mass attendance, baptism, references etc), was thinking to put it last, although after hearing from gretelpetal, I am now thinking Graveney seems far fetched with 245 so might as well put that one last. Thanks!

OP’s posts: |
maz99 Mon 22-Oct-18 11:40:41

Put the schools in the order you really want them. Even if they are a long shot, because you won’t lose out by not putting a guaranteed school first.

This is how the system is supposed to work - if you don’t get your first choice it will try to offer the next school on your list, and will keep moving down your list until it does find a match.

So, put your catchment (most likely) school in one of your last positions and all of the schools you like more higher.

VenusInSpurs Mon 22-Oct-18 23:09:36

Yes, put the schools in the order you prefer them, not based on what chance you have of getting them! If you like Graveney best, put it first! It won’t disadvantage you in getting places anywhere else more likely to offer you a place.

I have not been in any of the Catholic schools, but know parents with kids at BTG. Very strict discipline at BTG, Long detentions for unsuitable haircuts etc.

Personally, having kids at both, I prefer Dunraven to Graveney, but they do have good teaching at Graveney.

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