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Grammar or independent?

(46 Posts)
ellie2201 Sun 22-Sep-19 16:53:07

My son is academically very strong, but also loves sport, and is generally quite a 'straightforward' child - no issues with school at any point, always makes friends etc but can be shy with grown ups. There is a good (but huge) boys' grammar school a walk away in our town, or we could stretch ourselves to send him to an independent 25 mins drive away. It's not known for it's academics (but is fine), but it would mean he would still get all the sport and music etc he has at his prep school. It's also co ed which I prefer, and is smaller. Given the choice, what would you do? I change my mind on a daily basis!!

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FuckOffBoris Sun 22-Sep-19 19:11:21

The grammar. Don't commit yourselves to a 25 minute drive for the next 5-7 years, don't stretch yourselves, for a non especially academic school for an academic child just so he can have sports and music. There will be sports and music options at the grammar school - even if they are extra--curricular rather than all being compulsory (some will be). Or he can join clubs and orchestras outside school!

JoJoSM2 Sun 22-Sep-19 19:41:24

It’s a lot of money to pay for a school that isn’t that academic so potentially not a great fit anyway. I think I’d go with the grammar (provided it’s really good academically and not a second rate Kent one). The money saved could go on extra curricular activities outside school.

BertrandRussell Sun 22-Sep-19 19:43:10

“(provided it’s really good academically and not a second rate Kent one).”

What do you mean by a “second rate Kent one)?

Tinty Sun 22-Sep-19 19:46:49

All the money you save, not sending ds to an independent (and time), will pay for a lot of extra sports after school.

JoJoSM2 Sun 22-Sep-19 19:50:48

BertrandRussell, I mean one of the ones that have very average progress scores and attainment that isn’t particularly impressive.
So a bit average rather than wow academically.

Hoppinggreen Sun 22-Sep-19 19:51:20

We faced the same choice and went for Independent for the following reasons
Proximity to home
Sibling unlikely to get into Grammar

Matildatoldsuchdreadfullies Sun 22-Sep-19 19:51:27

At the risk of being negative, you can’t know yet that your child has passed the 11+. This may all be academic. (Mother of children who attend second rate Kent grammars grin).

JoJoSM2 Sun 22-Sep-19 19:51:40

Bertrand, sorry if I sounded rude, didn’t intend to offend.

fedup21 Sun 22-Sep-19 19:52:15

How big is the grammar?

I wouldn’t pay fees for an independent that wasn’t academically great.

ellie2201 Sun 22-Sep-19 19:58:55

Thanks so much for your replies.
Grammar is 1000 or so boys! 160 intake in Year 7. Results are good, current parents seem happy. We’re not in Kent - it’s Bishop Wordsworth’s in Salisbury.

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fedup21 Sun 22-Sep-19 20:00:45

That really isn’t huge!

ellie2201 Sun 22-Sep-19 20:01:13

And yes, of course I can’t guarantee that my son will pass 11+ but it is highly likely he will. If not, decision made - he can stay at his prep until year 9 then go to the independent (if he gets in there - but it’s not particularly competitive).

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ellie2201 Sun 22-Sep-19 20:01:57

Fedup21 that seems enormous to me!

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Marv1nGay3 Sun 22-Sep-19 20:09:00

Is there public transport for him to get himself to the independent? He is not going to want to be dependent on his parents driving him to and from school every day as he gets older I imagine.

ellie2201 Sun 22-Sep-19 20:15:20

I cutlery drive him as I work full time - he’d have to get the school bus but that’s an extra expense obviously.

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ellie2201 Sun 22-Sep-19 20:15:55

Couldn’t not cutlery!!

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BarbariansMum Sun 22-Sep-19 20:22:15

If there really is a question mark over whether your ds can pass the 11+ I'd say go for the independent. If you are just being modest about his abilities and, barring a strange aberration the day, he should pass comfortably, then go for the grammar. This is the basis that you've already visited both and like their ethos.

clary Sun 22-Sep-19 20:27:42

2000 students is a huge school. 1000 is very averagely sized for secondary. How big is the private school? Would he get fed up - a friend sent her children private but they went to state for A levels part,y because they were fed up with being in a year group of 30.

I would go for local every time. Who wants their mum to drive them to secondary school?

JoJoSM2 Sun 22-Sep-19 20:33:38

I just looked up the grammar school in question. Looks excellent academically. I’d go with that and have the indie as a back up option in case he doesn’t get into the grammar (I’m in London and the grammars are more difficult to get in than the top top indies but I don’t know what it’s like around Salisbury).

And 160 boys per year group isn’t that big at all.

ellie2201 Sun 22-Sep-19 20:42:22

He wouldn’t be driven by us - we both work full time! He’d get the school bus which is fairly standard round here.

Thanks for your replies. I was leaning towards the grammar but really didn’t want single sex as I went to all girls, husband went to all boys and I don’t think it did either of us any favours, haha! Practically it makes far more sense for him to go to grammar and I know we’re lucky there’s such a good option near by. Thanks all.

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clary Sun 22-Sep-19 20:43:21

Sorry op I misread that you currently drive him, not couldn't! Would still go local in your circa. think of all the spare cash you'd have to fund music lessons and sports clubs.

Helenluvsrob Sun 22-Sep-19 21:01:45

Grammar. If he dislikes it / doesn’t fit in / doesn’t get enough of the stuff he loves it’s easy to move up to year 9.
That’s assuming he passes what ever the exam is anyway. Are you applying for year 7 at the few paying option in case he doesn’t get in ?

In year grammar places to transfer the other way would be highly fought for

NewModelArmyMayhem18 Sun 22-Sep-19 21:12:48

We have family members who went to the Salisbury girls and boys grammars (recently) and did exceptionally well.

palahvah Sun 22-Sep-19 21:25:23

Year size not so relevant as the class size?

My brothers went to a grammar school 10 minutes' walk away. There was a girls' school not far away and they did co-ed extra-curricular. My grammar was 45 minutes away on the other side of the city and it was much harder to do co-ed stuff. I'd favour the grammar (if he gets in) because you say he is academic and because the proximity will make it easier to do extra-curricular sports and music.

Plus cash saved on fees gives cash to spend on specific learning opportunities outside school eg clubs.

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