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Maidstone, Oakwood Park vs Maidstone Grammar

(12 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

Jamtin21 Sun 26-Apr-20 12:27:46

We cannot decide which is the better school for our boy. We Know MGS has the better reputation but exam results wise, they are very similar.
Has anyone got any experience of either school, good or bad to help us make a decision.


OP’s posts: |
HebeMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 01-May-20 22:59:01

Just bumping this for you, OP.

Noeuf Fri 01-May-20 23:25:04

Where are you in the system? 11 plus in Autumn term? In year?

Stegasaurusmum Fri 01-May-20 23:38:16

I don't know much about MGS but I've visited Oakwood as a teacher from another boys grammar before, I like it, I think it feels more relaxed, less snobbish and elitist, but maybe that's cause I'm common 😂

I liked the relaxed feel, they have great creative arts.. MGS does have a reputation as more traditional, more stuffy, more academic. Not always a good thing.
To be honest though, all the schools here are good, I think. It's more about what your son likes and the friends he will have around him, if they're good friends, he enjoys it, likes the feel of it from a visit and he's well supported at home, I don't think the school makes such a difference.

However saying that, it's a nightmare currently as who knows when we will be able to visit schools or even if the Kent test will go ahead in septenber! I have a dd in y5 and it's all so uncertain.. 🤷‍♀️

Coffeeandbeans Fri 01-May-20 23:44:05

I’ve had two boys at MGS. It certainly isn’t a hot house. I don’t think it’s gcse or a level results are particularly great compared to other grammers. Neither of mine have worked particularly hard and certainly have not been pushed. Neither of them are sporty which is just as well as rugby and football take priority. They are very loyal to the school and I’ve never had any problems with bullying.

Hillarealive Sun 03-May-20 12:05:28

I think it totally depends on your DS. I personally prefer Oakwood. I have friends who have children in both schools and those at Oakwood have nothing but praise for the school. They have said the pastoral care is excellent and their DS are really happy there. I also have different teacher friends that have worked in both schools and again nothing but praise for Oakwood. Those working at MGS and have DS at MGS seem to have had/have a more negative experience including some behaviour issues and lack of organisation. There is a general feeling MGS is resting on its laurels. It's reputation seems to come from its history and buildings. However, academically it appears to be the same as Oakwood. Until this year approximately half the boys would have had to achieve quite highly in the 11 plus. However, the GCSE results from these cohorts do not reflect this. I think if Oakwood had the buildings/facilities of MGS it would be the more popular choice.

frank12378324798 Fri 02-Oct-20 12:03:14

this tells you all you need to know. Avoid Maidstone Grammar School like the plague. I know next to nothing about Oakwood Park, but being incredibly familiar with MGS know anything would be better. Hell, I'd even recommend a comprehensive over it.

SJaneS48 Fri 02-Oct-20 22:26:29

Really?! I’ve a friend with a son in Year 8. She anc her partner (they’re both teachers) are very happy with it. She felt they coped well with the homeschooling period and I’ve nothing to believe it’s anything but good.

Oakwood going on local gossip and one parent with a son there I know through scouts is a bit run down and needs a tart up (or did 2 years ago) but a good school. I’m not sure if performs particularly well at 6th form though as you would expect.

SJaneS48 Fri 02-Oct-20 22:58:07

I’ve just read the link frank has attached. The tone of the article is interesting, while it does appear to have ‘only’ a good rating, the reference to ‘disastrous GCSE results’ does seem a bit ? According the government site they achieved 91% of students reaching Grade 5+ 2018/2019. Not exactly ‘disastrous’.

By asking for a opinions, you are always going to get both sides of the coin. For example, eldest DDs secondary was appalling for her, some of her friends thrived really well there though.

SJaneS48 Fri 02-Oct-20 22:58:18

1maid Fri 02-Oct-20 23:00:31

Hello. Lots of negative comments about MGS and we are thinking about sending our son there! 😯😬😳

Would love to hear more comments from parents and or teachers at Oakwood and MGS xx

beanbagleaf1 Thu 22-Oct-20 22:49:08

We also have a son in year 6 in Maidstone and we have been deciding on which grammar to go for if he passes the Kent test. We have decided on Oakwood for the following reasons.
I have spoken to parents with children at both schools and Oakwood definitely seems to be the favourite. We visited both schools in year 5 and Oakwood had a much better, less oppressive feel to it. My son felt this too. Going around MGS and speaking to the children. There was a feeling that the younger children were almost felt frightened by the older children rather than supported. I had a feeling of a sort of sink or swim, dog eat dog sort of school and I have spoken to other year 6 parents that had the same feeling.
I think there is a slight snobbery factor with MGS. Whilst MGS appears to look good in their prospectus/web pages. Some of the parents I have spoken to like the previous poster (Frank) almost feel their son would have been better in a non-grammar or had wished they had picked Oakwood in year 7. The MGS parents said although their sons initially liked the MGS at the beginning of year 7. They complained about general lack of organisation, disruption in some years/classes and feeling that nothing gets sorted when problems arise. The only 2 positives I heard, were that they may or may not get the opportunity to study Latin and that there was a big field to play on.
The parents of Oakwood boys appear to really rate the school. They have said it is very well organised and very good at dealing with any problems. They said children are treated as individuals with excellent pastoral care. One parent said "it's just a lovely little school" and my son is really happy there, The only negatives were that the older 60's building could with a lick of paint! They have also said that there is a huge field but you don't always get to see this on the open day as it's about a 1 min walk away on the Oakwood Campus. Looking ahead there also seems very little difference in exam results. Good luck in whatever choice you make.

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