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jCoss or archer academy

(8 Posts)
lu9months Sun 04-Oct-20 16:56:58

does anyone have any thoughts about these schools? disregarding the fact that one is a religious school - which would be the best option and why? thank you

OP’s posts: |
Swimmum1206 Sun 04-Oct-20 18:57:04

DS is in Y10 at JCoSS and I must say it is a fantastic school. It seems to be the type of school where there are opportunities for everyone, no matter their abilities. The teachers seem to get to know their students very quickly and they really know their strengths and weaknesses. The provision during lockdown was great, with several,live lessons over a Teams each week and recorded or PowerPoint lessons for every subject. DS was able to keep to his timetable throughout.

Although it is a faith school I wouldn't class it as religious. Yes, they have to study JE to GCSE and if students want to go down the more religious route they can. However, they are taught to question the rules within the religion, rather than being forced to accept it.

TenFour Tue 06-Oct-20 00:57:17

I have a DC in Y8 at JCoSS and can confirm what @Swimmum1206 says about the lockdown provision, it was really impressive. It was strange for us as my DC had only just begun to settle into Y7 before then, but since the return to school has been thriving.

The leadership team are amazing, the Head is hugely respected and sets the tone of the school brilliantly. We had reservations about the lack of diversity (our local primary was very diverse indeed), but DC's friends are at least more socially varied than I had expected. The school goes to great lengths to reach out beyond the Jewish bubble and that's one of the things that attracted us to it.

My DC is bright enough when they can be bothered to work but not naturally "academic", and has been well supported - mentoring was put in place pre-lockdown for a subject they were struggling in.

JCoSS seems to have a buzz about it. It was the Sunday Times Greater London state school of the year last year, which might not be particularly meaningful but adds to the sense that it's a school on the up. Communication is excellent. We are really glad that DC is there.

I don't know Archer in the same way obviously but have friends and acquaintances with DC there who are all very happy with it. As it happens I did know someone who had a DC at each school and thought they were pretty much on a par, but in both cases they were amongst the first cohorts and have completely left school now.

What has amused/amazed me since my DC started at JCoSS is how many non-Jewish parents have told me they would love their kids to go there. Make of that what you will!

TenFour Tue 06-Oct-20 01:07:38

Pressed send too soon!

As to which school is right for your child it's impossible to say - so much depends on the type of child they are, what you as a family feel about both schools. As a rule, parents on the internet will only say good things about their DCs' schools unless they are really disaffected! A point I've probably just proven above in fact.

DOINGOURBIT Tue 06-Oct-20 07:24:35

I have no real knowledge of either school - except to say that living nearby one and travelling on local buses, I have to say that JCOSS students are exceptionally well-mannered and go out of their way to help members of the public. That's not to say Archer students wouldn't - but I know many elderly folk have been impressed with the conduct of JCOSS students and have phoned in to put this on record.

lu9months Tue 06-Oct-20 12:33:52

thanks all, really helpful. my concern is the lottery system for jcoss, whereas we are lucky to probably be within the catchment for archer. does anyone know if the planned expansion of jcoss is definitely happening? i guess would make it a lot more likely we would get in because there would be a new cohort without siblings above them! also does anyone know - if we put jcoss first and dont get in, does that mean we are very unlikely to get Archer because all the people who put it 1st will get in? im confused!

OP’s posts: |
TenFour Tue 06-Oct-20 18:55:23

The expansion is definitely happening, the school confirmed recently. They are hoping to add the extra class for the Sept 21 intake but that isn't definite yet.

Ah yes the lottery...

There are multiple threads on here about how the equal preference system for admissions works, but in essence you will be offered a place at the school you have ranked highest on the eAdmissions form and for which you (your DC!) qualifies.

So in this instance, let's suppose you live in the catchment for Archer and are likely to get a place, but prefer JCoSS. The important thing is to put the schools down in your genuine order of preference. So in this case you rank them:
1. JCoSS, 2. Archer, 3. Fortismere (to pluck a nearby school out of thin air!)
Scenario a: you don't get the lottery place at JCoSS but are allocated Archer; you also qualify for Fortismere but as you placed Archer higher on your application form, you aren't given that place or put on the waiting list there. As you put JCoSS first, you should automatically be put on their waiting list (but it's always worth making sure by speaking to Barnet admissions). You then may or may not get a place at JCoSS from the waiting list as things move around between March (offer day) and September.
Scenario B: you get a place in the JCoSS lottery. Even though you also qualified for Archer, you are not offered a place there because you got your first choice school.

Does that help? The golden rules are 1. to put the schools down on the form in your real order of preference and 2. to put down a school somewhere amongst your 6 choices at which your child will definitely be offered a place. You can stay on the waiting lists for any and all schools you have put higher on your form (or indeed ask to be added to any other list you like) after offer day.

TenFour Tue 06-Oct-20 19:03:40

There is a common misapprehension (not helped by some head teachers telling parents they must put their school first in order to get a place) that people who have ranked a school first will get a place above people who put it lower. This is not true.

Schools are not told which families have put the school first, only how many first/second preferences they have had. This tells them how popular they are and how likely to have a full cohort. It's illegal for a child to be offered a school place based on where they ranked the school on their form if they do not otherwise meet the entry criteria.

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