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Grammar School at 11 vs good Comp at 13

(20 Posts)
thedolly Thu 22-Oct-09 15:35:37

Which would you choose for a hard working, bright DD?

Ewe Thu 22-Oct-09 15:38:30

Grammar school at 11. Joining the comp school two years after everyone else is not going to be fun.

thedolly Thu 22-Oct-09 15:43:33

3 tier system in our county so 13 is the transfer age to senior school. Grammar is in the next county.

thedolly Thu 22-Oct-09 15:56:46

What are the benefits of choosing a grammar school over a good comprehensive? I genuinely have no idea. Are there none?

Is all this grammar school hysteria because the alternative to the grammar schools in question are so dire?

thedolly Thu 22-Oct-09 16:49:50


thepumpkineater Thu 22-Oct-09 17:41:02

If you want a really honest answer, my very personal view of choosing a grammar school over good comp was that one of my DSs in particular would have done absolutely zero work if there had been a chance. I think he would have had to work a lot harder at a comp to stay in the top sets or whatever, whereas at the GS there was no question that he was entered for the higher level GCSEs and no question of taking a GCSE in Tourism or Childcare. He would have chosen the GCSEs with the absolute least amount of work involved. I wanted to make sure he didn't have to the choice to do the least amount of work possible.

Also the school is much smaller than the comp and there is no problem whatsoever with bullying. No problem with being called a 'nerd' or whatever. My lazy but bright DS was very, very happy there and I think he too was glad he just had to get on with the academic work and not be given too many 'choices' . (He's now at university btw)

Our comp has excellent results but I suspect that is down to it's intake (leafy suburb etc). I would have been perfectly happy for him to have gone there had he not got into the grammar school, but going to the grammar school certainly took the pressure off us as parents insofar as making sure he might the right choices for GCSEs etc. However, we will never really know if we did make the right choice and really appreciate the fact that we were lucky to even have a choice of schools in the first place.

mumblechum Thu 22-Oct-09 17:47:36

I could have written the PumpkinEater's post. My ds is in yr 10 and though he very occasionally moans about the work, he really loves his grammar.

All his mates are v bright, the convos I overhear in the car are really interesting and insightful.

The grammar is tough and does make kids work extremely hard but I wouldn't have it any other way.

DS now wants to go to med school and is predicted straight As. He's naturally a lazybones and I'm sure if he'd gone to the comp he would have just taken the path of least resistance, as there a C or B is perfectly acceptable.

thepumpkineater Thu 22-Oct-09 18:12:07

Have just re-read the OP 'bright, hard working DD'.

Probably would do just as well at comp, hard working and DD being the operative words

thedolly Thu 22-Oct-09 19:27:18

I hear you. So I should be considering the grammar for my sons smile.

thepumpkineater Thu 22-Oct-09 19:37:37

Yes. This is a contentious issue (has been discussed ad naseum on here) but I really believe the education system as it stands, or possibly stood because is changing, suits hard working girls.

IMO boys mature later, can't be arsed with all the neat and tidy coursework etc., find it v hard to be bright and 'cool'. Grammar schools really seem to suit bright but not particularly hard working boys because they are forced to do what is needed, in order to give them proper and reasonable choices later on in their lives (when they have realised, actually, that they do have to get a job etc etc). Just my personal musings though.

Plenty of children get excellent results and enjoy themselves at good comprehensives as well. I just wasn't prepared to take the risk with mine, that said, they may turn on me when they are grown up......

thedollyridesout Thu 22-Oct-09 21:25:50

Thanks for that thepumpkineater smile.

Is the grammar single sex and the comp mixed? Might that also make a difference?

thepumpkineater Thu 22-Oct-09 22:13:23

Grammar mixed. Comp also mixed. (I have DD as well as 2 DSs btw)

thepumpkineater Thu 22-Oct-09 22:14:13

Grammar mixed. Comp also mixed. (I have DD as well as 2 DSs btw)

thedollyridesout Thu 22-Oct-09 22:26:39

OK. We have the 'option' of single sex grammars or mixed comp. Something else to consider I guess.

campion Fri 23-Oct-09 14:07:38

If she can get a place at a grammar school without lots of tutoring then that's the right place - unless you feel that it's more focused on exam results / league table position at the expense of developing the whole person.

seeker Fri 23-Oct-09 20:04:15

I would go for a good comprehensive school - and my dd is at a grammar school. If there had been the option of a good comprehensive that's where she would have gone. The grammar is excellent, but the girls don't know they are born - they are all middle class and privileged, and the education, while excellent, gives them very little insight into how the other half - or, to be more accurate, the other 77% - live.

<seeker dons tin hat and awaits repercussions>

pinknosedevereux Fri 23-Oct-09 20:17:10

Seeker is absolutely right!

Grammar schools not real world, not I don't feel, very grown up for them either.

Now I'm not saying the children don't get a good education, but I don't think they get much of a grounding in how the real world works, how some people are clever and squander their talents and others have very little apptitude and knuckle down and still do well. Not to mention everything in between.

campion Fri 23-Oct-09 20:51:49

Isn't getting a good education the main point of going to school? hmm

There are plenty of mono-cultural comprehensives, seeker,dwelling in leafy, middle class suburbs. You just need to be able to afford to buy a house there!

seeker Fri 23-Oct-09 21:14:45

Academic education is very important. But I expect more from a school.

Yes, there are plenty of mono-culture, leafy Comprehensives. But at least if you happen to live near enough to one, you can get in. You don't have to jump through a hoop that just happens to be middle class child of professional people shaped!

Morosky Fri 23-Oct-09 23:52:11

Talking about my area as that is what I know, I would choose the good comp for my hardworking bright dd. I teach in a good comp and would prefer my dd to go there over the grammar. We take students in at 13 and they settle very quickly.

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