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Does anyone's DS go to Cardinal Vaughan in London

(39 Posts)
Pengimum Thu 04-Mar-10 14:11:30

My son got into CVMS which i am so releived about - but tell me is it really as strict as it seemed on the Open Evening or were they trying to put people off . DS is really quite nervous about going there....

janinlondon Thu 04-Mar-10 14:45:49

Have a neighbour's son who goes. Don't know if it is strict, but wanted to say he is a lovely boy, a credit to both his family and the school, terribly polite and very organized. I cannot imagine a terrifying school would produce that kind of child. If that helps at all.....

Pengimum Thu 04-Mar-10 15:00:20


AnnaSergeyevna Thu 04-Mar-10 15:07:55

My DS got a music place at CVMS but we have gone for another school which is nearer to us. If we didn't have the other school option, I would have been happy for him to go to CV.

It is very strict and traditional and if you are not happy with that then it might not be the right place for you / your son.
HOwever, it gets great results and the boys coming out are beautifully mannered etc.

When we went for the audition, I sat in the entrance hall and could hear one of the masters screaming at the sixth formers which did surprise me a bit. I remember thinking to myself that if DS goes here, I should probably get him to go somewhere else for 6th form wink

Pengimum Thu 04-Mar-10 15:27:00

Strict and traditional is ok -its what he is used to at his thing feels quite overwhleming. DS is my thing eldest and a bit away with the fairies most of the time... and the thought of him commuting on the tube.. even with a long journey CVMS is so vastly superior than anything else my little pocket of south london has to offer.....

frankiesense Sun 07-Mar-10 15:15:45

My son is at the school, and we both hate it - it is VERY STRICT indeed, very inflexible, uncaring to most of the kids, very bad communication with parents, always asking for money, assumes everyone is wealthy and looks down on those who aren't. Sorry to give you bad news, but I wish someone had told me - there is no way my others will be going there, we are waiting for a place to come up somewhere else so my eldest can leave. He is really miserable and has undergone a complete personality change since starting in yr7. So sorry.

caffeineaddict Sun 07-Mar-10 18:37:21

Several of my friends have sons at CV - they largely echo frankiesene's take on it. The school best suits academic, highly competitive, very compliant and unsporty boys. Sorry to be voice of doom, but maybe this will suit.

No134 Sun 07-Mar-10 19:12:37

My impressions (from looking round and from friends with dses there) echo the previous two posters. We decided against applying to the Vaughan (and the Oratory) for those reasons, plus the very cramped sites.

Probably not what you want to hear, but I expect there'll be someone along in a bit to say how their ds loves it and is thriving there.

caffeineaddict Sun 07-Mar-10 20:12:30

But then I know mums with sons at the oratory which has a reputation for austerity and discipline - though not as Holy and academic as CV - but the boys really enjoy it. Sport is great, despite the lack of facilities. So maybe - and hopefully - CV will be fine.

frankiesense Sun 07-Mar-10 20:24:31

The Oratory is also much better from a pastoral point of view from what I hear - ie teachers actually engage with you if you have a problem, unlike CV. CV has an amazing reputation, but the cost is the mental health of the boys.

AnnaSergeyevna Sun 07-Mar-10 20:51:20

Gosh, I had heard the complete opposite from acquaintances with DS at the Oratory - a vicious bootcamp and CVMS a much more supportive environment PROVIDED that your DS is not one to kick against the system.
Just shows how everyone's experience is their own.

No134 Sun 07-Mar-10 21:03:31

I really expected to like both the Oratory and the Vaughan -- I had heard tales of strictness, but I'm not in the wussy liberal parenting camp myself, so I thought I'd be okay with that. But I really didn't like the feel of either of them, and dh and ds felt the same way. I think all successful schools have a sense of conviction and direction, and sometimes that can go over the line and tip into arrogance and inflexibility. I think that's what I perceived there, and what put me off.

But if you have an academic child, are prepared for them to be pushed hard and know what you've signed up for wrt discipline, then there's no reason why it shouldn't work out well for you. My ds is going to a school that is quite trad and blokey but much less stellar in the league tables and probably a lot of people's 2nd or 3rd choice after LOS/CV (it was our 1st choice). Time will tell whether it's the right decision. There are no guarantees whatever you choose, really.

Pengimum Sun 07-Mar-10 21:53:51

Thanx for your honesty....oh blimey my DS is not acadenmic or sporty but is quite musically inclined...his primary is v strict but also v loving so I just dont know whether thsi will be ok, he will aso have a long Tube journey to contend with i'll let y'all know ho he gets on.

frankiesense Sun 07-Mar-10 22:54:23

No 134, would you mind saying where your son is going? You're so right about them tipping over the line!

Pengimum, I'm so sorry to have freaked you out, and I truly hope your ds is OK, did he get a music scholarship?

No134 Sun 07-Mar-10 23:08:06

frankie, we're in N. London, and ds is going to St I. We will see whether it was the right decision -- it's all a bit nerve-wracking as there are no guarantees whatever you choose or get offered!

frankiesense Mon 08-Mar-10 07:29:52

Interesting - we're south so hadn't heard of that St I until a couple of CV boys left to go there! Hope it works out for you x

CoffeeCrazedMama Mon 08-Mar-10 11:38:33

I am usually nervous about giving details of my rl on mn but I can't let this thread pass without saying Pengimum, your ds has truly won the lottery of life. My ds goes to CV and we love it. Yes it is strict, but never unreasonably so. Boys do need boundaries and to learn what is appropriate behaviour. Yes, homework must be done and signed off by you, but isn't that what you want from a school? Your alternative is some other south London schools you could have gone for, where there is no homework and lots of bullying.

If he is musical there is no better school you could have chosen - the music department are absolutely lovely, giving every boy, from the most talented to the tentative beginner every encouragement and loads of performance opportunities.

I could rave on for hours about how good it is - just sad that dds did not have the same outstanding teaching and safe atmosphere.

hoxtonbabe Mon 08-Mar-10 16:12:12

Message withdrawn

CoffeeCrazedMama Mon 08-Mar-10 16:30:04

You see I haven't noticed the money thing; all state schools I have had anything to do with are permanently trying to increase funds - frankly, the Vaughan noticeably less than the others. Yes I've had to pay for trips, but they have been worthwhile expenditure. And I'm someone who always hates getting the cheque book out!

You should see dd's school (not going to name) - I paid £15 for a 'day with an Oxbridge admissions expert' which on the day shrank to a ten minute slot with each girl 'for unavoidable reasons' - oh and not refund!

It is the price you pay for a good school - the government does not reward successful schools with more money - the cash goes to 'help' the failing ones. sad

hoxtonbabe Mon 08-Mar-10 16:43:40

The trips I really don't mind and I pay the full suggested yearly fee, but there always seems to be something else, ok, they dont put a knife to your throat to give money and I really do not get involved with any of the fundraising things or socials, but I cant help but wonder that this may be frowned upon if you don't give. I do agree aboout cash being given to the failing schools and not the sucessful ones, I never really looked at things that way I suppose.

frankiesense Mon 08-Mar-10 18:46:57

Hoxton, I also wonder whether we're suffering because we don't pay up for everything - I don't know if anyone who's posted has a son in the Schola or first orchestra/big band but the ticket prices for their concerts can be phenominal (£40 for a recent one). The music is of a very high standard, but I for one would prefer it to be of a lower standard which allows less able kids to have a go (it's not sour grapes by the way as my son is in the orchestra).

The problem as I see it is that a lot of the parents are seeing it as free private education - whereas for those of us who could never pay school fees it feels like we're being asked for far too much.

Coffeecrazedmama, I'm so sorry your daughter isn't having such a great time - my experience with my own daughter is the complete opposite and I love her school - largely because it's a true comprehensive and doesn't cherry pick the posh/clever ones like CV does (now I probably am sounding chippy!)

Poor Pengimum for sparking such a mega debate!

hoxtonbabe Mon 08-Mar-10 19:41:57

Frankie, a few months back they had some raffle thing, I really could not be bothered with going round trying to sell them so just purchased the whole lot, I think it was only £10, and I did not even I would like to think that the don't judge us and our sons because of our donations, but you can never tell, although in my case I think donate enough, I just dont do the whole social thing with the constant stream of dances, concerts and events they seem to lay on.

The deputy head (not sure if I can post names) comes across scary, apparently he likes things just so and is very strict, but oddly enough he gets on really well with my son.

frankiesense Mon 08-Mar-10 20:39:31

Message withdrawn

hoxtonbabe Tue 09-Mar-10 07:42:37

I totally agree about questioning them, I know me and my DS will be in for a hard time over the next few months as I dont let things slip by so easy, but the senco really is trying my patience. That really is quite shocking about your son and the raffle, poor boy.

Hopefully we have not put pengimum off too much blush Like others have said if your child is willing to work hard and play by the rules then he will do well, compared to the schools in my area the boys at CV are little saints, they dont make too much noise and most seem to have good manners and I don't feel any worry about my son travelling so far alone with all the other CV boys, it's once he gets into our home area then I worry!

zanzibarmum Wed 10-Mar-10 10:00:13

Is CVMS now on the slippery slide to mediocrity?

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