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PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 3:54 pm 
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Any advice is very much appreciated.
My son is at an independent school in year 5, torn between KES and KECH/KEFW. We’ve made sacrifices to send him there and in theory we can continue to pay for KES. All this assuming he gets both options,

My dilemma is, is there a big difference between the schools; it’s the age old question about private vs public schools.
Both offer excellent education my son’s very sporty and both offer all the sports a boy could want and trips to help them expand there learning.

KES has now gone over to full IB which sounds great when the headmaster talked about it but sure how university see it.

Has anyone got children at both schools who can give constructive advice?


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 11:13 am 
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Location: Birmingham
I have a son at KECH and whilst I did like KES, I can't see that the educational outcomes are different enough to justify the money - even (for us anyway) on an AP.
My son says about half of his class at CH are from Independent Preps (can't verify this - just taking his word!) so it seems pretty common for children to move there and thrive.
If you do have the spare money (unfortunately I don't! :D ) then I would guess you would be better off saving it for your son's University needs, possible tuition costs on weaker subjects, and getting him on the property ladder when he's older (not easy at all). That's just my opinion but I guess he'd ultimately get more benefit that way.
However the only caution I would give, is that CH does seem to expect pupils to be pretty independent and get on with working hard. And in the majority of cases, it seems they do. If you son needs more pastoral care/more of a push - you may feel it best to go for KES.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 12:06 pm 
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Interesting because we took the opposite view - we felt ours would get a more vigorous shove at CH, but we couldn't see very much to choose between them either, although imho IB would now count as a hefty point against KES because I think it's unlikely to suit our son quite as well. (In the event he made sure there wasn't any decision to be made by only getting into one of them anyway :wink: .) I agree that CH expects them to work hard and work off their own bat, but my perception is that their approach to the curriculum is very well calculated to develop a work ethic.

One word of warning on trips at CH: all the interesting ones so far have had limited places and whether they're done by random selection or "first come first served" appears to be at the whim of the organiser - the one method of selection I haven't seen yet is "who's missed out on all the trips so far?". I imagine the trips at KES are more accessible - but presumably not more affordable!

Mike


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 12:13 pm 
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You will have more experience at CH than I, Mike1880, as ds has just started.

I have just noticed that over the past 4 weeks my son has had to be very independent in getting everything done - and hasn't mentioned much about any mentoring in all this! But the reality is, he's a pretty mature and driven child, and enjoys a challenge and relishes plenty of homework. I am guessing that many other boys in Ch are like this too - which is why he is enjoying it so much!


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 4:22 pm 
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Thanks for the replies.
I have heard that CH is less pastoral then other schools and they have lots of homework and expected to get on with in. This will please my son as he does get on with homework every day at the moment.

The IB I feel would be good for him and he would do very well with it, KEFW is now offering IB along with A’s so that’s another option.

I was wondering if there was a big enough difference between the schools to justify the money, like UM pointed out the money would come in play at a later stage for them.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 9:00 pm 
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My feeling is that it would be unwise to rush to do IB at either KES or Five Ways until we see whether they make a success of it. Some do, some don't, I would rate KES's chances of success better than FW's. It's very different from A-levels and I would not be happy to see it done in parallel as FW propose.

I think CH is pastoral when it needs to be and lets them get on with it if they're coping; 25% of boys there get some form of extra support, ours included (in fact, I think we've had more pastoral care from CH than we really felt was necessary :? !).

Given a choice of where to spend the money, if he can get into CH or FW, I personally would settle for that - and intend to this year given half a chance (although CH Girls in our case) - but then I haven't been paying fees for years already and would most certainly feel the pain if I started now!

Mike


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 1:48 pm 
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Thanks Mike1880, it’s just like I thought there is very little to choose between the schools. I spouse it come down to personal choice, affordability and the child getting in off course.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 6:35 pm 
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Mike 1880, I'd be interested to know why you're not in favour of the IB. I was pleased to learn that KEFW was going to offer it as a 6th-form pathway. Are you concerned that they're spreading themselves too thin? Teachers I've spoken to are energised by the curriculum. And I believe schools have to be authorized by the organisation to offer it and don't get recognition if they don't have the capacity?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 8:03 pm 
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Location: Birmingham
Really excellent presentation this week at KE 5-ways about IB and the choices - very balanced brochure produced by the school.

The head made the point that they are able to run IB in parallel alongside "A" level simply because they have a very large 6th form and so this is viable. They also have the funding - IB costs more to run that A levels due to overseas teacher training courses.

The conclusion of the brocure was very good:-

Quote:
What is right for me?

The two routes present a wonderful opportunity for the school to tailor a post 16 curriculum to invidual's strengths. the decisoon taken should be be selffish: "what is right for me?" the decision focus should be wholly on each individual's academic abilities and aspitations and the result of careful consideration. Do not rush to make a decision - carefully weigh up the possibilities first
.

Quite encouraged by the approach the school was taking - the corrolary is of course that being able to delay the choice until late into year-11 is a distrinct advantage over KES. Not sure what KECH will do , much smaller than KEFW so unless they run a joint programme with KECHG they wouldn't have the numbers to run both.

Food for thought.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:46 pm 
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Pelef wrote:
Mike 1880, I'd be interested to know why you're not in favour of the IB.


I'm neutral on IB as such (although would not have liked it as the 16-17 yr-old I was when I did A-levels!), but the record of schools switching to IB is patchy, it doesn't go smoothly everywhere. My gut feeling is that where a school chooses to do IB it should do only IB; it isn't the size of the 6th form that matters, it's the ability of the teachers to adapt to the differing needs of the two programmes. It's entirely possible that FW has enough staff to be able to resource a dedicated IB stream but frankly I'd be surprised if that was the case. The idea of not differentiating until late Y11 sounds utterly unworkable to me. However my reservations are based totally on ignorance of FW's transition programme and may be unfounded.

I find it hard to believe that CH would go down the IB route, they're too heavily maths-and-science oriented. They do around 10 times as many science A-levels each year as MFLs or Eng.Lit, and about 6 times more maths. It seems to me that kind of emphasis just wouldn't sit comfortably with IB.

Mike


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