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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:10 am 
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Okay. Am close to making the call for our twin DSs school. I've done the pro con list, gone through millions of forum posts, done some PMs visited both schools and discussed together. I've compared KEFW to KES on many areas and how they they relate to my DSs.

The final area that I get a sense of something different or uncertainty is in the sciences. I hear some people saying that if you think your DS is a scientist they should go to KE GSs but not KES (my paraphrasing).

Taking away the A level and IB debate and its possible gearing, if we look at years 7 to 10 is science taught differently at KEFW and KES? I know KES go into single subjects after year 7 and KEFW after year 8 but I would like to know if the schools treat science differently (either giving it an emphasis or not). Do they both do the same amount of participative experimental work? I did Physics myself and whilst I want a rounded education for my DS's , I don't want a "de-emphasis" on science.

I notice that very few people left KES to do single science subjects (from KES web site 2010) but I don't know if this is a similar percentage at other KE schools, i.e a normal profile.

Any info please asap as I have acceptance forms ready to send and my choice will at least free up 2 spaces at either KEFW or KES.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:04 am 
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Location: Dudley, West Midlands
ginobellavia wrote:
Okay. Am close to making the call for our twin DSs school. I've done the pro con list, gone through millions of forum posts, done some PMs visited both schools and discussed together. I've compared KEFW to KES on many areas and how they they relate to my DSs.

The final area that I get a sense of something different or uncertainty is in the sciences. I hear some people saying that if you think your DS is a scientist they should go to KE GSs but not KES (my paraphrasing).

Taking away the A level and IB debate and its possible gearing, if we look at years 7 to 10 is science taught differently at KEFW and KES? I know KES go into single subjects after year 7 and KEFW after year 8 but I would like to know if the schools treat science differently (either giving it an emphasis or not). Do they both do the same amount of participative experimental work? I did Physics myself and whilst I want a rounded education for my DS's , I don't want a "de-emphasis" on science.

I notice that very few people left KES to do single science subjects (from KES web site 2010) but I don't know if this is a similar percentage at other KE schools, i.e a normal profile.

Any info please asap as I have acceptance forms ready to send and my choice will at least free up 2 spaces at either KEFW or KES.

You are not going to split these schools on whether they can teach very able science students – if that’s your only criterion then stop worrying. I love KEFW, in one of my favourite schools – both my lads happen to go to KES though.

If it helps (it probably doesn’t) here’s a quote from recent KES Parents evening (pre-gcse).

(Slight pained look on science teacher’s face) “LOOK, you know (DS) you’re going to get an ‘A’, no problem – if you do your usual amount of revision you’re *probably* going to get an ‘A*’ BUT (looks at me) the problem is He’s.. Just.. Not.. Trying.. He could achieve so much more if......”


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 1:44 pm 
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Location: Dudley, West Midlands
Bit of a bad habit but I'm reposting this here (from thread http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/forum/11plus/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=19120&p=228616) because it starts to describe something of the flavour of KES - though I wouldn't want to argue for every point. Also I feel I have to stand up for KES a little bit as I'm a bit narked at people diss’ing one school or another via PM. If it won’t stand up to criticism – ignore it.
fm wrote:
I can only go by my experience of occasionally tutoring KES children. Obviously I am tutoring ones who are weak at maths but, even then, the standard set for them is so much higher than that of the 4 KE grammar schools of which I have knowledge. Instead of teaching within the narrow bounds of the curriculum and towards the exam, the name of the game is stretching the children to be the best they can be. This does have an effect on the weaker ones as in they feel a little lost compared to the brighter ones but they are still carried along in their wake and do achieve higher than they might at another school. I can only imagine what effect it has on the very best.

If this stretching and aspiring (as opposed to the rather tiresome NC target setting we get in the grammars) is true of all subjects, I can see why the children excel at KES.

I don't know why people would expect KECH and KES to be on par. The parents are different, the children are different, the lessons are different, the facilities are different and the schools' ethos are different. One costs nothing and the other almost £10,000 a year. Also a good proportion of entrants to KES will be independently educated children already and, while they may not be any brighter than state school children, by and large, they have much better work ethics.

If you can easily afford it, your son fancies it and you have no political objections to independent education, then go for KES, allowing someone who can't afford it a possible place at grammar school.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:00 pm 
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Thanks for replies and comments. saw the post you mentioned Dibble last night.

Decision Made - KES forms handed in. Now I can focus on ensuring I can afford it:). 2 places at KEFW released

Thanks again


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:03 pm 
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Great decision. My opinion is that those parents who can afford KES should send their children there thus, freeing up grammar places for those who either cannot afford the fees or choose otherwise :D :D :D . The true advantage of 11+ exam is that the exam is open to every class and hopefully the intake is more evenly spread.


ginobellavia wrote:
Thanks for replies and comments. saw the post you mentioned Dibble last night.

Decision Made - KES forms handed in. Now I can focus on ensuring I can afford it:). 2 places at KEFW released

Thanks again


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:17 pm 
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Dibble wrote:
Bit of a bad habit but I'm reposting this here (from thread http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/forum/11plus/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=19120&p=228616) because it starts to describe something of the flavour of KES - though I wouldn't want to argue for every point. Also I feel I have to stand up for KES a little bit as I'm a bit narked at people diss’ing one school or another via PM. If it won’t stand up to criticism – ignore it.
fm wrote:
I can only go by my experience of occasionally tutoring KES children. Obviously I am tutoring ones who are weak at maths but, even then, the standard set for them is so much higher than that of the 4 KE grammar schools of which I have knowledge. Instead of teaching within the narrow bounds of the curriculum and towards the exam, the name of the game is stretching the children to be the best they can be. This does have an effect on the weaker ones as in they feel a little lost compared to the brighter ones but they are still carried along in their wake and do achieve higher than they might at another school. I can only imagine what effect it has on the very best.

If this stretching and aspiring (as opposed to the rather tiresome NC target setting we get in the grammars) is true of all subjects, I can see why the children excel at KES.

I don't know why people would expect KECH and KES to be on par. The parents are different, the children are different, the lessons are different, the facilities are different and the schools' ethos are different. One costs nothing and the other almost £10,000 a year. Also a good proportion of entrants to KES will be independently educated children already and, while they may not be any brighter than state school children, by and large, they have much better work ethics.

If you can easily afford it, your son fancies it and you have no political objections to independent education, then go for KES, allowing someone who can't afford it a possible place at grammar school.



Having also been fed up of school comparison threads, (and a pm from a member with a split personality about how well his son in CH is doing :roll: ) I have to say, fm pretty much said it all. I know her personally and have found her to be very insightful and knowledgeable about all school things.

I am glad you finally made the decision that's right for you and I hope your boys settle in and achieve well.

By not being bound by the national curriculum, KES boys are challenged from the start. I am astonished by the depth and variety of work my son is doing. He is still in touch with a friend who chose CHB and while they are both good schools, I can see what I am paying for. Some people may consider some aspects of KES e.g the Friday afternoons to be frills that aren't worth it, but to us it's not just about the end result i.e GCSE or IB grades, but the journey he goes on to get there.It's funny Dibble mentioned parent's evening, because I had similar conversations with my sons teachers (he's doing so well but he can achieve so much more....he may be challenged but it's GCSE level work - despite the fact he's 11 - when it comes to GCSE he'll be flying.... Etc etc etc).

Glad you're freeing up two Grammar places. Incidentally KES is also open to every class and the intake is more evenly spread than you think due to to AP scheme :wink: .


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:44 pm 
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Thanks again to the forum for helping with decision making process.

Ref "Those who can afford to got to KES should do so": no comment:
Its an individuals choice, at least as far as I understand :wink:

KES at the moment is cheaper than going to KEFW for us.
Other positive factors for KES only serve to increase its value.

KES is highly accessible to children who are able who come from low income households. The successful fundraising resulting in the APs supports this inclusivity. So I agree the spread is probably wider than is often perceived.

Best wishes again to all children wherever they end up. Parental support is still one of the biggest factors in children's success. So the journey goes on and I guess into the other forums


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 9:24 pm 
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Location: Dudley, West Midlands
sky111 wrote:
The true advantage of 11+ exam is that the exam is open to every class and hopefully the intake is more evenly spread.
I think it’s sometimes forgotten here that some families cannot consider a Grammar place because of the cost of travel to school. I’m intensely proud that KES makes it possible for some to attend for, truly, nothing – no fees, no transport costs, no uniform cost and free meals. You can also buy a place at KES for a boy who, whilst perfectly able, would not usually have gained a place in a KEGS – be very careful not to slip into stereotyping; if a boy’s a genius it’s not actually his fault if his parents happen to earn a lot, anymore than it’d be his fault if his family can’t afford a travel pass to get him there.

I’m seriously happy with both sides of this, slightly, greater diversity. In other respects I’m guessing you’d meet similar boys at KES as at other selective schools – not necessarily in the same proportions. It would be interesting to hear what other schools are like in this respect.

This year’s admission at KES would have around 25% AP, historically around 5% paying no fees but perhaps more this year?

At KES you will meet boys whose parents might...
Pay full fees and find that a little bit difficult and like to whinge about it.
Pay full fees and hardly ever give it a second thought
Pay full fees and really struggle to keep this up.
Have an AP, pay no fees, pay nothing for transport , uniform or meals.
Have an AP and, even then, like to whinge about it occasionally (just me?)
Have an AP and pay either no fees or tens of pounds a year.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:08 pm 
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Well said, Dibble. Just wanted to add to your list with a few thoughts.

The AP scheme has put KES in reach for a huge number of people. Those who who TRULY "cannot afford it" are helped significantly to make it affordable.

The main problems arise when the child is eligible for an AP but doesn't get an AP due to the extra competition for these places.

There are also those who understandably don't feel they can commit to fees for the next seven years due to the economic situation/having many children etc.

Then there are those who aren't eligible for an AP as they earn too much, who choose to prioritise their income differently. Its their choice. The wealthiest people I know send their children to grammar school (probably how they stay wealthy, they don't spend it! :wink: :roll: ), Not KES.

Finally there are those who may be just out of the eligibility income, have multiple children but choose to prioritise their income for their children's education and sacrifice elsewhere quite happily,as it's their choice to do so. I know a few in this group.

Ultimately, people will think what they want and keep on with the stereotypes....


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:22 pm 
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If KES need people to balance the income scales, I'm glad to oblige :D

The great shame is many parents I know did not apply because of their '90210' prejudices, it's a shame as the reality is so different.

I too am guilty as our first visit to the school was just out of curiosity, 'to see how the other half live' and did not actually view it as a serious proposition due to it's fees and our misguided preconceptions.

Only became aware of the AP on the open day and any barriers we had were quickly smashed the more we discovered.

Lucky that our path accidentally led us to KES and wish the same accident to all.

ok1


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