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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 5:18 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 12:30 pm
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I'm new to this forum, so bear with me if I'm covering a topic which may already have been discussed in the past.

Can anyone share their thoughts about the pros and cons of St George's School, Priory School and KES? We are looking at all the options for our boy for entry in Sept 2014. He is doing the 11+ this weekend - but I need to be realistic about his chances with so much competition for places. I know KES has the kudos and exam results, but believe the more intimate (and slightly less academically competitive) nature of St George's/Priory might suit him better.

Also, does anyone have any knowledge or experience of the bursaries and scholarships which St George's or Priory School may offer, and how difficult they may be to obtain? KES seem quite open and transparent about what's on offer in this respect, with lots of information available on their web site.

Thanks.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 8:37 am 
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Hi atom8,

I don't have personal experience of the schools but there are others on here who do and will hopefully respond.

My eldest sat the 11 plus last year and several of his friends who didn't score highly enough for a place at one of the KE grammars or HGS were offered places at The Priory with scholarships. I don't know how much these were for as they were apparently told not to discuss that as a condition of the offer. These were boys who were in the middle set for maths and scored around the 200-210 mark on the KE exam.

I have a work colleague who has a 6 year old at The Priory and is very happy with it and plans to keep him there as she doesn't think he will get into or suit a grammar school. I also know someone who had a child at St George's and always spoke highly of the caring nature of the school and felt her son had blossomed there.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:01 am 
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Location: Birmingham
I'm also aware of more than a few children who didn't score highly in the Grammar School examination but were later offered 20% and 30% scholarships to Priory. I understand that these were not means tested.
They were bright children, and more able than national average, but unfortunately were not scoring high enough to gain a Grammar School place.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 12:25 pm 
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I think to get a full scholarship you need to be means tested.

I don't know much about St Georges but I have heard they are very caring. The main points with Priory are that it is not academically selective apart from for scholarships and setting. You get a full range of abilities and it performs like a really good comprehensive in its results. I think it got 80% + A-C in its results last year. The key differences are: small class sizes, small year group (50-60 I think), a reasonably bright child will be a high flyer, the senior school is small so less daunting for little ones, vertical tutor groups mean pupils make friends with children from other years, excellent behaviour, high expectations that individual children will perform to their best whatever that may be. Its mixed so that might be a benefit for you too however the ratio is heavily in favour of boys because a lot of girls in the area tend to go for EHS if they don't get into the super selective KEHS or grammars.

There are open days coming up so you should go and have a look!


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 4:32 pm 
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Thank you all for your views and advice so far. St George's and Priory both have entrance exams (as does KES), so there must be some degree of selection.

As far as bursaries are concerned I see that KES will still consider parents with incomes of up to about £72k p.a., which seems quite generous (or not if you have several children to potentially pay for!). I was wondering how St George's and Priory compared.

Comparing the Grammer schools and KES with the smaller, less obvious independent schools, my somewhat inexpert opinion is as follows-

Grammer schools/KES - excellent if your kid is clever and hard-working, but not so if they start to struggle to keep up. A bit 'sink or swim'. You hear stories if kids getting tutored to pass the 11+, then struggling to keep up for the next 5 years.

Smaller independednt - good if your kid isn't necessarily a high-flyer at the age of 10 or 11, but would benefit from smaller class sizes and more attention.

It would be interesting to hear other people's opinions.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 4:35 pm 
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P.S. Good luck to everyone sitting the exam tomorrow morning!


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:32 pm 
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I am not sure about the bursaries on offer at St George's or the Priory but it is possible that they are similar to KES and only offered to those who do particularly well in the exams.

This is what Priory say about financial support:

Quote:
Non means-tested scholarships are available to pupils entering Year 7 of our Senior School
who display excellence in Sports, the Arts and Academic Studies.
Up to 20% tuition fee reduction is offered to any pupil achieving a Scholarship standard,
with higher awards subject to means-testing.
Pupils and families who benefit from a Priory Scholarship must agree to abide by the terms
and conditions of the Scholarship.
Anyone applying for a Scholarship for Year 7 MUST sit the entrance exam on the date
specified on the School Calendar and must also have submitted their scholarship
application prior to the entrance exam.
Following the entrance exam a date is set with each subject tutor for a scholarship
assessment day. The details of what is required of each student on the assessment day
are contained in the scholarship application pack.
Supported Places
A limited number of means-tested Supported Places are available to pupils entering Year 7
of our Senior School.
A Supported Place may be awarded to
• Pupils who are eligible for a scholarship, and who meet the required academic
standard in the entrance exam taken on the date specified on the School Calendar.
• Pupils who display a positive attitude to learning during the ‘Taster Sessions’ that
take place following the examination.
• Families with a combined family income below £50,000 per annum.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:26 am 
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I have a few family members at both KES and KEHS, and in other grammar schools as well. I agree with the 'Sink or Swim' comment. KES is such a brilliant school, but I would not recommend it for 'struggling or over tutored' kids, as they will be at the bottom of the class/year and will not get the proper attention. It is important that your kid is at ease whichever school he goes to. KES/KEHS is for the academic types, who enjoy reading/studying on their own without much intervention from parents etc.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2013 2:35 pm 
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GuidingStar wrote:
I have a few family members at both KES and KEHS, and in other grammar schools as well. I agree with the 'Sink or Swim' comment. KES is such a brilliant school, but I would not recommend it for 'struggling or over tutored' kids, as they will be at the bottom of the class/year and will not get the proper attention. It is important that your kid is at ease whichever school he goes to. KES/KEHS is for the academic types, who enjoy reading/studying on their own without much intervention from parents etc.


So glad someone acknowledges that KES is for academic types :) From posts I have read on here over the years, far too many seem to think KES is for sporty types who fail Grammars and is only useful as a backup for those that don't get into CHB/Aston :roll: which is simply not the case!


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2013 3:05 pm 
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GuidingStar wrote:
KES is such a brilliant school, but I would not recommend it for 'struggling or over tutored' kids, as they will be at the bottom of the class/year and will not get the proper attention.

I am surprised by this comment. I would have thought private schools would do more to help 'struggling' children, especially as they have small classes and also all the staff they want thanks to the money they dispose of! Hence maybe the tutoring which was mentioned end of August for pupils at KES?
So there isn’t much difference between CHB and KES then, except for the facilities... and the price!


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