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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:27 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:26 am
Posts: 269
Hi there

We are just starting out with all of this. DS will hopefully be sitting the 11+ next year, but we realize after reading all of the great information in this Forum that we have a lot to work on.

Anyway, could anyone who went to the CRGS Open Evening this year share any information on how it was? In particular:

- Is it for prospective pupils as well as their parent?
- What do they actually tell you about?
- Are there any other events through the year which it would be sensible to go to - Christmas Fairs or things like that?

Thanks in advance, and good luck to all those of you with DCs sitting their exams in the next few weeks.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:51 am 
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Posts: 131
Hi,

My DS will be taking 11 plus in 2013 - which from what I can see will be the same for your DS, welcome and good luck on the journey.

We went to CRGS Open day this year to give DS an idea of what he will be working towards. The Open Day is designed for parents and DS. We listened to the HM speech and then went round the classrooms - Chemistry, Biology and Physics are always good to take a look at as they have experiments going on (we have done this before as have DDin yr9), we then look in the languages rooms - there was food in the French room and drink!

The teachers are happy to talk about what they learn in their subject, I asked about languages they do a different combination at CRGS than at ColCHS - eg Latin frm yr7 - I wondered if my state school boy would be at a disadvantage it appears only for the first term.

We will go to the Open Day again next year to get more of a 'feel' for where DS will sit the exam and where the loos are etc...

It may well be worth seeing what other events they do, I assume they will be on their website.

There are some more knowledgeable parents out there who no doubt paid more attention to the HM's speech, I can remember nothing of it!!!!


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:59 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 11956
For any school do remember that Open Eveninga do not give a true picture.

ALWAYS go round on a normal day and ensure you visit the toilets and talk to pupils.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:25 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:26 am
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djy76 Thank you so much for your reply, very helpful. We weren't in the UK for the open evening so missed out. Guest 55 - I was under the impression we couldn't book a visit to see CRGS on a normal school day - am I wrong ? The Autumn Fayre seems to be a good starting point for us.

We have found this Forum and the whole website to be brilliant. Thank you to everyone willing to "share". We have two boys facing the CRGS challenge, and our great friend has three girls facing the challenges Kent has to offer. Its so kind of people to take the time to share their thoughts and understanding of the systems we are just about to be challenged by. Thank you !


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:40 pm 
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I live in Bucks and most of our GS do have Open Days - if CRGS do not then I think attending events and being around as pupils arrive and leave would be useful. On the Open evening the children will be 'hand picked' (I'm a teacher so do know!) so you need to remember the whole evening is an advert! Try to look in all rooms, changing rooms and the toilets - some rooms may have been 'prepared' for visitors.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 4:34 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 11:08 pm
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I am a current parent of a CRGS boy. I am not aware of any school day tours and nor is DS (except for prospective boarders) but there is no harm in asking. The autumn fayre is the first opportunity although not many classrooms will be accessible - the toilets and canteen will though. There are usually 2 nights of carol concert in the run up to Christmas which are wonderful but very popular (New head of music next year so can't guarantee things will be the same).

All the boys are generally happy to talk about their school when asked. The boys at the open day are not "cherry picked" but volunteers, mostly year 7's although my son has done it for the past 3 years as we are local.

Please feel free to PM me if you have any specific questions


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 4:36 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
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Quote:
The boys at the open day are not "cherry picked" but volunteers, mostly year 7's although my son has done it for the past 3 years as we are local.


Sorry but that is 'selecting' - only some students will volunteer - usually the best and there is an opportunity for the school to prune.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 6:48 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 12:47 pm
Posts: 698
Location: Essex
Oh dear, the school can't win, can it? If it hand picks boys for the open evening, it's advertising and if it simply allows boys to volunteer, it's still being selective. To lay any conspiracy theories to one side, just consider the number of boys who take part in the open evening relative to the intake of 96 boys per year. Most are Y7 boys but there are others. I've never heard of any volunteer being refused or even discouraged. There are no guided tours at CRGS. Prospective pupils and parents are free to wander the school. The classrooms/labs/halls are set up with experiments/activities/examples of work. The boys are not told how to answer visitors' questions. CRGS has no catchment area and its pupils often commute a fair distance. The fact that so many boys are willing to give up their evening in order to help, is, I think, worthy of admiration rather than suspicion.

No doubt all schools like to give a good account of themselves at these events. No doubt some schools really do feel a need to advertise. Others just don't need to go to extreme measures.

If you look on the school website, you'll find various events where you can come along and get an idea of what the school is like. The Autumn Fayre is on 29 September, so that would make a good start.

There is something intangible about CRGS that makes it feel special. I may well be biased as my DS attends the school. We have visited nine different open days/evenings so far. This includes GS, indies and comps. It was clear in some that the pupils helping were the ones chosen by the school, but this was by no means universal.

Visit the schools you are interested in and draw your own conclusions.

Good luck!


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 6:58 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
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I was just pointing out that ALL Open Evenings are advertising and that you need to base your choice on more than what you see at such an event.

I know of schools that get out specific experiments that the pupils never actually do once they arrive just because they look good.

I would post the same about any school.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:18 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2007 11:19 am
Posts: 888
My dd1 is at Kendrick in Reading, and there's no selection done re open evening volunteers - everyone is expected to be there. If they can't be there in the evening they have to help out getting everything ready in school the afternoon before and the morning after. Each girl takes one family at a time, so you can quiz them as much as you like!


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