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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 5:34 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 4:56 pm
Posts: 431
Hi all

My DS1 has got in the top 120 for Pates and we are in a dilemna as to what to do. We never really thought it an option but now it is I am thinking it should be seriously considered.

If the two schools were side by side I would choose Pates.
However, it is 6 miles from where I live to Pates whereas Tommies is literally across the road.

I seem to have narrowed it down to this one criteria as I cannot see one having an advantage over the other. There is of course the Pates + ART/DRAMA!! Tommies +SWIMMING POOL!!!! argument.

Anyone else in this dilemna like to share their thoughts?
Or know about bus routes from Gloucester, Longlevens area?

Obviously a wonderful dilemna!!!


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 6:21 pm 
Both my GS children were lured by a swimming pool at two different grammars, but they ended up hating it because they were kept at such a chilly temperature so I'd knock off that as a criterion for choice.

Also, 6 miles is nothing in the grand scheme of school travel, although there is a lot to be said for gaining that extra spare time.

While I don't believe in giving children the final choice, I would consult your son as he is the one doing the travelling.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 6:21 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2007 4:14 pm
Posts: 739
Location: Gloucester
Hi there,
It's a good dilemma to be in Emerald!!!

Having not been in this situation I can only pass on the experiences of my DS best friend from primary school.Passed for Tommies and Pates and lives in Gloucester.With no bus from the area concerned his parents faced either paying for a private minibus or 7 years of travel along the Golden Valley! They chose the latter.....

I think they find it a challenge with all the extra curricular activities that are on offer-and that road and area is not a good place to be in rush hour.
Another thing that they mentioned(and this is only repeating their experience) is that their son found not being "top of the class" a rather challenging situation.I think Pates is full of top of the class kids and it took some adjusting to-obviously not a fault of the school but something to consider taking into account your childs' emotional and academic needs.

What does your DS want to do?

GM


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 6:30 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2009 9:51 pm
Posts: 52
What a wonderful dilema

You sum up the two school's differences around swimming pool at STR (not at Pates) vrs stronger art/sport/drama at Pate's - I would agree, I think. Having said that Sports is good at both - with fewer boys per year grou at Pate's there may be more team spots to get as they regularly have A and B fixtures. That will not be an issue if your son is atop sportsman though.

I must admt that for me the main differences were the slightly more 'boyish' approach to behaviour and rules at STR compared with the more relaxed and pastorally focused ('girly?') model at Pate's - again that suits some not others.

The MOST significant difference might be seen as the single sex v co-ed differences. WHich do you prefer? I agree with teh earlier poster who said be wary of too much child autonomy - I am sure he will be happy at both but MAY not have the same view now as he will have about things like - spanish and mandarin, oxbridge outcomes and, heaven forbid, girls!

DO you think single sex or co-ed is healthier - is that a big question?

Remember though - both schools are excellent.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 7:19 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2008 9:09 pm
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Location: Gloucestershire
For me the strongest factor was that Pate's is the only co-ed grammar.

We were very impressed with the students' approach to learning when we visited and the answers our guide gave.

We have been impressed with the induction process and the pastoral care.

Re strong drama: my DD has been disappointed at the opportunities for drama available to Y7s. I believe it gets better as you go up the school, but it's not available to Y7s as a club this year and is not timetabled at this stage.

If I was back in this position again, I would check more thoroughly that my DC's particular interests would be accommodated. It sounds like a silly small point, but it's made a big difference to her transition to secondary school and I may well have made a different decision in hindsight.

On a practical note, it may be worth viewing the actual lesson timetable of each school to see what suits your DS best.

This may sound negative, but it's just our local problem and we are dealing with it outside of school.

Good luck with your choice

Red


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 7:32 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:25 pm
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I can't yet speak from Pate's so will give what i know about Tommy's.

I think that it is is a particular good point about Tommy's, that the lessons are only 35 minutes long (apart from doubles - science, art, PE etc, the occasional "normal" subject) - the incomparable maths teacher said that it was ideal for boys and that he only taught for 15 mins before letting them get on with it. Any more and there were concentration probs, that hour long lessons were counter-productive and nothing more was usefully gained, they need to be able to move around and get onto the next lesson. Of course that is a generalisation my younger boy has great concentration and the older can, if interested, and girls can drift off as well as boys.

It all depends on your child. Co-ed could have been disastrous for my older boy who loves the girls and I feared for his concentration or imagined him playing up to them whereas DS2 (I think) isn't aware they exist as a separate entity, apart from to be "annoying." DS1 loves swimming but it's in rotation with the other PE subjects, basketball, gym etc.

Rugby is good as they run to 4 teams so if you want to play, you will.

Seem to be quite a few trips.

Good getting order grades every half term so you can map their progress - occasional anomalies in marking causes the scores to veer up and down a bit but the contact is still nice.

Whenever I've had to go in (forgotten rugby kit etc) the impression is of a really nice atmosphere and goodness knows I'm alert to fearing the worst.

Peanutting (tie pulling by the older boys) a pain. It passes. Not personal.

Drama slow to happen, but a friend last night with boys higher up the school seemed to think there were lots of opportunities. She's got to know the head quite well and really likes him whereas I've not had any contact so can't report on that.

Maybe my disappointments lie with music and art. DS1 is very good at the former and not so good at the latter and seems to struggle with both as maybe a middle line is drawn and the tops and bottoms of each subject not addressed as well as it might be?? Again, this is purely subjective, he is very "aware" and a less sussed child with a thicker skin (like his bro) might not pick any of this up. He is, overall, very happy there and has made lots of lovely friends - we did a big party for him earlier in Y8 and I was so touched at how beautifully behaved they were, how they acted as a group, how they included his bro immediately. Really really nice boys. He hugs me openly in front of them and there's no macho nonsense.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 7:43 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 21, 2009 11:02 am
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Indeed - co-ed was important to us too. Just not sure single-sex was right for DD. Quite relieved she got Pate's so we don't have to angst over DR or local comp - she wasn't taken with DR but comp is huge compared to primary.
Also factoring in long bus journey and after-school activities could have influenced any decision too.

As others have said I'm sure the large majority do just great wherever they finally end up - we are spoilt for choice with top-notch schools for our top-notch children! :lol:

Happy decision-making!


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 11:07 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 10:05 pm
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.......................


Last edited by Glos_Mum on Wed Jan 01, 2014 3:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 12:35 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:25 pm
Posts: 2556
what's interesting about the blazers, GM, is that (from one my one foray to the PA meeting - at the beg of Nov) they are looking at introducing a shirt with a crest on it so they can wear that and dispense with their blazers. Ostensibly it's for summer so they don't over-heat but, in the interests of economy (and i'm grateful that they recognise this) it could be worn anytime. Needs to be governer-fied, I think, but approved in principle.
DS1 loved art last year, the animals in art thing but has lost his way a bit this year - the body. I told him even Rembrandt struggled with hands. Takes criticism and low marks hard. Puts in the effort and then gets a 3 for effort because the outcome hasn't been that great. Will have a word with the teacher come parents' evening.
the supplementary maths is great. He's in this in year eight and is coming on in leaps and bounds, finally "getting" it. They, the remedial group, are currently ahead of their actual class. Will be sorry if he gets too good and isn't in it next year. Just 8 of them taught together. Fantastic.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 5:48 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2009 2:17 pm
Posts: 107
Pushkin and slackmum looked for you at Pates today but could not see you, sorry.

I can't make the PMs work any more. I make a message, push submit and it doesn't. Does anybody know why.


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