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 Post subject: Pates v Balcarras
PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2016 8:13 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2016 8:25 pm
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I realise that I'm in a very fortunate position that my child would have a very good chance to get into either Pates or Balcarras (we live quite close to Balcarras and my child was ranked just outside the top 150 for Pates). Both schools can be considered to be near the top of their respective sectors from a nationwide perspective.

We're leaning towards Balcarras because we liked the feel of it, it gets very good results and it has an excellent reputation amongst the teaching network. On the other hand we found Pates to be a bit dull in comparison and whilst our child is clearly quite bright we feel that compared to some of the children he might not get his chance to shine at Pates and that there is more to life than getting a handful of A*.

However, when it comes to completing the CAF there is a nagging doubt that, given the reputation of Pates, if we don't put Pates down as first choice our child is potentially missing out on something.

Clearly this is a personal choice based on the individual characteristics of the child involved, but what do other people think?


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 Post subject: Re: Pates v Balcarras
PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2016 8:10 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2016 7:57 am
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In a similar situation so hoping others will be able to give their thoughts on this.


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 Post subject: Re: Pates v Balcarras
PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2016 9:04 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 10:28 am
Posts: 1775
For me it would be Balcarras. It's a very good school and is clearly local, so no school pickups/drop offs to worry about and they will be socialising with local kids. A feel you have for a place is also crucial. Would your dc thrive in a very academic environment and with the inevitable pressures that entails? Many do, and it suits them very well. My friend's ds is having a ball there. It would have been a disaster for our DS to go to Pates (he didn't pass in any event!) and as it turns out Tommies fits him like a glove. We had a real feel for Tommies and have no regrets, although Crypt seemed cracking also.

Go with yours and his gut instincts and ease of logistics would be my advice. Have you been for a second look as that can sometimes help decide?

Well done to him btw.


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 Post subject: Re: Pates v Balcarras
PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2016 10:44 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:38 am
Posts: 39
For me it would be Balcarras too, for the same reasons as Stressed. Trying to put myself in your position, nothing would rank higher in my opinion than locality of the school and friendships which will be local. Our local school is not on a par with Balcarras, but is rapidly improving. I do wish we had a local school which my DD had wanted to go to. I tried my hardest to sell it to her, but it didn't feel right to her.

My DD is at Pates. My only reservation about Pates is the distance her friends from school live, when we are only 10 minutes away. This doesn't bother her in the slightest though! I don't believe there is anything that Pates do which isn't offered by Balcarras. They are both fab. Have you also seen the 2016 data on Progress 8? Balcarras is in the top 10% nationally. Pates does well too, but I think you are safe to assume your son would likely do as well at either school.

My DD2 may make it to Pates from the waiting list, or she'll happily be going to Denmark Rd. We want Pates as it is local to us and it's where her sister is, so school holiday dates will be the same etc. The bus will also be cheaper!

As has been said many times, Pates is just a school. There are others equally as good, and I think you should go with your gut feeling. You can't go wrong :)


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 Post subject: Re: Pates v Balcarras
PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2016 6:38 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2016 6:35 am
Posts: 10
My daughter met the criteria for the 3 girls grammar schools, if this had not been the case, we had already considered moving nearer to Balcarraris so we could be within catchment area. From listening to friends andso views, this is supposed to be a fab all rounder as schools go & I have colleagues whosee kids go there and can't praise the school enough.

However, surely as you have met criteria for pates this isite fab. But on gut instinct from visiting the schools which do you feel would be best for your child & what does your child think?


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 Post subject: Re: Pates v Balcarras
PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2016 7:19 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:59 am
Posts: 5922
A close friend of mine has had four children go through Balcarras. Two of them qualified for Pates and two didn't want to go there so didn't take the test. Three have left now and one is in the last year - all have done illustriously well and all have been very happy indeed. And they could all walk to school and be back before mine were even on the bus!

Pates is just another school; and you have a fantastic one on your doorstep, and probably friends your child can walk to and from with as well.


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