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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2009 2:33 pm 
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I'm quite new to Gloucestershire so don't really know much about the grammar schools. My DS1 is in Year 5 and has just surprised his primary school by scoring 134 overall in his CAT test (if this means anything to you....) It appears he has been coasting and not really contributing in class so they didn't particularly realise he was bright before.

At home he is funny, lively, full of questions & interested in everything around him but at school it sounds like he's switched off. They have said it would be a good idea to put him in for the grammar school test, but don't do any preparation themselves.

I suppose my questions are: Just how bright do you have to be to stand a chance of getting in to Pates and/or Tommy Rich's and/or Crypt? And can any of you who have had children at those schools give me an idea of what sort of kids fit in and do well there?

DS1 is a talented artist and v. creative, but not particularly sporty. He can also be rather over-sensitive at times. I'm a little worried (perhaps without reason) that that kind of boy might be picked on in an all-boys school? I've also heard (again perhaps unjustifiably) that Pates just leaves their children to get on with it and isn't particularly good at pastoral care/ making sure the children push themselves.

I hope I don't offend anyone by saying things like that. Just trying to get a feel for what the schools are really like, so I can steer DS1 in the right direction.

Many thanks for any responses.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2009 4:48 pm 
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Location: Gloucester
Hi Cairo,and welcome!


There are many of us here on the forum that have children in a range of the Glos grammar schools-and we probably will have differing views on each school according to our experiences.It may help you if you browse through the many posts on here to get a feel for yourself and then read our experiences-I am sure you will have have many viewpoints expressed here!

My DS is in year 7 at The Crypt.he is a very sporty boy and so enjoys the many different sports offered to him.We have found the school to be excellent at pastoral care(and they were judged as such in their recent OFSTED).The induction was good,and they went on a trip to North Wales early in year 7 to get to know each other.The school run a laptop scheme,and parents are asked to contribute what they can afford each month-they advise £20 a month.All of DS class have joined the scheme-his IT skills have really developed.
The school are a specialist science school and are currently applying for Language Status.
The all boys school thing-well,I have noticed that he is full of testosterone and seems to think he is very macho-but it may be the hormones kicking in and not the school!

There is a sort of unwritten hierachy thing in Gloucestershire grammar schools.Pates is obviously seen as the top school-I have friends with children there and can only tell you what they tell me(so please don't shoot me down out there)-all the children are very bright,and yes they do need perhaps less hands on help,I suppose the teachers think they are capable of learning for themselves.I don't think this affects the pastoral care side of things though,which everybody says is good.Again,there are forum members who have children at the school and can speak from first hand experience.

For boys,Tommies is seens as the top all boys grammar-you will need a higher standardised score to get a place than at Crypt.The boys also pick up on this-my DS always says the boffs go to Tommies-although there are a few of those at Crypt too! Nothing wrong with being a boff,please do not misunderstand me,we liked both schools when we visited and at one point were very keen on Tommies.However,when DS just missed out on the qualifying score,it forced us to take a long hard look at what he really needed as opposed to what we liked-he is bright but not a genius by any standards-and we decided that a less pressurised environment but still stretching him,would be the best option.We don't regret our decision in any way,yes the school is quite run down when compared to Tommies,but there are building works happening and standards are rising slowly.

We used a tutor as did most of DS friends.

Mu advice-go along as take a look for yourselves-ring the schools and arrange a visit.We visited in year 5 and 6 and got very different views from the day and evening open days.

My apologies for the ramblings,and please ask any questions you may have.Hopefully you will get some more views posted soon!

Regards,
Gloucestermum.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2009 9:00 pm 
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Location: Gloucestershire
gloucestermum wrote:
Mu advice-go along as take a look for yourselves-ring the schools and arrange a visit.We visited in year 5 and 6 and got very different views from the day and evening open days.


Hi,

I don't particularly know the Gloucester / Cheltenham schools - I'm more interested in Stroud, but another tip is: it doesn't matter at the time of the exam which school you're interested in, or which school he sits it at. Just tick all three schools on the back of the exam form, and the raw (pre-standardised for that school) results get submitted to all school you tick, and you'll get separate letters back from each school saying how you've done. You then have a week or two to choose the order to put them down on the main county form, with the knowledge of how they have done at each school.

You may want to consider some preparation for the exam, be it full-on private tuition, not so intensive private tuition, or DIY going over a few practice papers. The latter is strongly recommended as an absolute minimum, but there are those who suggest a bit more so your child doesn't miss out when faced with the 'less able but more intensively tutored'. If you choose one of the former routes, start looking around now for a tutor - ask around in the playground of the Y6 parents.

Finally, although hopefully your DS will do OK, it's worth bearing in mind that there are quite a few very good non-grammars in the county as well.

Don't be afraid to ask questions that may seem silly - you may find the answers herewithin.

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 Post subject: which school for a boy
PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2009 10:36 pm 
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I have been looking into it a lot - although i have a DD and a DS coming through over the next few years so I am ahead of the game a bit!

Tommies - trad school. Great for rugger buggers / sporty types with high degree of self-sufficiency. School reports give you a rank order in terms of your class - a sign of the old fashioned but v effective approach to a Grammar School education - middle class boys just need to 'get on with it' and, in the main they do just that for a very successful school. Not a school for a child who is more sensitive than he seems. A tad complacent? Makes you think 'just as it should be' or 'horrified of Cheltenham'.

Crypt - has come up a lot in recent years with previous Head and now Mr Standen. A pretty comprehensive school in terms of social intake and ability. Only just clinging to near 100 % 5 A*-C passes. Not a place for academic stretch but a good school, forward thinking and just maybe beginning to be as good as Tommies

Marling - well what is going on there! Head 'pushed out' sorry 'suspended without prejudice'. Rumours are not to be listened to about and there is probably no truth that there was an affair with a secretart and bullying of staff - the first is bad but not a suspension surely the latter , well is it the unions defending an old codger and the CHair of Govs putting teh boot in?
Anyway, a good school. Middling in most areas but, as it is a Grammar School, it has a good feel and with ajoint 6th form avoids many of the single sex problems , eventually.

Pate's - an exciting feel there I think. Exam results continue to go up but the newish Head is really pastorally and moral values focused. Best extra curricular in the county. Lots moving forward in terms of ICT, curriculum options, buildings etc. It feels like a 'slightly slumbering giant' has woken up and is now really becoming a really diamond school. Pastoral care, from the friends I have with children there, has come on massively in the last few years. Lots of children being looked after.

All good schools so having said all that - I agree - tick them all on the form and see what happens in November.

Will the new admissions code make any difference to the dates?

Hmmm


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2009 10:55 pm 
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Last edited by Glos_Mum on Sat Aug 22, 2015 12:23 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2009 11:08 pm 
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Last edited by Glos_Mum on Sat Aug 22, 2015 12:22 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2009 10:18 am 
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Location: Gloucester
Quote:
Not a place for academic stretch


I have to disagree with the above comment.Speaking from experience,the school definitely does not let the boys drift along in a sea of complacency.They have report cards every term,marked for effort,attainment,behaviour and homework,for each subject,and an academic mentoring day where targets are set for the following term.I will say that perhaps the boys start out at a slightly lower level than the Tommies boys,although there are always exceptions.For example,there are a few boys who passed for Tommies but chose to go to Crypt-maybe the school was better for them as individuals?
I agree with Glosmum-it is all down to personal preference,and knowing what will suit your child.Whilst DS is sporty,he hates rugby and decided to be in the lower group(then the tackles are a bit less hard!),but come the cricket season,then watch out :lol:

GM

Can I please also say that rumours about why the Marling head has been suspended are just that-rumours-and it would be wise to refrain from commenting on them at the present time.Thank you.
Gloucestermum(moderator)


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2009 10:50 am 
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Last edited by Glos_Mum on Sat Aug 22, 2015 12:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2009 10:57 am 
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Location: Gloucestershire
gloucestermum wrote:
Can I please also say that rumours about why the Marling head has been suspended are just that-rumours-and it would be wise to refrain from commenting on them at the present time.Thank you.


The only thing that is known for certain (outside the small circle of those investigating), is that the is no allegations involving pupils. I think that is worth emphasising.

It's also worth mentioning that whatever the allegations are may turn out to be untrue, which is why the head was not dismissed. I feel that Mr Lock being asked not to attend school (as opposed to being suspended) was the right decision by the chair of governors. For instance, if it was the burser under suspicion, it would be right to keep him away from the accounts after being accused so that nothing could be interfered with - thus allowing a clearer investigation, and also allowing for their name to be possibly cleared without a stain to the reputation: that's why the chair of governors has said nothing in public about the reasons. Innocent until proven guilty!

And finally, at least it doesn't seem to be interfering with the education of the pupils.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2009 10:57 am 
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Location: On another planet called Gloucester!
Hi there

My advice would be to visit each School and get a taste for what it has on offer.

I only have experience of Crypt School and my DS loves it there. The pastoral care is fantastic and each child is definitely stretched to bring out their true potential. The academic ability on intake may be lower, in view of the fact Pates and Tommies on the whole will take the highest achievers in the entrance exam, but this just proves the quality of teaching as their results speak for themselves.

Saying that I have friends with boys at Pates and Tommies and their children are equally as happy so it really comes down to personal preference.

I have little experience of Marling School, however I do believe that this is a very good grammar also, and should not be ignored when looking into your options.

I agree with Capers, familarisation into the examination is needed, however over coaching will just result in a very unhappy child if they find themselves out of their depth when they get to grammar school as every school will expect high achievement.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

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PS I am Burneth and I am a lady....!


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