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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 9:28 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:51 pm
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DS has offers from both (and scholarship to St A). Finding it hard to decide. All thoughts very welcome.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:54 pm 
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We were in the same situation (but without the scholarship offer - congratulations!) two years ago. We decided to go with Parmiter's in the end, but saying no to St Albans was a really tough decision. Two years on, do I regret that decision? Truthfully, no. I think DS would have been really happy at St Albans, but he is really happy at Parmiter's and doing extremely well. He is in top sets for all subjects that are taught in sets, and I feel is well challenged and kept busy. He's not a super-sporty boy - perhaps if he was St Albans would have appealed more - although there seems to be plenty of sport to choose from at Parmiter's. He just doesn't do much of it. Finances are also a consideration, of course, and I am glad in this economic climate not to have to be worrying about school fees. Gut feeling was also a factor in the decision - Parmiter's just felt right for DS. Only you will know the answer to that for your DS. We went back to visit St Albans again before deciding (along with quite a few other people in the same situation) - I'm not sure if this helped or not as it just reminded me of all the things I really liked about the school!

HTH - Good luck with the decision!


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:30 pm 
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We also were in the same situation this time last year. Finances did come into it, with school fees rising faster than salaries, not to mention the uncertain economic climate, but money aside, there are pros and cons.

I was attracted by the co-ed nature at Parmiter's as I want my DS to see girls as colleagues and friends rather than girlfriend material. Also, at Parmiter's my DS will learn to deal with with a wider social mix (and I mean in terms of values rather than money here). This is important to me as in later life he will have to work with people from all walks of life. I was worried that he might mix with disruptive kids but he hasn't come across any, although possibly there are a few in the mixed band forms.

Class sizes at StA are much smaller and the boys there receive much more individual attention. This is one area that I know my own DS misses, coming from a much smaller school.

From the league tables, boys at StA come out with more A* at GCSE. I have analysed data for 'A' Levels maths, physics and chemistry and could find no real difference between Parmiter's and StA performance at this level. This may not be the case in other subjects.

There are more extra-curricular activities at StA and boys will be 'strongly encouraged' to take part. While there are plenty of extra-curricular activities at Parmiter's, these are entirely optional. Nobody will be chasing after individual children and encouraging them to sign up. However, in later life nobody will be chasing after my DS so this itself is an opportunity for character development. After much home prodding, he eventually joined the science clubs and badminton.

The boys I know at StA are very happy there. I don't believe these boys are vastly different from the boys in the upper band at Parmiter's. Many in the area sit for Parmiters, with St Albans as backup and do not morph into undesirables when they step off the bus at Garston.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:35 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 1:30 pm
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Location: Hertfordshire
new2me wrote:
do not morph into undesirables when they step off the bus at Garston.


:lol: :lol:


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 4:24 pm 
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Location: Herts
new2me, You hit the nail on the head about the key difference. Nobody will be chasing them up, so much easier to fail in a semi selective school. If your ds is easily distracted by those who dont want to work then send him to St Albans. DG


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 6:10 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 8:24 am
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chapuza wrote:
DS has offers from both (and scholarship to St A). Finding it hard to decide. All thoughts very welcome.


Could you opt for Parmiter's and review it in couple of years? SA have an intake at 13 and I'm sure if they want him now with a scholarship, they will likely want him at 13 with a scholarship.

Good luck, it can't be an easy decision.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 11:36 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:51 pm
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Thanks for all your thoughts. For what it's worth, he/we'll probably choose Parmiter's.


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