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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2016 3:57 pm 
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Anyone who has kids at both or is familiar with both care to compare the two schools, please?

I have girls at WGGS, and am happy with it, but am not totally sure if the boy's school is right for my ds.

Good pastoral care, supportive atmosphere, good extra-curriculars all important to me (I assume that academically they're pretty similar). Ds not remotely sporty and quite arty - what are both schools like in terms of allowing boys to be themselves rather than feeling they have to conform to a 'macho' ideal? I'm not really sure whether an all-boys or co-ed school would be better for this.

Anyone please?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2016 4:07 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 2:50 pm
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I can only speak for the boys school but it has been great for my geeky, not particularly sporty DS. There are many different kinds of quirky boys and I think a place for all of them. If you are not sporty you do get a bit left behind on the sport side of things but that doesn't bother my DS. If you need pastoral support there seems to be excellent provision.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2016 4:23 pm 
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Thanks Hera, that's useful - my ds is somewhat of a geek too, so good to know there are fellow geeks! :)


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2016 5:07 pm 
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My self-confessed geeky son is at Watford Boys - and loving it. In our experience the pastoral care is excellent and he does things that he'd perhaps not be brave enough to do in a mixed school (e.g. choir, baking club) but being in an all boys school he feels free to join in with anything that takes his fancy. There are SO many clubs to try, which is a great way to make friends with boys who have similar interests.
Of course it depends on your DS. Ours loved Watford Boys from the very first visit when something just clicked, but that didn't happen at Parmiters. Even knowing he could get out of bed later and walk to Parmiters, compared to earlier rising and a bus ride to Watford Boys didn't put him off - so that told us everything we needed to know!
Friends children are at Parmiters and only have good things to say about it, I've no doubt it's a good school where children can flourish, it just wasn't the one for our DS.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2016 6:12 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2007 2:02 pm
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Location: Herts
I only know Parmiter's but can assure you that boys there are certainly able to be themselves - whether they are arty, geeky, sporty, into drama, dance or whatever! The pastoral care is excellent too.

The biggest difference is - obviously! - it being co-ed, so perhaps if your DS is a little shy like MdotU's, he might prefer the all boys environment? MdotU has certainly hit the nail on the head though with the best fit being the school that 'clicks'. Does your DS not have a preference?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2016 8:09 pm 
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He preferred Watford Boys, but that's partly because his sisters go to the the girls' school so it feels more familiar. And - dare I say it - because the Open Evening at Parmiter's was complete chaos. We then went for an open morning there and he liked it more as it was properly organised and the pupils who showed us round were lovely, a real credit to the school. I can see advantages of both.

I'm a bit unsure about single-sex ed for boys, which is most unreasonable as I'm fine with it for girls! Do the boys at Watford Boys miss having girls around, do you think? Or does it just seem odd to me because I'm not used to all-male spaces?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2016 8:38 pm 
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rosetta wrote:
the Open Evening at Parmiter's was complete chaos.


I've been to 4 (!!) at Parmiters now - each time I think it will get better but it has always been a total shambles. The head mentioned in his speech that they get the most applications per place of any school in Herts. Who evening felt like code for "we don't need to bother, you'll apply anyway".


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2016 8:55 pm 
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1Watford wrote:
rosetta wrote:
the Open Evening at Parmiter's was complete chaos.


I've been to 4 (!!) at Parmiters now - each time I think it will get better but it has always been a total shambles. The head mentioned in his speech that they get the most applications per place of any school in Herts. Who evening felt like code for "we don't need to bother, you'll apply anyway".


No! He's probably the most genuine person you could ever meet. The kids say they have never seen him annoyed. I work with someone now who knew him 20 years ago and he says that the happy, friendly, lovely man we get to see is the same with colleagues. Parmiter's Open Evening a shambles - fair enough; but I don't think for one minute he meant what you thought he meant. Possibly some other members of staff, but not the Head.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2016 9:20 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2007 2:02 pm
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Location: Herts
Yes Rosetta I know what you mean! I always wanted co-ed for my DS but would have been happy with s-s for my DD, totally illogical on my part :)

But I think the two Watford schools do quite a lot together don't they?

Re: chaos / shambles of open evening. The sheer numbers attending plus the limited access roads make it an annual nightmare. No idea why they stopped having an open day too - that spread it out more. I'm glad you managed a 'working day' school visit.

Good luck with your choice - sounds like you are in a win-win situation :D


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2016 9:28 pm 
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Oh sorry - I didn't really mean the speech alone gave me that impression!

Before we had looked around schools for DD1 I was sure that we would choose Parmiter's for her, I'd heard such good things about the music but I wasn't blown away by that or the general organisation of the open evening.

There are things about Parmiter's I loved but it is such a shame that the open evening is so disorganised. At other schools it is really clear where to go to get prospectuses and be directed for tours but at Parmiter's there was no one to direct us once we had parked our car and I felt like we were following other prospective parents in the hope we might end up at the right place. It wasn't, for me, a favourable first impression and by the time the speech came round I definitely didn't feel like it would be right for DD. He did mention that they had the most applications though. I was feeling grumpy by then!!

My DD went to WGGS which I loved - for her. DS had a sibling place at WGBS. I think now that Parmiters would have been a better fit for him - we looked around again this year with DD2. She preferred WGGS but I was really really impressed with the technology and drama at Parmiter's, much better than I have seen at WGBS which is a shame for DS because tech is by far his favourite subject.


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