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 Post subject: Views on TW Boys Grammar
PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2007 1:24 pm 
I live in TW and am amazed at the number of parents who turn their nose up at this school and are only aspiring for Judd or Skinners. It seemed a happy and buzzing and "rounded" school with a positive atmosphere when we visited, compared to the rather staid and formal feeling at one of the ohers. I was impressed by the effort of the open evening/days and the opportunity to hear the choir sing and hear what some of the students had to say - compared with a brisk 10 min speech at one of the others and no chance of a day visit. I have nothing against any of these schools but am surprised at the snobbery, or "follow the sheep" way of applying, considering the excellent results and standard of teaching at this school. I was also impressed that it has one of the strongest PTA's around, making approx 30,000 per year.


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 Post subject: I have to disagree!
PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 11:16 am 
I visited TW Grammar last year and I was not impressed at all! I also visited Judd and I too thought it seemed stuck up but I think you are giving off totally the wrong impression of Skinners'.

At TW Grammar the Head Master came across as an old fashioned disciplinarian. He seemed to focus on slagging off other schools and talking about how hard he comes down on those who misbehave.

The comment that shocked me the most was "We even take dyslexics at this school" I remember thinking to myself that I which Richard Branson was here!

I also have friends whose children have been bullied there and allowed to slip in their studies.

When we looked around the schools I had no idea which school we were going to choose as our first choice. I think you are totally wrong to say people only put Judd and Skinners' due to snobbery (although the odd one may). My son had top marks on the tests so could of gone to any school but we let him choose what would suit him best.

When we looked around Skinners' we loved the way the children all acted like confident gentlemen and how the 6th formers interacted with the young children. Also Teachers were having a laugh and joke with their pupils.

Now my son is at Skinners' I can confirm all the teaching staff have a 21st century attitude of teaching and not an "old school" approach which seemed to be the attitude of staff at TW Grammar.

No-one can really comment on how a school is just from its open days/evenings you get a feeling but you don't know for sure until your child is there.

I have been a bit defensive but feel strongly about Skinners' being a great school. At the end of the day my son is very happy there and I hope yours is at whatever school he is allocated.


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 Post subject: I have to disagree!
PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 11:16 am 
I visited TW Grammar last year and I was not impressed at all! I also visited Judd and I too thought it seemed stuck up but I think you are giving off totally the wrong impression of Skinners'.

At TW Grammar the Head Master came across as an old fashioned disciplinarian. He seemed to focus on slagging off other schools and talking about how hard he comes down on those who misbehave.

The comment that shocked me the most was "We even take dyslexics at this school" I remember thinking to myself that I which Richard Branson was here!

I also have friends whose children have been bullied there and allowed to slip in their studies.

When we looked around the schools I had no idea which school we were going to choose as our first choice. I think you are totally wrong to say people only put Judd and Skinners' due to snobbery (although the odd one may). My son had top marks on the tests so could of gone to any school but we let him choose what would suit him best.

When we looked around Skinners' we loved the way the children all acted like confident gentlemen and how the 6th formers interacted with the young children. Also Teachers were having a laugh and joke with their pupils.

Now my son is at Skinners' I can confirm all the teaching staff have a 21st century attitude of teaching and not an "old school" approach which seemed to be the attitude of staff at TW Grammar.

No-one can really comment on how a school is just from its open days/evenings you get a feeling but you don't know for sure until your child is there.

I have been a bit defensive but feel strongly about Skinners' being a great school. At the end of the day my son is very happy there and I hope yours is at whatever school he is allocated.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 12:26 pm 
I don't know when you visited TWG. When we visited in October 2005, when the old Head was there, I got the same feeling as you mention. However, when we visited Oct 06, I really liked the new Head. He seemed much more friendly and modern than the previous one.

Our favourite school was also Skinners, but put Judd down as our 1st choice, merely for the ease of transport.


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 Post subject: Years!
PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 1:52 pm 
Yes you are right! I have not yet got use to the fact that it is 2007! lol!

I did visit in 2005. It sounds like the new Head Master is a lot better than the last! He was the main factor that put me off the school although I will admit they were still our third choice.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 4:29 pm 
Apologies in that I was in no way putting down Skinners! I had always viewed it as out first choice school. However, it just didn't feel right for this particular son. He is not only academic but dreamy and artistic and his particular school felt he would have that "squashed" out of him at Skinners. He also loves football and is not keen on rugby, so obvious factors in not choosing Skinners. As I have three sons, then I would have no hesitation if any of the others wanted to go there. I just thought that they could have made a tiny bit more effort with the presentation or had an open day. They were the only school who didn't have pupils talking of their own experiences of school life. I think these are invaluable to get a feel for the school at work. I have heard many other parents wish for this too. The previous headmaster did not give used to give a speech, saying "the school speaks for itself". It was good to see the new head make more of an effort. All schools need to. There is good and not so good in every school. I know of a boy who has flown academically through Skinners - 11 A*'s, etc but has not enjoyed his time there and has hardly made any friends, so I viewed it with an open mind. I have just been unfortunate to come across a few people who do have this snobbery! I sincerely do not mean any offence!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 5:18 pm 
I just wanted to add that it also makes a tremendous difference if you are viewing schools from a state or private school background. My son goes to an average state school, that does not add things like rugby to the curriculum. This obvioulsy has an affect on how comfortable they feel when viewing schools. Judd and Skinners take a higher percentage of prep school students and I noticed that there were far more state school uniforms viewing the Boys Grammar. The head will hopefully will have a far more positive impact than the former. I agree that the former head could have given the impression to be slagging of other schools, but in my memory, he was comparing their achievements with the independent sector, rather than other local schools. However, underneath it all I felt he was just extremely proud of what he/the school had achieved. I have heard that he was one of the most respected heads amongst the education authorities who was passionte in trying to achieve the best for the school but in a rather untactful way! However, one of the most positive things I picked up was that TWIGS, Skinners and Boys Grammar have respect for one another, which is a crucial factor in being able to share their 6th form facilities.

Anyway, that's all from me! After all this, we have yet to get the results!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 10:43 am 
It can be a bit political having 3 very good grammars in the area. They are all excellent and each one suits a different sort of child. I do not believe that any is better than the other, just different. There is bullying in EVERY school, whether it is physical, verbal or just very subtle! There is a risk of some children slipping in their studies in every school. It's not always fair to blame the school, as each case is individual. I would imagine that this might happen more at TW Boys because they take a wider pass mark and there are no doubt some boys who did not pass with ease and would have been more comfortable at a good comprehensive. It's all trial and error! I know of one boy who passed for Skinners but went completely off the rails there from pressure. It was simply not the school for him.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 2:29 pm 
At the end of the day they are all great schools.

My son goes to Skinners' but I would have been happy to go to any of our Grammars. My worse fear was my son being put in to the really bad comp. that we have in TW which seems to be the only option if they fail. I could not afford a private school.

Good luck to you all and I hope you all get allocated the school that best suits your child!!! :lol:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 7:04 pm 
We can't afford private school either so will be pleased just to get him into a good state school! I was not trying to put down Judd or Skinners but am just a bit fed up with other people putting down Boys Grammar (outside of this forum). I think they are all great. In my experience, it has mostly been friends who have private school children who have given me this impression and in many ways I can understand how they see it, as Judd and Skinners are more similar to a prep school - rugby, swimming pools, etc than Boys Grammar. My son's best friend is going for Skinners and I sincerely hope he gets it.


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