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 Post subject: TWGSB
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 10:40 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 8:37 pm
Posts: 17
My DS has the opportunity to go to TWGSB. I would really appreciate some feedback from parents who have sons who are already there, as I don't feel I got a really true picture of the school from open day and open evening. What are the school's strengths? I do have one or two reservations about the "tech" and I'd like to hear some positive things.

DS is averagely sporty and is very good at English.


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 Post subject: Re: TWGSB
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 7:57 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2008 11:46 am
Posts: 421
Honestly!!??? In my opinion Pastoral care is poor. Its a big school and i think they are so focused in keeping up with the supers that the academic side is more important. My son too loves english but this year has an awful teacher (was says the boys have no 'common sense...') and his enthusiusm is dying.
My son found the transition very hard and even now isnt that happy. Of course there are positives, but if you have a sensitive soul, you may want to go back for another look and ask more questions...


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 Post subject: Re: TWGSB
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 9:37 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 8:37 pm
Posts: 17
Oh dear...this is what I feared :( There must be some good things?


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 Post subject: Re: TWGSB
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 9:44 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:19 pm
Posts: 6257
Bit of positive here - I don't have personal experience of the school but I have several friends with boys there who are all really happy. They range across several year groups too.


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 Post subject: Re: TWGSB
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 10:01 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2008 4:22 pm
Posts: 526
Location: Tonbridge & Tunbridge Wells
How does TWGSB compare to Bennett Memorial in terms of pastoral care, quality of teaching etc..

I know Bennett is co-ed but it would be interesting to hear from anyone who has experience of both.., and given a choice which they'd go for..

Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: TWGSB
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 10:18 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2008 11:46 am
Posts: 421
Hi VillageDad, think our paths crossed some time ago! Im certainly considering Bennett for my year 4 DC as all friends children that go are all very positive about pastoral and academic (and didnt have the stress of the 11+ :shock: ) For me, when he passed i just assumed my DS would be better off at a Grammar (older brother had positive experience at Judd) but i wish id thought more about what would suit his needs. I think co ed would have suited him. Afterall its for 7 years.
Of course there are goods things about TWGSB, im just saying what we all know, its vital we chose the right school for the individual child.


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 Post subject: Re: TWGSB
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 11:53 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2006 6:09 pm
Posts: 379
Location: groombridge, e.sussex
DS attends TWGSB and currently in Year 11 so feel we have got to know the school pretty well. Have to disagree on the pastoral care; when DS started he was VERY nervous and worked himself up in to a state every night. However his form tutor was brilliant, keeping us informed of progress (without us asking) and seemed to get to know all the boys very quickly. At the first parents' evening she had something personal to say about each boy, such as their favourite soccer team etc.
There is a wide variety of boys at the school and they are all catered for. The Head is also very inspiring; we recently attended a meeting intended to "encourage" the boys to work hard in their GCSE year, and the consequences of not doing their best. Mr Harrison spoke extremely well and we were all impressed.
My only negative in over 4 years is the lack of communication; things are often left to the boys to transmit (or not if they feel so inclined). Now this may be the same in other schools and could be a way of giving responsibility to youngsters. However having gone from a small primary where I was a governor, thus very involved, the difference was quite noticeable. My DD attends an Indie, which I do realise may not be the same as a large grammar, but her school is much better at general communication.
Over all, we are very pleased with TWGSB but only you can decide which school is best for your own child.


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 Post subject: Re: TWGSB
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 12:21 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:56 pm
Posts: 8228
A relative of mine has found communication with TWGSB better than with an independent girls' school - so schools clearly vary enormously in their standard of communication. TWGSB makes good use of Parentmail (an automated e-mail system) for most communications, and provides 6 weekly effort and attainment grades.

My secondhand impression of the school is that if you want to do well there you can, the head is impressive, there's a core of boys there who are not hardworking but if you want to be you can be and have a good group of friends who are too. There are plenty of extras boys can choose to join in with or not. Most boys feel a very strong allegiance to their school. Form tutors are happy to communicate via e-mail. Most staff are impressive in their own unique ways, humanities (its specialism) are strong; some subjects have been weaker at A ' level in the past than they should have been but this is being strengthened since last OFSTED ........ but anyhow A level is a long time off and there's a quite a flow between all the grammar sixth forms by that point so you can choose again later depending on child's strengths and wishes.

They prepare pupils for the real world and keep them in touch with it. You'd get a strong flavour of what goes on their by reading the headteacher's newsletters. I wonder if back copies are kept on the website. Tells you much more than those silly prospectuses full of photos that all schools seem to feel they have to waste their money on these days.

They don't provide any fancy extras at the moment such as iGCSE, taking things early, or taking a vast array of subjects. But I think that some teachers go beyond the syllabus and stretch the boys in other ways.

Just my own personal thoughts from what I have seen of relatives passing through this school.


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 Post subject: Re: TWGSB
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 12:40 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2006 6:09 pm
Posts: 379
Location: groombridge, e.sussex
Although they don't do IGCSE they are starting (Sep2011) to do AQA Baccalaureate. This was explained as similar to IB but any A level subjects can be taken, rather than conforming to presciptive IB choices. Additional features sound similar to IB but if one portion not completed/passed then at least all other areas are passed. I guess more details are on AQA web site but this sounds like a good option especially for the more able boys (and girls!)


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 Post subject: Re: TWGSB
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 12:46 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:56 pm
Posts: 8228
Yes it sounds like they have made a sensible choice with this. Apparently at TOGS they are wanting more girls to do the IB so they have cut back on A' level subjects on offer. This apparently is upsetting many of the current year 11s as they have only just been told some of the A levels are being axed. So maybe TWGBS will get some TOGS girls next September!!


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