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 Post subject: Judd or St Olaves?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 2:18 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2013 12:35 pm
Posts: 6
Hi

I posted this on another thread, this seems like a more likely home for it. Sorry if you've encountered it twice!

Not sure if a rapid response to this question is possible, but would be very helpful.

We live in Sevenoaks. Our DS currently has a place at St Olaves to start in September 2013. He liked the school very much when we went round it and we liked its reputation for both academics, pastoral aspects and extra curricular activities.

Since putting in our CAF form though we have read this and other forums indicating issues with St Olaves and this put sufficient doubt in our mind that we applied to waiting list at Judd. We now also have an offer for Judd so can choose.

Any feedback any parents of current / recent pupils can offer on either school very soon would be gratefully received. Academics I am assuming a given at either school, other issues are:
social side, friendship groups
bullying
responsiveness of schools to issues
range of and support for non-sport extracurricular activities

DS likes sport but is not particularly good at it, if that helps. Academically he likes maths and non-maths (English etc) subjects.

Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: Judd or St Olaves?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 3:30 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 9:39 am
Posts: 78
We decided against St O's, not on its academic record but over concerns re the pastoral care. Our feeling was that if a boy thrived, it would be excellent but if they struggled in any way, we had real concerns about the support the school would give them. Our overwhelming feeling was that the school and its results were way more important than any child in it.

Could you contact the school with your concerns? I would think a 'caring' school would be happy to help allay them and their reaction/answer may help you in your decision


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 Post subject: Re: Judd or St Olaves?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 4:17 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:28 pm
Posts: 2439
Why don't you visit both schools and see what feels right?


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 Post subject: Re: Judd or St Olaves?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 4:26 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2013 12:35 pm
Posts: 6
pheasantchick wrote:
Why don't you visit both schools and see what feels right?



Visited each about 3 times so probabky exhausted that route. Have spoken to St. O Dep Head also. Looking for current / recent pupil experiences now. Thanks for your suggestion.


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 Post subject: Re: Judd or St Olaves?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 6:52 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 6:16 pm
Posts: 129
How do the travel arrangements compare? My daughter currently gets up at 6 am, leaves the house at 7.10 and returns home for about 4.50 pm, travelling by train. She loves going by train and loves her school.

She still has time for homework and does three activities outside school a week. She can be a little tired first thing in the morning after an evening out but not overly as she's prompt to bed at night with a 9 pm absolute bedtime.

The point I'm making is I suppose, whether the travel arrangements differ much for each school and how many activities does he do outside of school. Do the school do activities after school which would extend his day further. Many children travel long distances and many parents would not dream of allowing their child to do so but it's still worth balancing and considering whether your child gets tired easily or not, etc, and what your maximum door-to-door time is.

Sorry if this response is a time-waster. Although I know St O's is in Orpington, I haven't obviously looked at all the travel for both schools from Sevenoaks!

Good luck. PS I've heard very good reports from a girl who's just left 6th form at Judd but that's more on academics.


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 Post subject: Re: Judd or St Olaves?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 7:03 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 19, 2013 1:45 pm
Posts: 4
It's a lovely situation to be in..... We were on the waiting list for Skinners but the nagging doubt we had is how they will cope with the extra class..... the last headmaster's letter from The Judd suggested they were bursting at the seams. We have decided to stick with TWGSB.

St Olaves and Judd are great schools and your son will probably be happy at either one.


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 Post subject: Re: Judd or St Olaves?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 8:35 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:56 pm
Posts: 8228
I know a nice lad who was friendless at Judd for a lot of year 7 if that helps .... I think it can take a lot of children time to settle and find their real friends. If you talk to the wrong person at the wrong time you can get a bad impression of any school. Also, some parents seem to get "pastoral care" at some schools when others don't. It's so hard to measure and compare these kinds of things.

When do you have to make your mind up? Maybe you could do something crazy like look at the school calendar of events for each and go along to something this half term that you could mingle in at and have an informal chat with some current year 7 parents.

I would actually compare on the academic side of things - what's on offer etc, as this might help you make your mind up, and it is, after all, why children are made to go to school every day.

Good luck choosing.


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 Post subject: Re: Judd or St Olaves?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 4:27 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:28 pm
Posts: 2439
My son is at Judd and knew no one there before starting. He's in year 8 now and enjoys it there. He seems to have lots of friends, although goes around in a group, rather than has a single friend. He seems to manage the work okay, with a reasonable amount of homework.

When you don't have children at other schools, its difficult to compare. However, the only thing I can pick up on, from speaking to mums at local non-grammars is that there seems to be a lot more reporting (ie. reports with marks every half term)from their schools. I can tell you what level a neighbours's son is working at, but not my own. Maybe that's good, as it takes the pressure of levels, but then if they were falling behind, you don't know. I'm sure the teachers are on top of things. At parents evening, they seemed happy with him. Also, there are a lot of tests at Judd.

If you have any particular questions, please feel free to pm me.


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 Post subject: Re: Judd or St Olaves?
PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2013 6:11 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:45 am
Posts: 8
For what it's worth my posting on Post subject: Re: St Olaves Questions, details our experiences with St. O's.


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 Post subject: Re: Judd or St Olaves?
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 11:06 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2013 12:35 pm
Posts: 6
Thank you everyone for your responses. We have finally made our decision, based on a range of factors relating to the schools and our individual circumstances, as you would expect.

It's probably worth saying that if we didn't have a choice, we would be delighted to send DS to either of these schools.

Thanks again


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