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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 8:25 pm 
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Hello. We've already submitted our caf, but DS is now having cold feet about his 2nd choice (dartford). We went to the open evening tonight and he just didn't like it. I think he's sick of the whole business, exhausted from all the exams, has been to too many open days, and being dragged on several buses to dartford on a cold Thursday night basically finished him off. They banged on an awful lot about rugby, which really isn't his cup of tea (or mine). The games teacher I spoke to clearly thought I was a neurotic over protective mum (arguably true!)

So I'm now looking into other options. Sadly we couldn't make the skinners open day. It looks good from the website. Does anyone have any views? Does anyone know whether rugby is compulsory, or whether they can choose other sports? It wasn't clear from the website. Also, Judd - any views?

Any opinions very much appreciated!


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 9:07 pm 
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HI, I really do sympathise about all the open days being exhausting for all concerned! I have a boy at each of the schools so thought I would reply. Well both schools are "rugby school"..... they are both pretty keen on rugby..... so that may not be what you wanted to hear! My son at Judd thinks you could give it up in year 9. I'm not sure about Skinners as my son is only in year 7 but they definitely have to play it in year 7!

However, they are not all about rugby. They have other sports, of course, and do value other areas, arts, music, etc.

See if anyone else comes along who has any thoughts. If your son is not keen on rugby, they don't really have to play matches, and just have to do it for PE for a while, so I wouldn't base your whole decision on avoiding it, if you see what I mean.

Good luck with your decision.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 7:13 am 
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We didn't like Dartford for our DS last year, either. And neither did he. We found the PE dept arrogant about the compulsory rugby. When we asked what they thought about DS having to give up a sport he plays at county level on Saturdays to accommodate their rugby training, the teacher just shrugged. Our way or the highway kind of thing. Which I am afraid really put my hackles up. The main reason we didn't choose it however was because we just couldn't see our DS fitting in there.

The other two schools you mention have a totally different attitude and seem to celebrate the individual more. Feel free to PM me for more information.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 8:45 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:59 am
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FortyNinePence wrote:
We didn't like Dartford for our DS last year, either. And neither did he. We found the PE dept arrogant about the compulsory rugby. When we asked what they thought about DS having to give up a sport he plays at county level on Saturdays to accommodate their rugby training, the teacher just shrugged. Our way or the highway kind of thing. Which I am afraid really put my hackles up. The main reason we didn't choose it however was because we just couldn't see our DS fitting in there.

The other two schools you mention have a totally different attitude and seem to celebrate the individual more. Feel free to PM me for more information.


In my opinion, a school cannot be judged by a teacher or even the PE department. Dartford Grammar offers much more than that and their attitude, in all aspects, has been faultless towards my son and that of his friends. I meet with other mothers and have never heard a complaint about the school. Some of the boys are in football teams as well as them being in the A rugby team. They somehow manage; love going on rugby tours, etc.
If you have a choice of other schools, however and are not very sure, then think about the 90 or so OOC boys who will be on the waiting list. They will LOVE to go there and will benefit from people choosing elsewhere. I believe both Judd and Skinners are great schools. We didn't choose them, although our son had the score for them, because they were too far for us.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 10:01 am 
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salsa wrote:
FortyNinePence wrote:
We didn't like Dartford for our DS last year, either. And neither did he. We found the PE dept arrogant about the compulsory rugby. When we asked what they thought about DS having to give up a sport he plays at county level on Saturdays to accommodate their rugby training, the teacher just shrugged. Our way or the highway kind of thing. Which I am afraid really put my hackles up. The main reason we didn't choose it however was because we just couldn't see our DS fitting in there.

The other two schools you mention have a totally different attitude and seem to celebrate the individual more. Feel free to PM me for more information.


In my opinion, a school cannot be judged by a teacher or even the PE department. Dartford Grammar offers much more than that and their attitude, in all aspects, has been faultless towards my son and that of his friends. I meet with other mothers and have never heard a complaint about the school. Some of the boys are in football teams as well as them being in the A rugby team. They somehow manage; love going on rugby tours, etc.
If you have a choice of other schools, however and are not very sure, then think about the 90 or so OOC boys who will be on the waiting list. They will LOVE to go there and will benefit from people choosing elsewhere. I believe both Judd and Skinners are great schools. We didn't choose them, although our son had the score for them, because they were too far for us.


Its great that your DS and his peers are all happy at Dartford, salsa. I agree that a school cannot be judged by its PE dept alone, which is why I said that in the end our decision was based on where we could see our DS fitting in, which wasn't Dartford.

Not every school is right for every child is I guess the point I am making.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 10:19 am 
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just a quick question about DGS... My son is totally fine about the rugby element but I am not sure how fine I am! We are OOC and to get to Dartford every Saturday morning will be quite a hike. I have younger children, pets etc that need taking care of and I am not sure the whole family can commit to piling down to Dartford every Saturday morning. Can the boys go by themselves on a Saturday morning (they will after all be going to school every day on their own)? Or are parents expected to accompany them?
Also whilst my son is looking forward to the rugby (which he has never played before being at a state primary) he is having a wobble about the Latin. Does anyone know how long they are required to study Latin for?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 11:19 am 
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My son is in year 7 at Skinners and absolutely loved it - he didn't want to go to Judd and for him, it's been a fabulous decision. He is not the world's most sporty boy and had never played rugby before - but is actually quite enjoying it. He's never going to play for the 1st XV but they have so many teams that everyone gets to have a go if they want to. I have had to speak to the Head of PE a couple of times and he's always been really encouraging, not patronising - just wants the boys to get involved and make the most of their time there.

Yes, rugby is a big part of the school, but there's so much else going on too.....I can't speak highly enough of it (so far - it's obviously early days for us, but almost every day he says he's had an "awesome" day - so that can't be bad!)


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 11:43 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:59 am
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littlejoswash wrote:
just a quick question about DGS... My son is totally fine about the rugby element but I am not sure how fine I am! We are OOC and to get to Dartford every Saturday morning will be quite a hike. I have younger children, pets etc that need taking care of and I am not sure the whole family can commit to piling down to Dartford every Saturday morning. Can the boys go by themselves on a Saturday morning (they will after all be going to school every day on their own)? Or are parents expected to accompany them?
Also whilst my son is looking forward to the rugby (which he has never played before being at a state primary) he is having a wobble about the Latin. Does anyone know how long they are required to study Latin for?


Some boys went by themselves. Some others carpooled. My husband loves rugby, so, he enjoyed watching our son play.


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