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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 9:24 pm 
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Hello Experts! My son has passed St Olaves stage 1 & will be sitting stage 2 on 11th Nov. Basically we'll put St Olaves as our 1st choice on CAF without knowing the outcome of 2nd stage (grrr... :roll: ). Our dilemma is 2nd choice- We're torn between Judd & Skinners. Couple of more information:

1. His kent scores r quite high, so getting a place in both the schools should not be a problem.

2.Commutation to both the schools is easily manageable.

3.My son is not sporty at all :P He loves playing chess though.

4. We've visited both the schools & liked them both. Bit inclined towards Judd as I've heard its more academic than Skinners.

I would be grateful if some of the experienced forumites can highlight the pros & cons of both the school. Many thanks in advance!


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2016 7:22 am 
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I'd say you are in a great position to be able to choose. Why not ask your son for his preferences, he's the one who will be at the school for the next 5-7 years. My son is at skinners and absolutely loves it there. The older boys and prefects at the school are really supportive of the younger boys and help them to settle in. The induction arrangements for year 7 boys are brilliant too. There are lots of boys who aren't sporty but that doesn't really matter as there are so many other things going on at the school. Re the academic point, it depends what you want for your son - both are academic schools with lots of opportunities for the boys - however, skinners may be more rounded. As many people on the forum have previously said, it is a personal decision which school you choose in the end taking into account your sons nature and interests, and if a highly academic school is the place for him, then go for it. Remember that in line with that, Judd is likely to have slightly higher entrance requirements for sixth form - but again, both Judd and skinners requirements will be high. One thing to note (I think I read it on another post) is that the headmaster of Judd may be retiring in the next 1-2 years, but I'm sure someone who knows more about Judd will be able to comment on that.

Anyway, good luck with your decision and well done to your DS on doing so well!


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2016 9:17 am 
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You are in a great position that many will envy especially if your son has 2nd round St O's as well.

I have two boys at Skinners', one in the 6th form and one lower down the school. It's a great school and is certainly "academic" but in our experience it's also very "caring" and offers a huge range of extra curricular activities not just sporting. For our two, who are very different, we couldn't have made a better choice.

You will have responses that are just as positive from Judd parents and you need to decide what feels best for you son, not just what the GCSE /A level league tables say, your son will get a fantastic academic education and be stretched in either school.

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Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit, wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad !


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2016 9:24 am 
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Joined: Tue May 05, 2009 9:26 pm
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I'm a Judd parent. Its a great school and I have nothing but good things to say about it. Yes, like Skinners there is a lot of sport but there are lots of opportunities for non sporty boys too. I don't think its a problem not to be sporty. There is a niche for everyone. You have two great choices and I'm sure that your son will be happy at either school - as Bronwen says, take your son's views into account in making your choice.

The HT at Judd has announced that he is leaving at the end of this academic year and I think that his successor is expected to be announced at Christmas. Of course we don't know what impact the new HT will have but I think he/ she will be taking over a very well run school and hopefully he /she will be able to build on that.

If you have any specific questions about Judd please ask.

Twinkle


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2016 11:15 am 
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I think as everyone has said, it's going to come down to personal choice, and probably the commute. My son, who is far more chess/maths/science orientated than sport, absolutely loves Skinners and is extremely happy there. I think the school has such a fabulous ethos, has great pastoral care and turns out very well rounded boys. I think that the way that the sixth formers are encouraged to be almost mentors to the younger boys is brilliant. I honestly haven't got a bad word to say about it.

What does your son prefer? Mine didn't like Judd at all and only considered Skinners even though he had the choice.

I would consider the commute however - we had the TGS/TWGGS dilemma last year for DD and having a much shorter commute does pay dividends with after school commitments and getting through the homework in reasonable time.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2016 1:38 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2014 3:55 pm
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Ooh what a lovely position to be in! Well done to your boy.

I have a year 8 at Judd, so far he loves it and I have nothing but good things to say about the school, teachers and pastoral care. My son could never have been described as sporty or musical, he is a very 'gentle' boy too. He has discovered so many new areas, he is in the school choir, Team E for Rugby, has discovered a love for X-country running, plays chess, potions club, film club, basketball, the list goes on! He got fantastic grades for sport at his parents evening and when I queried it (with a raised eyebrow) as he was never sporty, the reply was, 'he may not be elite, but he does everything to the best of his ability' which having seen him 'play' football in year six still makes me chuckle!

The teachers are lovely and so far very approachable. The PTA is split into areas so we get to know all the local parents and kids and have a lot of fun. Because of this the boys all got to know each other and travel in together on the train. We have been to some fab concerts and a hilarious charity revue run by the 6th form.

Personally, I would get a list of all the extra-curricular activities the schools offer at lunch time and after school. I would also think carefully about the journey, it may work well if everything's running well, but what if there is heavy snow, or cancelled trains and buses, or in our instance regular train strikes? Because of the way we know the boys we can easily manage sharing car shares when there are no trains, and thank goodness that does not include driving in and out of Tunbridge Wells in the rush hour.

Having said that, we all really liked Skinners too and I think it's easy to think one school is suited to one kind of boy and the other to another. I think that is seriously not true. I think they are both great schools.

Yes the headmaster is leaving at the end of July next year. The reasons we were given is he wants a year out, time for his own interests and family as he has put so much into the school recently with all the fund raising and building of new facilities over the last couple of years, he had been intending to have a break for a while and now seems like a good time as the school is on a high.

Hope that helps some.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2016 6:50 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2014 11:39 pm
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Thanks lovely people for the valuable & helpful advise. I've heard & read so much good things about Judd & Skinners, its becoming even more difficult to decide.... :? Interestingly St Olaves is not in good books of late due to its headteacher. My son is loosing interest to prepare for stage2 after hearing some horrendous stories about it.....sigh!!!

I've booked school tour for all the 3 schools next week & will let my son decide. Fingers crossed!!!! Cud anyone pls highlight how both the schools prepare boys for university? For instance at St Olaves students produce academic journals during the year & there's a young enterprise scheme for enterprise & fund raising initiative.

Hope we make a right decision!!!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2016 7:13 am 
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Skinners do loads of pre university preparation, have careers fairs regularly, have speakers from various industries to talk to the boys about what sort of careers they would like aim for - and according to the Sunday Times (which the HT quoted to parents recently), it's the "fourth best school in the country for university entrance". I'm not sure what the measurement criteria were, and I don't know where Judd falls into that, but certainly their ability to get boys into top universities both in the UK and abroad is impressive.

Good luck with the decision - it's a nice position to be in, but almost makes it harder!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2016 10:00 am 
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Thanks all , some great input from all you making it bit more difficult to decide :o :D between the 2 schools.
I will be visiting the school over the next few days and make up mind.

Regards


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2016 10:36 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 19, 2009 10:04 pm
Posts: 28
Hi 11_plus,
Seems like you are in a same situation as us. My son passed Olave's stage1 and has quite high score (418) for Kent and we are torn between Olaves or Judd or Skinners as the first choice. I wish we knew about Olave's scores which would've helped a bit.


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