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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:11 am 
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Today is Tiffin Boy's Open evening 5-8pm.
Parking info on the thread below.
viewtopic.php?f=30&t=16964&hilit=tiffin+boys+open+evening

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:15 am 
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Vasu, have you been before? It's an absolute bunfight. Take oxygen masks. :wink: I'm not even sure we'll bother going this year. I know of so many children who are put off the school by the open evening. I also know boys who got in, begged not to go (on the strength of open evening experience) then were shown around separately during the day and loved the place. So if you son is a little overwhelmed, don't worry. Scary though... 1400 applicants for 140 places...

Not sure we'll make it tonight, though I would like to hear the head's address.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:23 am 
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Menagerie, Tiffin is not very high on our list, but never been there so want to see it once. Will let you know how it goes. :)

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:39 am 
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It seems really churlish to say this, but I wasn't keen when we looked round. I'd like to see it again though. Our visit was strongly coloured by having visited an independent school the week before which was breathtakingly perfect in every way, for a cool £15k a year, and then some! Science seemed strong despite ancient facilities and music OK. D&T looked underfunded and the art was uninspired. They sang some arithmetic in German as I remember, which went on forever, poor souls. It had a joyless air about it which I'd like to have dispelled, as it is our nearest grammar. But Wilson's and Wallington win over it so far, as places for a child to realise his full potential, not just cram for exams.

It was very run down and in need of repair. I never did find out whether the shamed outgoing head stole from the school or massively overspent on the school, but if the latter, I don't know what he spent it on. It was falling apart and unmodernised.

That said, several boys from our school get in each year and the parents are all over the moon that they did, so it's definitely worth a look. I'd love to know your opinion of it.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:34 pm 
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We liked Tiffins, peeling paint and all. The students were really upbeat. We were shown around by a year 7 boy who was a dead ringer for Daniel Radcliff. :) He was just so informative and enthusiastic. Speeches by the Headmistress and the head-boy were OK. What else....hmm science labs were a bit small. I would like to see more schools to compare.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:28 pm 
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Hi,

We went for a quick look but only at Humanities as we didn't get round to them last time. Hmm. Still v unimpressed second time around, which is a big disappointment. At least it wasn't heaving to the point of needing oxygen.

The boys were friendly, polite and studious but there was no verve about the place. The teachers in particular really lacked zest. The language department was lame -one poor soul of a boy standing in front of a cartoon karaoke version of Alhouette, singing along. He had a pretty voice, but the only good thing we could find to say about this was that he seemed confident to do it. How does this demonstrate a top grammar's modern languages' teaching? Kids of six know that song. There were no pupils engaged in work, as there had been at, say, Wallington, where they were all on hand everywhere, loving every minute of working on stuff and showing us what they were up to. The boy in languages took a while to recall the name of the book (one book???) he was studying in French to A level, and although he talked for a while, he picked at his spots more energetically than he discussed his A level work and didn't once meet our eyes. The material on the walls was also really uninspiring and dry.

English was a tad better, so was maths. There were some great maths problems set up, but after my son had spent a while working out one of the more complex questions, and plucked up the courage to ask a teacher if he'd got it right, the reply (from both teachers on duty) was, 'Don't know - I haven't done it yet.' So why was it there? Are they not showing work they use with students? If not, why not?

Went to the drama dept where during the performance a sixth former spoke so loudly to a parent about his own favourite subjects that he drowned out all of the kids on stage and i had to ask him to be quiet. He lowered his voice a tiny bit and kept on yacking. Not sure I want my sons going to that school, even if it is the nearest. Wallington was far more impressive, and my husband thought Wilson's was too.

Do look around at several places Vasu. There's no denying Tiffin teaches some of the brightest boys in the country, and their exam results are outstanding, but there seemed to be little life in them. They were not socially adept (except your Dan Radcliffe :) )

But maybe we're after different things, so you have noticed its strengths in areas I've probably overlooked. Am I right in thinking you didn't get a good impression of Wallington? Whereas we loved it, except for the music dept. To me, Tiffin looked like a dull school. Hard working, exam-oriented but lacking the verve and stimulus that a certain type of curious, creative but scientific child needs. They all looked bored. But I noticed you said in another post that the boys you met were bright and boisterous - just what we'd hoped to find. It's so subjective a glimpse.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:01 pm 
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Location: south west london
Looked round Tiffin School tonight - excellent. Boys were great, didn't feel at all like the place where all you do is cram for exams. Not as dynamic as Wilsons' but a lovely traditional feel to the place - would be delighted if DS got in and could have the same Tiffin experience as his sister. teachers were great as well, lots of innovative stuff seemed to be going on there - lucky boys...


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:09 pm 
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It's soooo true that open evenings are completely subjective!

I had a very quick look round Tiffins last year on my own and was completely unimpressed. Took DS tonight, with I must say, quite a lot of apprehension, and was massively surprised - he really liked it and I did too!

We arrived quite early - 5.15ish and there were remarkably few people there. We managed to look around the whole school at our leisure and talked to lots of boys (we didn't do the tour). My DS loved the physics and chemistry displays (though agree that the labs are small) and the boys doing the demonstrations really knew what they were talking about and were very enthusiastic. DS also had a good game of badminton in the sports hall with some very friendly year 9s and managed to get him self videoed reading from an autocue in the Tiffin television network room (they send the video clip to you by e-mail.) He actually came skipping out of the school (yes skipping :shock: ) asking when he could sit the exam!

The thing that impressed me most was the boys themselves. They were confident but not overly so and really, really helpful. Three year 7s came up to us in the canteen and asked whether we had any questions, and I took the opportunity to grill them quite intensively (including asking what was the one thing they would change in the school.) I was really impressed with them!

Anyway, Tiffins is the first boys school I've looked at, so nothing to compare it with yet. However, I am so much happier with it than I was last year - maybe that's just because my DS was so excited by it all. I'm interested to see how he'll react when he gets the chance to look at some of the others :?


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 7:53 am 
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How strange. I am glad so many people have a positive feel for the school, because my boys will be sitting the exam, and I'd so love (if, big if, they pass!) for them to go to the nearest grammar. But I just didn't get a good impression. Better than last year, which was too crowded to get a fair judgement. We didn't get to the labs as we saw them last year, but I agree the broadcasting suite was really lovely. We had a go in there too. It was great. But where were the examples of the children's work on the walls around the school? No stories and poetry in the English room, no French essays in the language rooms...

One more year to go to have a third look...


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 11:13 am 
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Menagerie, Wallington still tops the list of all the schools we have seen. :D . I am really excited to see the Kent schools and the (in)famous QE Boys. Filling the CAF is going to be a nail biter!!!!

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