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 Post subject: Wilson's Questions
PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 7:38 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:40 pm
Posts: 13
I missed the Open Day at Wilson's in the Summer but have (perhaps recklessly) put it as first choice on the CAF. Is anyone willing to answer a few questions about the school?


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 Post subject: Re: Wilson's Questions
PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 3:24 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:00 pm
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Location: RBK
Shoot the questions. So many Wilson's parents here on the forum. Some one will try to answer your queries.


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 Post subject: Re: Wilson's Questions
PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:08 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:40 pm
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Thanks! Here goes:
1. How would you rate the opportunity for extra-curricular sports? My ds is particularly interested in football and cross-country. Are there clubs for these?
2. What are the musical opportunities like for someone who is keen but not that advanced?
3. In reality, how heavy is the homework? (3 or 4 subjects per night on the website- that sounds alot!)
4. Can you choose which language your child opts for in Year 7 (ie. German not French)?
5. On the website, there is alot of emphasis on assessments throughout the term in most subjects. What is that like? Is it stressful?
6. Is the teaching 'Outstanding'?
7. What is the Head like?
8. The boys seem to come from a huge catchment area. Is there a strong sense of community in the school?
9. Do your ds's really enjoy going to school?!
10. Any complaints/criticisms?
11. Why is an extra class being added to next year's intake?
12. Would you say that the school has a Maths/Science bias or is that changing?

Answers to any of these are much appreciated.


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 Post subject: Re: Wilson's Questions
PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:41 am 
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Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 4:02 pm
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Hi Utopia,
Good questions! I'm sure you wouldn't have been able to get answers to many of those at the open evening anyway. I'm not a Wilson's parent so I can't help you specifically, I'm afraid. But.....as a starting point for you, I know that there are other threads on this forum discussing some of Wilson's attributes as compared to other grammars so it would definitely be worth searching.
Regards, Peridot


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 Post subject: Re: Wilson's Questions
PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 12:22 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:40 pm
Posts: 13
Thanks Peridot. I have done that already...


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 Post subject: Re: Wilson's Questions
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 11:50 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:40 pm
Posts: 13
Anyone?


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 Post subject: Re: Wilson's Questions
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 3:06 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:00 pm
Posts: 5417
Location: RBK
Utopia wrote:
Anyone?


I was really hoping that some Wilson's parent would respond. These questions were on our mind too when we visited the School on the Open day. From my recollection, Wilson's has very strong music and sports opportunities. I think their bias is on football, if I am not mixing it up with WCGS. Hope some one will correct me. One of the big advantage of this school is on site sports field which Sutton grammar and Tiffin lack.

Home work was mentioned to be reasonable - about an hours work a day. But could be more in senior classes. I think, they all do French and later, a second language.

Wilson's appeared to have maths/science bias, but other subjects are taught too. Liked the Head very much. Seemed very articulate and caring. Teaching is said to be really good as borne by results as well. However, also heard of quite a turnover of teachers in some particular science subject - don't recall which subject - 2 years back. This needs to be confirmed though.

Though the School is open selective, it was stated by Wilson's in 2011 that 85% of its pupil comes from within 5 miles radius. So plenty of opportunities for social mix-up among the students, in my view.


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 Post subject: Re: Wilson's Questions
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 5:56 pm 
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Sorry not a Wilson's parent so can't answer your other questions but can confirm their focus on Football (same as SGS - but Wilson's usually beat SGS in recent experience) whereas WCGS is Rugby.


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 Post subject: Re: Wilson's Questions
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:11 pm 
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Thank you for your noble efforts redstar and tiffinboys. Still keen to hear from the horse's mouth, as it were.


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 Post subject: Re: Wilson's Questions
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 11:28 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2012 6:28 pm
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And finally from the horse's mouth - must be some other Wilson's parents with views, too! My son is year 9:
1. It's a strong sports school. Football has an A, B and C team in lower years though the C's play only occasionally. Plenty of inter-house sport, too and astros used a lot. All facilities on site. Rugby is also developing and there are school teams. Other main sports are x-country, athletics, cricket, badminton, basketball and table tennis. And a huge chess club!! Also, a bee-keeping club (honestly).

2. The school is more musical than it lets on. The year 7s are encouraged to join the choir and the lower school puts on a musical each year. Different orchestras. Encouraged to learn instruments - sometimes free lessons to encourage a particular instrument. A good Christmas concert in Croydon Minster.

3. When they first start they do give the boys quite a lot of homework which can come as a shock. An hour to 90 mins most nights! It seems to be less these days and definitely manageable. On a par with other schools I'd say.

4. You can ask to do either German or French- no guarantees but I expect they would give you what you request. Latin is compulsory from year 7 but they can drop this in year 9 when they choose their GCSEs (3 years for GCSEs at Wilson's - may explain the good results in part!). Nice trip to Pompeii in year 8.

5. Assessments- keeps them on their toes! Part of school life so not stressful for most.

6. Teachers are on the whole very good but as with all schools some are better than others. What they are good at is teaching and encouraging boys. The school does as you know get very good results without all the boys being mega- brains. Lots of good reward systems. Gold tickets, house points, letters home for good work etc

7. Head is excellent. Knows what he wants and a strong leader. Very visible at after school events. Probably not so much involvement of parents in shaping policy - very much a "trust us we know what we're doing" approach (and they do, I think).

8. Most kids from Croydon, Sutton and Merton boroughs but some travelling quite long distances. However, this doesn't really matter. Seems a strong sense of pride in school - boys don't care where people are from. Strong house system - people in same class in same house. High standards of discipline expected.

9. Son has never said he's not wanted to go to school which probably means he enjoys it! I think Wilson's suits someone who likes to give things a go and seeks challenges but there are a wide range of boys there with very different personalities who do well.

10. No real complaints at all! It feels a very well run professional and well organised school. The school is not very close to anything though the advantage might be that the boys don't hang around a town at lunch or after school. Not the prettiest looking school from outside but good facilites and nice on inside!

11. The school is expanding so it can offer more places and it helps the school financially. It certainly has the space to
expand and parents are broadly in favour I think. Extra money means more money for clubs, facilities, pay to
attract the best teachers etc.

12. There's no maths/ science bias in itself but as with all grammars, girls and boys, these tend to be the most popular at A levels. Quite a lot also do business studies and economics.

Overall, my son's having a very good experience there, and we're very pleased.

pm me if any further questions. Anyone else out there? Positive points and any criticisms?


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