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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2014 11:04 pm 
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Posts: 342
So you've got the result and feel fairly certain of a place offer ... you thought you can relax now... then your brain goes on an overdrive, what is this school really like compared to... and so on.

Then you do a search and read something like this in another forum; :)

"We also didn't apply to Tiffin - don't think it would have suited my ... son in terms of focus anyway as it's much more maths/sciencey than arts...

I have a great deal of prejudice about the selection procedure and how it limits their intake to one particular type of child - there's no room for the brilliant creative writer who's not that good at visual puzzles, for example.

Hampton and all the other independent schools tests more roundly and interviews, so a child who is borderline in, say, maths, but strong at English and has great interpersonal skills or great musical ability can get in.
"

But comparing Tiffin School's test ( VR & NVR only - i.e "visual puzzles" :D ) to Wilsons' and Wallington's first round Math and English, and second round - much tougher Maths and English papers, it does make you think the validity of the above post. Or would you disagree?

What is it really like in TS? We did a tour in QE yesterday, and I am fairly certain what it is like in there, but having been to two open days at TS (last year and this year), I still don't have a "feel" for the school.

Is there an opportunity to tour the school, like what QE did?

Is there a very active entrepreneur / business / enterprise club and activities in TS ?

QE has a very strong Business and Economics department, which we both like. Anything in TS to compensate this?

QE has strong fencing club, DS like that. Is there fencing in TS?

Sorry for the long post and the QE bias :D . I am sure TB will help! :D


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 6:49 am 
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Location: RBK
Well, well, well. An early morning writing assignment.

I suppose parents of children in senior classes could give more information (Peridot, Jays Darlin, Drastic dad, perhaps), than the new parents.

Tiffin is tremendously good school. Other parents will definitely write about the good points. Let me give you the other side, first.

To begin with, we don't have pool. :wink: To compensate, we do have a river and school is one of the handful of state schools with an outstanding rowing team. But is that enough?

And we probably don't have fencing club either. To compensate, school has outstanding dance facilities. To our DC's amazement, dance lessons are compulsory. Boys have even auditioned for Lord of the Flies. I am sure some of the boys will end up on Strictly Dancing.

Other disadvantages:
Pressure: A level choices not dependent on internal assessments. School does not 'recommend' what subjects one can study - students do the choosing, just have to meet minimum entry requirements. No cull or forcing out of A grade students. This lack of pressure, in some people view, is not good for the development of boys. Boys needs to be send to Cadet schools, and controlled under the watchful eyes of Sergeant Majors, some says.

League table: Again, it seems school does not worry too much about league tables. I think that HT feels one gets grades, position in the league tables is consequence. Not the other way round. They just don't understand the importance of league tables and how to improve their standing in it. They are too complacent in this regard and allow students to take subjects for which they are clearly not predicted to get A*. Oh dear.....

Donations: School recommend donation of £520 p.a. only. Some pay and some don't pay. There is little follow-up. Parents don't have to write to HT explaining why they can't donate. Again, in some people view, this shows lack of parental involvement. Parents need to show their love of school and that means letting their money doing the talk.

*********

To be continued.


Last edited by tiffinboys on Thu Oct 23, 2014 7:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 7:52 am 
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Deleted by user.


Last edited by Ladymuck on Sat Mar 21, 2015 2:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 8:54 am 
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Always a pleasure to read Ladymuck's comments. Thanks.


Tiffin School - Part 2 to YS's queries.

For those interested in performing arts, school is a heaven. Top level dancing (with compulsory dancing lessons too, which surprized DC; thought that was only for girls), outstanding Music and drama productions (sometimes, jointly with Tiffin Girls).

Sports: Football limited to House teams. Outstanding Rugby and cricket teams with boys playing at very high level - aspiring to join list of test cricketers alumni. Lovely cricket grounds in nearby Hampton.

Economics: Very strong economics deptt. Over 50 entries at A level exams. A large number takes Further Maths with some ending up with Bs or perhaps even Cs. It's love of subject that counts. Grades are secondary.

Discipline and Behavior: As you would expect in a top school. Outstanding.

Entrance exams: Yes, needs improvements. Made suggestions, but to now school believe their tests pick up the right candidates. Tests are only VR/NVR in a style which is highly coached and seems some very bright children score lower than those who work their socks off. Perhaps, they will belatedly follow other schools lead, specially Tiffin Girls.


Last edited by tiffinboys on Thu Oct 23, 2014 9:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 8:58 am 
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Just a very quick peek! Thanks TB & LM. Very helpful. Will write later. Back to work/business.. :D

Yay! Young Enterprise!!! :D

"The activities available to the boys during the school year include the following.

Art Clubs
Astronomy
Athletics
Badminton
Basketball teams
Big Band
Book Clubs
Boys’ Choir
Bridge
Carrom Board
Challenge Club
Chamber Orchestra
Chess

Close Harmony
Concert Band
Cricket teams
Cross Country
Street Dance
KS3 Dance Club
Tiffin Dance Company
Debating Society
Drama Productions
Duke of Edinburgh
Film Club

Gig Nights
Mandarin
Maths Challenge Club

Oratorio Choir
Percussion Ensemble
Philosphers’ Club
Photographic
Programming

Rowing crews
Rugby teams
Samba Group
School Council
Science Club
String Orchestras
Swing Band
Technology
Write Club
Young Enterprise "


Last edited by YoungSuccess on Thu Oct 23, 2014 9:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 9:02 am 
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Sports (sorry TB that's wrong): According to the Head of Sports be prepared to be on the losing side more often than not, though cricket is better than most. Pain having to travel to the sports grounds at Hampton Court Way. Only problem of having such extensive grounds is the funding to maintain them, and the amount they rent them out at the weekends - means the cricket pitches are often relatively poor quality. Sports Hall is great, though again suffers from being constantly rented out in the evening and all weekend.

Ethnic mix: Hardly a vibrant cross-section of society! Wouldn't want to be in the white minority personally.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 9:07 am 
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[quote][/quotSports (sorry TB that's wrong): According to the Head of Sports be prepared to be on the losing side more often than not, ]

Perhaps true, but facilities are there to participate in. At school level, with not a sporty child, we felt that encouragement and gentle push to participate was more important.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 9:09 am 
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Indeed fair enough from that perspective tb.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 9:58 am 
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Busy working today but will add my thoughts on Tiffin later...


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 5:02 pm 
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Ok, here we go...

The three original quotes from someone looking at the school compared to Hampton are....utter rubbish. Where do people get this information from? And of course Tiffin can't interview - state schools are not allowed to. But, knowing several boys who have passed, and others who failed, to get into Hampton, I really doubt Hampton would let in a "borderline" maths candidate.

I have no knowledge of QE, but this epithet of "best school in the country" which I frequently see on here is based on...what exactly? If it's purely on exam results/league tables (and that is such a small part of what schools are about) then currently Tiffin Girls is the best state school in the country! Anyway, I digress...

As for Tiffin - academic excellence plus a fantastic range of sport, arts etc. Every school has its differentiating features but for me the ones that stand out at Tiffin are the rowing - what other grammar around London offers that? - the excellent pastoral care, the professionalism and intelligence of the leadership team and teaching staff, the sheer breadth of clubs and societies (many run by older boys, giving them great skills for future life and excellent role modelling for the younger boys), and the astonishing music. Try looking up The Tiffinians singing Higher Love on YouTube, for example. And the trebles often go and sing at the Royal Opera House.

There is a "cull" of boys who don't make the grade before sixth form, and the internal entry requirements are stringent. Our son is in year 11 and we've just had a very serious meeting all about Transition to Sixth Form so have just heard all the details! No passengers allowed, basically... Is this similar to QE? I don't know the details at QE so couldn't comment.

My main thing to say though is that my son has been very happy all the way through school so far. There have been one or two pastoral issues which were dealt with swiftly and effectively. He hasn't liked every teacher he's had, but that will be true at any school. I spoke to him recently to ask if he wanted to change school for sixth form. He looked at me as if I was completely mad and said "Why would I want to do that?". Now of course that is just my son, and his group of equally happy friends, and there is no guarantee that your son would feel the same, but that is our experience.

Tiffin's unashamed aim is to produce at the end of their school career young men who are not just academic high achievers but also well-rounded, socialised individuals, able to go out in the world and make their mark.

We reckon we can't ask for more than that.


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