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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 10:01 pm 
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Posts: 71
Hi All,
Trying to fill up the CAF ,but realised how difficult it is to choose the 1st preference :?
We are thinking of Sutton grammar or wilson's as our first/second preference. Could someone kindly share any info related to these schools pls.

I can starrt with few of my observations in relation to our situation

1. Sutton grammar is on our doorstep - max. 10 mins on direct bus from our home ,whereas wilson's is 50 mins away ( direct bus)

2. DS is not so sporty person - loves chess,occasional cricket/football/tennis (but not good at any of these :roll: )

Finished grade 1 piano and planning to continue.
Absolute maths and science lover. academically very strong ,enjoys learning.

3.open day experience:
Sutton grammar has small swimming pool, however,accessible only for few mths in a year (my son goes to swimming lessons, stage 7)
SGS doesn't have a playground in it's premises, seemed small with no scope for extension.
Not so impressive Library.


We missed the Wilson's open day this year- though visited it last year! From what I can remember, school seemed spacious/new with huge grounds .We particularly liked the Headteacher.

Still trying hard to understand the league tables!

Any input/suggestions/info will be much appreciated.

Thank you.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2015 6:15 pm 
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The playground at SGS does look small but my DS tells me that they have plenty of space if they want to kick a ball or play during breaks. There are many lunchtime clubs enjoyed and attended by many pupils everyday there and the Sixth formers are usually going into town for lunch; therefore, enough outdoor space at SGS. The pool is still in use...my DS does extra swimming on the 'Early Release Day' and he tells me that the pool is very well maintained and the water warm. DS opted for SGS because he 'clicked' instantly with the existent pupils of SGS during our Open Evening visit. He was very impressed when he went back in September to find newly built ICT suite, new laboratories, etc. I was also attracted by SGS because it has a lower number of pupils overall & closer proximity to our house. Friends going to Wilson's tell us of trains often cancelled or late, and massive traffic jams building up early every morning near Wilson's. I think it would be better if you can try the trip to Wilsons yourself but in the morning & during schooldays. Good luck.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2015 6:35 pm 
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htm123 wrote:
The playground at SGS does look small but my DS tells me that they have plenty of space if they want to kick a ball or play during breaks. There are many lunchtime clubs enjoyed and attended by many pupils everyday there and the Sixth formers are usually going into town for lunch; therefore, enough outdoor space at SGS. The pool is still in use...my DS does extra swimming on the 'Early Release Day' and he tells me that the pool is very well maintained and the water warm. DS opted for SGS because he 'clicked' instantly with the existent pupils of SGS during our Open Evening visit. He was very impressed when he went back in September to find newly built ICT suite, new laboratories, etc. I was also attracted by SGS because it has a lower number of pupils overall & closer proximity to our house. Friends going to Wilson's tell us of trains often cancelled or late, and massive traffic jams building up early every morning near Wilson's. I think it would be better if you can try the trip to Wilsons yourself but in the morning & during schooldays. Good luck.



Thank you very much for your response, htm123. On the open day, HT mentioned next 3/4 years will see the intake numbers raising steadily which left us wondering how this school is going to cope.
During the playground talk,some parents expressed that those shops /cinema can be a bit of distraction for the kids. Don't know how far is this true!
Your suggestion to take a trip to wilson's is very good.I think we might have to take it during half term though.
Sorry for asking this dumb question- does SGS has playground in it's premises? We're not shown on the open day.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2015 8:11 pm 
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Sorry... I call it 'playground' but DS corrected me: "school ground, and only sixth formers are allowed outside in town during breaks". Having said that, my DS still thinks there is plenty of space and the school's ground is never overcrowded when he is outside.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2015 8:26 pm 
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All senior boys at SGS (year 10 and up) are allowed out at lunch time either into Sutton town centre or over the road to the park, so the lower school boys do have more space at lunchtime to run around or kick a ball. It's not a huge space (and no room to expand) but it seems to work ok.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2015 8:34 pm 
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Both schools will have increasing pupil numbers - wilsons has increased its PAN from 150 to 180 in recent years, so there are an extra 30 pupils on site each year.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2015 6:25 pm 
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I have one son in Yr 7 and one in the Upper School at SGS and they couldn't be happier here. Lots of clubs to cater for every interest and small enough to (in our experience) be friendly, caring and above all interested in the boy as a whole rather than just an exam bot.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2015 7:43 pm 
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Thanks all for your valuable inputs. From the league tables I can see SGS is at 43rd place whereas Wilson's is at 15th. Do these league tables really matter? Should we take these into account while choosing the school?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2015 11:49 am 
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Anyone,pls? Should fill the CAF by today or tomorrow. Any comments from anyone who understands league tables would be much appreciated.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2015 1:16 pm 
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Firstly, any league table is based on historic information. These are the results of pupils who sat their entrance exams some time ago, when, whilst demand was certainly there, the bulge numbers that we now see weren't. In the last 7 years LB of Croydon has added 76 forms of entry to their primary schools for example (my borough - I don't know Sutton or Merton numbers, but it will be a similar story).

Any league table will be skewed depending on what criteria you set to determine whether a pupil will be entered for the exams or not. Did the boys choose the subjects they enjoyed the most, or the ones they needed for an A level course? It is almost more important to be asking about what happens if a boy is ill, or suffers a bereavement, than why some boys got Bs not A*s. For example schools which make 2 MFLs compulsory at GCSE will usually come lower down the league tables than those which don't - the exams are considered harder. League tables will change over the next few years as new qualifications come in. And of course the A level results are irrelevant as some boys leave and others join at A level - it is yet another selection process. All of these schools attract good staff and bright pupils. In years to come no employer will be looking at where did the school come in historic league tables! Your son's results will be down to his own intelligence and hard work, and I suspect he will do better where he is happiest. The results of all of these schools are truly excellent, and really have no bearing on your decision at this point. The only time to worry is if there is a big change, but bear in mind that a single D grade in English or maths will usually results in 100 place drop in league tables - obviously it doesn't make the school suddenly a bad one!

If you haven't already looked at the websites closely then do. Have a look at the subjects on offer. What is the behaviour policy like - these 2 schools have a different ethos, which may work better for certain characters? Have a look at the accounts on the website - the schools face different financial challenges. Hunt out the parents or students handbooks which may give more info about day to day life. What are the other changes ahead? Both will have to deal with greater numbers. Mr Ironside will retire after an impressively long time of service, which will open up change. We should have some stability with the current government, and we understand some aspects of their policy. Bear in mind that only 6 months ago we were wondering whether free schools would be scrapped, GCSE reform overturned etc.

Bear in mind, that current parents on this site, as well as all who lurk, have not been saying anything negative about these schools. That says quite a lot in itself!

But do not put your son through an unnecessarily tough journey. The schools will not make allowances for it, and whilst they take boys from all over the place, they are expected to arrive on time with all of their kit, homework and equipment. Have a good look at your son to see how he will cope with this, and try not to make it more difficult for him than is necessary! I might be the only parent who has ever had to make a dash to school because their 11 year old son has forgotten something vital, but I suspect not.


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