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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:55 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:48 am
Posts: 14
Hi There

My DS sat for Habs Boys and St Albans boys and has got an offer from both. Coming from state primary we are very pleased. Now for the choosing - do any of you have/know anyone who has direct experience of these 2 schools? Never realised it would prove such a tough decision and only a few days to make it.

Many thanks.

Mx


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 3:10 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
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Location: Herts
Dear Novice, Welcome to the fourm and well done to your DS, he has done very well to get offers at both of these excellent schools, we know boys at both who are really enjoying themselves. One thing you might want to look at is how many spaces are held for boys to join at 13. I know at Aldwickbury in Wheathampstead which is a major feeder they have a gentlemans agreement that the boys stay at Aldwickbury until 13 and then move over to St Albans boys. This means you may find the intake at ST A at 11 may be smaller. Habs is generally considered to be more academic and St Albans more sporty. If you do a search on the names on this forum you will find plenty of opinion. Habs boys has more to do with Habs girls because they share coaches and are on the same site. St A boys and girls are not really walking distance from each other so not as easy to do things together. What type of boy is your ds? DG


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 4:23 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2010 2:59 pm
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Hi there,

I am an old Habs boy and my younger son goes there. My older son has just passed St. A for 11+. I always hang on every word Daogroupie has to say but would disagree this time! I think Habs is far more sporty and always has been but all the top schools have an emphasis on sports. However, if you look at the A level results which you can see on the telegraph website for instance, St A. always scores higher than Habs. Don't get me wrong, I love the school and I had a great time there - no better place to develop your personality which gives you the best of success in the real world - thats why there are so many famous comedians from Habs. The other small difference is that St A is mixed from 16+. So if its pure results, then St A and if you want just boys all the way to 18 and a more rounded education then Habs.

Hope that helps!


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 5:16 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2010 5:32 pm
Posts: 26
Hi novice! well done to your DS. We were in the same position as you last year and I remember the agony of making the decision. The good news is that both are great schools so you can't really go wrong. On the subject of which is academically stronger I agree with DAOGroupie, but if your son is able he will do well at either school. We chose Habs for our son and we have been delighted with it. Before he started there I had some concerns about the pastoral care - largely as a result of school gate chatter rather than anything concrete - and I am happy to say that the school has proved me wrong in that regard. The staff were tremendously supportive and approachable during the crucial first few weeks (for both DS and ourselves), and continue to be so. The extra curricular activities on offer are vast - the music in particular is incredibly impressive with lots of groups on offer and inspirational senior orchestras / bands for the younger boys to aspire to join. My son is very involved in both music and sport and I have been impressed by the way in which the staff have been flexible enough to accommodate clashes of rehearsals / training sessions so that he can continue to pursue both interests. Conversely, friends with sons at St A have spoken about a "three line whip" being exerted if you are selected for a team there - if your DS is very sporty this may not be an issue but if he has a number of different interests it may be something to think about. Finally - do consider the journey times to each school - important not only for your DS but also for you when you attend after school events.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 5:33 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:48 am
Posts: 14
Wow - thanks so very much all of you for giving me such honest opinions on both schools :D

My son is quite sporty, but not majorly so, loves playing his guitar, and is big into debating and public speaking. He loves a good discussion. :D

We live 15 minutes walking distance to St Albans boys, and Habs has a coach service that goes from practically the end of our road and takes about 25 minutes I think???

He has been at a mixed state primary and has a younger sister so has had/will continue to have exposure to the opposite sex on a regular basis. :D

Practically St Albans is better for us/him, but my/my DH hearts are with Habs, as you will all know so many boys sit the Habs exam so for him to get in makes us feel that maybe it is right for him???

I never imagined it would be so tough to choose. If I am completely honest with myself if Habs were walking distance there would really be no contest... argghhhh... Mx


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 6:26 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2010 5:32 pm
Posts: 26
novice - have pm'd you


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:07 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 4:12 pm
Posts: 302
We went to the open days for both St A Boys and Habs. My son found St A Boys too serious for his liking. I have no personal knowledge of the school so I can't comment on whether this perception is accurate. Anyway, as soon as we got out of the car at Habs he knew that this was the one he wanted which served to motivate him for the serious home tutoring that was to come.


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