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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 9:17 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:29 pm
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Our DS has been offered a place at Latymer Upper (year 7) and by a couple of schools further away including CLSB; We are local to LU and he/we like what we've seen of it but I'd be grateful to hear from current parents about any down sides/negatives we should be aware of, as well as reasons why a bright but not especially sophisticated boy would thrive there. It's probably just the presence of girls at LU but the kids seemed more urban and mature there, so we have a slightly concern that social pressures at LU might flicker close to bullying if your child is not 'cool' with many kids there growing up too quick, as it were. City boys seemed scruffier and a little bit less self aware than there LU peers.
Other factors:
Teaching and attainment. If any parents are able to make an informed comparison with regards the quality of teaching between the LU and CLSB that would be great. I appreciate that any differences are marginal and teaching will be excellent at either.
Mixed vs single sex - Our DS is at a co-ed primary but we have no strong objection to single sex.
Sport and participation - our son likes football and cricket but not rugby. He is in his current small school's football team but he is not a brilliant player and there are only about 20 boys in his current year. For secondary, he would be hugely disappointed if he wasn't in the school team but we are aware with larger numbers (we estimate that there are 80 boys per year at LU) the chances of him making the 1st team are small. With that in mind how serious are the school about encouraging average but keen players. I note on the LU website that they have 3rd and 4th teams but these have hardly any fixtures scheduled. Are they focussed on the best players getting the best results or do they allow for some movement in squad makeup to give the slightly less able the opportunity to represent the school? With City I think there are less boys and more teams so the sense I get is that everyone gets to play in a team. With LU I worry that many boys and girls (half in each year?) just don't get picked by teams. This is just me looking at the websites so I would appreciate some informed insight.
Proximity to school and local friends - the biggie. CLSB is a 45 minute journey including a tube. LU is 10m by bicycle. So, how onerous is the City journey, how many West London kids are there and how do friendships and play dates work when your pals are scattered to the 4 corners of London - esp I think north London?
Would really appreciate some insights. We are of course very proud of our DS for giving us this dilemma, and want to be sure we make the right decision with him. Thanks


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 1:20 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
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Location: Herts
Just a comment on the journey. How wonderful to bike to school with your friends. I have heard nothing but great things about both schools and the journey issue would swing it for me. You could even go home if you forgot something like we used to at primary school. DG


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 2:04 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:11 am
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Don't forget it's not just the journey.

If your child is sporty, or involved in music, drama or whatever, you will find yourself picking them up simply to avoid them having to travel home alone late into the evening. Not only is it easier for you to pick up from a nearby school but it will be easier for you to attend parents evenings or the odd Year social or coffee morning. Your son will also have local friends, which will become increasingly important as he gets older.

Rowing is huge at Latymer and quite a lot will switch from trad winter and summer sports in Yr 9. Swimming is also strong. Being co-ed and losing a number to rowing, means that football and rugby are not as strong as they might be. However it does allow less good players into teams. There is a new Director of Sport who is clearly trying to ensure that every child is able to, and encouraged to, participate.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 10:31 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2013 11:13 pm
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Having my DD currently in Year 8 in LU, I should say your point about social pressure is absolutely reasonable. The environment can be tough for a "dreaming" child unless willing to mature and "shape up" quickly. After a year and half at the school DD feels settled, but at the beginning there were some turbulent times.
Whatever school is preferred, it has to be the environment where our children want to go and feel happy every day, that's the most important aspect to keep in mind. The journey comes second.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:00 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:29 pm
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Uniglow. Hope you don't mind I have P/M you


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