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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 10:27 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2013 9:26 am
Posts: 12
Hello there

We're very lucky to be choosing between these two schools. I think they both have loads to recommend them - they're different, I know, but I can see advantages to both.

It would be great if anyone with children at either school could share their thoughts - we're floundering a bit. I'd really love to get a warts and all picture, so if you'd rather pm me please do!

TIA


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:10 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:28 pm
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I have experience of bancrofts, it's a very academic school and results are very pleasing , but do not forget a lot of the results are dependent on the extra tuition parents are having to do , overall it's a fantastic school with minor issues as with all schools, my child is very happy there and my second child is starting in September .


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:50 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 3:14 pm
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My son is in year 7 in Bancrofts and he is really happy there. It is quite academic although children do lots of sports as well.

The teachers are friendly and children start working from early on in the first term of year 7 itself. There is streaming in Maths and French and most subjects are taught work in small groups. Homework is set on most evening and they are also tested frequently. They have an end of year exam in May as well.

There are lots of extra-curricular activities as well which children can take part in during school lunch breaks or after school. These include - sports, chess, debating, etc. There are 2-3 lessons for PE as well each week - swimming, hockey, rugby, netball, etc are all included at various times of he year.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 2:08 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2011 12:35 pm
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Son123 wrote:
I have experience of bancrofts, it's a very academic school and results are very pleasing , but do not forget a lot of the results are dependent on the extra tuition parents are having to do , overall it's a fantastic school with minor issues as with all schools, my child is very happy there and my second child is starting in September .



Hi,

Why do the parents have to do extra tuition? My son has been offered a place at Bancrofts and I would be very disappointed if I had to pay for tutors on top of the annual fees.

Is there a strong culture of tutoring and what are the reasons for this?


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 3:05 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2011 4:47 pm
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Goodness - Leannemum - is this the case for your DS or his friends too?

Id be slightly miffed if I had to pay for extra tuition on top of school fees


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 4:01 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2013 9:26 am
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Thanks everyone!

How did your children cope with the homework in Year 7 -we're coming from a state school so I think it'll be a bit of a shock for our DS.

And what's the pastoral care like at Bancroft's - are they assigned a tutor or someone with whom they can develop a relationship and who will get to know their strengths and weaknesses?

Sorry if these are beginner questions - we're beginners ;-) and really feeling our ignorance!


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:06 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 3:14 pm
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We have not got any extra tuition for our son - he's only in year 7 so not had any need for it. He is in the top set for his year and is coping fine so have not even considered any extra tuition and don't know of any other children in his year who have private tutors.

I have not heard about the extra tuition as a cultural thing at Bancrofts but maybe some children feel the need to get extra help outside to push their grades higher.

I know students from VARIOUS highly selective indies around London who take extra tuition because the parents want to guarantee an A* if they think their child might only score lower than that. I think it's got to more with personal aspirations in today's super competitive environment.

Tuition seems to be more and more acceptable and encouraged at all stages whether one needs it or or not - the child might be capable but lazy, for example, and a tutor might resolve that problem by forcing them to do extra work. Most children are receptive of comments and help from an outsider than parents.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:52 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:47 pm
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Could I ask a further question of those with children at Bancroft's currently? Please could you share your knowledge of how much extras cost, like trips, and is it noticeable if there are children who don't join in with things that have an extra charge? I guess I'm really asking if there's a stigma attached to being at the less wealthy end of the spectrum?


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 7:15 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 1:33 pm
Posts: 239
Location: London
There haven't been many responses about Forest so I thought I'd chip in.

My son is at Forest (Y8) and we're very happy with it. We looked at Bancroft's too and he got offered a place, but I preferred the feel of Forest. Bancroft's gets better exam results. But what we particularly liked about Forest was the really lively extra-curricular offering - they just seemed much more committed to their music and drama and sports and everything else. Experience has borne this out - they are very pro-active about getting children to participate and my son has got involved in drama, wind band, chapel choir, D&T club, Italian club, music theory and cookery (not all at the same time!). There are plenty of school trips and you get loads of notice so you can plan which ones you want. DS has been on a PGL trip to Osmington Bay, a Christmas market trip to Germany, and a music trip to Spain.

I'm not aware of any culture of tutoring there (though that doesn't prove there isn't one!). I too would feel quite miffed if I was paying for a tutor on top of school fees, but I think often it's down to the family culture as much as the school. I think as someone else has said that it's often a matter of parental aspiration.

That said, I would consider a tutor if there was a significant problem with a key subject, but so far my son is doing fine. Academically I feel he is being stretched and gets plenty of homework. The homework was quite a jump from primary school but he coped well. In Year 7 teachers give out lots of commendations for good work and good behaviour, and there's a reward for whoever gets the most in each term - very motivating!

We've had one parent-teacher meeting in each year and been impressed on the whole by the staff we've met. I've found they are very happy to be contacted (by email) and always respond promptly. The school is very keen to find ways to engage with parents and they've introduced parent visits (only a few people get to go!) where you come in and spend a day seeing the school at work and talking to key staff - a very interesting experience.

As regards pastoral structure, the key people are the form tutor and head of house. The house system is something I haven't experienced before and I was surprised and impressed by how quickly the children identify with their houses and feel they belong.

I find it a very down-to-earth school - there are plenty of wealthy parents, but there are also plenty of parents stretching themselves to pay the fees, and children on bursaries. I think Bancroft's is similar in this regard, and both schools have a good social and ethnic mix.

I have no experience of Bancroft's except for the open days and admissions procedure, but my impression, rightly or wrongly, was that it was more narrowly academic. Anyway, I'm very happy with Forest - good teaching and loads of opportunities, which is exactly what we wanted.

Hope this helps.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:26 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2013 9:26 am
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muffinmonster that's all really useful, thanks very much for taking the time to post.


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