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PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2015 8:33 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:41 am
Posts: 434
In somewhat optimistic anticipation of getting a few offers - I thought this would be helpful

how would you all rank these criteria. Here's my ranking:

academic level of school (league tables driven)
pastoral care (how is this measured / noticed?)
proximity to home (would you comprise this for a more academic school and what duration of travel is acceptable?)
fees
focus on facilities
additional trips done
geographic spread of cohort
extra curricular activities

opinions welcome - I need to keep busy till about 10:30am :lol:


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2015 9:14 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2009 8:55 pm
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Location: London
As the mother of a DD in Yr 12 I would say that the order really depends on the personality of the child. If the child is very academic and very confident, I would rank academics first, if not, pastoral care comes at least as an equal second. I agree this is very hard to measure and you need to look and listen very carefully at the Open Days and listen to what others with DCs's at the school say, bearing in mind that their DC's may be quite different from yours.
I would class the proximity to home and the geographical cohort together as a very close third, but with a firm limit on the journey time. I see now how much work my DD has - and has had beginning in the GCSE years - and I would not like anything significantly longer than the 35-45 minute journey she has. With respect to the geographical cohort, you need to ask yourself to what extent you are willing to drive her to and from get-together's with friends at weekends. These get-together's are tremendously important, for my DD at least, and far outrank all the facilities the school has.
Additional trips would rank 4th for me, with facilities and extra-curricular activities 5th and 6th, but by a distance.
Fees for London day schools seem to be much of a muchness.

I think that it is really important to ask yourself whether your child would be happy at a particular school because this is what will drive his/her performance, in my view. And it's very important to be realistic and only somewhat aspirational on this. Academic schools with shiny facilities can make for very happy children, but not necessarily.

Good luck with your decision!


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2015 9:45 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 8:51 am
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how teachers relate to the kids
proximity to home
proximity to home
proximity to home (you can tell I had to travel a long way to school :lol: :lol: )
academic levels


facilities / extra curric etc - quite far down the list, chatted to old school friends re thi - we reckon parents are more attracted to this than the kids


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2015 6:18 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2014 5:03 pm
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Location: Cheshire
hermanmunster wrote:
proximity to home
proximity to home
proximity to home (you can tell I had to travel a long way to school :lol: :lol: )


you would think it would get easier as they get older, not my experience, try waking up teenage boys up at 7am day in day out, suddenly they turn from Larks to Night Owls :roll:

early days are actually easier for young children as opposed to to 14+ young adolescents :o


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2015 10:05 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:28 pm
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Has been some research done on this and there are biological reasons why teenagers have different sleep patterns. Having to get up early goes against the body's natural rythum.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:09 am 
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Joined: Thu May 15, 2014 9:25 pm
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hermanmunster wrote:
how teachers relate to the kids
proximity to home
proximity to home
proximity to home (you can tell I had to travel a long way to school :lol: :lol: )
academic levels


facilities / extra curric etc - quite far down the list, chatted to old school friends re thi - we reckon parents are more attracted to this than the kids



Hello Hermanmunster

Does the opinion hold if choosing between a Grammar and Independent, if both are perceived to be "top" performing. Just seen you post old KEHS uniform so I assume you are ex Kehs?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:24 am 
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Hi - yes I am ex KEHS, pre league tables :oops: .
So schools went on "reputation" rather than actual figures. i lived in Solihull where there were lots of GS and could have gone there.
KEHS was great, free (as Solihull paid) and we were a very lucky bunch who went there.

However...... it was a long way and grim travelling in winter, lots of standing around waiting for connecting buses etc etc .

University station hadn't been built so it was down to buses - tended not to be much after school at all - occasional drama rehearsals etc but that was it.

Missed out on friendships locally - lots of people I knew went to local GS and secondary schools- then they all went to the sixth form college.

When it came to my kids I aimed to send them to schools nearby (or in fact move very close to the GS!!).

I still think that mega facilities are only great if you are living on site eg boarding or very close - hard to use them fully otherwise.

Am now supporting kids at Uni - rather glad I saved on senior school fees :shock:


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:43 am 
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Thanks for that Hermanmunster... Thinking off tossing a coin for CHG or KEHS at the moment!!! But if at CHG I could give up work, very least go part time so can easily taxi DD to school. Chg is nearer as I live in B91 postcode... Head is saying CHg and heart is saying KEHS.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 11:00 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 8:51 am
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atmyage wrote:
Thanks for that Hermanmunster... Thinking off tossing a coin for CHG or KEHS at the moment!!! But if at CHG I could give up work, very least go part time so can easily taxi DD to school. Chg is nearer as I live in B91 postcode... Head is saying CHg and heart is saying KEHS.


I think I would be in exactly the same predicament if I was you- not sure what I would have done.
Having said that I only know KEHS (will still feels lovely to visit) - only went to CHG once in 7 years for Fry Cup tennis tournament (hilarious site of most of school let loose to find there way to the other school by public transport - some sort of initiative test I think) and I can't really remember much other than it was a nice day and lots of my KEHS friends had old friends there.

but I do know that having 2 kids at fee paying senior schools would have really done for the finances, earn too much for bursaries but had kids quite late so retirement planning is the key :wink:

Non fee paying meant that I could always fund trips / books / open days / musical instruments / uni accommodation etc

Good Luck!


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 11:36 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2007 2:02 pm
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Location: Herts
My kids are in the state sector but this is quite a general question so I hope you don't mind me joining in? :) I agree that the personality of the child is key. For our family -

1. Academic level of school (I am not obsessed with league tables by any means but my closest school when I first went through this was the worst performing school in our very large county)

2. I would slightly amend proximity to home to ease of (independent) journey - almost the same but not quite. I am very anti a long journey time though. Atmyage - I would be a bit wary about giving up work / going part time to take on taxi duties (if you have a good alternative of course - I understand that in some cases extreme measures are necessary!)

3. I would add co-ed vs not (I don't know the schools you mention so you might not have this choice!).


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