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PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2008 11:59 am 
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Would be interested to hear other people's views.

We turned down grammar school place for my son in favour of local independent which he had always had his heart set on. Independent school usually has 150 in year.

We heard this weekend that they have accepted 220 into the year, as had many more acceptances than usual.

They have told me that they are going to put on extra classes, but I cannot but feel that children in this year group are going to miss out on sports teams, drama opportunities, school trips etc.

I'm sure they will sort it out so that the school is ok for future years but gutted for my child, and feel we have little left in the way of options at this late stage. I don't know when they were going to tell us, but found out from a parent I met incidentally.

Cannot believe they would over offer to this degree, but they say they made the same proportion of offers as usual.

I am keen to hear others views as feeling very shocked and let down


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PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2008 12:02 pm 
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This is disappointing - a year group over 180 is too big in my experience.

It will be much harder for teachers to get to know the children and, as you say, opportunites for being in teams will be reduced.

Why don't you ask the school how they can take so many more pupils! How have they got the space, the teachers, the resources???


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PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2008 12:27 pm 
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Difficult as it is half term. I have requested an appointment with head of lower school to discuss just these issues.

Our options are very limited at this late stage as we have rejected our grammar school place. The alternative is to keep him on at his prep school and try for elsewhere at common entrance, but likely to mean a longer journey to school and it seems so tough when he has worked so hard this year, got places everywhere he sat and then the school lets him down so badly. Plus that is just what we wanted to avoid and why we sat the 11+ in the first place.


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PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2008 1:14 pm 
This is not good - do you know for a fact that this woman is right? Sometimes I hear the most ridiculous stories and they are totally inaccurate. I even had a woman argue with me that Eton took girls! It didn't matter that I'd been there, read the reports etc... she refused to back down. :roll: Sometimes people hear things on the grape-vine - lets hope this is the case.

If it is the case I would be concerned that the teachers were over-stretched or they had to get a high number of new teachers in who didn't know the workings/ethos of the school as well as the others making the year a learning experience for all. Would you consider keeping your child at the prep school until 13 and then seeing how well the school coped with the large year group and think about sending him at 13 if there were no negative effects? Then you could keep your options open.


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PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2008 5:14 pm 
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Location: Barnet, Herts
Dear surreymum,
that's a huge intake. DS starts independent in Sept and their intake is 72 divided over 3 forms.


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PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2008 5:15 pm 
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Location: Barnet, Herts
Which school is it?


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PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2008 5:35 pm 
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Yes it is true, I had it confirmed by the admissions officer this morning.
I will speak to the admissions officer at the grammar school next week and see if he can go on the waiting list, but I suspect may count now as a late applicant.
Yes he could stay at his prep school presumably, but I think we would then have to look for an alternative school as I suspect (or hope) that they won't be taking any more boys at 13.


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PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2008 6:03 pm 
I suppose it comes down to how much you like the school, and if you would have sent him if that was the intake. I don't know your situation or why you chose the school, but if it wasn't about size of intake then I wouldn't try and get him into the grammar as a knee-jerk reaction. Your reason for choosing independent over grammar must still be there? He clearly must be bright to pass both 11+ exams - maybe two years in an even smaller prep class will give him more individual attention/possible scholarship opportunities and offer leadership roles as one of the older children in the school, but I'm sure you've already weighed this up.


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PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 8:16 am 
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Very mixed feelings.

It was always a difficult choice for us as grammar school is on the doorstep and his siblings go there. 120 boy intake, happy school with good teaching and excellent behaviour and discipline. Extra-curricular stuff, particularly sport not very exciting and he would definitely find that frustrating, but would be a big fish in a small pool.

He is particularly good at 2 sports (and rather average at others) and it was predominantly for these reasons that we chose the independent as they have excellent coaching in the sports he excels at, which we hoped would take the pressure off some of the running around at home and give him some good competitive matches. The curriculum is also slightly wider at the independent and obviously class sizes were smaller, but may only be so by 4 boys now which I feel will not make much difference.

I feel the extra curricular activities will suffer most with a large intake and he may end up very frustrated if he isn't involved.

Plus of course all the worries about discipline, teachers knowing the boys etc with the larger intake.


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PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 8:57 am 
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With an intake of 120 the GS seems worth approacing to see if he can go on a waiting list or do an appeal.

The coaching can be supplemented by a good local club - or if its cricket both Surrey and Lord's run coaching that's cheap in comparison to school fees :lol:


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