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PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 12:27 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 12:15 am
Posts: 2
DS has received offers from St Albans Boys and from St Columba's. On our visit to each on the open days and subsequently on th exam days, the staff at St Columba's came across really caring and well meaning. However, looking at the league tables for the last few years and having spoken to a few people, it seems St Columba's is not as academically strong as St Albans. I just want to give DS a good chance foe the future. He is a typical boy in the sense that if he needs to be 'pushed'/guided to deliver. I fear that St Columba's might not challenge him enough and he will not do his true best which might affect his chances of getting into a good uni. On the other hand, I am not really sure about how much pastoral care is provided by St Albans. Yes, their prospectus says they do but it would be good to get confirmation from others who have actually experienced it.

In the meantime, we are also waiting to hear from our chosen first choice state school next week! I was hoping to be settled on the independent school so that I have only one to compare with our first choice state school, should DS get in. That school is Dame Alice Owen in Potters bar.

Any advice is welcome.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 8:56 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2007 2:02 pm
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Location: Herts
I don't know anything about St Albans but know of many families with sons at St Columba's. They are all very happy with the academic side of things as well as the excellent pastoral care you mention. Most of them are bright boys who did not get into the partially selective state schools in the area (as you will know of course places like DAO, Parmiter's & the others are massively oversubscribed).


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 3:10 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 9:27 am
Posts: 2086
Location: Barnet, Herts
I know several people with sons at St Albans.
It is incredibly pressured academically.If you don't get A's the Headmaster writes to the parents !
I gather the pastoral care is way down the list compared to the academic side of things. My DS sat the entrance exam last year and didn't get a place- however in retrospect I don't think he would have been happy there.
I have heard good things about St Columba's and that would probably have been my choice in your situation - I think your child's happiness is important and as he is obviously bright he will do well anywhere. I know DAO is vastly oversubscribed but I would think he will get a place if he is bright enough to get an offer from St.Alban's.
Where do you live ? Travelling time to St.Albans on the M25 was another negative factor of St. Alban's.
Good Luck with your decision!


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 11:00 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 12:15 am
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Thanks Zorro and Tense. I am keeping my fingers crossed for DAO. Their academic results are brilliant and no monumental fees to pay! I don't think I will get any sleep tomorrow night- the results are emailed at a minute past 12am, I think.


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