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 Post subject: Open days...
PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 9:44 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 03, 2013 9:21 am
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Open days/ evenings … how did it go?

Just being curious, has anyone changed their minds about their first choice school after the open days?

My 2 were helpers this year and have to say that the chaos when I picked them up at the end brought back memories. By the time we got to the final visit last year we were so pleased that it was all over. Never really been a fan of open days. I like the school we have chosen for our DC but I have to say that the open day did not do the school any justice.

Also it seems to me that somehow the first school they see is the one that makes most of an impression.


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 Post subject: Re: Open days...
PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 11:03 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2015 6:31 pm
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Yes I know what you mean. Olaves was our first open day, and remains our top choice. By the time we went to beths, everything seemed quite cliched, and it went down on our list from 2nd to 4th. I'm sure it's an excellent school, but the open day didn't inspire us. They all have exactly the same format (one small impressive child, one large impressive child with a brace of A*s and ambitious university plans, a video montage to inspiring music, a speech about 'the whole child' etc, a dangerously overcrowded laboratory with several Bunsen burners on the go - you've seen one, you've seen 'em all!)

Dartford is our 2nd choice at the mo and open evening is Thursday. Maybe we're better off skiving it! DS is completely set on going there if he doesn't get olaves, so don't want to ruin things!


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 Post subject: Re: Open days...
PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 8:21 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:59 am
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My boys and I loved open evenings. They really put on a show. However, what I valued the most was talking to the teachers and pupils during the open mornings. I could get a better feel of the school. Like you say, most of the headteachers say the same thing, but some put more emphasis on results, other on the children.
It is really a very personal choice which has the child at its centre, so ask the teachers about your boy's interests.
You can also get a sense of how demanding the school will be when talking to some six formers. How many GCSEs do you need to stay?
I think Beths is 8 Bs; Dartford 4 As and 3 Bs. St Olave's 6 As, 3 Bs and 1 C.


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 Post subject: Re: Open days...
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 1:34 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2015 8:53 am
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We actually walked out of the Chis & Sid open morning. It was chaos.

We sat though the usual speeches and then waited to be led out for our tour. The side wall of the hall slid back and we were taken out row by row by a single sixth former. One sixth former and 11 people, closely followed by another group and another etc. 500 plus people shuffling through the same narrow corridors all following the same route. No chance to get close to the guide to ask questions, no chance to move in fact. Wasn't the poor girl leading our groups fault but the organisation in general.

Had we turned up 10 minutes later and skipped the speech we'd have had an individual tour with plenty of space to look around by the cohort of sixth formers waiting in the dining hall...

We also found the head's presentation skills left a lot to be desired. He simply read from his notes during his speech and glanced up occasionally as if to check we were still there. In comparison with his deputy(?) who introduced him he didn't sell the school to us at all. To compare to the likes of Michael Murphy, head at Crown Woods, or even Stephen Elphick of BGS there was a complete lack of passion about the presentation. I'm sure he's an extremely able headteacher but with a decision like this for your child...

Made me really cross. We'd decided before hand that BGS was the school for us but were we still unsure it would have made the decision really difficult.
I don't doubt that C&S is an exceptional school but...


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 Post subject: Re: Open days...
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 1:58 pm 
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The HT at C & S is really crap at presentations and I bet that if one was to go back to the school in 10 years time he will still use the same speech. Having said that he is a very approachable person and frequently pops in to lessons.

He has helped my DD out drilling a hole in woodwork once and gave her a free canteen voucher for her and her pals for translating a Latin text for him so we have seen a different side of the HT. He also frequently plays croquet and other games with the six form students and often shows up at Rugby games in the weekends (so I’m told).

Does the HT at BGS still finish his speech with the “Come to the edge poem”?

I’m not sure if C&S will still offer A levels next to baccalaureate to the DC who will be starting next September but I think BGS have done away with A levels all together and offer baccalaureate only.


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 Post subject: Re: Open days...
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 2:07 pm 
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MerlinFromCamelot wrote:

Does the HT at BGS still finish his speech with the “Come to the edge poem”?



Yes :mrgreen: Same poem as the last HT....

And thanks for that 'cos now I have it running through my head with the HT's voice...., :shock:


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 Post subject: Re: Open days...
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 2:17 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 03, 2013 9:21 am
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Whenever someone mentions BGS “Come to the edge” pops up in my mind… I can no longer separate the two. :lol:

Also loved the old HT (to the extend where I would marry him :oops: ) but I’m sure the new one is good as well. It is a nice school, feels like a happy place…


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 Post subject: Re: Open days...
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 3:31 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2015 8:05 pm
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I find it really interesting how many people put a lot of emphasis on the Open Day "show'. It's just not important to me and working at a local school I'm interested by people's perception of the school and head teacher from it. It's quite often very different from the reality of the school. Can you tell the presentation isn't important to me and we are choosing Chis and Sid!!


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 Post subject: Re: Open days...
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 4:54 pm 
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eleanorrigby wrote:
we are choosing Chis and Sid!!


It is honestly a lovely school, my 2 are very happy there and I would recommend it. But open days they don't do very well imo.


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 Post subject: Re: Open days...
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 8:04 pm 
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MerlinFromCamelot wrote:
eleanorrigby wrote:
we are choosing Chis and Sid!!


It is honestly a lovely school, my 2 are very happy there and I would recommend it. But open days they don't do very well imo.


Excellent glad to hear it!! I think some people like to feel that the 'red carpet' is rolled out for them. I'd rather that the school concentrates on educating the children rather than creating a 'wow' factor.


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