Please help! We are in the happy position of needing to choose between 2 great grammar schools. I thought it would be an easy choice, but it really isn't. I need more information on Pate's as I have very little to go by, not having even visited yet!
I didn't think I needed to consider Pate's.
I've been mulling over all the issues and deciding factors, and will list them below. Have I left any considerations out which could affect things, and can anyone give us more information about why Pates would be a better choice for a child over another Gloucestershire GS?
She has a sister at Ribston, nearby. So if DC were to take place at Pates, it would mean different term dates, different school uniforms, different routines, locations, teachers, children and activities for each child, and the consequent extra work for me, and lack of those helpful overlaps and familiarity that being a one - school family affords. On the other hand, it gives an insight into how another school does things, a bigger pool of contacts perhaps, wider life experiences, opportunities and additional ideas.
There's a 15 minute walk to the 7:30 bus to Pates, return to bus stop at 4:30. Local grammar is a 15 min walk, at most, set off at 8:15am, return home about 3:45pm.
Another school, separate from (sometimes bossy) sibling might be the perfect setting for our second child!
Pates have excellent results, and child is in top 120. Would it be the best place for her, as she has a place there, and would be able to keep up and develop skills she might not otherwise, so would it give her a head start above another gs? Or is this a red herring and actually a way of hiding pushy, hot-house teaching with little risk of come back from parents who have pushed their child to get there, or put academic results above other factors. (League tables don't tell you HOW the school gets the academic results, how do Pate's get theirs?)
Pates is mixed, which would suit our DD as she does get on well working in a mixed (bright) group, but makes friends with girls, so there would be fewer girls in her class to be friends with. She does make good friends well in different settings with down to earth, sensible, friendly types - what if they are not her type in her class? (Its likely that one or two of her friends from school would be going to Ribston which is the biggest pull for her, but not something to base a decision on imho.)
It is likely that the local gs would have slightly smaller class sizes.
We will go and visit Pate's and will make a decision - and feel great that both are good options. It is a wonderful thing to be spoilt for choice, and to know that whichever one we choose, someone will be glad of the place we give up for the other one. Still, why am I not feeling happier about this?