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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:22 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 18, 2017 10:35 am
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Hi guys,

From the original open days we went to, we were impressed with HSFG but blown away by Pates, which we only went to on a whim just to rule it out as we always though HSFG would be the school for us.

After this initial morning at Pates, my daughter fell in love and upped her game in terms of revising for the exam. She worked her backside off and managed to rank 151 for Pates, as well as within the top 150 for HSFG.

However, we are in central Gloucester, so the travel to Pates will be a lot more (time and money!!) than for HSFG. So now I'm questioning whether to let her follow her (recent!) dream of going to Pates, or whether to try and persuade her to go for HSFG where she will know a couple of girls and its closer.

So I guess I'm just looking for a any reviews or opinions on both or either of these schools? I've been looking at results and from what I can see they are fairly evenly matched - unless anyone can share data to show differently?

We are going to 2nd open days at both schools to get a fresh perspective now we know our chances, but I'm torn - I thought Pates was WAY above HSFG in terms of results but now I'm not so sure!!

Any opinions?

What sort of questions should we have on our list for when we look round? Things other than results I mean?

Thanks!!


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:32 pm 
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I will say from the outset that I am very anti the whole Pates love-in, but unless there is a very specific reason why Pates would be better for your child why spend the extra time and money... for what is likely to be not a massive difference especially in these days when time is at a premium. Quite apart from that as others have said, the Pates bubble seems to have burst a bit.. lots more are now choosing other schools over Pates. So it makes you wonder why.?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:57 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:46 pm
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Pates is just a school like anywhere else! We picked Denmark over Pates as 1. Much closer 2. Loved the feel & friendliness of it 3. Felt like it suited DD's character best, she is quiet, studious & musical. As I've said on here before (lots of times) we were made to feel like we were giving up a golden ticket not choosing Pates! but it's just a school so go with your gut instinct for what's best for you, your DD & your family.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:08 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 18, 2017 10:35 am
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Thanks for your opinions guys, I really appreciate it.

I wasn't massively fussed on the whole Pates stigma in the first place, we only went to the open day because we had been to all the others and it felt like we should give them all a chance to impress us.

Its my DD that fell in love with it - and she's not aware of the stigma that goes with it - she was impressed with the Heads speech, the facilities, the tour guides, the building, the artwork etc.

And seeing as she worked so hard to get in, I don't want to take that away from her, and if its what she really wants more than HSFG then I will support her 100%. It's just so hard to be making these decisions without a ****** crystal ball!

She doesn't care that she won't know anyone there - in fact I think she's looking forward to a fresh start. She says she's prepared for the extra travel, but obviously thats without having actually done it yet!

I think I could swing her decision to HSFG with a bit of gentle persuasion, BUT I don't want that decision to fall to me! If it ends up being the wrong decision then thats my fault - I moved her primary school in the middle of year 3 without her input and she's never forgiven me :( :(

I think the best I can do is go to both open days with an open mind and list of questions and then let her decide which school she feels is right for her.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:14 pm 
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Very sensible, though to steal the words of others, sometimes parents do know better than a 10/11 year old - So just bear that in mind also.
Best of luck with the decision, don't envy you. :-)


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:40 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:20 pm
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As the others have stated Pates is not everyone's first choice anymore.

From the centre of Gloucester you will be looking at over £1100.00+ a year for travel to Pates (bribery as to what you could do with that extra money :lol: ). I know Bennetts Coaches provide a service to Pates - pick up along Barnwood Road/Estcourt Road around 7.40am (early start on these cold, dark mornings :twisted: ) with drop off around 16.10. Also consider you will need to make provision for after school clubs, school activities etc. for transport home (bus fare again/petrol money?) as well as parents evenings, school concerts, award ceremonies etc. that you will have to attend.

As for results, is there any difference? A school is only as good as your child makes it. Just because a higher % of pupils achieve great results it doesn't mean your DD will just because she goes to that school, she could do better at the other.

Make a list of pro's and con's for each, but yes, go to visit each with an open mind and ask questions. I don't envy you. :|

Good luck.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:58 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2013 11:39 am
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My DD and my DS1 are both at Pates and DS2 will be joining them in Sept (yes, I realise it isn't official until March, but he was within the PAN so should be assured of his place!). Pates is also our local school, so from a purely travel point of view it's the best fit for us.

My DD is in Y10, and I would say that in our experience the pastoral care she has received throughout has been above and beyond (but I have nothing else to compare it to). Y8 & Y9 are notoriously tricky waters for girls (adolescence driven mainly) and added to that it was a difficult personal time for her (DH health issues, loss of grandparents) and the school really supported her throughout. She is thriving in Y10 and has a great group of friends - both boys and girls. The creative arts are her strength, and she has completely blossomed in these subjects.

DS1 is in Y8 is not at all sporty, but very into his computing/maths/science. Was definitely an outsider at primary school, but has found like minded students and has a bigger group of friends at Pates than he had at his primary school, and is very settled and happy there. For him the fact he does 3 separate sciences matters (not sure if all the other grammars offer this...?) as science is one of his passions.

DS2 was just desperate to be with his siblings - so he is excited.

For us, it is absolutely the right school. It is our local one, they are thriving and for them personally, knowing their characters, the mixed school environment is a better fit for each of them. From an active parent pov, the PA is brilliant and offers parents great opportunities in getting involved (even had a 'back to school' fundraiser last year which was so much fun!!!). The PA is crucial in most schools now, and the PA at Pates has raised lots of additional financial support as like the rest of the schools, central govt funds are severely lacking.

Yes, there are +'s and -'s in every school, and I don't have another school to compare it with. Our experience has only been positive, but big wins for us are it's our local school and it's mixed. I know many kids don't stay for clubs etc as they live too far away - so that is a consideration. But these factors may not matter to everyone.

Anyway, that's my two pennies worth! You know your DD best, and I am sure that you will make the decision that is right for her and you. With her ranking you are almost definitely assured a place - so it seems that you have a good choice of schools ahead. All the best!


Last edited by CKMum on Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:06 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 18, 2017 10:35 am
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stroudydad wrote:
Very sensible, though to steal the words of others, sometimes parents do know better than a 10/11 year old - So just bear that in mind also.
Best of luck with the decision, don't envy you. :-)


Yes - and if only I DID know better then I'd feel more confident to sway her! :lol: :lol:


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:08 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:59 am
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You will hear strong opinions on both sides if you ask this question on here. For everyone who hates the place there are several who love it and only you can know. I had one child there and am afraid I could not recommend it to anyone whose child is either on the quiet or less confident side; I also have a friend who has taught there who said she would not send her own children there. But equally I know of children and parents who have loved it, and also know of a couple who left and then went back as they missed it so much. In short - anecdote after anecdote but only you can decide if you feel that it would be the right environment for your own child. HSFG is (obviously) girls only and that wouldn't suit everyone either. They have been on a bit of a downward spiral popularity-wise but the departure of the Head will probably change that. Never underestimate logistics either - dark winter evenings after sports practices or whatever aren't great fun up and down the Golden Valley!

I think the bottom line probably comes down to the feeling you get for the atmosphere of each of the schools and where you feel your child would fit in best: her results probably wouldn't be much different in either if she was happy. Good luck with your choice. It is easier at sixth form when they can decide for themselves - my second child got a sixth form place at Pates and turned it down. No regrets at all; but I think his friend who did go would probably say the same.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:15 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 18, 2017 10:35 am
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Cazien - yes transport is the biggest issue, although if its the only issue then I'll happily forgo the weekend wine to cover the costs :lol: I would have to decide whether to get the Bennetts (or I think theres an I-go that picks up near us too), or to catch the 94 - do you happen to know if it stops anywhere near Pates? Lets see what these open days bring - we will be looking out for different things this time so can hopefully make a more informed decision.

CKmum - thanks so much for your input, I don't know any other Pates parents to ask! I think (travel aside) it would be the better school for her in terms of it being mixed - she gets on much better with boys than girls and hates the girly cliquey thing going on at her primary school at the moment. However, I do worry with her being ranked just under PAN that she would be at the bottom of the intelligence scale and might struggle academically - do you have any thoughts/insight on this? Its so good to hear that the pastoral side of things is excellent - I think this is more important to me than exam results actually, as someone said above, your child will get the results they work for, looking at percentages is only a guideline.

Argh the pressure is too much - roll on 1st November when CAF will have been submitted and I won't be able to stress about making the wrong decision anymore!!


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