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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 12:23 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:53 am
Posts: 5
Really appreciate all the posts that show lots of us are keen to help our children make best choice for them.

My DS was dead keen on Pates - he got a qualifying score with a ranking within 230, but clearly too far away to close enough to get in (i.e. needs to be better than 175), and he got in top 150 for Crypt, STR, and Marling. We are so proud of his achievement of course, despite his disappointment. In revisits and endlessly looking online for ratings of STR, Crypt, and Marling, they all seem fantastic and as good as Pates to me. But how to make the choice?!

I was intrigued/excited to see Gloucestershire Live - https://www.gloucestershirelive.co.uk/n ... al-3062176 - rated Crypt as number 1 school in the country, and 35th in the entire country! Having visited I am very impressed and sense further surges in improvements over the coming years, especially now high-preforming girls are joining...but also seems well led with engaging staff and pupils. But STR also seems great - it has improving facilities and good track record...and we still have uncertainties about whether boys-only is the way to go - how can you judge that?! DS seems OK with either (haven't even seen Marling yet), but I'm concerned he's feeling like he is 'settling' for one of these rather than Pates, so is not in a good place to make an objective choice about where he will actually go.

I'm sure there are others in similar situations - how are you approaching the big decision? Or if you know Crypt and STR already, what are the real differences besides the obvious?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 12:49 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2019 12:30 pm
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Hi we had a similar issue in that we wanted our son to get into Pates but didn't get into the top 175, but had qualified for the other 3.

We in the end settled for STR on the basis that they really understood how to develop what are essentially little boys into young men. The open day did it for us seeing how mature, sensible and happy all the boys seemed. They also have a good track record which helps. Finally I would say travel distance will be important, for us Marling's was out just alone for that.

Hope that helps. I would be interested in what you do conclude so please do make sure you come back and let us all know the outcome :)


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 3:31 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2018 12:52 pm
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Hi Paulo,
We are in almost exactly the same situation. Top 150 for STR, Crypt and Marling. 235 for Pates which means he narrowly missed out on qualifying, although, as you point out, even if he had qualified he still would have needed to be in around the top 175 to actually get a place
But what you said rings so true for us too. He really wanted Pates, we live near it and everyone expected him to get in because he's been doing so well (and to be fair, he was very close!). So it does now feel like ok, what shall we settle for instead? Which is awful really as they are all good schools, as you said!
I want to find the school where he will be happiest. Unfortunately, I don't think he can make an objective decision himself and he feels under pressure to get the decision right, which doesn't help. Like you, I'm attracted by co-ed because he's very bright but very sensitive and not the rubgy- playing alpha male type. Having said that, the boys who showed us round Tommies seemed really nice. The school seemed quieter, but I wasn't convinced that was necessarily a good thing as the lessons we saw in Crypt felt more interactive, less heads down reading. I imagine he'd settle in to either school really. I almost feel like tossing a coin!
We too have discounted Marling, simply for transport reasons. The coach stop for Tommies and Crypt is an easy walk from the house whereas for Marling he'd need to be dropped off and picked up at the bus stop. We could do that but I'd rather he was able to be independent.
I too saw the article about Crypt being number 1 in the county. It changes every year. I think it does just go to show that they are all good schools. I'm less bothered about results because they are all grammar schools and a bright child will do well st any of them. I just want the school that will be the best fit for him.
Re curriculum - there are definite differences for girls because Ribston offers Dance but I didn't pick up on any significant differences between Tommies and Crypt, except for languages. Tommies assign either French, German or Spanish randomly in Year 7 and they can pick a second in Year 8. Crypt start them on both French and German in Year 7 and they can either keep both or drop one to pick up Spanish in Year 8.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 12:06 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2018 4:23 pm
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I don't know where your son came but last year Pates took down to around 185 by Easter. I'm not sure whether they took lower than that by September.

That said, I think Crypt and Tommies are great options and either would provide a great education with a good range of extracurricular activities.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 12:29 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:53 am
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Thanks so much KKK, jearund, and Corierra,

It's really helpful I think to know we're not alone here, this is a tough choice, but equally that we can't go too far wrong.

On the :( side, Son is absolutely determined to put Pates as 1 even though we keep drumming into him (crushingly) that it won't work out - he's in the '+200 but QS' club & to make matters worse he is invited to Pates next week along with all that have or are likely to get in...not helpful, but he is determined not to miss it!

On the :) side, all the views about STR and Crypt ring true, it's a great choice to have and we need to remember that and drum that truth into him too.

I think as things stand HE is leaning to STR, on the grounds of academic track record and the perception (rightly or wrongly) that it's stronger on the grounds it has taken the higher rankings in the past. I'm mildly favouring Crypt, and he knows it, (and we are going for a more intimate / 'normal school day' revisit next week), so it could come down to 'who decides?' - i suspect it will be him :)

In that case, my only worry is the burden of the decision on him - so our job as parents is mainly now I think to do everything we can to make it an exciting really positive choice and not a stressful one - they didn't teach that at NCT!!!

i'll definitely update & keen to hear any more views


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 12:56 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2017 9:44 pm
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My son qualified for Pates in 2017 (he got a score in the early 190’s) He went along to the morning too - and actually really didn’t like it at all. He was desperate to go to STR. We put Pates as our first choice (really because he could walk there and the co ed element) but he was allocated STR on allocation day. He went on the waiting list for a bit and then got to about 6th and we then took him off. He has been so happy at STR we have absolutely no regrets not pursuing Pates (we certainly didn’t bother appealing as lots do) He’s made lovely friends too. It’s definitely been the right school for him.
Good luck with your decision.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 1:09 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2019 12:20 pm
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Just wondering how Crypt has come out top in county, is it mainly based on Progress 8? We had all but decided on Pate's but this has made us rethink. How much weighting would you attach to it? Crypt would be much easier in terms of travel and DD has friends she knows who are going there. Just going round in circles at the moment!


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 1:34 pm 
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I'm not from your area, but, to be honest, these stats make little difference to an individual child. There are so many other things to consider. I would go with whichever you prefer, or if they are equal whichever is easiest to get to.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 1:47 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 11, 2013 9:09 pm
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I think quality of teaching is fairly equal at all the grammar schools. I have experience of 3 - Pates, drhs and strs. I'd go for the one you feel suits your child and not too much travelling.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 3:26 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2018 10:21 am
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Tiddlywinks wrote:
Just wondering how Crypt has come out top in county, is it mainly based on Progress 8? We had all but decided on Pate's but this has made us rethink. How much weighting would you attach to it? Crypt would be much easier in terms of travel and DD has friends she knows who are going there. Just going round in circles at the moment!


I wouldn't out too much weight behind it. How much easier would the transport be? I think length of day and friendships would have an equal influence. We've just been to Crypt again and DD really liked it. Off to the two girls Tuesday. My only reservation with Crypt is not enough girls going to find good friendship groups.


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