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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 4:27 pm 
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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!


Tiddlywinks - I was surprised as well, I just assumed Pates was 'the best'. What the 'Real Schools Guide' does from what i can understand is look at a much broader range of (50) indicators covering attainment, progress, attendance, and outcomes (i.e. destinations). This explains the approach: https://www.gloucestershirelive.co.uk/n ... ols-227568
It's really made me rethink especially as when I visited Crypt earlier this week I was bowled over by the buzz of the place and impressed by the head, the staff, and the pupils we met. The fact that The Crypt's score and ranking has gone up steadily and significantly in the last 3 years also indicates there is a positive trajectory for the school, and I'd guess that girls joining might continue to bolster this in coming years. Attendance is quite a key indicator for me as a crude proxy for pupil enjoyment - the absence rate is relatively low and is continuing to fall.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 4:28 pm 
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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!


To be honest these numbers can be used so many ways they almost end up being pointless if you have a score in the Top150 or close to it.

Pates will always talk about their overall attainment marks - they do get amazing results, but they ought to as the are taking the very top children. They don't tend to talk about "progress" as much because (as the head always notes) they are taking pupils that are already being assessed as being able to get the top grades and hence there is little room for them to appear to have "got better".

Some of the other schools will quote "progress" as they take a wider range of children and hence have scope to get them to attain higher marks than their initial prediction - that shows the school is doing a good job; but in that sense they all do.

In terms of base numbers (if I have these right) there are about 7500 children in Year 6 in Gloucestershire, about 2500 take the test (and that include a certain number of out of "area"), and there are about 1000 places. Now you can't say it's the "top children" that take the test, as lot choose not to for various reasons - but even on those base numbers you could say the children going to grammar are the top 15% (or allowing even more for those that could but don't) to 25% of the year group - so all the grammars are dealing with some pretty motivated and clever children that should do well whichever school they go to.

That's a long way of saying: There's a risk of over-analysing all of this. All the schools are good and it's probably best to go for the one that your DD or DS is most comfortable with, or which offers the subjects that they prefer.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 4:32 pm 
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cheltdad wrote:
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!


To be honest these numbers can be used so many ways they almost end up being pointless if you have a score in the Top150 or close to it.

Pates will always talk about their overall attainment marks - they do get amazing results, but they ought to as the are taking the very top children. They don't tend to talk about "progress" as much because (as the head always notes) they are taking pupils that are already being assessed as being able to get the top grades and hence there is little room for them to appear to have "got better".

Some of the other schools will quote "progress" as they take a wider range of children and hence have scope to get them to attain higher marks than their initial prediction - that shows the school is doing a good job; but in that sense they all do.

In terms of base numbers (if I have these right) there are about 7500 children in Year 6 in Gloucestershire, about 2500 take the test (and that include a certain number of out of "area"), and there are about 1000 places. Now you can't say it's the "top children" that take the test, as lot choose not to for various reasons - but even on those base numbers you could say the children going to grammar are the top 15% (or allowing even more for those that could but don't) to 25% of the year group - so all the grammars are dealing with some pretty motivated and clever children that should do well whichever school they go to.

That's a long way of saying: There's a risk of over-analysing all of this. All the schools are good and it's probably best to go for the one that your DD or DS is most comfortable with, or which offers the subjects that they prefer.


very good point you make at the end, but I do like your analysis cheltdad :D


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 4:56 pm 
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paulo wrote:
very good point you make at the end, but I do like your analysis cheltdad :D


Hi Paulo - Many Thanks!

I've had to go all thru this with DD who was very upset not to be in the likely range for Pates - and trying to explain to her that she's qualified for the other 4 schools that take girls and we really just need to choose which and stop worrying about she's in X place for one and Y place for another - when her rankings for all of them are well inside the range that got in last year.

In many ways I sometimes wonder if putting them thru all of this at this age is fair - we've lost a lot of time over 2 years to tutoring, practice papers and mocks etc that could have been spent playing with her friends; when, in all honesty, our local comps are perfectly good schools - but in other ways the type of children they are means they need a challenge that they are perhaps not getting at junior (with the risk of being "at the top and getting very bored", and end up in the same state at secondary).

The other bit on the analysis front I'm wary of is trying to work out what "dropped" your DD or DS from say Top150 to 250 or 350 etc (or ever lower). You have to remember that this (if the papers were fair) is pretty much a normal distribution profile with over 2500 individual scores - and once you get off the really top marks a difference in score of only 1 or 2 will actually move you 50 places or more.

So all those that have qualified have done a great job - and they need to know that and not feel they've somehow "failed" by not getting into Pates or being slightly lower ranked than their friends etc, and whichever school they go to will give them a great enducation, and should be pleased to have them.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2019 11:57 pm 
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update as promised: looks like we are going for STR...and getting excited about it. But that's nothing against the other options for DS...I've been really impressed with both Crypt and with Marling over last 2 weeks - all three seem fab, and I really do believe Crypt is on a strong upward trajectory in lots of ways, and Marling just seems like a lovely school.

Remaining niggles about STR
- what if you don't love rugby but like other sports? Is there flex to do less rugby and more other stuff?
- are there chances for boys to play instruments in groups if they haven't got as far as grade 4/5+? The groups mentioned on the website all sound advanced!


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2019 6:03 pm 
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Couldn’t agree with Cheltdad more and as whilst I admit I don’t have personal experience of STR I really think this rugby reputation is overstated. As is also true with the reputations of all the other schools. I know quite a few boys at STR who are ambivalent about sports generally including rugby but they adore their school. They don’t feel under pressure at all. There’s all sorts at all the school. Good luck!


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