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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 2:27 pm 
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Gloucsdad, Milla is right to say it is wise to broaden your horizons.

Many chose to send their children to the Gloucester or Stroud schools because pupils tend to perform better in single sex schools, particularly so boys, which in the present climate is extremelly important to remember. Also it is sensible to send your child to the nearest Grammar school to avoid unnecessary extra travel.

I am sure that Pates does have the pick of pupils but then it is the only Grammar in Cheltenham as opposed to the other two towns which have more schools hence more places.

For the record I know someone that has a Crypt score of 130, I believe this to be pretty high and certainly within the top 120 of pupils who sat the 11+ test? It is the highest score I know of and the child received no tuition just practice papers at home starting about a month before the actual test. This child did not even bother to tick the Pates' box but will be going to a Gloucester Grammar and will undoubtably do very well there.

The Gloucsester schools will undoubtably have to allocate more passes as they are probably second place options for many Stroud and Cheltenham pupils due to their location.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 2:39 pm 
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Sorry Tolstoy - boys do not always do better in single gender schools - some of the studies actually show the reverse!


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 3:12 pm 
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I think it depends on the sort of boy...a bit like ''wrong' type of snow :lol: :lol: ...some will do well in a single gender and some won't, depending on their character and personality...and the type of school isn't even factored in yet..it's too complicated..going to REHAB..


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 3:19 pm 
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Gosh Guest55, I had been led to believe this was so as the head at one of the schools we visited actually told us this in his speech.

Not that it made any difference to our choice as single sex is our only option, always had a leaning toward co-ed myself for social reasons and my own personal experience with a single sex year group.

Agree with the complicated bit though, AB thinking of my own boys.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 3:42 pm 
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Tolstoy - a Head at a single gender school would say that! :lol:

It is not clear cut - of course intake is not always a level playing field so you cannot just compare results.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 4:27 pm 
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As far as I know, research has indicated that girls do better in single gender schools without the distraction of boys and boys do better in a mixed environment because girls are a 'good influence'.


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 Post subject: Single Sex Education
PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 5:09 pm 
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I think that Grammar Schools aren't the subject of the research about boys and girls. It is 'normal' schools with some poor behaviour, issues of role models etc.

You have to look at the results, talk to the students and make your own judgements.

Is it just me or did Denmark Rd seem a bit stuffy and lacking in innovation / ambition from the Head?

Prob just me - horses for courses. Is it ever really beneficial to create a false comunity of just girls?

We have another year (well 10 months now) till we have to decide - and it all depends on the test I guess.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 6:21 pm 
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Sorry all boy zone here so no idea what the girls schools are like.

Having said that visited the two boys' schools and found it impossible to come down totally in favour of one, so pretty glad that I won't be having to do it all again, another plus to same sex children :lol: . Just keeping my fingers et al crossed that the 11+ will hang on in there for DSs 3 & 4.

Choice, :? , would love to know if anyone is totally confident with the one they have opted for. Just trusting to the fact that whether a child enjoys secondary or not has more to do with the child than the school and both the schools we saw appeared to be doing good things.

Will be with you through the test process this year though, Redexile. Having just got DS1 through it am now having deja vue with DS2. Bit more organised this year, thankfully.

You have done the right thing seeing the schools early and we also opted to wait for DS1's results before allowing him to become too set on any one particular school. He did have his favourite once he saw them and we are very hopeful that come results day and counting (22 days I believe), he will get a place there.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 3:26 pm 
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gloucsdad wrote:
There is some interesting tales of 'I turned down Pate's' - a bit like those who claim to have 'turned down oxbridge'.
I know that if my child qualified for a co-ed school, getting the best results in the county, with the strongest sports profile, the most inclusive and high quality arts programme ( I think all of the Gloucs Musician of the Year finalists last year were from Pate's) etc etc. Why turn it down for another school, admittedly another good school, but it rarely happens?

t
x

My point in taking a wider look was aimed at someone who told us that he was coming into the area and who, from glancing at the league tables, might just assume that Pates was the only school worth considering. It is a school filled with children, from an enormous "catchment" (many not local by any stretch) who are clearly very clever and so, yes, its results speak for themselves, and should speak for themselves. "Creaming off" those who scored the highest marks should result in the best results in the county. All I have to go on is being friends with many parents there and these tend to fall into two distinct camps - those who rave and those who have grown to dislike it. The tales I hear lead me to entertain vague doubts. It is not a place where every child will thrive just because it is Pates.
For the record, I have several friends, good people all, whose children "got into" Pates, and yet who selected to go elsewhere, not just the few mentioned in my first response who were among last year's year 6 at our school. My friends have cited the "feel" of the place, the attitudes of children / staff, the ethos. Interestingly some, who only put it second on the list, were contacted by the school and asked to reconsider. They didn't. But, no one size fits all and their not taking up places freed them for those who really wanted Pates. Which must be a good thing.
No school is 100% happy shiny, no school is without some problems for some pupils; the claims and assertions of all schools may require a little fleshing out, a little probing, a little digging below the surface. Quoting individual cases is pointless, so I won't but, call it chippy, I'm tired of the hierarchical suggestion that Pates is perfect and all the rest are a bit second rate and that selection of same is to be pitied.
For me, while I like the climbing wall (!), the slick presentation delivered from the stage was enough to send a massive warning signal about the kind of child and family they were appealing to (it seemed a strong sell towards the private school sector). Whereas that given by a couple of the comps appealed, to me at least, much more on a grounded / rounded / human level. I'm possibly a stroppy old iconoclast, and this is merely my personal opinion and one which no one else needs agree with.
There are very many, very happy children there, and there are those who are not, who have struggled psychologically with going from being top at their primary to somewhere near the bottom at Pates, who have been disappointed that the teaching does not always match the parents' expectation. There are those who were possibly tutored beyond their level to get in in the first place and there are those natural geniuses who just sauntered through the exam and don't know what all the fuss is about (one of the girls from our school who chose not to go there last year was one of those and, before you ask, only did the exam to please her mother - divorced parents - father won his comp for her and she is very happy there).
It depends what you want for your own child. Whether the strong performance of the school's sports teams, as mentioned, is more important to you than your child actually getting to play, albeit in just a C or D team. I know which matters to me more: him playing, if he wants to turn out in the wind and the rain, not the culling of hope and the misery of perceived failure at an early age. I wanted chances for my children. I hope we made the right choices. They seem very happy. But anyone would be in some cloud cuckoo land if they didn't say that there are niggles of some sorts at all the schools, although, frankly, it doesn't do children any harm not to be catered for to their exact liking 100% of the time.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 4:28 pm 
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Location: Gloucestershire
gloucsdad wrote:
Why turn it down for another school, admittedly another good school, but it rarely happens?


We didn't tick the Pates box. It would be quite easy to have done so, but there seemed little point - other than out of curiosity.

The reason we didn't - distance. Why bother when there's a perfectly good grammar within 10 mins walking? Yes, I know there are people from here who commute, but what hassle!

Off topic a little, I played in a concert the other day alongside a youth and her teacher. It was the standard thing - turn up, 1 1/2 hours rehearsal (not going all the way through each piece), 1/2 hour off, then concert. The young lady had passed grade 8 and in fact, her teacher told me she also had 3 other grade 8's as well. Had I not been told, I would have put her down as grade 1 or 2. Her sight reading was not good (she said she'd never had to perform something she'd only played once before), and her counting was poor. The teacher said that many of the pupils from this girls country are just so pressured to perform well in exams, so focused on them, that they become good at the practice & skills needed to pass exams, but can't put those skills to practical use - and it's the same with academic subjects. She'd never seen any of the children playing until they had a little time in the snow, as the school schedule is based around work, prep, private study, with as little time as possible for R&R. To me, that's a shame. I want my children to have a balanced education which includes fun & relaxation as well as study!

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