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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 11:29 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2012 10:52 am
Posts: 7
Really need help with this everyon.e. never

dreamed would be in this position this time last year. I am really struggling as mts is a bit too far but obviously amazing scholarship opportunity. Qe are they really as bad people make out on the pastoral side?obviously great as its free. St albans was really liked by my son and we like because think its healthier they mix with opposite gender to an extent. Really struggling! Pls help.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 6:59 am 

Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
Posts: 7877
Location: Herts
Great problem to have, but tread carefully because many forum members have ended up with none of the schools they worked so hard for. You asked for opinions so here goes. Your ds will thrive in all these environments, many would be delighted to have just one of these schools so you cant go wrong ,you just need to decide which environment suits your ds best and not be swayed by others that have different needs. St Albans does not count as mixed. One disco a term is not a mixed school. The coaches are not mixed, none of the subjects are mixed and the schools are not that near each other. So if that was a deciding factor discount it. Secondly we need to know more about your ds. I would choose QE if my dd's were boys because they prefer to operate in a highly competitive mixed environment and pastoral care did not exist in our primary school, so unlike others at secondary they can manage just fine without it. But if you are used to pastoral care then he might struggle without it. Does your ds like football? Is he happy to abandon it for rugby? Does he like to compete? Does he like to work hard and be under pressure with lots of targets? Which one does he want to go to? DG

PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 8:25 am 

Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 12:55 am
Posts: 31
I agree with Daogroupie - it depends on what you consider to be the priority for your DS and yourselves as a family.

My DS who's now at QE (and enjoying it) was an avid footballer in primary school and played for a local club. At QE they do not do football, and rugby was new for him. Although he's giving it his best, he misses the footie training and wants to take it up again as he's got schoolmates at QE who continue do footie training outside of school. My dilemma is whether there's the time to fit that in with everything else he needs to do after school e.g. rugby training, swimming etc!

We knew there was no footie from the school visit, and after some deliberation we decided the upsides of the school were far greater than the downsides - hence the reason we went ahead.

Each school will have its pros and cons, and it's really a case of weighing those against your personal preferences and what you feel is best for your DS, and then ranking the schools accordingly. It's also worth discussing with DS (even though you have the ultimate veto) as he'll be the one having to spend the next 7 years there.

Hope that helps.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 8:44 am 

Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 12:43 pm
Posts: 378
Location: London
Very well doneto your DS!! I agree with the others. But I'd first write a list of the main criteria that are really important toyou and your DS and then use some kind of scoring system to score each school against each. Of course include softer aspects like the feel of the school as well as other more tangible criteria. It's so hard to compare schools as they all have different things going for them, but if you try to go back to the start and what is most important to you and your family it might be easier to get a clerarer picture, and highlight which one scores most. Good luck!!


PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 10:37 am 

Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:59 pm
Posts: 1287
On academics alone, MTS is considerably stronger than St Albans at both GCSE and A level. It’s also in a beautiful setting, with fabulous grounds and is strong on music and drama (for which they often combine with girls from St Helens). St Albans is a lovely school with a great feel and turns out very nice boys, but it is not, imho, in quite the same league.

I have no knowledge of QE at all, but if you’re choosing between a scholarship at MTS and St Albans, the former should probably be favourite.

And well done to your DS for getting the scholarship :D

PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 11:58 am 

Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 3:31 pm
Posts: 132

Congratulations to your DS - what a great position to be in!

QE Boys is a fine school of its type. What it does it does very well. It is a typically organised and regimented traditional grammar school: this suits some boys but not others. Probably your son will like it or get used to it. The traditional view is that this is good for boys.

QE has one unusual feature. Most schools accept boys at 11+ for seven years. QE Boys will commit only for 5 years up to GCSE. For A Level, typically around 40 out of 180 leave, generally those expected to do less well at A Level. Something to bear in mind.


PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 2:37 pm 

Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 8:24 am
Posts: 114
I'm a St Albans parent and they do virtually no mixing with girls. At least until a number of girls arrive in the sixth form.

I would definitely choose the free option first (much as I really like SA) and stand ready, where necessary to top-up with 1:1 tutoring: you will be able to afford quite a lot of it.

Between the two fee payers, which is the most geographically convenient? My sons spend most of their Saturdays representing SA at one sport or another, and so it's very much better for everyone if school is easy for them to get to under their own steam. Woollams is not very easy to get to, by public transport (there is one bus that passes along the A1081).

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