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Dilemma - local comp in Orpington or Dartford/Beths Grammar
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Author:  BR5mum [ Sat Oct 19, 2019 10:29 am ]
Post subject:  Dilemma - local comp in Orpington or Dartford/Beths Grammar

Hello helpful people,

I'm having a dilemma about what to put as 2nd and 3rd choice on my CAF. St. Olave's will be 1st (we live in Petts Wood), we're debating whether to put Darrick Wood (our closest school, but we're 0.2 miles out of catchment) and Ravens Wood (well within catchment) as 2nd and 3rd, or put Dartford Grammar and Beths Grammar as 2nd and 3rd. We loved Dartford and like the Chinese offering and curriculum at Dartford and Beths (not so keen on the compulsory Saturday rugby at Dartford though!). I know my DS can get school coaches to both schools - however I'm hearing that they can be unreliable. We also really like Ravens Wood, mainly because of the headteacher!

Has anyone else in the same area with an older boy been through this dilemma already? I'm interested in hearing what decision you made and whether you were happy with it or regretted it. Thanks!

Author:  Sorrel [ Sat Oct 19, 2019 11:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Dilemma - local comp in Orpington or Dartford/Beths Gram

What about Chis and Sid - do the public buses that run from Orpington (no 51 I think) work for Petts Wood too?

Compulsory Saturday rugby at Dartford is only for half a term I think but we also are wary of coaches, as it makes it harder to stay for after school activities if the public transport option is a pain. Dartford is a really excellent school though and will be on our list behind Olave's, Judd and Skinners (sibling place).

In my older son's year, the boys who went to Ravens Wood seemed happier and settled faster than the children who went to Darrick Wood; we're putting RW as a backup option but not DW.

Author:  BR5mum [ Sat Oct 19, 2019 11:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Dilemma - local comp in Orpington or Dartford/Beths Gram

We weren't keen on Chis and Sid, and 51 is not that convenient for us - it'd be a 10 min drive to the nearest bus stop.

Apparently there's compulsory rugby at Dartford after school on Mondays, and maybe some compulsory music after school on Fridays? In which case DS would have to make his own way home (or I'd have to pick him up!) - neither option is particularly appealing.

I had thought the local comp option would be easier if he didn't get into St. Olave's, but my mum reckons that if he's got the opportunity to go to a grammar school, then he should. It's such a dilemma (but nice that we have options).

Author:  Clawhit [ Sat Oct 19, 2019 8:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Dilemma - local comp in Orpington or Dartford/Beths Gram

Compulsory rugby at DGS is only for the first term then they can drop. So you are looking at until Christmas and weather dependant - rugby hasn’t been on for the last two weeks due to open evenings etc not heard of music on a Friday at all.

Author:  BR5mum [ Sun Oct 20, 2019 8:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Dilemma - local comp in Orpington or Dartford/Beths Gram

Clawhit wrote:
Compulsory rugby at DGS is only for the first term then they can drop. So you are looking at until Christmas and weather dependant - rugby hasn’t been on for the last two weeks due to open evenings etc not heard of music on a Friday at all.


Clawhit, that's really helpful, thanks. Do you know what proportion of kids drop the rugby when it's no longer compulsory? The admissions lady said they encourage everyone to carry on with it as it's good for bonding!

Author:  kenyancowgirl [ Sun Oct 20, 2019 9:12 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Dilemma - local comp in Orpington or Dartford/Beths Gram

Does it matter? Your son may decide he loves it....he may decide he doesn’t - he has that choice and it shouldn’t be a dealbreaker in choosing a school because they give that choice.

Author:  BR5mum [ Sun Oct 20, 2019 11:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Dilemma - local comp in Orpington or Dartford/Beths Gram

kenyancowgirl wrote:
Does it matter? Your son may decide he loves it....he may decide he doesn’t - he has that choice and it shouldn’t be a dealbreaker in choosing a school because they give that choice.


It's not a dealbreaker, we love the school and we can cope with it for a term. I just don't understand why the school makes everyone do it out of school hours!

Author:  PettswoodFiona [ Sun Oct 20, 2019 11:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Dilemma - local comp in Orpington or Dartford/Beths Gram

Because children are influenced by parents who assume their DCs will not enjoy it and so they don’t even try, and only by making it compulsory can the school get the DC to make up their own mind. DD was convinced she didn’t like German but her previous school forced them to do a different language every year to ‘try it out’ - she found an affinity with German she didn’t know she had and is now considering doing it for A levels. I have begrudging respect now for schools working around us recalcitrant parents.

Author:  Clawhit [ Mon Oct 21, 2019 1:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Dilemma - local comp in Orpington or Dartford/Beths Gram

BR5mum wrote:
Clawhit wrote:
Compulsory rugby at DGS is only for the first term then they can drop. So you are looking at until Christmas and weather dependant - rugby hasn’t been on for the last two weeks due to open evenings etc not heard of music on a Friday at all.


Clawhit, that's really helpful, thanks. Do you know what proportion of kids drop the rugby when it's no longer compulsory? The admissions lady said they encourage everyone to carry on with it as it's good for bonding!


About 1/3 dropped in my ds’s year.

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