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 Post subject: Preference
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 7:18 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2018 10:38 pm
Posts: 25
Thinking of everyone today. It’s a tough process for any child. Well done for every child regardless of the result.

I was just wondering why Wilsons seems to be the favourite for most people? They all seemed very good schools to me


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 Post subject: Re: Preference
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 7:24 pm 
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It evidently is the most preferred school as it is able to pass the lowest number of boys and still fill all its places.

That said, it's not everyone's top choice. We put both SGS and Wallington Boys higher on our list. We thought Wilson's wouldn't be the best fit for our son because it felt that it would be the most strict and most pressured and that wouldn't suit him. But that was just our impression and our son isn't your son.

All three schools get excellent academic results so go for whichever one fits your boy the best.


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 Post subject: Re: Preference
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 7:30 pm 
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Thank you so much. Sports is very important for my son so trying to work out the best fit but saying that feel lucky to have options and they are all great schools.


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 Post subject: Re: Preference
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 5:59 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2014 8:14 am
Posts: 604
They are all great schools and I think the differences are relatively small.
I have a sixth former at Wilson’s.
Sport is very strong.
They own the Astro turf pitches at Goals which are beside the school.
This means the boys play football every lunchtime if they want to. It was the deciding factor for my son!
My DS has only played it in PE but badminton very strong the teams do extremely well.
Lots of cricket too.
There is also Futsal,table tennis and basketball.
Only two rugby teams.
Wally boys has very strong rugby.
Loads of bands,ensembles etc
It is strict.
The pace of work is fast but my son has never felt under pressure.
Superb preparation for GCSEs.Only just started sixth form so can’t comment on that.
The best bit though is absolutely wonderful pastoral care.
They are in small tutor groups (15) from year 9 and looked after amazingly well.
Problems are dealt with very quickly
I live more or less in the middle of the three schools.
We have friends with sons at all of them and everyone happy with their chosen school.


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 Post subject: Re: Preference
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:34 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 19, 2017 12:16 pm
Posts: 29
Results aren't everything of course, but if you look at the Sunday Times Parent Power national League tables at least from 2017 so a year out of date I concede), Wilsons is 4th Nationally in terms of GCSE and A-Level results, whereas SGS is 50th and Wallington 59th.

At GCSE the percentage of results at A*-A was 86.1 for Wilsons, 71.7 for SGS and 66.6 for WCGS
At A level the percentage of results at A*-B was 96.6, 76.4 and 76.8 respectively.

I suspect success breeds success in that with higher results, they are more popular so take the highest achieving kids which leads to higher results etc in a positive feedback loop.

It wasn't our top choice last year as it is too far away, but with sports facilities on site rather than SGS having to travel to their playing grounds, it may have been if travel was not a factor.


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 Post subject: Re: Preference
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 9:10 am 
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The biggest factor in my child's GCSE and A-level results will be the work he puts in over the next 5 to 7 years - not the results of other people's children who are 5 to 7 years older and sat on the same chairs as my child will sit on.

There is no real process whereby the children who contributed to the 2017 league tables will help my child - so much can change in half a decade - staff, curricula, whatever - and the difference between 4th on the list and 50th on the list can be a couple of kids who hard a tough time with the school or exams so the year average drops by a point or something...it's not really relevant to my child.

The main thing [for me] from an academic point of view, is that my child is given an environment where academic performance is praised and respected by the school [and by peers], and expectations are high.

I believe that exists at all the grammars... the actual GCSE results in 2024 [and the A-levels results in 2026] will be [mostly] up to your child, rather than the relative ranking of the schools in 2017.

So go for the one that you like the most or is easiest to commute to... the academic league tables are really to compare schools in the middle somewhere, not the ones at the top.


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 Post subject: Re: Preference
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 10:26 am 
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Quote:
The biggest factor in my child's GCSE and A-level results will be the work he puts in over the next 5 to 7 years - not the results of other people's children who are 5 to 7 years older and sat on the same chairs as my child will sit on.

There is no real process whereby the children who contributed to the 2017 league tables will help my child - so much can change in half a decade - staff, curricula, whatever - and the difference between 4th on the list and 50th on the list can be a couple of kids who hard a tough time with the school or exams so the year average drops by a point or something...it's not really relevant to my child.

The main thing [for me] from an academic point of view, is that my child is given an environment where academic performance is praised and respected by the school [and by peers], and expectations are high.


To play Devil's advocate, if the academic achievement of the children, and the underlying reasons behind that such as teaching/facilities as well as child themselves were not a factor, then you wouldn't be sending/trying to send a child to a grammar.

"There is no real process whereby the children who contributed to the 2017 league tables will help my child", I disagree somewhat. These children will act as example and role models for the younger years at the school. It may be an unconscious effect, but I believe a real one that if the years above achieve success the years below have a well trodden path to follow.

You are right in that you want your child in an environment where academic performance is praised and respected, and where as you say "expectations are high". The expectations of academic success based on consistently outperforming SGS and WCGS (and it is consistent, not just 2017) are by definition higher.

I agree that all three schools will provide an excellent and academically outstanding education, and it is impossible to know if a child at one would have performed any better or any worse at either of the others, but I do believe if 15% more of your GCSE results are A* or A, then that is a significant difference rather than an aberration due to a couple of kids having a hard time that year.

I'm certainly not looking to start an argument here, and have no vested interest but the original poster asked why Wilsons seemed the most popular, and why presumably they can set their entrance standards higher than WCGS and SGS, and I suspect a lot of that reason is due to their superior academic record in public examinations.


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 Post subject: Re: Preference
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 10:39 am 
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The OP wasn't asking grammar or comp, he/she was asking this grammar or that grammar.

The point about results being not important should be considered in that context. Both schools have a high ability cohort and the difference in exam results is not big enough to be a deciding factor. Other factors (journey to school, size of school, extra curricular activities, support for particular needs, pastoral care, approach to homework, approach to discipline etc) would outweigh the small difference in exam results when deciding which of the two very good grammars you would choose.


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 Post subject: Re: Preference
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 12:44 pm 
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Quote:
the difference in exam results is not big enough to be a deciding factor. Other factors........would outweigh the small difference in exam results when deciding which of the two very good grammars you would choose.



I must politely disagree. I don't think a >15% increase in GCSE grades A*-A (or equivalent) and a >20% increase in A-Level grades A*-B is a "small difference", and I think for many it will be a significant factor in choosing which school. Of course it isn't the only factor, and for many may not be in the top 3 most important considerations (as I say the distance required to get to Wilsons was a bigger factor than academic achievement for us hence we didn't put it on CAF) but in analysing why Wilsons appears to be the most popular choice of the three Grammar Schools, I think it plays a significant part.

The original poster asked
Quote:
I was just wondering why Wilsons seems to be the favourite for most people?


and rightly or wrongly, I think academic achievement explains some of that. Now if there were a big difference in "popularity" between WCGS and SGS given their far more similar academic results that would have to be down to something else, but I have no idea if there is.


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 Post subject: Re: Preference
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 12:54 pm 
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Posts: 1128
I think you're right that people look at the results in isolation and think that if other children are getting higher results at School X that School Y then my child will get higher results at School X than School Y.

I think these people are wrong. I think the small difference (it is a small difference!) in outcomes could very easily be explained by cohort rather than teaching, facilities or other aspects relating to the actual school.

I think if there is a big difference in grades - eg between a mixed ability comp and a super selective grammar - then the very fact of teaching mixed ability classes might impact on the outcomes. But schools like SGS and Wallington Boys don't have any mixed ability classes - they are all high ability.


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