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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 2:30 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:29 pm
Posts: 12
I need some help and advice - quite quickly.
My son is academically bright but lacks confidence and is an extremely sensitive boy. Although almost everyone at his small prep school gets on with him, he has no best friends: he is closest to the girls in his class. He has experienced some bullying in the past.
We are in Gloucestershire and he took the 11+. He didn't get the school he wanted (Pate's) but has been offered a place at the only other mixed grammar (Crypt). We've visited it many times and cannot see him there (it's just too rough and tumble for him).
To give us an alternative, he took the King's Gloucester scholarship exam and has been offered a scholarship. As a long shot, he also took the Exeter school entrance exam (they don't offer scholarships) and has been offered a place. We could move to Exeter as my wife and I work from him. The dilemma is which school to choose - and it is complicated by having a second son in Y5, who is much more confident and is likely to get his first choice of grammar.
King's: pros: small class sizes (15) may make it easier to spot problems
No need to move/convenient; Son no.2 can still go to grammar.
cons: classes may be too small to make friends; Cost vs. results looks poor; school feels a bit rigid/hierachical/old fashioned.
Exeter: pros: excellent results at lower cost per child than King's; Medium (22-24) class sizes may be best of both words; Excellent facilities; Great feel, positive atmosphere; both sons would be together/share the same benefits
cons: it's affordable (just) but paying for two children in senior private will be a stretch; have to move.

Anyone with any experience of either school or thoughts on how to resolve this problem (by Wednesday!) please comment.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 2:57 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
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Did you look at Sir Thomas Rich? I know it's a boys school but pastoral care is excellent. Is it too late to go for this option?

Otherwise I'd stay where you are and go for Kings; far less disruption.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 3:09 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:59 am
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I second that about STR - Pastoral care is the best I have ever encountered at any school, ever (and I have taught all over the place, specifically with children needing extra care). For some reason people seem to think they have to be into rugby or else, but neither of mine ever has been, and it has not even been on the radar of potential issues. Otherwise, I have a friend whose son has been very happy indeed at King's and has done very well academically too. I don't think they have any complaints at all. Personally I would never uproot an entire family for a school, especially when there is no other reason to move and there are other children to think of as well. Imagine the pressure on your very sensitive son to succeed, knowing that you had only moved house because of him.

For the record, I don't think Crypt is any more 'rough and tumble' than Pates - it may be a different kind of rough and tumble but don't kid yourself that Pates is some kind of refined and genteel establishment (nor is King's). And (I say this as a parent of a child who was very sensitive too) please don't spend all his life protecting him from things you think might be too damaging for his sensitivities. At some point he has to encounter the big bad world, and sometimes that is best done at age 11, rather than potentially protecting him for another 5 -7 years when the demons will still be there, just bigger and fiercer. It is so tempting to try and fix everything, but the world you are trying to fix just gets harder to fend off if you do that.

Good luck.

ETA - Exeter is a nice enough place to live; and even better, it isn't going anywhere any time soon. It will still be there in a year or two when you will have had a bit more time to think, so why not start with the line of least resistance and stay where you are to see how it goes?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 5:09 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:34 pm
Posts: 1117
I have no idea how you could possibly see the Crypt school was too rough and tumble...my son has been at Crypt for the past 5 years and it has been a brilliant school for him.

It has brought him out in so many ways. He has been very ill at times and has a specific learning difficulty as well as able at maths and science. The school has supported him through his ups and downs and he has definitely thrived.
He is far from being a sporty or boisterous...quite sensitive and thoughtful really...the school has very caring staff who work hard to develop their students....we did consider Kings at one stage..he got as far as being offered a scholarship ...but ultimately he decided he was happy to go to Crypt and it worked very well for us. They are very good at settling the new children in as well...
The new intake being co ed would also be an advantage.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 5:34 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:29 pm
Posts: 12
@ DC17C. Maybe rough and tumble is the wrong phrase - I don't mean it pejoratively: it just didn't feel right for him.

@Guest55. We did consider Sir Thomas Rich but all boys was a red line and while I think he is most likely to make a good friend with another boy, we decided it would be wrong to go against his wishes.

@Amber: "Imagine the pressure on your very sensitive son to succeed, knowing that you had only moved house because of him." - I hadn't thought of that aspect. Thank you..


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