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 Post subject: Grammar vs Comp
PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:38 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:14 pm
Posts: 29
Hi All,
I'm struggling with a decision as to the type of school that is best for my son. We are in the lucky position of having passed the 11+, not top 180, but should be within catchment of Chis & Sid and Beth's.

I'm not convinced that grammar is the best option for my son and not sure how to decide, so really looking for views as to the kind of children that grammar really works for and those that it might not work for. My son scored 225 on the test so a reasonably comfortable pass (although he had a really strong verbal mark but lower scores in the other two areas). However, he really couldn't be bothered with the effort of preparing (he had a tutor for 1 hour per week) and hates doing his homework. I'm worried that he would be unhappy at grammar with the workload as it will be much more homework than at non-grammar schools and higher expectations to get on with things by himself. I also don't think he'll be one of the top kids. He's always been top group in primary school and I'm unsure how much it will affect him to be a middling or possibly bottom kid. However, I also wonder if it could be the making of him and perhaps being surrounded by kids 'getting on with it' will get him to knuckle down.

The main options we would consider as an alternative are Crown Woods and Coopers, both of which have grammar streams but with a wider range of pupils (as about a third of the kids are in the grammar stream and this is from a cohort where quite a few of the brightest kids will be off to grammar) and lesser homework expectations. They also have really good enrichment offers with things that really appeal to my son e.g. Cadet Force at Crown Woods as opposed to enforced rugby practice at Chis & Sid which won't appeal!

So I guess, I'm asking three things:
- Are there 'types' of kids which grammar doesn't really suit? Anyone with children similar to mine that went to grammar?
- Anyone else choose comp over grammar? Or can contrast having one kid in comp and one in grammar? Any regrets?
- Of the schools above, what is the homework load like? Are you happy with the school?

If you've read this far. Thank you and thanks in advance for your feedback!


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 Post subject: Re: Grammar vs Comp
PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 6:45 am 
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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 5:27 pm
Posts: 4993
Location: london
phina1 wrote:
So I guess, I'm asking three things:

phina1 wrote:
- Are there 'types' of kids which grammar doesn't really suit?
It depends on the school,not whether or not it is a grammar
phina1 wrote:
Anyone with children similar to mine that went to grammar?
I'm sure there are but not personally.
phina1 wrote:
- Anyone else choose comp over grammar? Or can contrast having one kid in comp and one in grammar? Any regrets?
Lots of people do, but you need people who have chosen one of these specific schools, as opposed to a grammar or a comp
phina1 wrote:
- Of the schools above, what is the homework load like? Are you happy with the school?
I do hope you get an answer on this one, as it may be an error to assume the grammar has more homework than the comp.

I am not familiar with these particular schools but I think you need to forget about seeing it as grammar v comp and consider each school on its individual merits in relation to your son's preferences and strengths/interests. From what you have written above I would imagine you would fairly quickly come to a decision about which is most suitable. Good luck.

_________________
mad?


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 Post subject: Re: Grammar vs Comp
PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:23 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 21, 2013 1:56 pm
Posts: 124
Hi there, I can't help with all your questions but I can give you a little on my DS's experience - he is at a grammar school, year 9.

Re homework - he does work really hard and it is expected. If their targets aren't being met, the school will enforce "intervention". Yes, the homework does sometimes get him down but I have to say he's very good, comes home, gets on with as he knows it has to be done. I'd say on average he gets 1.5 hours per night, but it's up and down. He will have some weeks where he's doing 45 mins a night and other weeks where he's working ALL night and all weekend. homework is very much part of the school's system. Whereas he has lots of friends at Hurstmere - they seem to get very little in comparison. I have a friend whose boys missed 11+ by 1 mark, he's at Coopers in the grammar stream and he's flying there, his parents are very happy with the school.

I agree with mad, take out the grammar element and compare school for school. Yes grammar is challenging but your son is clearly bright and I'm sure with the right attitude will do well in that environment. I've found having my DS at an all boys school has helped - he's fiercely competitive and being in a competitive all boys environment helps push him along - he's always saying he doesn't want to be bottom. My DS is bright but not naturally academic, he has to work hard at things, they don't always come easy to him, so this really helps him along.

Good luck with your decision!


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 Post subject: Re: Grammar vs Comp
PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:54 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 9:39 am
Posts: 128
A close friend’s daughter chose Bullers Wood over Chis and Sid, despite passing 11+. Her main reason is that they live in Bromley and so Bullers is much closer and all her friends were going there.

She is now in Year 11 and is happy. The amount of homework she gets is very similar to DS who is at a Grammar.

One potential negative is that she says she does get teased for being a ‘swot’ (or whatever the young people call it these days :D ) and will often lie about how much homework she is doing.

As pp have said, just chose the school that seems to fit your son best. Our thought has always been that the 11+ just increases the choice of possible schools, it doesn’t mean you have to chose one!


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 Post subject: Re: Grammar vs Comp
PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:51 am 
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Posts: 2672
I don't know about the homework load at the comprehensive schools you mentioned, but I do know that Cown Woods take into consideration their banding, SATs and own CAT test results to place your child in a house. Each house is effectively a set and once in a house the child cannot move to another. Those are physical houses, so your child would go to a building and wear a different tie. I must say that I didn't like that. The children would definitely work out which one is the "academic" house, to put it politely.
I was told this information when I went to their open day last year.

I also agree with the advice given. It's not grammar vs comp. You need to find the school which best suits your child.
There are a few ways that schools use to achieve great results:
- Excellent teaching
- Selection of the most academic, conscientious, hard working children who cope with pressure.
- Getting children to do an awful lot of work at home and threaten them with getting rid of them if not. This happens when progressing to the 6th form or earlier (usually year 9) in private schools.
- A combination of all points above.

I would love for all the learning to be done at school, but maybe independent learning is necessary. There are debates about homework everywhere.
My boys go to Dartford Grammar and I noticed that year 7 was a complete shock to the system, as they hardly had any homework at primary. It takes time to be focused and it's very difficult not to get distracted when looking up an answer on the internet.
At DGS each piece of homework should take 30 minutes in the early years and 45 thereafter. They normally get 2 pieces of homework per day and it is never for the following day. Annoyingly, they sometimes get homework or revision to be done during the holidays.

What is true is that, as most boys want to do well, they motivate themselves to complete their work. If homework is not handed in, they are given detention where they normally have to complete their work. This would affect their effort grade and the parent would be called in if it is 7 or below. The maximum is 10.
So, work is taken very seriously.
In your son's case, he may be inspired by others; feel rewarded by the recognition of hard work; feel proud of his achievements and thrive.

Salsa


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 Post subject: Re: Grammar vs Comp
PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 5:34 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2017 1:55 pm
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We're in this position too, choosing between Chis & Sid or Beths, and one of the Bromley comps (probably Ravens Wood) which will be nearer to us with a much easier journey. I wasn't amazed by Chis & Sid, though it's nice enough, and I'm not sure it's worth an hour travelling. It's such a hard decision!


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 Post subject: Re: Grammar vs Comp
PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 5:49 pm 
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7 years ago, we chose a Bromley comp over Chis&Sid for DD1. Results were comparable and it was much closer. She moved to a GS for 6th form. As previous posters have said, it's about finding the right school for your DC regardless of whether it's a GS or a comp. We are lucky in Bromley as we have some great schools to choose from. Good luck in your decision.


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 Post subject: Re: Grammar vs Comp
PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2020 6:40 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 04, 2019 5:39 pm
Posts: 23
I know this is a very old thread but I’m wondering what you chose in the end OP and how it has worked out?


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 Post subject: Re: Grammar vs Comp
PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2020 7:08 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:24 pm
Posts: 1560
Location: Petts Wood, Bromley, Kent
JP2010 I can see from previous posts you are from a completely different region. Bear in mind though some areas are different. In Bromley as there are only two grammar schools the rest of the schools are far more comprehensive than in a fully grammar area.


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