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PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2021 10:59 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2021 9:40 am
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I have read the recent discussions here about the Bexley grammars vs Newstead but wondering about the options for a boy. My DS achieved a good Bexley result and has been invited forward for second stage at Olave’s.

We have been to Beth’s & C&S this week, which we really liked and DS can see himself being happy at either. We have an older child at C&S too, so know it well and have the security of sibling place if we need it.

As we have not been able to attend an open day, we are feeling apprehensive about Olave’s due to its previous, high pressure/exam factory reputation. I have read lots of positive reviews since then and the new headteacher seems supportive and approachable, but I don’t actually know anyone with children currently attending.

My DS is really not keen to choose a school without visiting it as he is worried about fitting in. He doesn’t feel that the virtual tour gives him enough information about what it’s actually like to go there.

I appreciate that we are in a fortunate position – and we still have to do very well at the 2nd exam to be in with a chance, but it is a really difficult decision to make as obviously, the most important factor to consider is his happiness. Can anyone shed any light about the pastoral care and extracurricular offers. Do the boys make friends easily? Is it the curriculum very maths/science heavy? My DS will also require some SEN support but this seems to be well planned for, from what I have read on their website.

Any insight or experience you share will be appreciated.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2021 11:16 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2014 10:25 pm
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DS is in the Sixth Form at Olave's and has been very happy there since Year 7. Expectations are high both from the teachers and the students themselves. As parents, we haven't worried at all about his happiness or his grades right through KS3 and KS4 nor did we ever need to seek out of school support (tuition etc) at any point in time. The school encourages children to be very independent and to own their progress. It is hard work but not overly so. All grammar schools, I think, are quite academic. There is the occasional moan about cafe food etc, but overall it is a very good school. Regarding the choices, there aren't too many. Do check their website on which you will find the GCSE subject choices on offer. Maths and Science are part of the core subjects and DS never felt the teaching or the expectations to be overwhelming. If a child stays on top of homework, it is perfectly manageable. They do test the boys very often though. I remember one of the first messages given to my DSs cohort was to be very organised. Reflecting on his years at this school, I think that was the most important one.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2021 11:31 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2021 9:40 am
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Thanks mumsdarling2.

That is reassuring and I am pleased to hear that your DS has been very happy there. With the query re maths/science, I suppose I meant that their results seem to be highest in those subjects where I've seen on the tables, so I wondered if that was due to more emphasis being placed on them - or just a coincidence with that particular cohort? Good that your DS has not felt expectations to be overwhelming. Lots to think about and thankfully have another couple of weeks to decide.


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