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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2019 3:53 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2017 1:42 pm
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Hello all
I am after some reviews of Dartford boys grammar school..can someone please advice? My son scored 403 in kent test and we are thinking of including the school in our preferences (we are OOC but will move if offered a place)..i hv checked their ofsted report but it seems its not been inspected for a while so hoping for some first hand reviews..thanks!


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2019 5:10 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 20, 2016 9:55 am
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[color=#FF4000][color=#FFBF00][/color][/color]
EssexMum wrote:
Hello all
I am after some reviews of Dartford boys grammar school..can someone please advice? My son scored 403 in kent test and we are thinking of including the school in our preferences (we are OOC but will move if offered a place)..i hv checked their ofsted report but it seems its not been inspected for a while so hoping for some first hand reviews..thanks!


Not a first hand review but I know one of the differences when compared to Judd is that Dartford Boys do IB while St. Olave's, Judd do A Levels. I think there are varying opinions about A Levels/IB, but something to consider.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2019 12:12 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2007 8:40 pm
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Hi, EssexMum,

Have you actually visited the school with your son?
There is so much information you can gather during your visit, have any questions answered by helpful staff and also have a feel of the school. Dartford Grammar is an excellent school but everyone is looking for different things and your son might have his own view and feel.

The amount of homework is quite manageable, teachers are excellent and easily approachable, lots of academic and extracurricular opportunities - there is something for everyone. Compulsory Rugby only initially, then it’s up to your son if he wants to continue.
Discipline and progress are monitored very closely and parents are informed about everything. Reports are hand signed by the headteacher himself - pupils feel valued and are part of the school strong community of Dartfordians.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2019 11:04 am 
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Thank you Greenwich mum, our DS too scored well with 411 and we are considering Dartford too. We visited the school twice and really liked it. Does your DS travel from Greenwich? I am happy to stay where we are atm but DH still wants to move to be safe. Are we being overly cautious or best to move now if we are to move later? We are also doing Olaves stage 2. So in quite a conundrum. Where we live, we are out of catchment for all grammar schools :(


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2019 11:16 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2017 1:42 pm
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Thanks all..no we have not visited the school..can see any open days now :(
Yes i m aware of the a levels n IB difference but tbh dont exactly know the pros n cons of each


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2019 6:56 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:13 am
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Agree with Greenwich mum. DGS is an excellent school. Saturday rugby is quite enjoyable, DS1 didn't like rugby very much but to my surprise DS2 seems to do well in it considering he's a tiny boy…

EssexMum the open evening was last Thursday so you've just missed it. If you score over 400 you have a very high chance to get in OOC (last year's cut off was about 390 OOC on 1st March).

A few things about DGS:

1. Everyone learns 2 languages to GCSE. Mandarin/ Japanese/ Latin have Excellence programs which involve extra classes and opportunities. Classical excellence program offer Ancient Greek after school alongside Latin - so there's an extra GCSE!

2. Music department is very strong at DGS - if your son has a talent, he will be "encouraged" to take part in many performances including music exchange in Germany. Similarly boys are expected to participate in sport teams if they have the ability.

3. Staff contact parents early on if there is a problem. Bullying is taken very seriously. Some boys (being boys) can be a bit silly at times but overall I find them very pleasant.

4. Teachings are generally excellent. Boys are adequately stretched in my opinion. Teachers encourage students to ask questions.

5. GCSE options are pretty restrictive due to everyone doing 3 sciences and 2 languages, leaving room for 2 out of 3 humanities and 1 creative option, something to consider if there is a particular subject combination you like.

6. I think that the IB curriculum emphasise on critical thinking, global context and communication of ideas. Teamwork is highly valued and boys do a lot of group projects/ presentations.

7. Extracurricular sport choice is limited. So far I just know of rugby, cricket, badminton, athletics, basketball and netball (6th form girls). No football club.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2019 8:33 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 10, 2019 8:42 pm
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hanaF wrote:
Agree with Greenwich mum. DGS is an excellent school. Saturday rugby is quite enjoyable, DS1 didn't like rugby very much but to my surprise DS2 seems to do well in it considering he's a tiny boy…

EssexMum the open evening was last Thursday so you've just missed it. If you score over 400 you have a very high chance to get in OOC (last year's cut off was about 390 OOC on 1st March).

A few things about DGS:

1. Everyone learns 2 languages to GCSE. Mandarin/ Japanese/ Latin have Excellence programs which involve extra classes and opportunities. Classical excellence program offer Ancient Greek after school alongside Latin - so there's an extra GCSE!

2. Music department is very strong at DGS - if your son has a talent, he will be "encouraged" to take part in many performances including music exchange in Germany. Similarly boys are expected to participate in sport teams if they have the ability.

3. Staff contact parents early on if there is a problem. Bullying is taken very seriously. Some boys (being boys) can be a bit silly at times but overall I find them very pleasant.

4. Teachings are generally excellent. Boys are adequately stretched in my opinion. Teachers encourage students to ask questions.

5. GCSE options are pretty restrictive due to everyone doing 3 sciences and 2 languages, leaving room for 2 out of 3 humanities and 1 creative option, something to consider if there is a particular subject combination you like.

6. I think that the IB curriculum emphasise on critical thinking, global context and communication of ideas. Teamwork is highly valued and boys do a lot of group projects/ presentations.

7. Extracurricular sport choice is limited. So far I just know of rugby, cricket, badminton, athletics, basketball and netball (6th form girls). No football club.


Hi HanaF, this is a great review! Would you know of any more about their extra curricular activities? I see on their website they have sports, DoE, drama and music. Do they have any other like science, robotics ... ? I did go to their open day but didn’t get info on this. Thanks in advance x


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:58 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2018 9:44 pm
Posts: 19
Hi there,
My DS started at DGS this September and is enjoying it so far - even the rugby! Just before half term they had a "7@7" evening to showcase the talents of the new year 7's (singing, musical, dramatic and speeches - in English, Japanese and Mandarin:)) and next month are having their first inter-house rugby festival. The lessons are fast paced but interesting. Homework last term was minimal although it's started to pile up today after the half term hols! Someone asked up thread about clubs; the boys had a "fresher's fayre" in the 2nd week where you could sign up for lunchtime time clubs as well as after school clubs - these included the debating society, chess club, science club, rocket club, computer club, scribbler's ink (a creative writing club) and lots of music clubs/orchestras etc and they were only the ones he could remember so there really is something for everyone!
I must admit, we are very impressed with the school so far. Good luck with your choices.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 7:43 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:13 am
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There are quite a lot of clubs to choose from, I can only speak for my boys, between the 2 of them they did/ are doing orchestra, junior choir, cricket, badminton, Robotics, science club, maths club, classical excellence, computing/ coding, etc. Some are on at lunch time some are after school. They boys are encouraged to join at least one sport club and one nonsport I believe.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2019 10:27 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:59 am
Posts: 2664
Yes, all those clubs and more.
My sons have been involved in the school play, orchestra, cricket, rugby, athletics, ping pong, drama, chess, debate, science and Design and Technology clubs. It's a very long list and they are encouraged to join 2 clubs.
They get homework every day and if they are not organised this can pile up.
They have early intervention if the child is falling behind and remedial classes when they approach years 10 and 11.
I have now one son in the 6th form and doing the IB is hard work. He only has 2 free periods in the whole week whereas his friends doing A levels have many more. He will be well prepared when starting university, but these two years won't be easy with 6 subjects and a project.

They all do the Duke of Edinburgh at bronze level and do either silver or gold if they wish later on.

All in all, they are kept very busy indeed!

Salsa


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