East Dulwich (Mobile) Forum

St olaves or Wisons

Which is the best school option?
A local one.
I had to google these two schools as never heard of them but there are those around here who do ship out to grammars. Either they don't use the forum or perhaps have younger siblings applying and don't want the competition.
It's just a bit of a daft question. If you want to compare exam results, they're easily searchable online. Other than that, how do you define 'best'? Everyone's definition will be different, so you have to go and look at them to see which you and your child prefer. And it's very unlikely that you'll find one parent with experience of both schools so how can anyone on a public forum help you compare?

I don't know anything about either of them apart from the fact they're both blooming miles away!
You're a friendly bunch of trolls, aren't you. People are so keen to judge other parents' choices when you know nothing about the OP's situation. Nor is it your choice to make.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit was march 21, 08:11am by Justasking.

I have no knowledge of Wilson's in recent years, but St Olave's has a brilliant reputation and gets exceptional results. If you have reservations about the journey, my daughter went to Newstead Wood, which is the nearby girls' selective school, and the journey really wasn't an issue. The parents' association for the two schools ran three coaches, one of which started from Crystal Palace, and which dropped children off at the school gates. We used this service for the first year, and then my daughter travelled by train from either West Dulwich or Penge East; there is a regular bus service from Orpington Station to both schools.
My son went to St Olave's and we had a similar choice a few years ago. His best friend chose Wilson's. Both are exceptional so from an academic point of view there's little to choose between them. My son is a big football fan and St Olave's is a rugby school, which was a shame as he didn't get to play till the sixth form. Wilson's does have football throughout the years. It appeared that the homework piled on Wilson's boys was far greater than St Olave's and we always got the impression that at St Olave's they expect the boys to be very driven. Those that aren't, like my son, and just drift along didn't seem to be pushed as hard as I might have expected. My son is now 21 and came out with a very decent set of marks and has made many friends who he's kept in touch with. Bullying is pretty unheard of there.

Ultimately the choice of school for us came down to the journey. We live in Penge. St Olave's is 20 mins by train then 15 mins walk from Orpington. The journey to Wilson's was longer and involved either a tram or train followed by a bus, then a 10 minute walk. Good luck with either.
Hi OP - my son is at St Olave's and we also considered Wilson's. If you look at their results, they are very similar, and of course, that does not give a whole picture.

We got Wilson's (2nd choice) at first, then got the St O offer, so had to decide which one to go for. We went to see them both again, and really, there is not much to choose between. The differences for us were:
Wilson's is bigger, but had 2 form tutors per form, and boys stayed in the same class for many subjects, while the teachers did the moving round. (Which seemed important to me in Y6, but really, they pick it up quickly!) So that was a plus.
Wilson's is big on all sports, but particularly football. At St Olave's, every single boy plays rugby for 2 hrs a week. DS was not a particularly sporty boy, but was keen to try rugby, and loves it! So that was a plus for St O.

Despite both being grammar schools (controversial - see posts above), and reputations for being exam factories, I felt this was slightly less so at Wilson's. I loved loved loved the Wilson's HT, inspiring like History Boys/ Dead Poet Society/ Goodbye Mr Chips. His rousing speech was that as the intake was of academic boys, his job was not about the academics, but about making them into the best versions of themselves, into 'good men'. I was slightly misty-eyed at this point. St Olaves...well, not such a charismatic HT. And St Olaves does seem to get a lot more negative press on forums than Wilson's, but I find it's not usually by parents of boys there at the moment, often someone who knows someone.

But despite this, in the end, we thought it came down to the commute, train in our case. Like Bovine Juice above we're on the Orpington line, while Wilson's was a bit trickier, with 2 trains and a bus. And we asked DS which he liked, and he liked St O more (I think the biscuits on Open Day played a part).

He is super happy there, but I think he'd probably be happy at Wilson's too. He does not find it particularly pressurised, but I think I would! I think it's like a lot of schools (and a similar thread on here about Herne Hill vs DUCKS vs Rosemead). Sometimes, it's not the school: it's just not the right fit for your child. DS was quite unhappy at our local primary, but his sisters really enjoy it. It just wasn't a great fit for him. St Olave's is, but it might not be a great fit for another boy. It's a 'suck it and see' situation unfortunately.

Good luck!
St Olaves is very good.

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