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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 1:31 pm 
Hi. I was wondering if anyone with children in high school could give me their views and experiences of any of Sloughs high schools, grammar or non-selective. I've read all the bumpf but was wondering if anyone had any personal recommendations, regrets, thoughts about their choice of school now that they wish they'd known before? or even just some advice for a newbie!
Thanks in advance.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 8:29 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2005 3:47 pm
Posts: 1348
Location: Berks,Bucks
Hi guest,

With a few exceptions, every time the question has come up, the answer came from myself or Chad, both with children at Slough Grammar, so I am starting to feel a bit self-conscious here.

Anyone with children in other schools out there??

I will come back with some more thoughts about SG though, just a bit busy right now...


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 9:50 pm 
No, but my neighbours son is at Langley Grammar and I don't think I've ever heard him say one bad word about it.
Talking to various parents this morning after Slough Grammars open evening last night- a very mixed bag!


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 10:31 pm 
I will try and give more input from Sept for Herschel. So far, we are impressed. Our son had his test drive last week and was happy. We shall see how things go by Christmas.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 10:47 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2007 9:53 pm
Posts: 41
Thanks Catherine and WOBW.I look forward to hearing from you both,and others I hope!
I've now registered,I can tell I'll be here quite a bit in the run up to the 11+ and beyond!


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2007 12:41 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2005 3:47 pm
Posts: 1348
Location: Berks,Bucks
Ok - Slough grammar – end of year 7 - a few thoughts:

The good

My son good progress in many subjects. I am very pleased with this. Doing the KS3 in 2 years seems to have stretched him the right amount. So it looks promising, altough I can’t comment yet on the long term effects of whizzing through the curriculum.

The standard of work and effort : The school aks for a minimum standard for each piece of work and encourages the best.

The Wednesday afternoons extra curriculum activities included in the school day.

Good discipline. The right balance in my opinion.

The school has been very approachable the few time I contacted them, although not very often.


The niggles

The lunch time club cross-country running: was great but didn’t seem to be on much this last term and no specific reason was given to my son who was a bit disappointed. .

The school just tells pupils which languages they will do in year 7. It is possible to change them as we did, but I would have preferred to be asked in the first place. However, pupils can start a 3rd language in year 8.

The occasional lack of organisation, e.g. some errors in the end of year report. They got sorted with the teachers, but I would have preferred if they hadn’t been there in the first place.

Other thoughts

Reasonable amount of homework (under an hr/day on average).

With two foreign languages + latin in year 7 pupils do quite a lot of different subjects. By comparison with our local Bucks secondary for example, there is more time spent on languages, but less in core subjects. I haven't compared whith other grammars.

Overall, it’s been a very good year for my son. Let's hope it will carry on that way.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2007 9:40 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2007 9:53 pm
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I'm glad your son has settled in well Catherine.Thanks for the info.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 2:08 pm 
Herschel Impressions so far

The head teacher seemed approachable. Children and parents had a one to one appointment with the Head in May to discuss any worries.

We were asked to choose one language out of Spanish, French and German in May. As our son's primary weren't doing languages, it was a bit of a shock to choose without prior knowledge of the language. It would have been nice to have a trial of all 3 in year7 (they were doing that last year, didn't know about this until after one to one, never mind). Our son was happy to choose spanish though.

We are given the dates for the whole year, which includes holidays, teacher trainning, parents meeting etc. This was a big bonus for us, as the primary quite often didn't give much notice to certain dates.

We are also given e-mail contact details for all the staff in school. It's always good to know.

We are also given a brief booklet on things they will be studying in year 7. Homework is also going to be in the internet so that parents can check. They are supposed to get one and half hour homework per day.

We will have to wait and see how it all goes in Sept.

HTH


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 3:20 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2005 12:49 pm
Posts: 1647
Location: berkshire
Slough Grammar

Well after 1 year these are my thoughts.....

Having a son 'somewhere' on the autisitic spectrum I was very apprehensive of whether he could cope with a grammar school but.....

He has made excellent progress in most subjects and some progress in the others. His form tutor, the Head of Year 7 and the SEN coordinator have been extremely helpful and understanding of some of the 'routine' issues my son has and made sure he knew and understood the timetable and the layout of the school during the first week.

He has been stretched in subjects that he finds easier (Maths, Physics) but has been given encouragement where he struggles.

Due to some social idiosyncrasies he can become a 'target' for teasing but the one serious episode of this was dealt with firmly by the school and they kept me informed of the situation at all times.

In my dealings with the school I have found the teachers to be approachable and found the head 'down to earth' and very practical in her approach.

Homework

On average about 1hr per night....unless you are like my son and try and leave it for Sunday...then its 5hrs every Sunday.

Discipline

A certain standard is expected and there are graded penalties if you stray

Academic standards

Expectations are high but always take into account a childs abilities..... effort is rewarded.

Downside

The sports facilities are not as flash as some other schools'.

they get a locker but they tend to carry their bag around... very heavy for Y7's.... as it is easier and going back to the lockers is time consuming on the tight timetable.

Although there is a diary issued it is mainly used for homework entries etc not for communication with home. That said, it is easy to contact a member of teaching staff by e-mail or phone. I have always received a reply.


My son has matured during the year and has been encouraged to become more independent in his thinking and his actions. He is enthusiastic about the lessons and has lifted his expectation for himself.

All in all a good year... rounded off with a good report. :)


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 Post subject: Herschel
PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2007 12:00 pm 
I have one son in the Sixth form at Herschel, and my other son starts there in September.

My eldest son has always been happy, no issues with bullying or anything like that. He is not an academic high flyer, but he has managed to hold his own and has had good advice in the Sixth form about keeping his workload manageable by doing 3 AS levels rather than 4, has then supplemented this with a personal development course - necessary in his case, as not much to put on his CV in terms of outside of school stuff.

Youngest son is very sporty, so the excellent sports facilities are a real attraction. He is apprehensive, though, about not knowing anyone as no one else going from his school. I am less concerned about this, as he is more outgoing than my older boy who soon made friends.

I would like to see Herschel accelerating some GCSEs, as elder son found it hard work taking 11 all in one year. It will be interesting to see the different experiences of my boys, given their six year age gap.


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