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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 12:57 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2009 1:32 pm
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I am having great difficulty deciding how to decide on the order of preference for our ds. Obviously it will be down to how he feels when he attends the open days but how did the rest of you make the choice?

Logistically BV is probably closest but ds would have to go on public transport then have a little walk. Aston is also very close and he could get the green bus. I suspect that we will all like Camp HILL the best but i worry he would not be sucessful and even if he were it is miles away from us and he would have to set out very early. I keep thinking is this madness when we have schools on our doorstep. Then there is QM which is fairly close and it would be easily acessible by public transport ofr school bus.

Sorry if this is confusing, but is it best to base adecision on what is best logisitcally or do most people go for the 'best school' no matter what? And if this is so, then the KE schools are the best aremt they?!


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 1:42 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 5:12 pm
Posts: 1300
Location: Birmingham
Hi Lindah

You need to give this a lot of thought and take note of the following:-

KE CH Boys is historically and statistically the hardest of the KE Grammars to get into. Last year only those that were in the top 12% in the entrance exam were successful (ie the min pass was about the 88th percentile)

KE Aston by comparison was a little easier, you had to be in the top 25% in the exam to get in there. So it follows that if decide that a KE Grammar Education is best for your son then you should include KE Aston somewhere on your preference list. It also follows that if you decide KE Aston is for you then there is little point putting KE CHB below this on the preference list.

The Green Bus network is quite extensive but this costs quite a bit and the buses do seem to go round the house which often results in an ealy start. My son picks up the KE 5-Ways Green Bus at 7:28 which means he has to be up at 6:40!

BV is an excellent school with a growing reputation. But of course a different 11+ exam based on NFER.

We have heard of a few ocassional problems with children using public transport to the KE Camp Hill schools(other schools kids etc), but don't think there is a problem with BV. If you are on the cross city train line then this is excellent - lots of children use this for BV.

Don't know much about QM but I know this is a popular choice for parents living in Sutton Coldfield and on the East side of Birmingham.

KE CHB has a reputation for being quite intense academically compared to Aston (and KE 5-Ways). Doesn't necessarily suite all.

I would certainly try to visit the school before making you preferences. I would also make your selection electronically by email/internet. You will get the results slightly earlier (at Midnight on results day)

To give yourself the best chance of a grammar education, I would definitely include KE Grammars, BV and QM on your preference list. This will in theory increase your chances in the event of you son havibng a bad day or 2!!

Hope this helps


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:05 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2008 5:15 pm
Posts: 253
Location: Birmingham
Hi Lindah,

I share you dilemma! My son is sitting the tests this year.. we live very close to Handsworth Grammar, quite close to Aston, Further away from BV and QM and miles away from Camp Hill. Guess which school HE wants to put first, yep, Camp Hill. Like you I worry about the travelling times and early mornings but I've discussed these with him and he still wants to go ahead. Don't forget it's another year till they start... assuming they get in to a grammar... and they'll be that much older and hopefully more mature and independent??

Thre's no rush for the forms... you're expected to go on the open days and visits to make informed choices. All the dates are before the closing deadline for the forms.
Hope this helps you.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:15 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2009 1:32 pm
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Thanks!

I think my main question really is is a KE education the best thta you can get?! If so then i need to decide whether to have him travelling halfway across the city(presuming he even passes) and getting a bus at 710am! Or do i go for Aston which is easily accessible. OR, be happy with BV or QM?

My main worry with public transport is with KE schools. I dm not worried about BV, I AGREE IT WOULD BE FINE. iN FACT I SEE KIDS FROM THERE ON BUSES ALL OF THE TIME. Excuse capitals, im rushing!


Also, i do worry what the children will be like at KE schools and will my ds fit in. Bv and QM I i magine will be from more similar backgrounds.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:39 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 9:51 pm
Posts: 2237
Quote:
Also, i do worry what the children will be like at KE schools and will my ds fit in.


Only been to an induction day/evening so far, but yes he will absolutely fit in! There were all sorts there (same goes for me too - it was nice to feel young at a school event for a change - some very wrinkly parents indeed :wink: ).

Quote:
I think my main question really is is a KE education the best thta you can get?!


Not necessarily - there's really very little difference between any of these schools in the various league tables. The best is whichever one(s) you think is/are right for your own son.

[edit: I don't think anyone else can make judgements about things like travel time and its effects on your child's life. Some people send children enormous distances to BV, Camp Hill, etc. I had my teeth gritted ready to send Master 1880 15 miles across Birmingham to BV if necessary - but I wasn't looking forward to it! We couldn't find any sensible way of getting to KE Aston or Handsworth Grammar so those didn't figure in our choices at at all (in fact there's going to be a Green Bus from September but that wasn't announced until recently :roll: ). But I wouldn't argue that someone else should make the same choices in the same circumstances - it's down to what you think will work for your own family and your own child. Bear in mind that travel time impacts on your child's ability to join in after school activities, and your own ability to join in school events.]

Mike


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 3:29 pm 
As one of the most wrinkly of parents, I am glad we serve a purpose of making slightly less wrinkly parents feel young again!!


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:33 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 9:51 pm
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fm, I'm sure your worth is not to be measured by the degree of comfort your presence brings to the older cohort of KE parents!

Mike


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