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 Post subject: KES or Bishop Vesey?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 6:08 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:59 pm
Posts: 7
We've just heard that our DS has won a place at BV. I've been a lurker for the last year or so, and have appreciated the informative & sometimes entertaining posts from the regular contributors. My DS is in the fortunate position of having to choose from his first choice LA school Bishop Vesey, and KES. Many may think it a straightforward decision in either direction, but we're not sure which way to move.

BV is just a couple of miles away & free, and offers an education we would be delighted with for our DS.

KES is the other side of town & fee-paying. So why are we finding the decision difficult?

The GCSE results from KES seem to be substantially better than BV, with 46% A* compared with 14* at BV. 77% of KES A levels were grade A, compared with 42% at BV, and KES got 26 boys into Oxford & Cambridge, compared with 6 from BV.

We can find the money for the KES fees from savings. However, if DS went to BV, that money would be there to see him through university & start him off in life with a positive bank balance, instead of a mountain of debt.

I'd welcome advice from people who have boys at KES & BV, comparing the education offered, including the aspects of the two schools which aren't illuminated by exam results.

My DS is keen on music & sport, is an avid reader, and at the moment enjoys maths & science more than other subjects. He's at his local state primary at present.

Please don't think I'm knocking BV in any way. BV has been the target school for our DS for many years, and the KES exam was originally just as 'backup'. Since looking over KES, and speaking to other parents, however, we're not sure if it shouldn't be our No. 1 choice. DS has certainly been sold.

The travelling is probably our biggest concern. Are there others who can advise how convenient it is, travelling on the train, especially when after school clubs are involved.

Thanks for any help with our decision!


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 9:19 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 5:12 pm
Posts: 1301
Location: Birmingham
Hi deny

A few thoughts on your post:-

Quote:
The GCSE results from KES seem to be substantially better than BV, with 46% A* compared with 14* at BV. 77% of KES A levels were grade A, compared with 42% at BV, and KES got 26 boys into Oxford & Cambridge, compared with 6 from BV.


Both are excellent schools, but I don't think you can read that much into GCSE A*s. Bright, well motivated boys will get good GCSEs at either school. The higher proportion of A*s at KES is probably more a reflection of the fact that KES boys tend to be more driven by their parents to achieve and overcome the natural lack of maturity in years 7-9.

A Levels is more interesting, with KES switching to IB I would suggest that this may not be that straightforward for some parents. My personal view is that IB can be a little boring and not necessarily the best way forward for those students wishing to specialise in science and engineering. If I had a boy at KES doing GCSE who want to follow a science or medical career I would give serious thought to moving him to a 6th form college after GCSEs.

Quote:
DS is keen on music & sport, is an avid reader, and at the moment enjoys maths & science more than other subjects. He's at his local state primary at present.


KES is clearly outstanding for music, but part of the reason is the amount of time that boys are allowed to spend on music. BV doesn't enjoy that luxury having to follow the national curriculum. Having said that BV has now got Alison Timms at the head of music, she used to be head of Music at KEHS some years so I think pupils and parents will notice the difference.

Difficult choice, suggest you ask for a visit to BV with your son.

Hope this helps


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 Post subject: Bishop Vesey
PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 9:31 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 9:28 pm
Posts: 3
Location: birmingham
I did not apply for schools online and want to know if there is any way of finding out if my son has passed for BV tonight. Any tips?


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 Post subject: KES or Vesey
PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 9:59 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:59 pm
Posts: 7
Hi KenR,

Thanks for your advice - just what I was looking for. Interesting thought that KES parents may be more supportive or demanding of their sons. I'm sure that well motivated & able boys can do well at almost all schools, and will certainly do so at both KES & BV.

Luluco, As far as I understand you you'll have to wait until the post on Tuesday if you didn't apply online, whichever authority you live in. Very frustrating I'm sure to read about people who already know their results. Sorry, but I hope the wait is worth while.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:02 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 9:28 pm
Posts: 3
Location: birmingham
Thanks, i'll just bite my finger nails until the morning!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:03 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 12:06 pm
Posts: 2095
Location: Birmingham
Hello,

I would definitely choose BV.

Why?
It is free, and the money you save can be used to help him go on great trips, have experiences, resources, and have tuition in any weak subjects to help him get the best grades he can. One to one tuition is always the best way to ensure good grades in any particular area.
It is also closer to you and safer in terms of journey, as well as being less time travelling. He can spend that extra time getting his homework done , pursuing hobbies, and studying!
BV is a school on the up. This was very clear from me visiting the school and listening to the Head's speech etc. We really liked it but it was our fourth choice as we are right at the other end of the city - and happily we got our first choice. The head has a vision that this school, a sleeping giant really, will rival the KE grammars soon. And I think he'll get there fast. Last year, their A level results were better than KE Astons and they are moving forward at a very fast rate.

Anyway that is my opinion on your dilemma!
Whatever you do, don't ask your son...make a practical decision yourselves!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:44 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 26, 2008 8:53 pm
Posts: 112
Hi Deny,

Firstly my son is in yr 7 at KES, and really loves it and we are very pleased with how he has settled in. Unfortunately I know nothing about BV, so cannot offer any any decent advice on which you should choose without sounding rather biased. I would also suggest that you go and look at both schools again with your son on a working day, before you make a decision.

As for the travel, my son does use the Redditch to Lichfield train, although as we are on the south it is a shorter journey than your son's would be. I was initially concerned about him catching the train alone, but he has soon made friends with the many other KES boys and KEHS girls who share his journey.

Likewise there is always somebody for him to walk to the station with following his after school activities and the area around is generally busy because of the university. We just tend to pick him up the other end to save him walking home from the station when he is later.

Congratulations and I am sure your son has a bright future at either school.


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 Post subject: advice
PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:09 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2008 12:07 pm
Posts: 167
The comments I would make may be completely useless but you are welcome to them anyway :-)

Someone gave me some very obvious advice some years ago - but it made sense to me.

The advice was very simple : Go with your gut insticnt.

After visiting both schools - evaluate what your feeling is and what your son's preference is and just go for your instincts.

By the way : both are excellent schools - congratulations.


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 Post subject: Bishop Vesey chosen
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 9:26 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:59 pm
Posts: 7
Thanks za1, mommyjo & um for your time & comments.

We are going with our initial gut instinct to accept a place at Bishop Vesey, which is just 10 minutes away & FOC. I know that there are children green-bussing backward & forward all over the city, but there's more chance of local friends in Sutton Coldfield too.

I agree with you um that Vesey is improving fast. Five or ten years ago it wasn't making the most of the boys in it's care, but what a difference a headmaster makes. It really does all come from the top doesn't it? I know this is the correct choice for our DS, and we're looking forward to September with massive expectation & enthusiasm.

Our DS's cousin in Twickenham is the same age, and has gone through the same choice between Hampton independent school & Tiffin grammar school, only down there the fees for Hampton school are £1000 a term more than KES. Makes the decision even easier though, doesn't it?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 11:19 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2009 11:12 am
Posts: 22
Just a quick note. My son is in Yr7 of BV, and we think it's a great school in all respects. The pastoral care is excellent, he has Asperger Syndrome and they couldn't be more helpful or involved.

Hope your son enjoys his schooling there too. :D


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