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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 8:13 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2010 10:23 pm
Posts: 148
Dear Friends,
We had a doubt regarding Five Ways school. It says that there are 150 seats for both girls and boys so does that mean that 75 are reserved for girls and 75 are for boys ? or is it that irrespective of the gender who ever gets a top score for the school is admitted?
If anyone had their DCs gaining a seat please shed some light on how it actually works.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 11:38 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 9:51 pm
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It's whoever gets the highest mark. In practice that means it's usually about two thirds boys because there's a hefty cohort of boys each year who don't score enough for Camp Hill but who qualify for Five Ways.

Mike


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:41 am 
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Many thanks Mike


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 4:02 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 12:04 pm
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Hello to all,

We would like to hear about the testimony of any parents who have their DC at Five ways
and those who have their DC at Queens Mary’s in Walsall.

What are your comments about these two schools: likes, dislikes or problems encountered?

For us, the travel arrangements are not an issue as we are renting and are able to move wherever we wish (though we have at little preference for Five ways as our DD studies at Birmingham university).

We never considered Five Ways so far because it is a co-ed school but Mike’s comment made us understand that there are more boys than girls... and if the results are as high as there are, I hope that the pupils there are really focused on their studies! So maybe we shouldn’t avoid that school on the basis of it being co-ed.

A last question I need to be sure about:
Is there a problem if we put Queen Mary’s before Five ways on our LEA list as it is a different exam? (I know we can’t put Bishop Vesey before FWKE as the score for Five Ways is higher than that of BV).

Thanks in advance


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 6:29 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2010 6:34 am
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To JaneEyre

I am very lucky to have two children at Five Ways who have been there for one week so my knowledge is limited! However, when making the decision in what order to place the schools, we visited Camp Hill Boys and Five Ways. Both my DC, OH and I all felt Five Ways was the right school for them so Five Ways was our first preference school and we didn't list KECHB at all (would have been wasted as second choice). Our children are good all rounders.

We have a couple of friends who already have children at the school and they were the ones who encouraged our DC to take the exam. Our friends are extremely happy with the school (one has a girl, the other a boy and a girl) and after only five days, my boys love it (although I appreciate it is early days). There are many more boys at the school than girls.

I believe that the order you place the schools on your form will be the order of offer, if your DC gets a high enough mark. My DC took another exam for another school which was placed 2nd on the form. Although they passed for this school we didn't get an offer as we had our much wanted Five Ways offer. Based on my experience and talking to others, Five Ways is listed as the first preference school on forms for hundreds of children and isn't full of boys who couldn't get into KECHB! To help you make your decision, please visit the schools. I know the Five Ways Open Evening and Morning are 23rd and 24th September.

You could do with someone coming along who has children in Y8 and above, but unless they have siblings sitting the exam I doubt many will be visiting the forum now. Good luck with your decision.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 7:04 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 5:12 pm
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Location: Birmingham
Hi JaneEyre

DS has just finished GCSEs at 5-ways and in now in the L6.

My son loves the school and the vast majority of parents we have talked to over the years are really pleased.

There are more boys at the school (circa 2/3 boys) but that's just a result of the fact that there are more places for girls at other KE schools and that some parents specifically want a single sex school for their DD.

We had considered sending my son to KES (Independent) and we thought about KECHB but 5-ways is definitely the right choice for him.

The pastoral side of 5-ways is very good and just about all of the 6th form are very supportive and helpful of the new year-7s. It has a reputation of being amongst the best of the KE Schools in this area.

Academically it is excellent (as are all KE grammars) but the size of the school (150 intake and 200 in 6th form) means that they are able to offer both A Levels & IB options which is very unusual.

Very successful and supportive regarding access to top Univs - they held a evening seminar recently regading Oxbridge entry and had an admissions Tuot from one of the Oxford Colleges and well as talks from ex 5-ways Students at Oxbridge followed by a Q&A. Very interesting

The only downside is that it's on the outskirts of B/Ham and many pupils have to take the Green Bus which is expensive and means an early start and long journeys. Along with many parents we are not that happy with the Green Bus.

The only other downside is the headmasters long speeches at parents evenings etc but we can tollerate that!


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 7:14 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:02 am
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Location: Birmingham
I have two children at Five Ways - boy and girl, year 10 and 8. Fantastic school. Excellent teaching, brilliant pastoral support, lots of extra curriculur opportunities. I find it hard to say anything bad about the place. It was our first choice for both children, and have not regretted it for a moment. Both children have flourished. Expectations are high, but then the children seem to thrive under that. Yes, there are more boys than girls - but it never seems an issue. Cannot speak highly enough about it.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:05 pm 
KenR: can you please advise why you are unhappy with the green bus. My DS has just started using the service and any forewarning would be appreciated.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:34 pm 
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JaneEyre wrote:
A last question I need to be sure about:
Is there a problem if we put Queen Mary’s before Five ways on our LEA list as it is a different exam? (I know we can’t put Bishop Vesey before FWKE as the score for Five Ways is higher than that of BV).


The pass mark for QM will be roughly similar to that for KE Aston, but I wouldn't let that influence you. Sproket's daughter this year scored 220 in the B'ham test and 358 in a late Warks test (very roughly speaking, equivalent to about 239 in the B'ham test). So a child's individual variation in scores in successive tests can easily swamp any difference between schools' qualifying scores. If you like QM better I think you'd be quite safe to put it first (but I'd say put it first anyway if it's the one you like best!).

Mike


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 7:28 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 5:12 pm
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Location: Birmingham
OK my view on the Green bus issues.

1. Expensive
2. We have had problems with FW5 for a number of years, they extended the route a couple of year's to include Barnt Green which meant that it was 8 min earlier at the Maypole.
3. Last year they change the supplier for this route and the bus was often very late.
4. Looks like they changed the supplier again this year for this service and it was 35 mins late on the 1st day term. They failed to send a SMS text message about the 1st day delay - my DW had to drive my sone to the school.
5. They finally changed the route this year (after 5 years of requests) to include Wythall - but it's taken too long.
6. They were clearly struggling to meet the schedule, so changed the timeings after 2 days!
7. FW5 is often a very old bus

This is possibly due to the fact that FW5 is a bit of the poor relative!


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