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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:02 am 
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Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 12:06 pm
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Location: Birmingham
With limited choices on the form, and as the scores required for KE Aston and Bishop Vesey were almost the same last year, I was just wondering what thoughts parents had on the two schools.

For me, Aston's positives seem to be: Green buses, higher but stagnant results
Bishop Vesey has: Safer area, better facilities, improving but still lower, results

It is a close call...

DH attended last week's open day with ds2. Their responses were dissimilar - dh felt (possibly unfairly!) that the school hadn't made a great deal of effort for open day, although the Head's speech was good, and said that the pupils were less articulate than he had anticipated for a KE.
Ds2 really liked the school and appreciated its diversity and inclusiveness.

Any thoughts from anyone else?


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:53 am 
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I think the same as you too.

I will be visiting BV on Thu. I visited KEGS Aston on Saturday, and I too was underwhelmed by the students that I spoke with, with the exception of two pupils.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 8:11 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2010 10:23 pm
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Hi um,
We have just been to the open day for KE Aston today. It was a good experience but there were few facts to be noted.
There was no mic on the podium from which the Head Teacher gave his speech and there was hardly anything said to the boys but we loved the way the Deputy Head Teacher put the boys to ease by cracking few jokes and also advising the children not to worry about the whole exam and also even if they could not do a particular section well.
He also advised us that there is a constant Police patrol when children come in and out of the school. Regarding kids whom we spoke to, most of them seemed confident and were able to answer all our queries. They said that they are given a lot of homework year on year and that it is monitored very strictly on a regular basis and a lot of feedback is given which helps them improve year by year.

I have a friend who has 2 sons. Ds1 goes to BV and Ds2 has just started at Aston. When I asked which one was better she says that both are equally good but one difference is that in BV there is not enough follow up of how children do their work especially English. She felt that her son has not been given enough guidance on how he can improve upon in writing essays. The pastoral care is equally good in both schools it seems.
I also have another friend who's Ds1 was at Aston and now is at Oxford studying medicine.She said that no doubt KE Aston is a good school but your child has to be equally brilliant and hardworking because the pressure to get A and A* is higher in Aston.
Since we are equally close by to both the schools, we think we should give Aston a higher rank.
Hope this helps


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 8:32 pm 
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Location: Birmingham
Thank you, anxious-mother, that was really helpful.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:30 pm 
When we went to the Aston open day last year, thought it odd why head spent 5 mins talking about security matters and trying to reassure parents. Not sure about the background to this!


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:37 pm 
no_ball wrote:
When we went to the Aston open day last year, thought it odd why head spent 5 mins talking about security matters and trying to reassure parents. Not sure about the background to this!


Errm, well, most of us put the central locking on when we are driving through Aston, don't we? I expect the Head does too, so he will no doubt be thinking it might be an issue of concern to prospective parents.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 5:08 am 
Being a refugee from south London, I would not have known that. Just highlighting my perception of open day visit!


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:55 pm 
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Hi anxious -mother.

Thanks for your comments. :D We also enjoyed our tour at Aston yesterday (especially the speech by the deputy-head! :D :D ), but I would like to ask you to clarify a point in your message
anxious_mother wrote:
I have a friend who has 2 sons. Ds1 goes to BV and Ds2 has just started at Aston. When I asked which one was better she says that both are equally good but one difference is that in BV there is not enough follow up of how children do their work especially English. She felt that her son has not been given enough guidance on how he can improve upon in writing essays.


I don't think we can judge a school about a problem one child has encountered in one subject over just one year. It might be that his English teacher is a rubbish teacher. My DD used to have a rubbish English teacher at Sutton girls but thanks God, she didn't get him for too many years (may be just 8 and 9, so at least not for her GCSEs).
I have a friend whose DS sat his GCSE this year at CH. His BIG, HORRIFYING problem was that his DS' English teacher was absolutley rubbish... and was precisely not pointing out what the pupils should do to improve their writing. That's a tremendous problem! Therefore, my friend went through two very worrying years as she knew her son would be kicked out of CH if he didn't obtain an A or B in his English GCSEs, despite not studying this subject further at A-level! Thanks God, he 'll be studying for his A-levels at CH.

I wouldn't say that CH is a worse school than BV or Aston because of this Englisjh teacher, though I would like to see this teacher fired from CH. Unfortunately, there are stil several bad teachers pursuing their careers in grammars; I don't understand why the headmasters don't manage to do something about that matter. :(

I am telling both these stories to show that there are bad teachers in every school - comprehensive AND grammars. :( :( I am not sure your friend's son has enough experience of the school to judge it on this point, unless the mother knows other friends having older boys at BV and knows from them that several parents complain also about the lack of guidance at BV. Please, could you enquire about this aspect further if possible?

Thanks in advance :D


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:40 pm 
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Location: Birmingham
I do agree JaneEyre and took the specific BV complaint with salt as it were.
Ultimately I am now going to decide solely on journey time/difficulty (Aston is easier).

My ds1 is in CH and much as he and I love the school, and it is of course 1st choice for ds2, it has, like any other school, a few teachers who don't seem to be able to get through to/help the children. I guess even Eton has a
few teachers like this :!:

In all honesty, there was one subject last year of which he virtually understood nothing at all by the end-of-year exams. Like any other good middle-class mummy I waded in and ensured he had a lot of help with his revision. This wasn't easy, as despite having an A level in the subject myself, his work folder was rather confusing. He got a great mark in the end-of-year test and teacher probably looked great. That's how it works at Grammar Schools :lol:


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 6:29 pm 
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Hi Janeyre
My friend's son is in year 9 at BV and this was how her experience was. There are are a few more who have passed out long time ago who had problems with various teachers.Yesterday I was told that there were issues at Camp Hill as well, but like many people say the issues at these schools (KE) get solved more quickly than BV. This is what I have heard from a lot of parents and hence I have mentioned them. If you have read my message, it clearly says that my friend has said that both are equally good but just the fact that more guidance is given in KE schools (that's how she felt because they were influenced by the friends whose children were there previously.
If my son were to go to BV then we are happy with that as well because we know that if the teachers are not that helpful we have other resources to help him.
Hope this clarifies further


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