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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 12:02 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:58 am
Posts: 144
Hi all,
Hope you can help, I am new to this forum as I didn't know it existed! It is excellent! So to cut a long story short, my son took the exam without tutoring just some guidence and we really didn't think it would be an option for him, but he wanted to try. He has really suprised us and done fairly well with a decent score above the guidelines given, a little shocked but happy for him! So as we didn't think we would get here, we never even looked at any of the KE schools, as he only ever really tried as he liked Vesey on the open day! I have read ofsted etc but i need some real experience or thoughts on KE Aston as our closest and another option for him. Can I ask please is anyone else from Sutton Coldfield considering, i know about the Green Bus service but any other feedback as in getting there, safety etc would be very much appreciated. We are going to the open morning on the 30th but a little cloese to deadline! Sorry if a bit rambling I have my toddler to contend with! Thank you so much! :D


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 12:16 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 5:12 pm
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Location: Birmingham
Where do you live? - there are Green Buses travelling to just about all of the KE School from all over the city.

We live in Wythall but my sone travels 9 miles to KEFW by Green bus - quite a number of KEFW pupils do the same.

Congratulations to you son - I think this is one of the benefits of having the results early so you really can realistically include schools that perhaps you might not have even consider before.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 12:28 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:58 am
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Thank you KenR. We do live in Sutton Coldfield so we would choose Vesey and Aston second as others a bit too far for us really. Reason i ask about buses and safety etc is my sons primary is over the road from us so he only goes 100 yards! It will be a shock for him to get a bus so far but he wants to go so I am sure he will be fine like you say so many children do it! I am just trying to catch up on all the information posted as like i say, hadn't considered grammer as an actual option really until now. I did drive to see Aston today, but i haven't been in yet! So wish I had looked now prior at this one!


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 12:38 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2008 7:33 am
Posts: 125
Location: Sutton Coldfield
Hi Newbiemum,

That's great news for your DS. I have DS1 at KEA and DS2 at BV. For us, both schools are 10 to 15 minutes to get to by car (- always useful when emergencies occur), but DS1 uses the Green Bus and DS2 uses WMT buses. Using the local buses is very good as it saves a lot of money and as they run frequently they can be a godsend when your child finishes school early or needs to start later for whatever reason. He catches the 902 / 904 which drops him off just off by the school. Getting to KEA using local buses would be a little difficult as he would have to catch the 115 and then about a 10 minute walk to school, or he can catch a train from Sutton and get off at Aston, again with about a 10 minute walk. One disadvantage with local public buses is that they can get full (- usually with other school kids) and you would have to wait for the next bus - so catching the earlier bus would be worth considering here.

The area around KEA can be concerning but we have had no issues a year on, but using the Green Bus has probably helped relieve our worries. I'm not sure I would want him using the local buses/train during the winter months when it is dark - especially if he had to do to this 10 minute walk too. Maybe when he is in Y10. As you would know, Sutton Coldfield is totally the opposite and I would have no problems DS2 using the local buses during the winter months.

If I had the choice again, although KEA is a very good school, I would definitely consider logistics (and saving money too) when making a decision, especially if both schools are on par as far as results are concerned.

Hope this helps.

Thanks Elbart.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 1:54 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:58 am
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Hi Elbart, thank you so much for taking time and providing this information, really very helpful. Thats fantastic as well you having two children at grammer school, wow! Bishop Vesey we are only a few miles away from and one bus winter, maybe cycle summer. My concerns are Aston its about 6 miles when i clocked it this morning. My son has done so well on his own to get a score good enough to consider going, I need to consider it as well as a second choice incase Vesey is a no go. Worried about the after school clubs outside Green bus service as I have two very small children and picking up would be tricky with them in tow, so I appreciate exactly what you are saying there. And no i would not be too happy until he is older walking 10 minutes to a bus or train at this stage at all! However a KE education is not to be easily passed up is it, I would have to make it work I think! So much to think about, not enough time wish i had pondered this before but didn't ever think I would be! Sounds mean but its honest! The help is very much food for thought! Thanks again and all the very best! :D


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 2:50 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2012 4:10 pm
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Good on your son for his efforts.

I went to Aston, albeit a fair few years ago...started in 1989! Great school although I would say that. I remember loads of kids were from Sutton/nearby at the time >50% I'd say, I know its changed somewhat since. There used to be WMT buses leaving from the main gates after school so most kids either got the public bus in, or were dropped off by parents/friend's parents and took the school service home. There wasnt all that much in the way of after school clubs from what I remember, it may have changed since. Someone with more current knowledge will hopefully fill you in. There were however loads of recess and lunchtime clubs, useful as its in school hours. The Green Bus is new to me but sounds great.

As for the environs..well its innner city Brum, with the usual youthful exuberence. It may take some adjustment but its not scarily violent, just the usual interschool rivalry, nothing more than that really. I'd chalk it up as just another useful learning point for later life. I wouldn't let it sway your preferences. It would be the same sort of advice if DS was walking home late from the town centre on his own, nothing specific to Aston.

I've got 2DDs who hopefully have scored enough for Handsworth/Sutton but presently inclined towards Handsworth which I expect is similar to Aston in terms of social mobility and demographics. (I say this as someone from a neighbouring inner city area)

If its a case of putting Aston as 2nd choice behind BV, if thats more convenient and where your son wants to go, then I wouldn't think twice.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 6:09 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2008 7:33 am
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Location: Sutton Coldfield
You know what Newbiemum that's how I looked at it the first time round, and the novelty does wear off. I could have pursued KEA for DS2 through appeals process due to the trauma we had during the year of his exam and I would say that we would have been 99% successful, but I did not. I liked BV the second time round and so did DS2. I considered all the factors, and even though the boys would have been at the same school and made it easier, I felt that there was a lot more going for BV and with the other factors mentioned, the decision was made easier for me by the LEA ! :)

Let your DS make the final decision once he has seen both schools and can judge better then.

Thanks Elbart


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:05 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:58 am
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Hi Bunhs, thank you for your feedback and time, its really helpful and ensightful! I have a lot to think about like everyone on here and this has helped. I see what you are saying and I agree regarding the area, Im being very wary when I am sure theres not so much need to be at all. I hope your Dds get their choices as well and all the very best for the future! Thank you so much. Elbert, thank you again for your help and comments as well all the very best! :D


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:12 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:10 am
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newbiemum wrote:
We are going to the open morning on the 30th but a little cloese to deadline! Sorry if a bit rambling I have my toddler to contend with! Thank you so much! :D


Newbiemum is the open morning at Aston - can't see anything on the website. We too are looking at KEA and BV.

Our ds would be using the train and then the green bus from the station to the school - I do need to check if it waits for late running trains though as only 4 minutes timetabled from train getting to station and bus leaving. He could catch the green bus from nearer home but would mean him leaving home at 0630 - by using the train he doesn't need to leave until 0740. If he went to BV he would catch the train and then have to walk - and whilst I hope other BV boys would be doing the same walk - it wouldn't concern me as much as walking around Aston.

I note BV have a very short open morning on 31 October 2012.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:02 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:58 am
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Hi Happy dad, I called KE Aston as we hadn't looked at the school to see if we could with son before the 31st, she said they were having an open morning at the school 9.30am on the 30th. Like you say i hadn't seen it either anywhere? Where as Vesey have information on web site for the 31st, I think one was today actually as well. Regarding Vesey the train station is very close to the school and a nice walk, nice area and it would be safe. Lots of children and young adults around all times as next to Sutton College as well, no problems at all. I am not familiar with Aston and after driving around today was a little concerned but I just don't know area so well so a little scary! I think initially they would have to get bus outside school, I am sure after making friends etc parents would share lifts, and develop the usual net works. Hope all goes well for you too and thank you for posting and help.


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