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PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 2:19 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2008 7:59 pm
Posts: 659
Apologies for the long post but I need some advice. I realise I am in a very fortunate position but it is a dilemma albeit a happy one.

Despite submitting the CAF online, I am still not feeling as happy about things as I think I should and I am still having lingering doubts.

I spoke to a very helpful chap at Birmingham Admissions today who said that they have extended the deadline for applications and it was still possible to amend preferences online. I checked and sure enough, you can!

DD scored highly in the exam, better than we would have thought. She has a 20+ point "cushion" for Camp Hill so she can go wherever she wants. The chap at admissions thinks the admission score may rise but not by much (1 or 2 at most).

During the preparation process, we did not want to get DDs hopes up too high so we did not discuss Camp Hill at all. We did not like the school much on open day and preferred Handsworth. I know many have discussed the warmth at KEVIHS v CHG and we felt it too, both in person and on the phone. I have phoned CHG a few times and felt they were rather abrupt and rude e.g no one allowed to visit til the July open day, issues with her wearing a headscarf for PE etc (which others have mentioned on here) and other things.

KEVIHS were lovely on the phone and very helpful. They seemed to be far more accommodating in all respects.

I know CHG has lots of girls desperate to get in and so they don't need to "sell" the school as much, but the attitude I have experienced has been very off putting. I read on here about the demographic for CHG bring different and less "inclusive" than CHB, as mentioned by other parents during their Open Day musings (I am thinking of um and others). However, it's a great school with great opportunities, as with all the KE Grammars.

All the people who I have spoken to about KEVIHS have praised the school but have made me feel that their choice was based on one or more of three reasons:
1 Their DD didn't make the score for CHG so the choice didnt arise (main reason).
2 They live geographically close to the school.
3 Their DD has a sister in the school.

The gentleman I spoke to in Admissions told me that year the highest score of the girl in KEVIHS was around 255, the lowest was the score we have on our letters. Even he said the high scoring entrants were girls who live close to the school.

We live within walking distance of Camp Hill.

I have been met with incredulity from almost everyone I have spoken to about the fact that DD wants KEVIHS but has made CHG which is closer and "better". Even more shocking to them is that we are letting her choose, but her basis for choosing KEVIHS is the lovely time she had on the Open Day and the superior facilities, as she sees it. We weren't trampled by the masses at KEVIHS as we were at CHG so I don't know if that has something to do with it!

We have friends with daughters in CHG who say its not too taxing for the first few years at least, and who will be there to help her if needed.Of course my DDs happiness is paramount but I don't know of anyone who chose KEVIHS who got the score for CHG, that they live closer too.

So should I change the preference?

I have drawn up for and against lists and it comes down to the fact that even if she may be happier in KEVIHS, and the staff come across as more approachable, CHG is closer (so easier on the whole family as her siblings are schooled close by too) and she will be among girls of a similar level to her. She has to make new friends wherever she goes. I have heard more horror stories from parents about CHG than KEVIHS.

Any thoughts? Anyone with DDs in both?


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:36 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 22, 2012 11:14 am
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I has the same cold feeling about CHB compared to the other schools and we weren't considering it even though it is our second closest GS. As it turns out DS is a few point below their usual QS so no real need to agonise over it. Then again we have put FW first as it is DS1's choice, a mixed school and our closest DS but I actually think KEA would probably suit DS better which I guess is a different but similar dilemma to yours. For me I have a strong preference for a mixed school and as DS did the hard work for the exam I felt I should listen to his wishes.

From reading your post I would say you know that Handsworth is the school for your DD and you are worrying about what others think. I certainly wouldn't worry about her being smarter than everyone at Handsworth as I don't believe a single test at age 10 tells the full story. As they get older some of the lower scorers will come into there own and many will have had an average primary education and flourish at GS.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:34 pm 
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There are parents that send their daughters to KEVIHS rather than CHG this year which I am aware of. Its just personal preference. Yes, they scored over 250.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 5:34 pm 
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It's not just having a good score it's also distance I.e if those parents chose the school despite being further away. As I mentioned I haven't actually come across anyone who got the score but chose a school further away when CH was on their doorstep.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 12:03 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2007 9:08 pm
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Location: Not in a hole in the ground but in a land where once they dwelt-the Beormingas
For those dps who are genuinely concerned about their dd’s choice, it does come down to personal preference.

Certainly, the dp who comes to mind (her dd scored 253 and is 5 mins walking distance from CHG), doesn't feel that she is settling for "second best" by putting down KEVIHS as her first option. :o

I can understand distance being an issue in your case but in terms of whether she'll be with girls of a "similar" level, :roll: then in all honesty, there is very little difference between the pupils at either of the KE schools. Even under the previous system, you'll find those who score at the top end at the less popular ke ones. :!:

For your own peace of mind, you may as well put CHG down as first.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 12:36 pm 
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Iv had a letter today confirming my choices and saying they cannot be changed now, except in exceptional circumstances. Hope your sorted.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 12:51 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:02 pm
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a few years back we thought it was chb or solihull and that's it
we went to look at loads of schools and loved stratford, warwick and kefw, but the logistics, even with a school bus, and chb's rep just made chb more attractive
travel is a massive thing for us, so we want close schools
if we get solihull and chb, we will take our son to see both and let him make the final decision


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 1:34 pm 
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Hope I haven't been misunderstood. It's the impact of travel that's starting to worry me.

KEVIHS is lovely, both school, people and children. My DC have never been to a school more than 5 mins away (by car). It's what the impact of travel would be on her and the family along with the fact that so many choose based on location.

I know there are children with a broad range of ability within all schools. DD hasnt really been considered as an academic child by her current school and her score surprised us.

I will probably stick with my gut instinct. I was happy with things as they stood but posted based on DHs concerns rather than my own. He was genuinely concerned (not sure why any parent wouldn't be genuinely concerned, is there any other type of concern?). He generally leaves all school issues to me, but has just started to voice doubts which I wanted "out there" so we could get over them and move forward.

Thank you all for your help.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 1:51 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 22, 2012 11:14 am
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Hi moseleymum,

You know your DD best so you can judge whether she is the kind of child that would cope with the travel or not. Does she realise what would be involved? And is she okay with it? Is there not a Greenbus to Handsworth from where you live? I would also imagine there will be local girls who didn't make the grade for CHG that will be travelling to Handsworth so she would soon have travelling companions. When I was debating the journey to BV from South West Birmingham another poster told me that BV will pair Year 7s up with older kids making the same journey to start with so this might be an option. I have started to encourage my DS to become more independent allowing him to walk to/from school alone (with me following a few mins behind with his brother for now!) and sending him to the cornershop for milk. I'll also do some practice runs to school over the summer holidays if he ends up at a school where he would travel by public transport. This is a big step for them and us and I think all parents are worried about the travel aspect particularly if it is their first.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:02 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:38 am
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Location: West Midlands / warks border
My DS will have about 45 min journey of green bus morning and evening, so that will be a shock to the system.

however, I am really happy because he has 4 second cousins at KEFW who all get the bus from where he will be getting it.

Next year when he starts he will have 1 in the sixth form, one in year 11, one in year 9 and one in year 8. This gives me great comfort to know he will be with family on his journey, who can look out for him and make sure on his first day he will go to the right place!


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