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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 3:16 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:02 am
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How much input are you letting your children have on the order on the preference form? We live in Birmingham. We did Queen Mary’s as a mock but now we’ve looked into it we are considering it as an option. DS did well in the QM test and his score is “comfortable”. Yesterday he announced that he wants to put QM above Five ways despite it being miles away and would need a long bus journey there and back. He says he doesn’t care as he really liked QM and the buildings etc. were nice. He also said the teachers and pupils were really welcoming. He “enjoyed” the test day at QM. He didn’t much like Five ways open day last year and he sat the KE test at Five ways. The teacher was apparently not nice and he didn’t like the vibe! Ok we haven’t got the KE scores yet but I think him getting into his first choice of Camp Hill is unlikely. Also, I don’t know whether he is saying this because he knows his QM score! …..I don’t know why I’m wasting time thinking about this now. Pointless really as need to know the score before I know there is any chance of a KE place! Ahhhhhhhh! I'm planning to try and arrange day time tours of the schools if the score looks hopeful.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 4:00 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:20 pm
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Location: Warwickshire
Get him to try out the relevant journeys and think about whether he wants to do the longer one every day, even when it's cold and dark, for 7 years. And to consider that he's less likely to have school friends to share the journey with if he's going further afield. At the moment he's probably not thought about these.

Or is it the difference between all boys and mixed that appeals to him perhaps?


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 4:12 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
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Location: Herts
He really will care when it is cold and wet and dark and he is alone because he is the only one travelling that way. He will care when he can't attend the after school clubs or get to the parties. A school may seem very exciting when you don't have to think about how you actually get there. 4 boys dropped out of QE boys, the top school in the country, in Y7 because they could not stand the journey any more. The buildings won't be travelling with him everyday no matter how "nice" they are and he may well have enjoyed test day but probably the students he liked were doing it as a mock or didn't get it so will not be at the school. Give him some money and let him try and get there and back by himself and then see how he feels about the school! DG


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 5:38 pm 
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Location: Essex
Would definitely agree with the idea of trying out the journey (preferably on a normal school day - does yours have an inset day coming up which others don't?), but what do you actually mean by "miles" and "long bus journey"? If there is no need to change buses, quite a long way can be covered in say 45 minutes' travelling time; needing to change buses once or twice can turn a 5-mile journey into a 45-60 minute one :(

Similarly, what kind of bus? Dedicated school bus with only one journey each way: problems taking part in after-school activities. Public bus service: much more convenient - if you miss one, there will be another along in a while. Presumably, even if there were not m/any others travelling the whole distance, some from the school would be likely to join the bus at some point on the route?

Getting his other results may change your DS's feelings about the various schools anyway. At the end of the day, of course, you could just play the "I'm the grown-up here" card (and hope that he learns to love where you send him :lol: ).

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 7:54 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:03 am
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The 40 minute journey from our town to Adams has put my child right off.

However, as a parent, the child has input, we make the decisions? Why? Because we have more experience, better judgement, we will have to pick him up from after school clubs.

Of course, we will listen to his views, which are usually excellently put, and put those in the mix.

The choice ultimately ours.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 8:29 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2013 7:07 am
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The school day at QMGS finishes at 4 p.m. - in yr 7 participation in after school activities is very much encouraged - add to this homework and your son will probably get very tired ... my older son was like a Zombie for months and his journey was only 20 mins.
Okanagan - Point noted but QMGS only has girls in 6th form - so doubt that would be an influence..
Nostress - sorry to be cheeky but out of interest what score are you considering comfortable ??

I agree that the child should feel they have input but practical issues must still play their part - hope he is happy wherever he goes.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:17 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:20 pm
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Location: Warwickshire
diseyp wrote:
Okanagan - Point noted but QMGS only has girls in 6th form - so doubt that would be an influence.
I was thinking of the QM vs Five Ways comparison - is he more comfortable with the idea of an all boys school?


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:24 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 12:06 pm
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Location: Birmingham
Ds1 wanted to go to Bishop Vesey's and ds2 wanted to go to Queen Mary's. I mean, they went on and on and on about it.
And I ignored them both - they're both happy at Camp Hill now :D

It was only on results day that I actually understood just how much they wanted CH and how happy they were to make a place. But they were so afraid they'd not made it, that they stubbornly clung to wanting schools that they thought they would have made a place at, having found their exams easier (BV was a separate exam for ds1), in order not to feel they hadn't 'made it' at the end.

I hope that makes sense. Sorry if it's a bit garbled.

If your ds feels that the Birmingham exam hasn't gone as well for him, this insistence that he wants QM, and mentally making it seem a much better school, could be a coping mechanism.
Personally, I wouldn't listen to a 10 year old at all. There's all sorts of things going on in their head (it's a mystery that frankly gets worse when they hit their teens :wink: ) .... use your own experience and judgement.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 7:26 am 
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Location: Birmingham
I would advise to listen to them and make them feel listened : they had to put a lot of work in to do well and they should feel they have a say in what happens as a result. Grammar school or not I would have thought they can form an opinion that is considered. I agree there might be other issues affecting their choice but I would give them the chance to give you considered reasons for the school they want. I would tell him that the buildings / friends etc is not enough of a reason - they need to look at journey times, subjects, extra-curricular that they are actually interested in, sports/music, how he will manage getting back late. I doubt they would be able to fathom too much about GCSE option / A levels but that would your call.

Make a pros/cons list with each school and with any luck they should come to the sensible decision (ie the one you want :D ). However, the final say should be yours because you have other things to consider too such as other children, what you will do if he misses the bus, picking him up late etc. Personally, I think the furthest school really needs to offer something special than the more convenient grammar doesn't offer to put it higher on the form. Secondary school days are already long as they are.

DS1 had a choice between KES and a grammar. He had to make a very strong case as to why he should go there and how it is the best choice for him and his interests. He did put a strong and sensible case and went to KES - unsurprisingly, he has joined the debating society now!

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 9:15 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 22, 2012 11:14 am
Posts: 329
Are you planning on using a Green Bus service to get to QMGS? If so I would think carefully and read the recent post about changes afoot. Getting to Walsall from many areas of Birmingham by public transport is not a trivial undertaking.


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