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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:58 am 
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I would really appreciate any feedback from parents who are familiar with either of these schools. Our dd is quite academically inclined and based on past scores she will able to get into either school.
I see that Camp Hill looks better on paper in terms of academics- but when we went to open house I didn't get a great feeling. Also the head teacher in her speech said something that has been nagging at me. She said, "Perhaps surprisingly for a girls school, we perform consistently well in maths."
I have not been to Five Ways yet- have made arrangements to visit this week.
Any feedback - not just academics - and especially personal experience would really help!
Thank you


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 10:55 am 
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Hi asldoc,

DS is in Y7 at KEFW - I haven't been around CHG (for obvious reasons :)) but had a similar feeling about CHB on both of the occasions that we went there - just didn't give me a warm feeling and the boys that acted as our guides seemed to be very different creatures to DS who is more of an all rounder than a very academic child. Personally I'm not a big fan of single sex education either so that was another plus point for FW.

DS has settled in their incredibly easily and is very happy, coping with the work and homework, plenty of friends and joined several clubs. It is very male heavy - in DS's form there are 20 boys and just 6 girls but they all seem to interact and get on. Maybe it takes a certain personality type to copy with being outnumbered? I didn't realise when we applied but apparently KEFW has smaller class sizes that the other KE schools so perhaps another positive?

DS was very keen on KEFW from the start so that was another factor.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 11:28 am 
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I have a DD in year 8 at CHG and she is loving it. Academically I think it's great, and she is absolutely thriving on the atmosphere there.

The other aspects of school life I'm also very pleased with - there are lots of clubs the girls are encouraged to take part in (or start if they have a new idea). The school is very keen that they leave CHG as rounded individuals not just a bright girl with a string of excellent results - lots of schools can do the exam bit, but it's that extra 'something' that will help the girls get on in life that makes all the difference. When we were choosing schools for DD1 we felt that although Sutton Girls turned out girls with fantastic results, we felt that a certain something was missing, whereas Handsworth also seemed to make a point of encouraging a 'rounded education'. We didn't look at KEFW as it's too hard to get to, and we were all keen for a single sex school.

AT CHG they don't really mix at all with the boys at all until sixth form - which DD is very happy about, but if your DD is used to a mixed school, and enjoys the company of boys she might miss their company. Personally I like that fact that there are no boys as distractions, and the girls can be as 'geeky' or otherwise as they want without fear of teasing from the boys. Even at Grammar School, if it's co-ed, I'm sure it's not that cool to be a very bright girl!!

It looks like our DD2 will be joining her sister at CHG, and she's really looking forward to it (but would equally be happy with Handsworth as it reminded her a bit of Hogwarts!!).

I think that different schools definitely suit the temperament of different children, so it's worth seeing any school you're interested in on a normal working day as that is when you really get a true feel for the school. And also consider the travelling arrangements to the schools, as 7 years is a long time to commit to complicated travel plans!

Hope that helps.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 11:31 am 
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Hi asldoc

My DD is in yr 10 at CHG and is absolutely thriving. She prefers the fact the school is single gender rather than mixed (just her choice). It depends whether or not your DD would work better in a single gender or mixed school. I think the Head Teacher's remark referring to maths may be to do with the fact that I think boys historically tend to do better at maths than girls? Maths was not my daughter's strongest subject when she joined CHG but now she loves it!

There are plenty of sports and other clubs going on and the girls are encouraged to join at least one of these. My daughter is a quiet, shy girl but her confidence has grown greatly since yr 7. She is now very used to addressing the school in assembly, giving presentations to her year group and class and has also been given the class Secretary position this year (having held school council and Food Group positions in the past).

Yes they work them hard there but don't all the Grammar schools (DS has just started at KE Aston and I think the amount of homework has been a bit of a shock!).

I think in the end the choice of school is down to personal preference and logistics (travel time etc.) as they are both great. I would encourage you to try and visit CHG on a 'working day' if possible before you make your mind up as all schools can seem very different on Open Days.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:07 pm 
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Thank you for these helpful responses! :D :D
Distance is not an issue as we will be moving to Bham in the next year (I changed jobs) and can look to move close to whichever school we choose.
If I am honest- I prefer a co-ed school just so that dd won't feel so awkward around boys and see interactions with them as special or unusual. That said- a ratio of 2 to 1 is a bit scary (thank you for the info muminbrum). Girls do perform better academically in girls only schools and I would worry about being in such a dominantly male school.
I will definitely try to get in to see both schools during the day in the next week- ahh so much to do!


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:26 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2008 7:59 pm
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asldoc wrote:
Thank you for these helpful responses! :D :D
Distance is not an issue as we will be moving to Bham in the next year (I changed jobs) and can look to move close to whichever school we choose.
If I am honest- I prefer a co-ed school just so that dd won't feel so awkward around boys and see interactions with them as special or unusual. That said- a ratio of 2 to 1 is a bit scary (thank you for the info muminbrum). Girls do perform better academically in girls only schools and I would worry about being in such a dominantly male school.
I will definitely try to get in to see both schools during the day in the next week- ahh so much to do!


Even though CHG is girls only (obviously, clue's in the name :wink: ) it is on the same site as CHB and I do see interaction between girls and boys on the way in and out of school. Best of both worlds, as girls perform better in single sex environments but boys aren't such a mystery as they are visible in and out of school.

We didn't much like CHG on the Open Day either, but seeing it on a working day is what transformed us! Now DD is there and I can honestly say she has never been happier in school, thank God (didn't enjoy primary at all :( ). We wouldn't have gone for a co-ed school anyway, but FW has far more boys than girls, so it depends on how your DD feels about that.

In the end, go with the school that's easier to get to and the one both you prefer. They're both good so you can't go far wrong anyway!


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:29 pm 
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Quote:
Now DD is there and I can honestly say she has never been happier in school


Snap for DD in Yr 9 at CHG


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:33 pm 
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This thread is starting to get rather biased now :lol: :lol: :lol:


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:41 pm 
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I've only heard good things about FW - this lack of a warm feeling on open evenings at both chb & chg has been echoed on this forum on numerous occasions (& to be honest we felt the same). :shock:


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:43 pm 
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Thank you for the information everyone!!! I am facing the same decision as asldoc. Both schools are brilliant, so it is really difficult to know which one to put first on the preference form. My daughter is very academic but also loves music and sport. I thought maybe Camp Hill might suit her academically, but Five Ways might suit her for music and sports... But my daughter liked the sporting facilities at Camp Hill too. I just don't know. :? :?

At first, my daughter said she wanted to go to an all-girls school, but after looking around Five Ways she now says she likes both schools equally. :?


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