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 Post subject: Queen Marys or Camp Hill
PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 11:54 pm 
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My DS got 361 for QM and 239 for Birmingham Consortium. He has his heart set on QM from the start, however his results have got me thinking about Camp Hill. Unfortunately we were unable to attend the open day for Camp Hill, but my DS was quite impressed with QM, however I found it shabby in places. I think if we had seen CH, it would probably have been up there with QM in his opinion. QM is closer can get Green Bus for 8, but CH involves getting a bus for 7, however grandparents don't mind dropping him off!
I would be grateful of any advice from parents who have had the opportunity to see both schools. I may try ringing the school and see if they'll allow us a quick look...it's a bit of a long shot! But then again he did all the hard work so maybe just let him go where he wants. What would you do if you're in my shoes? Thanks


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 6:14 am 
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I have seen both and I actually liked QM more. However, we live walking distance from CH so have put that top. He scored well in both.

I liked the fact that QM seemed to have other things on offer for example, CCF. The new sixth form centre is amazing and the 20acres of grounds lovely. The headmaster was very inspiring and I liked the fact it was a mixed sixth form that a lot of girls from the high school decide to come to. We saw it on a working day and the boys were well behaved and the teachers looked like they were doing a great job. They are building a new canteen area and have recently got new caterers in.

Camp hill feels a bit more cramped especially now they are adding an extra class. The buildings vary with age too. It also felt very academic and I loooked at the options available in Y9 for gcse and they wasn't a huge range (basically traditional subjects). That said, it probably does offer what my son would want to do.

Also think about where you son would be in the year. Looking at the scores it would appear that he would be above average at QM but in the lower third at CH. I know which I'd prefer to be in!


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 6:42 am 
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I really don't think you can use the scores to distinguish between students in that way. If they achieved the scores to get in, apart from the odd one or two that may really be on another level, then generally it is their attitude to work and independence that will get them through. There is someone is DS2's class at KES who got 280 last year and was ranked no.1 at another selective - he is certainly very bright and quick thinking according to DS but not significantly ahead of everyone else.

Agree that parts of the building at CHB do seem quite cramped and tired - DH commented on the DT area in particular when we went on open day but generally the grounds/ building is nice.

QM grounds were much nicer though - yes it is often a back-up to many on here but that is because most on here are from Brum! If I lived in Walsall I would put QM first and not think twice - getting home quicker and staying on after-school at QM when he needs to will soon beat any perceived academic edge by sending him all the way across the city.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 8:24 am 
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UmSusu wrote:
I really don't think you can use the scores to distinguish between students in that way. If they achieved the scores to get in, apart from the odd one or two that may really be on another level, then generally it is their attitude to work and independence that will get them through. There is someone is DS2's class at KES who got 280 last year and was ranked no.1 at another selective - he is certainly very bright and quick thinking according to DS but not significantly ahead of everyone else.

Agree that parts of the building at CHB do seem quite cramped and tired - DH commented on the DT area in particular when we went on open day but generally the grounds/ building is nice.

QM grounds were much nicer though - yes it is often a back-up to many on here but that is because most on here are from Brum! If I lived in Walsall I would put QM first and not think twice - getting home quicker and staying on after-school at QM when he needs to will soon beat any perceived academic edge by sending him all the way across the city.



Fair enough! I wonder if age standardisation has had something to play? Maybe he is very bright and young in the year? The usual school work/test not being age standardised.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 8:32 am 
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I couldn't say if he was younger or not. But age standardisation can only gain a child a few marks (5 or 6 at most?).

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 11:44 am 
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My boys are happy at CH - our closest grammar - but I would genuinely say that an extra hour each way of travelling, as you seem to indicate, adds up to 14 extra hours of travelling per week and that level of commuting is very exhausting.

Think about why you really want ds to go to CH? Is it the apparent kudos of having 'got into' a school that, on paper is the hardest to get into? That's not a great reason to put a child through a long journey every day, which in winter, would be pretty miserable. It's great that grandparents have offered to help but they are presumably not young, and it is a long commute there and back for them too. Could they do it for 7 years?

Is it because you think the academic standard of pupils at CH is higher? I'd be reluctant to say that was the case, as believe me, there are many very bright boys at QM too. Many of whom will have met the CH score but chosen to remain closer to home.

Is it because you think your son would get better GCSEs at Camp Hill? To be honest, he might do better if he had less travelling to deal with and more time for homework.

Hope that helps.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 3:21 pm 
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baggyboy wrote:
My DS got 361 for QM and 239 for Birmingham Consortium. He has his heart set on QM from the start, however his results have got me thinking about Camp Hill. Unfortunately we were unable to attend the open day for Camp Hill, but my DS was quite impressed with QM, however I found it shabby in places. I think if we had seen CH, it would probably have been up there with QM in his opinion. QM is closer can get Green Bus for 8, but CH involves getting a bus for 7, however grandparents don't mind dropping him off!
I would be grateful of any advice from parents who have had the opportunity to see both schools. I may try ringing the school and see if they'll allow us a quick look...it's a bit of a long shot! But then again he did all the hard work so maybe just let him go where he wants. What would you do if you're in my shoes? Thanks


I am struggling to understand why the question even arises. Your DS loves QMGS, it is close to home , it is a very good school, and you have never visited Camp Hill. So why add a long journey to a school your DS hasn't chosen nor his parents visited and for what?

As for QMGS being shabby, I cannot recall a grammar I have visited which couldn't do with a bit of tlc but my guess would be you have to pay for that, if it is I portent to you.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 3:59 pm 
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There has to be some objective data surrounding the kudos emotion around KECHB; the greater question is why do we as individual parents send our kids to certain types of school. At the end of the day, its us the parent, that has the ultimate decision to make.

I am a refugee in the midlands but everyone I spoke to recommended KECHB to us..

There will be holistic reasons for sending our children to certain schools as well as siblings, school results etc..All of these must be taken into account. There is no right or wrong decision. Make one and see how it goes. Good luck


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 11:58 pm 
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Thank you all for your words of wisdom!


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