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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 10:22 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2011 12:05 pm
Posts: 9
Hi all,
We are in a bit of dilemma with regards to our first choice school. DS has done well and now we have to choose between KEA and FW for our first choice. In both cases he will be using green bus for first few years and journey time to FW is going to be slightly longer ( extra 20 min each way), providing that the green bus ( service 882) does not change its route in near future. I would appreciate if someone could share their experience of green bus, in particular service 882 and also if someone has DS in both schools and what they think of each school.

Many thanks.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 3:46 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2014 5:22 am
Posts: 47
Hi

We are in exactly the same position choosing between FW and Aston, same bus route too! Did not do as much research into FW as I should have and now they are on half term already and can't speak to anyone! Would really appreciate any insight others have.

Thanks


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 5:54 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:14 am
Posts: 530
I would pick Aston .. But then I'm very very biased! Have two very happy DSs there. I also prefer that it's not a co-ed!


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 6:50 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:10 am
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I have a son at KEFW and he loves it and have another at Adams' Grammar, a boys school. He loves it too and is more suited to the all boys environment - strange as it is.

Visited KEA on open day and we all hated it. Site not particularly impressive, Head was less than persuasive and the clincher - a page in the information on the "safe route" to walk to Aston train station :shock: KEFW wins hands down.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 8:31 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:51 pm
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Hi I'm in similar situation where we have the option of local gs qm, Aston, or Camp hill which is 1hr travel each way by green bus. We are very confused and going to visit camp hill tomorrow, by car it will be OK 30 min, however with other family commitment not sure if this will be a good decision. I have been to both Aston and Fiveways and like Fw better as a school, Aston is good the children's and teachers were very easy to talk to, but the size of the school let it down.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 9:06 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 22, 2012 11:14 am
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I have ds1 in year 8 at KEFW and we've been happy with the school generally. Ds1 is happy there. Ds2 is sadly someway off qualifying so KEA is an option for us. I liked it a lot, thought the staff seemed very approachable. Only issue for me is location. I've just worried myself reading about the safe route to the station! Ds2 prefers BV and I certainly feel happier about the station to school walk there.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 9:35 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2013 9:14 am
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muminbrum wrote:
I have ds1 in year 8 at KEFW and we've been happy with the school generally. Ds1 is happy there. Ds2 is sadly someway off qualifying so KEA is an option for us. I liked it a lot, thought the staff seemed very approachable. Only issue for me is location. I've just worried myself reading about the safe route to the station! Ds2 prefers BV and I certainly feel happier about the station to school walk there.

Why don't you check out the journey yourself both to KEA & BV & then make a judgement based upon that.
I know someone who the walked to the station over 7 years at Aston & NEVER had an issue.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 11:17 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 22, 2012 11:14 am
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I realise that not every aston boy gets mugged but the fact that it was running at 3 a month so they had to bring in the police patrolled safe route is bound to make most parents a little concerned. Conversely I know that bad things can happen in Sutton too but when we did the 5 min walk from the station to BV it felt pretty unthreatening.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2014 7:36 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 7:53 pm
Posts: 92
My DS is in year 8 at KE Aston. He got in off the waiting list after originally being offered a place at a school more local to us which was co-Ed and much larger having over 2000 pupils. We chose Aston because of its small size as it suits my DS better than being swallowed up in a large school. I must say he loves the school, is very comfortable there, has a great diversity of friends and is making fantastic progress academically. A benefit of its small size is that most of the boys in all years know and look out for each other.

The pastoral care is amazing and is far better than that experienced by my DD at Camp Hill girls, which I find a more impersonal school. If there is a problem whether it be personal or academic there is always someone a boy can go to for help and support. Discipline there is also excellent with a reward scheme which sees all boys who get enough 'achievement points' taking part in rewards afternoons throughout the year and winning prizes for the most points at the end of term etc. This is a great motivator.

Any concerns I might have had about its location were quickly forgotten. Whilst my son has been at the school there has not been one incident of 'a pupil mugging' or anything similar. And knowing parents of boys who have been there several years I am not aware of this happening in recent times. I agree that when you are told at school open events about the safe route it sets 'alarm bells' ringing. however, the safe route was brought in several years ago and I truly believe the area around the school to be much safer now. Many of the boys choose to get trains to and from school which means walking to Aston station and I am not aware of any of them having been attacked (a lot of them never 'stick' to the safe route either :roll: ). I live in the Solihull area and I can tell you there are definitely more problems there than I have seen at Aston e.g school children being mugged or attacked on the way home in Tudor Grange park and approached outside school by strangers trying to 'pick them up'. Also whilst at Camp Hill my daughter has seen one or two 'fights' between Camp Hill students and those from other local schools and a year or so ago there was a stabbing close by. My point is no area is truly safe these days, fortunately these incidents are rare.

Yes the school may look a bit rough around the edges and it hasn't got the lovely surroundings of schools like Five Ways but I would tell to not discount it as it is a truly great school with a wonderful atmosphere. At the end of the day buildings do not 'make' a school, it's the teachers, the ethos of the school and the pupils.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2014 8:01 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2014 5:22 am
Posts: 47
Hi Orianagirl
Thanks so much for that really detailed reply. It is great to hear such positive things about Aston which I also felt instinctively drawn to, especially having spoken to the teachers and boys. The pastoral care and academic monitoring of the boys seemed really excellent. Our lad is also very sporty so the sports facilities and ethos there are a draw whereas FW seems (happy to be corrected) a bit lacklustre in that department. Actually one of my concerns was the proximity of friends. Has your DS made friends that he can meet up with pretty easily or are they all miles away? There are so many kids at FW from around here (Moseley/KH) that I felt that even though the school was further away my DS would find it easier to socialise outside school. Being Solihull area you are even further away from both - how are you finding things?


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