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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2014 4:59 pm 
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Hi, just need to know if Queen Mary's Grammar School in Walsall is any good? We missed the open days earlier this year due to being abroad on those dates.
Need to know any pluses and minuses of the school would really appreciate it.

Distance is around 7 miles away from current home in Birmingham but happy to use Green bus service.

Thank you for any replies.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2014 5:58 pm 
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It is a very good school with an excellent headmaster in Mr Swales. He is Oxbridge educated and his two sons have followed him there both being educated at the school.

Its school hall may be small and lack gravitas but the school makes up for it in many different ways whether it be on the sports fields or as army cadets / RAF cadets (All pupils are enrolled in these two branches of the military for Friday afternoons)You see the pupils in their uniforms around the school and in town on the Fridays and a contingent are expected to attend on Rememberance Sunday. This all helps to increase discipline and in improving standards.

Academically it holds its own as a good grammar and in my view is the best boys grammar north of Birmingham. Its intake of girls has increased dramatically in the last 3 years in the sixth form driving up its A level grades given its increased capacity with its newly built sixth form centre

The school has some very good teachers with the vast majority of its staff doing an excellent job.

Former pupils speak in warm terms of their happy experiences at the school.

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In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.

Abraham Lincoln


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2014 7:30 pm 
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Thanks for the reply... Does the army training start in year 7 and if so is it optional?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2014 8:17 pm 
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Its entirely optional. Boys can decide to join from year 9.There are 300 members at present.

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In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.

Abraham Lincoln


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2014 8:25 pm 
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Tim Swain is the head at QMGS


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2014 8:29 pm 
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You are so right.

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In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.

Abraham Lincoln


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 10:04 pm 
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Excellent school. Very strong in science, especially Physics, but they also have impressive English and History departments. They also teach Chinese! Found the students we talked to on open days were outgoing and really enjoying themselves. The website is really helpful and you can download detailed results sheets for both GCSE and A Levels. My DS was very impressed by the Cadet Force and also the strong Design and Technology.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 10:44 pm 
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TVRDad my experience of the History department at A level was not very impressive. Too many students give up the subject after AS than should happen.The only experience I remember at a parents evening is of being talked at rather than talked to.

I have a personal love of the subject and I don't think it is well taught. I can agree with everything else you say.

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In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.

Abraham Lincoln


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2014 8:17 am 
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quasimodo wrote:
TVRDad my experience of the History department at A level was not very impressive. Too many students give up the subject after AS than should happen.The only experience I remember at a parents evening is of being talked at rather than talked to.

I have a personal love of the subject and I don't think it is well taught. I can agree with everything else you say.


They have appointed a new Head of History this year from KEA and I spent 15 mins talking to her at the Open Day as I was concerned about the results and low numbers doing the subject as both my boys are history mad. She seems to have a handle and the problems and came across very well and I think they will offer a more balanced curriculum than BV which is weighted towards 19th and 20th social history. A Level numbers seem to have picked up as a result, but your points are well taken as one swallow doesn't make a Summer. DS1 now veering back towards QM from BV - Mum and he made the Bus Journey from Lichfield yesterday morning and because it was half term took only 50 minutes including a change at Walsall Bus Station... - who knows where we will be at midnight tonight...


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2014 12:55 pm 
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The problems I alluded to predated the appointment of the new head of history and we minimised the problem by dropping the subject for A2 in a subject which was her best at GCSE.

The changes are positive and will prevent children voting with their feet.

All the best in your choice.You are in a win win situation between your choices.

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In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.

Abraham Lincoln


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