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 Post subject: catchment areas
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 2:34 pm 
I am currently househunting in the Amersham/Hazlemere areas with a view to Dr Challoners or RGS. Not decided yet on which.
I recently read on a website, (not sure where) that Chesham residents wanting to go to Dr Challoners might find themselves given places at Chesham High instead. Can that be right?
I don't want to buy a house in Chesham to find it all to no avail.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 3:01 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8206
Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi malkbk

Bucks CC put forward a proposal to split the catchment for Challoners girls and boys earlier this year. The reason for the proposal was that, because school places are allocated on distance from school gates, a few children (less than 20) in the furthest parts of Gerrards Cross were not being given places at Challoners, and instead were being bussed to Chesham High or Beaconsfield.

There was an enormous protest campaign mounted against the changes, because the lines that had been drawn by Bucks CC would have created equal problems for Chesham Bois residents. For example, some children who could have walked to DCGS (boys) in minutes would have been catching a bus to Chesham High School instead.

The problem is unlikely to recur this year, as the size of the cohort is lower this year than over the last few years, and is going to stay that way for the next couple of years.

As to whether the proposal might rear it's ugly head again - who knows? I suspect not, because of the strength of protest that erupted this time round.

Do study the catchment maps (on the Bucks CC website) carefully and also consider the catchment areas for Upper schools, just in case. Some of them are pretty good, whilst others, frankly, are not! You also need to consider the option of Berks schools and the location of private schools, which are few and far between around Bucks because of the strength of the grammar schools.

Sally-Anne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 3:10 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2005 3:47 pm
Posts: 1348
Location: Berks,Bucks
Yes, Dr Challoners doesn't have enough places for all the catchment children.
You would need to move very close to the school for your child to have a place.

RGS wasn't oversubscribed last year, and even out of catchemnt children got in. However they have been in the past, and a few years ago some catchment children didn't get a place. I am not sure what changed.


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 Post subject: malkbk
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 3:33 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 3:22 pm
Posts: 32
Location: Sunbury <MIddlesex
Firstly, I would like to say that I am extremely pleased to have found this website and thankyou to everyone who has tried to answer my queries.
I am planning a move to Bucks next year purely to get my son into a good Grammar school. My dilemma, not knowing the area too well is where to move to . I have been over a few times to look around . I am coming down in favour of RGS and Dr Challoners but have yet to look round either of them. Can anyone give me a 'rough guide' to their differences and 'culture'.
My son is fairly bright and until reading this website I hadn't even considered that he would fail the exam.Now I am ordering papers and thinking about timetabling practice sessions etc etc.
Given that we will be moving to be catchment for one or other of these schools ,can anyone give me some information on the best upper schools and where they are in case the worst happens and he doesn't get in.There is so much to consider.

_________________
Barbara


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 6:15 pm 
I know a couple of the upper schools but by no means all. Chalfont Community College which serves the Chalfonts has a good reputation but is very big so depends on the child. My son who narrowly failed the 11+ has done well there and we've been happy with it. Beaconsfield Sec has a new head who is trying to improve the standards there. To date the results at Beaconsfield Sec. have been poor (about 30% getting 5 GCSEs compared with about 60% at Chalfont). Amersham School and Chesham both seem OK but if you've got your heart set on Challoners..... You would need to check the catchments carefully if you wanted to get a Challoners/Chalfont choice.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 6:15 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8206
Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi Barbara

You have a new private message.

Sally-Anne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 6:39 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2005 3:47 pm
Posts: 1348
Location: Berks,Bucks
I agree with Guest about Chalfonts. It a good school, and my son's friends who go there are happy and do well. But it is also a very big school.

As for the grammars, here's a link to a BBC article about the 'best of the best' schools, that lists RGS.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/6173204.stm


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 Post subject: Re: malkbk
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 9:24 pm 
malkbk wrote:
I am coming down in favour of RGS and Dr Challoners but have yet to look round either of them.

As you can't be in catchment for both, and your son is v unlikely to get into Challoner's unless you are in catchment, you need to pick which you prefer before moving.

But the open evening are always in the Autumn term and have already happened. What year is your son in?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 9:39 am 
Beware of assuming a bright child will pass the 11+. Of course you'll help all you can and they'll try their hardest, but some children just don't get on with VR and this is all Bucks test. The child may not do well on the day(s) even though he/she is a star in the classroom.

Look at Julia B's son, for example, 110 in Bucks 11+ but 129 in Berks where they also test NVR and Maths. Our daughter and Catherine's son didn't pass Bucks 11+ despite all level 3 in Key stage 1 and level 5 in Key stage 2 and exemplary reports. They are both now stars in their respective Year 7s. We were lucky as we got a place in the very good comp. over the county border, but I know the future is still less sure for Catherine's son.

I'm not trying to worry you, just to emphasize that I think it's more important to consider the Upper when moving. The lack of a good alternative is what drives parents to desperation when the unexpected happens. The grammar will take care of itself - the differences in individual grammars are less dramatic.

Jed


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 10:08 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2005 3:47 pm
Posts: 1348
Location: Berks,Bucks
Dear Jess,

I assume that the ‘Catherine’ you are mentioning is myself. If it is, you are probably mistaking my 'story' with someone else’s. My son did pass the Bucks 11+, and is going to his first preference school, Slough Grammar.

I strongly agree with your comments about having a good 'back up' school.

Regards

Catherine


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