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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:33 am 
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Joined: Fri May 27, 2011 9:50 am
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Hi All,
I found in school websites saying they are specialist schools in arts, drama and some are in science and technology, some are in languages ... what is this means?

we are in the catchment area of Sir william borlase's grammar school, it says it has special status for arts and drama.. What about the academic subjects, is it good at English, Maths, science.. or not?.

could anybody explain what is meant for special status?
Thanks


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 9:29 am 
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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 5:27 pm
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Location: london
rishita wrote:
I found in school websites saying they are specialist schools in arts, drama and some are in science and technology, some are in languages ... what is this means?
In theory it means they have been identified as having strength in this area and get extra money accordingly. However, in my experience it means that they have put together a planand applied for it!
rishita wrote:
we are in the catchment area of Sir william borlase's grammar school, it says it has special status for arts and drama.. What about the academic subjects, is it good at English, Maths, science.. or not?.
Have a look at the league tables and its website. As for academic subjects...it is a grammar school!!!
rishita wrote:
could anybody explain what is meant for special status?
for an explanation of what is meant by special status see above or google.

_________________
mad?


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 11:00 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 4:47 pm
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Location: South Bucks
mad? wrote:
it means that they have put together a plan and applied for it!


Without being too cynical I think mad? has it exactly right.

For example BHS is a Language college and yet has unceremoniously and without warning dropped German from it's curriculum

And again as mad? says, SWB is a grammar school, the academic subjects are it's 'bread & butter'. The Specialisms are little more than marketing frills and to be very honest I wonder if most parents are 100% sure what various specialist status labels their child's school carries.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 12:34 pm 
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There's a good chance that a GCSE in the school's specialism is compulsory. Watch out if your child hates the school's specialism.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 1:04 pm 
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Location: South Bucks
Y wrote:
There's a good chance that a GCSE in the school's specialism is compulsory. Watch out if your child hates the school's specialism.


This is not the case at BGS though I think it may be the case at some other schools, in fact a parent was complaining to me yesterday that her daughter was being forced to do GCSE in ICT at Chalfont "because it was the school's specialism" (the school's explanation). A pity because the academically able girl wanted to do French instead.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 6:49 pm 
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You do not have to take Drama or Music GCSE at SWBGS. All it means is that if your child enjoys/excels in these subjects they have loads of opportunities to do more activities around them. It is not compulsory.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 5:59 pm 
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Can I clarify, when we were shown round by Y7 children last year, they specifically said they had to do dancing and drama etc in their first year which if I'm totally honest, is the reason we didn't put this as our first choice school for our son (despite being just down the road from us and in our catchment).

It's not that we are against these subjects (my daughter would absolutely be in her element there) but for a boy who is not into anything performance related, this didn't seem to be the right choice for him. (From the evening we had visiting, we weren't the only ones who as a direct result of what we were told, opted for a different school).

He is actually going to John Hampden in September (which we are delighted about).


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 6:12 pm 
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If you re-read the post you will see it is about GCSE options.

At Borlase you do take drama and dance for the first two years.

In my experience even if you do not want to proceed with these subjects at GCSE drama has been great for confidence, introduction to public speaking, gives a different angle on many English Lit texts etc and dance has been great fun exercise which my non-dancing son was happy to give a go and I was very impressed with the one performance the whole year did in Year 7.

Glad you feel you have chosen the right school for your son - every child is different and every parent has different motivations for choosing the best school for them.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 3:38 pm 
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Having re-read the post, I can't see any reference to GCSE options in the initial question.

I think it's important that prospective parents are aware of the first couple of years and the need to participate in these subjects. Rest assured, my son has been very actively involved in singing, drama etc at his prep school. It's just not something he would want to continue to such a degree.

Horses for courses though. As I said, it would be an ideal environment for my daughter.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 3:44 pm 
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Ps. I do see further down GCSEs are referred to. However I stand by my comment that if you go there and don't know that you have to do, for example, dance, it might be something that becomes an issue.


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