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 Post subject: RGS JHGS SWBGS???
PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 6:03 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:47 am
Posts: 173
I wonder if anybody can help..I am trying to decide between these 3 schools but do not live in Bucks. The only information I have of them is what I was given at their open evenings. I was really impressed by them all and was thinking of putting them in RGS/JH/SW order. Can anybody advise if this is what most locally-based parents would opt for as I have no idea about local reputations of the school or any anecdotal positives or negatives? I am in Surrey and was considering Tiffin Boys as 1st choice but having been to RGS I am really torn as it also has lots to offer beyond the curriculum. Any parents out there with personal experiences from either schools? We have 6 choices and I am considering putting the Bucks schools before Berks and worry about how I get my DS to High Wycombe, if successful, nearer the time, or we may have to move there. Are there any other parents who are currently doing this or know of good transport links from Ashford/Staines/Heathrow area?
Any advice appreciated!


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 Post subject: Re: RGS JHGS SWBGS???
PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 6:22 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 11956
Places are allocated on distance - please check the sticky at the top of the Bucks section as I think you are probably too far away from any of them.


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 Post subject: Re: RGS JHGS SWBGS???
PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 7:08 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 9:39 pm
Posts: 508
Ditto Guest 55's response. Even kids in catchment for William Borlase didn't get in this year - for Bucks you have to qualify (over 121 score), and then live close enough to get in - I would think you would be way out of previous allocation distances for Bucks down near Staines. Distances are on the sticky referred to

Berks is different - top xx on score get places, then yy allocated on distance - depends on individual schools. Reading Boysa also goes on score I think. You need to look at the different areas and schools, as they have different reqs.

But do also consider what travel you are putting on your DS - they get a lot of homework in secondary, personally I would not want a journey of over about 40 mins (my DD has 10 min walk to the bus - then about 20mins on bus).

Good luck in your 11+ journey!!


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 Post subject: Re: RGS JHGS SWBGS???
PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 7:16 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:45 pm
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Several Bucks schools including RGS were all offered this year, so theoretically someone from Staines would have got in, but that is unusual.


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 Post subject: Re: RGS JHGS SWBGS???
PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 10:24 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2011 11:01 pm
Posts: 239
hi munch i am very fortunate as i live in the bucks and i have 3 lots of gs schools at a distance of 8-10 min away. i dont know if i was in your place i could consider my ds to travel that far especially 35-45min . i have not recieved our ds results yet but he has his heart on the AGS but if he does not get this there is also SFG i am quiet lucky , but i do fell sorry for the rest of you guys as i know someone who comes all the way from surrey, and the traverling for this child is very distressing as it takes 45 min and more when its busy,because of this the child is falling well behind.


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 Post subject: Re: RGS JHGS SWBGS???
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 9:24 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 9:27 am
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Location: Buckinghamshire
FWIW we put the schools in that order on DS2's CAF - but we are in catchment for the first 2 and used the third to fill up the form (we do not expect to be offered a place). For this years Y7 intake you would have been offered a place at RGS but probably not the other 2. I would not entertain a 45 minute commute twice a day for DS's and you need to also consider any extra-curricular activities your DS might take up - do you want him undertaking a 45 minute journey home after rugby training/orchestra and then having to sit and do 2 hours of homework?

This link shows the BCC transport for schools http://apps1.buckscc.gov.uk/eforms2005/SSSchoolStatus/school_transport.aspx scroll down for RGS/JH/SWB. Be aware, just because a route is shown doesn't mean your DS will get a seat. It looks like you have more options if you go for one of the Wycombe schools.


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 Post subject: Re: RGS JHGS SWBGS???
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:01 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:47 am
Posts: 173
Thanks to all for your input...I do agree that 45 mins is not really ideal for all the reasons given and I don't want to do this at all - once the results are out we will need to think about a move. It is only if we are unable to move straightaway that the transport becomes an issue and if I am to list Bucks schools then I need to have some kind of plan ready for this. We have no grammars schools in the area and the three areas we are looking at are Tiffin, Berks and Bucks.
The Head of Yr 7 at RGS advised me that they were undersubscribed this year and even had a boy coming from, Harrow and Uxbridge. He wasn't able to say why this happened this year but said JH and SWB had almost the same situation.
The only reason I even went to visit these schools was because I am told JH, SWB, Burnham and Chesham tend to take out of catchment and I note that they did all offer this year. JH confirmed that if we put them first and DS passed, it would not be beyond the realms of probability to be offered a place but of course this all was dependent on how many passed within catchment etc. RGS I know don't tend to offer out of catchment but it looks like it's worth a go if they are not being over-subscribed now. They even had an ad in the Bucks free press 2 weeks ago to fill the current year 7 places.
Of course things could change this year which is why the Berks schools need to be on the form somewhere but what I am really confused about is whether to put Bucks before Berks. It's a hard decision when you are not familiar with either area beyond a visit to the schools.
I guess what my original question was, distance aside, and without knowing the schools and the area at all, would I be correct in listing RGS/JH/SWB in this order?


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 Post subject: Re: RGS JHGS SWBGS???
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:42 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 11956
Munch

You need to visit each school and see the match to your DS - RGS and JHGS are both single gender and so very different to SWBGS ....

What are his interests? Do these match what the school promotes e.g. on website?

Last year's allocations were a real 'blip' and I don't think anyone is expecting that to be replicated this year.


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 Post subject: Re: RGS JHGS SWBGS???
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 1:14 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 10:22 pm
Posts: 10
We are fortunate to have DS at RGS and DD just started at SWBGS. As we live between the 2 we also looked closely at JHGS. All 3 are very good schools and I am sure you would be happy with any.

I think your question is more about preferences than the admissions practicalities. Locally there is no “standard” preference, it is a very individual decision but one normally based on a) Which schools you live within catchment for, b) The feel for the school and how well it suits your child and c) The practicalities of daily travel. I believe RGS and SWB have mutually exclusive catchments so the preference choice is normally between which of these you are in catchment for and JHGS with the other often becoming an unrealistic 3rd but acting as an insurance and demonstration of your desire for a Grammar School place.
Our son did not want to go to a mixed school so SWB was excluded on that basis. RGS has a more traditional “feel” about it and DS was attracted by the Rugby and activities/opportunities like CCF. Although marginally out of catchment it was worth the risk for us and we were fortunate with the allocation. JHGS provides a much greater variety of sporting options and we would not have been disappointed had it been our allocation. SWBGS has a strong interest in Hockey and Rowing and suited our DD much more; again we are very happy with the school. On the academic side each school has specialisms which should be considered.

I’m afraid the dice are heavily loaded against you obtaining a place at such a distance. My sense is that SWB is the least likely to offer out of catchment as part of its catchment is in Berkshire where it is a very popular alternative to private education. Hence local demand is rarely satisfied. I sense RGS always has a few "long distance commuters”. I think this is often down to late withdrawals (moving away or choosing private) and I know of examples where offers have been made very late – even after the start of term. Clearly this is very risky and you would need a good Plan B. If circumstances allow, choosing one of the Boarding Places at RGS removes the distance risk.

Good luck with whatever you decide.
OA


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 Post subject: Re: RGS JHGS SWBGS???
PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 7:49 am 
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Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 10:56 am
Posts: 215
Hi Munch,
With regards to what to put at the top of the CAF form, I have queried this a number of times and have been told, (even rung BCC) if you are considering Bucks grammars then you must put them above all other choices ie top of form, or they will not consider. (see my previous posts re JHGS). This year apparently RGS and JHGS were all offered. I put Burnham as my 1st choice and was told this year they didnt go out as far as we are also OOC. Once a school gets popular they go back to distance/siblings etc. whereas Burnham in the last few years were going out more than the Wycombe Grammers. It is such a dilemma. I changed the order of schools again. :roll:

We are considering moving if ds passed and got place, the travelling would also bother me even though it's around 20 miles for the Wycombe schools, prob. 40 mins by car.


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