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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:46 pm 
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As an avid reader of anything posted on this forum (it's amazing how the whole 11+ thing takes over your life!), I am hoping that someone 'in the know' could tell me the likelihood of being able to change my DS's school preference from RGS to JHGS (he has qualified for GS). We live in catchment for both schools; JHGS is within easy walking distance but RGS will require a bus ride (or a very long walk), which is a consideration which we had already taken into account when we initially submitted the CAF. However, my DS is becoming increasingly emotional (and I mean bucketloads of tears from a previously easy-going, stable boy) at the thought that he is the only boy from his school to have applied for the RGS, whilst several of his (qualifying)friends have opted for JHGS. Given that RGS was mine and my husband's first choice, rather than my DS's, we are now starting to feel very guilty that we have put him in this position. Added to that the prospect of there being no school bus laid on in the future...

I haven't yet contacted Bucks CC about the possibility, and just wanted to test the waters with feedback from experienced forumites before I try. Has anyone any experience of trying to change school preferences?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 7:23 pm 
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I think it's too late for the first allocation.

When we get the data on allocations we will be able to see if there are 'spare' places at JHGS - then I think it would be reasonably easy to change preferences.

I would ring Admissions and ask them to e-mail their advice to you. If you reject RGS you could end up with something further away if JHGS is full.

Good luck - :D


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 8:42 pm 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi SB888, and welcome!

I am sorry he is getting upset about this - it is a very difficult time for all the children.

Guest55 is entirely correct in the essentials. If you change your preference now your application will not be considered in the first round of allocations and you risk losing both RGS and JHG.

Leave your preferences as they are, and when Allocations Day comes you will surely be offered RGS. You should accept that place and then apply to go on the waiting list for JHG. Given that first preferences for JHG are down this year - see my post here viewtopic.php?f=12&t=23939 - it seems likely that it will deliver a place in a later allocation round. Allocation rounds take place at 6 weekly intervals from 1st March.

In the meantime, I think you should consider why you and your husband initially chose RGS over JHG. Sometimes parents have to be the people who know best, and if you had strong reasons for that choice at the time, you need to revisit them and then discuss them with your son.

He is bound to view changing schools with trepidation and to worry that he will be left out locally, but he will soon make new friends at RGS, and be able to keep the friends from his old school. I know of a couple of children in that position, and in some ways they have the best of both worlds - the right school for them, plus long-standing local friends.

As Guest55 says, I would email Admissions because there are a couple of slightly conflicting statements in their Admission brochure. One states that you can go on the waiting list for "a higher preference school that you have not been allocated", and the other says that you can "add new choices", or words to that effect.

I feel sure that my advice is correct, but please do check!

Sally-Anne


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 8:48 pm 
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I forgot to say that it may be worth going round both schools if you can to make sure you do want JHGS.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:02 am 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
It sounds like your DS may be getting pre-secondary school jitters. While it can be a comfort to start a new school with boys he knows, our experience has been that the primary school boys that went to the same GS have not stuck together after the first few weeks. They all have different interests so attended different lunchtime clubs and so the opportunity to hang out together evaporated. I'm sure DS1 stayed pals with one boy just because we lift-shared - as soon as he got his bus pass the friendship fizzled out!

DS1 has a core group of boys that he hangs out with at school and gets invited to the odd bowling/cinema trip and who he can contact for lesson notes or homework if he's off, but other than that doesn't tend to have contact with them outside school. He has another group of "home" friends who are largely ones from primary school. These are the ones he meets up with regularly to just hang out. He is happy with this arrangement and sees it as the best of both worlds.

In Y7 at RGS the form group becomes the main source of friends (followed by sports teams/orchestra/choir etc) and it is probable that most boys will not know anyone else in the form on the first day - everyone is in the same boat. Boys are seated alphabetically so even if primary school friends are in the same form they may not sit together. Boys soon link up with the boys one up and one down from them in the alphabet. The Y7 staff are experienced in dealing with insecurities and handle them sympathetically.

If it is just the friends issue that is bothering your son then maybe hi-light the fact that he will be gaining loads more friends whereas the boys that go to JHGS together may not make new friends quite so easily.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:13 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:20 pm
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Thank you so much for your helpful and reassuring responses. At least I now know that I have a few more weeks to mull things over - I had thought I would need to act before 1st March. Essentially I still believe that RGS is the right school for DS, so maybe it'll be a case of having to keep mopping up the tears until September! What a roller-coaster of a process! :?


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 5:08 pm 
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Secondary schools will also tend to split up groups so that not more than two or three are together in one form. This is so the children who come as the 'only one' from a school are not singled out.

In my experience as a teacher, friendship groups are very different by Christmas :lol:


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:41 pm 
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Just to add to what others have said, DS is at DCGS and he socialises with boys at RGS, JHGS and Chesham Grammar, not to mention Amersham and Chalfont schools. This includes boys he has never been to school with but who are old primary school friends of his secondary school friends, iyswim. There seems to be a huge mix, so I shouldn’t worry about it over-much, and I certainly shouldn’t allow it to become a major factor in your choice of school. :D


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:42 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:59 am
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Rob Clark wrote:
DS is at DCGS and he socialises with boys at RGS, JHGS and Chesham Grammar, not to mention Amersham and Chalfont schools. This includes boys he has never been to school with but who are old primary school friends of his secondary school friends, iyswim. D

There can scarely be a child in Bucks who does not socialise with Rob's son, it seems. Heck, here we were thinking grammars were for working...seems it's just one big social whirl. :)


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 4:27 pm 
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:lol: He’d certainly rather socialise than work, Amber. That’s definitely not a state secret.

He claims that they are worked so hard at school that he doesn’t need to do much more outside it. We shall see come exam time… :D


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