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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 7:27 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2013 6:12 pm
Posts: 2
Dear All,

My first post, so please be gentle! My family and I are moving back South with work after a 3 year 'exile' in the NE and I'm in need of some advice, particularly when it comes to schooling.

A tiny bit of background; we left from Surrey but the new job is in Northwood, so we're looking at Bucks (and possibly Herts or Berks either side) for the first time and everything is new. The plan is move this Easter and we therefore need to move fast (very fast!) to find a house etc. Schools are the main driver, with commute a little behind but still relevant.

My two boys are in Yrs 5 and 3 and it is the Grammar/Secondary school selection that is our first focus as the eldest will need to take the 11+ this Autumn (although Primary School advice equally welcome - especially mid-year!). Early research suggests that we're looking at quite a wide area centred-ish on Amersham, but stretching from Princes Ris in the West, Tring in the North, the Chalfont's to the East and Marlow/HW in the South - not much in there then! There are a fair few GS in the box and other than their websites and a few titbits on the forums, we don't know much about them. So, if you have a chance, I'd welcome any views on any of the following:

1. Any recommendations (or opinions) on any of the GS (CGS, DCGS, RGS etc) in our search area?
2. Any alternatives to the GS in-county (or do we go to another county?)?
3. Any recommendations on areas to search for family-friendly housing (and why!)?
4. Any advice with respect to Primary Schools (I know it's the 11+ forum, but since I'm here!)
5. Anything else!

Sorry for the long email. We're planning to travel down for a good look around in 2 weeks time and I'm trying to get as many pointers as I can before we head down. All and any advice will be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks in anticipation.

PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 7:33 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 11742
Welcome - you have found the right place!

If you are interested in DCGS you need to move into catchment quickly or it's unikely you'll get a place; they have their own rules about how long you need to live locally.

http://www.buckscc.gov.uk/bcc/schools/admissions/school_admissions.page? is the place to start to find catchments etc. Good primary schools will tend to be full ...

I would think about Secondaries first - the 11+ is changing too - see sticky and panics from posters!

Everyone has their own preferences - do watch out for the proposed HS2 route so you don't live next door to it.

PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:12 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2013 6:12 pm
Posts: 2
Many thanks Guest55,

Much appreciated the advice (and the welcome!), esp about DCGS catchment rules.

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 9:06 pm 

Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2013 5:42 pm
Posts: 4

If you are anxious about relying on grammar (ie 11+ pass), I believe Lord Williams in Thame recently receieved an outstanding in their Ofsted (but double check). This a comprehensive so takes all abilities as most children in their catchment don't bother sitting 11+.

It is my understanding that Brill, Long Crendon and Shabbington (all beautiful villages) are in catchment for Lord Williams but their Bucks post code means you can still apply (in catchment) to a grammar.

Brill and Long Crendon both are reputed to have excellent primary schools (although do your own homework, and they could be oversubscribed so check on place numbers first). From Shabbington (no village school) - you could use Ickford primary school (from personal experience this is also excellent).

If you do decide to buy in this area please note many of these Bucks villages on the edge of Thame are not in catchment for Lord Williams. You should check catchment before agreeing a purchase.

Happy house hunting.

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