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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 10:44 am 
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Happened to go to the open evening couple of weeks ago. What can I say ? We are very impressed with the school. OH was pleased with their sports and sciences. DD was very happy to see the Space camp pictures, dance studio, science labs and languages department. The school had a very good, relaxed and complete kind of feel (because it a mixed school ?). DCs were friendly and polite. DD pointed out that the head teacher seemed modest (in his talk) which makes her feel welcomed. We will not force DD but we will be happy if she puts SWBGS as her first choice, provided she passes Bucks exam :)

Before I get too carried away, anybody here with DCs in SWBGS ? Please share your experiences.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 11:57 am 
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Hi berks_mum,

My DD went to the open evening last year (and the year b4) and loved it. She started this year (Year 7) from a small prep school in Maidenhead and she's extremely happy, as are the other four girls that came with her. Her old school was mostly boys (2/3) so SWBGS has been a revelation as there are "so many girls".

Her move from a class of 17(ish) to 30 has also been fine - mind you she is very 'self-contained' and just gets on with things. She travels in by train on the 'Hogwarts Express' from Furze Platt which is all part of the experience as it's rammed with SWBGS kids (we'll see how that goes come wet & cold November).

Our DS is still at her old school and she finds it weird going back so I guess she's fully settled in.

We looked at a number of Grammar schools in the area, private schools that the Head recommended such as The Abbey in Reading and she also sat the Kendrick exam. However we thought SWBGS was the best fit for her as she loves both science, English and art. It also had the closest 'feel' to her old school. So far seems to have been the correct choice.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 9:40 am 
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Flatsix, that you very much for your feedback. "Hogwarts Express' LOL :) I can imagine my DD in it.

My DD also likes Science, English(reading), Maths and arts. Is there any boys/girls bias for triple sciences at GCSE level ? I happened to read some thread (either this site or mumsnet) discussing SWBGS girls and 'short skirts'. To be honest it doesn't matter much to me but is it likely that girls feel some peer pressure to dress up/make up. Mine is more into books than looks (at the moment).


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 10:29 am 
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Hi berks mum,

Having a boy at John hampden that plays sports fixtures all around I am pleased to inform you the winners of the ludicrously short skirts prize is Wycombe high- hemline!
I don't know if the boys at John hampden pay as much attention as the girls may like them to when they all walk down the hill together at 3.40pm, but I cannot help but notice that skirts that end at the same level as your shoulder bag hangs have a tendency to snag on said bag and ride up the hip exposing one's delicate undies. :oops:
Borlase, great Marlow and st michaels seem fine and the girls at risborough seem to wear very thick tights with their short skirts or trousers....the wind does blow cold on that Ridgeway.
I cannot really understand why they don't just insist on trousers only tbh, far more practical surely?


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2014 11:13 am 
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My ds is in year 7 at SWBGS (so I guess a 1:4 chance of being in the same class as Flatsix's DD) and he is loving it (although it's a big step up from Primary and a big change with his year group being pretty much the same size as the whole of the small state primary he's come from).

I don't know where abouts you are berks_mum but it's worth checking the allocation profiles if you're not in the bit of berks which is in catchment as they don't go very far out of catchment (this year the furthest OOC allocation was 6 miles from the school).

I think it's a lovely little school - the expectations are very high and the workload starts from day 1 though (ds had 5 lessons on Friday and was set 5 pieces of homework). There is probably more dance / drama then in some of the other schools which is nice - it's the house dance competition soon (participation compulsory). Sports seems great and inclusive - hockey is the big sport - in year 7 I think around 45 boys go to the after school hockey club (out of around 60ish) and I think girls is similar. It was the interhouse cross country the other week - again participation compulsory. Ds likes the vast majority of his teachers although some are mean, nasty and unreasonable :lol: :roll:

With the children being all so local and it's fantastic that ds's friends aren't coming from miles and miles away it's worth bearing in mind that the cohort is not as diverse as you will get in some schools which does mean that the children are existing in a very "Marlow" bubble and not meeting people from other backgrounds / cultures as much as they would at, say WHS or JHGS. The vast majority of the children walk to school I would say, a chunk go on the train and another chunk (including my ds) on the busses out to the villages.

The Space Camp looks fab but it bloomin expensive!! As are quite a few of the trips (Dance trip to New York for instance). The current year 7 are the first year group who have to take a Chrome Book to school and a reasonable amount of work involves this - also some homeworks are emailed to them / set via things like Kerboodle.

They all do triple science but I think that's the case in all Bucks grammar schools. Everyone does French in yr 7 and in yr 8 the school allocates them either Spanish or German. Interestingly (well to me anyway :lol: ) they seem to be pretty much the only school where RS isn't taught in yr 7.

Re the mumsnet post re skirts / manners - it's v old and I think written by someone with an agenda - it certainly doesn't represent my experience (or that of my friends who have children in all different years) of the school. The skirts seem a decent length and the children (boys and girls) look smart and seem v well mannered - stand when teacher enters room etc.

Open evening this year was absolutely rammed and scarily full I thought - in real life the school feels much cosier. :D


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2014 4:12 pm 
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Thank you Flatsix, SB3 and kittymum,

Now that DD has qualified we have come one more step nearer to getting in SWBGS.

Kittymum, we should be in catchment.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2014 4:33 pm 
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berks_mum wrote:
Thank you Flatsix, SB3 and kittymum,

Now that DD has qualified we have come one more step nearer to getting in SWBGS.

Kittymum, we should be in catchment.


Congrats to your dd. If you're in catchment you should have no prob. Ds is loving it (although today had his first detention - for talking :roll: ) - will SWBGS be your first choice (am I right thinking you've done HBS and Kendricks too)? I'm crossing my fingers that dd (currently yr 5) will get to join her bruv eventually.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2014 5:25 pm 
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kittymum wrote:
berks_mum wrote:
Thank you Flatsix, SB3 and kittymum,

Now that DD has qualified we have come one more step nearer to getting in SWBGS.

Kittymum, we should be in catchment.


Congrats to your dd. If you're in catchment you should have no prob. Ds is loving it (although today had his first detention - for talking :roll: ) - will SWBGS be your first choice (am I right thinking you've done HBS and Kendricks too)? I'm crossing my fingers that dd (currently yr 5) will get to join her bruv eventually.


We would be happy for DD to put SWBGS as first choice because :

1) It is our nearest grammar school, nearer than Kendrick, haven't done a public transport run yet but many DCs near us attend SWBGS.
2) It is a mixed school.
3) For some reason, we got a very good feel when we were there. Well rounded development?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2014 6:10 pm 
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berks_mum wrote:
kittymum wrote:
berks_mum wrote:
Thank you Flatsix, SB3 and kittymum,

Now that DD has qualified we have come one more step nearer to getting in SWBGS.

Kittymum, we should be in catchment.


Congrats to your dd. If you're in catchment you should have no prob. Ds is loving it (although today had his first detention - for talking :roll: ) - will SWBGS be your first choice (am I right thinking you've done HBS and Kendricks too)? I'm crossing my fingers that dd (currently yr 5) will get to join her bruv eventually.


We would be happy for DD to put SWBGS as first choice because :

1) It is our nearest grammar school, nearer than Kendrick, haven't done a public transport run yet but many DCs near us attend SWBGS.
2) It is a mixed school.
3) For some reason, we got a very good feel when we were there. Well rounded development?


I think you should allow yourself to celebrate her getting a place :-)


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2014 7:15 pm 
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Thanks kittymum. And thank you for mentioning distance checker. I checked on DFEE website and we are approx 3 miles from SWBGS. 10-15 mins drive. I would have preferred 10-15 mins walk from school but with Marlow house prices it would be a dream coming true :)


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