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PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2014 6:21 am 
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I am not sure which thread I should post this one (bucks/berks/both/somewhere different). WE are having a tough time choosing between Kendrick and SWBGS. We are in catchment for both and DD has qualified for both. Commute wise both are same. Any parents who have made this decision in the past please… please…. please enlighten me.

OMG, never thought deciding CAF preferences would be so difficult.

ps. At the moment DD is slightly scared if SWBGS will be too sporty. Sports are not her strong point. But apart from that we liked the school very much, especially as is a mixed school.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2014 8:32 am 
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As you know my ds is in year 7 at swbgs. My dd is currently year 5, we are catchment for Kendrick and live in Bucks but she will only take Bucks and will hopefully join ds.

From my experience there is no pressure on the children to be sporty - some are some aren't. For the girls Hockey and Netball (and from yr 9 ish rowing) are popular extra curricular activities but as many don't do them as do! There is an annual interhouse cross country which is compulsory but that is fun as much as competitive. I've never thought of SWBGS as sporty (indeed I know many people who've decided against it as they feel it's too arty and not sporty enough).

This term there is an interhouse dance competition - this is compulsory but again it's a fun event.

If you look in (I think) the parent section on the website there is a list of all the extra curricular stuff - believe me there is something for everyone! Academically they have very high expectations and the children are expected to have a high amount of "self startedness" (sorry I'm tired and can't think of better words :lol: ) in their approach to their work. The work is marked very regularly (I'm really impressed by this) and is graded - substandard work or behaviour is not tolerated - I know of quite a lot of detentions which have been handed out. DS finds it a very friendly place, I think the children are immensely proud of their school and as such are quite protective of fellow Borlasians.

The major differences between the two schools are, imvho that Kendrick is obviously single sex and also that SWBGS is a much less diverse student (this is IMO the only downside to SWBGS) body - the students are, in general from within 6 miles of the school gate - Kendrick would give you a much more diverse cohort. They're also in two very different towns which again will have their pro's and con's in the 6th form they're allowed out at long break - where would your dd rather hang out? (Hanging out in Marlow is a major attraction for my ds!)

I would go for SWBGS but then I'm biased :lol:

Drop me a pm if you'd like more specific info re SWBGS.

eta the traffic in and around Reading is dire!! The Marlow Donkey train service seems reliable and Marlow traffic as much as I've moaned about it over the years is waaaaaay better then Reading!


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2014 11:37 am 
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Kendrick - if you are comparing academically through league tables. What is your DD's preference? She's the one who will be there for 7 years!

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 2:12 pm 
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Thanks kittymum.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 2:15 pm 
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dlb wrote:
Kendrick - if you are comparing academically through league tables. What is your DD's preference? She's the one who will be there for 7 years!


She likes both schools. She is slightly more inclined towards Kendrick. Probably because her primary friends will aim for Kendrick.
Both me and OH haven't been to single sex schools so we are finding it bit difficult to decide.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 2:16 pm 
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I will try posting it in berks forum as well.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 5:31 pm 
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Go for borlase, local friends are brilliant, hanging out with chums in a small town as they get older is brilliant, the girls rowing team is brilliant, many unsporty girls find it is the one sport they end up loving, the dancing and acting and music is fab, it's mixed which is far more "normal" and small. The school also gets really good results.
You obviously live within six miles of the school, so your home areas demographic will be similar to the schools demographic surely?
Anyway, you know me, I would always opt for co-ed if possible, I bet the atmosphere is far more relaxed than our boys single gender schools and the skirts at borlase are no where near as short as those worn at the high! :lol:

Obviously I know absolutely nothing about Kendrick....So my opinion may be a little biased. :lol:


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 5:35 pm 
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I'd agree with SB3. If the two are equidistant in travel times you can bet that the friends DD will make will not be. Whilst her primary friends might be going there she will probably make friends with girls who live exclusively in villages the other side of Reading from you. In travel and parent taxi time that is A LONG WAY. :D

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 8:46 pm 
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I freely admit I'm biased :-) but I do think the local friends is really important. Assuming my ds's class is representative around 25% live Maidenhead, a couple Cookham, a couple BE and the rest Marlow and it's surrounding villages. Looking at the Berks forum you'll have class mates coming from MILES away - fleet etc which will mean a continuing reliance on the mum taxi service!

I've also spent bloomin hours today in a traffic jam around Reading - even if she goes on the train you'll still have to treck down there to meetings, performances etc.

SWBGS really does have something for everybody with sport, arts, music, academia - the visiting academic speakers are amazing. Marlow is about as nice, safe a town as you can get for our Tweens to stretch their wings - you can garuntee that every group of friends in town hanging out will know a lot if the mums they see around shopping (and those mums will keep an eye on all the kids).

Pastorally SWBGS has exceeded my expectations and academically whilst it doesn't reach Kendricks heady heights in league tables it ain't that shoddy :wink:

Anyway as I say I'm biased :lol:


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 1:32 pm 
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Hi Berks Mum,

We were in the same position last year. Our DD passed both exams and would have got into Kendrick if we'd put it top of our CAF form - in the end we put it 4th :shock:

We didn't go for it for a number of reasons however the primary one was that we thought (as others above do too) it was *very* important to go to school locally, her friends would be local and not scattered to all points of the compass not to mention any after-hours activities could be a logistical pain and after all, there are worse places than studying in Marlow!

My feelings about Kendrick and our choice to go to SWBGS are detailed in this discussion (I start my diatribe on page 3 :D ) viewtopic.php?f=10&t=37390

As for sport at SWBGS - it seems very relaxed about the children's participation (beyond normal classes). My DD at junior school hated netball and hockey as she was shouted at a lot (something she doesn't respond well to), at SWBGS she's gone for hockey at out insistance (still draws the line at netball) and lo' and behold she's in the 'A' team and about to join a hockey club - things change I guess. Two other girls from her junior school have declined to do extra-curricular sport and that's fine as there are so many other things for them to do.

Kendrick vs SWBGS? Lets face it, academically speaking both are superb and neither will provide anything other than a first class education. A few positions on some *national* league table is neither here nor there.
I think ultimately it comes down to where you think your DD will thrive best.


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