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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 5:57 pm 
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I'd like thoughts please on the academic standards of Berkhamsted Girls School and Aylesbury Grammar. I know the basics: independent schools have better facilities, better sporting opportunities and smaller class sizes. I am interested to hear about academic success in the grammar system with larger class sizes. Does it disadvantage children or does the higher selectivity of the grammar system mean that children pull each other along with peers of similar ability? What about prep for GCSEs and A levels? Is there more help at one school vs the other? Advantages of one or the other when applying to universities? Finally, opinions about whether its better to be in a higher set within a wider ability level (as in Berkhamsted School) v being middle of a bigger bunch (at Aylesbury) would be appreciated. If you weren't considering money (I know that's a huge ask) where would you send your child?


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 6:12 pm 
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AGS is a boys school :D


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 7:17 pm 
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Sorry, I mean Aylesbury High School which is a grammar school.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 7:24 pm 
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I would suggest you visit both schools to see. League tables don't tell you how well your daughter will do at the school.

Which facilites do you think are better? Private schools do not always have better facilities.

What are her interests?


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 8:15 pm 
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Thanks Guest55. She is reasonably bright. She enjoys sports but the ones she loves are those she usually does outside of school. We have visited both and liked them both for different reasons. I'm just after other people's opinions about either/both schools! :)


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 8:28 pm 
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I wonder if you might be better off posting in the Buckinghamshire area forum than the university one? Might get local parents to comment there. :D


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 8:31 pm 
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Location: Cheshire
"Advantages of one or the other when applying to universities?"

yes I think there is, all Top Universities use contextual data although they should not use state/private as a basis to discriminate and use data based on the schools historic record on University destination e.g how many students from any given school send pupils to Oxbridge /Med schools irrespective of the school being private or state.

I think there is considerable political pressure for top institutions to have a more balanced cohort reflecting society in general.

so top flight unis will favor states schools imo


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2014 8:48 pm 
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We have looked very closely at both schools but, for us, Aylesbury is a clear winner. They are both good schools so you can't really go wrong with either choice but every time we have visited Aylesbury we have been struck by the motivational atmosphere - the girls all seem engaged and engaging! It is a much more academic environment than Berkhamsted and that will not suit everyone. I have also given the class size issue a lot of consideration but have concluded that because the girls at Aylesbury are of a similar ability and behaviour is not an issue, there shouldn't be any problems. For my own part, I would prefer my daughter to sit in the middle of the pack looking up rather than sitting comfortably at the top - but, again, that is a personal choice. My daughter is also sporty but she can pursue that outside school. That said, Aylesbury have had some fantastic sports results over the last few years. I am lucky enough to know a lot of girls who have gone to Aylesbury (many from Berko Prep) and they are all happy and thriving so that has helped me with my decision. Good luck Arabella 2006.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2014 10:19 am 
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Thank you very much for your reply JKM. Do you know anyone who has experience of both schools at secondary level? It would be interesting to know pros and cons of both schools from someone who has had a child at each. We also know people at both schools (who are happy with their respective choices). I would love to get some granularity about how they experienced the different cultures (teaching, students, academic standards) of the school. Your thoughts were very helpful - thank you.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2014 11:09 pm 
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Berkhamsted has some very bright girls there hence the slightly better academic results than Aylesbury. Classes at Berkhamsted are smaller, great facilities, focus on rounded education. Teachers seem pretty switched in, well managed and motivated. Not sure views that it isn't academic are up-to-date. My daughter mid/high 5s end of Y6 is considered bottom 1/4.


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