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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2015 10:27 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2015 9:02 pm
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Our DS has just passed his 11+ (relief all round :-) ) and our two nearest options are Chesham Grammar or Dr Challoners.
We have visited both for open evenings - and have been reading everything we can find / talking to everyone we know with a view.

Our sense is that DCGS is VERY impressive, but we wonder if it might not be such a good 'fit' for our DS. He is rather quirky/eccentric, not sporty, but very creative. Tends to be a little disorganised and isn't entirely motivated by a very competitive environment. His spread of scores in the 11+ was extremely wide - below average on maths, but well above on verbal. I have the impression that Chesham might be a better fit - in sense that we fear he might not cope so well in what I perceive to be the stricter/more traditional/more competitive/all boys DCGS environment.

I seem to have been able to find much more written about DCGS - including a review on the Good School Guide website. However, they don't have a review of Chesham Grammar.

Apologies if there is another thread already covering a similar question: but, I'd be really grateful for any kind of up-to-date viewpoint on Chesham Grammar (and especially pros/cons versus DCGS) - particularly from those who already have kids there / friends with kids there etc. Thanks in advance!


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 6:47 am 
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Joined: Wed May 06, 2015 8:43 pm
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I asked DC how they would sum up their school (CGS). "Nurturing", came the reply.
For us it is a very well-organised school that does not boast about its status or achievements. Before one of my DCs went there, we had always thought of it as 'nice' and 'good' and perhaps not as academically rigorous or high-achieving as the single-sex grammars like DCGS/DCHS or RGS etc.
However the opposite is true, and they are a very modern, up-to-date thinking school with a lot of focus on teaching and curriculum. They attend very well to high achievers with certain gifted and talented aspects to co-curricular activities that will further nurture such children. For all children targets are carefully set and monitored and school reports give feedback on attainment grades as well as attitude to learning and effort.
The new head has been there for several years and most recently as deputy head. She is marvellous - very engaged with the children - having a weekly tea with all Year 7s and all Year 13s who have a birthday in that week. Her weekly Friday e-mail will celebrate everyone's achievements, frequently naming children who have excelled in something outside of school - whether sport or charity work.
Every day the children are taught in their 'teaching groups' but have 'tutor time' in their vertical forms where children from every year group come together with a tutor. This is to give the children a sense of fully belonging - not just to their 'horizontal' year group.
My DC is creative and loves the offering of art, textiles, drama. There are house music and drama events which are just lovely as well as creative writing clubs etc.

I could go on and write a bit of an essay but to sum up would say that it is a very happy and warm-hearted place, and I don't think that is surpassed elsewhere in the area that you are specifying.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 8:19 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2015 9:02 pm
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Thanks very much Trudie for your speedy and great feedback!


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 8:22 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:19 pm
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I have to agree with Trudie. I have 2 children at CGS, both very different, one creative and one interested in maths and science, but they are both very happy there, which is the main thing from my point of view. As with most schools, there are a lot of activities on offer, not just sport. The tutors/heads of house have been very quick to respond to any problems and are very supportive. There is quite a lot of homework and from what I can see, the teachers insist on a high standard.

The only downside is that lots of their friends seem to live in Berkhamsted, (we are in Amersham) so it's a bit of a trek for parties etc, however I don't mind too much as there are plenty of nice shops and cafes to keep me occupied!


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