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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 10:28 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2015 10:07 am
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Hi All,

DD passes her 11+ TBH we did not expect her to as she in dyscalculic and finds maths a real challenge so we were both surprised and proud as she has worked very hard over the last year or so to overcome the condition.

DD is high-end in literary subjects, very creative, imaginative and musical with a leaning towards the creative subjects as well as DT and IT. She does not always cope well in high-pressure environments but this is getting better as her confidence builds. She is rather distractible and needs constant monitoring / nudging whilst doing homework or she drifts off into doodle daydream world.

We live a short walking distance from DC so logistically it makes sense. DC has incredible results too. However CG is not far behind on results and scores a significantly higher 'Happiness' score than DC (75% compared to 50% with national average being 42%).

Can anyone with experience of either or both schools please provide your thoughts and opinions? We are torn between the two and would rather make an informed decision rather than choose the closest/easiest or flip a coin...

We only have a few days left in which to decide.

Many thanks,
B


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 11:13 am 
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Joined: Wed May 06, 2015 8:43 pm
Posts: 52
I kind of think you've answered your own question in your post.

But a couple of things to bear in mind:

There is from September 2015 a new head at DCHS who was an assistant head at CGS and is very well-respected and liked.
And...
The two schools have significantly different emphases on what is creative/arty etc and on DT-style subjects. It is worth making specific investigations into those if you feel that will be make or break for your DD.

For me personally, it would come down to whether you feel your DD would fare better in a girls-only or mixed environment when choosing between these two schools as that is where the fundamental difference actually lies.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 11:24 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2013 6:07 pm
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Location: Bucks
We are looking at the same choice: DCHS or CGS for our DD.

What did you think of both schools when you visited?

DCHS seems to have severely cut back on DT subjects, so that may be a consideration for your DD. I think CGS may also offer less choice than previously, but they did seem to have fantastic facilities for DT. I would advise you to check this with both schools as I'm not completely certain what they are offering.

What did you think of the social atmosphere in DCHS? I'm not sure if it can get 'mean' (i don't want to fuel gender stereotypes here ...). Compared to WHS, for example, i thought it was a lot more 'girly'.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 7:25 pm 
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Dd is in yr11 at DCHS, ds2 has just started at CGS.

From our perspective Chesham has already demonstrated better pastoral care and seems much more rounded, academically and socially. For balance ds1 is at DCGS and I'd put CGS ahead of there as well.

DCHS has a lot of settling down to do after the tenure of the recently-departed head. Some teaching is not up to standard, particularly with cover teachers, which can have serious consequences - dd has had two episodes of this during her GCSEs in critical subjects.

Obviously it's far too early to assess CGS on that front but certainly the experiences of dd's friends in the same year there are much more positive.

People have very high hopes of Alan Roe, the DCHS new head. He at least understands the grammar school system and hopefully won't cause as great a staff exodus as the last.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 9:24 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 06, 2015 8:43 pm
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Quote:
DCHS has a lot of settling down to do after the tenure of the recently-departed head.


It does but it is in good, careful hands now, and by the time your DD starts DCHS, great strides will have been made already.

Elsewhere on the forum I have posted that all our family consider CGS to be very nurturing. They have a very good personal and individual approach to the children and consequently the children in our experience do feel as though they belong.

Whenever my DCs have put specifics about a school - ie. very specialised offerings, subjects or learning areas - we have always come a cropper. What is great about CGS is that the common good is paramount and they equally pay great attention to detail.

Good luck in your decision.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 10:24 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 3:52 pm
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Quote:
We live a short walking distance from DC so logistically it makes sense. DC has incredible results too. However CG is not far behind on results and scores a significantly higher 'Happiness' score than DC (75% compared to 50% with national average being 42%).


Hi Boggie

Where can I find the local and national happiness scores that you refer to in your post?

Thank you
The finalcountdown


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 10:04 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2015 10:07 am
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Thanks all for the input so far. We are going to have a last look at CGS tomorrow as it was quite a while back when we last visited.

The happiness scores came from the following website:

https://www.schoolguide.co.uk/schools/c ... ol-chesham
https://www.schoolguide.co.uk/schools/d ... l-amersham

I am not sure what value the scores are and how much emphasis to place upon them but both schools are above the national average. Just seems odd that there is such a disparity seeing as both have similar intake, results and ratings. Perhaps the fact that CGS deputy head is now at the DCGS helm will help redress the balance...

B


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 6:08 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:59 am
Posts: 3579
Boggie wrote:
Thanks all for the input so far. We are going to have a last look at CGS tomorrow as it was quite a while back when we last visited.

The happiness scores came from the following website:

https://www.schoolguide.co.uk/schools/c ... ol-chesham
https://www.schoolguide.co.uk/schools/d ... l-amersham

I am not sure what value the scores are and how much emphasis to place upon them but both schools are above the national average. Just seems odd that there is such a disparity seeing as both have similar intake, results and ratings. Perhaps the fact that CGS deputy head is now at the DCGS helm will help redress the balance...

B



The results are taken from the offsted parentview surveys.
Very few have been filled in for these two schools, or in deed any of the grammars I looked at.
I think its 5 and 7 for these two, it therefore only takes one incident and one disgruntled parents at one point in time to skew that view.
For example if you asked parents if their child felt safe in school at the time when the anti terror police were visiting certain schools, the answer may be (disagree) or even (strongly disagree) or even when a child has been witness to or involved in a fight at the school that worried them. Ask if a child is happy at the end of a long half term after lots of tests?? :( unlikely.
Some of the uppers interestingly must push it a bit as they have over 80 responses, so a much more viable result.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2015 9:53 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:01 pm
Posts: 58
I might be a bit late comming in here. But, DD is at DCHS. She has similar issues to your DD, like the daydreaming and having to be on top of her to complete tasks. She is also dyslexic.

I have found DCHS learning support to be excellent and are very supportive of DD. On the flip side however I do find the atmosphere to be very pushy and competitive academically , and DD reports this too.

My DS is now in year 5. Should he pass, I like DCGS but due to his learning difficulties I worry he won't be happy or cope in a high pressure environment. For this reason, I am giving CGS serious thought having spoken to parents who's DC's are very happy there.

Good luck in making your decision if you haven't done so already.


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