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 Post subject: Journey to GS/Long day
PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 12:19 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 27, 2010 5:29 pm
Posts: 43
Location: Chelmsford
As we are preparing to go down the route of 11+ and hopefully GS, I have a big question mark on the impact of travelling to a GS far from home and I am curious to learn about family who are doing it (positive or negative)...
We are based in Chelmsford. For similar family with kids going to Westcliff or Southend schools, what is the impact of the travelling on the children ? Can they do something else with their day apart from school work and journeys ? Any afterschool activity like scouts or other ?
It does actually frighten me quite a lot. I am coming from an European culture where you go to the nearest school till University and when I see how I am suffering to commute to London, and without any homework or tests to prepare, I am wondering how children are really coping with that :?:
Thank you ! :D


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 5:45 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:42 pm
Posts: 3810
Location: Chelmsford and pleased
My children commuted for a while and I know others that do. The honest answer is that it probably depends on the child. DS did not mind at all and still had plenty of time for music, clubs, etc. DD was not short of time, but did find the journey tiring initially. She did, however, get used to it after a while. The journey becomes part of their social life. DS misses it sometimes!

I know of a family whose daughter travels each day to WHSG and she enjoys the bus journey and thinks that it is well worth the effort to go to a school that she loves.

As so many children do travel to the grammar schools it does mean that friends come from a wide area and the number of sleepovers does increase! Usually at our house now we live in Chelmsford.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 6:38 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 7:31 pm
Posts: 445
Location: East Lancs
moved wrote:

I know of a family whose daughter travels each day to WHSG and she enjoys the bus journey and thinks that it is well worth the effort to go to a school that she loves.

.

I think this is the main thing; a 90 min journey to a school you really want to go to - totally worth it. A 60 min journey to a school you hate - agonizingly horrendous.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 11:30 am 
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Joined: Thu May 29, 2008 1:57 pm
Posts: 114
Location: Essex
Hi Rinette, it is definitely something to consider when making your choices. We live near Burnham, and my ds gets the bus at about ten past 7 in the morning, to go to SHSB. The bus costs a LOT (£4-500 a term) and he has to miss it every time there is a half day, a hockey match, sports practice etc etc, and I have to collect him instead. He couldn't audition for the school play, for example, because he couldn't commit to after school rehearsals. He also doesn't go round to play with friends after school, like he did when he was at primary school, but I don't know if that's normal! I have to admit that he is much less rooted than a lot of kids his age; he is still friendly with a couple of kids from his primary school and is more likely to meet up with them at the weekend than his SHSB friends, but he's not part of their immediate social scene, and I do feel sad that's he's lost touch with that whole part of his life. Travelling definitely does have an impact on him, I think more so at schools like SHSB which take a very small number of out of catchment boys. I don't feel he gets cut much slack when it comes to forgetting stuff, although he's probably leaving for school earlier than some teachers!

This sounds really negative, but as we come to the end of his first year I think we'd all say it's worth it. He says that he couldn't think of a school he'd rather be at, and I've got used to waking him early and having to drag down the A127 every now and then to get him. He enjoys the actual journey and has made some good mates on the bus; there is a great social scene on the buses and they each seem to have their own character. His is the party bus! I think maybe the ease of commute is something you need to bear in mind, we ruled out Colchester for example, as the journey just looked too complicated. He hops on a bus just outside our door and is home by half 4. I don't think I'd want him to do a longer journey than this.

HTH
Rachel


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 1:24 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 11, 2007 10:30 pm
Posts: 960
We live in the depths of the country. It's a 13 minute drive to get ds to primary school, and a drive and two buses totalling about an hour and a quarter to get dd to her grammar school 20 miles away. With hindsight, I wouldn't have moved to where we live with children. I wouldn't have kept ds at the primary school he's at when we moved, and i woudn't have let dd choose the school she's at over nearly as good nearer ones. It's not so mucht the school runs that are the problem, it's the weekends and the evening social life. I am constantly taxi-ing children around, they have to plan their social lives meticulously - no casual "pop round now" messages, and they both do lose out. One of dd's best friends lives as far on the other side of the school to us. So if they want to see each other at the weekend, it's 160 miles of driving! (80 mile round trip to drop off and pick up!)

Sorry to sound discouraging - but I do think this si something that people should think about very carefully in a way that we didn't. Dd will have to be picked up from parties for as long as she's at the school.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 5:29 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 29, 2008 1:57 pm
Posts: 114
Location: Essex
Katel, I totally agree, and you put it into words better than me.. we live in the sticks too and the kids don't have that 'just going to knock for...whoever' thing that I remember from being young. My daughter plans her social life, so she has one, my son doesn't, so he doesn't!


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