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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:40 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:17 pm
Posts: 7
Hello

I'm starting my research early and so have no word of mouth info - only google.
I'm wondering which are the grammar schools within commuting distance from me and which independent senior schools there are.

I am researching this for my daughter's entry. I live in North Stifford, which is between Orsett and Ockendon. It is a 15 minute drive from Upminster Station, a 25 minute drive from Shenfield and an hour's drive from Southend on average.

So far I've come across a handful of schools which look good on paper. Chelmsford County looks impressive, based on academic results and university destinations. This is one I have heard of, being spoken of highly. I recently looked up Colchester High School for Girls and it seems that by the same criteria, they are even better than Chelmsford - on paper.

I've heard Dartford Grammar is good but I don't think it is in the league of the two other schools I've mentioned but am happy to be corrected.

As far as independents, I think, and again this surprises me and I could be wrong...the results and the grounds do not tend to look as impressive...? By these I'm referring to independents outside of Essex but then I was initially looking at boarding. I've now ruled out boarding due to cost. The only day independent senior school that I'm aware of in Essex is New Hall.

My question is, which grammars are considered the best and is this on academic grounds or all-round ability?

Secondly, which independents are considered the best and on what merits? Are there any girls senior independents in Essex? There is one in Kent which is probably within commutable distance called Cobham Hall but for the money I believe there is better value elsewhere.

Thirdly, is there such a thing as a grammar boarding anywhere in the country?? Doesn't seem to be, according to google.

Fourth question, please...I thought grammar schools went by cachment as well as by test results yet I see people on here discussing commutes from areas well out of cachment. Is it that easy to gain a place then, if not in cachment? If so then I might have options in Kent also as it is a nearby county. Has anyone considered this or is the bridge enough of a pain to deter such a thought.

My final question for now - does anyone on here have mixed race children? I don't know if this would be an issue and if any of the recommended schools has any minority ethnic representation amongst the pupils?

I look forward to any contributions.
Thanks.
C


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 11:59 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 12:47 pm
Posts: 698
Location: Essex
If you browse this forum and website you'll find that a lot of the information you are looking for is there already. The CSSE website should also be useful to you.

For girls, the Grammars are Chelmsford County High, Colchester County High, Westcliff High School for Girls and Southend High School for Girls. For the first two, catchment doesn't figure unless it is to decide between children with identical marks in the eleven plus. For the latter two there is a local catchment for some of the places for girls who attain a minimum mark in the exam. The rest of the places are awarded in order of merit. You may wish to look at the Redbridge and Kent sections of the forum as you seem to be prepared to look at a wide area.

I didn't look into independents but I do know that there is New Hall in Chelmsford, Colchester High School and St Mary's School for Girls in Colchester. I don't know much about any of them.

As to which is the best - it's impossible to say. It depends on your priorities and personal circumstances as well as your child's preferences. Distance from home must surely figure highly among your considerations. My own preference for my DD would be ColCHS because my DS already attends school in Colchester but I wouldn't read too much into the slight differences in the league tables between the Chelmsford and Colchester schools. They are both excellent. Really what you need to do is visit the schools and get a feel for which suits you better.

How far in advance are you looking?


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:49 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:18 pm
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Hi Caramel,
Another independent you might want to have a look at is Brentwood School which have day students as well as boarders (http://www.brentwoodschool.co.uk).


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 8:31 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 7:38 pm
Posts: 105
Hi Caramel

Here a link to State Boarding Schools. Some selective schools included but not sure if any are in your area.

http://www.sbsa.org.uk/


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 11:07 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2010 12:20 pm
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First-timer wrote:
I didn't look into independents but I do know that there is New Hall in Chelmsford, Colchester High School and St Mary's School for Girls in Colchester. I don't know much about any of them.



Caramel, St. Mary's School in Colchester is the only all girls' independent school in North Essex. Their GCSE results are extremely good each year. Colchester High School is a mixed independent school which, again, have impressive results. They are both accessible from the A12. Because they are within close proximity of one another, they keep their fees fairly similar as well. None of the schools provide boarding facilities. Colchester High School has a sixth form now but St. Mary's doesn't. Most of the girls go on to further education at the local college. Hope this is of some help to you.


Last edited by Moonlight on Sat Feb 26, 2011 1:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:23 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:17 pm
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nigs wrote:
Hi Caramel

Here a link to State Boarding Schools. Some selective schools included but not sure if any are in your area.

http://www.sbsa.org.uk/


Thanks for this. With boarding I don't mind the distance so that's useful. I see several boys' grammars and mixed but no girls' grammars. I'll take a closer look in a minute.
:-)


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:25 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:17 pm
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First-timer wrote:
How far in advance are you looking?


My first is in year 2 so really early. If we end up having to move I want to start forming a view of where would be best but I'd rather not move :-)


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:38 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:17 pm
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Thanks for all the replies.
I totally agree about visiting the schools. It kind of makes everything else seem unimportant. At this stage I'm researching to get together my shortlist of schools to visit.

My four biggest criteria for the shortlist are destination universities (proportion that go on to university as well as which universities and which courses), distance, extra-currics and academics.

Thanks for all the valuable info.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 8:28 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:42 pm
Posts: 3810
Location: Chelmsford and pleased
There are quite a few independent schools in Essex and I think that all of them provide day facilities. Perhaps you could look at the following link

http://www.isc.co.uk/SearchResults.htm? ... arch=essex


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 8:30 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
Posts: 6962
Location: East Kent
this link for grammars may help
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/school ... ex-11-plus


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