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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 7:57 am 
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Went to open evening last night at WHSB.....did SHSB last week. Thought once we had seen them both we would know instantly our preferance, but no. We are outside Southend so don't know much about either school and from what we could see on the open evenings they both look fantastic.
What a dillema.....can anyone give me any pro's/con's....or if there is anything that sets them apart.
We know no one at WHSB and 1 boy who would be in year 9 when my son starts at SHSB who loves it there.
My son is a quiet boy...he has lots of friends and is confident within his group but he is not very outgoing so I suppose my main priority is to get him in somewhere that he will settle and make friends quicky.
I know its a personal decision but any help would be appreciated.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:24 am 
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Hi chazz I have two sons from out of borough at SHSB. My eldest son is very sporty and was immediately attracted to SHSB because of all their sporting achievements. We liked both schools so we allowed him to choose. He truly loves the school. He was a quiet, shy young man when he first started but made a great group of friends and settled in very quickly and has never looked back. DS number 3 isn't at all sporty but also loved SHSB and from what we knew of the school we thought it would suit him too. He also has a great set of friends and thoroughly enjoys his time there. He is musical and is intending to get more involved in that side of things as his trumpet playing improves. I should mention neither of my sons knew anyone at the school before they started. From what I hear WHSB is also a great school and I know some lovely boys who go there and they are very happy. I was chatting with a friend whose son goes to WHSB the other day, she was saying they get a lot of homework whereas SHSB tend to ease them in over the first couple of years. As far as results go I don't think there is much in it. I know that SHSB did very well in the A'level tables this year but I am sure WHSB would have done very well too. I honestly think you cannot go wrong with either school. Have you looked at travel arrangements? This may be a factor in helping you to make a decision. Does he suit a green jacket or a blue one? :lol: I always joked with my sons that they suited the colour green that's why we went for SHSB. Good luck with your decision. Whichever one you decide to put top I am sure it will be the right decision for your son. If you have any particular questions I would be happy to answer them to the best of my knowledge.


Last edited by Fran17 on Fri Oct 14, 2011 1:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 9:16 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2011 9:34 pm
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I have a son at SHB and he is very happy. He has made lots of friends and the atmosphere is relaxed and friendly. I have a close friend who has a son at WHSB and she is also very happy. Her son gets a lot more homework than mine does, tough! I hear a lot of parents talking about both schools and my impression is that WHSB is more strict in terms of discipline and Southend is more relaxed. The one negative thing I can say about Southend is that is quite elitist in terms of sport. They look after all the boys in the A teams but I don't see the same opportunities for the ones that don't make the top teams. Maybe Westcliff is more inclusive? Although I suppose if a boy REALLY wanted to practise a sport they would be given the opportunity at either school. Whatever choice you make I think they are both excellent schools.
Good luck!


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 9:44 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:32 pm
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Thank you both for the replies, they are very helpful...we did joke on the way back last night and said which colour blazer did we like best!
We live in Wickford and there is a bus that stops at both schools so travel is the same, and of course he still has to do well on 19/11 to even get the oppurtunity.
Finding it all a bit daunting...and I think the wait until 1st March will be awfull....will be glad when its all over, whatever the outcome.
Think we are all leaning towards SHS....will ponder over the weekend and then try and be decisive!
Thank you again


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:18 am 
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With regard to the sport at SHSB I know where three is coming from. However, one of my middle DS's friends loved running but didn't come close to getting into the cross country team in Years 7 or 8, he still attended all the practice sessions and was one of the top runners and made the team in Year 9. My middle DS made the C football team in Year 7 kept going to training and by the end of the Year was in the A team where he has been ever since. They do take the best for the top teams, but many of my sons' friends go to all the practice sessions even though they aren't in the A team just because they enjoy the sport. I hope this helps.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 5:27 pm 
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Am I right in saying that if you are in catchment you only need to put one in-catchment grammar school choice, either SHSB or WHSB because if you score 303 you automatically go to your first choice in-catchment grammar? Of course out of catchment grammars and comps would be in addition, but putting both SHSB and WHSB would be a waste of a place on the CAF form.

Can someone clarify this?


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 4:33 pm 
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Blitz I don't think this is true. If you live in the Borough of Southend you should put both your choices of grammar in the order of your preference. As a for instance, if you put SHSB first, they guarantee 25 places to out of borough boys and the other 125 go to in borough boys. If your son is placed over this number i.e. 160 he will not get into SHSB and will go to the next school of preference on his list. If you have not listed WHSB as one of your choices the Council cannot offer you a place there. The Council can only offer you places at schools on your list. If you ring your local Council or the CSSE they will be able to help. It would be dreadful for your son to miss out because of an error on the form. Hopefully moved the mod will be along later, she is very knowledgeable and will be able to explain much more succinctly than me. I may be wrong but this is what a friend of mine who lives in borough has told me. I thought I should respond as it is better to be safe than sorry. Good luck to your DS.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 6:35 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:42 pm
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Location: Chelmsford and pleased
It's an interesting choice as SHSB has had a higher pass mark sometimes for in-borough children. 313 vs 303, I'm not sure about the last two years though. One of my pupils did not make the 313 required for SHSB, nor did a couple of DD's friends. They are in the current years 9 and 10 though.

Anyone know what happened over the last two years?


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