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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 10:29 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2013 12:12 am
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HI

After taking my daughter round Colchester last week I must confess to be a bit disappointed. The facilities seemed to be really lacking and everything seemed a bit run down especially when you compare it to Chelmsford. How did everyone esle find it?

I also wondered if anyone new about what work they are doing to enable an extra intake for next year? I'm hoping that they are going to improve the design and technology area as my dd loves this and there was only one small room and we were told that it woudn't be like that anymore but without being told what was happening. Also does anyone how has a dd there tell me how they find the PE facilities?

Also does anyone know if theres any problem with bullying and if so how it is dealt with as I worry that being in the same tutor group for all your lessons can make it pretty miserable if there is bullying (speaking from experience at a girls grammar school which kept to tutor groups). :?

Finally does anyone know if extra curricular clubs are only during lunchtime or are some after school as was told 2 completely different things!!

Sorry to sound so negative but found myself coming away with more answers rather than less!!

Hope others had a more positive experience :)


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 12:21 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2011 7:29 pm
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Hi

I may be able to answer some of your questions, my DD is currently yr 9..

There are extra curricluar activities both at lunch and after school, the school appreciate some girls have buses to catch and travel a distance so attempt to offer a variety at lunch time.

Bullying is dealt with, there was some low level issues (and I mean low level in yr 7 for my DD's tutor group) and it was sorted quickly. When I have had cause to talk to the school about issues (choice for GCSE in my case) they were receptive and responsive to my concerns I am pleased to say. I have never heard of any particular problems keeping them in tutor groups throughout and it is done that way at Chelmsford I am told (by a teacher there.)

I can't help with PE as DD is not sporty but has done the Gym and Dance show which is her thing and they did lots of practice and the show this year was good.

Design and Technology is going to be delivered differently I have received a letter with some outlines (not sure I completely understand so can't share the details) but I have to say knowing something about the design at Chelmsford it is probably a more developed department there. I would ring and ask.

The school may not look the 'bees knees' but my DD loves the atmosphere, the teaching and the tutor group she is in has grown to be a a very close group. In fact I never hear a grumble about going to school..

Hope this helps
djy


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 12:37 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 8:56 am
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Hi,

I can help on some of this too - I have one DD at Chelmsford and one at Colchester.

I can't comment on work being done to facilitate the larger intake - it's not obvious what is being done.

PE facilities are very good - as are the staff. Girls are encouraged to participate and there is a very broad range of activities available (broader than Chelmsford)

The pastoral care at ColCHS is excellent - bullying will happen in every school, but it is dealt with promptly (as are any other concerns) and the girls feel it is a safe environment for them to raise issues.

Extracurricular clubs are held both at lunchtime and after school (seems to be mostly sports / music activities that cannot fit into lunchtime) There is plenty to get involved in.

I understand your point re facilities - Chelmsford is much better equipped, however Colchester is a great school too. It has a more relaxed and welcoming atmosphere and achieves a comparable set of results at GCSE / A level. Both schools have differing strengths - happy to chat more if you want to PM me.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 12:56 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:28 am
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cetaylormade wrote:
HI

Also does anyone know if theres any problem with bullying and if so how it is dealt with as I worry that being in the same tutor group for all your lessons can make it pretty miserable if there is bullying (speaking from experience at a girls grammar school which kept to tutor groups). :?



I went to all all-girl grammar and we stayed in our tutor-group for everything in the 1st Form then for English, RE, PE, Music and Art right through to 5th Form. I know that it can be harsh for those who are bullied but I wanted to reassure you that it can also be a positive experience, too :D

I was a little disappointed with the size of the library - we had a huge Upper School Library and a slightly smaller Lower School Library.

I haven't been to Chelmsford so can't make a direct comparison. I can only compare with my old school in another part of the country. I loved the feel of CoCHS.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:14 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2013 12:12 am
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HI Thank you so much for all your replies - it really helps. I must say I did prefer the atmosphere of ColCHS but still worry as my dd prefers the more 'masculine' subjects and colCHS seems to be more concerned with performing art type subjects.

I do feel much more reassured about the other aspects though so thank you!


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 7:14 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 11:08 pm
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The new headteacher at Colchs is gradually making changes, but I would not say that they are away from masculine subjects ( as science, maths and cct are very strong) as away from "less accademic" subjects. Cookery is taught for at least three years but not as an exam subject, no tech subjects are available at gcse level (AS engineering has been available). From next year there will be no timetabled technology lessons, " tech days" on various subjects will be provided by essex uni. I have also heard a rumour that GCSE dance may also not run anymore?
PE is very good with a large number of clubs both at lunchtime and after school, Dd has taken up lacrosse which she loves.
Overall I think it is a very good school, but in your Dd' s case , if technology at GCSE and a level are important to you then it may not be the best school for her.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 1:46 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2011 7:29 pm
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Hi Minesatea

You may be right about Dance GCSE though the current line is that there were not enough girls choosing it as an option this year to make it viable. My daughter seems to be doing so many academic subjects she and I thought it might be a nice idea to do something she truly loves as a bit of release from the rest but it is not to be (she has chosen Drama instead but is nowhere near as keen on this and I worry that may affect the grade but that is another story - trying hard not to be interfering mother.)

As with any school you can't have everything and not for a minute would she want to be elsewhere...

DJ


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