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 Post subject: Chelmsford to Westcliff
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2007 10:17 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2007 10:08 am
Posts: 103
Hello everyone

Can anyone tell me how their sons/daughters have coped with travelling from Chelmsford to the Westcliff schools? We are putting Chelmsford County High as our first choice for our daughter (we live in Chelmsford and she could get a bus from our front door directly to the school) and are considering Westcliff Girls as our second choice but I am very worried about the journey. We went to the open evening at Westcliff last night and it just made me realise how far away it is! If our daughter went there she would spend 1 hour and fifty minutes on the bus every day! Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks. KM


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2007 10:32 am 
I understand your concerns, many people will tell you not to worry about the journey as the kids love it,it's social etc. When we put our choices we put Southend second and we live in Billericay, she got her first choice Chelmsford so the journey is only about 30mins and she is quite tired, she gets home by 4.30 sorts out her bag and does homework and is usually done by 6 after this she can chillout or do an activty. We loved Southend when we looked and yes she would have gone there if she had been offered but the extra travelling time would have had an impact on the evenings. If you and your daughter love the school and think she will thrive there go for it, only you know if she will cope with the journey and don't forget as they get older and more organised it won't be as bad. I wish your daugher the best of luck.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2007 10:44 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2007 1:12 pm
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Hi Km

I know of people who have girls travelling from Chelmsford to Westcliff - they are friends of friends, so I will try to do a little digging and find some info for you.

I too was at Westcliff last night. We are going to put Chelmsford first choice (again distance being the factor) and Westcliff second. I was very impressed with both schools. I actually liked the Head's speech at Westcliff better than Chelmsford.

Are you finding the whole thing stressful? I keep hearing about children who are literally having 4 hours tutoring per week plus an hour per night homework. I have only done a small amount with my daughter in comparison. :roll:


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2007 10:48 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 11, 2006 3:22 pm
Posts: 158
Location: Essex
My son has just started at Southend High school for boys, we live in Broomfield.

He gets a private bus which is run by some Westcliff parents, he leaves the house at 7am and gets home at about 4.45. If you live the other (Baddow) side of Chelmsford the times are later (I think it picks up at Wood St Tescos at 7.25ish).

He is coping fine with the travelling, indeed it is his birthday today and I had offered, as a birthday treat, to drive him to school to give him a bit longer at home with his presents. At 06:55 he said: "if I get all my things together quickly, would it be alright if I got the bus?"

My wife and I smiled and knew we had made the right decision to send him to a Southend school.

We're in the same boat as you but a year behind (our daughter is in Year 5). We were at Westcliff last night too, it's a really nice school.

Like you, given the choice we would send our kids to KEGS/CCHSG - however if the choice was between a Chelmsford Comprehensive or a long journey to a Southend Borough grammar school, the grammars would be our preference - despite the travelling.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2007 10:59 am 
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Thank you for your reply, Year 7 Parent. We loved Chelmsford but we thought Westcliff was ok. The problem is if she doesn't get into Chelmsford our catchment area school isn't great (only about 50% children get 5 GCSE passes). We are trying to weigh up what we compromise on!

Thank you Silver29. We couldn't get into the headteacher talk at Chelmsford on Tuesday night so I can't compare!! We decided that as our daughter loves Chelmsford so much nothing would put us off that being our top choice. Yes I am finding the whole thing stressful! If we had a good comprehensive as our catchment school I don't think I would be quite so stressed. My daughter has one hour of tutoring a week and does 3 papers a week for homework but as school have upped the amount of homework she is getting since she entered Y6 we are finding things quite busy!


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2007 11:04 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2007 10:08 am
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Hello Shrimpergarry

I sounds like your thinking is the same as ours regarding the grammar/comprehensive options. It is encouraging that your son is obviously enjoying the travelling. My daughter seems to think that she will be ok with it but I know how difficult it is getting her out of bed in the morning! Last night I was doubting whether to put Westcliff as second choice because of the travelling but this morning I got up and looked at their exam results as compared to our catchment area comprehensive and now I am veering back towards Westcliff!


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2007 12:34 pm 
Hi KM, a bright child will do fine wherever they go but as a parent you want them to have the best education possible. That is a school that best suits her needs.The five years at secondary are the key to the future, get that right and doors will open. Timing is key on the exam day,she must not panic ask her to identify the VR quesion types into easy,ok and hard then go back do all the easy, do all the OK and then do the hard. She must not get stuckn a hard type question and lose valuable time. When you have time sit down with her and identify these question types. My daughter did this and felt in control. On the english paper she didn't get to the last page which was where the puctuation was so there went those marks. Above all keep calm now and on the day,be prepared for other girls crying and a very tense atmosphere as you wait to go in,if your daughter knows what to expect this won't alarm her, plaster your smile on and keep it firmly in place your calmness and relaxed manner will rub off on her, then once she's gone in whizz into town, find a coffee shop and have a discreet blub as the emotions come out.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2007 1:06 pm 
Good sound advice year seven member. I remember doing exactly all the things you said last year, & yes we did have tears before she went in & she couldn't even remember her date of birth. Mum & dad both kept smiling whilst breaking up inside, we also kept saying way did we put her though it in a coffee shop waiting for her to come out. Then remembered our little one wanted to do the exam, when she came out of the exam big smiles & all ok. Thankfully she passed with flying colours.
The next couple of months are not going to be easy as the pressure will mount, but I would say its worth it in the end, its a joy to pick her up from the bus every night with a big smile on her face.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2007 1:34 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2007 10:08 am
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Thanks both for your advice. I am trying not to show my daughter that I am feeling stressed. We have talked through what to expect on the day but I had not realised about girls crying before the exam so that is very useful to know and I will prepare her accordingly. We have also told her that she will do well wherever she goes. I went to a comprehensive myself but still went on to a good university so she is aware that it is not the end of the world if she doesn't get a grammar school place. It is still tough though as I know how much she wants to go to CCHS!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 9:16 am 
My daughter and I went to both Chelmsford and Westcliff as well last week. We were both really impressed with Chelmsford and how much effort they had gone to show the school off when. let's face it, they don't really have to. It would definitely be her first choice. I really liked Westcliff as well and certainly wouldn't be disappointed if she ended up there.

Talking to some of the other parents at Chelmsford, it was clear that people had come from all over to visit. One family I spoke to were from South London. I wonder why Chelmsford don't operate the same policy as the Southend schools and allocate at least 50% of the places within the borough council? It seems a fair way of doing things.

We're off to Southend tomorrow as well and then finally Sandon on Thursday as that is our local comprehensive.

I too am finding this whole time quite stressful and I know sometimes I let that show to my daughter even though I try not to. She is definitely bright and capable but she tends to make silly mistakes on papers through skim reading questions. It's often the easy ones that she gets wrong and then the more difficult ones, which she has to concentrate on, that she gets right!


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