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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 5:21 pm 
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Overall, which is better?


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 5:36 pm 
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Location: Essex
They are both very good schools - which one did your DS prefer when you went to the open evenings? SHSB is very sporty, but that doesn't mean you have to be sporty to go there. We currently have our second 'not-quite-the-least-athletic-child-in-Essex' in year 7 at SHSB. He actually rather liked WHSB when we looked round, whereas his older brother looked round both schools in year 5 - this was back when the exam was in November so open evenings were at the beginning of the autumn term - and decided against going back to look at Westcliff again in year 6.

Something else to consider is the journey - where would your DS be travelling from?

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 5:51 pm 
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ToadMum wrote:
They are both very good schools - which one did your DS prefer when you went to the open evenings? SHSB is very sporty, but that doesn't mean you have to be sporty to go there. We currently have our second 'not-quite-the-least-athletic-child-in-Essex' in year 7 at SHSB. He actually rather liked WHSB when we looked round, whereas his older brother looked round both schools in year 5 - this was back when the exam was in November so open evenings were at the beginning of the autumn term - and decided against going back to look at Westcliff again in year 6.

Something else to consider is the journey - where would your DS be travelling from?


Our son just started year 7 at SHSB and he loved it when we went to the open evening. He probably is the least athletic child in Year 7 but he doesn't care and gives it all a go!


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 6:28 pm 
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Horses for courses. Traditionally, and may be different now, SHSB had far more in catchment children.

I've heard excellent reports about SHSB, particularly if your DS is less motivated towards self study.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 8:31 pm 
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My son got 346, we are ooc and live in Redbridge borough.

Sounds mad but haven't visited any Essex schools and did exam on the off chance he may do ok. Looks like he will be on the waiting list for ICHS so looking at Westcliff or Southend, poss KEGS but score may be too low.

Just wanted to see how both schools compare, Westcliff seems to have better results and is higher up in the league tables. The thing that would sway me is how easy it would be to get to the school.

Any advice on above, positive or negative, most welcome!


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 9:28 pm 
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See what others say but I think kegs is not going to be a possibilty. Its a great score but you,d really want to be in the high 360s to have any certainty.

There was advice about travelling to the different school from your direction a few days ago if my memory serves me right - try a quick look back? Only skimmed over it so sorry if wrong!


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 9:32 pm 
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Location: Essex
Shapla wrote:
My son got 346, we are ooc and live in Redbridge borough.

Sounds mad but haven't visited any Essex schools and did exam on the off chance he may do ok. Looks like he will be on the waiting list for ICHS so looking at Westcliff or Southend, poss KEGS but score may be too low.

Just wanted to see how both schools compare, Westcliff seems to have better results and is higher up in the league tables. The thing that would sway me is how easy it would be to get to the school.

Any advice on above, positive or negative, most welcome!


:shock:

Well, seriously, you and your DS need to get yourselves booked into the upcoming post-results meetings at each of the schools and let him have a good look at both. Last year the event at both WHSB and SHSB consisted of a tour and a Q and A session. If you are particularly swayed by league tables, fair enough, but remember that all these schools are in the top couple of hundred out of thousands of state secondary schools in the country and that within the local area here, the relative rankings of the four grammar schools, in whichever one's favourite table happens to be, tend to swap around over the years.

As for transport, the nearest station for SHSB is Prittlewell on the Southend Victoria line, Southend Central on c2c plus a bus - any of several - or quite a hike up to the school, or, for those who really like walking, Westcliff station, the stop before Southend Central. For WHSB the nearest station is Chalkwell on c2c - 20-25 minutes' walk with quite a long hill up from the station to Leigh Road, but hordes do it, or Southend Victoria on the other line then a no.21 or no.29 bus, both of which stop outside the Westcliff grammar schools.

Both these schools place quite a bit of emphasis on extra-curricular activities; in fact, given that WHSB tends to attract a higher proportion of OOC entrants, I was quite interested to hear there that the HT doesn't accept home-school distance as an excuse not to participate. And certainly at both SHSB and Southend Girls, school trips can leave at interesting - :shock: - hours of the morning and return pretty late at night.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 10:44 pm 
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Shapla wrote:
My son got 346, we are ooc and live in Redbridge borough.

Sounds mad but haven't visited any Essex schools and did exam on the off chance he may do ok. Looks like he will be on the waiting list for ICHS so looking at Westcliff or Southend, poss KEGS but score may be too low.

Just wanted to see how both schools compare, Westcliff seems to have better results and is higher up in the league tables. The thing that would sway me is how easy it would be to get to the school.

Any advice on above, positive or negative, most welcome!


Good advice has been said about the pros and cons of both schools.If league tables are your priority though, I suggest you look how far ahead SHSB is at A level to WHSB. It may seem a long way off but time does fly and the battle for places at 6th Form starts again! Possibly better to be 'lined up' already in the school you prefer.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2014 8:30 am 
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Thanks toadmum, very helpful advice. Good points about the league tables. It may boil down to the transport then. I know there is a coach from Gants Hill so will look into that. If someone has experience of this please advise me. Also, which is the most diverse school in terms of ethnic mix? I would prefer a good mix really..


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2014 9:44 am 
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Location: Essex
Hi Shapla, what an exciting time for you! Westcliff takes a lot more OOC boys and many come from your area. My friend's son travels from Ilford and says the journey is fine. My elder son travels in to SHSB, I've found making the journey to school from a distance made my son extremely independent and comfortable about travelling around on public transport generally, especially in comparison to his peers, so for me it's a plus!

There is more of a racial mix at Westcliff than at SHSB, I believe, as SHSB take more in catchment boys, from a predominantly white area. I would say that Westcliff is more disciplinarian, Southend is pretty laid back, that is my impression from my son's experience and that of his Westcliff friends. When it comes to sixth form, you can always transfer across from either if your grades are good enough. Both schools get fab results and encourage the boys to fulfil their potential.

We are OOC and my son is at SHSB, and loves it, but I sometimes wonder if he would have found it easier at WHSB. Because some local Southend schools seem to send almost their entire year 6 cohort to Southend Boys, it has made it trickier to make friends, as friendships are already established. Also, his Southend friends were/are reluctant to travel out to the boondocks (we live on the Dengie, so opposite direction to you). He tends to have friends he sees only at school, bus friends, and local friends. I think at WHSB he might have made more friends that live over this way. It's a bit different now he is in the sixth form, as there are more children from different areas and schools, and they are all older and a bit more independent.

People often mention missing out of after school activities but tbh they don't seem to have many. The only things he's had to travel back for are Open Evenings and things like that. He's not sporty so that's not an issue, and he has managed to take any detentions at lunch time rather than miss his bus!

My littler son has just got his results and we are hopeful (but not confident!) of a grammar place. He is very divided between Southend and Westcliff so like you I think we will go to the info evenings and see what we think!


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