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 Post subject: KEGS, WHSB & SHSB
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 10:27 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2007 1:12 pm
Posts: 151
I would greatly appreciate any feedback from anyone attending above schools. My son will be taking the 11+ this year and we still can't decide our order of preference. I would appreciate your views on:-

Homework, happiness, pace of lessons, teachers, communication from the school, behaviour, extra-curricular clubs/expectations etc.

There seems to be a slight trend of SHSB being a more popular choice than Westcliff. Any opinions on why this is? Personally, I wondered whether people found the SHSB Headteacher more personable! I know he has an excellent reputation from both SHSB and his old school KEGS.

I am also very interested to hear your views on how hard KEGS drive the new year 7s. People have posted on this site that they get 3 hours homework a night - Surely not!

Thanks.

PS I am more than willing to advise on CCHS experience, my daughter is currently in year 7 there. She is loving it!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:47 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:42 pm
Posts: 3817
Location: Chelmsford and pleased
Hi Silver

My son at KEGS does not have an overload of homework. Some of the homework has taken time, but they are given a long time to do it. e.g. make a powerpoint presentation of invertebrates. Son loved the homework and spent his whole evening producing a lovely presentation. Another example of a long homework was solving a maths problem, but again this was a fun activity. Homework has been ask your parents' opinion, takes 5 mins.

Usually he has finished his homework before getting home (done on the train). We live in Southend and many of his classmates are at Westcliff and Southend. All are very happy. Southend seems to push the sporty side more than Westcliff, but Westcliff seem to be providing adequate opportunities for teams from what my friends say.

One mother did feel that Westcliff was not stretching her son enough and wondered whether or not he would have been better at KEGS.

KEGS has provided plenty of extra-curricular activities, nearly all of my son's class go to science club. I think it is OK to be a bit nerdy there!

The order of results, rather than preference would seem to be highest marks at KEGS, then Southend and finally Westcliff, there was a 10 point difference (in borough) between Southend and Westcliff last year. Westcliff has far more boys from outside the local area than Southend.

As for Chelmsford we had a look around the other morning. We were quite impressed. Do you know anything about them not setting the girls? I am thinking of putting it first for my daughter.


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 Post subject: Have daughter at cchs
PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 11:16 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:10 am
Posts: 6
Hi
Daughter very happy at cchs. Wouldn't say she is exactly overstretched though.She is able,even for cchs and sometimes moans that the work is easy at times.They have tried to stretch her a bit more e.g put her in early for the ukmt maths challenges which she enjoyed and does very well in.They dont stream and they dont put them in for level 8 papers.Sometimes she moaned about this.However I think it is because they do not want to be an exam factory but produce well rounded,confident and sociable girls.I think this is better overall than streeeetttttttchhhhhhing to the nth degree.They come off timetable several times a year.For example they did a Parliament day and they all got to research and present for a parliamentary debate.They were given parties to represent.She takes part in several sports,music and drama clubs. This years gcse results were not as outstanding as other years.However know some teachers there and this was expected just not as sparkling a year group.(still amongst top schools though) The years before they were 1st nationally at GCSE.So I think overall they know what they are doing.There are other ways to stretch children which are ultimately more valuable than level 8s and early gcses etc.Homework was light in early years but she gets more now.Realistically it averages at 1to2 hours per night.I think this is enough She can always read and research her own interests.She is very happy. It is not the hot house some other grammars are. The school has a relaxed atmosphere and I am 100% confident she will do very well there and develop as a well rounded person too. Hope that helps


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 11:26 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:42 pm
Posts: 3817
Location: Chelmsford and pleased
Hi cm1

We do not need a hot house. She pushes herself more than enough for my liking. Are they good at managing girls who drive themselves hard? I often feel like telling my daughter to spend some time relaxing.

Thanks for the input, we've looked at westcliff, southend and chelmsford and I want to find a school that will encourage her to be as broad as possible. The off timetable days sound ideal.


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 Post subject: Hi again
PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 11:49 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:10 am
Posts: 6
Yes they are.We were told very early on if they spend more than the allocated time per subject then parents should draw a line under their work and put a note in their logbook to say they were doing too much.They speak at year group open evenings about the dangers of perfectionism with such girls and how the school wants them to have a life outside school.the list of extra curricular stuff is endless e.g debating club,film society,comedy club,Amnesty Int society I could go on.They do heaps of fund raising too.I would warmly recommend CCHS and my 10 year old is doing the 11+ in a few weeks.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 11:54 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:42 pm
Posts: 3817
Location: Chelmsford and pleased
Thank you, my daughter loves sport and drama. As with everything she puts in maximum effort. It is reassuring to know that the school understand these girls.
Perhaps we will see each other next year.


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 Post subject: Good luck
PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 11:58 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:10 am
Posts: 6
Good luck for the big day.let me know if she gets in and I will do likewise


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 12:34 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2007 1:12 pm
Posts: 151
Moving - Thanks for your detailed reply, some very useful comments.

Although my daughter has only been there a few weeks, she is happy, confident and settled at CCHS! The homework varies but she has not yet been too overloaded - I wouldn't want her to have any more though because I want her to enjoy non-academic pursuits as well! Some homework can be an easy task but quite time consuming.

CM1 - thanks for your info - I had wondered why the GCSE results had taken quite a dip this year.

Good luck for both your daughters in the 11+.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 1:19 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 29, 2008 1:57 pm
Posts: 114
Location: Essex
Hi there, I would also be very interested in the opinions of current students and or parents of the Essex boys schools (as trawling the various facebook groups has been less than edifying).

I have to say that we were distinctly underwhelmed by the Open Evening at WHSB, and wonder if it was in fact representative of the school.

I'm 8 and a bit months pregnant at the moment and will be so glad when I can stop worrying about the 11+ and start worrying about this baby! :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 11:34 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 8:07 pm
Posts: 80
Hi,
DS is very happy at WHSB. He is in his 3rd year. The amount of homework given is fair though I wouldn't say he is overstretched as well. The level and the pace of the classwork is quite good. They stream them in Maths, English and Science in year 8. Their pastoral care is very good as they are good at identifying and helping struggling students.
Discipline is important in the school but I wouldn't say the level is overly high. I think boys especially teenagers need a bit of discipline to keep them in line.
I haven't had any problems with the school since DS started.


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