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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2015 4:18 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2015 3:55 pm
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Hi,

Just got my daughter's results today, which were very good. We have Stroud and Pates under consideration. We live in BS35, so travel to the Grammars is a bit of an issue. I was wondering if there might be anyone in the Bristol area that we might car share with.

Also, if anyone has personal experience of these schools, I would be interested in your comments, please.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2015 4:44 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2012 9:19 pm
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That's Thornbury way? Travel will be a big issue unless you are prepared to drive there and back each day. Relatives live in same postcode and it is a good 30 + minute drive on motorway, without any hold ups.
You could contact both schools to see if they have any current students living in that postcode. They sometimes put a call out to current parents to ask if anyone could lift share?
As for opinions, my daughter goes to Pates. She's happy. BUT, it's only a school, there are good and bad points, they are very relaxed on discipline, uniform, sanctions etc. so some behaviour in the classroom is not what you would expect..... There are lots of clubs which are after school, drama, sports and house events which all have late finishing times. There are a few people in her year who don't go to these events as they live far away, I think it's a shame as they miss out on a social fun aspect.
What are your local schools like? I know there are no gs in BS35 but isn't Castle school very good?
good luck with your choices!


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2015 4:51 pm 
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Hi,

Thanks for the reply. Yes, it's Thornbury way. Our nearest school is Marlwood. Castle is good, as you say. We're weighing up our options at the moment, but would prefer a grammar school, and may well move in due course to solve the transport problem.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2015 5:05 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2012 9:19 pm
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Yes, lots of people do move to be closer! There are pupils who travel from Bristol, Swindon and further afield, but they use the train, so it's not as long as a bus journey.
Sorry, didn't men to sound negative in my reply, it is a lovely school in many ways, but there are some things which possibly could be improved! (As is the case with all schools!)
Best of luck!


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2015 5:09 pm 
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Cup of tea wrote:
Sorry, didn't men to sound negative in my reply, it is a lovely school in many ways, but there are some things which possibly could be improved! (As is the case with all schools!)
Best of luck!


Such a refreshing post Cup of tea and important for some to hear if they are getting bad news today. Normally people will only sing praises of their chosen school which in the scheme of things can't possibly be true as no school could live up to some of it.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2015 5:20 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2012 8:10 pm
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Well done to children who have the result they wanted and for those who are disappointed I echo Cup of Tea's comments; it is only a school and you still have to make friends, make good and bad decisions and do well in some things and not so well in others. You've still got an exciting journey ahead!!
In terms of travel, I was surprised when my DS (who started at Tommies in Sept) said that a boy from Bristol has fallen asleep twice in lessons. It's a long day and with lots of homework in the evenings, I would consider a long journey carefully.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2015 9:31 am 
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There are 2 who come from Bristol in my son's Y7 form at Pates. Funnily enough I asked him yesterday if the girl who he knows comes on the train seemed exhausted at the end of the day/week and he replied that quite the opposite was true - she was full of life (his words).


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2015 10:14 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:34 pm
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For me I like the fact that I am a 20 minute drive to school if needed - my children can travel by stagecoach bus and if they miss one there will be another along in 10 mins. DD who is at Ribston regulary goes to science lectures after school, drama club, coding club. Now she has started going to the climbing wall after school and she can get there on the bus. Sometimes she is ill and needs collecting. She has had orthodontic treatment for the last 2 years so has needed collecting for that. Sometimes school has had to close early for a water leak or for snow then there are open evenings. plays and concerts. Then there are the school trips that leave at strange times of the night and returns also in the middle of the night.
My DS is at Crypt - so they are not at the same school but I can collect them reasonably easily if necessary- he is a different child and does not do any extra curricular stuff so it would be easier for him to have to leave school and get home without thinking he is missing out on stuff he wants to do. I have still had to collect him due to illness occasionally and then there are days he forgets his pe kit or food tech kit or the odd half days that get sprung upon us every so often.
I attend Gloucestershire College Cheltenham campus one day a week which is on the road to Pates; the traffic in the area is mad in the mornings and evening. My DP works in Bristol and travels daily - he is exhausted a lot of the time and spends a lot of his life in traffic jams on the M5 or chooses to work late so the traffic is quieter. I used to do the reverse journey from Bristol to Quedgely everyday when I was a bright eyed graduate doing my first job after university. I was exhausted after a year and moved on. I guess it is down to every one is different -you may be able to live with all that and make it work .......but I would think it could be tough and depend on making it work with everything else going on in your family's life.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2015 11:53 am 
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We have lived all sorts of distances from secondary schools. In an ideal world I would chose to live nearer. It has nothing to do with the tiredness of the travel but more to do with the aspects raised by DC17C above. Live far away and be prepared to taxi and as DC gets older and suffers from the lack of being able to meet up and go places independently it becomes more of a trail. Also currently DC2s school are running GCSE revisions sessions after school. It's great as he can get far more individual attention in these small group sessions and is working on turning some of his A/B course works into A/A*s (just making the point there that extra sessions are not just a good idea for DC who struggle) . Not sure what Pates/SHG do but worth checking out this sort of thing.

OP, I have no experience of either school other than this site and both appear pretty good to me so if I were you I would decide whether you want a singlesex education or co-ed. We will be in this position if our DC passes and are going co-ed despite the singlesex being more prestigious. Once decision is made then get your house on the market and move pronto.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2015 10:07 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 10:28 am
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I would also echo the points ref travel and friendships by others. I went to catholic school which was miles away from my home. I hated it as all my friends lived local to the school. I was reliant on my parents to take me to see them and as they worked they couldn't do it that often. I had friends from primary school but we just drifted apart as they formed new friendships and we had less and less in common. Holidays were quite a lonely time to be honest.

Car shares do work for some; usually where the parents know each other. The problems can arise when there is sickness and the parent of the 'well child' have to make the journey on their 'day off', after school club pick ups for one child and having to hang around for the other who doesn't have a club and just importantly, if the kids fall out/don't get on.

All of us on here obviously care very much about our kids' education but there has to be a balance with family life. As has been said, they are just schools and if your child is intelligent enough to pass the test in the first place there is every chance they will do well at your local school.

Sorry to sound negative, but it's really easy to get swept along with this process without necessarily weighing up the pros and cons for all.

I would say if you are going to move, it would probably be better to do it as soon as possible because as we all know, house moves are stressful and just what the child doesn't need at the start of senior school life.

Good luck with your decision; I'm sure you will make the right one.


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