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 Post subject: Bushey Meads School
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 9:15 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2012 11:47 am
Posts: 4
Hi Can anyone tell me how is Bushey Meads School? My son has got academic score 229 which won't be enough for WGBS. We are in catchment area for WGBS, Bushey Meads, Parmiters and Queens School. We have just moved in Watford (not even a month) and know absolutely nothing about schools and education system here as we are new here. It would be great help if someone can please let me know which school should I go for? Bushey Meads or Queens School? Sorry for being so thick but which one is better Bushey Academy or Bushey Meads? Thank you so much.


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 Post subject: Re: Bushey Meads School
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 9:38 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 16, 2012 5:56 pm
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Based on previous years your son has a high enough score for Bushey Meads (Band A) and Queen's Schools. Both are excellent schools.

There is a separate thread about Bushey Academy which is a non-selective school.


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 Post subject: Re: Bushey Meads School
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:45 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 3:34 pm
Posts: 213
Location: Watford, Herts
At Bald peg has already said, Queens' and Bushey Meads are both considered to be great schools by many people. I believe Bushey Academy is also a dramatically improving school which lots of people speak very highly of, although I have no experience of the school myself.

If you can I would try to arrange a visit to the three schools during the school day to help you get a feel for them. You can listen to all the thoughts and views of people about schools but everyone's opinion is different. Only you know what is best for your child and I believe a personal visit is the best way to make up your own mind about the schools.

Alison


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 Post subject: Re: Bushey Meads School
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:13 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2012 11:47 am
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Thank you so much Bald Peg and Alison. Much appreciated, I'd arrange a visit as soon as possible. Thanks again.


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 Post subject: Re: Bushey Meads School
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 12:32 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:08 pm
Posts: 105
I would like to add a rousing endorsement for Bushey Meads. We very much liked this school after looking on 2 open days on consecutive years and also on a day visit when the headmaster hosted the tour. However, we only put it as our 3rd choice 'banker' as it is our nearest school, prefering other more academic/distant choices on the CAF in 2011.

DS got a lower than expected score; he was 'ace-ing' VR so I suspected that the maths, which he was so relieved about, turned out to be trickier than he supposed - a theme which has appeared on other threads for this year's cohort.

It was a little difficult psychologically to have to go with our 3rd choice; although many other children (and even those who could have gone to Parmiters/WG/Queens have chosen it). The head is very effective. The school is very caring, expects high levels of behaviour and talks to the pupils as though they are mature, responsible individuals. This is not a school where punitive after school detentions are meted out for minor transgressions such as forgetting/losing your PE kit! There appears to be quite a quirky crowd in Y7.

There are 3 pathways; 1st is 2 classes (1.1, 1.2), 2nd 3 classes (?) and 3rd pathway; 1 class? The setting is based on the consortium test, SATs and CATs which they sit in July. DS is in 1.1 (scored a little lower than your DC but continued to work hard throughout Y6*). They can be in different pathways for different subjects; from my understanding pathway 1 in maths also sets for science and english for languages so they are effectively with most of the same children from Day 1 (although there's mixed sets for drama, art etc). They are currently setting for PE.

He has been set very challenging (L6 maths) and varied homework - he is enjoying it immensely - big smile on face in the morning but mightily relieved to fall in the front door in the evening. This school has a focus on DT so a lot of the homework is framed with this in mind (posters, designing snap cards for French etc). We pay for him to carry on with his instrument during a lunchtime. The GCSE results are very good; A level doesn't fill me with quite so much confidence (eg. they didn't appear to offer Geography at A level) but my (uncorroborated) understanding is that all the local schools will be collaborating on offering access to a full range of A level subjects. The school (like many others) is a little scruffy around the edges and I am not enthusiastic about the look of the uniform.

*from anecdotal evidence being allocated a place in Band A doesn't guarantee 'top set'; performance has to be consistent across the criteria (this is with the knowledge of one higher scoring DC who is in 1.2).

We looked at Queens and didn't like it. I (perhaps erroneously) thought that DS would prefer languages, arts and humanities and it looked to me that previous results there suggested that these subjects were not popular with boys at GCSE level... (and DS is doing both Spanish and French at BM).

About 40% of DS's year chose Queens/40% BM and the remainder 'other' (Mill Hill, Yavneh, WG, Parmiters). I haven't heard of any problems from anyone else.

We very much liked Rickmansworth and the score you suggested would have been enough to get in last year. It's strong on performing arts and music. However, travelling there isn't great - busy road, although there are a number of public buses.

I did like Bushey Academy - although many local parents still aren't chosing it yet. Certainly there was a small handful from DS's year who put it first. Perhaps when the buildings are completed, then it will hit it's stride in terms of popularity.


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 Post subject: Re: Bushey Meads School
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:36 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2012 11:47 am
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Thank you so much none-the-wiser. Your reply is very helpful and informative. My DS was so hopeful that he could get in WG but unfortunately he got less that what required. It is not his fault though, we moved here on 12th september and 15th was the exam. We had our job interview in june first week so we registered him for exam but wasn't sure about whether we are going to get jobs. It took too long to get to know that we got our jobs, on 31st August to be specific. Truly speaking he didn't even get more than 2-3 months to prepare. So I'm happy with his score.
Do you think we can appeal with this reason? I know it's stupid but I'm just asking for your advice.
Anyway We'll try for Bushey Meads 100% - just praying that things will be sorted for my DS. He was ahead of his class last year in Primary 5 so his teacher decided to send him to Year 6 for whole year and this year he didn't get admission anywhere else but in Central Primary (Last week). He is adjusting but bored as he says he's learning same things again. Well, we are trying to settle in every aspect and hope things will be back to normal in few months. I might help him with some extra work at home.
Thanks again for your detailed reply which will definitely help us making our decision.
Thanks...


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 Post subject: Re: Bushey Meads School
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:44 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:08 pm
Posts: 105
Are you centrally located in Watford? Look at the stickies and see if you qualify for WGSB under distance criteria. It's tough, as we too were dazzled by the school.

You can appeal for a place - however your chances are perhaps rather slim as the SW Consortium schools explicitly state that no exam preparation is necessary...

I think that you have a great choice of schools - Queens, BM, Rickmansworth, BA. Perhaps you need to look at them on a day visit, as mentioned before. Certainly on balance, Queens has greater 'cachet' than BM. Our choice was coloured by our own experiences of secondary schools and the temperament of our DS. Perhaps with the benefit of the results in front of us, we'd have made a different decision. However, I am not wasting too much energy thinking about "what could've been". And as I mention DS is VERY happy.

I hope your son settles down; I know where the primary school you mention is but don't know any children who have attended it. Is it single form entry? You need to encourage your DS to dazzle the teacher! Also get him involved in outside school activities such as cubs/scouts (long waiting lists though), swimming and music etc. There are loads of sports training clubs at Bushey Grove and Power League (football) - just build his self-esteem up and then it won't really matter which secondary school he'll go to.


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 Post subject: Re: Bushey Meads School
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:27 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2012 11:47 am
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Thanks none-the-wiser. We are in watford near junction, in WD17, but almost 1.3 miles far from WGBS, so no chance on that one :( We are trying to find out various activities for him. I hope he'll settle down soon. I really appreciate your help and guidance on this occasion. Thanks.


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