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PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2008 4:08 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 12:09 pm
Posts: 96
Location: chorleywood
Hi I hope someone out there can give me some advice.


We live in Rickmansworth and our daughter goes to a primary school in Chorleywood.

My husband and i are so confused about what schools to put down for our DD. We have agreed on Rickmansworth and St Clement Danes although not sure in what order but are just so confused about the third choice.

We are not catholic so Joan of Arc is out of the question so that only leaves Watford Girls. We just dont think our daughter will get in there on her ability so what is left. I am so scared that she will be offered one of the Watford schools, two of which are applying for academy status!!

Please can anyone give me some advice. I am at my wits end about this.
Many thanks in advance.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2008 6:11 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 7:32 am
Posts: 193
Location: Herts
There is no easy answer to this one. Historically the best advice has always been to make sure that one of your choices is a "banker" school, that is, a school to which your DD fits the criteria, and whilst not your favourite choice, you would be happy for her to go there.

This sounds simple I know, but of course it never is, In Abbots Langley people tended to put Kings Langley as their "banker" but this no longer works for most parents because dependent on where they live they get given FC, as KL is oversubscribed.

How able are you to travel, perhaps you could look a little further afield, I know some people from Abbots who travel to Hemel, for example?

I think you will just have to try and view other schools with a really open mind, because the best school for your child is not always the obvious one.

Good luck


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2008 8:13 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 3:34 pm
Posts: 213
Location: Watford, Herts
We live in Watford are in a similar dilemma in that we aren't sure if we should put a banker school, which in our case would be Westfield or Francis Combe due as my son would have to get there under he own steam so Hemel schools are not an option, or whether we should leave it to chance and perhaps get a school which is very hard to travel too.

The only way we feel we can make a decision is by visiting the schools concerned and talking to the headteacher, preferably during school time if possible. I think that's the only way both you and your child can get a feel for the school and decide whether or not it is suitable for them.

Anyone can have a bad day on the day of the tests and not attaining a mark to get into any of the selectives which is why a banker school can be very valuable. Hopefully it won't be needed but just in case ...


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2008 9:02 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 12:09 pm
Posts: 96
Location: chorleywood
Hi

Thanks for reply. Westfield have an open evening this Thursday so we are going to have a look. Francis Coombe is a definate no no.

When you talk about a banker school do you mean one that she would definately get?

A lot of children in our area got Bushey Hall this year which is one that has applied for acadamy status so dont want that one either. I know its out of our hands so no point worrying until next March but I am already having sleepless nights.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2008 9:18 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 3:34 pm
Posts: 213
Location: Watford, Herts
yes a banker school is a non-selective school which you would stand a good chance of getting.

Bushey Hall is the school we would like to avoid. I know parents of children at both Westfield and Francis Combe and they all say there children are very happy there and they are impressed with the attitude of the head and how both schools are improving. I would rather my son go to a school that is in a period of improvement that one that isn't.

Why is Francis Combe a no-no? Is it the distance?
Alison


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2008 10:15 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 7:32 am
Posts: 193
Location: Herts
Following on from Alison's comment, I do think that there is a danger of people "writing off" FC.

Go and see it with an open mind, talk to some of the parent's whose children were allocated FC the last time round, and who did not originally put it as one of their ranked choices; you may be surprised to hear their positive slant on things? View it during a school session, and talk at length to the head, I hear she is really approachable.

At the end of the day, if your objective is to avoid B H or W'field at all costs, then think very carefully before dismissing FC out of hand...


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2008 11:44 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 12:09 pm
Posts: 96
Location: chorleywood
Hi

Thank you for your comments. Francis Coombe and BH are just too far to travel but I have not ruled out Westfield yet. Will probably have a better idea after tomorrow nights visit.


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 Post subject: 3rd choice decision
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2008 10:52 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2008 11:55 am
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We live in Rickmansworth, are in a similar dilemma. We live within 4 miles to Clement Danes. Is it safe to have Clement Danes as a banker school?
Does someone know of anyone who has been successful in securing a place in either Watford Boys or Parmiters from Rickmansworth area for sept'08 Yr7 entry?


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2008 11:43 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 12:09 pm
Posts: 96
Location: chorleywood
Hi

Clement Danes is always well over subscribed so I dont think you can put it down as a banker school. Us Ricky families will be lucky to get in there although we are putting it down.

Not sure about your other question re Watford boys maybe someone else can help you out on that one.
We will probably put down Watford Girls although I think we will be unlikely to get in there.

Are you going to Westfield tonight?


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2008 12:06 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 11:13 am
Posts: 170
Can only speak from my own experiences but personally I would rather my DS went to FC rather than Westfield or BH, neither will be excellent schools but as long as the head stays FC will become a good school, I just can’t see her staying. I turned down my third choice, Rickmansworth, for Queens but that’s another story. I think Rickmansworth is not the school it used to be and we had a very bad expierence with them throughout the process.

Not sure if they have changed the rules or not but we did not go for a banker and put down three selectives. The theory was it would be difficult to appeal if you had been offered a school of your choice. We went on the waiting list for Queens and they retrospectively count your entrance test. We got in on the second round. - They may have changed this so that you can only go on the list for one of your choices so please check.

In hindsight appeals are not an option unless either your circumstance change or you can prove and administrative error - The stress isnt worth it for what little chance you have not in Herts anyhow.

Good luck it is a difficult choice but I recommend you go to all schools and also have an open mind before visiting them. For the record this year FC was oversubscribed, I believe it is the first time for a while……


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