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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 7:12 pm 
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We are expats moving back to the UK, we don't know for certain yet whether it will be to Lincolnshire or Gloucestershire (which makes thing v. stressful). Our daughter has passed the Lincs. 11+ (will have to do a late sitting for Glos 11+ if we end up there).

We have flexibility over exactly where in Lincolnshire but are thinking villages around the Stamford, Grantham or Newark on Trent areas.

I wondered if anyone could give me any opinions on the schools in Lincolnshire, in particular KGGS, Bourne Grammar and Stamford Welland. I did visit all 3 in the summer but it was a bit of a rush and I don't know that I got a really good sense of them.

KGGS, had great facilities, very friendly teachers and clearly great results, I have mixed feelings about it being girls only
Bourne - I was so impressed by the students who showed us round but not so impressed by the building. Liked that it is co-ed and seemed to be at least a little bit more racially diverse.
Stamford Welland - I know this might seem a strange choice as they don't have a record of great results yet but I was really taken with all the plans and changes going on there so feel tempted to take a "gamble" on them. Liked that it is co-ed and that it is small (although will of course grow if successful).

If any of you have any opinions/experience of these schools or even have another school to suggest I would be very grateful. Please PM me if you do not feel comfortable sharing on a public forum.

Thank you in advance!


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 7:51 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 9:10 pm
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Location: Lincolnshire
Do you know when you are likely to be back in this country? If it is after the last date to be included in the first allocation round you might also want to consider the fact that you may need to appeal for a place. Being near the school in which you want the place may help your chances a bit and also just how heavily oversubscribed the school is.

There are pros and cons of all girls'/boys' schools and it is very much a case of individual choice. Both the Grammar schools have an individual ethos and strengths of their own. If you end up near Newark you might want to consider KSHSSA in Sleaford as well as the transport links are fairly good - all girls but has just gone back to a joint 6th Form arrangement with Carre's (the Boys' Grammar) and St George's (non-selective Academy) - which means you have a base at one of the schools but can take courses from any of them.

If you were a little further north and on the Notts border you have Queen Elizabeth High School Gainsborough which is mixed as well - but generally heavily oversubscribed so perhaps not a good idea if you are going to be arriving after first allocations and you would need to be living within a "safe" radius to be sure of a place in first allocations.

Stamford Welland is a very different kettle of fish as it is a non selective school and has just been re-branded as an Academy. Non-selective schools in largely selective areas tend to suffer because of the loss of a lot of bright pupils to the Grammar schools.

I will send you a pm.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 11:04 pm 
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Alex,

Thanks so much for your reply and your PM.

Since we will be a late application for Gloucestershire anyway (because she can't take their test till March) I'm thinking we will try to secure a place in Lincs. (as much as you can secure a place).

So we are going to try and move and rent a house before the cut off date but of course that doesn't leave a lot of time to choose the school. I'm guessing that if we don't make the cut off we'd have very little chance for the Grammar schools so it may be that the choice gets made for us.

I'm sure that if we were living in the area I'd have a much clearer understanding of which school would be the best fit for her but there is only so much you can pick up from a school's website. Between BG and KGGS I think KGGS is probably the one she would like best (although I'd prefer co-ed) and SW is the kind of wildcard.

Thank you again for you post, much appreciated.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2015 8:28 am 
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I have daughters at KGGS and can't praise it enough. It is very strong both academically and pastorally and the girls excel in all ways, not just academically.

Yes it's all girl, yes it can get a little hormones and hairspray at some times but the girls have a very strong group identity and are always there for one another. It probably sounds a little clich├ęd but the unofficial motto is 'KG Army, no girl left behind!' It does have a relationship with the boys grammar in Grantham (Kings) and there are some joint events (school plays for instance) and the sixth form is mixed so there are boys wandering around.

It has a new Head Teacher this year but he is the previous Deputy Head and appears to be carrying on with the same ethos in mind as the previous Head.

Edited to add that it has been over subscribed for at least the last six years so you would need to be in area before the cut-off date. Some children do get through on appeal every year.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2015 3:02 pm 
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Hi Spud04,

Thank you so much for your reply. It is very encouraging to hear you and your daughters are really happy with KGGS!
It clearly is an exceptionally good school so I'm not entirely sure what it is that makes me hesitate.

I think the not being co-ed is one aspect of it, although I absolutely do see there are pros and cons to that, I have a son too so I would have preferred them to go to the same school if possible.

Do you mean KGGS is actually co-ed for 6th form? On the website it sounds like it remains girls only but joining with Kings for I think one subject?

How have you found it with regard to parent communication and involvement? Where we live now the HS my daughter would have gone to is very small so I think the size of the school was probably a bit overwhelming too although I know there are plenty of schools much bigger too. I think that is part of the appeal of SW it is so much smaller, at least at the moment.

I found Grantham not the most inspiring town so it may be that has coloured my view too. I'd prefer not to live in the town itself but then have to think about commute to/from school and after school clubs etc.

I was able to attend the open evening in July and the Sixth former who showed us round was a real credit to the school. The new Head Teacher gave the presentation speech but to be honest I didn't feel like I got a real sense of who he is and I think that added to my uncertainty. They didn't have any of the girls speak at the presentation like some other schools I visited.

When I was looking round It seems like there isn't a lot of racial diversity but I guess that is true of much/most/all of Lincolnshire?

I'm really glad to hear that you are pleased with the pastoral care for me that is the most important thing. Are you aware of any issues with bullying? Are they good at dealing with/discouraging it? I know it can sometimes be subtle and be about excluding girls so can be harder to tackle.

I had assumed that it would be a case of being in catchment by deadline or absolutely no chance of getting in so it's good to hear that there is the possibility of trying an appeal - although obviously no guarantee of outcome.

Thank you again for your response, it really is helpful.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 8:46 am 
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I have a son too so I know what you mean but he is not bothered about being in the same school as his sisters! He is actually in a co-ed setting because that suited him better than a single sex school. If your daughter likes the look of KGGS why not give it a go. A move to Stamford Welland if either of you become unhappy would be easier than moving from Stamford Welland to KGGS.
Having spoken to my older daughter she would describe it more as a sixth form alliance than co-ed. Boys always come up to KG for drama and often come for history and music (music this year but no history). Girls go to Kings for philosophy and if they want to do Lit/Lang as opposed to pure literature. Other subjects also mix on an individual basis when A Level subject blocks don't fit.
I have found parent communication to be very good. I am not quite sure what you mean by involvement but there is a very active PTA, and also parent governors. Parents get to go to events like the school Christmas carol concert but not sports day. Parents also get involved in some extra curricular events like Rock Challenge.
Grantham suffered badly in the economic downturn but actually has more going for it than is immediately obvious. There are however lots of nice villages surrounding it; have a look at the Vale of Belvoir (just in side Leicestershire) or places like Harlaxton. In this part of Lincolnshire school buses are free within county but you would need to pay on public buses if coming from outside county. The school is well served with buses from lots of different areas. Most clubs are at lunchtime because the girls bus in from a fairly large area. The exceptions are probably sports matches (don't have particularly sporty girls so not entirely sure about that), school play rehearsals, and practices for competitive events such as debating as the girls get older.
My daughter says the Head Teacher is amazing. I haven't had a lot to do with him yet. They normally have girls talking at these events so I am not sure why they didn't on this occasion but hopefully you got to meet Year 7 girls as you went round the classrooms.
The school is more racially diverse than was probably obvious on an open evening, but yes Lincolnshire isn't the most diverse county in the country.
My experience of pastoral care has been fantastic. As far as I can tell (from talking to daughter, friends etc) any bullying or excluding of girls is stamped on really quickly.

I hope that helps a little. I have no experience of any of the other schools, but Stamford would be a lovely place to live!


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 1:35 pm 
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spud04,

Your information is very helpful. I wish someone can provide some info as detailed as yours for King's school Grantham. We are anxiously planning to move to the Grantham area.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 6:05 pm 
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spud04,

Thank you so much all your info is so helpful. I really appreciate you taking the time to help, thank you!

wheretogo, when we were visiting Grantham everyone we met spoke highly of Kings (I was interested for our son) several people mentioned they have a good music dept but just in general it seemed to be a very well thought of school. Good luck with your move, it is much more stressful moving with children then when you only have yourself to think of!

Spud04 and wheretogo, If we end up in Lincs not Glos. I'd love to meet up with you both.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 7:30 pm 
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Location: Lincolnshire
Lizzie, just wanted to say that there are people who get through appeals every year. It is by no means impossible. If you are living near to the school you want by the time you appeal then chances are not too bad on the whole.

You can appeal for any school for which you have applied. You would probably get into Welland even if you left it off the list initially and changed preferences to include it at a later stage in the admissions process if you had not managed to get into the other(s).


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 9:57 pm 
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Alex,

Thank you so much for that. I'm feeling so stressed because I want to make the "right" decision that my head is spinning. So hearing that we would have a decent chance of appeal if we don't manage to make the move before deadline is very comforting. I feel like I have got some breathing space and it's not an all or nothing if we aren't there in time.

What a lovely group of people you all are for helping with info, Thank you! :)


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