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 Post subject: How far is too far?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 5:51 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2007 2:28 pm
Posts: 82
Hi

We're just after a bit of advice and are hoping that someone can help us!!

Our DS wasn't selected for our local Grammar School so we took it to appeal, unfortunately to no avail!! As our local Secondary School isn't fantastic and our DD is already at a Grammar School we decided to go down the independent route :o. The great news is that our DS has been offered a place at Akeley Wood Senior School which was our first choice Independent School :D. We are however slightly worried about the journey that this would involve. The coach would leave our nearest bus stop (which is a mile away) at 7.30am and he wouldn't then be dropped back off until 5pm. The distance from our house to Akeley Wood is 20 miles. We're worried that the journey will make our DS's day far too long for him. Do any of your DC have a journey similar to this and if so, how do they cope?!

We would appreciate any feedback.

Best Wishes
Nif229


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 6:04 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2007 4:20 pm
Posts: 4660
My dd leaves home at 7.45 and is in school for about 8.20 am. She leaves school at 4 pm and is home by 4.45 pm. We live about 13 miles away.

As with all secondary school children when they first move up, the day was long and tiring but after a few weeks they get used to the new regime and now it's as if she's always done it.

She really enjoys the time on the bus with her peers and the chance to unwind before she gets home. :D :D

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 6:09 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 6:16 pm
Posts: 2113
Hello,
Sorry to hear you have this dilemma.
I cannot speak from direct experience but do know many children who do a similar journey.I have been amazed how well the children have coped because they do not know any different.
Does your DS really want to go to the school? I ask because when I have had children over in the last few years, who travel great distances ,I have asked them how they feel about it.They have all said that they feel it was worth it because it was the school they wanted to go to.
Some may say that their social life may suffer.Well we often have children over for sleepovers and on concert nights etc to help the long distance travellers out!
Ask yourself how you would feel if you didn't have this option? Would you feel happy enough with the local school? In time there is always the possibility of a moving home too.
Good luck and all I can say is many children manage it successfully.(If you feel the school is worth it)


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 6:14 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2007 4:20 pm
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We have sleepovers - the children in my dd's school come from a wide range of places (some even board) and they are used to not living locally to each other - it shouldn't be a problem :D

My dd could have gone to a school local to us in our town - I worked out the journey and it would have taken as long to get across town as it does for my dd to go 'across country' to her (and mine) first choice school.

No contest :D

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 6:53 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 3:34 pm
Posts: 213
Location: Watford, Herts
While I don't think the distance is too far if your DS wants to go to that school you might want to think about what will happen if your DS wants to do activities after school that may result in the bus home being missed.

If the bus you refer to is a regular scheduled service this may not be an issue but we rely on a school bus which only runs at "normal" hours. Fortunately new friends have quickly been made and they go to the same after school clubs so journeys home can be made together.

Alison


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 7:10 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:19 pm
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Wouldn't worry about the length of day my DS's are at indie prep where days are long. They all have to be in school for 8.15 a.m. and since Yr 5 DS1 has been doing prep/clubs at school and I pick him up at 5.30 p.m. most of the week. He will be fine - don't worry.

Here lots of the secondary school children travel a long way and 20 miles will be fine - though it may mean parental taxi duties will increase!!!!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:16 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 6:16 pm
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Re after school clubs, my children's school is really aware of the large distances travelled.Therefore the vast majority of clubs are at lunchtime.Also as someone else said joint arrangements are made easily with friends and other parents.

All seems to depend how worthwhile you think the school is. :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:02 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2009 6:04 pm
Posts: 38
7.30 am to 5pm is pretty typical. Secondary schools start much earlier than primary schools. My son does a similar journey but by public transport and copes so I suspect a school coach would be more relaxed and social. If she is organised she may be able to do a bit of vocabulary learning on the bus which would reduce the home work pressure.

The only problem is that friends will be all over the place and you have to be prepared to do a fair amount of taxiing service at evenings and weekends. Also worth checking what happens for matches etc which are after school. Is there a late bus?


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 9:32 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 9:27 am
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Location: Barnet, Herts
my DS gets school coach at 07.20 and walks back into the house at 6.30 pm! School doesnt finish until 5.30 pm! He is now in Y8 and finds it easy. I think it took him until the first half term to get used to it. It is worse on the cold dark winter mornings but fine in the spring and summer! If the school is excellent then the journey is worth it. From the background noise when DS rings me from the coach, they are having a party!


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:03 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 12:19 pm
Posts: 66
Location: Gloucestershire
Grammar schools in our area have many children catching the school bus from just after 7 am and dropping them back at the bus stop at about 5pm. School starts a 8:40 (although for a well organised day, it's best to arrive at 8:30.) I was reassured by everyone we met that it isn't difficult, the bus companies are excellent with the children, the journey is pleasant and sociable and becomes a part of their social lives. I can reassure you from my DD's friends' experiences that this is the case on all counts.


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