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PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 8:44 am 
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Should I be so lucky as to have a choice..was wondering if people could comment on what they thought of each school. .or a comparison if they have experience of both. Would be very grateful. Thanks.


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PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 11:20 am 
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They are very different schools! Have you not visited them? What does your DD think? Alcester is bigger and mixed and has fab new facilities; Shottery is smaller and all-girl and in need of investment (which I believe is happening shortly) ...

It's really very much down to the individual and where you think your DD is best suited. I have my opinion, but that's based on my DD and my experience, which won't be the same as yours :)

JD


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PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 11:27 am 
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DD in year 7 at SGGS, loving it and so far seems to be doing well.

Good - No boys, decent teachers, a lovely setting for a school, new building plan in place to increase size and facilities, the few problems she has experienced so far have been dealt with quickly and efficiently.

Bad - No boys, currently a small catering outlet meaning that getting served hot food at lunchtime is not easy, lots of building work to come.

I can't comment on AGS but suppose if you get the choice it will come down to distance and preference over single sex school or not.

Good Luck


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PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 11:56 am 
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AGS is a great school and I know very few people who aren't happy with it (though of course, who would say otherwise once they are in??). However, for us, and as JD says this MUST be what you and your child thinks, AGS felt very very big, rather claustraphobic (but bear in mind this was an open evening so rammed with people) and rather 'jungle-like', by which I mean, more like a school where you will meet all sorts and need to be streetwise. This is not the reports I get, knowing lots there as I do, this was simply our impression. Having boys, we went to KES and found that a total contrast. I guess if I'm honest, KES felt like a boys public school, and for us, we liked that and more importantly the more nurturing feeling that went with it. It may be a similar contrast for SGGS. Of course, all are grammar schools and will push our DCs for high academic results no matter how nurturing they appear, so my one time opinion counts for nothing!
As has been suggested, go and get a feel for both of them and go with your gut!


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PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 12:03 pm 
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Yamin151 wrote:
... and need to be streetwise.

I like to think of myself as more 'bohemian' than 'streetwise'!!! :lol:

JD


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PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 12:06 pm 
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JamesDean wrote:
Yamin151 wrote:
... and need to be streetwise.

I like to think of myself as more 'bohemian' than 'streetwise'!!! :lol:

JD


Yes, I'm well aware of your questionable habit of floating around Warwickshire in a flowery kaftan, smoking a dodgy (electronic of course) ciggy and singing old 60s songs :lol: :lol:


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PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 12:51 pm 
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I don't have one at Shottery but have one at KES and one at AGS. My youngest will sit later this year and we have discounted Shottery.

For us, this is because we have been thrilled with AGS and love the fact it is mixed. There seems a much broader mix of pupils and it feels much less like an independent school than KES and SGGS which is something I would rather avoid as I don't personally think Grammars should feel like private schools, that isn't what they are! AGS is being extended and has great facilities, better than KES in my opinion but of course Shottery is also extending.

We don't feel our daughter will suit all girls, we much prefer mixed schools and Shottery has a bit of a reputation for being quite bitchy which I think is what happens with all girls schools. (I went to one myself). Our daughter is not confident enough to deal with that and would get "lost" I think.

I feel AGS is much more nurturing than the Stratford schools and has a more modern approach to teaching. KES and Shottery are more traditional.

Personally I think AGS would be much harder to get into if it wasn't for location. Location prevents many from applying due to transport issues but I think if it was located in Stratford, it would probably get the highest amount of first choice preferences. It really is a lovely school.


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PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 12:56 pm 
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serendippyty wrote:
Personally I think AGS would be much harder to get into if it wasn't for location. Location prevents many from applying due to transport issues but I think if it was located in Stratford, it would probably get the highest amount of first choice preferences. It really is a lovely school.

Absolutely - it's certainly why we had to (regretfully) discount it for DS :(

JD


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PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 1:11 pm 
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I don't have a girl but know many mum's that do have daughters at Shottery. Although none of them are unhappy, several of the mother's have commented (not necessarily in a positive light) that there is a strong element of "alpha females" at Shottery (unsurprisingly, they are bright children in an all girls setting.) Although some people are very positive about single sex schools, single sex girl's schools do have a very competitive edge to them, where even the most confident girl can start to feel low self esteem. This tends to be less of a problem in an all boys school. We didn't have an issue with the "public school" feel of KES as it's smaller size and quieter feel suited the needs of DS1 better than the large, bustling, slightly crowded feel of Alcester - not to mention the fact that the journey was almost twice as far. I would agree Alcester has the feel of a very successful comprehensive with a wider range of applicants.

I am sure you have visited both (as surely nobody would apply to a school without investigating it thoroughly first) so you and your DD will have an idea of which one suits her better. You also, as serendippyty has pointed out, will know which one works better logistically, which must be a factor.


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PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 6:00 pm 
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I only have experience of Shottery. I have one DD there already and her sister is starting in September.

I can only comment on how my daughter finds it and she is very very happy. Shottery doesn't really promote the nuturing side when you go for open evenings but the vertical tutoring works really well and helps the year sevens, especially when they first start. They take it in turns once a week to bring in cake to eat in tutor time which I wish had existed when I was at school!

They also have sixth formers who mentor for anyone who needs it and who can help with homework or anything else which they need support.

I also have friends at Alcester who again are happy with it. Our original reason for our school choice was due to there only being transport to Shottery. My DD loved the feel of Shottery and she knew other girls there but I would have equally been happy with either school.

Wishing you good luck JMW over the next few weeks and let me know if I can answer anything else.


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