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 Post subject: KES students 2015
PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2016 9:29 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2015 7:45 pm
Posts: 63
I noticed there is a thread about AGS new starters and wanted to ask a similar question about KES. If anyone is willing to jot down a few notes about their DS's initial experiences, that would be great! In particular I'm interested in how DCs have adapted to being in an all-boy environment after being at a mixed primary, and in pastoral care, e.g. in how any settling-in/friendship issues have been addressed. Many thanks in advance!


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 Post subject: Re: KES students 2015
PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2016 7:00 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:38 am
Posts: 1043
Location: West Midlands / warks border
My son isn't at KES so can't really help, but thought I would share my sons experience. He is now in year 9 at KEFW.

He was worried about making new friends, but that was not an issue at all and he soon made some lovely new friends.

He did have a 45 minute bus journey and didn't like this, although he did get more used to it. Better this year as journey time has been reduced to about 35 minutes.

He has a second cousin at the same school and he said to my husband once that it was year 9 before he really felt settled. I have to say this has been the same with my DS, he is now completely settled at his new school and is doing very well.

Your DS will find it a huge change, just changing from primary to secondary is a big enough change itself, but going on somewhere without people you know is even more daunting. (The increase in homework was a shock to the system!)

However, there will be plenty of others boys in the same position, all feeling exactly the same.

My son became friends with a lad on their induction day and they are still friends now.

It may take time, but he will adapt and make new friends and will begin to enjoy his new school and all the opportunities it as to offer.


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 Post subject: Re: KES students 2015
PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2016 7:57 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:59 pm
Posts: 2827
gingerly - like anything, it will depend a bit on the child. There are opportunities before the year starts to meet other people in your form/year (induction etc) and make some initial friends - some of these carry through, some don't. KES tend to split boys from the same primary into different tutor groups so that everyone is in the same boat - this works quite well. Y7 have a tutor for each of the three classes (before going into vertical tutor groups in Y8) so they are a bit more nurtured and looked after - the tutor is your first port of call.

The change from primary to secondary is hard, wherever you go - longer days, walking round to the teacher rather than vice versa, often the first time on a bus, new people, little fish in big pond, homework, homework, homework, new rules...the list goes on...expect tears - but if these are still flowing near half term, then make the school aware.

Encourage your son to try lots of different things - if he is musical, join the choirs and orchestras as he will find a group of likeminded souls there, for example. And consider joining a PTA yourself - it will give you an insight into the school and a great bunch of friends from across the years (has been a god-send in letting me know what to expect as my two boys travel up through the school, not to mention, masses of free kit/uniform!!)


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 Post subject: Re: KES students 2015
PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2016 9:19 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 31, 2013 4:03 pm
Posts: 1380
DS is yr 8 but I can't say he had any real problems adjusting to the all boy environment. He travels by bus everyday, along with the girls from Shottery, and it sounds very much like a youth club on wheels, often the best part if the day! The joint discos are also frequent and fun, and there are girls in the sixth form so it isn't a completely male environment!

We have had no pastoral issues so cannot comment on that. DS is very happy :)

JD


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 Post subject: Re: KES students 2015
PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2016 10:16 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2015 7:45 pm
Posts: 63
Thanks, all three! I realise my concerns are mostly related to the transition to secondary school in general. I've found what you've said helpful and reassuring, anyway. I guess I thought there may be a few 'new' parents still around on here who would be prepared to comment, though I understand if they would rather steer clear of anything 11-plus related for a while...


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 Post subject: Re: KES students 2015
PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2016 10:06 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2014 9:59 pm
Posts: 116
I have DS1 in year 8 and I would say the main change was from primary to secondary rather than mixed to all boys.

The new things were:

The bus journey (with AGS and Shottery pupils)
Making lunch choices
Having a phone
Taking money to school
Having loads of homework
Being responsible for sorting out issues with homework at school with the relevant teachers
Joint discos
Being more independent in general.

He absolutely loves in there and it has rubbed off on DS2 (waiting for March school place results with baited breath).

There was a number of pre-term things to get to know the other boys like the rugby training, choosing musical instruments evening and the day in June (the day when pupils move up to spend a day in the year above).


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 Post subject: Re: KES students 2015
PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 10:05 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2015 7:45 pm
Posts: 63
Thanks, Bect1969! That makes it all sound exciting and not just daunting. Fingers crossed for your DS2 and hopefully our DSs will meet later in the year!


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 Post subject: Re: KES students 2015
PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 1:02 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2015 4:17 pm
Posts: 163
This has been very helpful - DS may be going to KES in Sept so all the information is very useful and so encouraging. Thank you!
For us the major change will be bus journey (currently school journey takes 35/40 min by car).
Already used to loads of homework and following the teachers around as they have almost all classes in different rooms. KES school day is infact shorter than our current school day but then the bus journey will be added of course!

Could anyone share some information please on the sports fields? I understand they are a good 15 min walk. I know DS will not be alone walking this walk with the kit and school bag etc but I'm sure he will find it difficult initially!

Infact, we are visiting KES again tomorrow. As DS has been interviewed at KES (Edgbaston) last week and also has another interview on Thursday at Solihull school, we thought it is best to remind ourselves how good KES is. Although we are sure KES is the way to go (we love this school!) it'll be wise to wait for 12th Feb to see what the other 2 schools offer. And fingers xd of course for the 1st of March for KES !!!


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 Post subject: Re: KES students 2015
PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 7:12 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:59 pm
Posts: 2827
The sports fields are down at the Manor Road site - for the first week, the boys will be escorted down en masse, so they learn the route - lots of parents collect direct from Manor Road at the end of games (a slightly earlier finish at 3.30pm) and those boys not being collected will dribble back into town for the buses.

There are always one or two who leave their school bag up at school, so have to go back to retrieve it, or get all the way down to the field and have left their kit bag - or leave a shoe in the changing room....but they learn pretty quickly!


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 Post subject: Re: KES students 2015
PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 9:17 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2015 4:17 pm
Posts: 163
Thanks Kenyancowgirl, that's very helpful and I'm sure DS will learn!


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