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 Post subject: Grammar commute
PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:45 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2006 1:29 pm
Posts: 1805
Location: Berkshire
How far is too far? I mean to travel to school.

Our local Grammar is a 10 minute (3m) drive, but next year, when we look at school options we could try for two other's. Both would mean an early start, and a 50-55min commute. We are also lucky, in that, we have a fairly good catchment comp. Which until recent musings, had been the fallback option. Now I'm thinking, perhaps we should try for these alternate grammars as well, but with only 3 choices on CAF, have limits to abide by. Not to mention the longer day.

Can any parents with children already at grammar schools advise on length of time taken to get to school, or if they know of many children coming from further afield please.

Thanks

BW


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2006 8:04 pm 
If your child goes to a school further away will their friends also be much further away? Probably hard to predict but if you live 50 minutes away from school ? drive /?public transport and their best friend lives 50 minutes in the opposite direction what will their opportunities for socialising be. It will be more important to them at 13/14 than it is now. Will you be doing lots of driving to keep their social life alive?

secondly what will you do if there is really heavy and suddens snowfall as there has been in previous years. 3 miles can be walked even with a struggle but what if the school is significantly further than that?

When deciding I would factor other things in to the equation. Other parents may be able to give you tips as to how to overcome these problems but I do think if schools are of a similar standard and you/your child likes all options equally then surely local has to be best.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 3:48 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 3:36 am
Posts: 141
Dear Bewildered
One thing that jumps to my mind is after school activities and the school expecting him to stay for them; ie your child is chosen for the school soccer team and wont return back to the school until 5.30pm and then you have to drive over to pick them, drive back again, eat, homework....
What if he/she is sent home from school sick and has to make their own way home one day? Please do not think I am trying to put you off - I am not, but it is good to get other opinions. Personally I would consider a journey of up to an hour each way - depending on how easy that journey was, ie. 1 train ride with a short walk either side is OK (although I wouldnt be the 1 doing it), but a walk, bus, train and then another bus is not OK.
Are you thinking of Reading Sch? Is the homework quite heavy there?
Is it less maybe at Langley, (another good school,) but nearer? Also do you want coed or single? Lots to consider..........perhaps do the journey to see initially? Good luck!! USA


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 8:57 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 8:54 pm
Posts: 1770
Location: caversham
BW,

A work colleague sent son from Ascot area to Blue Coat at Sonning for five years, in the end the they regreted it, the travelling, after school activities and socialising ( very important for teenagers ) became a travel pain. For sixth form went to local comp. and was much happier.

Thought briefly about these issues last year and decided from Caversham ( North Reading for our international readers ) it would be local grammar or reasonable local comp. Decided the next jump a journey to Slough for grammar would be a logistical and social disaster.

Everyones circumstances are different and that's one of the tough parent tasks, you have to make a decision ! But at least you are doing your best and evaluating the options.


stevew61


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 11:20 am 
I agree that a journey of up to an hour is about enough. Anything longer than that and you may have the problems mentioned re sickness, after school activities, etc.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 2:48 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2006 1:29 pm
Posts: 1805
Location: Berkshire
Thankyou all, for your thoughts. I actually had decided, for just the reasons mentioned, that local would be better.

But now I have a niggle........ am I taking the soft option? should I not be trying to give my son every chance to get into a grammar.

Other half actually goes past one grammar on his work commute, the other would be ride to bus stop, then bus to door of school. Its do-able, but the consequences, are they worth it? (sorry, thinking out loud)

Decisions! Decisions! :roll:


BW


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 Post subject: Commuting
PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 2:49 pm 
Hi Bewildered.

Do you mind my asking why would you want to travel 55 minutes when you have a Grammar school near you??

If you are in Slough then you have several options?

Mel


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 8:00 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2006 1:29 pm
Posts: 1805
Location: Berkshire
Quote:
If you are in Slough then you have several options?


Melx,

Thats my point, we only have one local option, should I not also be trying to increase his options, in case?

BW


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 Post subject: Commuting
PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 10:53 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2006 7:32 pm
Posts: 410
I'm sorry bewildered I clearly didn't get it.

The way I see it is this. If you are adamant that you want a Grammar school for your child then if you don't get the nearest one you will have to go for the next even if that means inconvenience.

Ofcourse the further away the school is means more hassle but long term you will be happy.

People have different views. Last year my son sat the Bucks test. Because of where his primary was he was also able to take the Slough test. I said that if he didn't pass the Bucks but did pass the Slough then I wanted him to go to the schoo in slough because it is a Grammar school, even with the inconvenience but my husband said he would rather him go to our catchment comp(a good one). Lucky he passed the Bucks test so it wasn't an issue. I guess it really depends on you.

Is the 55 minutes a car journey or do you mean it's a bus ride etc

My son currently gets a bus because our catchment Grammar is over 3 miles away. Although its not a long journey he still has to leave at 8.45 and doesn't get home until 4.45. It hasn't amde any difference, it's what he is used to.

Mel


If however you do have a very good comp nearer then do put that as your second choice and do't feel bad.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2006 8:44 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2006 1:29 pm
Posts: 1805
Location: Berkshire
Thanks Mel,

My reservations stem from someone I know, who often complains, that due to 'LA first preference criterea' and 55min commute, they opted for thier very good local comp, and didn't try thier very able son for 11+.
They now, quote....'bitterly regret' this decision. Two years on he is coasting in top sets, and getting into mischief, and refuses to try for 13+, as he's made friends he doesn't want to leave.
Thankyou for all your advise.
Alot to think on.


BW


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