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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 10:26 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2014 1:29 pm
Posts: 8
Dear all,

I am a newbie on here forgive me if I do not make sense.

I have twin girls ( year 5)who are both very academically able, I have no doubt they could handle the eleven plus pre and exams. ( we already provide maths and English tutoring as well as Kumon just to stretch them a bit more.)

My concern is not the work or their ability it is the fact that the closest Grammar school to Crawley West Sussex is unfortunatly 20miles away. (Kingston/ Sutton). I have repeatly made the decision to go for the eleven plus prep and believe that they would just adjust to the commuting but then I feel like I will be stealing away their life by making them travel so far! :? :? :?

I really wanted to gage if i'm being totally insane or whether this is something quite achievble. i don't wish to take away my girls enjoyment in learning by making then travel so far every day. In the same breath I naturally want to offer them the best starts in life!

confused.com
:?


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 10:44 am 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 1:05 pm
Posts: 4025
Location: Reading
It's not so much the distance as the journey time that is important and the ease of travel.
How long in practice would it take them door to door?
If it's more than an hour then I personally would not consider it.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 10:49 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2014 1:29 pm
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Hello,

Yes, I think it would easily be an hour, and that may not even accomodate any traffic disruptions!

x


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 11:01 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:22 am
Posts: 3664
Is this by train , a change then to a bus ? My boys go to a school which takes 20 minutes by car but an hour and 10 minutes by bus, because we live in the middle of no where and it picks up every 5 minutes. The bus also regularly breaks down , usually whilst performing a 3 point turn in the middle of a high street. They don't really like the journey, but have made lots of friends from different schools, including girls and so will often turn down the offer of being picked up :wink: . If my dd doesn't pass , our plan b school is a bit further away, although the same journey on a bus. What does put me off slightly is picking up if she is unwell, where her friends might live and open evenings, picking up from clubs in the evening etc. How long would it take you to get there ?


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 11:18 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2014 1:29 pm
Posts: 8
To be honest I wouldn't be considering public transport not for year 7 anyway ( I know i'm such a wimp!)

So my calculations are based on this ideal that I would hire a taxi service to and from the school, since they have a younger sibling who I would be transporting to and from a local school.

Your totally right about after school clubs/ sickness and collecting. I been so engrossed into finding out what the particular school need for entry than being realistic about the actual day to day experience.

I sound so wishy washy, but I really hope by not taking my girls down this route that I don't compromise them and their chancesin education. Of course, I believe they will achieve in any school but this was our little dream as independent school and fees were crossed of the list a while ago.

Maybe I just need the reassurance that this is an unrealistic dream, my hope was that someone would have the personal experience of sending their child to a school so far.

Such hard decisions !


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 11:39 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:59 am
Posts: 3579
Look at raiseonline....see the results and value added scores for your local school for high achievers only. The biggest school in your area has very impressive results from my quick look in the high achievers section. Av 10 gcse each and 91% achieved 5 a-c including maths and English. :D

Far more important than anyone on here are the opinions of local parents and particularly parents of bright kids in your year and year 6 or those with children at either school now. Remember few parents will admit to regretting their choice so listen carefully for tags that may give you more information. "They do get a bit tired by the weekend= they are knackered" "There was a small issue with bullying" without the added, "but it has been fully sorted out now" means it's on going. "Thomasina opted to stick with just the local tennis club rather than join the school club" means they don't join in after school clubs as its logistically hard work. Most importantly "we just didn't think the local comprehensive was right for thomasina, but I'm sure your girls will love it" means the person you are speaking has opinions that should not even be considered....They are snobs, nothing more.

Don't forget they can swap at sixth form age if they wish, when they are older and more robust to cope with longer days and more able to use public transport.

Taxi company for that distance will surely be astronomically expensive per month?

Don't worry, you will make the right choice, you are doing lots of probing already which is brilliant, don't forget to have a tour of the schools asap.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 11:45 am 
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Joined: Thu May 29, 2008 1:57 pm
Posts: 114
Location: Essex
Hello Hallas! My eldest son has travelled 20 (and a half, I looked it up!) miles to school for over 5 years now, and tbh I think it's done him the world of good! It was a bit daunting sending him off when he was 11 and little, but it has made him very independent and comfortable about using public transport. We are very lucky though because until this year the bus went from just outside our house! (Now we have a short drive into the next village, cos they cancelled the bus, boo). He has made friends for life on his bus; they go to different schools because I put him on the 'wrong' bus because it had a shorter journey time, but they have all got along fine and often it is the highlight of his day!

People will tell you that it's such a long day... but tbh what would he be doing between half 3 and 5 anyway? Playing x box probably... it's no great loss imo! He isn't sporty and he's never indicated to me that he's missed anything because he couldn't stay after school. Tbh we live in the sticks and my kids have got used to everywhere being far away. Wherever they go to school means a journey, I drive my younger ones 8 miles every morning to primary school!

Only you know if your girls would cope. And maybe even you don't really know till they try it! My daughter has a friend who changed from her gs to my daughter's comp because she hated the journey so much. My son has thrived on it. Others endure it! I certainly wouldn't rule out a school just because of an hour's journey time.

Ease of journey is more important than time, I think. An hour and a bit sitting on a warm bus is easier than 30 mins of changes, walks, standing around. But each to their own!


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 11:59 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:42 pm
Posts: 58
It is obvious that each of us will have our own...and very differing opinions on this: and nobody is to say who is right and who is wrong, as there is no right/wrong answer! You must do what you feel is best! Personally...if it was me? Well, i'm a believer that children should stay children for as long as possible and not be forced to grow up too quickly as once their childhood is gone, there is no turning back the clock. So, no, i wouldn't inflict such a long journey on an 11 year old child. That is more than some Adults commute to work... !! It sounds like your Children are very Bright and enjoy stretching themselves to achieve great results, so i am sure they could go to a good local school and still achieve great things!!! They will have the added benefit of still having time to be "children"... and play on the xbox.., watch tv, or play sports or join clubs. If they spent all day travelling you would be one of the Parents saying "oh, they don't do sports as they have never been sporty..."...which could actually translate to : "oh, they have never really been able to give sports a go, or anything else for that matter... as outside of school all there time is taken up travelling to and from school and doing homework...". Good Luck with your decision, i am sure you will make the right choice based on what is best for your children :)


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 12:27 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2014 1:29 pm
Posts: 8
Thank you dear all, sometimes all it takes is for someone to say, 'it's ok'.

The decision has been going round and round my head for quite a while and i'm sure the girl's tutors are fed up with preparing for 11plus and then not, only to be told months later we are preparing again !

The last thing I want to do is take my girl's childhood away from them, I am passionate about that. I'm also passionate about them being well educated with good grounding in life skills as opposed to just a life of books.

I suppose the ultimate goal is for entrance into a good Uni hence a good job! I'm confident that not all of the top perfoming uni only intake from Grammar/Private schools. In fact it may be more an achievement for the girls to get the same grades without the nurtured means of teaching in such schools, who knows!


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 12:31 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 29, 2008 1:57 pm
Posts: 114
Location: Essex
relaxedMum77 wrote:
They will have the added benefit of still having time to be "children"... and play on the xbox.., watch tv, or play sports or join clubs. If they spent all day travelling you would be one of the Parents saying "oh, they don't do sports as they have never been sporty..."...which could actually translate to : "oh, they have never really been able to give sports a go, or anything else for that matter... as outside of school all there time is taken up travelling to and from school and doing homework...".


Well you've made me feel really bad now, and like the worst kind of pushy mum, which I'm really not! :( My son isn't sporty, honestly! If he was, he could go to the lunchtime clubs, or I'd drive and get him after practices, like I do for my very sporty daughter who is at the 'local' comp 10 miles away! It's only an hour, he still has ages to play Xbox, watch Suits, meet his friends, and even do a bit of homework (he doesn't get much!). It's a personal thing, of course, but I'd just say don't knock it till you've tried it, and don't assume it's a negative, my son would tell you vociferously that going on the bus has been a really good part of his school experience! (I also think living in a rural area colours my opinion of journey times, we have to drive or bus everywhere!)


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