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PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2020 9:39 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2020 7:55 pm
Posts: 5
Hello Everyone,
I hope you’re all safe and well.

I am looking for some much needed insight please. It’s been impossible to view any of the secondary schools this year due to lockdowns and open evening’s being cancelled. Although the schools have been helpful with virtual tours online and responding to some questions, I would very much welcome a more personal insight from anyone who has any experience of St. Bernard’s Catholic Grammar and Langley Grammar (both in Slough). I have all the curriculum information but it would be great to get a view on the general environment, children’s behaviour in general, anything that stands out (or not as the case may be), teaching, homework, extra curricular etc...
We have had a few people state St Bernard’s is very outdated but they haven’t been specific in exactly what is outdated (the facilities? If so which parts etc.) so none the wiser really....

Thank you kindly in advance


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2020 1:40 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 20, 2019 9:39 pm
Posts: 11
Hi,

Last year (2019) my DD was at Langley for her 11+ test. She had been to a few other 11+ tests as well. Did not have high opinions of Langley (first impression, probably skewed by prior experience of other schools). She did some research on her own - asked former students from her Primary - and ranked in this order for CAF:
1. XX
2. Upton
3. XX
4. St Bernard
5. Langley
6. XX

Placements came out in March (Upton), and Covid happened. We stuck to Upton, although were offered #1 in our CAF in August, which we decided to forego (reason: Covid, therefore alternate commute to school).

Between your two, I personally would go for St Bernard instead Langley for my selfish reasons. I cannot speak for "inside the school", but seeing from outside - on my daily drop off to Upton (15 min drive or 35 mins by coach - privately operated) - StB kids seem to carry themselves better than Langley kids. May not be the most objective measure of academic opportunities and deliveries of those schools, but worth something in my opinion.

Hope this helps.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2020 6:16 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2020 7:55 pm
Posts: 5
Thanks very much for the information 2020D2022S, it is useful and great to have different perspectives. Appreciate you taking the time to respond.

If there are any other forum members with further insight, please do get in touch :) Many thanks.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2020 2:12 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:02 pm
Posts: 7
I think the opinion varies by child. We visited all 4 and the order of preference was:
1 Langley
2 Upton
3 Herschel
4 St Bernards

My daughter felt that st Bernards was very run down and we considered leaving off the list.
We were lucky to get the first choice and she has now been at langley for just over 2 months. She is really happy, has made lots of friends (she didn't know anyone else who got a place). They have been excellent on the pastoral side and the work is challenging but achievable. The facilities are a bit hit and miss with covid as they can't run after school clubs and the library is for 6 form use only, but there is an on line order system for ordering books. Because they are in the last stretch of a significant rebuild the temporary catering facilities are not good with social distancing, particularly in the bad weather. But there will be a whole new building and dining area by time the next cohort join.

let me know if you have any specific questions and I can see if i can help


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2020 3:04 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2015 5:24 pm
Posts: 696
They are all good but it depends on what you are looking for?

Langley Grammar traditionally strong on music, previously viewed as hard-headed regarding pastoral care and SEN, though apparently more supportive in recent times according to people I have spoken to with children in the lower years.
Upton Court good for sports and sciences (mostly score based places, so be warned it does attract the “pushy parents” who tutor from
year 3 and apply from 20 miles away hoping to get a place with an ultra-high score).
St Bernards very good for pastoral care (Catholic school so there are religious aspects to the timetable and learning, you will not get in if you admit to having no faith, though practicing other-faith children do get some places)
It is a far older building so can look a bit scruffy but I’ve had friends with very positive experiences there: shiny new buildings are not everything!!
Hershel: wrong side of Slough for us so we didn’t consider. Don’t know anyone there. sorry.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2020 7:28 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2020 7:55 pm
Posts: 5
Thanks you Lewiskr and Aethel for your very informative replies.

Lewiskr: Langley was our preferred 1st choice oddly enough however we did hear through friends who have children there of some concerns, mainly based around issues the school had with teaching staff availability and low level spats between children (although a I dare say that would be present in any environment) and may well be outdated information now though. We did like the fact that the buildings are being updated to offer better facilities too, it’s hard to make a choice....

Aethel: Totally agree with your point that shiny new buildings are not everything. My DD said the same thing. We hadn’t considered St Bernard’s originally but gave it some serious thought based on the academic value ( 4 separate languages and options for 3 separate Maths subjects - maths being a favourite subject for DD) along with a perception of greater pastoral care. When asking around most people stated that the school is very much out of date so was really wanting to understand which area’s really, doesn’t bother us too much as we all really like the look of the outside but not knowing what’s on the inside is where we are unsure, are the desks falling apart, is there a smell of damp, do the washrooms have overhead cisterns etc...

We’re quite close to both Langley and St Bernard’s so either works in terms of travel. I guess the deciding factor really is the pastoral care as we believe a happy supported child is a child that learns.....


Thanks again for your replies, it does really help :)


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2020 11:24 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2013 2:36 pm
Posts: 54
St Bernards the building might be old, you cant Change it .. But they have built a lot of new Buildings adjacent to it.. Sports Hall, New Canteen.
The Pastoral Care is good.
I preferred St Bernards to Langley Grammar..
And Now with CoVID the students have to buy their own textbooks or use kerboodle.
Schools dont give textbooks anymore ..


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 4:43 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2020 7:55 pm
Posts: 5
Hi Kol, thanks very much for the information. It does help :)


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 4:58 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 15, 2018 7:39 pm
Posts: 29
Can we submit the supplementary form for St Bernard's now?


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 5:26 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2020 7:55 pm
Posts: 5
Hi, you’ll have to call the school and ask. The deadline for the supp forms was 31st October 2020 which is stated on the form itself. Worth a try though if you like the school....


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