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 Post subject: CHG vs KE Handsworth?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:42 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:52 pm
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Hello everyone

DD achieved a mark of 242 in her 11+ last week and this had now has left us in a quandary.

Because she achieved the highest mark at her school, other parents are strongly suggesting we apply to Camp Hill. However, while we appreciate it's a wonderful school, it is a much longer commute (50 mins) than Handsworth, which is 20 minutes away, both by car.

Is CHG really that much better a school than Handsworth, as we are being told by friends and other parents? Are we being pragmatic in choosing a school that will push our daughter academically and achieves great results? It's a real hothouse for academic success. Or are we being selfish and gearing ourselves up for (potentially) 7 years of commuter misery for not much difference in schooling?

All advice would be gladly received.

Greywall


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:47 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2014 9:55 pm
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Hi Greywall - congratulations to your DD on her excellent score. They are both excellent schools and suit different people for different reasons. Some people perceive that camp hill is better maybe because of the area it is in amongst other things. The commute is an important factor and 50 minutes versus 20 minutes over 5 and possibly 7 years needs to be seriously considered. I have a DD in year 9 at Handsworth and I have no hesitation in recommending it.
Have you visited both schools - was handsworth your preference before you got the results- if so I wouldn't let others views sway you against that.
Once they start at the school the importance of who scored what is soon forgotten


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:08 pm 
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Thanks for your considered reply, Redshoes. In particular, your personal testimony with your own DD really helps.

We had always wanted DD to attend Handsworth. We know girls who have attended and they have spoken highly of the school and have done very well academically and also with their extra-curricular activities, too. We went to view Handsworth as that's the only school we had in our sights.

A few of our friends, and fellow parents at school, upon learning of DD's score, couldn't believe we were spurning the 'once in a lifetime' opportunity of not sending her to Camp Hill.

I spoke to an alumni of Camp Hill, who subsequently graduated from Oxford. When asked where she would send her daughters, her words were, "I'll do whatever it takes to get them into Camp Hill". Hence the subsequent doubt...

We're going to view CH this week and DD can assess the music and sports facilities - her priorities - for herself.

However, the commute may eventually prove to be the deal breaker, as the Green Bus sets off from Sandwell, where we live, for CH at 0645. We know DD will make her views on that quite clear!

Thanks again for the advice. We really appreciate it.

Greywall


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:25 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 10:10 am
Posts: 436
Greywall wrote:
Thanks for your considered reply, Redshoes. In particular, your personal testimony with your own DD really helps.

We had always wanted DD to attend Handsworth. We know girls who have attended and they have spoken highly of the school and have done very well academically and also with their extra-curricular activities, too. We went to view Handsworth as that's the only school we had in our sights.

A few of our friends, and fellow parents at school, upon learning of DD's score, couldn't believe we were spurning the 'once in a lifetime' opportunity of not sending her to Camp Hill.

I spoke to an alumni of Camp Hill, who subsequently graduated from Oxford. When asked where she would send her daughters, her words were, "I'll do whatever it takes to get them into Camp Hill". Hence the subsequent doubt...

We're going to view CH this week and DD can assess the music and sports facilities - her priorities - for herself.

However, the commute may eventually prove to be the deal breaker, as the Green Bus sets off from Sandwell, where we live, for CH at 0645. We know DD will make her views on that quite clear!

Thanks again for the advice. We really appreciate it.

Greywall


Our ds has a 7am start on the green bus. I wouldn't have chosen it if he'd been offered a nearer grammar! He's coping fine, but I wish he didn't have the long journey. Our older daughter has a shorter journey but gets up at the same time as it takes her so long to 'get ready' so bear that it mind too - teenage girls and their morning routines! If I were you I'd go for Handsworth. We loved it when we looked round with our daughter but we ultimately went for the nearer option ...


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 6:06 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 1:54 pm
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Well done to your daughter Greywall. We too live in Sandwell and my daughter went to Handsworth and I now have a son at Camp Hill, so I know the travel issues. Handsworth is certainly a much easier journey. My kids travel/led by public transport - a single bus to Handsworth (and later the metro) and now metro and bus to Camp Hill.

I don't know where you are in Sandwell, but if you have access to a metro stop it helps a lot of public transport issues because you don't have the hold ups you get on the roads.

All the same, my son's journey takes just under an hour in the mornings and more than an hour in the afternoons. And taking him to rugby matches and going to music things is much more difficult than it was for his sister in Handsworth.

I think your instincts are right about the travel. My son's options were not as good for travel (and music which he loves) so we went for Camp Hill, but Handsworth is really an excellent school. Much better have 5 more hours a week at home!


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 6:23 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2012 9:38 am
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Location: Warwickshire
I have no idea about either school as we never visited either of them and my DS & DD both go to KEFW.

Both Handsworth and Camp Hill are both good grammar schools, both producing excellent results.

Your daughter did extremely well, but don't feel pressured to put Camp Hill just because you can!

The commute, to me, seems the deciding factor.

Both mine travel on the green bus with a 5 minute car journey to the bus stop.

Last year the route was extended and took them an hour each way. Leaving home at just after 7 and not getting home until just after 5 (for 2 months at the start of this year, roadworks in Barnt Green added 10 minutes either way!)

This year the route has been altered. They now leave home at 7.20 and arriving back home at 4.35pm - an extra 45 minutes at home each day and it makes such a difference!

Go with your original feeling and put HAndsworth, she is obviously a very bright girl and will do very well (once she starts there you won't give Camp Hill another thought!)


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 6:33 pm 
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I had the same dilemma SCG vs camp hill-- didn't even see camp hill as we didn't expect my daughter to get in but then she scored 246

However we are sticking with SCG-- hoping we are doing the right thing!!


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:45 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 7:44 am
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I have no experience of either school but for me the travel would be the deciding factor. I only considered our local GS for that reason.
To be honest not wanting them to have a long commute was for selfish reasons as well as for them. I didn't want to have to get up much earlier in the morning. I didn't want the long drive to a school for parents evenings/ meetings/ productions etc. I work a fair way away and I would have had to take a lot more annual leave to accommodate those things if they had gone to a school further away.
I was also very grateful they go to a local school the times they were poorly and I had to rush from work to pick them up.
But like I said - I am very selfish.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:52 pm 
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I would also worry about the stress level with all superachieving kids in camp hill

Surely it will be a pressured environment


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:04 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 6:27 pm
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Location: london
I would echo what has been posted above. NO personal experience of either school but they are both excellent and travel should be a HUGE consideration given the (effectively equal) choice. What I have experienced is (inadvertent) peer group pressure from other parents when DDs were in a position to choose more 'prestigious' or 'highly regarded' options at both Uni (DD2) and secondary (DD1). It was awful, made me doubt my instincts and wonder whether I was being selfish and letting DDs down. Suffice to say DDs and I are happy we ignored the 'advice', despite it costing a fortune in school fees in one case. Go with your gut. Good luck and well done to DD for giving you such a dilemma.

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