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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:13 am 
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This is really a shout-out for Sally Anne who is the guru on these things - but I am wondering whether the distances for CGS are likely to come in much further this year. I've just measured (again) the distance and it's coming out at 3.85 miles but we are OOC. I am wondering whether it's at all possible that we would miss out on CGS (assuming he qualifies) and if I should put another grammar on the form (which would be SHF).


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:27 am 
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It's far too early - results aren't out and CAFs aren't in.

If you look at when Sally-Anne gets her crystal ball out it's usually around January.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:57 am 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
As G55 says, we don't see the preferences until late January, so that is the earliest I'll be able to dust off my crystal ball.

However, I do think that it is very, very unlikely that CGS would ever drop to below 4 miles. If you plot that distance into a map tool like https://www.freemaptools.com/radius-fro ... stcode.htm using the school's postcode of HP5 1BA, you will see that it covers Chesham, Amersham and an awful lot of fields. There would need to be a massive drop in the popularity of both the Challoners schools for the distance to become that close, and that just won't happen.

You should of course add your next preference GS/GSs as a safety bet. With 6 spaces on the CAF, you have plenty of leeway.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:06 am 
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We're in Herts S-A so only 4 choices for us.

I know you don't get any concrete figures until next year, but I know you know the area well so thought you might be able to impart your wisdom, as you have done!

I am just having a wobble. To be honest, I'm not sure I would put him through the journey to SHF from where we are so is there any point putting it on the CAF. But my husband is adamant that if he qualifies that he wants him to go to a grammar rather than the local secondary. I am going back to look at the local secondary on Thursday.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:08 am 
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As Guest55 says, it's far too early so any predictions would be nothing better than a guess.

What was the distance last year - something like 6.5 miles, from memory? Don't forget that a change in radius leads to a squared change in area. e.g. 6.5 miles radius gives an allocation area of about 133 square miles. Halving the radius reduces the area to a quarter of the original - about 33 square miles. That's a massive reduction in area (think of a ten by ten mile square being removed) and numbers of households, even in a rural county like Bucks. In other words, a reduction to a radius that would exclude you is unlikely.

Interestingly, CGS has seen a big drop in allocation distance between 2015 and 2017, of about half, but that's probably not repeatable given the distribution of the populated areas that Sally-Anne mentions.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:15 am 
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Louey wrote:
To be honest, I'm not sure I would put him through the journey to SHF from where we are so is there any point putting it on the CAF. But my husband is adamant that if he qualifies that he wants him to go to a grammar rather than the local secondary. I am going back to look at the local secondary on Thursday.

Probably sensible - you will have read of several children each year who leave their grammar schools shortly into their time there because the journey and the consequences of the journey times are just not viable for seven years.

What's the transport route and journey time from where you are to SHFGS? It's on the wrong side of Aylesbury for Herts and Aylesbury has become a horrible town to drive through at both ends of the day. Have you looked at AGS? It's a slightly longer walk from the bus station to AGS than it is to SHFGS but if you're driving your son in, AGS is probably 10-15 minutes closer by car. The last mile or two across town to Oxford Road is a horrible one between 8am and 9am.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 12:11 pm 
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Absolutely agree with anotherdad.

Please don't put it down as one of your choices if it's too far. We live in Herts too and DS1 started at CGS last month but I remember a couple of years ago finding out from this forum that SHF and AGS took children from a much wider catchment compared with other Bucks grammars. I even know of someone in my area whose son goes to AGS. We decided to visit it and really liked the school but the journey to Aylesbury took about 35 min by car (so I estimated about 45-50min by bus - or longer in bad weather!) which I personally thought it was too long a commute to put my DS through for the next 7 years. He didn't seem too bothered about the distance (as I think many DCs at this age don't really realise) but preferred co-ed to single sex so was happy not to put it down as one of the 4 choices.

I know it's a bit late in the day to ask this and it would be irrelevant if your DC didn't sit the test but do you not have the option of the South West Herts selective schools if your husband has set his sights on selective/grammar schooling?


Last edited by tropicalsun on Mon Oct 09, 2017 12:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 12:16 pm 
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SHFGS has also got more popular since it's recent 'Outstanding' Ofsted amongst other factors [results, facilities, ...]

Of course SHFGS is nearer the bus station and mixed which might both be a factor. However, I think most of us 'veterans' [hope you don't find that term offensive Sally-Anne and anotherdad :) ] would be shocked if you did not get CGS.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 3:17 pm 
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It is the fact that it is co-ed which puts SHF above AGS for us. There is a bus which takes 50 mins to the bus station so he would have a walk from the bus station to the school (10 mins?) and a walk to the bus from home (although he would most likely get a lift in the mornings to the bus stop). It is a long journey and I am fully aware that the traffic around Aylesbury in the morning is not great.

anotherdad wrote:
I know it's a bit late in the day to ask this and it would be irrelevant if your DC didn't sit the test but do you not have the option of the South West Herts selective schools if your husband has set his sights on selective/grammar schooling?


He did sit SW Herts and SCD is one of the schools we may put on the list but the journey there is not great either. He would be coming from the other direction to most of the children there. On the plus side, he already knows people there.

Guest55 wrote:
Of course SHFGS is nearer the bus station and mixed which might both be a factor. However, I think most of us 'veterans' [hope you don't find that term offensive Sally-Anne and anotherdad ] would be shocked if you did not get CGS.


That is extremely reassuring Guest!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 3:30 pm 
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Louey wrote:
It is the fact that it is co-ed which puts SHF above AGS for us. There is a bus which takes 50 mins to the bus station so he would have a walk from the bus station to the school (10 mins?) and a walk to the bus from home (although he would most likely get a lift in the mornings to the bus stop). It is a long journey and I am fully aware that the traffic around Aylesbury in the morning is not great.

Yes, it's about 10 minutes' walk across the bridge, along a footpath then across the college car park. Not a great walk in the dark so if he does go there and stays late for clubs, sports, etc. it's worth trying to find friends to walk with. There is a slightly longer route from the front of the school if it's dark, probably 15-20 minutes.

Like Guest55, I am confident that should your son qualify, he would get a place at CGS anyway, so the information above is more for other people on the forum considering SHFGS.


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