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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 4:04 pm 
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I'm trying to work out options for my daughter, I can see that there are no school buses from Marlow to WHS but a frequent public bus route there. I can't see anything for BHS from Marlow, is there any option apart from driving?

Thanks for any advice.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 4:08 pm 
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There's two excellent schools in Marlow - SWBGS and Great Marlow. I wouldn't dream of driving to HW from Marlow every day ..


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2018 11:28 am 
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Carousel run buses from marlow to WHS. I think BB16 is the number.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:27 am 
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Guest55 wrote:
There's two excellent schools in Marlow - SWBGS and Great Marlow. I wouldn't dream of driving to HW from Marlow every day ..


Agree totally- I have two children at SWBGS (one a girl) and they are both thriving- we also have many friends with daughters at GMS who are excelling both academically but also in sports and the arts.

There are public busses to WHS but be aware, unless you are in Marlow Bottom, it will add at least an hour into your dd’s day to go there rather then SWBGS or GMS. Another factor which I feel is worth considering is that GMS and SWBGS are both in Marlow town centre so easy to “hang out” with your friends. Both schools, due to their deserved popularity are only offering to catchment students (and not all of catchment) so your dd’s cohort (and friends) will be very local which makes it much easier with socialising and school clubs etc.

WHS is of course a fantastic school - a plus would be that it has a much more diverse student body due to its location (Marlow not being the most diverse town) and the fact that in recent years they have been offering much further to the outskirts of London. It’s new music block is superb. Borlase also has an outstanding range of orchestra’s, choirs etc and puts on annual musical productions of a very high level (Guys and Dolls is the current Junior Musical in production).

Comparing WHS and SWBGS there are differences in options available at GCSE:

WHS offers Business, DT - Fadhion & Textiles, Latin, RS and Ancient History
Borlase offers Computing, DT - electronics, CAD and resistant materials, German and Dance. Borlase doesn’t teach RS but instead students undertake the Extended Project Qualification in year 9 in a philosophy/ethics type topic eg should euthanasia be legalised.

WHS currently take 2 GCSE’s early at the end of year 10 - Borlase don’t do early entries.

The schools vary greatly in size - year 7 PAN’s; WHS 192, SWBGS 120, GMS 210.

GMS has started offering triple science (traditionally a reason people were sniffy about it)

GMS and SWBGS both row at national (and beyond) level - something v rare in state schools.

I would say SWBGS, WHS and GMS are all very different but all very good schools. I would give careful consideration as to whether increasing an 11 year olds school day by an hour has benefits which outweigh the negatives.

Becky High from Marlow?!? - it’d be a rotten journey to get there and I know of no one who does it who is catchment for SWBGS or WHS.


Last edited by kittymum on Sun Apr 01, 2018 10:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 10:02 am 
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kittymum, whilst you and I might view 'hanging out with friends in town' for a while to relax at the end of the school day as a positive, some parents would regard it as something to be avoided at all costs :lol: .

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:01 pm 
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Thanks for all the information and the PM. To me it doesn't seem a black and white situation, there are postives and negatives about any choice. One student who showed us around WHS said she enjoys the bus ride and guess what they do on the journey - socialise! The information about options was especially helpful as we didn't get that on the visits.

My daughter has a view that quite a few boys are disruptive although does agree that girls can talk too much. It is complicated how much to steer a child and how much to accept their views as legitimate, even if one knows they may change.

Are there local views on the Bourne End academy? The Ofsted report makes it look promising that they will be a good school quite soon.

I should say that our situation is more complicated than I want to go in to in public at present so that is why my questions are about multiple schools. We've been in Bucks for ten years so hope we are not in the tourist category!


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:32 pm 
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I'd avoid Bourne End - it was Wye Valley before and has not been a strong Upper; GMS is much better.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:05 pm 
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Why does your dd feel boys are disruptive and girls talk too much? I think Boys can also talk too much and girls can be disruptive. Certainly these boys are still managing to get a large number of very high grades so they can’t be too bad.

I read on another thread that you felt girls did better in STEM subjects in a single sex environment. That may be true but they can only do that if the options are offered to them. Borlase has a hugely popular STEM fair every year where the very large number of students taking part in the CREST awards present their work. They also run an annual trip for year 10’s to Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama which is attended by 30-40 students (many girls) each year - these are not opportunities offered at WHS. WHS certainly historically was the more popular choice for girls in Marlow but I would say over the last 3 or 4 years things have definitely shifted. Every year there are some girls who take the year 9 entry test for Borlase and transfer (Borlase takes extra students into year 9). Nearly 200 girls per year can create a very pressurised environment and is not without its problems - obviously these problems can also occur in a mixed sex environment.

Borlase does a minumtally awful open evening and is not representative of the school. They pull from the smallest catchment distance of all the Bucks Grammars and have the highest progress 8 score so they’re obviously doing something right. I can honestly say I don’t know any parents who aren’t delighted with the school and the students are immensely proud of the school and it’s heritage. Some people seem to sometimes have odd views about Borlase but these always seem to be people with no direct experience of the school. It is a Marlow school though and Marlow isn’t everybody’s cup of tea! All the Bucks Grammars are superb schools however so it’s a question of deciding what you’re after.

Why consider Bourne End Academy if you live in Marlow? It is not well thought of but I don’t know anyone who has children there. Cressex seems to be finally in the ascent and I know a few people who are very happy there. But really, Upper wise if you’re in Marlow you have GMS - it’s fantastic and the best non Grammar option in Bucks.

Re socialising on the bus - yes some do but only if your friends are on the same bus! The girls come from as far away as London so a massive area - March allocations - SWBGS 3.3, GMS 4.1, WHS 11.8 is a huge difference.

What are you / your dd looking for in a school? You said on another thread she wanted to get away from her younger brother - rest assured in secondary school siblings do not acknowledge each other :lol:


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