Go to navigation
It is currently Wed Nov 14, 2018 6:50 am

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 16 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: South Bucks grammars
PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:25 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:38 am
Posts: 16
Hi All,

Apologies for the long post. Desperately seeking advice on selecting a Bucks Grammar school for my DS. A bit about my DS : My DS has ASD and is a shy, sensitive, anxious boy. He doesn’t like football but enjoys cricket, chess and swimming. He does play the violin and was part of the primary school orchestra but I wouldn’t say he is musically inclined. Does not like drama or being in the limelight. Although, he was part of a debating club last year and enjoyed it ,much to my surprise. So, never know….
I am currently wildly swinging between RGS, JHGS, BGS and SWBGS in a round-robin fashion. I have researched all these schools like crazy but can’t reach a conclusion.

1. RGS - DS top choice. Biggest draw for him is they don’t play football. He is ok with other sports but not particularly sporty. Known to be strict, pastoral care used to be poor before although I am hearing good things about their SEN department now. Has had a new head recently. We will have to move to High Wycombe as we are slightly further off. Based on past allocations, we have a 50:50 chance of getting this school based on distance.
2. SWBGS - Our nearest grammar. We are in catchment for this school and have a very good chance based on past allocations. Had a reputation for poor pastoral care and an emphasis on external tutoring to achieve required grades in the past. A new head has been appointed and the parent I spoke to raved about her and also the excellent school-parent communication. They are delighted with the school and it is a very sought after school in our area. We can also stay where we are and don’t have to move. The lack of diversity does concern me a bit as also the emphasis on dance and drama. Would my son be a misfit if he is not into performing arts ?
3. BGS - Has the feel of a caring, nurturing school. Good diversity. Known for excellent pastoral care. DS did not like it much but he is probably just going by the building/ facilities. We were led around by 2 year-7 girls who couldn’t give us much information unfortunately. Appears to be strong in maths, science , programming, robotics, etc which also interest my DS. The building work planned for the next 2 years in also a concern. Head is very impressive and he has a strong vision for the school. Children appeared to be less polite in corridors/less attentive in class then other schools. Also, the rooms looked really small and congested. 100% chance of being allocated this school. We would move to Burnham to be closer to the school although we are only 4 miles away currently.
4. JHGS - Was least impressed by this school. Heads talk was not that impressive. Emphasis on football put my DS off. Good diversity. Known to be a friendly, cuddly school as compared to RGS, which is a positive. We have a good chance of getting this school if put on CAF. There are coaches from where we stay so we don’t have to move from where we are. Would my DS lack of interest in football make him a misfit ? I don't think this would be the right school for my DS.

BGS was my first choice based on research but I am not sure if I should just discount the other options without considering them and my DS preference. A lot of information I have researched is a little old so things might be different now. There is very little to distinguish in terms of academic results, they all get excellent results, so I haven’t researched that area. Would really really appreciate any insights and suggestions.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: South Bucks grammars
PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:27 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 16014
Is this for 2019 entry?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: South Bucks grammars
PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:29 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:38 am
Posts: 16
Yes it is.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: South Bucks grammars
PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:38 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 16014
It sounds to me as if Burnham would suit your DS best; it is not worth moving for a school.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: South Bucks grammars
PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:53 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:45 pm
Posts: 6071
I wouldn't worry about the building at Burnham, one of the advantages is that life will carry on as normal until the new build is finished. I would recommend it, but I have to say, if you really are in catchment & allocation distances for SWBGS I would choose that one. Everyone I know is very pleased with it & there's a lot to be said for having local friends.
Football isn't big at BGS, although it is played in lessons, the main sport is rugby, but my sons weren't rugby players & were fine.

I've just reread & see that you said you would move. In that case go with whichever you feel would suit your child best. Burnham is slightly rough around the edges, but that was one of the reasons we liked it, it wasn't elitist. PM me if you have ant specific questions.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: South Bucks grammars
PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:51 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:38 am
Posts: 16
Thank you Guest55 and scary mum. We are approximately 3 miles from SWBGS and last years allocation was at 3.3 miles roughly. I'd say we have a 85-90 % chance of getting this school if we put it as no 1 on the CAF. Thanks for sharing information about sports@BGS scary mum, wasn't quite sure what was popular. Is my perception of BGS being good at maths, programming, robotics, etc accurate ? I will send you a PM scary mum, thank you.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: South Bucks grammars
PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 8:49 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2010 2:05 pm
Posts: 999
My DS has just started Yr7 at JHGS and he loves it. He is sporty though. From what I have seen so far, the pastoral care is great, particularly for those that are struggling in the first few weeks. And I've heard really good things about the SEN department. One of DS's friend doesn't enjoy sports at all, so he's getting sucked into playing a musical instrument. I don't think that your son will be an oddity if he doesn't like football. And I am most surprised that the school made such a fuss about football, this wasn't my experience when i visited the school 3 times whilst DS was n Year 6.

I think you will need to choose a school based on your 'gut' feel. I live in an area where people are raving about the local grammar. I didn't get a good impression of the school or the students, yet others in my town & this forum love it.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: South Bucks grammars
PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:30 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 9:42 pm
Posts: 894
Honestly I’d go with the school your son prefers :D Are you catchment for SWBGS?

SWBGS - Our nearest grammar. We are in catchment for this school and have a very good chance based on past allocations. Had a reputation for poor pastoral care and an emphasis on external tutoring to achieve required grades in the past. A new head has been appointed and the parent I spoke to raved about her and also the excellent school-parent communication. They are delighted with the school and it is a very sought after school in our area. We can also stay where we are and don’t have to move. The lack of diversity does concern me a bit as also the emphasis on dance and drama. Would my son be a misfit if he is not into performing arts ?

In response to these points- my children are years 9 and 11.

Miss Mountfield is Head - she was previously the deputy for many years prior to Dr Holding retiring. She is great but I don’t think she has changed tge school in any way - when she took over it was very much business as usual.

Communication is excellent and always has been.

The myth about SWBGS poor pastoral care. This has been said about school since before time began- and generally by people who don’t have children at the school. I have found it to be excellent. The school supported my family through some very challenging times. They have also been amazing (above and beyond) with one of my children who can be quite anxious.

I know nobody within the parent community who had anything but praise for the school pastorally. It is a tiny school - everyone knows everyone.

Tutoring - no it’s not rife! I know a couple of year 11’s with tutors. I also know year 11’s at GMS, RGS, JHGS, WHS, Newlands, Furze Platt and Gillotts with Tutors. I am sure there are pupils at all schools with Tutors - it is reflective of the times we live in! In general the pupils achieve highly due to a) being bright b) good teaching c) supportive families. In year 11 there are support sessions (subject specific ) every lunchtime if students need / want extra support. These are run by a mixture of staff and 6th formers.

Lack of diversity- the school is reflective of the local community which is not massively diverse. Yes it is predominately white. It is more diverse then it may first appear and there are a good few children who speak languages other then English.

The emphasis on dance and drama thing - another myth! Dance and Drama are part of the National curriculum and are taught (as is music) twice a fortnight in years 7 & 8 - as is the case in the vast majority (if not all) local schools. Some children are very into performing arts and some aren’t in reality no one cares which camp the children are in (I have one who lives for drama and music and one who doesn’t). That said the range of orchestras, dance groups and drama productions are superb and a very high standard. With so many schools closing music departments (there has just been a big report on this) I am greatful that schools like SWBGS recognise the importance of fostering creativity.

Sports are massive too at SWBGS - predominantly hockey, rowing, netball, rugby, cricket and football but pupils have also recently competed for the school in swimming, squash and orienteering amongst other things.

The school is very friendly - pupils can leave their things on bag racks safely. My children have found the vertical tutor groups fantastic.

Honestly the myth about Borlase’s poor pastoral care is just that - a myth!

Just read your post about your ds’s interests - SWBGS is v big into Robot Wars and enter it every year - there was some big event recently at school (sorry neither of my children are into it). The STEM Fayre is massive with the vast majority of students taking Bronze and Silver Crest Awards (and some Gold). There is also a KS3 debating competition every year.

Edited to add I’m sure all the other schools are fab but I don’t have children there so can’t comment.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: South Bucks grammars
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:35 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:38 am
Posts: 16
Thank you for the insights Blueberry and kittymum.

Blueberry, DS current primary has loads of football loving kids and he feels a bit alienated at playtime because almost everyones playing football. Which is why he thinks that JHGS might not be a good fit for him. It does have a more relaxed feel than RGS which would suit DS more, and if DS was football-loving, this would be my top choice.

kittymum, SWBGS sounds lovely and its good to know that being good at dance and drama is not a prerequisite. You are right, I have heard nothing but praise from the parents I have talked to. Your post has helped to clarify a lot of my doubts.

We are lucky to have the choice of such fantastic schools and I am sure DS would be lucky to get a place in any of them. Sorry for being so fussy, but DS 'subtle but significant' needs and seeing the effects of unsupportive Vs supportive schools/heads/SENCOs, I just want to make sure he is in a school where he would be happy and supported.

Time to screw on my sensible head and have a honest talk with DS. Thank you everyone for all the insights and suggestions.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: South Bucks grammars
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:45 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2010 2:05 pm
Posts: 999
My footie loving son tends to spend some of his time in the library doing his homework instead of playing football at lunchtime. Also, don't forget that there are lots of lunchtime clubs so not everyone will be on the pitch playing the game.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 16 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
CALL 020 8204 5060
   
Privacy Policy | Refund Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright © 2004 – 2018