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PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2019 10:59 pm 
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Struggling a bit to decide how to order our preferences. Any thoughts on Burnham, Furze Platt or John Hampden?

Son was set on Furze Platt for years until we went to a John Hampden open eve in July, all of a sudden he was desperate to go there instead and asked to do the 11 Plus (fortunately we'd already entered him just in case!).
We've always had a strong preference for mixed schools but were happy to let him have a major say. Took him to see SWBGS and he now puts that as equal with JH so we will be putting SWBGS first. Checking admissions policies and past allocations it looks he has a high chance of being allocated any one of them but I want to be happy with the second choice too.

Burnham grammar is our closest but we haven't seen it for about 8 years, somehow I'd managed to forget all about it. We're going to go and take a look next week. Not sure about the traffic at peak times as it always looks bad in that direction from us, but know in the past there was a school bus so may well still be one.

We've heard more and more negative feedback about JH recently and that coupled with the fact it is single sex is making me more inclined to suggest he puts Furze Platt or Burnham first. There are buses to JH but I think it would be the longest journey and is one I'm not too keen on myself on the occasions he needs transporting.

Son hates sports and despite our best efforts hasn't found any particular hobbies or interests outside of school yet so no major preferences extra curricular wise to sway things. He also seems to be a bit of an all rounder academically.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2019 8:38 am 
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Quote:
Took him to see SWBGS and he now puts that as equal with JH so we will be putting SWBGS first. Checking admissions policies and past allocations it looks he has a high chance of being allocated any one of them but I want to be happy with the second choice too.

Have you double checked the diatnaces? Are you in catchment for SWBGS? Last year it went to 1.739 miles in March 1st, and 1.76 miles in the second allocation round. BCC don't publish later rounds, but I doubt it moved very much.

Quote:
Burnham grammar is our closest but we haven't seen it for about 8 years, somehow I'd managed to forget all about it. We're going to go and take a look next week. Not sure about the traffic at peak times as it always looks bad in that direction from us, but know in the past there was a school bus so may well still be one.

I struggle to think of somewhere where BGS is closest but you would still get SWBGS, but I'm more than happy to be proved wrong.
BGS has increased in poularity enormously in the last few years. I suspect this is partly the natural waxing & waning of popularity, partly a better reputation (they had plenty of unfilled spaces a few years ago), and partly the huge enthusiasm for grammar schools that seems to get more frantic each year. BGS has a reputation for being a little shabby, but, as you will see when you visit, there are plans for a complete re-build. Mind you, DS1 was promised this when he was in year 8. He is now in his last year at university. Having said that, it really seems to be going ahead now!
To be honest, traffic is horrible at peak periods wherever you go (JHGS probably worse than Burnham).

My DCs all attended BGS and it is a good school. I have friends with children at JHGS and they have all been happy with the school. 10 years ago JHGS was much harder to get in to than it is now, as mentioned above, probably the natural waxing & waning of popularity.

I know nothing about Furze Platt, I'm afraid, other than that it has a good reputation. If it is the easiest to get to, I would be inlcined to go for that. I do think that parents have to have the major say in a school, children can't comprehend the practicalities, and will be attracted by the strangest things.As I have often mentioned on here, one of my DSs wanted to go to a particular school because the snacks served in the food tech department were delicious!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2019 8:49 am 
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Location: Essex
I had a quick look at Furze Platt, just through sheer idle curiosity.The admissions policy has quite a lot of categories - not directly under LAC are separate categories for being in catchment and having a sibling / attending feeder schools / just being in catchment, not being in catchment and having a sibling/ attending feeder schools before the 'other', iirc.

Although it does say that it takes children 'from across ... and Buckinghamshire, so perhaps the admissions policy is less de facto restricting as it looks?

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2019 9:02 am 
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Thanks sm. We are in catchment for SWBGS and already have a child there which would hopefully swing it but are a long way outside last years distance. From Burnham we are 2.2 miles (crow flies), well within their allocation distance for the past few years but not in catchment.

Yeah food has been a much mentioned factor here too, that and where friends want to go. Sadly it sounds like friends will all be going in different directions and although being with a friend might give confidence initially, again I don't think you can put any weight on where they go when making this decision as things change so much once they are there.

It does sound like the rebuild is well under way at BGS.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2019 9:12 am 
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IncyWincy wrote:
Thanks sm. We are in catchment for SWBGS and already have a child there which would hopefully swing it but are a long way outside last years distance. From Burnham we are 2.2 miles (crow flies), well within their allocation distance for the past few years but not in catchment.

Yeah food has been a much mentioned factor here too, that and where friends want to go. Sadly it sounds like friends will all be going in different directions and although being with a friend might give confidence initially, again I don't think you can put any weight on where they go when making this decision as things change so much once they are there.

It does sound like the rebuild is well under way at BGS.

Incywincy, you need to check the admissions crteria - I've just had a quick look & catchment appears to come ahead of siblings. I can't find a copy of this year's admission policy but this year's allocations says "Some allocated under rule 3 (catchment) to 1.76 miles". Assuing siblings came after catchment this year that indictaes that no siblings were admitted. They have also added some pupil premium criteria.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2019 9:32 am 
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Sm, we did the same the other day, spent ages finding past criteria (they actually upgraded the SWBGS website the day were were looking and everything moved and some stuff disappeared!). We thought the same as you initially which is why I'm a bit nervous and want to make sure we are happy with 2nd choice etc.

I did find last years admission policy eventually and it was worded in the same way as this years, with siblings after catchment. This year they have added the new bit at the top about pupil premium, and priority area to the North. Another forumer explained that where there are more preferences than places available within a criteria, they start working down the admissions criteria within that criteria, so as siblings come higher than distance, it would be siblings within catchment, before distance in catchment. Hoping that is the case.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2019 9:43 am 
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I'm sure the school could advise if you called them.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2019 9:10 pm 
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My children are at SWBGS and one was admitted under the catchment siblings rule. This is the key phrase:

10. Where the school can take some, but not all, of the children who qualify under one of these rules, we will give priority by taking account of the next rule (or rules) in the numbered list

So basically if they have more catchment applicants then places the next lower rule (catchment siblings) applies.

Admissions policy : https://www.swbgs.com/attachments/downl ... 8&type=pdf


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