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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2014 6:48 am 
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Off to look around the Grammar today as its been a while since the open evening. We are really struggling with the final decision and choice of school.

I'd say we are 80/20 towards The Bishop of Winchester at the moment but our son feels he wants to go to BS mainly down to peer pressure and his fear that for some reason, people wont believe he passed.

Its so difficult when you have two good schools to not worry what would have happened if you'd chosen the other one. We know he will get good results whichever school he attends so we are more concerned about the social side and pastoral care than just the results table.

The good wife is struggling to sleep its stressing her so much! Whichever we choose, we will probably have some regrets over the decision.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2014 8:20 am 
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Congratulations! By all margins of error 246 is certainly top 120.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2014 3:13 pm 
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BournemouthDad I'm surprised that with such a great score you would favour Bishop of Winchester over the grammar school? I know that B of W has improved a great deal in the last couple of years (since it was 'twinned' with BS) but the grammar is a great school. What is it about BS that you are less keen on if you dont mind me asking? I have two sons at BS incidently so I declare a bias. :)


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2014 4:28 pm 
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bumblebee wrote:
BournemouthDad I'm surprised that with such a great score you would favour Bishop of Winchester over the grammar school? I know that B of W has improved a great deal in the last couple of years (since it was 'twinned' with BS) but the grammar is a great school. What is it about BS that you are less keen on if you dont mind me asking? I have two sons at BS incidently so I declare a bias. :)


Everyone thinks we're crazy :)

Having a son with no self confidence or work ethic who goes to Bishop and has been turned into a super high achieving and confident young teanager by a school of inspirational teachers, we are biased too. We love the Bish and know our youngest would flourish in the environment. We list everything we look for in a school and we start to question not why should we choose the Bish but why would we choose the Grammar.

Every promise that was made to us when our son first went has been met and exceeded. Their pastoral care is beyond compare. They don't select the children that go there but they inspire every single one of them and we are massive supporters.

We went around Bournemouth school today and the head boy was very impressive and we enjoyed our tour. At the moment I feel it will be down to my sons wishes and I believe it will be BS but we are taking him around BoW tomorrow and see how he feels.

Either way, he should get a fantastic school.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2014 6:43 am 
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What a glowing report. Your son will be well set up in either school just by having such great support at home. :)


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2014 11:14 am 
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bumblebee wrote:
What a glowing report. Your son will be well set up in either school just by having such great support at home. :)


Thanks Bumblebee. We took a tour for an hour and a half this morning around The Bishop for our son to get a feel for the school. Its a stunning building now and their staff to pupil ratio is extremely high. My wife and I love the place but I think its going to come down to what my son wants and needs. He's a studious boy who wants to stay with those who work hard in class and not with the kids he says annoy him and others.

We can understand that and it makes sense.

I keep reminding my wife that we are in an extremely enviable position in having two amazing schools within walking distance and which we can choose from but I guess that doesn't make it any easier. :)


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2014 12:27 pm 
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Bournemouth Dad - difficult choice for you all. Let us know what you decide!

I have a few doubts about the Grammar School too but think it is the best option available for my son. Personally I would prefer a mixed school that is slightly more relaxed, however, it is probably a good fit for him as he is extremely keen to learn.

Bumblebee - Sounds like your boys are getting on really well there. Would you say that the pastoral side of the school is good? Do a lot of the pupils live near the school or is there a lot of travelling for them to have a social life? Have they made lots of new friends or stuck with friends they knew from before? Are they split into ability sets? Are the lessons fun or do they feel a lot of pressure? Is the homework full on? I am wondering how my son will cope if he is not top anymore! Sorry a million questions for you but it is hard to tell what a school is really like from just the open day!!


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2014 1:46 pm 
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Bomoboy wrote:
Bumblebee - Sounds like your boys are getting on really well there. Would you say that the pastoral side of the school is good? Do a lot of the pupils live near the school or is there a lot of travelling for them to have a social life? Have they made lots of new friends or stuck with friends they knew from before? Are they split into ability sets? Are the lessons fun or do they feel a lot of pressure? Is the homework full on? I am wondering how my son will cope if he is not top anymore! Sorry a million questions for you but it is hard to tell what a school is really like from just the open day!!


Great questions Bomoboy, surprised I didnt think to ask them :)


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2014 2:04 pm 
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Interesting point about not being top anymore. The change in dynamic was highlighted during our tour yesterday when there was the head boy showing us around. We were a small group of two boys with their parents and both the boys wore their head boy shield badges too.

You realise that its suddenly a group of boys who, up until now, have been use to being the high achivers in their relative schools and social circles and now they will be amongst a group of peers where they must find their place again.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2014 3:13 pm 
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OK thats a lot of questions lets see...I think the pastoral care is good. I have never had any worries. There is no bullying that I ever hear of. My sons are very different, one is a high acheiver who prefers his own company and he thrives there and has made plenty of friends even though he doesnt socialise much. My younger son is bright but lazy and has a whole bunch of friends from across the board from his old school (local authority primary) and from BS; some from lower income fmailies like our own and others from wealthier families of which there are, lets face it, plenty at BS. They all muck along quite happily. The travel thing doesnt really affect us we live locally and plenty of the boys do (although many do come from outlying areas too). both boys attend after school activites a couple times a week and catch buses home. Ability sets...yes they stream maths at yr9. Are lessons fun. Hmmm. thats a tricky one. It depends doesnt it on whether you like the subject. I cant think of much that would make Latin fun but they do get to do a great project on Gladiators so yes you can even make Latin fun. Pressure is also a funny word. They are expected to pay attention in class and keep up with work and homework. But if they are struggling then strategies are put in place to help them. I havent had experience of that though. My high acheiver has never felt any pressure (apart from self imposed) and my lazy boy doesnt complain of it. In fact any pressure he feels would come from me hassling him to do his homework. He's a slippery snake and will avoid homework if at all possible. Is the homework full on? In my opinion no. In KS3 they are advised that an hour a night is about right but in my experience they pile it on thick and fast in the early terms to get the boys into a routine and after that it eases off somewhat. My yr9 does about half an hour a night. But not on a sports night. Or a scout night. Or a Dr Who night or any night when he can avoid it. LOl. He will do homework on the school bus or in the breaktime or library if he hasnt done it in time. They will get detention if homework isnt done. You might think its full on to start with but like I say they do set a lot to start with. But not hard or time consuming stuff. Design a title page for your geography book or learn some french vocab. that sort of thing. Nothing to worry about.Further up the school they do a lot more homework. My yr 11 does about two hours a night but I think that is common across all schools when the get to GCSE's. So, I would say pressure is not undue and homework is perfectly do-able. Not being top anymore. Hmmm. I dont know your son obviously but i seriously dont think this will be a problem. Everything about secondary school is so new and different to primary that he probably wont notice where he is academically in the grand scheme of things for quite a while. He will be much more aware of being part of a shiny new yr 7 intake to start with. But he will have that in common with all his cohort. i hope some of this helps. There is nothing to worry about. The school is great and the boys are well treated. :wink:


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