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 Post subject: Impact of travel on GCSE
PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:07 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:00 am
Posts: 36
Location: Romford
I see lot of parents ready for their DS to travel upto an hour to KEGS or CRGS or KEGS or QEB either coach or train.

I want to know from parents whose kids travel, how the GCSE results are after 4 years of travel for 5 days a week. Does that impact the studies (leave alone the extracurricular activities).
Which is better?

A grammar school lower in rank but closer to home
or
A grammar school top on the list of league tabels which takes an hour of travel.

Am yet to fill the CAF form based on parents' experiences which might help me to take a decision.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:17 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:49 pm
Posts: 161
All the grammar schools in Essex are excellent schools. If one is much easier to get to than the others, then your child is less likely to be tired, will probably have more local friends and will be able to join in the life of the school much more easily. All these factors will increase their happiness, and I very firmly believe that if they are happy, then they will do well.

My DS1 and DS2 travel half an hour on a school bus to WHSB and that is manageable. When they stay late, the journey home is a bit more effort - bus and then train, but again it is manageable.
If the journey was much longer, then I think it would have taken more of a toll on them, although I know there are many boys who do travel further.

Hope this helps.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:20 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:41 am
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Location: Essex
jaypn2009 wrote:
I see lot of parents ready for their DS to travel upto an hour to KEGS or CRGS or KEGS or QEB either coach or train.

I want to know from parents whose kids travel, how the GCSE results are after 4 years of travel for 5 days a week. Does that impact the studies (leave alone the extracurricular activities).
Which is better?

A grammar school lower in rank but closer to home
or
A grammar school top on the list of league tabels which takes an hour of travel.

Am yet to fill the CAF form based on parents' experiences which might help me to take a decision.


You do realise that the student has to do a lot of the work when it comes to external exams? It's not just the effort on the part of the teachers and certainly not where the school ranked on a league table on the results of a bunch of students who left seven or eight years before yours even started there. The school with less cachet but a shorter journey will give them more time to get on with the work required and for extracurricular activities.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 6:09 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:28 pm
Posts: 2845
Rankings are a very small part of the information you should be using to make your decision.
You need to choose the school that's best for your child.
Rankings are figures and to even use them as any kind of guide you need to drill down and really get to the bottom if what they are telling you.
For example, if a school has a super selective intake from families who prioritise education the fact that the GCSE exam results are fantastic isn't only down to what the school is doing.

Moreover if your child doesn't fit at the school then they won't do their best, however good the school is. My current were at a super selective and very rarely you would see a student who just didn't fit - they hated the discipline and the expectations - and it was a real shame.

Once schools are providing a decent education any differences become marginal for an individual child and much less important than the behaviour of the child themselves.

If you have a really good school close by then I would think long and hard about sending them significantly further afield. I'd want a concrete reason at the very least, not just statistics.

The league tables may have some purpose but I worry that they new parents are misled into making decisions based in spurious information. It's natural to want the best school for our children and producing the tables gives the impression that the choice is obvious when it really isn't!

I hope you work your way through this and find the best for your child.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 8:36 am 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 1:05 pm
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Location: Reading
Not in Essex, but in the last couple of weeks before half term my DD has stayed at school several times. Once to work on her gcse textiles coursework and twice to work on her gcse music composition. One of those time she was able to dicuss her work with her teacher.

She was able to do this and still get home, do other homework, have tea and then have some chill out time, because her travel time to school on public transport is about 30mins tops. As gcses approach more teachers will be offering booster sessions after school. She will be able to attend as and when she feels the need, without worrying about the imoact of a long journey home afterwards or indeed needing to leave when school finishes because she is relying on private transport or car shares.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 3:17 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2012 9:38 pm
Posts: 45
Lesser the travel time, better it is. Travel time does start having an impact (more in earlier years). By the time they get to GCSEs year, they are a bit older (able to travel alone) and would have experienced different journeys (bus/train) a few times at least.

My DD is in CCHS, travel time around 35 minutes. Some of her friends spend a bit longer (10 minutes more on the train).

Local girls in Chelmsford, do benefit from 5 minutes travel time and definitely take more part in the life of the school (pre and post school activities).


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 10:27 pm 
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Posts: 163
I don't know how the girls in my daughter's year do the journeys. One does Dagenham to Colchester daily and routinely falls asleep in class. Why would you do that to your child?

Also part of what makes a school great is the atmosphere the extra curricular events the sporting success the pride the kids have in their teams and productions. How can you share in that if you aren't allowed to participate in it because you have to get on a privately arranged coach that leaves 2 minutes after the bell rings?

I get so cross at parents who will send an 11 year old on a crazy commute they won't do themselves


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 11:16 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:00 am
Posts: 36
Location: Romford
KB wrote:
Rankings are a very small part of the information you should be using to make your decision.
You need to choose the school that's best for your child.
Rankings are figures and to even use them as any kind of guide you need to drill down and really get to the bottom if what they are telling you.
For example, if a school has a super selective intake from families who prioritise education the fact that the GCSE exam results are fantastic isn't only down to what the school is doing.

Moreover if your child doesn't fit at the school then they won't do their best, however good the school is. My current were at a super selective and very rarely you would see a student who just didn't fit - they hated the discipline and the expectations - and it was a real shame.

Once schools are providing a decent education any differences become marginal for an individual child and much less important than the behaviour of the child themselves.

If you have a really good school close by then I would think long and hard about sending them significantly further afield. I'd want a concrete reason at the very least, not just statistics.

The league tables may have some purpose but I worry that they new parents are misled into making decisions based in spurious information. It's natural to want the best school for our children and producing the tables gives the impression that the choice is obvious when it really isn't!

I hope you work your way through this and find the best for your child.



Sure. Agree lesser the travel, the better the outcome and performance.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 11:33 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:41 am
Posts: 7685
Location: Essex
Proudmumregardless wrote:
I don't know how the girls in my daughter's year do the journeys. One does Dagenham to Colchester daily and routinely falls asleep in class. Why would you do that to your child?

Also part of what makes a school great is the atmosphere the extra curricular events the sporting success the pride the kids have in their teams and productions. How can you share in that if you aren't allowed to participate in it because you have to get on a privately arranged coach that leaves 2 minutes after the bell rings?

I get so cross at parents who will send an 11 year old on a crazy commute they won't do themselves


'But there aren't any grammar schools here in ...' <names place which followed central government policy and embraced the comprehensive system years before the poster was born, let alone decided to go and live there>.

'We can't move, it's cheaper for DC to commute than for two adults to do it' <Plus, we might want the child to spend seven hours a day there at school, but not a minute longer and we've no intention of spending any time at all in the place ourselves'> / (Genuine post this, from a couple of years ago) 'DC will be going to Westcliff. We've never been there. Is the area safe?'

'We only want what's best for our children'.

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