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PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:19 pm 
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High all wonderful parents,

I am really struggling to decide. My DD is really interested in science and maths and I am wondering which one of the 4 grammar school can be very good for that. Any opinion or experience on this at all? Westcliff Girls is called specialist science and technology school. Is it that the school will give greater importance in science as a reason? Read everything here about schools and visited them as well. Heard lot of comments from various mums whose DDs are in Chelmsford County about funding shortages and lack of up to date resources. Any view on that as well please?

Many thanks


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:47 pm 
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Location: Essex
All schools have to teach all core subjects - some may have some improved facilities 'leftover', but the specialisms went long ago.

Which school does your DD feel that she would most like to attend, taking the general 'vibe' into consideration? Which one would be easiest for her to get to and from independently? Or for you to get to for parents evenings, picking her up if she is taken ill (SHSG usually allows some leeway and when DD started there, we were asked if we gave permission for her to make her own way home, but WHSG expects you to drop everything and get to the school as soon as they ring), 3am drop-offs for trips etc?

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 1:39 pm 
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Up to at least GCSE level there us unlikely to be a significant difference that would over ride other factors such as proximity (as per ToadMum).

Possibly at A level there might be a more significant difference but that could change between now and then. In any case, pupils do change schools for 6th form.

I would start be looking at which school(s) are acceptable for traveling and then see how your DS feels about the school.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:18 pm 
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Which school is closest? Go with that one


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 10:11 pm 
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Yeah, I know deep down these are all the right points I need to look. But tbh, several parents whose DDs attend CCHS have moaned about their funding issues, them pushing girls taking up subjects other than science in A-Level, weaker teaching staff, lack of up to date resources. I am in real dilemma. Both Chelmsford, and Westcliff are nearer to us ( i,e travel worthy). I have seen Westcliff parents happier for some reason than Chelmsford. Any truth in these issues?


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 10:18 pm 
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Location: Essex
practisehard wrote:
Yeah, I know deep down these are all the right points I need to look. But tbh, several parents whose DDs attend CCHS have moaned about their funding issues, them pushing girls taking up subjects other than science in A-Level, weaker teaching staff, lack of up to date resources. I am in real dilemma. Both Chelmsford, and Westcliff are nearer to us ( i,e travel worthy). I have seen Westcliff parents happier for some reason than Chelmsford. Any truth in these issues?


SHSG parents (and girls) are generally a happy bunch.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 5:19 am 
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To get an objective view you could try comparing A kevel and GCSE STEM results with other similar schools - also looking at if non science results are stronger. However if its a recent issue the results may not yet reflect any weakness.

Has there been a recent OFSTED?

Particularly at a GS, I'd be more concerned about how good the teaching is over how new the resources are.


Its possible that the highly competitive entry process for Chelmsford means that parents have very high expectations and are more likely to voice concerns? ( just a hypothesis!!)

Its possible you might be able to raise this with an appropriate member of staff at the post results information evening?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:59 pm 
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practisehard wrote:
Yeah, I know deep down these are all the right points I need to look. But tbh, several parents whose DDs attend CCHS have moaned about their funding issues, them pushing girls taking up subjects other than science in A-Level, weaker teaching staff, lack of up to date resources. I am in real dilemma. Both Chelmsford, and Westcliff are nearer to us ( i,e travel worthy). I have seen Westcliff parents happier for some reason than Chelmsford. Any truth in these issues?


My DD1 attends Chelmsford, yes there are funding issues but no more than any other grammar school (I also have a son in Southend and DD3 in Colchester). Chelmsford no longer do DT. The staff, like any other school have fantastic teachers and some not so great. Resources all seem to be as up to date as they need to be.

My only experience of Westcliff girls was when we were looking round the school after 11+ Results and I vowed that none of my girls would ever set foot in that place!


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 4:18 pm 
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Location: Essex
pinkrabbit38 wrote:
practisehard wrote:
Yeah, I know deep down these are all the right points I need to look. But tbh, several parents whose DDs attend CCHS have moaned about their funding issues, them pushing girls taking up subjects other than science in A-Level, weaker teaching staff, lack of up to date resources. I am in real dilemma. Both Chelmsford, and Westcliff are nearer to us ( i,e travel worthy). I have seen Westcliff parents happier for some reason than Chelmsford. Any truth in these issues?


My DD1 attends Chelmsford, yes there are funding issues but no more than any other grammar school (I also have a son in Southend and DD3 in Colchester). Chelmsford no longer do DT. The staff, like any other school have fantastic teachers and some not so great. Resources all seem to be as up to date as they need to be.

My only experience of Westcliff girls was when we were looking round the school after 11+ Results and I vowed that none of my girls would ever set foot in that place!


:shock:


We were surprised when DD decided to go there for sixth form, though. And she did realise, just too late, that she really wished she had stayed at SHSG. But she did keep up with her old friends and wasn't actually unhappy at Westcliff.

I have to say that DS2 had the same reaction to WHSG as you, when he looked round sixth forms last year. I didn't even get to hear again the HT describe the Russell Group as 'a group of universities that like to think of themselves as better than any others' :shock: . Or perhaps he didn't say it that time; someone may have had a word...

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 5:58 pm 
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DD just left CCHS. She was very happy with STEM teaching. It gave her lots of opportunities but she was proactive and looked for opportunities beyond the classroom: Smallpeice Trust, Outbox Incubator/Stemetts, Stem Crest Awards etc.

She got her bronze and two silver stem crest awards during Y7-11 whilst at CCHS.


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