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 Post subject: Dean Academy
PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 3:34 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2009 6:19 pm
Posts: 534
Location: bucks
Hi to Gloucestershire

My daughter who has her own particular 11 plus experience :

viewtopic.php?f=12&t=27146

Has just finished her degree and has just heard she has a place on Teach First to teach maths as a trainee teacher at Dean Academy in Lydney from next September, she and I were interested in any views from this excellent forum-font of knowledge about the school and the educational setup in gloucestershire in particular:

-Is gloucestershire completely selective so all secondary schools like Dean academy take mostly children not successful in the 11 plus ?

-We know Dean academy is in special measures but has a new Head Teacher for the last year with more favourable ofted interim reports who is himself a teach first graduate, does anyone have any information on the school what is it like etc.

-What is Lydney or indeed Gloucestershire like as a place to live ?

Thank you.

Tree


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 Post subject: Re: Dean Academy
PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 3:53 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:45 pm
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Congratulations to your daughter, tree. I'm pretty sure Gloucestershire isn't fully selective & only has a handful of grammar schools but I'm sure the locals will be along to help out soon.


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 Post subject: Re: Dean Academy
PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 9:48 am 
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I don't know the school at all as it is far from Cheltenham but can tell you that we are not a fully selective county and most of the children in grammar schools live in Cheltenham or the area close to Gloucester. It is an opt-in system and is basically not even considered by the vast majority of people who live even near me, let alone out in the area your daughter will be in.

Lydney is out on the edge of the forest I think. Tolstoy may be able to tell you more about it as I think she lived over that way once upon a time. I have taught children at home who live out there - it is very rural and a long way from any of the big towns so there will be plenty of opportunity to spend time in nature, shall we say. So while I could tell you what it is like to live in my bit of Gloucestershire, Lydney is going to be very different on every level from this. It is closer to Wales than to Gloucester, probably. I think a car will be essential.


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 Post subject: Re: Dean Academy
PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 10:01 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 9235
Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi Tree

I had a friend some years ago who came from Lydney, and she described it as "the back end of nowhere."

If she decides to take the job, I think she would want to consider living in Gloucester or Chepstow and driving to Lydney each day.

S-A


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 Post subject: Re: Dean Academy
PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 10:16 am 
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Sally-Anne wrote:
Hi Tree

I had a friend some years ago who came from Lydney, and she described it as "the back end of nowhere."

If she decides to take the job, I think she would want to consider living in Gloucester or Chepstow and driving to Lydney each day.

S-A

Gloucester is not noted for the ease of commuting in and out. It's going to be between 45 mins and an hour minimum from Gloucester to Lydney in peak hours, depending on where you live, and on traffic. Chepstow may be a better bet, though Lydney looks pretty enough on its wiki page.


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 Post subject: Re: Dean Academy
PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 3:42 pm 
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Location: Essex
Amber wrote:
Sally-Anne wrote:
Hi Tree

I had a friend some years ago who came from Lydney, and she described it as "the back end of nowhere."

If she decides to take the job, I think she would want to consider living in Gloucester or Chepstow and driving to Lydney each day.

S-A

Gloucester is not noted for the ease of commuting in and out. It's going to be between 45 mins and an hour minimum from Gloucester to Lydney in peak hours, depending on where you live, and on traffic. Chepstow may be a better bet, though Lydney looks pretty enough on its wiki page.


Isn't there a train service between Lydney and Gloucester? Although even if there is, I suppose it would depend on how close to the station the school is, or how close to the station in Gloucester one would want to live, as to how much difference it would make to travel time.

I don't know about Lydney in particular, but my mum was born and brought up in Painswick and the impression I always got from her about the Forest of Dean as a whole was akin to that which I was given about Romney Marsh when I moved to south London :shock: . Something along the lines of "not somewhere you would send your sheep for a holiday on its own" (I would say, I couldn't think what they meant, but it doesn't take long working in Camberwell to be able to work these things out, sadly :lol:). Just a vicious rumour, I'm sure. Later in my career, I had professional contact with several perfectly normal people from various parts of the Forest of Dean, who all seemed happy to be living and working there.

On the whole, Gloucestershire is is a rather attractive county, worth a few weekend recces before your DD actually makes up her mind where to live.

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Last edited by ToadMum on Sat Jun 03, 2017 8:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Dean Academy
PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 4:47 pm 
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DS has a school friend who travels daily from Lydney to Gloucester and he travels by train, if he misses it or there is a problem it can be more than an hour before the next one. I also used to work regularly in the Lydney area and road travel can take anywhere between 30mins and an hour as it is the type of road if you get a tractor, plenty of those, then it is difficult to overtake if travelling from Gloucester. The road is similar from Chepstow but less distance.

The school itself will have a full spread of abilities as not that many parents send their children to Cheltenham or Gloucester to the GSs. Plenty can't afford the costs of travel but also that there are very few school buses and the public transport is regular but more hourly rather than regular minutes. Finally the A38 which is the main road to Lydney from Gloucester can be affected by the weather and has been known to be closed by flooding as has the road coming in to Gloucester, the train line is definitely affected as well.

You might also have in the same class plenty of relatives as one of my teaching friends had in her classes, one had 2 half siblings, 3 cousins and an aunt and uncle all from the same family. She found that it was easiest to live in the forest and the school's all had a sort of catchment and she just lived outside of it. Also accommodation is cheaper in the forest than Cheltenham or Gloucester.


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 Post subject: Re: Dean Academy
PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 10:04 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2009 6:19 pm
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Location: bucks
Thank you all very much for your helpful responses, the teach first attachment is only for 2 years then you can move schools etc so I dont think this her final destination for life although I guess she may want to live somewhere a bit more exciting and commute in there are 2 teach first trainees starting and 2 from the year before so I think she is hoping to share and it being a bit like a continuation of student life but with more money.

So the reason the school has so grim GCSE results (40% c in English and maths, 12% eBac) is not because of the grammar affect then. Even though ofsted shows the school is being turned round I guess it's going to take a few years for that to work through to results, it will be a big challenge but potentially very rewarding.

Thanks again for all your input.


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 Post subject: Re: Dean Academy
PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2017 10:18 am 
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Posts: 1857
Location: Gloucestershire
Tree wrote:
... I dont think this her final destination for life although I guess she may want to live somewhere a bit more exciting

Cinderford? :)
Tree wrote:
So the reason the school has so grim GCSE results (40% c in English and maths, 12% eBac) is not because of the grammar affect then. Even though ofsted shows the school is being turned round I guess it's going to take a few years for that to work through to results, it will be a big challenge but potentially very rewarding..

A school that is being turned around is probably a good place to work for a trainee teacher - it's on the way up and will, I imagine, have outside help giving extra advice.

Although there are a one or two schools in Gloucestershire that may be affected by the Grammars, it's far more likely that they're affected by the reputation of all the surrounding schools. For example, say there's a really outstanding comprehensive and a poor one in a town, the former in the 'nice' part surrounded by middle-class housing, the latter next to a social housing estate. Then there's a grammar 10 miles away.

Parents with bright children, or wealthy parents of less-bright, will drift towards the nicer school, so the children of less-aspiring parents will go to the poor school. A few parents may send their brighter children to the grammar but many will think the 45 min journey each way, plus the extra pick-ups after clubs, etc, is not worth it.

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 Post subject: Re: Dean Academy
PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:19 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:41 am
Posts: 8925
Location: Essex
I could only see the 2014 GCSE options on the school's website - which has Philosophy and Ethics or whatever RE is called as a compulsory subject along with Maths, English, Science. So there you go: a Humanity with a fair amount of thinking and essay-writing involved, but not an ebacc qualifying subject. Perhaps it would be nicer if History and Geography were a bit more popular, but the ebacc isn't a qualification anyway.

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