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PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 7:00 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2017 6:42 pm
Posts: 21
Hi,

I’m a newbie here but have been lurking for a while!

I live in Tewkesbury and have a son in a primary school here who has just started Year 5. I’m considering entering him for the 11 plus and have bought a few study books which he has been working through. We visited The Crypt on their open day in June, and I absolutely loved it, as did he - but the journey really concerns me. I know STRS and Pate’s would be slightly easier as they are closer, but even they would mean early starts and bus journeys.

The alternative is Tewkesbury School, where I went myself (many years ago!) and did very well. This would mean a 15 minute walk with his friends to get to school. I have a friend whose son is in Y8 there, and has had a few issues with bullying from other boys. I’ve also looked at the progress 8 score for the school and it isn’t great compared to the grammars.

I just can’t shake the feeling that a grammar will suit my son better. He’s bright - but I guess most parents say that about their child. Top of his class - but in a cohort of 30 I’m not sure how much that means. He’s finding the study books quite manageable, but so far we have only done the 9-10 CGP ones, with a view to moving to the 10-11 ones in due course. He’s also quite sensitive and struggles a lot with other kids messing around, and I think this is one of the main reasons I think a grammar might be for him.

My questions are:

- does anyone have experience of travel to the Glos grammars, or Pate’s, from Tewkesbury - is it feasible and do you feel it’s worth it?

- is tutoring him myself going to be enough? And are the CEM CGP books good or should I also look at Bond books? We have a good working relationship and he’s open to me helping him.

Any advice/experience much appreciated!


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:36 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:26 pm
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Make a realistic assessment of the journey time door-to-door each day for your son - from Tewkesbury by bus to any of the Gloucester grammar schools, that is likely to be around 2 hours each way, every day. Add to that the bus is not a good place to do homework, and he may be very isolated during that 4 hours if his friends aren't also along for the ride.

Try making the commute yourself once the clocks go back and see if it is really something you think he could cope with come hail or snow for 7 years.

He needs to be happy to succeed in school, and even if he likes the school, the journey could tip him into being miserable and non-performant.

If you are really convinced that a grammar school is the only place he will do well, you have time now to look at moving house yourself, even if that means you are the one to take the travel burden in place of your son.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 3:38 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:44 pm
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I'd definitely do some research into travel options before you go ahead - but I don't think it would take anywhere near two hours each way. Some children travel much further and Tewkesbury isn't that far.
If you then think it's feasible then go for it.

Lots of people go down the home preparation route.

Good luck ***


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 4:26 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2017 6:42 pm
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Motherhood101 - there is no way I would consider it if I thought the journey would take 2 hours!! The bus to STRS leaves Tewks (from the Crescent) at 7.45 and arrives at the school at 8.20. The journey to Pate’s is a similar length. For the right school I don’t think that journey time is unreasonable. Crypt would be longer and I don’t know whether there is a bus that goes there.

I’m just trying to work out whether the journey is feasible, before seriously starting down the 11 plus road. It would be good to hear from anyone who has a child already doing the journey.

Kaybee, thanks for your reassurance re home preparation.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 5:06 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:59 am
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I'm fairly sure quite a few children travel to STR from Tewkesbury: it is fairly straightforward and positively local compared with some of the crazy commutes some undertake. DD at Pates was with someone who seemed to come in from west Wales every day and one of my sons at STR knew someone from Malmesbury; and there are always those who have to come from Swindon, Chepstow and Bristol. Tewkesbury is a short hop!

As for two hours each way - is he planning to walk? :lol:


Last edited by Amber on Sun Oct 22, 2017 5:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 5:15 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:44 pm
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surfer wrote:
Motherhood101 - there is no way I would consider it if I thought the journey would take 2 hours!! The bus to STRS leaves Tewks (from the Crescent) at 7.45 and arrives at the school at 8.20. The journey to Pate’s is a similar length. For the right school I don’t think that journey time is unreasonable. Crypt would be longer and I don’t know whether there is a bus that goes there.

I’m just trying to work out whether the journey is feasible, before seriously starting down the 11 plus road. It would be good to hear from anyone who has a child already doing the journey.

Kaybee, thanks for your reassurance re home preparation.


That's a very feasible journey time! I think the bus from Cheltenham to Gloucester is just the same. We went down the tutor route rather than home prep (because I knew my son wouldn't take it seriously if we tried to do it!!) and he adored his tutor. Hopefully you will get some advice on which resources to use. I would recommend doing a few mock tests though - my son really found these helpful in terms of timings etc and we got really useful
feedback too.

Best of luck x


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:30 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2013 11:39 am
Posts: 91
There are also several car pools that often the respective school will have details of (certainly Pates helps to link parents who are travelling from similar areas), so if you have the capacity to do some of the car-pooling yourself, that is another option.

Although Pates is our local school, and our kids could easily get the local bus (cheaper), school bus (hugely expensive for the 3 mile journey), we have found that this is the best solution for us - 4 families are in the pool and we only need to do the trip 2 times a week. Admittedly we are close to the school so is easy, but I am aware of other carpools that are from much further afield, so worth considering if you have the capacity to do your share of the lifts.

Moot point otherwise!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 11:36 am 
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Tewkesbury to STRS isn't a biggie. Two of my son's friends do it every day with no problem. However, they use Bennetts coaches so it would only be a single bus to and from each day. Of itself that's no problem but at all other times, you would be looking at taking him. With Elmbridge now improved, nipping down the motorway isn't too bad a journey (accidents permitting).

For Crypt it would have to be Stagecoach you would be looking at the 71 stagecoach (https://bustimes.org.uk/services/swe_45-71-_-y10 (every 30 minutes) and then the 10 (every 10 minutes) as I don't think any coaches run there; I could be wrong though. I must say, I wouldn't put my ds through that each day.

Wouldn't know where to begin with travelling to Pates from Tewkesbury so can't help there.

As has been said, a carpool is also good, although remember you would have to take your turn as well.

You should also consider cost of transport. My dd used to go to Ribston and it was about £1000 per year. Stagecoach would be far less than that.

Ref tutor, personal choice. If he is coping OK with what your are doing, I would persevere. Loads of very broad reading and Synonym Toast (fab online game) and maths problems off the net are good. We knew our ds wouldn't work well with a tutor regime so we did DIY which worked well for us.

Mock exams for us were invaluable.

Looking at your situation I would definitely try for tommies (my ds loves it there), subject to what I've said above. Logistically, I think that is the easiest.

Bullying goes on in every school and anyone who says different is deluded I'm afraid. Kids can actually be not very nice people at all. It's how the school deals with it is the key.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 11:20 pm 
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Hi Surfer.
Eagle Line Coaches run a school bus service to Crypt leaving Tewkesbury Crescent at 7.35. Gets back into Tewkes about 4.10 depending on traffic. They also pick up for Ribston. Hope that helps.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 2:39 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2017 11:14 pm
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There are buses from Tewkesbury that serve all the Gloucester Grammars and Pates.
Crypt is served by Eagle Line Coaches and picks up for Ribston too. It leaves at 7.35am from The Crescent and gets into Tewkesbury after school at about 4.10. Hope that helps.


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