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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:26 am 
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We are in the process of looking at schools, and are in catchment for DCHG, BHS and CGS. We have been told that DD is exceptionally able (rightly or wrongly?!) so will aim for transfer test, which of course has no guarantees, and are also considering trying out for scholarship. Aside from RMS and Pipers, we are not too far from St. Helens and Northwood College, and would really appreciate any info on these schools.
Firstly, given the choice, would either of these schools be considered academically superior to the Bucks Grammars mentioned? We are particularly interested in Maths & Sciences, so it's important that these are popular, well taught subject areas. And how would pastoral care compare? We'd like to strike a healthy balance between the two if possible, but I suppose we all want that! :)
Also, how do schools like RMS and Pipers, compare to the North London schools?
With regards to admission and scholarship in particular, how attainable are these, and would a good scholarship award, out plum one or the other?
I get the impression that Northwood seems to award more 'easily', but has a good pastoral care reputation, and comments on lack of diversity have also been mentioned, so it would be interesting to hear from anyone who has experience of these schools.
Thank you for reading!


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:41 am 
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Welcome -

Are you sure you are actually live in catchent for three Grammars? Do check on here: https://services.buckscc.gov.uk/school- ... ns/nearest

I think Piper's Corner school tends to attract non-qualifiers so would not rival a Grammar.

Which of them did you prefer when you looked round?


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:15 am 
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Also, I note that you are particularly interested in Maths and Science - what about your DD? And, you do realise that whilst a child may consider one career option in Y6/7, they may well change their mind (if their parents allow it..... :? ) by the time they get to 6th form....


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:18 am 
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Thank you Guest, you are most correct! Looks like CGS is not in our catchment, just DCHS & BHS.
We last viewed RMS & Pipers a few years ago with our eldest, so intend to revisit with a fresh agenda! I agree Pipers has had a somewhat less academic reputation in the past, but I have heard more positive feedback of late. And I gather demand has increased to match, tougher entry assessment etc. Which leads us to wonder if a generous scholarship, would be worth pursuing, or would having the option of Grammar, render anything else a waste of time, and money?!
With regards to RMS, we have had the impression, both when visiting and from other feedback, that it's a rather moneyed playground, so that has certainly put us off a little. Of course that may well have changed since then, so any current feedback, would be most welcome.
We have just started casting our net towards the North London side, and have registered for their upcoming open events, so presently know very little about the consortium process, or how attainable either school would be.
Thanks for your help!


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:20 am 
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kenyancowgirl wrote:
they may well change their mind (if their parents allow it..... :? ) by the time they get to 6th form....


How often that happens...

One thing for OP to be aware of is the value of scholarships - they are often of very limited monetary value, much of the funding being saved to help via bursaries


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:27 am 
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Very true Kenyancowgirl! Of course a lot could change by then. So having an excellent humanities reputation, would not go far amiss either!
We have only based this on what her particular strengths and interests, appear to be now. Of course we would support whatever she leans towards over time.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 12:35 pm 
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Piper's doesn't have a terribly good academic reputation, but everyone I know who has had children there has been extremely happy with it, especially the pastoral care. Independents in Bucks tend not to be very academic as people prefer the grammar schools (free!) If their child passes. The only person I know with a child at RMS was not happy with the care there (her daughter was very unhappy & moved for 6th form). Anecdotal & I suspect normal teenage nastiness, but a recent view nevertheless.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:31 am 
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Thsnk you Scary, yes I have also heard similar with regards to RMS. Teenage nastiness is inevitable sometimes, wherever they may be. I guess it comes down to what the overall general vibe is, and some places are better breeding grounds than others!

With regards to scholarship awards, I know some of them are quite nominal in value, but had seen mentions of larger awards, in relation to RMS and Northwood..and less so with St. Helens. Would a half decent scholarship from one of these schools, be considered a sensible override for somewhere like DCHS? And how difficult are they to achieve? Is there usually a large amount of prep required, or are they looking for natural potential? Or is that a daft question in this day & age?! :lol:


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:36 am 
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Unless you are set on private schooling, I think most people would consider a free education at a grammar school to outweigh paying anything at all. All that saved money can go towards other non school activities, holidays etc etc. However, some people prefer private education as they feel it offers something extra. Of course it also depends on finances. If you would be making sacrifices even with the scholarship, to me the answer is obvious. Only you can make that decision. And hope that she qualifies of course!


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 12:14 pm 
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Hi

it might be worth revisiting RMS as the Head has changed. Hearing positive feedback from friends who have daughters there. Also I would suggest visiting all the schools you mention on a working morning as well as the usual open day - hopefully you will get a clearer picture of school life and which school fits your dd best....


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