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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:30 am 
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Are there any parents on this forum that live nearer to Chis & Sid, but have opted for BGS?

We live in Sidcup, just under 15 minutes walk to Chis & Sid, so naturally should put it down as the school for my son. But my heart tells me we should be choosing BGS. The journey for him door to door on the 51 bus should take around 25-30 minutes.

We attended the Chis & Sid open day and we seem to like it more than in the previous visits in 2015 and also in 2016. The many visits to BGS have been rather disappointing. The guides didn’t seem to be very enthusiastic about their school and we didn’t see the happy, energetic school that it’s precieved to be. Despite that, it was our first choice for my daughter, but she opted for Townley minutes before the deadline.

Our son is bright, but tends to lose focus once in a while and doesn’t re-act well in high pressure environments. We are fortunate that he can select any of the schools, and feel that a more relaxed learning environment will be more suited to him. He loves football and will have a go at any sport that comes his way. Overall a relaxed/easy going child.

So are there any BGS parents here and what made you choose BGS for your child?

Any insights would be greatly appreciated x


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 9:26 am 
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2018 8:26 pm
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We are exactly the same. C&s is a fairly sure bet and travel simple and short but we prefer BGS because of the type of child he is. I also prefer the full IB to A levels and while I know they can change it looks like BGS stay on.
I don't know if we'll be in catchment but putting BGS first because it felt more right for us. It will involve a 2 bus journey as well.
I think it's not a bad problem to have if C&S is your fallback school as it's a dream for others and we'd still be thrilled with it!


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 9:45 am 
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Ungratefulbiped, could you please tell me why you feel BGS is the right school for your son?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 9:56 am 
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Boosan wrote:
Ungratefulbiped, could you please tell me why you feel BGS is the right school for your son?

There are more language choices, a more balanced mix of girls and boys, extra maths clubs, more drama productions and I preferred the head teachers attitudes. I am
Very much interested in the IB as my children have 3 passports.
Again, I think it's such a hard choice as C&S is amazing and we'd be lucky to get there as well. But we have to choose a preference and these are the things we keep coming back to.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 10:32 am 
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Joined: Wed May 30, 2018 9:27 am
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I am a parent of a Year 7 child at BGS. We too live in Sidcup and Chis and Sid is a 25 min walk, door to door.

I agree that on visiting both schools last year, to us Chis and Sid did the better "sell" and was the more "slick" in terms of presentation.

Both schools are fantastic but for us, BGS was the better fit for our child in terms of interests and what the school offered. For example, Chis and Sid push the rugby a bit more, all year 7 boys do this on a Saturday up until October half term and the teams are selected. My son wasn't in the slightest bit interested in this and does something else on a Saturday morning so this was a small factor. Also, being in upper primary education for many years and hearing about both schools, I just felt for my own child, BGS would suit him better pastorally. I have only ever heard positive comments about the school.

It's a nice problem to have but we did put BGS first, knowing that if we just missed out on catchment (it's very tight - 2 miles this year), we were guaranteed Chis and Sid (our second choice).

In terms of the Open Mornings at BGS - my son did this. I thought this was a little odd to ask the Year 7s as they were given little preparation and also they are still a little unsure of everything, having only been there six weeks. When we toured last year, the tours were conducted by older year groups as they talked confidently about all of Year 7, the diploma they do at KS3, what expectations are in Year 7 etc. Also, it all depends on what tour guide you get - some are full of enthusiasm, others more reserved! Did Chis and Sid have Year 8s doing the day tours this year as none of my Year 7 parent friends whose children are at Chis and Sid did the tours.

Anyway, from a personal point of view, we felt we made the right decision as our son has had a great first half term at BGS and has enjoyed both the education and wide variety of events that have already been undertaken. (He also enjoys the clubs offered of which there are many but I'm sure this is true of Chis and Sid too!)


Last edited by Jenbob on Fri Oct 19, 2018 12:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 11:53 am 
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Chis and sid had 6th formers doing the tours this year and Beth's had year 7. I agree the older ones are better but my son didn't connect with what they were saying as much because they weren't "just like him"


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 1:02 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2018 8:41 pm
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Thank you for the replies!

At Chis and sid, we had two 6th formers doing the tour that had joined the school in year 7, so clearly very informative.

For BGS, we were led by a shy year 7 and a 6th former that had only joined the school the year before, so both were struggling with questions.

At Chis & Sid, we walked into working classrooms, spoke to a couple of teachers etc, whilst at BGS we were led through all the corridors and were only informed of which subjects were being taught in the passing rooms. It clearly felt both guides wanted to get the tour completed as quick as possible. It took under 30 minutes to complete and we were disappointed, along with 2 other parents in the same tour.

Since we had time to kill before the head teacher’s speech, we quickly asked for another tour. A shorter, but informative tour with a year 7 and a year 8.

I regret not attending the BGS open evening now.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 1:34 pm 
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I also found the open day at Bexley Grammar very disappointing. I went with high expectations but felt completely underwhelmed and somewhat disappointed by the school - the school felt very "flat". It just lacked something, very hard to put into words, but I found the school very dull. There was no buzz about it, even when the kids were moving around the school in between lessons. We also went during the day, had a Y7 (very quiet and unconfident) and a Y12 (really nice boy, but again, very very quiet). The children we came across were polite, but very reserved - either they lacked confidence or personality, I'm not sure which.

My DS is a very confident, self assured child, it was most definitely not the right school for him and many parents with children in my DS's class left the open day with very similar opinions to mine.

All said though, parents I know with children there seem happy with the school and it's always very popular on this forum, so it must be doing something right!


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 2:55 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2018 6:31 pm
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I had exactly the same experience at the BGS open morning too. We had a shy Y7 boy and a quiet Y12 boy who was new to the school showing us round. They couldn’t answer any of our questions and didn’t take us in to any lessons so we didn’t meet any teachers. We all left feeling pretty underwhelmed.

I know a few others from my son’s school who had a very similar experience at the open morning and evening but all the parents I’ve spoken to with children there love it so I think it is a good school - maybe just not very good at showing itself off! I thought it would be our first choice but really not sure now :?:


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 5:59 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2018 2:09 pm
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I have a dc at BGS who has been there for a few years, and also a yr 6 dc who will be starting there next September. We went to the open evening on Tuesday, and it was a completely different experience... we had an amazingly enthusiastic (and knowledgeable, and articulate) year 9 boy showing us around, who really engaged with my dc, and I had some really great in-depth conversations with most of the different subject teachers. My dc watched the science show in the classroom (lots of big flames and explosions!), had a go at making (and eating) cookies in the food tech room, and found some year 7's from our primary demonstrating some other experiments. He had wanted to come to his sibling's school anyway, but came away massively excited about it!

To be honest (for future parents), I think that if you suspect a school might be your first choice, you should definitely aim to visit on the open evening, as this is when you get to really get a sense of the school...

I am half tempted to feed people's experiences of the open mornings back to the school... I am not sure why they would think it a good idea for students who have just been there for a few weeks (or are very shy!) to be their primary ambassadors..! ;)

Good luck to everyone in deciding..


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