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 Post subject: Bexley Grammar School
PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2021 12:24 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2018 10:53 am
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Hi,

Does anybody have any recent opinions on Bexley Grammar School? There's a lot of discussion for Townley and Chis and Sid but I'm struggling to find anything on BGS (and Beths, but to a lesser degree) which seems strange.

We went on a tour the other day and I was expecting to love it but came out with a feeling of meh. The curriculum seems fantastic and I can't fault the behaviour of the children but it all just felt a bit, well, tired and shabby. I'm trying really hard to look past that as I know it's ultimately not important, but I can't shake off the feeling of disappointment.

I love the idea of the IB in the sixth form but it seems such a way off, it seems silly to base our decision on that!

Any recent experiences? Happy children there? Or is Chis and Sid just the more popular school?

Any thoughts gratefully received...

Thank you!


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2021 2:54 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2021 9:56 pm
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Zephy wrote:
Hi,

Does anybody have any recent opinions on Bexley Grammar School? There's a lot of discussion for Townley and Chis and Sid but I'm struggling to find anything on BGS (and Beths, but to a lesser degree) which seems strange.

We went on a tour the other day and I was expecting to love it but came out with a feeling of meh. The curriculum seems fantastic and I can't fault the behaviour of the children but it all just felt a bit, well, tired and shabby. I'm trying really hard to look past that as I know it's ultimately not important, but I can't shake off the feeling of disappointment.

I love the idea of the IB in the sixth form but it seems such a way off, it seems silly to base our decision on that!

Any recent experiences? Happy children there? Or is Chis and Sid just the more popular school?

Any thoughts gratefully received...

Thank you!


I have a friend with a DD there, she loves it. I think the issue with Bexley is the cut off distance. It’s too short (no more than 3 miles usually) so many people like me do not even consider this as an option…


Last edited by Frbm on Sat Oct 16, 2021 6:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2021 10:57 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2021 10:52 pm
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I have friends and colleagues with kids at BGS and they are really happy with it. It's probably the best of the bunch and has an outstanding Ofsted along with excellent results. But, overall feelings stand for a lot so if you felt meh about it I would avoid it. People move into my neighbourhood for the local secondary but I have the same reaction you do to BGS. For that reason, I won't be sending my child there. Gut feeling stands for a lot...


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2021 7:18 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:55 pm
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BGS is our local grammar school and only about a 15 minute walk, which would have been ideal for my daughter when she passed the 11+. However we had the meh feeling too and my daughter much preferred Chis & Sids. Her choice was all based on feeling but it was the right choice for her and she left in the summer having spent 7 happy years there. How does your child feel about the schools?


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2021 10:40 am 
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Thank you all for your replies.

My DS looked absolutely terrified on the tour and was uncharacteristically quiet so I think this was the reason behind my doubts! He had been very excited about the visit so I was surprised by his reaction.

It hadn't actually been on our radar as we live too far away but DS had a (surprising) top 180 score so we looked round out of curiosity. I couldn't get tickets for C&S so we're having to go by their virtual tour. I absolutely loved Townley when I looked two years ago with my DD but sadly it didn't stretch to us that year; I think I had been expecting the same feeling for BGS, especially as it seems so elusive.

Not really sure what to do in terms of the CAF. We're still waiting on Kent results but we're OOC so not confident we'll get enough for our first preference (Bexley test style suited my DS more than Kent).

I took him to our local school, which is a feeder from our primary, but he really didn't like that one either. I'm beginning to think he's just really fussy!


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2021 3:15 pm 
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What would the travelling be like to the schools you are considering?


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2021 2:22 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 30, 2018 10:27 am
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Hi!

My DS currently attends BGS. When we looked around the schools a few years back, we also felt a bit “meh” about it, especially compared to Chis and Sid which definitely, we felt, did the better sell. So, why did we go with BGS when a) we actually live closer to Chis and Sid and b) Chis and Sid felt the “better sell”? Because BGS felt the “better fit” for our son and his interests, not Chis and Sid, and knowing the school from previous parents had the gut instinct this was the right choice for him. And in all truth, this, has proved to be the case. Now in KS4, and very happy there. Essentially, one size does not fit all and all the grammars have their own “thing” as it were. It’s what feels right for your child.
On reflection, I almost felt that the school doesn’t put in as much effort with Open Mornings/Evenings perhaps as it just knows its reputation precedes it in terms of academic success and pastoral care and it knows it will fill its places year on year. Every year, it has the closest catchment of the selective schools (last year 2.5 miles, Chis and Sid 4.4 miles) and looking at last year’s preference choices in the Secondary Admissions it had over 3000 (3154) applicants, more than the other selective schools (Chis and Sid 2567, BETHS 1515, Townley 1819.)


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2021 3:20 pm 
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Travelling times are very feasible from where we are, for the right fit. BGS is closest with a 20 minute train journey (direct) and then the 15 mins or so walk from the station. I don't think that's too far to travel for a secondary school.

Chis and Sid would require a change, nothing onerous, but maybe he would have more local friends if they're travelling in from further afield.

I'm also not ruling out our local comp as it does seem to be gradually improving. Although at the moment there are still a lot of fights and disruption in the classrooms. Also, parents I know with children already there have voiced concerns that the bright kids in the top sets are not being stretched enough.

Actually, reading that back, perhaps I will rule it out!

I hope my previous posts didn't come across as negative; I know BGS has a great reputation and I do feel incredibly lucky to have the choice.

Jenbob, thank you so much for your reply and I agree, I also thought it wasn't sold enough, particularly to parents of boys.

I wish your son success in his KS4 journey. The young man who showed us round was a real credit to the school and he'd chosen BGS sixth form over a top performing Kent Grammar so the school must be doing something right!


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2021 10:11 pm 
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Zephy - yes, the head did the same thing all those years back when we toured the school and speaking to parents since and again, this year - really pushes for the girls every year. This is because the school is weighted roughly 2/3rd boys to 1/3 girls I believe, as it appears that many parents of daughters want the single sex education of Townley, BGS's near neighbour.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2021 7:40 am 
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Jenbob wrote:
Hi!

My DS currently attends BGS. When we looked around the schools a few years back, we also felt a bit “meh” about it, especially compared to Chis and Sid which definitely, we felt, did the better sell. So, why did we go with BGS when a) we actually live closer to Chis and Sid and b) Chis and Sid felt the “better sell”? Because BGS felt the “better fit” for our son and his interests, not Chis and Sid, and knowing the school from previous parents had the gut instinct this was the right choice for him. And in all truth, this, has proved to be the case. Now in KS4, and very happy there. Essentially, one size does not fit all and all the grammars have their own “thing” as it were. It’s what feels right for your child.
On reflection, I almost felt that the school doesn’t put in as much effort with Open Mornings/Evenings perhaps as it just knows its reputation precedes it in terms of academic success and pastoral care and it knows it will fill its places year on year. Every year, it has the closest catchment of the selective schools (last year 2.5 miles, Chis and Sid 4.4 miles) and looking at last year’s preference choices in the Secondary Admissions it had over 3000 (3154) applicants, more than the other selective schools (Chis and Sid 2567, BETHS 1515, Townley 1819.)


Wow! How come so many applicants when only 2000 pass??


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