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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 9:19 am 
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Does anyone know which one of these schools is better? WHSG or SHSG? Obviously they are all oustanding but surely there must be a difference. Which one would you send your DD into if you have to choose between the two. I understand SHSG is more towards languages and WHSG is more towards technology. In terms of higher GCSEs, SHSG has more than WHSG. But then I am puzzled; why do you have to have a higher score to get a place at WHSG than SHSG? My DD has scored higher enough to be accepted by both schools.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 9:30 am 
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Location: Essex
I would choose the best commute. If you are coming in from London Westcliff is closer. If you are coming from Thorpe bay Shoeburyness etc shsg makes sense. Shsg is really tucked into Southend and the local roads are quite clogged and busy. The boys grammar schools are closer to each other but the girls grammar schools are very far apart.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 1:01 pm 
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Have you visited either school? They have very different feels.

My DD will (hopefully) attend WHSG in September [in catchment + above 303 score on csse test] as she 'felt' it was more her and she'd be happier there. I'm assuming that your DD will have a long commute as you've posted in Essex - Redbridge; it's important she loves the school as she'll spend a lot of time commuting and it should be worth the trouble.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 1:22 pm 
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DD has now attended both - SHSG from the very end of year 7 to GCSEs and is now in year 13 at WHSG, which she seems to have decided to move to on the grounds that it is a 20 minute walk from home rather than 20ish minutes total walking time and 3 stops on the train.

Not that she passed the CSSE exam originally, but after attending open evenings and various activities organised at Westcliff in year 5 and 6 (she was at a primary school practically on the doorstep) and also quite a few activities and events at SHSG, at the year 7 stage she expressed no desire at all to attend WHSG. We were therefore very surprised when she chose the sixth form there and she would be the first to tell you that the two schools have a very different 'feel'. I have to say that having missed the boat this time last year re returning to SHSG, she toyed with the idea of reapplying to start year 12 again there. However, she would have had to change A level subjects and would also have been nearly 20 when she finally left school, so she decided to stay where she is.

A school is only 'better' If your child is happy. Although from threads on certain other schools, it seems that some DC are made happy by having had their parents choose the best school for them, rather than what some of us might consider the best school for them.

Which school did you and your DD feel would be a happier place and a better fit for her when you visited them both?

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 9:53 pm 
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I do agree with you Toadmum each school has a different feel. But I don't understand why one needs a higher score for WHSG than SHSG? Does this mean that WHSG is better academically or has better teachers? What is it? Do you know?


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:19 pm 
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regis wrote:
I do agree with you Toadmum each school has a different feel. But I don't understand why one needs a higher score for WHSG than SHSG? Does this mean that WHSG is better academically or has better teachers? What is it? Do you know?


It’s a slightly easier (presumably cheaper) commute than to SHSG for out of catchment applicants - SHSG is about another 4 miles on from WHSG which makes a difference if you’ve already been on a bus for an hour. Therefore I’d suggest that the higher threshold is driven by larger numbers of ooc applicants electing WHSG as their first choice.

There’s no such thing as better- they’re different.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:47 pm 
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regis wrote:
I do agree with you Toadmum each school has a different feel. But I don't understand why one needs a higher score for WHSG than SHSG? Does this mean that WHSG is better academically or has better teachers? What is it? Do you know?


Pressure of numbers?

Westcliff is closer to 'London', or at least to Metropolitan Essex, so attract more OOC - and however many leftover IC places there are to offer OOC (the current year 7 at WHSG apparently had the highest percentage of IC girl's for some years, but they still nowhere near fill the available IC places), there are lots and lots of potential OOC applicants out there. SHSG normally has fewer spare IC places to add to the OOC quota, but it is perceived as Too Far to travel to by a lot, so less pressure.

I don't know about WHSB having better teachers - most of the ones I've come across seem pretty okay, but ditto those at SHSG; DD was actually pretty enthusiastic about most of hers and DS1 got 5As at A level there, hardly ever asking for any help from us and certainly without the need for any input from outside tutors, which seems to be accepted as normal at some grammar schools elsewhere, it seems.

If your DD has no strong preference, go with the one which makes you more comfortable, perhaps? But if she does, go with that one. As Leighmum2019 (with whom I - a slow typist :) - am x-posting, I see) says, it's not a question of better, they're just different.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 8:59 am 
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Thank you very much Leighmum2019 and ToadMum for your help. Now I understand. It makes sense. WHSG is closer for most ooc applicants. I am more inclined to choose it because of the commute and if she can put up with walking 25 minutes from Chalkwell station to WHSG twice a day and during winter. I will have to do a dry run with her during this half-term and see how it goes. By the way is there a way of catching a local bus from Chalkwell station to Westcliff grammars? Thanks


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 12:15 pm 
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regis wrote:
By the way is there a way of catching a local bus from Chalkwell station to Westcliff grammars?


Nope!

Where would your daughter be travelling from as you may be better looking at private bus services?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 12:26 pm 
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Location: Essex
She could get off at Leigh station instead of Chalkwell and get the 26 to Chalkwell Park Drive (Not sure that's the actual name of the stop, but it's the one near the Broker pub), or any of the Leigh Road stops along to the one just after the bus turns onto London Road and walk from there.

https://www.firstgroup.com/uploads/maps/Essex_Service_26_27_27X_WEB.pdf

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