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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:49 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2017 1:28 pm
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Hello. Has anyone's child had experience of travelling to Chis & Sid from West Wickham? I'll be very grateful if you could share the realities...


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:10 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:24 pm
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Location: Petts Wood, Bromley, Kent
I think that distance has been too far for a good number of years so you are looking at a small audience of people who had children in the school and then moved away or top 180 scorers (not all of whom will have chosen any Bexley grammar let alone Chis & Sid). Train wise you are probably looking at going upto town and then back out to get to Sidcup. Do you know that you could get this school if you put it on your CAF or are you at the stage of deciding which tests your DC will sit?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:19 am 
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My son is in 180... Was a bit of a shock as wasn't tutored, just occasioanl Bond book. We have a good comprehensive in 15 min walk. For Bexley, it's either 2 trains, or 2 buses, leaving house at 6.30-6.45, and lots of me driving first years, that's why was hoping for smb's personal experience if it's doable at all...


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:34 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:24 pm
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Location: Petts Wood, Bromley, Kent
Congratulations to your DS, an amazing achievement. DD is at a grammar where girls come from a 9 mile radius, for us it is nearby. Some of those that do come a long way are more tired but they do seem to be committed to the school and none have dropped out. I think being able to travel by public transport rather than a private coach has helped with integration too (after school fixtures and clubs). I know some who've chosen an outstanding local comprehensive over a long distant 'good' (or even outstanding) grammar, mostly due to best fit but also due to the long days that a distant school involves. Good luck with your choices, it is nice you have the decision to make.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:37 am 
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Thanks, PettswoodFiona!!!


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:27 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2014 1:06 pm
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I feel for you, it's not an easy decision, and really does depend on the child, the 'fit' and the alternatives. We live in SE26 and DS (y10)goes to St Olave's and DD (y8) goes to NW (we're just in the 9miles catchment PettsWoodFiona refers to).

For DS it was our standout 1st choice (despite the very negative online stuff one reads everywhere). He's a very academic boy, we hoped it would be a good fit, and were very pleased he got into all the grammars we picked and were lucky enough to get 1st choice. He does not mind the commute (about 50 min door to door, 24 min on the train and walks either side) really, has a group of 'train' friends, even with the odd blip over the years, have never ever regretted our choice.

DD has been another kettle of fish. Clever girl, top table, but not as 'bookish'. The good local girls comp 20 min walk away is new and shiny and on the up. Alllllllll her friends have gone there. I was very conflicted about which school to put at no 1, and in a way slightly hoped she would not pass the entrabce exam for NW so we would not have to make a choice. She passed, was thrilled is doing well, settled and happy - and yet. And yet. She finds the commute much more tiring than her brother, and she finds the pace and the pressure much more upsetting than her brother at the much more evil St Olave's. :) I think she might have felt more chilled (and more rested!) going to the local school 20 minutes away - but we only get one shot, and we made the best decision we could with the best of intentions, taking what she wanted into account (she really wanted to go to NW).

So 2 children, same commute, similar schools after same south London state primary and very different experiences mainly based on who they are rather on what the schools are like, I think. Both schools have been absolutely lovely, and effective whenever I have been in touch regarding any pastoral issue, and that's the most important thing to me.

Good luck with your choices!


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:02 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2017 1:28 pm
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Crescent26, I appreciate your insight - thank you! I must admit, I really can't say what my boy will be like - as he is very adaptive and all-rounder person....And his commute would be even longer...


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