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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2021 11:31 pm 
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Hi, I'd really appreciate some insight from those in the know.

My daughter passed Bexley and Newstead Wood exams (still waiting for Kent). Her NW score is 236 so I think she has a good chance of getting in. We are also potentially close enough for Chis & Sid and Townley.

We visited NW and I was a little underwhelmed by the building and facilities, but DD really liked it and obviously it gets amazing results. But I keep reading how high-pressured NW is and worry about lack of pastoral care.

We also really liked Chris & Sid - it had a nice feel and I liked the headteacher. Chis & Sid seemed very nice and I'm sure DD will fit in well there but their results are not as good and there seems to be quite a big focus on sport and DD is not really sporty. DD says she prefers a mixed sex school but I'd prefer girls only until 6th Form though won't use it as a deciding factor.

Townley seems to get good reviews and I like their focus on STEM and strong Performing Art provision - DD is quite arty and loves drawing and making animation.

We are really stumped as to how to prioritise these schools on CAF. Can anyone share their experiences please of these schools, either personal or through their friends/family children studying there. I didn't go to school in the UK so it's all a bit different for me.

I know it's a nice problem to have but am feeling a bit panicky about making the right choice for DD.

Thank you so much.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2021 7:56 am 
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I would go for the nearest - nice to have short journey to and from school and friends around the area


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2021 8:18 am 
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hermanmunster wrote:
I would go for the nearest - nice to have short journey to and from school and friends around the area
I'd agree with this. They are all good schools. Also, from what you have written it would appear that Chis & Sid is the winner - the results of pupils who attended a school before your DD began will most probably reflect the the intake of that cohort more than anything else. They do not determine how well your DD is likely to do there.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2021 9:19 am 
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I can not speak for Townley or Chis&Sid, but my eldest DD is in NW in year 8. One negative comment I would say is that we have had very little contact with the school, very little feedback. In year 7 we received an interim report in December and end of year report in summer, with 10mins video call with our form tutor, who just read out what was written in the report, that was it. Nothing this year. No parents meetings, I have not spoken to any of the teachers. My DDs end of year report indicated that she is not strong in a few subjects, particularly English, and again, there is no support, no plan for further action, no additional conversation with parents. It felt like it was given to the parents to sort out / improve if we want to. My DD says some of her friends in year 8 already have tutors outside of school!
For full disclosure – my second DD is applying to NW this year, so I am not trying to put anyone off to reduce competition! We are applying again because the school has a good reputation overall, but mainly because we have little choice from where we live, there are no other grammar schools in the area.
Hope this helps.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2021 9:40 am 
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Thank you so much everyone for your thoughts on this so far, very helpful.

Anna2018, thank you for your feedback on NW. It's a little disappointing to hear that communication with parents is poor :(

We are going to visit NW again tomorrow for a sense check and to see if DD still feels positive about it.

Distance wise, NW and C&S are similar travel times, and Townley is a bit further but not massively.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2021 3:06 pm 
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Proudmum2021, I am exactly in the same boat. With same questions, about same 3 schools. To make things worse, I have twins, with completely different characters, although they want to go to the same school. The more I think, the more I feel uncertain. I think I’ll have to decide based on my gut feeling. Distance doesn’t help me either, both C&S and Newstead are quite the same. One minor comment, I had the opposite impression re STEM for Townley. It has the lowest attainment 8 in maths and science among the 3. The only subject they are higher than C&S is English, still below NW. Could you tell me a little more on your view about it?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2021 9:31 pm 
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Frbm - yes, you are right, Townley is lowest in terms of maths attaintment. I've spoken with a few people now, one who's got 2 daughters at NW. She loves the school. My dd's tutors also recommends NW as the 1st choice, Townley as 2nd and C&S as 3rd. Her view is NW students are more sought after by universities. But I really wish we were able to visit Townley before making the decisions.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2021 9:34 pm 
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Proudmum2021 wrote:
Her view is NW students are more sought after by universities. But I really wish we were able to visit Townley before making the decisions.
I wonder is your DD's tutor 'of a certain age?". Universities choose students not schools, all the more so nowadays. Good luck and how lovely to have the possible choice.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2021 8:48 am 
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Proudmum2021 wrote:
Frbm - yes, you are right, Townley is lowest in terms of maths attaintment. I've spoken with a few people now, one who's got 2 daughters at NW. She loves the school. My dd's tutors also recommends NW as the 1st choice, Townley as 2nd and C&S as 3rd. Her view is NW students are more sought after by universities. But I really wish we were able to visit Townley before making the decisions.


I am visiting the schools, I’ve been to Townley and C&S. In terms of facilities and investment, it’s clear that both have way more than NW.

Re universities, I wouldn’t think that NW stamp alone will give my DDs a place. This would be like saying that Raducanu’s success was solely due to her education there. I am pretty sure that a DC from another school with a better history would get their places easily if they do not make their efforts. I’ve got many reasons to possibly put NW as first choice, but not to make it easy for them to go to a top uni.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2021 11:03 am 
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Frbm wrote:
Proudmum2021 wrote:
Frbm - yes, you are right, Townley is lowest in terms of maths attaintment. I've spoken with a few people now, one who's got 2 daughters at NW. She loves the school. My dd's tutors also recommends NW as the 1st choice, Townley as 2nd and C&S as 3rd. Her view is NW students are more sought after by universities. But I really wish we were able to visit Townley before making the decisions.


I am visiting the schools, I’ve been to Townley and C&S. In terms of facilities and investment, it’s clear that both have way more than NW.

Re universities, I wouldn’t think that NW stamp alone will give my DDs a place. This would be like saying that Raducanu’s success was solely due to her education there. I am pretty sure that a DC from another school with a better history would get their places easily if they do not make their efforts. I’ve got many reasons to possibly put NW as first choice, but not to make it easy for them to go to a top uni.


I agree about the universities. It’s down to the child. I’d like her to go to a school that’s the best fit for her. How did you manage to visit Townley? I thought they are doing only virtual tours this year. Such a shame as it’s impossible to form a proper opinion of the school without visiting it. We have just been to NW again. DD liked it. I have reservations. She’s strong in maths but not genius level. She’s also very arty, it’s her favourite subject currently. I didn’t get a sense of Newstead Wood value Arts that much. Townley seems more balanced in that respect but we’ve not been there!


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