The Grange School in Aylesbury is a brilliant school that I used to work in. 20 years ago they had some problems but the curriculum, the dedication of the teachers and the innovative practices they have implemented have recently been formally recognised by OFSTED as "Good" - this means something important in the educational world. Don't worry about the Grange, it is, or was, in 2011, a school with a waiting list that is led by a highly qualified teachers and excellent support staff, and by a dedicated Senior Leadership Team, in turn led by Headteacher Vince Murray who is absolutely dedicated to the welfare of the students and the constant improvement of the curriculum and extra curricular activities.
The school has produced Olympic footballers (Olympics 2012) and good links with local businesses which creates obvious benefits for students. The most attractive overall philosophy of this school is that every child should have equal access to an excellent education. The Grange creates the environment for kids to make their lives successful. (No, I wasn't paid, just couldn't let this one go, I'm afraid!)
One of my co-workers has a daughter at The Grange and is very happy with the school and its progress. She says it has good academic thrust and great pastoral provision.
It could be worse: your DS could be stuck with Aylesbury Vale Academy where my DSS and DSD are. The Grange is by far the best choice from the AVA/Mandeville/Grange bouquet of depressing educational options.
We live in Bucks. My son recently failed to to qualify for Grammar School. We live in Aylesbury and have John Colet as our first preference. Unfortunately, we live just outside catchment, so may not get in. Our catchment school is The Grange. Does anyone have experience of this school? I'm hoping that someone can reassure me!!