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Bedford High School for Girls - any knowledge or experience?(60 Posts)
Was interested as they do the IB, and also close to grandparents if they end up boarding.
Hannah 1976 - to watch your child become desperately unhappy at school is very difficult as a parent. I thought mumsnet was a forum for us all to share our experiences and opinions. I am not trying to tarnish a schools image and am certainly not telling fibs or spreading fictitious rumours ! Sadly,I am merely stating the facts of my dd's awful year. I hope your dd remains happy and if anything goes wrong during her school years that you are able to express your opinion without being accused of being bitter or worse still a liar.
Thanks for the additional information and sorry that I have fuelled the flames of a rather heated debate!
It is good to hear these very frank views and experiences and we will continue to investigate and spend as much time las we can looking at both BSG and BM before we make a final decision.
As I said before I do know a few people with girls at BSG and they are very happy with it. Likewise I have friends with daughters at BSM who also sing its praises.
I read all comments with interest and with the benefit of a parent who has had two daughters who were at Bedford High school who transferred from Bedford high.
We first chose Bedford High prior to the merger because the head teacher ran a warm and friendly school with a great traditional ethos. We moved to bgs for many reasons but not least because that same head from bedford high was offered the headship at the new merged junior school. Sadly she gave up the ghost and has moved to a state school (lucky state school). Along with some other great Bedford High teachers who moved on after the merger.
If you are a parent thinking of sending your daughter to this school, I am sure there will be many positives, but for me some simple facts speak volumes:
1 one of the house names your daughter could be in is "Chanel" yes that's right "Chanel" (feel free to google Miss Chanel's credentials as a role model)
2. When moving from the bgs junior to bgs senior they have now stopped scholarships in order to increase bursary places (bums on seats is the name of the game).
3. Last year two friends had children who sat the bms and bgs entrance exams. Both did not get in to bms but did get into bgs
4. Looking at the posts above it clearly looks like a worried head teacher is monitoring the forum and positing responses, speaks volumes!
5. As per other comments, supply teachers were patchy and complaints were met with usual "salesy Spiel about how it is not always easy to predict these situations etc etc"
6. This school has a great poster campaign and advertising in all the papers, with a classy picture of a young girl in the uniform pictured in the school looking like she is on a wondrous educational journey. Sadly the girl in the picture is not a pupil at the school. You would think with hundreds of girls at the school they could have found one to appear in the advert?
We moved our daughters to a school outside of Bedford and are very happy. If you are looking for more traditional education for your daughter then I would say this is not the school for you. The sales pitch you get on the open day is all about "being progressive and holistic", that's all great stuff, but we wanted a more traditional approach.
The individual teaching we have experienced (Y9+) has been a combination of good and excellent. At this level, individual teachers work very hard to get the best out of the girls. My daughter's year group, (y11) for the most part, is cohesive, positive and hard-working. The girls seem to look out for each other and pastoral care is good. As things are turning out, after all the excitement of open days etc, the school looks unlikely to lose many of the brightest or most hard working girls to other schools for sixth form at the end of the year - over and above the turnover one would normally expect to see - this will be a good test of how well the merger is succeeding.
The marketing at bgs is very poor, and many misguided decisions have been taken, including "own goals" such as the ridiculous house names and the silly decision not to feature your own pupils on the advertising - and there are no doubt parents who think these sorts of issues are indeed "all you need to know" about a school - they are certainly not at all helpful. However there are signs that things are improving - and the clearest indication will be how many children - of the sort you need in order to keep the standards up - decide, by the start of april term that it is not the school for them.
The scholarship/ bursary issue is a bit of a red herring - scholarships were never more than eg £500/£250 - to spend on something educational. The total annual scholarship (as opposed to bursary) fund at bedford high school for entry into the senior school was around £1,500, split between three or four children each year. The demise of the traditional prize giving day is something I regret, but I know lots of parents would disagree with me, as the same pupils always seemed to win all the prizes.
We moved. Most Oxbridge offers are now in. 70-80 girls in coed 6th at Berko, 7 girls got offers, including dd. Congrats to girls(s) with offer at BGS too, but I prefer percentages at Berko.
Sparrow12 makes some valid points, although your precise knowledge of the funding figures does raise slight suspicion, but perhaps you are just well informed.
With regard to the scholarship debate, surely the figures are irrelevant? The principle of the scholarship i suspect is more important to most parents than the amount of money you save on fees. A sense of genuine achievement in obtaining a scholarship should be there as a target for all children, whether it be for music, art, sport or academic subjects.
Our daughter was at bgs junior and her teacher was excellent. Our move away was prompted by the fact that the ethos of the merged school did not fit with our view of how we felt the school should be run. When we decided to go for private education, part of that was prize givings, house names taken from inspirational characters, scholarships etc. bgs does not offer any of this. In addition the campus for the junior school is just simply inadequate, with Large class sizes and children having to constantly cross a busy road to use amenities at the main site.
As I said in my previous post we we looking for a more traditional education and bgs does not offer this (in my view). I do agree the the unfortunate marketing decisions and house names have masked some of the positive About the school.
There were apparently a lot of BGS girls at the recent Bedford Modern 6th form day according to a friend of mine. I have also heard of two more BGS girls that have suddenly appeared mid-term at another Bedford school so I guess the 'settling in' is still going on.
Rather late (!) joining thread and hoping still some searchers.. but am considering sending DD to BGS. Originally all planned for BHSG (DD born 2005) 2009 came and the rest is history..
However BGS a levels this year 2013 have crashed and burned: 34% A*/A compared to BS 53.96%, BMS 56.23% ( even Kimbolton managed 46.23%)
contrast with 2011: BHSG 55.89% and DAHS 50.42%
So is this a temporary blip whilst things settle or has the heart been ripped out?
BGS, fantastic school, my daughter absolutely loves it and loves the support she gets from all her teachers and peers. School is getting better every year and do agree this has taken time from the merger due to staff, parents and pupils against it. Sport is fantastic, with PE staff going out of their way and giving up so much of their time to develop my daughter, who wasn't sporty, until she went to BGS. Would recommend it over BMS and St Andrews, as schools not as good BGS in every department. Send your daughter to BGS, you wont be disappointed!!!
That's your opinion oscaralfie. How do you know that BMS and St Andrew's are not as good as BGS in every department? Has your daughter attended all schools? My youngest daughter goes to one of those schools supposedly 'below' BGS in your estimation and I have no hesitation in saying that I am so pleased that I did not send her or my eldest daughter to BGS (both have friends there). Parents should visit all schools and make their own decision, I always find gushing, glowing reports like yours suspect.
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