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Good local comp or out of area grammar?

(12 Posts)
blimppy Sun 25-Sep-11 15:05:36

DD2 is Yr 5. She has always been regarded as "exceptionally able" by her primary school - those are the school's words but it seems a bit overstated to me! She does well however. Ended year 4 with level 5c in English and 4a in Maths. DD1, who is also bright, is at a local high performing comprehensive. We are happy with how she is doing, get the sense that the teachers are looking for the children to reach their potential and like the school. It does very well (by comprehensive standards) in results terms, being consistently c. 75% getting 5 A-C including English and Maths and sending kids to top universities. It suits DD1, who is bright but needs reassurance and is not competitive. I am less sure it will suit DD2, who is competitive and confident. We do have the grammar school option, but will mean DD2 having to travel independently on bus or train to and from school. This seems a tremendous inconvenience frankly. She herself would also prefer to go where big sister and at least a few of her friends will be going. Sorry it's a long post but I'm going round in circles about what to do! Will I be letting DD2 down if we don't go the grammar school thing?

hocuspontas Sun 25-Sep-11 15:12:25

There will always be the option of Grammar at 6th form.

Why don't you let her take the 11-plus and let her decide when the time comes.

I prefer the comprehensive model myself.

Sorry - not much help!

Bunbaker Sun 25-Sep-11 15:17:57

If your daughter goes to grammar school you may have the problem of half terms being on different weeks and school holidays being different, especially if Easter is very late or very early.

MigratingCoconuts Sun 25-Sep-11 15:18:18

I'd send her to the local comp personally but its up to you.

I don't think you'll be letting her down at all. Her friends will remain more local to you as well, which is an important consideration. And, if you send the two girls to two different schools you will have to be certain that you have explained the reasoning sufficiently to prevent either of them feeling hard done by or under valued.

Wormshuffler Sun 25-Sep-11 15:49:59

A 75% a to c with gcse results is fantastic. Around here where we have grammar schools the figure is 60% at best because all the high achievers have been creamed off.
I am facing the opposite dilema. Ds has just taken his 11 + and I am very tempted by an academy in the next county which has a 65 % a-c rate.
The grammar is a great school if you look at results, but the facilities are no where near as good as the academies, and I do worry that a grammar is just a route to university. What if ds doesn't want to go to uni? Would he have missed out on the vocational and common sense approach?

SecretSquirrels Sun 25-Sep-11 20:11:25

If the comp is getting 75% 5A* to C including Eng and Maths that is excellent and must be catering for children like your DD2 who are bright and competitive.

We had a similar dilemma with DS1. Good local comp or Grammar with 2 hours a day travelling time. We went with the theory that a bright child will do well anywhere. Plus DS was very keen to go to the local comp. We live in a rural area where socialising is difficult anyway and happiness at school is important.
He's in year 11 now and <crosses fingers> predicted A*s across the board, so hopefully we made the right choice.
He has the option of the Grammar 6th form but I suspect the 6th form college has more appeal.

Clary Mon 26-Sep-11 00:09:06

Those are excellent results for a comprehensive school.

Whether it's a high-level intake or excellent teaching, and it's prob both, yr clever DD would be well served by it, surely.

I went to grammar school and it was not all that, as the saying goes.

(I would never in a million years send my DC to one but I am well aware that that is my stuff. grin)

startail Mon 26-Sep-11 00:24:08

My DD2 is not trying for the Grammar for much the same reason. There is no dedicated transport so I'd still be tied to driving her 3 miles to get a public bus and collecting her in the evening. Very long days followed by heaps of homework.
DD1s comp. gets perfectly reasonable results (DD1s dyslexic and would never of read a verbal reasoning paper accurately enough to pass it or have coped with the grammars work load if she had).
I know that some in RL think we should go for it, but having them both at the same place, same hours, same holidays and both able to get to the front door without a lift is just so useful. Being totally selfish it means I might be able to find a job and not have to worry if I wasn't back exactly on time.

mummytime Mon 26-Sep-11 06:07:47

I know of one girl, who went to an out of area Grammar, but after about 1 term she transferred back to a comp in town (not the best comp either) because the travel was too much. (She also knew a lot of the right terminology but didn't actually seem to understand what it meant, which was interesting.)
I have another friends son who has transferred private schools to one that gets him home earlier. So I would be wary about the commuting time.

Dozer Mon 26-Sep-11 16:08:32

Those results are good. Since that's the case, I would let her decide, after a serious discussion with her about the options and pros and cons of both, and taking her to open days at both schools.

TalkinPeace2 Mon 26-Sep-11 16:46:46

DD and DS attend a comp with results like that
5 of their kids got into Oxbridge this year
not bad considering a fair %age of free school meals at the school

blimppy Tue 27-Sep-11 20:52:51

Sorry for not coming back on sooner - it's got a bit hectic around here! Thank you all for the comments. In my heart of hearts I think the comp is the best option all round, but it is helpful to get other, more objective, perspectives!

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