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Bradford Grammar, Woodhouse Grove and other schools in West Yorkshire

(11 Posts)
ShipleyGlen Tue 09-Oct-12 11:52:13

I know loads is already written/discussed on the subject but would appreciate advice on schools with our situation in mind. We live in Bingley, West Yorkshire.

Two kids: a boy aged 7 (Year 3) and a girl 5 (Year 1), currently in a good - forever oversubscribed - state primary school with a mixed intake. The older is very bright, good at maths, keen learner. Younger is physically active, creative, good-natured and well-behaved kid, but not so bothered about academic achievement.

The older boy was very well cared for in school, had brilliant teachers and was mostly on individual tasks to stretch his abilities and prevent him from getting bored. This year we are not so lucky and I have all reasons to believe that he will struggle to maintain his motivation and drive this year. The teacher is very rigid and is not prepared to address individual children's needs. She is known for raising her voice regularly to keep things in control. In all likelihood we may get a good teacher again next year (this one is an exception rather than a rule!) but I'm thinking of researching other options now - so that we either make a move mid-year or collect all the information to move kids later, in 2-3 years time, a year or two before the older one starts secondary.

We rent and can move closer to the chosen school - something within Leeds/Bradford - Skipton line will keep us within reasonable commute to work.

I'm thinking of considering:
- Bradford Grammar;
- Woodhouse Grove;
- Ladylane (but it's only a primary...)

I was also thinking of
- Ilkley Grammar, and possibly
- Ermysted / Skipton Girl's
if we were to wait until later.

- Beckfoot and Bingley Grammar (local state secondaries) have a good reputation too.

Which other schools would you consider? I would like to keep my options open and perhaps to visit lower preference schools first, then Bradford Grammar in the end, which appeals to me the most.

Questions to ask in school - will go along the lines of www.guardian.co.uk/education/2012/sep/17/schools-teachers-tips-for-parents Any other tips?

Also, would you take a child with you when you visit the school?

Glenshee Wed 10-Oct-12 10:01:08

Bump

SausageDogBusyStreet Wed 10-Oct-12 10:13:34

I would personally avoid Bradford Boys Grammar. Its probably fine for a high flying, rugby playing child, but if you are not that I think they are too keen to point out your weaknesses. Not sure if they still do it, but at one time they were very quick to move you on the moment the academics slipped, or advised you strongly to repeat 6th form years so you didn't bring their rankings down.

Skipton Girls has a fantastic reputation.

Have you considered Moorlands at Leeds?

Glenshee Wed 10-Oct-12 10:17:59

SausageDogBusyStreet - thanks for your response - Bradford Grammar is a mixed (co-ed) school surely - ?

No, not considered Moorlands, will have a look, thanks.

Beanbagz Wed 10-Oct-12 13:24:06

On our visit to Bradford Grammar we all (Y6 DD included) came away completely underwhelmed.

Thought some of the staff came across as lacklustre, work on display dated back to the mid 90s and art & music seems to be completely dismissed in favour of sport.

So despite the fact that i'd previously dismissed GSAL, we shall be going to visit there too as we'd prefer to have a second choice in the bag (Woodhouse Grove is #1 as i know it will suit my DD and in a few years time my DS).

Glenshee Wed 10-Oct-12 13:41:41

Very interesting Beanbagz, many thanks for your post! We just missed the Open Day at Bradford Grammar because kids were performing in the theatre on that Saturday but we will be paying them a visit anyway pretty soon.

messtins Wed 10-Oct-12 14:55:15

I went to Bradford Grammar for sixth form, admittedly a long time ago, and my brother attended Clock House and the senior school. Neither of us are sporty in the slightest, but it was brilliant for us both academically and for extracurricular stuff. There was orchestra, choir, theatre groups, a jazz band, cadets... endless opportunities for things other than rugby and it was only a minority of boys who were into sport in a big way. Can't say what it is like now, but definitely worth a look.

Beanbagz Wed 10-Oct-12 16:03:12

Maybe we just had a bad guide or went at the wrong time. I was just talkign to another mum who thought it was fantastic sad

balderdashed Wed 10-Oct-12 23:33:37

Must admit that we were completely underwhelmed by the local secondary schools when my older boys were considering year 7 entry and that includes Ilkley Grammar (arrogant head, complacent and unwelcoming teachers combined with woeful pupil musical performances put pay to that).

We felt that Ermysted's was too far to travel and ended going down the indy route. Ethos-wise we felt that Woodhouse Grove would suit ALL our children best and were so impressed that we moved our younger boys to Bronte House as our local primary seemed more focused ensuring that majority of the pupils achieved the average SAT score. If you were were already above average you were not pushed to achieve your potential. We think that we made the right choice as all have thrived at the Grove.

It may be a little to far away for you, but the one state school that seriously impressed me was North Halifax Grammar. Unlikely the Skipton schools you mention it is co-educational which may be a positive for you?

Good luck with your search.

notanotter Mon 15-Oct-12 19:55:03

Ilkley Grammar is RAVED about and i have rarely ever heard a bad word about the head. The results there speak for themselves and for a state comp totally non selective their university admissions seem to be very good with a great proportion at top RG etc
Bradford is nice and sports/arts facilities etc are great - not worth paying for if you are in Ilkley catchment although a lot of ilkley stil do pay....
woody grove is traditionally for the less academic kids although this reputation is a little unfair - i think a lok at the league tables would indicate its still not right up there - good on sport again though and a lot of folk are happy with it
Ermysteds is a great school academically fantastic with lots to offer although can look a little austere to a casual observer i have yet to hear a bad word about it
SGHS however is a little more dodgy and a few girls i know have moved out into bradford or ilkley - discipline problems are rife...
results ok though but beware the league tables as unlike Ermysteds who do ten GCSEs SGHS do 14/15 as standard and results are published on a points basis ;)
Please ask away...

notanotter Mon 15-Oct-12 19:58:26

to summise i don't think you can get better than Ermysteds for your boy - it is an AMAZING school and money could not buy better in my opinion

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