Graveney school and Bolingbroke academy opinions please(19 Posts)
With the 1st March looming I was hoping to get some feedback on these 2 schools from mum's with dc's there. We're in a feeder school for the Bolingbroke and have just rung up for our Wandsworth test score which looks hopeful but not conclusive for Graveney.
I'd really appreciate any feedback (good or bad) relating to these schools. Ds is very arty and loves writing. Likes sports but just for fun. Pretty brainy and in top part of the class but not ott clever.
Would be great to hear you experiences to help us decide whether Graveney is worth staying on the waiting list for if needed or if the Bolingbroke is a force to be reckoned with itself.
Who do you ring up? Your school? The council?
We are also waiting for 1 March
Local chit chat suggesting Bolingbroke is strict, but obv no exam track record yet
Graveney I have heard they don't really do homework
i just rand pupils services on 020 8871 7316.
Certainly don't want to overload Ds with homework but ono homework seems a bit worrying...
BTW Ds got 158 in the Wandsworth test. It seems like 153 was enough last year so we were encouraged but then it suddenly occurred to us, 'goodness knows what levels would be required this year', hence the 'not conclusive'
There is a fair bit on the elevenplusforum about Graveney. Good luck. Although we pretty much know where DD will end up we want to see it written down so the wait to 1 March has seemed a long one.
Hi PettsWood, my post should read 258! Initially I was really chuffed when I compared it with the the offer levels from the last few years (250 – 253). But then I realised that nothing is a done deal until you have the offer in front of you! What if the test was easier this year etc? I have got everything crossed. Best of luck to your dd btw.
Thanks reallyhope, good to luck to your DS too. Sounds exceptionally positive and likely he will get a place to me but as you say, you never know.
Graveney has been great for my year 7 DD. If they get in on the test, they will be with pretty good kids overall. They stay with their banded form for most classes until GCSE so it is like being in a small school in a good way. Room for everyone and something for everyone as well. 258 is a great score and the list moves quickly if you don't get in on the first round. We got in 2 weeks after the first round of offers. We turned down top private for Graveney and haven't looked back. It's just as good as any of the competitive private schools in terms of teaching (buildings are more shabby) and the kids in extension that I've met are very sparky, nice and with it. Also, my DD is sporty and she has excelled so far in a team sport there. Know families at Bolingbrook and they are really happy with it. It has high standards as well and expects a lot for the kids but supports them at the same time. If you get either you should be pleased. Your child will be in a good environment.
That's really helpful Notenoughsleepmumof3.
DS loved Graveney immediately when we went on the open day and so did we. Have you got any opinions on how different the 'upper' and 'extension' groups are and how that effects a dc's experience of the school. Also how do the school decide which stream to put them in? Slightly concerned that the school is so big that ds could get lost in it all (literally and figuratively). We liked the shabby buildings, atmosphere, kids we met, teachers but are aware that a school is on it's best behaviour on an open day, so great to hear your positive experience!
As for the Bolingbroke, our concerns are that it seemed to lack some essential ingredient that we can't quite pinpoint, maybe atmosphere because it is so new? It felt like the teachers hearts were really in it for the kids but it lacked the substance and solidity years of experience brings. We also found the Ark element made it feel a bit like a franchise, using expressions like 'the power of 3' to describe their bag contents and the slightly over zealous 'silence in the halls' rule and mandatory school lunches. BUT, we too have heard good things from parents and lots of DS's friends will be going there so I'd really be open to any positive experiences from any Bolingbroke parents.
We know families with kids in upper, middle, as well as support and they seem happy as well. I believe the school decides on extension based on the test score and the end of year sats. So you can do well on the test and get in, but could be put in upper if your sats are low, so I've heard, but I don't know anyone that that has happened to. There are 3 extension forms with around 30kids each. 90 total give or take, so 63 kids get in on the test score and the others are siblings and normal catchment, but have equally done well on sats and the test. They seem to balance it out pretty well. Some kids are brilliant at science/math, some at humanities, some are all rounders, but in extension they are all able and good students. They do push them and I think the school has a good system in place so that all the kids do pretty well. The GCSE scores are quite telling. They get good results throughout the school, not just extension, so that tells me that upper is probably fine and geared to the level of that form as well. They will move kids up or down if they feel they need to. The school is academic, but there are other outlets to excel in as well.
My DD has gotten lost a few times, but older kids and teachers help out, there are no lockers so they have to carry things with them all day which isn't great, the lunch room line is so long my dd often asks me to make a pack lunch because it's too hard to get food somedays. Those are the negatives we have had so far. But, it's a great school and my dd is excited and happy to go everyday, she has also met some great kids and has made some nice friends.
I pick her up a few days a week, so see large groups of kids in different year groups leaving. They're pretty good kids, respectful. I'm sure there are problems like any school, but I've been impressed with how the kids carry themselves.
Thanks so much Notenoughsleepmumof3, really nice of you to take the time to answer my questions. It sounds like it is the great school we thought it would be. Fingers crossed for offers day.
DS got in on the exam but was put into Upper at Graveney (apparently not uncommon). I've been told they mainly stream on English SATS scores, which fits as he got a 6B at Maths so definitely not that. Can't remember exactly what he got for the others, but it was all 5s apart from writing which he's always had a problem with (he's dyspraxic) which was a 4b I think, so that might have swayed it.
We know several kids in Extension and they seem to have very similar homework, but no-one up to this point has had a huge amount. There's setting for Maths from Y8 I think, within each stream. There seems to be a fair bit of movement between the streams even now, we've heard of 2 swaps between Upper and Extension since they started, and then everyone gets put into 3 streams when it comes to GCSEs according to how many they take and at what level, so it all changes again then.
All the kids we've met or know in Upper and Extension have been good kids, and high standards are expected of everyone, both in terms of work and behaviour. So far everyone's been happy, and if there has been any bullying we haven't heard about it at all (although I'm sure no school is without it's problems, so maybe it's just been very effectively dealt with).
Hi StillRaining. So if we are lucky enough to get a place, it sounds prudent to focus on the english side of the SATs. Sounds like, whatever the stream, the kids are all happy, stretched and encouraged which is great to hear. Thanks
Ds got the Graveney offer. All very pleased. Thanks for all your advice
Reallyhope: So pleased for you. Well done to him.
Really hope: I've no idea if you are a regular mumsnetter but I was wondering a year or so forward how your son was getting on? We are facing a similar dilemma between Graveney and Bolingbroke, we preferred the atmosphere of the former but the latter is much closer. (Yet still unproven as the first set of exam results won't come out till this summer)
Does anyone else have an up to date view on either school?
Graveney has turned out to be a great choice. DC's confidence is unrecognisable, and the school combines brilliant teaching with engaging lessons. It is quite a trek but DC is fine (although obvs would prefer into be closer). I know lots of people who are very pleased with the Bolingbroke as well, so great to have both choices.
Upper / Extension allocation doesn't automatically correlate with test scores because there will be kids who got in on distance who are high achievers, and they also take into account SATS etc.
I have yet to meet someone who's kid got in on the test who wasn't put in extension. To the same degree plenty of kids who got in on distance but did well on SATs are in extension.
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