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Grammar school - slough and south bucks consortiums

(48 Posts)
user1469640582 Sat 30-Jul-16 08:35:05

Hi all , I have just joined mumsnet and I hope I will find some more real life responses than the paper based information I am given.
My two daughters are 8 and 4 and we are in Osterley so out of catchment areas for the grammars . Tiffins is an option but I believe it is over pressured as it's the only grammar supporting this end. ( and it's a nightmare to get into.

We are considering moving to langley, iver , south bucks somewhere so we are in catchment but I wanted to know are they any local good schools if kids don't get into grammar ? Just so we have good contingency - we have seen a house in Farnham and this I think falls into both catchments but I may be wrong . And as older is going into Year 4 the time to think is now .

Please share your views?

CookieDoughKid Sat 30-Jul-16 17:19:43

I'm considering the same. I'm in Oxfordshire which is fully comp. Our girls school locally is outstanding ofsted 71% grade pass rate including English and Maths grade C and above. I'm thinking of Higher Wycombe and Marlow area as it has good secondary uppers if we my dd doesn't pass the 11+. Our way the superselective is Kendrick school, like Tiffino but I don't fancy our chances.

Its so difficult. And a risky move as you need to be in catchment to be eligible for a space and you may not pass.

IMO I really don't think the quality of education is the same between Oxfordshire comps or Bucks grammars. And there are 13 bucks grammars with outstanding ofsted and stunning results.

A bright child will do well anywhere but will be challenged and fulfil potential better in a grammar. Interestingly, stats show that middle ability cohort do better in grammars as well. So we are moving to Bucks too!!

CookieDoughKid Sat 30-Jul-16 17:22:06

Greater Marlow school is what I'm thinking of.

OfstedAintEverything Sat 30-Jul-16 17:24:34

I take it by Farnham, you mean Farnham Royal? (Cos the other Farnham is down near Fleet and miiiles away)

It depends upon how nice and area you want, your budget and house requirements, and your need for easy train access.

Farnham Royal is a very nice area (though to the very south of it, too far and you hit Britwell, a huge and grim estate on the north edge of Slough.) Farnham royal is Bucks so like Iver, if you pass the Bucks exam you will get a place, if not, then I think the local non grammar is Chalfont Community College (general thought is it's good but absolutely enormous.) there's no direct train access unless you drive to Burnham or up to Gerards cross/Chalfont.

Iver is nice, if you can afford Richings Park it is near what will be a Crossrail station, there are buses to Chalfont, Burnham and the Khalsa sikh school in Stoke Poges. Again, kids usually go to Chalfont.

Langley is less "posh" than Iver/Richings Park/Farnham Royal BUT it's Crossrail, you get more for your money in terms of house size, it's Berkshire rather than Bucks, but you can still do both eleven plus exams, and if yoi are SL3 7 or SL3 8 postcode you get priority cachement for both the Upton Court and Langley Slough grammars.

Can you tell I've been looking into this recently for my ten year old? smile

SisterViktorine Sat 30-Jul-16 17:39:31

OP, given that your DC are both girls you could consider Baylis Court as your back up. This would give you Herschel as you grammar.

You must avoid the Britwell, and TBH most of inner Slough though. I would live in Stoke Poges- check catchments very carefully though.

We used to live in Burnham. It's fine and Burnham Grammar is well thought of. You really, really don't want Burnham Park Academy as your back up though.

bojorojo Sat 30-Jul-16 22:29:05

The Bucks grammars are obviously going to get better results than most comprehensives but some of the secondary schools in Bucks are in and out of RI and have been for years. Be careful about thinking they are better than a comprehensive. Lots of people move for the grammars and then don't get a place. Look at which secondary schools have been consistently good and move to that catchment area. There is a pecking order of grammars but in reality most are excellent but they do vary in terms of ethnic origin of pupils.

HPFA Sun 31-Jul-16 06:38:32

* Interestingly, stats show that middle ability cohort do better in grammars as well*

In most grammar schools middle ability children only form a very small part of the cohort so they would presumably be the very top part of the Level 4 achievers. It could hardly be fair to compare these achievers to the Level 4 achievers in comps who would form the whole of that cohort including those who only just scraped over the line. Incidentally there is evidence that this group does worse in secondary moderns than in comps

In answer to OP's original post, Thame in Oxfordshire has an excellent comp and I believe you can apply to the Bucks grammars from here.

user1469640582 Sun 31-Jul-16 11:08:48

Thanks all, in glad I'm not the only one going crazy - my older is in the top set in her state primary and i am not really pushing her , so we should give her the oppurtunity , our budget is reasonable enough to get into iver , Ritchings park , fulmer , gx I just find them so secluded and away from anything ie it would be a big lifestyle change from the urban life we lead. I don't think we would have any use for micro scooters 😩😩, husbands office Is in richmond so he will need to do the commute. The cross link is a great option. I think I worry about not seeing any humans. It's very secluded part of town.

Also the senior schools if kids don't get into grammar would be all the academies etc which are all also catchment and road distance !!! It's so difficult. Chalfont high school would be 10 miles further away from the house we liked sad((((

OfstedAintEverything Sun 31-Jul-16 20:57:05

Yep, Bucks is lovely but it is sure spread out (though for most of the folks who pick to go there that's a plus point.)
If you want something a bit more urban feeling, have you considered Windsor?
The Windsor and Eton Riverside goes to Waterloo, and Windsor has a seperate branch line to Slough/Crossrail. They also have a grammar (windsor girls/boys) and my friend has a child at Burnham Grammar whose friends are from Windsor so the Bucks schools are commutable. I don't know anything about the comps in Windsor but the town centre is much more London/Guildford-ish and may appeal. Maybe it's worth a day trip to see if that fees more your kind of thing?

SisterViktorine Sun 31-Jul-16 21:41:44

Windsor boys/ girls are not grammars.

Windsor Boys used to be amazing and considered on a par with main Independents, it has had hard times recently though. Windsor Girls has never been that great.

Lots of Windsor kids go over the M4 to St Bernards.

OfstedAintEverything Sun 31-Jul-16 23:45:48

Sorry, I didn't realise that, had heard parents talking about WGS and thought it was a grammar. Must have mixed it up with RGS... There are so many abbreviations esp with the bucks schools!...

St Bernards is Catholic, thought, so unless you're Catholic (or practicing C of E as a secondary varient ) it's a bit of a gamble I understand. Plus the "we are actively Catholic" ethos may not be your cuppa Earl Grey...

OfstedAintEverything Sun 31-Jul-16 23:46:54

So in Windsor, I thought they had the 12 plus (we are too far away for it to be relevent for us).... How does that work if Windsor has no grammars? Coonfused!

HPFA Mon 01-Aug-16 07:03:08

Windsor schools don't look too bad in terms of results. They have 30% high achievers and quite a high percentage of low achievers which suggests they are losing some of their high achievers to nearby grammars. Given this their 2014 5 A-C rates of 58% (Boys) and 68% (Girls) are fine. High achieving boys get an average B grade and HA girls a B+. This is the same as quite a few of the Kent and Lincolnshire grammars , although Bucks grammars do better than this, as indeed their secondary moderns do better than Kent and Lincs sms.

I don't know the Windsor schools personally but on the surface they seem to be achieving well?

SisterViktorine Mon 01-Aug-16 07:18:50

Windsor is 3 tier Ofsted so they all start 'senior' school at 13- maybe that is what you are thinking of?

Sounds like things have changed but it used to be that Windsor Boys was amazing but Windsor Girls was very average. Sounds like that might have reversed somewhat recently. Windsor Boys had massive problems with some financial mismanagement and also that they were told they couldn't send all their low achieving pupils off site to do car maintenance where they couldn't bother the naice boys anymore...

user1469640582 Mon 01-Aug-16 07:50:47

Hi all- its been really helpful to read the thread and all your insights . I will look into Windsor and Eton and the fact that the cross rail keeps the link into town is very comforting and yet you get a London feel. I hate to admit this but I grew up in the country and moved to the city/urban when I was 13 and both in country and town they are nice and not so nice areas.

Education is primary focus but lifestyle , security is just as important. I hate to admit this and nothing personally against single parent children or troubled backgrounds , my daughter is in a state school where there is a mixture of families but mostly family based just like us so a very positive feel.

I have read so many ofsted reports , all the primary schools are in not very good state in slough, langley , iver , Farnham unless you put your children in private and the only ones is St. Bernard prep, caldicot(boys) or long close- we can't move too far up into Amersham /beaconsfield so as it's too far to travel for my husband to get to work . What a dilemma😱😱😱😱!!!!

And the fact remains the comprehensive schools are worse than where we are right now! But yes we have a chance to get into 13 grammars in bucks if move south bucks , that is better than comprehensive any day
Although I do believe if you are bright you will get your grades no matter what.

I'm more inclined to take the punt and start the year 4 foundation 11 plus to get her used to it as it does say a better chance is secured as the courses are tailored such - and get her to sit the Tiffins and slough and bucks exams ( burnham grammar is next to Herschel) and I'm also inclined to think if she can't get into these schools as a top set then maybe it's not for us ??? So confused

HPFA Mon 01-Aug-16 09:31:10

that is better than comprehensive any day

I've been trying not to derail this thread into an anti-selection rant but If you truly believe that then I think you have no idea of what a good comp is like these days. There are loads of comps around where results are just as good as in grammars, although sadly not yet every one.

user1469640582 Mon 01-Aug-16 10:56:33

I guess I may stand corrected . I don't want to have a blinkered view - as I did mention we are surrounded by very good comprehensive schools

bojorojo Tue 02-Aug-16 23:16:20

Most comprehensives cannot be the same as a grammar!! They have low attaining children in them! They have far more middle achieving children and nowhere near the number of high achieving children as will be found in a grammar. If you are talking about progress the children make, then that is an entirely different matter and comprehensives can be excellent.

As an example, some Bucks secondary modern schools have 30% high achieving children and are more comprehensive in nature than some comprehensives! Great Marlow School is a good secondary and if you live in Marlow, Sir William Borlase's is the Grammar. Marlow has fairly good access to the M4. It would be my pick over Windsor.

bojorojo Tue 02-Aug-16 23:22:58

OP - Bucks Grammars have catchment areas. You will not get access to all of them! Look on the Bucks CC web site to check catchment areas. You should also check the catchment areas for the secondary schools . Their quality is far more variable, so living in catchment is very important. Chalfonts catchment or Great Marlow would be ok but Burnham can be iffy. The Grammar there is fine. All secondary and grammar schools in Bucks are academies.

gandalf456 Tue 02-Aug-16 23:26:04

Most people in the Burnham area and up un the Maidenhead schools if they don't get into the grammars. They are better than the secondaries in Burnham but the ones you are likely to get into aren't the best academically. Most end up in Altwood or Cox Green or perhaps Desborough. The highest performing are Newlands Girls or Furze Platt

CookieDoughKid Wed 03-Aug-16 09:11:43

bojorojo you seem to be local to Bucks? Do you know the typical student numbers from a Buck state Primary class of 30 who will make it to grammar? ? Just curious to see how difficult bucks 11+ is to pass. Thanks

user1469640582 Wed 03-Aug-16 09:43:57

We are really going bonkers over this. I can't tell you how stressed I am over this . I haven't slept properly for days as to move is a big decision.

I think the worst thing that can happen is move - yeh big house whatever - then kids don't get in , as there is always a likelihood no matter how bright how prepared - and I cannot see any good secondary comprehensive schools around the area where we can move . At this point in time - we will just try our best and get her to prepares as much as possible to get into the top 30% of the grammar standard . Just feels wrong to put all your eggs in one basket. Plus we rather keep a reserve for university fees etc then to put her in private secondary in Windsor Eton etc and get into a reasonable enough comprehensive secondary near where we are in osterley which are all ofsted 1 rated.

user1469640582 Wed 03-Aug-16 09:45:16

And you guys are right - there is catchment everywhere ! You can see how risk averse I am

user1469640582 Wed 03-Aug-16 12:04:13

You must look
At this - all catchment based

AvonCallingBarksdale Wed 03-Aug-16 12:14:56

In my DS's year of 60 at s Bucks state primary, 31 passed the 11+ and that's pretty standard for that particular primary. HTH.

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