Bristol grammar school

(22 Posts)
cleoteacher Mon 06-Feb-17 09:23:24

Hi

Has anyone got a child at bgs or thinking about putting their child into bgs for sept 2018?

Ds has been offered a place there in reception for sept 2018 and we can't decide to accept it or not!

Some feedback on this school would be wonderful.

Thanks

givemeaclue Mon 06-Feb-17 13:17:29

Had places there for reception But we moved so didn't take them up.
What are your alternatives.
I think bgs suits academic kids.

lucas1612 Mon 06-Feb-17 13:51:28

Yes think that's what I am worried about. Not sure ds is academic, it's very hard to tell at 4! But he is bright. Feel we should run with that. But don't want him in a high pressured, competitive environment.

We have a local school which has a good ofsted standard which we really like. So it's not that we don't have options. But if we didn't get that school, we put it as our first choice, I wouldn't be happy with our third choice. Don't think we d get second choice unless went on waiting list.

What attracted you to the school? Where did you move to?

lucas1612 Mon 06-Feb-17 13:54:04

From your experience do you know if people who send their children there live all over the place or do many live more local to the school? That's the other main concern. I always pictured ds going to a school within a short walk, with local children and he could have play dates after school. Whereas. We re not too far from bgs but it's a 20 min drive.

givemeaclue Mon 06-Feb-17 14:05:28

People travel from all over Bristol and outside of Bristol to go to bgs.

They obviously think he will be fine as they have offered him a place so I wouldn't worry. Consider your secondary options too, if you don't take bgs what secondary will be available? Would a place be available at age 11 at bgs?

We moved to North Somerset and saved ourselves £250k school fees! 😂
But I would have been happy for mine to go there had we stayed in Bristol.

lucas1612 Mon 06-Feb-17 14:18:58

Thanks for the replies. We re very lucky as my df has offered to pay otherwise money wise it wouldn't even be on the cards for us. Haha! You saved yourself a packet.

Yes, I am torn between him being bright so go for it and he's obviously capable to not wanting him to be in a too academic environment where he's being pushed too hard and there are competitive parents and children. I obviously want him to do his best but not at the expense of enjoyment and other life experiences.

Our local secondary is shocking. 50% only get grades A-C grades. 1 in 2 are from deprived backgrounds so can't see it rapidly improving. We love where we live and don't really want to move. Plus, we might not have the money when ds goes to secondary to stretch ourselves to moving nearer a better school. Other secondaries like the cathedral school are a lottery to get into- so I ve heard.

In an ideal world I d put him in state until yr 5/6 but that's a gamble if he doesn't get in and a even bigger one with the secondary schools in our area.

givemeaclue Mon 06-Feb-17 14:22:25

In your position I would take the place at bgs.

Sidney Mon 06-Feb-17 20:24:21

My children are at BGS at secondary level and are loving it. It does focus on academics, but there is also a huge emphasis on sport/music/ drama/debating/charity stuff. There is a really good house system, with focus on the pastoral and I find that staff work hard to make sure all types of pupils fulfil their potential.
That said, my children went to the local state primary and I personally feel that 13 years is a long time for a child to spend in a single establishment. Why not go local for primary and 'save' BGS for secondary, which is when things get complicated in Bristol?

Ruby2202 Mon 06-Feb-17 20:34:58

Thanks Sidney. That's good to hear. How academic is it? Do you feel they get pushed more and have more homework than peers in state schools? Are the parents very competitive? Does it feel like children are pushed too hard to achieve? Are your children happy with the expectations of the work? Sorry for all the questions I am all for a school tapping into a child's potential but them being pushed so much they switch off and are under pressure to achieve.

We were thinking of waiting and trying until ds reaches yr6. In an ideal world this would be my preference but we re worried he wouldn't get in. It's a risk, whereas now we have a guaranteed place. Were you not worried they wouldn't pass the entrance exam for secondary?

Sidney Mon 06-Feb-17 21:13:17

That is a lot of questions, Ruby! How does one measure degrees of academic? Certainly the results are good and my kids do have to work hard. They are normal children, so they do complain, of course, but they are (mostly!) quite interested in a lot of the work. They also have more homework at secondary level than their friends in state schools, but I also get the impression that the quality of the feedback they get on the homework is good and that they can have a dialogue with the teacher if they don't understand/ find it is taking too long.
I think that the parents of the junior school are more competitive than the senior ones, but then I think it is a more febrile atmosphere at any primary school and they see more of each other (e.g. at school pick up) to talk about stuff.
Yes, we were worried that they wouldn't pass the exam, but if they hadn't, maybe it wouldn't have been the right school for them? I think worrying about that when your child is still young can turn one into one of those competitive parents....

crazymum53 Tue 07-Feb-17 10:14:04

Do you really mean September 2018 or 2017? How far in advance do they offer places?

Ruby2202 Tue 07-Feb-17 12:00:22

Oh sorry 2017 sept. Oops

lovinglapland Thu 09-Feb-17 19:36:46

If he is bright enough for the secondary part of the school he will be offered a place in year 6. I do know that they do not automatically keep all of their prep school children - if they are not considered academic enough, so don't assume if you pay for prep you are sorted up to 18. Ask about class sizes, I have heard that they are quite close to state school numbers, in which case I would be questioning what I was paying a lot of money for. The secondary part of the school has always had a good reputation but if my local primary was good I think I'd be tempted to save my money until year 7.

BoredinBishopston Thu 09-Feb-17 21:28:11

Class sizes are 18 (with a teacher and TA) in the infants at BGS.

In the juniors there are 22 or 24, depending on which year group. So smaller than state of 30 (or more in KS2).

Not sure on secondary but think 22 in year 7, so again a fair bit smaller than state secondaries.

Personally I'm not convinced that class size is that big a deal, especially in a selective school where the ability range is less broad, but it does seem to be a key motivator for many going independent.

Ruby2202 Thu 09-Feb-17 21:55:17

Lovinglapland- I d def leave it until yr7 if I knew he d get into a private school then. That would be my preference but it's a risk.

lovinglapland Fri 10-Feb-17 20:23:34

I don't understand why you think it's any more of a risk by leaving it? If your child is bright enough for selective education at 11 they will get a place. Even if they are in private junior sections they still need to make the grade to stay on. Or is it that you think the private junior teaching will be of a higher level, so your child will stand a better chance? Many children in Bristol move from state juniors to independent secondary. The entry levels really aren't that high (based on my knowledge as a primary teacher dealing with year 6 entrance exams) most average and above pupils will secure places at one of the independent schools. Exam technique and practising the VR and NVR questions (assuming it's still the same in 7 years time!) would enable a suitable child to have a good chance at passing. I would be leaving it until at least year 3 - by then you'll have some idea whether your state school is working for you or if you feel the extra attention in a smaller class is going to be important to you. BGS has lots of things going for it though and if money isn't part of the equation, then I'm sure it would be a lovely school to be part of.

Ruby2202 Thu 16-Feb-17 18:38:34

I guess I think it's a risk because it's more competitive at yr7 and more of s sit down test that's pass or fail rather than the informal assessment he had a 4 which was a few 1-1 activities but mostly observations. Whereas he's got a guaranteed place now. Surely giving up a guaranteed place without knowing he ll get a place when 11 is a risk

Ruby2202 Thu 16-Feb-17 18:38:58

Anyone else know the school?

lovinglapland Fri 17-Feb-17 17:33:14

OK, Maybe. My understanding was that even BGS prep children have to sit the secondary entrance exam in year 6 though? Perhaps that isn't correct. Good luck with your decision.

givemeaclue Fri 17-Feb-17 18:00:43

Ye she but they h both ave a higher chance of passing being already in the school and prepped for it than they maybe would having been in a different school with no prep for it.

Ruby2202 Fri 17-Feb-17 18:12:49

I must admit I didn't know that About the exam. Guess they would have to be pretty poor not to get through if already in the school.

Well we ve decided he's going so decision made. Fingers crossed it was the right one.

Giveme- do you have children at the school?

givemeaclue Fri 17-Feb-17 18:18:47

No we had places there for reception but moved out of Bristol. But I would have been happy for them to go there had we stayed. I do rate it highly as a school.

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