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bishop wordsworth - worth the effort ?

(63 Posts)
RosemaryandThyme Thu 27-Jun-13 17:06:23

could do with some advice re bws in sailsbury.

primary school are recommending Ds sits 11+ with a view to applying for a place, however we are miles away, outside of designated area and even if he did get a place the commute, by train would be around an hour each way.

local school has poor reputation but would need some convincing that bws is worth the journey - any views ? thanks

PoodleChops Thu 27-Jun-13 18:33:08

As an ex-SWGS pupil from 70's and 80's, I can say that loads of girls had that length of bus Journey everyday, some had longer. I'm not saying it's advisable or appropriate but they all coped admirably and their parents appear to have thought it was worth it.
I can't specifically comment on your dilemma as I know nothing about BWS, I'm afraid.

RosemaryandThyme Fri 28-Jun-13 14:55:30

ah - It must be pretty good then, I've no idea as I've never even been inside a grammar school. Wont dismiss it based on travel then but have more of a look, thanks.

Erebus Sun 30-Jun-13 20:00:31

I went to SWGS in 1973 from 11 miles away (back when it had a catchment!).

Like poodle I can't speak for BWGS but is it as hideously competitive as SWGS entry is these days? I know someone who put all of her DC forward from a village primary for the 11+; but despite Y5/6 tutoring, the older 2 failed (now go to comps in Hants) but the DD passed- and is finding SWGS really cut-throat and 'take no prisoners'. The mum is actively considering moving her DD to the same school as the older DCs. The mum also finds herself driving to and fro evening after evening as public transport doesn't run very late to where she lives- it's that or 'deny' her DD extra-curricular activity (which is what happened to me!).

Does the school that is recommending your DS know about BWGS precisely? or is it a 'he's bright/must do the 11+' scenario? Do they regularly send DCs to the Salisbury GSs? Obviously I don't know you, your primary or prep (?), or your DC but a small caveat: don't fall foul of that 'grammar schools are the free alternative to privates' idea you see on MN (so sorry if of course you've considered all of that!). I believe them to be quite a different beast!

One reason when we arrived back in the UK I avoided Salisbury was to avoid that whole 11+/GS hoohah! I know DS1 would have passed the 11+ I took in 1972 but there seems to be so much pressure on the modern 11+ and I am not entirely convinced it assesses what it purports to test - see the woman above who is watching her DD drowning at GS!

Anyway, hope you get a slew of BWGS mums next to decry what I've said and assure you it's the best possible move you could make for your DS!

PS Name the local school! There may be some useful suggestions!

xanderer Fri 27-Sep-13 09:25:51

I live outside of catchment and we moved out of salisbury to avoid the whole 11 plus nonsense but my ds wants to sit 11 plus - salisbury - 18 miles away say very very remote of getting a place now as tightened up catchment area and we are non church goers - so looking at an academy and more relaxed grammar

overthemill Fri 27-Sep-13 09:34:23

another former SWGS girl here (1969 - 1976) and I can say that the journey of one hour each way was fairly standard. BSW was excellent then and I had many friends who went there who have all done well.
But the issues are:
do you want child to go to selective school?
what are the advantages over going to local school?
does he have strengths only met by BWS?
can you honestly commit to being fall back for transport when he gets in music club/rugby team/chess club?
are there other alternatives to local school? (eg in hampshire? dorset? not sure where you are)
will 11+ stress everyone out?

Erebus Sat 28-Sep-13 10:39:17

We could form a SWGS Old Gimmers Club; me, overthemill and PoodleChops grin

Bags I get the Miss Matthews costume to wear.

overthemill Sat 28-Sep-13 14:15:23

OMG! Miss Matthews! angry she came in my second year and was such a cow. Do you ever go to any reunions?

Erebus Sat 28-Sep-13 17:08:01

No, never been to a reunion- think many from my year would be quite scary, all blue stocking 'high-achievers'!

I must admit I think I only spoke to Miss M twice in a 7 year career. I started in 1973. She certainly took no prisoners! But I had a good 1st to 5th form. My sixth wasn't quite so successful, mainly as I was only going to get 9 'O' levels, and only 3 at 'A' grade grin and I do think the school was only really interested in its Straight A girls who went off to medical school.

So maybe you'd prefer the Miss Schofield costume? You could wield a lacrosse stick!

overthemill Sun 29-Sep-13 13:10:11

Miss Schofield grin. She injured her eye trying to untangle a lacrosse net in one of my early years. I always use it as an example to my dcs and students about taking massive care with the blades of scissors. Ouch!

Erebus Sun 29-Sep-13 15:21:47

Yes, by the time I was there, 'twas the stuff of legends.


Remember Mr Biggs the maths teacher??!

overthemill Sun 29-Sep-13 17:05:59

God yes, lucky not mine ever.. Dr Bigger, RE? Mrs Wragg, maths? Miss Matthews kept employing PhDs!

ChampagneTastes Sun 29-Sep-13 17:28:58

BWS is very good at getting results but last I heard, that was all they cared about. Not a particularly nurturing environment.

Aldwick Sun 29-Sep-13 23:01:48

Apparently Miss Matthews worked as a bereavement counsellor when she retired. Who would've thought it?

Erebus Mon 30-Sep-13 08:10:25

I recall Dr Bigger, and a Dr Green (chemistry), a Dr Bowen-Jones (Physics?) and the rather attractive Mr Rusinek, Geography. No leather elbow patches there! They did a thing with having young men and old ladies as teachers, I seem to remember!

Bereavement counsellor?? I may have heard it all now!

overthemill Mon 30-Sep-13 10:20:29

Dr Green married the young Geography teacher, can't remember her name. Dr Bowen JOnes very nicely asked me not to do Physics O level (wasn't he ex RAF?) and there was a strange PhD English teacher who looked like Noel Fielding who did inspire me to do Eng Lit at Uni and who was passionate about Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a weirdly sweet way. We had some great characters but many of them were poor teachers!

And Miss Matthews, a bereavement counseller? No way...

Erebus Mon 30-Sep-13 19:08:48

Dr B-J married a PE teacher, didn't he? A pretty young thing, deffo not Miss Schofield! I ended up in his top Physics O level set by some weird fluke of 3rd form exam success. It was very difficult!

And the English teacher you're thinking of was Mr Merwood. Taken apart by the 2nd form; revered for his academic ability by the 6th!

You know, I'm not sure many actually were 'poor' teachers as such- sure, they wouldn't have lasted 5 minutes in a 'bog standard comp' but many were very clever and deeply passionate about their subject, weren't they? If a bit 'odd'!

overthemill Mon 30-Sep-13 19:19:03

Mr Merwood! Yes, oh I'm feeling very nostalgic now...which my kids had gone there!

Erebus Mon 30-Sep-13 19:26:09

But I do gather it's a different beast now- a disproportionate number of prepped DC rather than 'village girls' like we were (one girls from Leaden Hall in my class in 1973!)

My mum still lives in the same house so knows local girls who got through the 11+, but it's one or 2 out of 10 or 11 who pass, and I know of two who are struggling with the environment, finding it aggressively competitive etc. I can only speak of what their mums tell my mother- not personal experience. So obviously I don't know much about BWS (none of these girls' brothers passed the 11+ so many are in Hampshire comps instead).

I would have liked DS1 to have gone to the BW that existed when I was as SWGS, though.

So... Miss Sweetnam? Mr Antrobus? Miss Ryder?- um- Miss Lomas (shudder)? Mr Harrison (Russian)?

overthemill Mon 30-Sep-13 20:49:41

miss lomas - she was my mum's french teacher as well as mine (and my big sister's). 'by the waters of babylon...'

recognise all those names - didn't do russian

Chubfuddler Mon 30-Sep-13 20:52:45

Total hijack by the swgs girls. I'm one too but after your time most of you. Mr Merwood taught me English though.

overthemill Mon 30-Sep-13 21:01:25

sorry, even just gone on swgs website!

Erebus Mon 30-Sep-13 22:53:34

Miss Buttrum? Geography anyone? Compare and contrast with the eye-candy that was Mr/Dr Rusinek <sigh> - but she knew her stuff! She used to spend every school holiday on field-trips abroad and came back with actual slides to demonstrate the tidal range in Calcutta....

Aldwick Tue 01-Oct-13 08:37:11

I think I'm also after a lot of you but I had older sisters hence the Miss Matthews knowledge.

Still had Mr Merwood but my era was more Mrs Needham/Miss Knapp etc.

Chubfuddler Tue 01-Oct-13 09:23:03

Aldwick we may have been at school together, or at least at the same time. 1990 to 1997 in my case

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