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Moving to Buckinghamshire for good schools

(64 Posts)
Tulip81 Mon 03-Aug-15 11:59:34

We are thinking about moving to Buckinghamshire for the grammar schools. However my dc's are still too young, for us to tell whether they have the academic ability to pass the 11+. So please can anyone advise which areas of buckinghamshire have best comprehensives as a back up plan, if my dc's do not pass the 11+. Any help would be appreciated.

TeenAndTween Mon 03-Aug-15 15:20:15

I don't think Bucks has comprehensives. It has grammar and secondary modern.

Personally I wouldn't consciously move to a grammar school area, I would move to an area that has good comprehensives, which cater for both the academically able and the less able kids. Save yourself the 11+ angst.

If you can afford Bucks, how about Hampshire or is it too far from work?

QueenOfNothing Mon 03-Aug-15 15:23:53

Lots of the bucks comps are good. All the parents I know are happy with them. The ones I know parents are happy with are marlow, beaconsfield, and chalfont.

Really here in bucks the 11+ isn't the big deal it is on MN. None of the parents at my DSs junior school were bothered by the 11+.

Plus it has a 25 or 30% pass rate so it's not that hard.

LooksLikeImStuckHere Mon 03-Aug-15 15:26:21

Kind of depends on what sort of secondary you want really. Some are great a sport, some are great at design etc. What about jobs? Bucks is big, would you be south or north?

Tulip81 Mon 03-Aug-15 15:49:29

Thanks for all your replies.

Teenandtween we are in hampshire at the moment. Chandlers ford and winchester seem to have the best schools, but its too far south for us.

Queen of nothing thanks for that i will look into those schools.

Lookslikeimstuckhere - for work purposes, my husband needs access to london and ideally to a motorway. So really our motivation for moving is for good schools, as well as a bigger house, as we have outgrown our house. Ours kids are too little to establish what type of secondary we would be looking for.

TheSpottedZebra Mon 03-Aug-15 15:52:13

Milton Keynes certainly is on the comprehensive system, not grammars, and is near the M1 and has fast trains to London.

TeenAndTween Mon 03-Aug-15 15:55:09

Tulip Fair enough.

(Though you do know Winchester is right next to M3 and has direct train to Waterloo? Though I agree it is not exactly what you might call 'central' to the rest of the country)

Tulip81 Mon 03-Aug-15 16:14:03

Yes teenandtween thanks i thought so but dh would prefer being more central as youve said, partly because we would be nearer to our family.

Thespottedzebra can you suggest any good schools in milton keynes?

We would consider Hertfordshire, but from what i gather competition is even more fierce for grammar school places.

Is st clements dane a selective school, i cant seem to download the admission policy!

QueenOfNothing Mon 03-Aug-15 16:21:12

St Clements Dane is not a nice school. They won't let you sit GCSEs in a MFL if you're not on target to get an A! ( Or at least that's what one parent told me.)

So I think that's how they get such good results......

If you want grammar schools go to Bucks not Herts. Like I said with a 25% pass rate they're really not that hard to get into......

QueenOfNothing Mon 03-Aug-15 16:24:55

This article says how many pupils from each primary passed the 11+....

poisonedbypen Mon 03-Aug-15 16:33:08

There are no comps in Bucks. the grammars take the top 30% and the Upper schools take the rest, so their results will never be as good. If you move to Bucks for the grammars choose your area extremely carefully or you could end up with a truly awful Upper. There are some very good ones.

Ionacat Mon 03-Aug-15 18:12:21

There are some fantastic secondaries in Hampshire and not just Winchester/Chandlers Ford either. Talkin Peace regularly gives advice about Hampshire schools, apart from a few areas the schools are great on the whole. Fleet, Alton, Petersfield, Liphook, Alresford, Odiham have had historicially great schools. It might be worth having a closer look at what the secondaries are like if you are only moving for schools.

Tulip81 Mon 03-Aug-15 18:30:30

Thank you queenofnothing, thats really helpful! Its very interesting to see the varying results amongst the primary schools. Another thing to think about, i think our search area is going to be very small at this rate shock.

Poisonedbythen can you tell which uppers are very good?

CharlesRyder Mon 03-Aug-15 18:49:45

May be a bit left field but what about Langley?

You have the option of Slough Grammar or St Bernard's if Catholic. If DC don't make the grammars Bayliss Court is well thought of for girls and Slough and Eton is 'Outstanding'.

Lots of house for your money in Slough but you are so close to Windsor you can pretend you live there!

QueenOfNothing Mon 03-Aug-15 18:56:04

I wouldn't recommend Slough grammar. It's changed its name to upton court. Have a look at its lunch / after school clubs. Not a very integrated school.

Bucks is way nicer than Slough. And the pass mark for the 11+ is considerably lower.

CharlesRyder Mon 03-Aug-15 18:57:20

Oh has it? It used to be really well though of! Shame.

CharlesRyder Mon 03-Aug-15 18:57:50

I don't personally like Bucks though.

Rivercam Mon 03-Aug-15 19:04:16

Harpenden has good schools, although the houses are pricey. It's on a good commuter route.

LooksLikeImStuckHere Mon 03-Aug-15 19:14:34

I would also use caution when looking at the primaries to see how many go on to grammar school. State primaries do not teach for the 11+ All they do are familiarisation papers, hence the reason that the private school children achieve so well - the schools do teach and tutor the pupils. Bit of an unfair playing field IMO.

There are plenty of good upper schools, though many are now academies.

My opinion on good grammars would depend on whether you have boys or girls. In some areas there is very little choice for girls so you need to pick carefully.

enderwoman Mon 03-Aug-15 19:26:09

Milton Keynes has good comps and you can take the exams for Bucks 11+ if you don't mind a commute.

TeenAndTween Mon 03-Aug-15 19:29:41

Also, wrt number going to grammar from each primary, I could imagine that it might reflect the 'middle classness' of the primary more than the teaching. ie Those with parents with the time, money and energy to sort out appropriate tutoring etc.

(Disclaimer, this is only a supposition, I have no evidence).

LooksLikeImStuckHere Mon 03-Aug-15 19:34:26

Teen I think that's an entirely sensible supposition (and I say that as a Bucks Primary teacher of well over a decade).

QueenOfNothing Mon 03-Aug-15 19:42:14

But that's the same with every school! Harpenden only has good schools cause it's so expensive.

It still tells you a lot. It tells you if you're likely to be have peers who will pass the 11+ or not. If you're aiming for a grammar you're better off going to a school where lots of other parents are aiming for a grammar......

I don't think teaching is the difference in any school. Almost all schools results mirror their cohort very very closely.

LooksLikeImStuckHere Mon 03-Aug-15 19:46:39

I think the teaching at private schools does make a difference to the number of children that then go on to grammar. Most around me are trained (intensively) to sit the test.

State schools, definitely not.

Agree that it is still useful information, was only suggesting that you use it with caution smile

QueenOfNothing Mon 03-Aug-15 20:03:42

I'm not convinced the teaching at a private school makes the difference. I think their results mirror their cohort to the same degree as a state school does. Given pretty much 100% of a state school can afford the fees a 60% pass rate isn't brilliant.

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