Aylesbury High School - can't find results - and buses(15 Posts)
I know I am being spectacularly stupid but I can't see the 2015 results, subject by subject on the AHS website.
I see they admit (well recently, anyway) many girls out of Aylesbury, to include Thame. Their maps indicate a school bus from Thame to Aylesbury, separate from the 280, is that right? Does it drop at all the Aylesbury grammars?
Any general thoughts on AHS/SHF welcome. We have an excellent comprehensive on the doorstep but feel we should at least consider all options. I appreciate the best thing is to go and look for ourselves but always interesting to hear what others have to say.
My DD is in 6th form at AHS and has a friend who lives in Thame. I think she travels on the public bus and walks from the bus station. It is a great school and takes quite a few girls from as far away as MIlton Keynes. They do travel quite a distance for meet ups sometimes. I think the results in 2015 were good. I remember hearing about 9 got in to do medicine, and several to Oxbridge too. My DD has completed her Gold D of E through the school, and has been very happy there.
No children there yet but I went to see it at the last open day. Got a really good feel about it. Liked the way that girls are only set for French and maths. French as they have many girls come from prep schools who have been learning it from reception and the second maths set just goes at a slower pace but with both sets being entered for the highest grade papers. Girls seemed motivated and happy. Had a good academic vibe about it. I would send my girls there over St Albans High School for Girls, my local high achieving, independent. Sure it had far nicer facilities and more things going on, but stripped back I thought they had a very similar feel. For the right girl I think it's a good choice. I did see the results somewhere but it might have been in the local press.
The Performance league tables with the 2015 data is published by the Government later this month on their web site. The provisional KS4 data for 2015 is there. It would be highly unusual for there to be a blip in results in 2015! The Bucks grammar schools are not super-selective so do have some middle ability children. I know lots of girls who have been there and have done very well, as you would expect. Local newspaper reports just give outstanding headlines and not a general picture. Also, different cohorts will have slight variations! I know a few years ago, they only let the girls do 3 A levels so the overall points score could look at bit low in comparison to some high performing schools. The school gets great progress figures and super results year after year.
I would ring them regarding the 2015 results. They should be helpful and might even split them down subject by subject.
I know nothing about bus routes but either the school or Bucks CC Transport will know. It will depend on who lets the coach contract. Coming from Thame, you pass by The Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School in Oxford Road, Aylesbury to get to the town centre. It is co-ed but not quite as academic as the High School because lots of first choices choose the High or the Grammar in preference to the Floyd. However, the Floyd suits a lot of children (generally less flash parents) and is smaller than either the Grammar or the High and, importantly for some, co-ed. My only comment about the High is that it felt cramped on its site. The same applies to the Floyd. However, this is a minor issue really.
Then click the link at the bottom for the prospectus insert. The results are there.
AHS is a very good school, I went there and am considering it for my girls, though we have a couple of years before we have to make the decision.
Having looked it up as while ago, there is a page on the website that gives past years data of furthest away child admitted, its been 17/18 miles in previous years so Thame is well within that area.
When I was at school and still now from what I understand talking to other parents, the SHF is 2nd best to AHS and AGS.
Children from Thame do get the 280 bus from the town centre, I'm not sure whether it goes to the bus station or the coach park at the school though. I also believe that if you live outside of Bucks, you will have to pay for at least some, if not all, of the cost of the bus.
Do beware that you can't compare results from the grammar schools with those of Lord Bills. Lord Bills is a truly a school for all comers, where as the grammars only take the most able children so their academic ability is on average much higher before they've even set foot in a classroom. Of course they will have higher grades.
Lord Bills has a very good record for 'adding value'. So whatever level the child starts at, they stand a very good chance of getting as good a set of results as they are capable of. They still have plenty of A and A* students, though obviously not as many as the grammars.
I'm really torn between the 2 at the moment so I'm burying my head in the sand for now and will go and look around both schools when the time comes and hopefully that will help us come to a decision. Of course it all depends on passing the 11+ anyway assuming we go down that route when the time comes.
Even if you live in Bucks you pay for transport these days if it is not your nearest school. They count the secondary moderns as nearest, if one happens to be nearer than the Grammar school your child has qualified for. Saves BCC money!
As far as I am aware, Lord Bills is a lot bigger with an Upper and a Lower school. I would say the high achievers in and around Thame are much the same as the high achievers at Aylesbury High School. The difference is that only about 10% (or lower) at Aylesbury High are middle achievers. Obviously Lord Bills has many more middle and lower achievers on entry. One would not expect the difference between the top set at Lord Bills to be different from many of the girls at Aylesbury High School, unless there are a huge number of defections to Bucks Grammar Schools of both girls and boys.
KayJBee, thank you very much for directing me.
I have looked at the top 25% of results for LWS and they compare extremely favourably with SHF and I fully expect with AHS as well. I know LWS very well and truly believe it is a great school and would be very happy for DD to go there. But I also feel we should investigate all possibilities - it will all be about finding the right place for her
One slightly disappointing thing about LWS is that there is no option to study triple science - esp as DD is very keen on this area (appreciate she may change her mind about this). But clearly this is only one point of many to be considered.
LWS is circa 2000, but 7-9 on one site and 10-13 on another. So neither feels too huge. And Lower School has a very friendly, good-transition-from-Primary feel about it. So no, size not an issue.
Funnily enough, I've got one DT at LWS and one DT at SHF. DS gets the normal (280) bus from Thame to SHF. He tried the Bucks CC school bus service but it goes round the houses and doesn't stop in Thame itself but just outside on the Aylesbury Road. He loves the school and is doing very well. His DT is at LWS and seems fairly happy but then she isn't such a school-lover/academic child - or at least not yet anyway.
Both schools have good and bad points - think you have to visit and take your own child's needs/strengths/interests into account ...
The 2015 Performance tables are now on the Department for Education's website. It is impossible to see how the high achievers do at LWS for A level because these children do not get reported on exclusively so they are rolled in with the Middle attainers, who are a very small cohort at the grammar schools and less than they used to be.
At GCSE, it is possible to say that higher attainers do better at the grammar schools. This may be because LWS loses high attainers to the grammar schools! However at AHS, who probably have more high end high attainers, the girls get 429.4 average points per score per pupil (A grade). SHF is 414.1 (A-) and LWS is 386.1 (B). Therefore high attainers do better at the grammar schools. Not that LWS does badly, but SHF IS better. However if a child is a middle attainer it is difficult to compare because the grammars have so few of them!
Having looked at the buses I see that the 280 is the only sensible option. It is quite hard to envisage DD doing the journey, 15 minutes brisk walk to bus stop, bus journey and then another 15 minutes walk the other end and back when she is not yet safe to walk to school on her own . But I realize they change a lot in their capacity to do these things over the last couple of years in Primary.
Still, it would mean leaving the house 1hr 10 minutes earlier than it would if she stayed in town.....although less if you go for the latest bus that can get you there on time (an idea quite against my mindset!)
Also I appreciate you don't choose a school based on the bus route, but practical considerations obviously do have to be factored in.
You would also need to factor in getting home in the evening if she stays for clubs etc. I think it suits people who can ferry their children in and out. Local friends may also e a consideration. No choice is easy is it? You could always get her to take the 11 plus when the time comes and see how she gets on. If she does not get a place, at least you know where you stand!
At AHS most clubs happen during the lunch hour, because so many girls travel long distances to get there. It is a great school but I can appreciate it is a difficult decision to commit to the travelling if you have a good school locally.
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