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Grammar schools in Milton keynes

(21 Posts)
Ashu13 Mon 25-Apr-16 23:12:41


We are planning to buy a house and also are looking for houses in Milton Keynes. My daughter is in Year 4 and I plan to prepare her for 11+ exams. Are there any grammar schools in MK, I have read posts of 2005 which say that no grammar school has the catchment in MK. Please let me know. Thanks!

zipzap Mon 25-Apr-16 23:26:40

There aren't any grammar schools in MK but children from MK can apply to go to the grammar schools in Buckingham, Aylesbury or Leighton Buzzard... There are buses that do school runs to these schools from MK - albeit parents have to pay for them.

If you do want to apply for them then don't do what I did and get caught out by the application for the entrance test. Applications need to be in at the end of the Y5 summer term. But the rest of the applications for the MK schools is all done around September/October - and certainly when I asked about what happened for looking around schools (expecting it to be in that summer term) for ds1 last year, was told everything had to wait until the start of the Autumn Term of Y6. Nobody mentioned anything about dates for grammars which I thought I'd also been talking about.

Although there are some bad not so good comprehensives in MK, there are also some good comprehensives too so it's worth checking them out. I'm lucky in that both dc are at one of the top rated (if not the top rated) junior school in MK which is fantastic, and ds1 has got a place at the top rated senior school in MK for next year, which we decided was preferable in the end instead of going for grammar school and lots of travelling.

It's definitely worth checking out the different areas for the different schools that you're interested in and the catchment areas for the different schools as it can make a massive difference to the overall experience you have of living here. However, when it's good it's a fantastic place to live!

Ashu13 Tue 26-Apr-16 00:39:20

Thank you Zip Zap.
Are you sure that children from MK are allowed in these grammar schools.
Actually my husband works in Leamington Spa and I in cambridge, now we are planning a mid point for both of us.
Milton Keynes seems to be good location wise but my girl is quite keen on grammar schools as she has a cousin's son in Solihull's grammar school to look upto.
How about Soulbury? will that be better for grammar schools as for us somewhere mid place seems okay for now.
otherwise we could just be based in Leamington spa, atleast one of us will be near to work!!

t4gnut Tue 26-Apr-16 08:42:33

Your other issue is the Milton Keynes is a really really horrible town to live in....

MillicentMargaretAmanda Tue 26-Apr-16 10:16:55

You will need to be very careful where you live in Milton Keynes. First priority at the grammars goes to in catchment kids. MK kids are not in catchment. Often they do get in on the out if catchment/distance criteria but I know of children who have passed but live too far away to be awarded place. If you definitely want a guarantee of a Bucks Grammar place if the 11+ is passed, live in Bucks....

Ashu13 Tue 26-Apr-16 10:35:11

How about Aylesbury then? please anyone from there can suggest me ...

MillicentMargaretAmanda Tue 26-Apr-16 10:57:45

You'll be fine for the grammars there but you'll need to consider what you'll do if they don't pass the 11+. Some of the upper schools in Aylesbury aren't brilliant so you'll want to make sure you are living in catchment for a better one.

zipzap Wed 27-Apr-16 00:03:14

Not sure about Soulbury - never heard of it sorry...

And I'd disagree with T4 - I think that MK can be a great place to live with kids. You need to choose your area - but that's true with pretty much every town or city you move to, there are nice bits and not-so-nice bits.

If you can find a nice bit of MK it can be fantastic. There are lots of things going on, some cost money, others don't. There's good sports clubs if your kids are sporty, there's plenty of arty stuff too. Lots of nice countryside and woods and parks both within local areas and around the outskirts. International festival every couple of years (happening again this July) with loads of different acts and events going on. Lots of history that goes back way beyond the start of MK the New City 49 years ago. Fab museums. Bletchley Park. Easy to drive around. Good quality theatre that gets lots of top shows. Indoor snow ski slope. So much more...

With regard to the grammar schools - lots of people from MK do seem to go to them but obviously they will have their cut off points. Probably best to talk to the schools themselves and find out what distance has been their furthest distance over the last few years to get an idea of how likely or not areas of MK that you're interested in are likely to be able to get a grammar place... There are definitely several dc from ds1's school (Y6) that are going to either Aylesbury or Buckingham next September so it is possible rather than guaranteed.

I think too your dd needs to work out what it is that she wants from senior school and what it is that she thinks grammar school will give her over and above comprehensive schools. Somewhere like MK that will lose a few bright kids to grammar schools and private schools but is mainly comprehensive - yes, the results are not as good as the grammars but when you look at the results of the top third of kids then they do pretty well and can offer lots of other stuff besides.

The downside of going to a grammar from MK is that there will be lots of travelling involved which might limit going to clubs after school or meeting up with friends or getting to school/home if you miss the school bus, whereas if you choose a local school then that's not an issue in the same way. I must admit when we moved here I assumed I'd be applying for grammar schools for the dc - but when the time came the negatives outweighed the positives and we think that they will be better off at one of the better secondary schools here in MK (given that we live here and aren't moving!)

And I've only been to Aylesbury a few times but I can't say that I've ever thought 'I wish we lived here' - I've always been glad to escape! DH used to go to a grammar school in Aylesbury and so knows the town and the school (well as it was in his day!) much better than I do - and he's also glad that he's not living there.

bojorojo Wed 27-Apr-16 00:46:34

Soulbury is fine. I know it and it is Bucks but I do not think it has a primary school. However, Stewkley is not far away and is much bigger and has a pretty good primary school. Not sure if it has spaces. You could also look at Winslow. It has a large primary and often has places. Children from there go to the Royal Latin School and there is a new free secondary school in Winslow, The Sir Thomas Freemantle. It is very small, so not sporty or musical, but is having new buildings and will grow as no-one likes Buckingham Secondary much. All these places have easy access to MK.

No-one likes the secondary modern schools in Aylesbury much either. A far, far better place to live is Waddesdon/Quainton for Waddesdon School or Aston Clinton/Wendover for the John Colet School in Wendover. Or Soulbury/Wing for the Cotteslowe School in Wing. I know children who live in North Marston (a very good village) who go to the Cotteslowe school. The North Marston Village school is a small primary. There is a lot of bulding scheduled for Aylesbury and surrounding areas so the distance the Bucks grammar schools recruit from may diminish if more children are selected locally.

If you live outside MK, you have to accept that you will travel to do some things but it depends what you want. My children skied at the Snow Dome but not much else. They danced, did music lessons, joined brownies, swam in our locality. The Chilterns were on our doorstep. Most people did not yearn for MK.

t4gnut Wed 27-Apr-16 09:07:00

If you live in MK you'll have to travel - nothing is reachable unless you drive, and the public transport system is woeful.

It is the most soulless awful place I've ever lived. If you have the money avoid like the plague and stick to the nice small towns/villages in beds./herts/bucks.

mousa Wed 15-Mar-17 14:49:18

Don't worry about being exactly in the catchment area, as they will accept people miles out from the boundary as well.
Also, don't worry if you fail the 11+, more than half the pupils in DC's class failed their 11+ and got in on appeal.
If you are working full time then look for houses near the bus stops that go to the grammar schools. That way your child can get the bus in the morning and then make their own way home after school. Being 10 minutes walk from the bus stop has been an absolute godsend.
Re Milton Keynes - many people working in MK don't live there but live outside in one of the nearby villages or towns.

MrGrumpy01 Wed 15-Mar-17 20:54:07

Solihull doesn't have a grammar school. Solihull School is a private school.

Any children going to a (state) grammar school who live in Solihull are likely to go to one of the school's in the King Edward's foundation. It is very different to areas with a grammar system.

bojorojo Thu 16-Mar-17 00:13:03

What has Solihull got to do with anything???

MrGrumpy01 Thu 16-Mar-17 11:41:56

She said that a family member went to a grammar school in Solihull and her dd looks up to her. But it might not be a grammar school and therefore could be very different to expectations.

Beajab2012 Sat 09-Sep-17 17:33:11

We have been looking for a house to buy in MK. Is there anyone here who lived in Two Mile Ash? I really like the house and the schools seem to be ok. I am moving from a village in Berkshire so I guess I am after the community spirit... any thoughts on that?

BubblesBuddy Sat 09-Sep-17 21:26:03

Go to a village! There are still the original
ones in MK. Plenty of villages around MK too.

thereallochnessmonster Sat 09-Sep-17 21:32:28

Leighton buzzard is in bedfordshire, not Bucks. It is out of county for grammars, and has a three-school system (lower, middle, upper).

Op, how old is your dd? Is she academic? Why are you fixated on grammars?

You might be best doing some internet searching of towns and schools yourself first, before asking on here..

Soulbury is a nice small village in bucks. Not much there...

Godotsarrived Sat 09-Sep-17 21:41:58

You can commute easily to Northampton or Buckingham from MK both have excellent grammar schools. If you want community feel you should head to one of the towns that make up the original boundaries of MK, Stony Stratford and Newport Pagnell are great.
There is a huge amount to do in MK... indoor ski slope, riding, rugby, theatre schools, martial arts, climbing, great gyms, superb parks.,, etc etc. It's a great town.

Ollycat Sat 09-Sep-17 21:47:47

Northampton doesn't have grammar schools confused

CoperCabana Sat 09-Sep-17 22:00:05

You absolutely can live in Milton Keynes and get to many places without driving. As evidenced by the many families that live near me without cars. Public transport near me is a long way from woeful. And where I live is easy walking distance to many amenities. Don't listen to the haters!

Two Mile Ash is very popular. Houses look a little dated but are well sized and have good size gardens.

SoniaKT Sat 30-Dec-17 23:22:14

I do not understand why people say MK is souless.Tens of thousands of London families have moved there because there is so much to do and it is only 1/2h by train from London so families often buy annual family train tickets and have trips to London. My sister lives in MK with her children and they do so much. We love going there because of what we can do,we are always out.My sister will help me with the list of what to do. There are dozens of amazing brand new playparks in the numerous new areas,a brand new sprinkler water park,Gulliver's land, Dinosaur park, Splash zone (indoor splash water park),arts charities,the central library with many events ie coding for children,writing courses,exhibitions etc, MK gallery newly renovated and full of events, Friday night live music with indi concerts and a bar at the library itself,lovely arts centre at a manor house with lessons in clay,carving,drawing etc every weekend and every day during school holidays,huge fun fair with a circus all school holidays,many small and one large modern theatre, main gallery art lessons for children every Saturday,parades,festivals, Walkking with giants (huge dolls made by a charity),huge biannual culture festival that lasts a fortnight with international performers,vast green areas for walking and cycling, guide-led walking groups with various distances for keeping fit, ,several golf courses,many running clubs for children and adults,Summerhays Christmas lights,MK redway runners who get together twice a week and have 5 000 +members,fishing club, several miniature train rides,great nature reserve,lakes,swimming pools,indoor and outdoor tennis courts, the only Japanese pagoda in Europe surrounded by lakes and woodlands and a little Japanese garden,the pagoda Bhudist events that anyone can attend,Paraffinalia Festival of Lights in November in the dark,tons of sports facilities ie sailing,canoeing, badminton (British Olympics team trained there), Willen water sports centre with water skiing and boating,riding,skiing,indoor skydiving, gyms,roller-skating with kids' parties for all major festivities, various toy stores with their own events,go- karting centre,laser tag, Scarecrow festival in villages on the outskirts, outdoor gyms,Stony in Bloom (open gardens),annual Open studios (artists open their studios all aover Mk for free and hold lessons in their art),soft play halls for small children, drama lessons,gymnastics centre,athletics centre (Greg Rutherford started there,he is from MK and chooses to live there now),Bletchley leisure centre with squash,tennis etc,dozens of football clubs for children,martial arts centres all around MK,rugby club for children and adults,hockey centre,ice-hockey centre,ball room dancing lessons,Irish dancing centre, Irish centre with concerts, ballet lessons all over MK,Latin dance clubs,brass bands with free music lessons for children/adults and regular performances, several orchestras (string,windwood), choirs you can join,MK music centre with lessons for all instruments, Hula animal rescue centre with its own events, Interaction art charity with its own events,Woburn sands Christmas fete, dozens of similar fetes around Christmas,Westbury arts centre, many scouting and sea cadet troups,Halloween trail in the woods at night, bug hunting lessions,bat watching sessions, Grand Union canal with boats to hire, thousands of bushes with various berries to pick and cook with in Autumn (my kids love that), community orchards with Apple day events around MK (pressing your own apple juice,home make apple cakes on sale etc),Wolverton orchard concrete dragon and many events for children throughout the year ie Punch and Judy,violinists,choir,a day with many paddling pools every July), Linford manor house with huge stones for children to climb,MK orchestra with classical music,ice-skating centre, bowling centres, sky party centre, trampoling centres (about three),tens of lantern parades and events for Christmas,Holi festival with paint throwing with thousands of people, World play day,World Picnic day, Cinema in the park, Hiroshima anniversary with lantern painting and letting them onto the lake late at night, Festival of art,biannual history festival with visitors from all over the county and a lot more. There is Olney with Dickens Christmas nearby,old Stony Stratford with its own concerts,summer river festival and parades,Woburn is on the outskirts with a lido and many events,beautiful Selsey forest with tall tree platform and rope playparks in the old woods,amazing Dunstable downs,Rushmere forest,Wrest park is 1/2h drive,Barton hills as well,Bedford is nearby with its own river festivals,Northampton as well with hot-air baloon festival etc. Tons of restaurants and bars in the centre. I have read it is the fastest growing city in the UK. It has Virgin trains to London,Birmingham etc, buses from the city centre to Oxford and Cambridge for day trips.
It is an amazing place to live and bring up children. It does not have a grammar school but hundreds of children commute to Buckingham and Aylesbury to theirs. There are good secondary schools in MK as well ie Denbigh,Ousedale,Oakgrove... that have great results.I know children who got into top unis from them.
How anyone can say it is a rubbish place to live in is beyond me. I would like to move there at first opportunity.

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