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grammar school in Bucks

(15 Posts)
muddlepuddle1 Sat 18-Feb-17 20:48:07

Hi, I'd like my daughter to go to one of the Bucks grammar schools and am wondering what are our best options for her to do well at the 11 plus. Any thoughts on 11 plus tutoring versus private school (in Bucks) primary education? She hasn't started primary school yet but we want to make plans.

bojorojo Sat 18-Feb-17 23:52:07

Tutoring is cheaper. Some independent schools in Bucks are not 11 plus crammers. Some state primaries are brilliant so make sure you are in catchment for a good one. Remember you cannot get an average child into a grammar. In fact all the tutoring in the world won't get some children into a grammar. Don't spend loads of money if this plan is just not a live idea when your DD gets to school. The vast majority don't pass!

Zodlebud Sun 19-Feb-17 08:31:42

Whilst it's good to have an idea about future career plans, I really wouldn't start planning to go down the grammar route until you know if it's right for your child. It's not just about being clever, it's whether they have the social and emotional skills to cope in an academic and quite pressurised environment and you won't know this until your child is much older.

Pretty much all of the preps in Bucks will prepare for the 11+. I do think if your child is average then they would be more likely to be stretched at a prep and therefore stand a better chance of passing the 11+. If your child is naturally bright then I would just use a tutor though and save some cash. If your child struggles then don't even make them sit it.

You should also consider catchment areas. Schools like Beaconsfield High are highly oversubscribed and whilst they have a huge catchment area in theory, places are allocated on distance from the school. Others like Aylesbury High take from a very wide geographic area as there is less demand.

Whilst next destinations should be a consideration when looking at schools, it is more important to choose a school that meets your child's needs right now, not x years in the future. A happy child will learn and excel whatever school they go to.

Ollycat Sun 19-Feb-17 10:05:34

Can I respectfully say your child isn't in primary yet - it is impossible to judge where is appropriate for them at secondary!

Which is yiur catchment school - Bucks grammar schools differ greatly and cover a huge geographical area!

My children are in one of the more heavily oversubscribed Bucks grammars. They went to a small state primary. My dd's Year (Year 7) only has children from within the catchment area. The vast vast majority attended local state primary schools.

The majority of children in Bucks will not attend a grammar. You need to consider what you would do if your dc does not qualify.

Your child is very very young - enjoy this time and let them enjoy their childhood. Seriously this is not a time to be thinking about 11+!!

namechangedtoday15 Mon 20-Feb-17 10:35:47

I would do your homework on options - in a similar position (although not Bucks) were moved house so that we were in catchment for the best primary school in the area, and within catchment for grammar school and, probably most importantly, a very good high school if grammar school did not work out.

On the basis that your child is 3 or 4 if they've not started school yet, you will (a) not know whether she is grammar school material and (b) have visited any of the schools. Have DC who have just started at local grammar and there is definitely a "fit" of the type of child who will do well there. I didn't really know which schools would suit my DC until perhaps Year 4 or even Year 5, so I agree with the previous poster that you are premature in deciding grammar will suit her.

Research your options as carefully as you can and make sure you keep your options open. Have a look on the elevenplus website (there is a forum dedicated to Bucks) for more specific advice but also to see that its quite difficult now to get places at top state grammars. Children really do need to be very bright (imo).

NotEnoughTime Mon 20-Feb-17 10:42:39

May I ask do you live in Bucks muddle?

muddlepuddle1 Mon 20-Feb-17 11:04:04

Thanks all. The reason I'm thinking of all this so early, and yes I agree that it's too early is because we are moving house and have the option of both Herts or bucks to live in. We're currently renting in bucks. I want to make the best of my options now so we don't possibly have to look at moving again in a few years. I completely get that we don't know anything about school yet as she's so young and I'm hoping to avoid being over pushy! However we need to decide now where is best to live so it's probably useful to have considered all options?

poisonedbypen Mon 20-Feb-17 11:10:49

Have you tried the 11 plus forum? I think the advice is usually to live somewhere where they have good Upper Schools too, although, of course, everything could change if your daughter is very young. Catchments change, schools improve or get worse. Are there good comprehensives in Herts? If so I would opt for those. I think the grammar school in Chesham takes children from the edge of Herts, but I don't know if they are actually in catchment. The catchment maps are on the Buck County Council website, but some schools don't even take all children who are in catchment.

NotEnoughTime Mon 20-Feb-17 11:46:12

Hello again muddle

I live in Bucks and my DS goes to a grammar which he and we are very happy with. However when we moved here I had no idea that the 11+ system was still in place if I had known there is NO WAY I would have moved here as I have seen first hand the pain and heartache caused within this dreadful system. It is a nightmare sad

Do yourself a favour and save yourself a load of stress and aggravation move to the catchment area of a good school in Herts.

Best of luck whatever you decide!

bojorojo Mon 20-Feb-17 12:01:31

I do not think pain and heartache is as widespread as people make out. Parents get wound up but if they were not so pushy, they would have an easier life! So would their children.

Very many of my friends have had children go to Bucks Secondary schools. Every single one was happy with that and not a single one was doubled up with pain and heartache! Every single child has done very well, even going to the Holy Grail of Exeter University in one case. Life does not stop in a secondary school. Two parents I know who pushed their children to take the 12 plus and in one case, try yet again at 13, found their children did not flourish at the grammar (they did eventually get in) and one started bed wetting. It really is not worth getting so worked up about this.

Any Bucks parent should live in a catchment for a good sec mod. Some of these are way better than nearby comprehensives. If anyone hates the 11 plus system they can move out of Bucks or apply to a comprehensive in Herts or Oxfordshire. I know people who have done this. For example it is possible to get into Tring School from Bucks.

Also, the grammars in Aylesbury and Buckingham take from catchment and further afield. You could live in Tring and probably get into one of Aylesbury Grammars. You could go to Tring School if not successful. There is a pretty clear pecking order of secondary moderns, so just make sure you know which ones are best. Waddesdon is the most sought after so living in Waddesdon gives you excellent choices too.

hedwig2001 Mon 20-Feb-17 12:14:02

I live in Bucks. I would suggest living close to the best possible Secondary Modern school. If your child is smart/lucky enough to get into Grammar school great, but you then have a safe plan B.
My son had borderline 11+ practice results in Years 4 & 5, so we arranged 11+ tuition. He enjoyed it, but it made no real difference to his score.
My son goes to John Colet in Wendover and we have been very happy with the school.

MrsPatmore Mon 20-Feb-17 15:13:06

Try the elevenplusexams forum on Bucks. Tons of info there.

HPFA Mon 20-Feb-17 17:07:08

Don't know the Herts schools personally but the D of E tables reveal lots of high-performing comprehensives. I would imagine you have to be careful where you live - schools with these sort of results are certain to be oversubscribed.

Biased because I don't like the selective system but as *Bojorojo" says, results wise there are some decent secondary moderns in Bucks.

Frankley Mon 20-Feb-17 21:54:10

I agree with NotEnough I have seen much heartache too. Go to somewhere there are a good Comprehensive schools. Those parents whose children ''pass'' will not see the problems caused to a child deemed to have ''failed'' at age 11 --even if the child does get to Uni later on.

bojorojo Tue 21-Feb-17 00:13:15

Really? Some of us do have friends! Of course we know children in the secondary schools. Lots of them. What lasting problems? I know parents who are happy their children don't go to a grammar. The pace at the secondary moderns is a bit slower and some children really thrive in them. There is no shame attached to not being selected for a grammar. If parents don't like the test, opt out of it.

It is Parents who have the problems and go on about the failure of their children it seems to me. They build up the sin of failure in their children in a very unhealthy way and throw ££££ at tutors. The child is then expected to pass so is crestfallen when they don't. If parents just accepted their child for what they are, everyone would be happier.

Why would anyone complain about any good school is beyond me?! The grammars recruit into 6th forms too so the 'failure' can be altered. The lasting damage is pursuing something that is unattainable and then letting that get at you and your child. Anyone who does not like the Bucks system can move into another area such as MK.

Bucks is full of parents who accept the system. It is not perfect. The biggest challenge is making sure our least academic pupils do well. The ones who just miss out nearly always do well, unless their parents continually go on about their 'failure'. No-one else will.

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