Best Place to Relocate for Grammar School.(96 Posts)
My elder daughter is getting into her Year-3 this September. We live in Bristol and are willing to relocate to an area which gives her the best chance to get into a Grammar School. She's bright, motivated and with a bit of luck, I am sure she will do well in her exams.
We are planning to buy a property a year after moving to the new area since we would like to give our children and us a chance to get used to the new place of living. We are planning to relocate at the end of this year or earlier if everything goes well.
There are no state-funded grammar schools in Bristol (pardon me if I am wrong) hence the decision to relocate.
Both my husband and I work from home so relocating anywhere in and around the South England wouldn't hurt our career too. Nevertheless, if given a chance, we would prefer a not-so-hyper-busy place to live.
Kindly guide me through this humongous process of finding good places to give our girls a chance to access grammar school education.
Thanks in advance!
Lincolnshire has grammar schools, not super selective though, approx 25% of children attend so results won't be as high as in some areas. So good for the bright but not super bright children! And no one could accuse Lincolnshire of being hyper-busy!!
I would relocate somewhere that has excellent comprehensives.
If you put all your eggs in one basket and she doesn't make it on the day, what will you be left with in a Grammar area? A school that is to all intents and purposes a secondary modern.
Just be very clear about all the possible options. There is little difference ( I think the stats say half a grade in one subject at GCSE) between top sets in a good comp and a grammar. The big difference is that in a comp she could have failed the 11+, or passed but not with a high enough mark to get a place, and get into top sets..
You're looking at Kent, Lincolnshire, Essex or Buckinghamshire.
Grammar schools vary enormously and you need to go and look at them individually. For example, is your daughter musical? Many grammars will have truly world class music provision, some don't bother with it much.
Kent is like Lincolnshire and the top 25% go to grammars. I think this is a better approach than the very competitive areas but agree it does mean the results aren't so impressive.
That's very thoughtful, Testtubeteen, thank you very much.
I was under the assumption that if a city has good grammar schools the secondary schools would be good too. My bad!
How about Lincolnshire? Do you think it has a good mix of both Grammar and Comprehensive schools?
Thanks in advance.
Thank you, Annandale.
She's a bit sporty, winning medals in local/club Gymnastics competition, good at maths and a bit musical too (haven't introduced any formal training yet, though).
Will look into all these (Kent, Lincolnshire, Essex or Buckinghamshire)
Trafford has some of the best Grammar schools in the country inc Altrincham school for Girls. It's up North though. 😉
Looks like it Mehfruittea South would be better for us.
We're in Reading and have Kendrick on our doorstep - but it only admits 96 girls each year and huge numbers apply to sit the 11+ test. However most of applicants are out of catchment so it's vital to check on catchment areas. Even though it has a (large) catchment area, Kendrick would be considered a super selective grammar school admitting the top ~5%. As such, nearby secondaries have a healthy range of pupil abilities.
I agree with other posters about finding good alternative schools and to the east of Reading bordering with Wokingham, there is a fair amount of choice in secondary comps, which would still put you within Kendrick's current catchment
Alternatively Slough has 4 grammar schools to choose from. And Buckinghamshire nearby is an all grammar / secondary modern county.
Definitely look at Lincolnshire. Grantham has great grammar schools and also a very over subscribed non- selective academy. I have one child at each and they are fantastic schools. Grantham and the surrounding villages are also super affordable to buy a house in and London is only 70 minutes on a train.
Thank you ThinkFastNotSlow.
Will consider the catchment area criteria as well. Thanks again.
Thank you Whistle73. Grantham and the surrounding villages - sounds like a good place to us
There is a boys and girls grammar school in both Bournemouth and Poole - so four in the area in total (no grammars in the rest of Dorset though). They're pretty good. However, as a result the most academic pupils are creamed off and the non-grammars in the area don't perform hugely well in exams etc. It's a nice place to grow up, although the conurbation itself is surprisingly big and busy. It's not cheap housing wise but you'd probably get more for your money than in the Home Counties.
Have you considered the Gloucestershire area? There are three girls grammers in the area and two mixed sex grammers (plus three boys only schools so combined there are a lot of grammers!).
We luve about 15 miles away and out Son will be taking the test for the boys school in Stroud in September. If he gets in we plan to relocate.
Lots of lovely areas in Gloucestershire!
Look at the South West Hertfordshire consortium schools (two of which have 'grammar' in the titles, but aren't true grammars as they are semi selective, not 100% selective; all the consortium schools are semi selective on academic test and music or sport, with the vast majority of other places going to the tiny tiny catchments or siblings). But you are taking a massive risk moving and assuming your daughter will get into one of these schools. They are very competitive, attracting applicants from a wide area. Lots of people tutor in Y5 or before. The local non-selectives are quite a bit worse, and in some cases a lot worse. Not sure why you assumed the non-selectively would be good? In Herts, the consortium schools cream off the most academic, leaving everyone else at the other schools, and the other schools' results suffer.
Some parts of Petts Wood and Orpington in SE London are in a 'magic triangle' of good comprehensives (only two superselectives in the borough so only a small number get creamed off), the Bromley borough's superselective of St Olaves for boys and Newstead Wood for girls, still close enough for the Bexley Grammars - Chislehurst and Sidcup co-ed and Townley for girls plus the boy equivalent. Then also the Kent grammars - Some on score like Tonbridge girls and Dartford Grammars and some on pass only like Weald of Kent - so not all eggs are in one basket. some move to a good catchment of Darrick Wood as the comprehensive option and hope for the grammars but have excellent option of that doesn't work out.
If you can afford it, the Tiffin grammars in Kingston SW London are amazing, but most of the non-grammars are right up there too and several have grammar streams.
No one has mentioned Sutton or Kingston. Two good girls grammars in Sutton and one mixed part grammar (with about half places in the grammars reserved for locals) plus one girls grammar in Kingston. If you live in eg Epsom (close to both but a non grammar area) then there's also good comprehensives to fall back on. Worth looking at.
Just to mention though (and sure you've thought of this) that you need to be sure your DC isn't told you are moving to get her into grammar as would just pile on the pressure and probably make her less likely to get in.
Northern Ireland has some fantastic Grammar schools bigger choice if you are Catholic.
"In Herts, the consortium schools cream off the most academic, leaving everyone else at the other schools, and the other schools' results suffer." Of course the results will not be the same, but that is not the same as not being a good school or not offering a good education. Simply that the results reflect the intake. Exactly as they do with Grammars. High results at Grammars reflect the selective intake.
The problem can be, OP, that in a fully Grammar area there may excellent High Schools (as the remaining non selectives are often called) but as the more academic 25% have gone to the grammar many high schools only offer double, rather than triple science. Or a very limited range of MFL. Which is a shame for kids who missed the grammar cut off by one point, or who are international translators in the making but just missed out on the very competitive maths ability,
The so-called super selectives (not in grammar areas, have no catchment or distance criteria and take 'first past the post' rather than everyone who achieves 11+ pass grades) have applicants from miles and miles around and most will be competitively tutored for the exam.
Where would you actually like to live?
Kent has grammar schools across the county. The west Kent grammar schools are often very oversubscribed and some are super selective, in east Kent there are often places available. So if you really do have total freedom where to go perhaps consider east Kent. However it may depend on what work options you both need,
Salisbury is lovely and has a good girls grammar as does bournemouth and Poole.
I would go for Gloucester. Plenty of children travel from Bristol and Swindon to the grammars in Gloucester although it's a long slog. The Crypt is admitting girls into Year7 from September 2018. There are an excellent array of schools to choose from!
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