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Secondary School deadline approaching fast.... Chestnut Grove? Kingsdale?

(15 Posts)
Braingonetomush Sun 22-Oct-17 17:58:21

I really can't decide the order to put on the secondary school application and I'm running out of time - please help!!

My DD has a place at Chestnut Grove under the language aptitude assessment - which is fantastic - but I'm not convinced about the school. I have no idea why, there's just a niggling feeling in the back of my mind!

Can anyone give me present day thoughts? The threads I am seeing seem to be at least 3 years old!

Am thinking about putting Kingsdale at the top of the list but am worried that being a bit further away will mean that a) she'll have longer to travel and b) her friends will be too far away. Does anyone have any experience of a 40 min commute?

any thoughts/help/decisions would be brilliant! Thank you!!

AveEldon Sun 22-Oct-17 18:33:28

What is the difference in the two commutes?
Consider not just time but reliability and also how many modes of transport are involved

I don't know Kingsdale beyond the historic exam stuff and their apparent ability to get any negative comments online deleted

Chestnut Grove is improving but it's still a mixed ability comprehensive.

Braingonetomush Sun 22-Oct-17 18:57:52

Thank you! The commute is only about 5-10 mins longer each way and as it's London there's various ways to get there. Chestnut Grove commute would be simple - cycle/walk or bus!

Is Chestnut Grove still improving? Or did it peak 8 years ago with it's Ofsted report. I find it very confusing! Do you have experience of it? I'm happy with mixed ability as long as all needs are being met. My daughter seems to think that she won't need to work so hard at Chestnut Grove - which is just a tad worrying!!

CamperVamp Sun 22-Oct-17 19:39:04

They are both mixed ability comps!

CamperVamp Sun 22-Oct-17 19:44:04

If you live between them, what other options do you have?

Everyone I know with kids at Kingsdale is happy.

Are you in with a chance for Duraven?

AveEldon Sun 22-Oct-17 20:12:30

I'm still a bit dubious as to how the Kingsdale lottery works
The 21 page admissions document must put some people off

Chestnut Grove has some great new buildings
I think its still improving but it's always a question of - is the teaching improving? or are they getting brighter kids to start with?

Have you compared the Progress 8 stats for both?

What other schools are on your list?

lalalonglegs Sun 22-Oct-17 21:05:35

Has your daughter got a scholarship for Kingsdale because, if not, it doesn't really matter if you put it first on the form or not: it is very oversubscribed and, once siblings/looked after children/scholarship winners are factored in, the chance of her getting in through the lottery are quite slim. Put it first by all means but try to view it as an outlier and factor in some safer places if you're not convinced by Chestnut Grove. How does your daughter feel about CG? My children aren't there but I know several people whose children are and they have been pleased (Y9 and below).

CamperVamp Sun 22-Oct-17 21:14:17

Pressure on Kingsdale places is heavy but if it is your top choice, why not put it top? Someone has to get those places!

She has a 'banker': CG.

Op what is your nearest school?

Braingonetomush Mon 23-Oct-17 16:17:46

Our local schools are Trinity Academy, Lambeth Academy and City Heights. Dunraven is just over a mile away, so if for some reason no one puts it on their list we may get a look in, but I think that's just about as likely as Graveney! Kingsdale is supposed to be this lottery and I'm hearing pros and cons about it - more pros than cons. CG I don't really hear anything about and I can't work out why!

Lalalonglegs - lovely to hear someone who is pleased with CG (especially with 2+ children who are there at the moment) - as no one really mentions it compared to the others!

lalalonglegs Mon 23-Oct-17 17:44:07

My children aren't at CG... But have you considered Burntwood ? My daughter is there and we love it. I'm guessing you live Clapham area, you'd probably get in on waiting list if not first round. Has your daughter taken Wandsworth Test? Unlike Graveney, you don't have to get a very high score at all to get a Burntwood place through that.

Braingonetomush Mon 23-Oct-17 19:15:04

I meant that it was good you'd heard of children with positive experiences! Sorry if I'm being too nosy but I saw your post for when you were going through the same decision a few years ago and our thoughts seem similar! Did you put Burntwood down as 1st choice in the end? I liked it when I looked around but my son will refuse to wear a skirt to get in when his time comes (and I like the idea of getting this sorted once and for all now!)

lalalonglegs Mon 23-Oct-17 20:08:53

Choose a place that you like for your daughter and worry about your son when that time comes (I also have children of different sexes so I know it is more convenient if they can all go to the same school but sometimes the school that will suit/accept them all doesn't exist). No, we put KD first and subsequently got very suspicious about the way the lottery is operated and BW second. We are now very happy that our daughter got into BW.

Teddygirlonce Wed 25-Oct-17 09:29:26

it is more convenient if they can all go to the same school - but does it really matter? Secondary schools don't operate in the same way as primary schools (for example all parents' evenings on the same evening etc...). So aside from travel to/from school (and most siblings won't travel together anyway), hand-me-down uniform items and having a more in-depth knowledge of a school, there's not advantage, is there?

I've always felt the sibling policy for secondary schools in London is antiquated and should be scrapped. It doesn't really serve a useful purpose but disadvantages 'eldest' and 'only' children.

CamperVamp Wed 25-Oct-17 17:15:22

"hand-me-down uniform items"

And good luck to anyone who has to wear a hand-me-down teen-wrecked polyester blazer! Ours have been in a right state by the time they have done one or two school years!

Teddygirlonce Thu 26-Oct-17 08:19:18

CamperVamp you have a point but most of DS's Yr 10/11 clothes (shirts aside) were in 'good as new' condition, so went to the second hand uniform sale at school when he no longer had need of them. The same certainly couldn't be said for his 'lower school' blazer though - that was mended and darned beyond its natural life span!

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