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Henrietta Barnett vs Woodford County High

(26 Posts)
Sly74 Thu 24-Oct-19 17:16:34

My daughter has sat the Woodford County High exam (WCH) & the Henrietta Barnett (HB) exam. She has done really well and now it’s the dilemma of choosing which school to put as the first choice. We live in Woodford & are in the Woodford County High catchment area. HB is such a prestigious school and is higher on the league table than WCH but is much further away!

Do we choose:
1) WCH - local and there is a direct bus that takes her there in about 20mins.

2) HB - my husband will have to drive her there which will probably take an hour.

Any comments & opinions will be greatly appreciated.

OP’s posts: |
foxatthewindow Thu 24-Oct-19 17:20:23

The first option. Your daughter is the the position to choose between two great schools and one of them would allow her to have a reasonable life balance and some independence. Complete no-brainer!

TeenPlusTwenties Thu 24-Oct-19 17:28:12

Why on earth would anyone/you choose to have your 11yo commute for 10hrs a week if there was a perfectly good school 20mins away?

twilightcafe Thu 24-Oct-19 17:50:36

Option A.
Much, much easier for your daughter if she's closer to school. She will have more time for homework and friends are likely to live closer to her.

LimeTreeGrove Thu 24-Oct-19 18:18:51

I think your dh might get fed up with the hour long drive there and what if his job changed so he could no longer do it? Would your dd make her own way home and if so how long would that take?

FanDabbyFloozy Thu 24-Oct-19 18:20:32

The nearest! Imagine driving to Hampstead for 7 years..

Sothankful Fri 25-Oct-19 23:37:53

Hi we are in exactly the same position. There is a coach service that collects girls from A406 and drops them right infront of HB. HB finishes at 3:15 and girls are home by 4/415

Zinnia Fri 25-Oct-19 23:43:05

What time does the coach leave in the morning? That's still an hour's journey, plus the time to get to the bus stop. We are doing a very similar-sounding journey with DD, Y7. The coach collects at 7.25am and is a 15 minute walk from home. It's punishing and DD is permanently shattered. If you have an excellent school much closer (and I don't know Woodford so can't comment on it per se) then it's kinder on all of you to take that if you can.

Zinnia Fri 25-Oct-19 23:49:40

OK, I couldn't resist looking it up... WCHS's progress 8 (a blunt instrument, but a useful benchmark) is better than HBS's on the 2019 provisional figures and identical in 2018. The attainment figures are marginally better at HBS but that will mostly be because it's so very highly selective and has such a huge pool of applicants.

What is the compelling reason to send your daughter on that commute over the seemingly excellent local option? You may very well have such a reason, but you should be sure of it before you take such a momentous decision for your family.

Sothankful Sat 26-Oct-19 00:26:54

Yes this is what I am thinking, but I dont want to regret not taking the opportunity to send her to such a fantastic school.

Sly74 Sat 26-Oct-19 08:14:14

Thank you for yr reply. Yes, my DH has researched about the coaches too & there is a 102 bus that goes there too but DH will have to drop her off to be able to catch it. DH favours HB whereas I can’t decide due to the distance of the school.

You say you are in the same position ....have you decided which school you are going for ???

OP’s posts: |
Sly74 Sat 26-Oct-19 08:34:51

Thanks Zinnia for your reply. It’s good to hear back from someone with experience. Does your DD complain about the long hours ? What school do she go to & do she like it there ? (If you don’t mind my asking).

I am worried about the distance and the time it takes. Like Sothankful above, I don’t want to regret not giving my DD the opportunity to go to such a good school.

HB only take 95 kids each year and is an academy so will have better funding and facilities. WCHS takes 180 kids each year and grammar schools in Redbridge lacks funding (I know this as my son goes to ICHS - the boy’s grammar school in Redbridge).

OP’s posts: |
Sothankful Sat 26-Oct-19 09:05:31

Sly74, we are still undecided.

Sothankful Sat 26-Oct-19 13:06:30

My daughter is in band A. If we put HB as 1st choice and then end up being on the waiting list then woud be lose our place at WCHS by putting it down as our 2nd choice?

Also if we put down HB as 1st choice and end up getting an offer, but by then if something happens and we cant accept the offer, then would we have lost wchs?

FanDabbyFloozy Sat 26-Oct-19 13:22:14


- If you end up on the HBS wait list, you will get your 2nd choice WCHS instead.
- If you get HBS, you have lost your 2nd choice WCHS.

I would again urge parents to consider the commute and remember that there is nothing particularly special about HBS itself. It doesn't have more funding than other schools, it reuses books like every other state school grin. Passing WCHS to go to HBS sounds crazy to me.

It is not the school that produces the results - it's the parents of the girls who push them to achieve. I know a high flying girl who has been tutored in science and maths since year 8 - not because she is flunking but because she isn't top set. This is a parental mindset problem, not a school issue. No doubt the school are appalled by this too.

Zinnia Sat 26-Oct-19 14:28:29

@FanDabbyFloozy has it right. HBS is not in itself "better" than other comparable selective state schools like WCHS (though as I said I don't know that school itself).

I would also worry about the very highly academically pressured mindset at HB.

@Sly74 I'll PM you, would rather not out my DD's school on here!

Sothankful Sat 26-Oct-19 15:12:05

Thank you all so much for your valuable advice and I do agree with everything that you say. Hope we make the right choice!

Sly74 Sat 26-Oct-19 17:14:09

Thank all for your advice & sharing your experience. Will discuss with DH and DS and hopefully come to the right decision !

Have given ourselves until Monday 28th to make a decision (a little more time to ponder) and submit our form.

OP’s posts: |
MarchingFrogs Sat 26-Oct-19 17:43:54

I know a high flying girl who has been tutored in science and maths since year 8 - not because she is flunking but because she isn't top set.his is a parental mindset problem, not a school issue. No doubt the school are appalled by this too.

Which may, of course, at least partially explain the changes in the admissions policy for 2020 entry...

NewModelArmyMayhem18 Mon 28-Oct-19 19:15:11

I know a high flying girl who has been tutored in science and maths since year 8 - not because she is flunking but because she isn't top set.

This definitely happens more than is generally accepted by those who don't have DC at selective state schools. I can recall saying as much a few years ago (when DS underachieved in his GCSEs). One MNetter got quite shirty, categorically refusing to believe that children do still get tutored even when they are at very high-performing grammars.

Isn't it that at least 25% (and I believe the figure is higher in London) of children are tutored?

elkiedee Tue 29-Oct-19 09:03:32

Academies don't get extra money for being academies. When they were first set up some got money chucked at them to help the academy conversion process, and some have had it since to bail them out, but generally whichever type of school state schools are, they will be getting the same funding cuts.

We didn't apply for selective schools but I would say it's been brilliant for DS1 going to a really local school as he has friends living nearby. He's 12 and we're already finding our nearly teenager quite testing but I'm sure that would be the case at any school - at least I know he's probably quite nearby.

Surely if a school is academically selective AND puts students in sets as well, only a small proportion are going to be in the top set. I would imagine other sets are going to do relatively well too if kids have already had to pass tests to be there.

Sothankful Wed 04-Mar-20 10:48:35

@Sly74 Hi how are you? Hope you got the offer you wanted

Battenburg11 Wed 04-Mar-20 11:35:56

We chose Woodford County and got offered a place for September entry. Am little concerned their Ofsted is from 10 years ago though. Had a visit the other day and it looks like a good school.

My DD narrowly missed the cut off for round two at HBS but we wouldn’t have chosen the school due to the distance but used it as a practice run for the other more local grammars.

Sly74 Wed 04-Mar-20 13:50:40

In the end we decided to put HB as 1st choice & WCHS as 2nd choice..... found out yesterday that she got into HB!

Only time will tell if we made the right decision!!!😬

OP’s posts: |
Battenburg11 Wed 04-Mar-20 14:14:15

Well done. I thought HB had a catchment area. Hope it goes well and that A406 isn’t too bad.

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