Westcliff High School fir Girls?(16 Posts)
Went to have a look at this grammar school last night.
Anyone here had any experience of the school? I know the Chelmsford girls school has a reputation of being an exam factory- is Westcliff similar?
Any advice gratefully received.
Sorry that should read "Westcliff High School for Girls"
I don't know much about Westcliff Girls - we went to look at it for dd and I wasn't overly impressed (although they did have a beautiful library!).
However, I just wanted to refute your statement about Chelmsford County High being like an exam factory. Dd is in Y8 there and this is not our experience at all. The school offers a very well-rounded education and the overwhelming impression we have is that learning,there, is fun. They are very keen on sports, music and other extra-curricular activities with regular enrichment days when the timetable is ignored and the girls get to try different activities. There are always different house competitions (karaoke, best decorated classroom (at Christmas!), house show, house pancakes (!), house obstacle course etc etc). They have so much fun it makes me want to go back to school!!
PS - I have just mentioned this to dd, who is off school sick today and she is amazed that anyone thinks her school is an exam factory.
That's interesting Mrs Bartlett- thanks.
We like both schools and want to hedge our bets with the 11+ so will probably put Chelmsford first choice then Westcliff second (as I know Chelmsford don't even consider you if you do not put them first.)
I was there from 1967 - 1971 and the advantage over CCH is that you are within 'bunking off' distance from Chalkwell beach. You can get there, have a paddle and then get back all within a double Physics lesson.
Hmmmm- hocuspontas not sure that's information I will share with DD!
Brigit - it is not that Chelmsford won't consider you if you don't put them first. It is merely that it is done on ranking in the exam and you need a higher ranking to get into Chelmsford than Westcliff.
I am aware that people feel that CCHS is an exam factory but that view tends to come from people who have no direct experience of the school. I would find it hard to imagine anyone who actually had a daughter at the school thinking that it was an exam factory.
I did not mean to be disparaging about Westcliff by saying that I wasn't overly impressed by it - it just didn't feel right for our dd. We live in Chelmsford and Westcliff seemed quite far away and she desperately wanted to go to CCHS. Best of luck to your dd for the 11+. If you have any questions about CCHS I'd be happy to help (if I can!)
Westcliff has a good reputation for pastoral care and support.
We are considering it as well.
We would like CCHS but accept that there is a slimmer chance of dd getting in as there are so many more children going for the 11+ now as well as it being so competitive anyway.
MrsBartlett we live in Billericay so Westcliff is a long way to go for us too(bus leaves from the end of our road but at 7:15!)
I think our first preference would be for CCHG but with the credit crunch more parents are going for grammar schools so the competition will be even higher than usual. (800 put CCHS as their first choice last year for 120 places.)
Someone told me that on the first open evening they had last week there were 900 visitors! When we went on the second evening it was packed too and mainly with girls wearing obviously private school uniforms!
DD is bright and I'm sure a grammar would suit her but I really don't rate her odds.
So much of it will rest on how she performs on the day.
My nephew went to Westcliff Boys from Billericay and he survived! It got easier as he got older and was able to make his own way there on public transport rather than the school bus meaning he could leave later. They seem to have a fantastic time on the bus too and it gives them time socialisng with the opposite sex.
I heard the open evenings were very busy. Dd was helping in the English dept (rather than doing tours) as she absolutely loves English!
I am all too aware that the competition is getting fiercer as I have a ds in Y4 who wants to go to KEGS. He ssems to thinks he will get in just because his sister is at CCHS and he wants to go on the bus with her! If only it were that easy.
The whole system is mad because as you say it comes down to how they perform on one day. Do you have a good back-up option if she doesn't get into CCHS or WHSG?
Yes we do have a back up. Our local school is quite good (Mayflower high) and DD is the sort of pupils who will be in the top sets and should do well but she doesn't want to go there!
Our older DD is at a small independent in Billericay which suits her well and she loves it. I know DD2 would get in there as it's not really selective but not quite academic enough.
We had a look at the Brentwood Independent school today and she really fell in love with it so if she can pass the entrance test(which is supposed to be similar but a little easier than the 11+ and more weighting on English which is her best subject) I think she will go there.
Obviously we would hope not to have to pay two lots of school fees!
My niece is doing very well at Mayflower. She has just done her GCSEs and got mainly A* and As. We may look at Brentwood for ds but I don't really think we could afford it. Whilst I would like him to go to KEGS I have a few reservations about whether a boys school will suit him as he has lots of girl friends.
The main thing is that you have good options. We really didn't want dd to go to our catchment school (and nor did she) so it made the whole 11+ thing quite stressful.
I went there from 1991-96. Was a very good school. I would like my DD to go there when she is older.
MrsBartlett The thing we liked about Brentwood was, although it is a co-ed school, they teach the boys and girls separately up to year 11. So socially they have a mix of friends but no distractions from the opposite sex in lessons!
That sounds good Brigit. Dd has to make do with socialising with boys on the bus and at school discos!
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