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Talk to me about Stafford high schools...

Discussion in 'Stafford Chat' started by c0tt0nt0p, Sep 22, 2020.

  1. c0tt0nt0p

    c0tt0nt0p Well-Known Forumite

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    The daughter departs primary school next year and we have to run the gauntlet of picking the high school.

    Can you give me your thoughts on the various high schools in Stafford please (experiences over the last few years please), good or bad.

    Catchment school for where we live is King Edward VI but the catchment for her Primary school is Weston Road Academy...

    Cheers
     
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  3. Wormella

    Wormella Well-Known Forumite

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    Students that I know that go to Weston Rd academy seem happy
     
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  4. kyoto49

    kyoto49 Well-Known Forumite

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    Catchment school. No daily schlepps pointlessly across town by car or bus allowing them to walk to school with friends and become independant much quicker, plus friends all living in a similar location etc etc.

    If that isn't your preferred approach, Ignore ofsted, go see the schools and see if the vibe and ethos is right for your child!

    If your child is going to achieve they will achieve in any Stafford school.
     
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  5. PeterD

    PeterD ST16 Represent.

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    Couldn’t agree more with this. Particularly friends loving in the same location. Many years ago we wanted to send my daughter to the school we wanted, we talked and decided that yes the school she wanted to go to didn’t focus on the arts as much as we would like but the most important things was her friends. The school in the end gave is the right feeling and my daughter thrived.
    This was some years back in Telford so I can’t offer a specific recommendation.
     
  6. proactive

    proactive Behind you with a big stick!

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    I'd imagine @c0tt0nt0p isn't quite ready for that to happen with his daughter yet. Probably...
     
  7. EasMid

    EasMid Well-Known Forumite

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    My kids went to Weston Road & loved it there & did very well but they're in their 30's now.
    The young person we care for has recently left Weston Road & also did very well at school & in GCSE. The school has an excellent SEND dept although we didn't need a lot of assistance. I'd definitely recommend the school. As it's the primary school catchment the your daughter will be "going up" with her mates & assuming she gets on with most of them it'll be a big advantage, there can't be much worse for an 11 year old than starting a new school when she doesn't know anyone & misses her old primary school mates.
    We've got family members in both schools & they all seem to be ok although 1 nephew had a terrible time at King Edwards a couple of years ago & ended up in WestonRoad.
     
  8. That-Crazy-Rat-Lady

    That-Crazy-Rat-Lady Well-Known Forumite

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    Stafford Grammar
    Blessed William Howard
    Weston Road
    Sir Graham Balfour
    St Edwards IV
    Rising Brook / Stafford Sports / Whatever
     
  9. That-Crazy-Rat-Lady

    That-Crazy-Rat-Lady Well-Known Forumite

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    More importantly it's how you and your child FEEL about the school, plus where their friendship group is going
     
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  10. c0tt0nt0p

    c0tt0nt0p Well-Known Forumite

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    It would be wrong to assume she would be able to get a place at the Primary school catchment. Based on the last few years she wouldn't get in especially given the boom in new houses up that way.
     
  11. c0tt0nt0p

    c0tt0nt0p Well-Known Forumite

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    Is that an order of preference?
     
  12. bunique

    bunique Well-Known Forumite

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    Weston Road doesn’t seem to have catchment primaries according to its admission criteria: http://www.westonroad.staffs.sch.uk/docs/Admissions_Policy_2021-22.pdf

    It’s an oversubscribed school - last year 17 children were refused places. All children admitted were living in catchment, or in a higher category. If you’re not living in catchment you are unlikely (not impossible, but very unlikely) to gain a place there.
     
  13. bunique

    bunique Well-Known Forumite

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    There’s a lot of pressure on secondary school places at the moment it seems. Graham Balfour is also oversubscribed, with 26 children being refused placed and only one being admitted on appeal. Blessos and King Eddies not oversubscribed. Although Blessos is Catholic it does admit non-catholic children as long as it’s not oversubscribed so that would be another option as you are over this way.
     
  14. c0tt0nt0p

    c0tt0nt0p Well-Known Forumite

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    Yes I've crunched the same numbers.... When we chose primary schools our catchment was St Paul's but we didn't like the split years due to its small size but worked out that we were pretty much the first area outside St Leonard's catchment and got in due to them not being over subscribed.

    So many of our girl's friends in her class are saying "I'm going to......" And I think they'll be in for a shock come next year when people are told of the decisions made.

    I must admit we have been very impressed with King Edward VI's prospectus and their ethos on new starters at the school which makes Weston Road's look quite poor. That said it's going to be very hard choosing something without being able to visit any of the places.
     
  15. Gramaisc

    Gramaisc Forum O. G.

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    Do you have access to any pupils who have been at any of the target schools recently? Ideally not much older that first/second years (or whatever they're called now).

    I went to ten schools, so feel that I saw 'a lot of variety'. You may well find that the inmates give you a more accurate account than the warders will.

    I used to do some work in public areas, where one was subject to the attentions of kids at home-time. The Weston Road crew seemed by far the most socially acceptable.

    A late friend of mine was a relief lollipop man, so saw most schools in the area, his assessments were broadly in line with mine, though this is all well out of date now and things may well have changed utterly.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2020
  16. Withnail

    Withnail Well-Known Forumite

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    If i could give anyone any advice as to their choice of schools, my first among them would be to ignore @Gramaisc ; please, for the love of god, please, he genuinely is living in the headspace of about 200 years ago. He's like an anti-rees-mogg, it's skin-crawling.

    Everybody else in this thread is giving reasonable advice - i would echo those that suggest 'going up' with her cohort as the best outcome, but Eddies wouldn't be a disaster.

    There are no really 'bad' schools in Stafford.
     
  17. EasMid

    EasMid Well-Known Forumite

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    Ah well, I wouldn’t know about the current allocation situation I was just giving my first hand experience with the actual school (& second hand knowledge of KE). As they were the schools you mentioned I thought they were both viable options.
     
  18. bunique

    bunique Well-Known Forumite

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    Agreed. It’s one of the odd quirks I’ve found living in Stafford as everywhere else definitely has a wider spectrum of school quality. Here they are all kind of...middling.
     
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  19. rudie111

    rudie111 Well-Known Forumite

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    I would consider local purely for logistic reasons. Glad I don't have this to worry about as there is only 1 middle & 1 high school (we're on a 3 tier system) where we live
     
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  20. Gramaisc

    Gramaisc Forum O. G.

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    I'm sure the OP is capable of deciding for themselves whether or not to include the experiences of current or recent service users in whatever level of decision making becomes open to them.

    Being described as 'anti-rees-mogg' sounds like a very good thing. I wonder if I could aspire to a higher level, possibly one where capital letters might be used to signify the greater status. Perhaps the College of Arms has an official insignia that I could proudly wear, though it might be best not to, in his niece's constituency, where she enjoys a 58% vote.

    Skin irritation can often be treated with over-the-counter medicines, but there's always the possibility of it being the result of whatever medication you might already be taking.

    If I could give anyone any advice as to their choice of schools, my first among them would be to consider the child in question. Schools in Stafford do seem to be much of a muchness, but there are variations, some of which may matter to the individual. Going to a new school can be a traumatic affair for some, especially if there are few people they know there.
     
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  21. Withnail

    Withnail Well-Known Forumite

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    You see that's actually good, solid advice, which is a far cry from your usual contributions to threads like these over the years, that tend to follow a predictable course: first you remind us that you went to about two thousand different schools - all of them pointless in one way or another - then comes the 'if you rely on schools for your education you are doomed' (or words to that effect) line - by which time you are normally joined by someone equally dismissive of formal education - bit of 'top bantz' later et voilà! , suddenly they'd be better off down a mine or up a chimney.

    All very entertaining probably, but i've never quite understood how it's helpful to someone wrestling with what can feel like quite a daunting decision.

    Getting back to that decision, it's going to be that bit harder this year, as the transition days and open evenings that would normally help in the process will be curtailed or cancelled cause of Covid. This is a real shame, hopefully some opportunities will remain to visit in person, take them if they do.

    Eddies was supposed to have their open evening last week i think (cancelled, presumably due to the Year 9 thing), but i'm told that they have made a video that can be viewed on their website - not the same by any means but probably worth a look. No doubt Weston Rd will do something similar so worth keeping an eye on.

    Unless someone has a more robust defence of one of them over the other, ultimately it will have to come down to practical/emotional considerations already mentioned ^above.
     

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