Advice on Bolingbroke v Graveney?

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Quinoa
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Advice on Bolingbroke v Graveney?

Postby Quinoa » Fri Jun 04, 2021 2:49 pm

Just starting to think about secondary schools and would love to hear thoughts from anyone with children at either school about how their children are find ing / enjoying it. Pastoral care and academic rigour as well as the opportunity to participate in team sport would be of most interest. Appreciate that's a broad ask but would be very grateful.
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Goldhawk
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Re: Advice on Bolingbroke v Graveney?

Postby Goldhawk » Fri Jun 04, 2021 10:13 pm

Can't comment on the team sport
The schools are very different in size - Bolingbroke is 120 a year, Graveney 280
Both have a reputation for being strict
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misty32
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Re: Advice on Bolingbroke v Graveney?

Postby misty32 » Mon Jun 07, 2021 12:38 pm

My children started at Graveney last September and are very happy. It is a big school but the first two years are separated from the older years across the road in a different building and they have not been overwhelmed at all. The discipline is a non issue, the same as any other secondary. They expect good behaviour and respect. Detentions do happen but for good, not silly, reasons (bad behaviour, consistently late) and after a couple of warnings.
Really happy with the comms from the Acting Principal so far.
My son is in the football team, netball is available and they are starting athletics clubs, but dont expect extra curricular sport to be the same as at private schools. No sport on weekends for instance unlike private so I keep mine going in their other clubs. They do a broad range in PE which they enjoy badminton, cricket, rugby, table tennis etc.
Too early to comment on academic success but so far so good, they always have homework and teachers knew their abilities very well on parents night, even after lockdown in their 1st year. The teachers obviously very well qualified and are inspiring my kids who don't complain, some are extremely passionate about their subject which I really like... regular and year end assessments in Y7 to track progress and streaming not only across classes, but within also from Y8 to make sure each is getting what they need. Hope this helps but as I said we're in our first year also. I have friends with kids at Bolingbroke and they are also extremely happy. Size and location are probably the biggest differences. I would definitely go to the open days of both and see what works for your little one.
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Toomanykids
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Re: Advice on Bolingbroke v Graveney?

Postby Toomanykids » Mon Jun 14, 2021 11:22 pm

Both great schools, Graveney has a more consolidated reputation as has put way more children through A levels but Bolingbroke catching up. I have 2 children in Bolingbroke, they’re really happy and they have a great attitude towards work and school life. One is doing maths and sciences sixth form and he says teaching is very strong and you get lots of support.
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faybian
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Re: Advice on Bolingbroke v Graveney?

Postby faybian » Tue Jun 15, 2021 8:14 am

I have one child at Graveney, one who has left (now first year of Uni). I do not think Graveney is a particularly strict school, certainly no more than average, and I have never heard anyone describe it as such. In the sixth form there is no uniform and students are expected to be responsible and mature without excessive supervision. I tutor a child at Bolingbroke and from what I understand it is much stricter, using ARK teaching methods based the Charter schools in the US. I think Graveney is an excellent school and it's results speak for themselves. Neither of my children are particularly in to team sports but I understand Graveney caters well for those who are. My son was invited to join the rugby team in year 7 but he declined. In usual circumstances (not pandemic) there is also an excellent music department. 
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Happy Valley
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Re: Advice on Bolingbroke v Graveney?

Postby Happy Valley » Mon Jun 21, 2021 6:05 pm

My son started at Graveney last September. He is very happy there and we are delighted with the school. The other day I asked him what the best thing about being there was and he replied 'the quality of the teaching' (I almost fell off my chair  😆). He has also made a really great group of friends.

I'm sure you already know but Graveney's catchment area is very small, if you're not in it you have a chance of getting a place by scoring well on the Wandsworth Test. Bollingbroke has feeder schools and if you're not in one of those then your chances are slim (at least that was my understanding when looking a couple of years ago).

Good luck. It can be a stressful time.
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KatherineHepburn
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Re: Advice on Bolingbroke v Graveney?

Postby KatherineHepburn » Mon Jun 28, 2021 12:27 pm

Big thumbs up for Bolingbroke here.
My daughter is only in year 7 but we have been hugely impressed so far - especially with how the school taught during lockdown. 
The teachers are great and for us the school is local - which we felt was important.

The biggest different between Bolingbroke and Graveney is size. Bolingbroke is actually a small secondary school and with a family style dining at lunch feels like a smaller, friendlier environment. This may well suit your child or they may prefer a bigger school. It really is all about the child attending so it is great to go to the open days to get a feel for the schools themselves.

Are they strict? Yes, I guess so. But not unfairly so. The kids know where they stand so I'd say that they are both fairly standard for state education.

As someone mentioned above, if you wish to go to Graveney you will need to live pretty much on the doorstep or absolutely ace the Wandsworth Test - a lot of folk get tutors for this.
If you choose Bolingbroke your child needs to be in one of the feeder schools - Belleville, Honeywell, Belleville Wix and a few others I cannot remember, just check on the website.

Either way, they are both excellent state schools and we are very lucky to have them in the area. 
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drexelhub
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Re: Advice on Bolingbroke v Graveney?

Postby drexelhub » Tue Jun 29, 2021 12:03 pm

I understand Bollingbroke is much stricter, using ARK teaching methods based on the Charter schools in the US.  Graveney is an excellent school and their results speak for themselves.
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HulaHoops
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Re: Advice on Bolingbroke v Graveney?

Postby HulaHoops » Mon Jul 05, 2021 4:57 pm

Bolingbroke all the way!  

I have two children there and it's an outstanding school, no more strict than others.  There's an excellent pastoral system and I also have experience of SEN support for one of my children.  It would be fair to say we've had our ups and downs (which could have happened anywhere), but school has been incredibly proactive and supportive; they were truly amazing during over the last 18 months with lots of 1:1 support for my bright but struggling-with-lockdown, GCSE child.

It's still a relatively new school, but I think their exam results speak for themselves; they are consistently the top performing non selective school in Wandsworth (GCSE's) and although only 3 years old, the 6th Form has sent pupils onto many of the major Universities, Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial etc.  The 6th form recently benefitted from a privately funded donation and is now a state of the art studying environment.  It's oversubscribed this year I understand.

They've also just won the 2021 National Teaching Award for Digital Innovation (Bronze Award - 3rd out of all entries) for their Distance Learning Provision which was outstanding.   All pupils also now get given a laptop for school work.

It's not as big and doesn't offer as many subjects as Graveney at GCSE, however the smaller set up suits many kids (appreciate some would prefer a busier environment).  A Level subjects are also more limited than say Graveney, but it's very academic and the subjects they do offer, are delivered at a very high standard (the A level minimum entry is 6/7's in GCSE subjects).   The teaching staff are very approachable and will always respond to emails.  

Music and drama are a big part of school life and all Year 7's get free music tuition for their first year at school.

Sport isn't as big an offering as some schools as they have limited space, but most kids who thrive at sport are able to do some at school and also do external clubs.    

I know many kids at both schools most of whom are happy and settled, and often it comes down to  personal choice and where you live, but Bolingbroke is becoming a much more sought after now it's had a few years to prove itself.  It's definitely worth a visit on their next open day. Good luck with your choices - always a stressful time!
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faybian
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Re: Advice on Bolingbroke v Graveney?

Postby faybian » Mon Jul 12, 2021 10:01 am

RE The Wandsworth Test for admission to Graveney. The Wandsworth test, by GL Assessments, consists of two parts, verbal and non verbal reasoning, and is particularly designed to be fair so there is little point in tutoring for it. Tutors are generally only used for 11+ entry papers for independent schools and not for the Wandsworth test. Most children's score on the VR and NVR papers are within one or two points of each other so the argument that you can be tutored for the VR is a fallacy. It is certainly a good idea to do a few practice tests on both papers to familiarise children with the format and many primary schools now do this so they are not thrown by the format of the tests. Other than that preparation/tutoring will not improve your child's score. Also they do NOT need to score 99%, they need to be in around the 96 percentile, which is very different. The percentile varies year on year but the cutoff of point for entry is usually around 247 out of a total of 280 marks. The scores are also aged standardised so that younger children are not disadvantaged.

This is a link to free practice papers from GL Assessments:
https://11plus.gl-assessment.co.uk/free-materials/
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