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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 4:14 pm 
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A few years ago now, Langley Grammar recognised that by taking only the highest scoring children, their pupil’s journey time was very long and it was creating a high-pressure environment for the children who did go to school (more akin to a superselective). Many bright local applicants were unable to gain access unless they gained a super-high score themselves so there were hardly any children able to walk/cycle to the school, and few could manage afterschool commitments.

So they changed their admission criteria (and kudos to the governors who were brave enough to make this decision) initially so that there was a “local area” where Langley/colnbrook applicants were prioritised, and more recently there is a (more sensible) double area where children from about 1-6 miles (area based) can also get a place, though there is still ranking.

My question, if anyone here knows: what effect has this had on the character of Langley Grammar as a school? Is it friendlier? Less pressurised? More diverse? Does it feel like a positive learning environment for the children? Would a child with emotional sensitivity or SEN be well supported there?

(Conversely, it now seems to be Upton who have the most out-of-area targetting: is the flip side that the learning atmosphere has changed there?


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 4:17 pm 
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How long ago is "a few years"? General perception is that it takes a school cohort to make a radical change felt (ie a year group moving from Y7-11 or 13 depending on the school's reach), so it could be too early to tell if there is a fundamental change in the ethos, possibly?


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 4:34 pm 
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Checking on this forum’s old threads, it looks like March 2016 for places in Sept 2016 was the first to apply a “local/general” area. So I take your point, only three years later there may not be an obvious change. I’m interested because I have a younger child who is still only in year2, of course it’s not relevent yet, but we got an impression of the school as very pressurised when we visited for my older DD, I am just curious whether the change has had a positive impact! I don’t mind at all if the astronomical pass rates have dropped by a micrograde or two, if it’s a happier learning environment....


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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2019 3:06 pm 
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Aethel wrote:
My question, if anyone here knows: what effect has this had on the character of Langley Grammar as a school? Is it friendlier? Less pressurised? More diverse? Does it feel like a positive learning environment for the children? Would a child with emotional sensitivity or SEN be well supported there?

(Conversely, it now seems to be Upton who have the most out-of-area targetting: is the flip side that the learning atmosphere has changed there?

Hello Aethel
This is just my opinion. I have no first hand experience of the Slough Schools.
I don't see why the school environment would be any less pressurised just because it has a catchment / priority area now. As you say, the students in these catchment / priority areas are as bright as the ones that had to travel a long way to school. Unless there is pressure from the parents on the school to address this and/or the governing board has made a decision to address the situation, I don't personally see any change to the pressured (or not) atmposphere at school.

The catchement / priority area for Langley is as diverse (or not - I am assuming that you are referring to ethinc diversity. I apologise if that is not the case.) as the neighbouring boroughs of Hounslow and Reading; so again I don't see much changes in terms of diversity.

Regards


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PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2019 9:08 pm 
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hi Square.
No, I didn’t mean ethnic diversity, we have a great multinational population here in Slough, and that’s reflected in all of the schools (though there is an underrepresentation of White British children in some of the Slough Grammars proprtionally, as there is less cultural pressure to intensively tutor. the exception there is St Bernard’s simply because a higher proprtion of local Catholics are White British, Irish and European).

I meant diversity of interests/types of student personality . Our impression from talking to several former pupils of LGS was that it has been very academically pressurised and children who have not fit the mould of the “obedient perfect student” have found things difficult and sometimes move schools. it has been common for children there to have extra tuition all through the school, and for stress to be common (they have several school counsellors to cope with the demand apparently).

I have a vested interest here as I have a younger DS who’s able and rather musical-a strength at LGS- , but he’s quite a sensitive type and I’m trying to gently ascertain whether LGS may suit him later on if it has a higher intake of more local children rather than the very highest-performing children with long commutes, and whether the school is improving its pastoral care given that not all the children now there are the super-elite-high-scorers.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 1:08 am 
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Hi, my daughter attended LGS from year 7-11, the school provides good support to students in the lower performance groups, i.e. the best teachers in the subject would be allocated to those groups as well as additional support nearer to the exams to the lower performing students who need the extra support however they badly let their better performing students down!
My daughter was in the top group in all of her subjects and she didn't have maths teacher for three years, from year 9-11! I complained to the school on a number of occasions and were given promises after promises that they are in the process of getting a new teacher, any new teacher left after a few weeks and nothing much was done to help her, their excuse being "she is doing well"!
Sadly maths wasn't the only subject that they had issues with the shortage of teachers.
I really don't recommend this school if your child is average or above average performer, they would probably do much better in normal stream school, the school had good performance mainly as result of the parents hard work by supporting their children themselves or providing private tuition.
My daughter is now attending a different grammar school and I now really regret sending her to LGS in the first place, she gets the support that she needs both during or outside the lessons even though she is in the top group.
I don't believe that changing the catchment area will resolve the issues that they have with the shortage of teachers.
The other issue with the school is using iPads in lessons and most of the text books were digital, the homeworks were mainly done on the iPads and had to be sent to the teachers through the apps and the portals rather than on the paper, this meant that they had to spend hours and hours on the iPad every day and being a teenager and having constant access to the iPad and internet is the formula to disaster, even if it is used solely for the study purposes there is no point to it as the GCSE and A-Level exams are done on the paper and the only way they can prepare for it is using a pen and paper, the school's performance started going down as soon as they introduced using the iPads in the higher year groups to begin with and then rolling it down to the lower year groups, I think they now start with the iPads from year 7, although they lock access to many of the social media and some of the popular games but they always found a way round it, the school is aware of the issue but there is not much they do about it.


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