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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2018 4:38 pm 
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We visited Five Ways today and there is a lot to be impressed by. My main concern is that her only transport option is the green bus, which leaves at 4pm and so how would she take part in any after school clubs and the distance from friends. We live in a village and so she can walk to most of her friends at the moment. Did anyone else visit?


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2018 7:50 am 
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halsea wrote:
We visited Five Ways today and there is a lot to be impressed by. My main concern is that her only transport option is the green bus, which leaves at 4pm and so how would she take part in any after school clubs and the distance from friends. We live in a village and so she can walk to most of her friends at the moment. Did anyone else visit?


You really have to take the travelling to and from the school into consideration.

We ruled out a couple of Grammar Schools on this basis alone and went for HGS which is the closest for my son. You don't want your child to be going to a good school but coming home quite late as they will have a lot of homework to do on top of the travelling.

Google the travel options. Buses, trains, trams, car share? etc.

Good luck.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2018 11:32 am 
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halsea wrote:
We visited Five Ways today and there is a lot to be impressed by. My main concern is that her only transport option is the green bus, which leaves at 4pm and so how would she take part in any after school clubs and the distance from friends. We live in a village and so she can walk to most of her friends at the moment. Did anyone else visit?


From the Centro Journey Planner site it looks like she'd have to take two buses home - one to Merry Hill, then another bus to Hagley (I think that's where you live? or are you in one of the nearby villages?). That probably sounds totally prohibitive to you now, but actually lots of kids do it to all the grammar schools. Our ds has been taking the green bus to Handsworth this year, but next year he'll be doing either two buses or train, then bus/tram. He's done the two bus journey lots of times already on the way home and it's been fine. Actually he prefers it to the green bus. Your daughter could get a green bus pass and then just take public transport on the day(s) she stays late? But you may find most clubs are at lunchtime anyway. Or she may turn out not to be a 'joiner' of clubs, like my son!

It's another thing for you to weigh up - you should also consider the cost of the green bus, which isn't cheap. Public transport is much cheaper (but still a cost to consider if she would otherwise walk to school).

I wouldn't worry too much about friends. My kids have some friends nearby from outside school anyway (youth group, church) and kept in contact with one or two primary friends. They also both have school friends who live nearby and travel on the bus/train with them - if your daughter went by green bus she'd get to know the kids on the same bus.

Also, they do a lot of socialising online as they get older! And with getting home later and homework, the after school play dates don't really happen at secondary. My daughter meets up with friends in town a lot on Saturdays or in the holidays, and the ones who are at a distance come over for sleepovers.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2018 12:22 pm 
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Thanks both :) You are right, as I only have 1 child I'm still in that 'play date' mindset and thats a good point that she would probably socialise at the weekend a lot more as she gets older.
Yes its Hagley that we live in. Part of why I'm worrying about the transport, is because I'm the only driver in our home and I am looking at going back to full time work. I have looked briefly on the Moovat website for transport options, but I'm just not keen yet on anything apart from the green bus as she is still only 9. She's a careful 9, but she has lived in a village her whole life. When she is older several buses is something she could probably cope with, but with her head in the cloud most days the Green bus is probably her limit.
Re the after school clubs, she has joined very little at her school, because she prefers to relax or see friends after school, but I'm thinking ahead for uni applications and thinking she needs to put more than just chilling as her hobby lol?
It would be 4.16pm she would get into Hagley each day, so that doesn't seem too late a 26 min bus ride each day seems feasible, but anything longer than an hour would be too long for us to consider I think.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2018 1:30 pm 
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halsea wrote:
Thanks both :) You are right, as I only have 1 child I'm still in that 'play date' mindset and thats a good point that she would probably socialise at the weekend a lot more as she gets older.
Yes its Hagley that we live in. Part of why I'm worrying about the transport, is because I'm the only driver in our home and I am looking at going back to full time work. I have looked briefly on the Moovat website for transport options, but I'm just not keen yet on anything apart from the green bus as she is still only 9. She's a careful 9, but she has lived in a village her whole life. When she is older several buses is something she could probably cope with, but with her head in the cloud most days the Green bus is probably her limit.
Re the after school clubs, she has joined very little at her school, because she prefers to relax or see friends after school, but I'm thinking ahead for uni applications and thinking she needs to put more than just chilling as her hobby lol?
It would be 4.16pm she would get into Hagley each day, so that doesn't seem too late a 26 min bus ride each day seems feasible, but anything longer than an hour would be too long for us to consider I think.


It's hard to think ahead to when they're at secondary school when they're only 9! My son is young too - he's still 11, not 12 until August. He's also always been on another planet. I was convinced he wouldn't cope with secondary and we did have a few lost items early on, but actually he's demonstrated a lot more self-reliance than I expected! He doesn't really want to stay behind to clubs at the moment and I'm not worrying too much. I'm planning to sign him back up to tennis locally at some point, but for fitness and exercise not university applications! I don't think UK universities are really that bothered.

I think perhaps you should wait and see how she does in the exam and take it from there?


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2018 4:39 pm 
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I'm not a crazy mum as you can see from the fact that she does very little after school unlike a lot of her YR5 peers. But I do think that the top universities will want to hear what she does with her life other than school.

There is part of me that is thinking about not putting her through the test stress if we decide the transport issue is too big an issue, hence all the thoughts and questions. I was sporty but she isn't, but I don't want her to be a teenager just sat in her room.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:09 am 
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Hello Halsea, it is difficult to know what to do for the best isn't it. Trying to look at your small person and work out what might suit them best next year and when they are 14 or older! At least your local school is an enviable one. We were looking to move to Hagley a few years ago but a combination of inertia and liking being close to the city meant we stayed put for better or worse.

We are considering Aston for our DS but the travel is not looking good so it would have to knock our socks off to go on the CAF and if it came to it we would have to seriously consider moving. Going to the open day on Monday.

DS loved Five Ways and was very enthusiastic during the visit but when we got home he said he wished that he hadn't seen it because he didn't think he would get a place. We got results from the June Shirley mock today and they suggest he might be in with a chance so hopefully that will give him a bit of a boost.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:37 am 
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Hi Bewilderedofbearwood it is :) I know my child at 11 will be different in what she can handle than at 16. We lived briefly in Bearwood, but found traffic from the suburbs took us as long to get in as it does from where we are. I use the train a lot for the city centre :)
Good luck on Monday
Oo I've been thinking about paying for one of those mocks as we have only started to look into the whole process, so feel years behind in prep. Glad your son got a boost then :) Did he think it was worth the £60 for the experience?


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 12:18 pm 
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halsea wrote:
Oo I've been thinking about paying for one of those mocks as we have only started to look into the whole process, so feel years behind in prep. Glad your son got a boost then Did he think it was worth the £60 for the experience?


I don't have anything to compare this mock to but I would say that it was very efficiently run. We got what we wanted in terms of a full length test in a hall with lots of other children. Our son had the full experience including having to listen to someone during the break bragging about how easy the first half was (there's always one...). I think it took the mystery out of it for him which can only be a good thing.

I also found the breakdown of results helpful as they will help inform the areas we concentrate on over the summer. There were no real surprises but still good to get a different opinion as our tutor has been mainly using CGP books.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 12:34 pm 
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Thank you, it sounds like a positive experience to get used to that type of pressurised situation.


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