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 Post subject: Burnham Grammar
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2018 12:46 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2018 12:32 pm
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Hi

I just wondered if anyone with children attending Burnham Grammar could give me some feedback on the school in terms of SEN support and pastoral care.

Any general comments, also greatly appreciated as we have heard mixed reviews.

Thank you


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 Post subject: Re: Burnham Grammar
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2018 1:19 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2017 3:19 pm
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Lina P wrote:
Hi

I just wondered if anyone with children attending Burnham Grammar could give me some feedback on the school in terms of SEN support and pastoral care.

Any general comments, also greatly appreciated as we have heard mixed reviews.

Thank you


My DC is on the ASD scale at the school. They have been great for us so far. Mine sees the SENco once a week at the moment and receives extra support from a lady from outside of school to help with organisation etc. They also have a friendship club. My DC was bullied in primary school but now comes home excited to tell me about the day and is enthusiastic about school, so they must be doing something right. I can email about any worries or just go in and ask to see someone. I can't say a bad word yet personally, although it may be better to ask someone who has been involved in the school for longer. My DC seems to already have a good relationship with the SENco, which took a lot longer to form in primary school. Sorry I don't know if that helps much but there are others on this forum who can probably give you more wisdom. I am also interested to hear others experiences.


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 Post subject: Re: Burnham Grammar
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2018 3:08 pm 
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I don't know anything about SEN at Burnham I'm afraid, but we have always experienced good pastoral care.
I think it's a good school, and one that is still improving, for example the maths teaching has improved enormously while my DCs have been there. Drama and music have also made very welcome improvements where there was virtually no provision a few years ago.
It's not the school for everyone, it looks a little shabby, although I understand that a new school is to be built on the site, which is very exciting for future students. It is probably the most socially diverse grammar school in Bucks, which was an attraction for us. I would say that the main issue with the school is their communication. Letters & updates from the school are patchy & unreliable. There used to be an excellent & informative newsletter every other week, but this seems to have vanished completely. Maybe every other week is too often, but it is a real shame it is not published any more. And the website is poor, in spite of being revamped a couple of years ago (it was truly terrible before then).


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 Post subject: Re: Burnham Grammar
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:08 pm 
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We looked into the SEN provision last year for my DD2 (who ended up at a different school due to non qualification) but they were very supportive when I discussed her situation and gave the impression of being genuinely interested in her wellbeing should she go there.
DD1 is in year 8 and loves BGS. It has a very down-to-earth approach and prioritises happy and centred students, rather than obsessing about rankings/points.
Homework is achievable and not just a slog for a certain number of hours. Sure, there are high standards of expectation, but they do seem to be supportive and approachable when there are any issues (we’ve approached her teachers a few times about minor issues via email And they have been great.)
As scarymum says, the written communication is less impressive: the lady doing the newsletter left and it seems no-one has taken it on!.... maybe that will change.
We get emails and at least the calendar section on the website is up to date.... but there is an onus on the children to inform parents of stuff that is happening rather than us being regularly written to.
They do have ShowmyHomework and School Gateway for keeping tabs on things.
There are tons of clubs and each child is encouraged to find their “thing”.
So overall I’ve been impressed by the pastoral care, and the SEN (indirectly) does seem competent and fit for purpose.


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 Post subject: Re: Burnham Grammar
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:12 pm 
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Quote:
at least the calendar section on the website is up to date..

No it isn't :lol: :roll: I was looking for 2 or 3 things yesterday & none were on there!
(Sorry, off topic)


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 Post subject: Re: Burnham Grammar
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2018 11:13 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2017 3:19 pm
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Aethel wrote:
We looked into the SEN provision last year for my DD2 (who ended up at a different school due to non qualification) but they were very supportive when I discussed her situation and gave the impression of being genuinely interested in her wellbeing should she go there.
DD1 is in year 8 and loves BGS. It has a very down-to-earth approach and prioritises happy and centred students, rather than obsessing about rankings/points.
Homework is achievable and not just a slog for a certain number of hours. Sure, there are high standards of expectation, but they do seem to be supportive and approachable when there are any issues (we’ve approached her teachers a few times about minor issues via email And they have been great.)
As scarymum says, the written communication is less impressive: the lady doing the newsletter left and it seems no-one has taken it on!.... maybe that will change.
We get emails and at least the calendar section on the website is up to date.... but there is an onus on the children to inform parents of stuff that is happening rather than us being regularly written to.
They do have ShowmyHomework and School Gateway for keeping tabs on things.
There are tons of clubs and each child is encouraged to find their “thing”.
So overall I’ve been impressed by the pastoral care, and the SEN (indirectly) does seem competent and fit for purpose.


I agree. It's great that the school performs well without being over-pressurised. Mine would never cope in that kind of environment. My DC is a shy anxious child. I'd definitely recommend phoning and asking to speak to Ms Stoneham to discuss what support they can offer if you are at all worried.

I agree about the communication but all homework is easy to monitor on Showmyhomework. They did recently tell parents at an information evening that there was a problem with the coms at the moment. Hopefully this area will be sorted soon.


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 Post subject: Re: Burnham Grammar
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 6:24 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 1:10 pm
Posts: 26
Hi
I have a DS in Year 8 at BGS. DS2 has just qualified in the Bucks exam and should also be going there next year. I would second what the others have said about the school. There are a few things about it which annoy me, though they are fairly minor gripes when I really think about it and give it some perspective. Probably I would find that with any school – nowhere is perfect.
Mostly it is that communication to parents is not good at all, particularly since the loss of the monthly/fortnightly newsletter, and the website is indeed pretty poor. Keeping parents up to date regarding the planned rebuild of the school has been especially bad and frustrating (have a look for that thread a few pages back if you’re interested). I can understand they have not always had a lot to tell as it’s been a tricky process but they should just say that!
On the whole, we have been pretty pleased with the school so far. As others have said, it is easy to keep track of homework with the app and with your child’s achievement points etc through the school gateway. DS is extremely happy there. The environment is challenging enough for the most part without piling on pressure. We were particularly impressed with the level of maths provision last year.

We don’t have any personal experience of SEN provision though it is very strong from what I have heard. DS knows a child there who has a support worker with them most of the time due to SEN and no one makes a big deal of it. It seems to be the sort of school where it is more acceptable to be different than is the case in a lot of other places. DS has never had any issues with bullying, nor seen it happening to others. The vertical form system is very helpful in fostering good relationships throughout the year groups from what I can see.
The school is quite proud of its SEN support I think so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding someone to speak to in depth if you give them a ring.


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 Post subject: Re: Burnham Grammar
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 2:52 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2018 12:32 pm
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Thank you all for taking the time to respond.

Your thoughts echo the type of environment we are looking for, for our child. We had the sense that it was less pressurised than the other Grammars we have visited, with an emphasis on having a broad curriculum. We attended the Open Morning today, and that feeling seemed to be echoed by the students and staff we spoke to.

In terms of the school rebuild, the Head said that they are currently awaiting planning permission for the new building and are hoping to have it complete by Summer 2021...

Thanks again.


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