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 Post subject: Re: Move to Lincs
PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:06 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2010 2:58 pm
Posts: 695
I grew up 15 miles from Grantham in a Nottinghamshire village. There are some lovely villages around Grantham. Grantham and Newark have some poor areas, but also areas with grand houses.

The town of Grantham is basic and functional. Nottingham is 25 miles away and has larger shops, ice rink, music stadium, football/cricket grounds and the National Water Sports Centre etc. Grantham has a small museum but also Belton House NT (with the most impressive adventure playground you will find anywhere in the UK) and Belvior Castle. If you love cycling or pub lunches, the Vale of Belvior is perfect.

The train line is great for commuting to London. The selective schools are good and have children coming in from Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire aswell as from Lincolnshire (Bottesford is in Leicestershire and is only 7 miles away, Elton in Notts is 9 miles away).

I love going back up to visit the area, mainly to see friends and reminisce. Living in a pretty village as a teenager was quite dull... thank goodness for the local train line to Nottingham!


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 Post subject: Re: Move to Lincs
PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:00 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 04, 2015 2:49 pm
Posts: 82
Just thought I'd come back and say having visited Grantham, it didn't seem too bad at all. The housing stock is very wide and good value (compared to South). Our target school is the girls grammar school there and we are starting to prep for it. We intend to visit the school during the Open Evening in July so can't wait for that! Do you know if, on the day of the exam, any paper is provided for working out notes, and also, for those with girls already at the school - how much homework they get a week? Is it an hour an evening - less or more? Thanks in advance!


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 Post subject: Re: Move to Lincs
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:08 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:41 am
Posts: 20
We will also be applying to KGGS next year for our daughter (2019 start); our son started at Kings in Grantham this year (ie Sep 2017).
You should also consider non-selective Walton Girls School (just in case the 11+ does not work out), which I hear great things about from a neighbour whose daughter went there (she started at Uni this year). They were particularly impressed with the pastoral care and felt the girls were always very well supported. Comparing the whole school's end result outcomes is of course a little unfair given the two schools have different intakes, but the neighbour's view is that any individual would do equally well at either and fulfill their potential. Certainly worth looking at and perhaps getting to the open day/evening - it's good to have a plan B! (Aside: Neighbour's twin son went to Kings, so they did have a direct comparison of selective vs non-selective.)

We also moved to the area from some distance away for a new job, and from a very well serviced urban area to the more rural pace of Lincolnshire life.

You will find lots of lovely villages and small towns around Grantham which might be preferable to the town itself, depending on your budget, lifestyle, family size etc. We were very pleasantly surprised by property prices in general.
When we were house hunting, we made sure to look at the village amenties as much as, if not more so, than the house itself. We wanted to make sure there were enough things in the village to ensure that we did not have to jump in the car every time we wanted a loaf of bread or newspaper, and that it had things for the kids to do (Scouts/Guides, sports clubs, even just a playing field) and ideally things like a pub for a bit of local community life. You don't mention if you have another younger sibling to consider, in which case a primary school will of course be on your list, but we found most villages of any real size had one so that part was relatively easy.
There will be school buses laid on as long as you are in Lincolnshire and live within the right catchment area (but not closer than 3 miles, then they expect you to walk or make your own arrangements). If you are in a really small village with few other children then you might need to get them as far as the nearest bus route eg in the next village.
Do note that local public transport is fine during the day but tends to start later and finish ealier than you might be used to. For example, the last bus out of Grantham for us is at something like 5:30, so not an option for an evening out, even at the weekend.

The new job for us was in Newark so we tended to be looking north of Grantham, but we did also look at places like Harlaxton, Bottesford, and as far afield as Bingham (which is in Notts, so we would not have had a school bus but plenty of public transport). In the end we were looking mainly at Caythorpe and Long Bennington, as both had a primary school, local shop, pub(s), sports grounds for the kids, and scouts/guides, as well as what seemed to be a thriving community. Caythorpe has about 1,400 people, Long Bennington around 2,000.
We ended up in Long Bennington, which gives us direct access to the A1 north and southbound, ideal for both job and school - Newark and Grantham are equidistant at about 9 miles, 10-15 minutes depending on traffic (an hour or more when the A1 comes to a complete stop!). School buses work well for Kings and KGGS, and there are lots of families in the village with children at one or the other or both. It also means that a London commute is equally possible from Newark or Grantham. While the train journey itself is a few minutes longer from Newark, the parking is a bit easier and cheaper, and I think you will find slightly more trains from there too.

I get the impression from other threads on here that places at KGGS are under pressure at the moment, and since distance is a factor you might want to make sure to not be too far away. The school or LEA might be willing to share information about how far away the furthest successful applicant was last/this year.

As to Grantham itself, it has lots of practical things, most useful shops such as supermarkets, high street chains, and pubs, restaurants etc. A small cinema (a new one is being planned) and theatrical productions at the Guidhall Arts centre. That said, I do find it a bit soulless (sorry to any proud locals). Newark on the other hand is more of a traditional market town and seems to have a bit more old-world charm about it, along with the modern shopping, larger cinema etc. Nottingham and Lincoln are the obvious places for a wider variety of shops including larger out of town retail centres, as well as arts - we do get touring comics and bands locally, but for the bigger names and bigger theatrical productions you will need to go to Nottingham, Leicester or Birmingham - or London, of course.

Hope this helps you out. Good luck with the house hunting and the school application!


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 Post subject: Re: Move to Lincs
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:13 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 04, 2015 2:49 pm
Posts: 82
Dear AdamV

Thank you so much for your detailed reply (and PM). Really appreciate it and finally, I have some downtime for a reply!

For us, being close to the Grantham train station is really important to reduce the daily commute into London. All our family live in London so being close to a mainline station is key. I think over time, we may move further out but we want to reduce the travel time in and out of Kings Cross for the time being.

I wanted to ask, if you don't mind, your thoughts about the exam level/pitch? We are DIY'ing - going through CGP books and a bit of Bond - the ones for GL exam - but we have found the timings challenging. I know for Lincs, it is VR and NVR exam only but wanted to know from your point of view - is speed especially important? We are not doing test papers (not till the Summer) and just going through the workbooks, maybe an hour a week - but we tried one test just to see and we found it hard timing wise for NVR. For VR it was was doable.

Content wise, my dd can do the questions with 70 to 80% correct answers untimed (she's of high ability in her year). And certainly, things like Ratio and Algebra in CGP books (these topics are mentioned in the CGP Maths book) is something we have not come across in our state school Primary curriculum (my dd is in year 5). We are going over the Maths to cover all bases but it's definitely further than what we are learning at school currently. Given that Maths is not a dedicated exam paper for Lincs, perhaps we needn't have to worry about it too much?!

Your dd and my dd may well be in the same cohort next Sept 2019! So if indeed our paths cross, I'll be sure to find you nearer the time.

I'm glad it was a successful move for your family and that our son has settled well into King's. I hear it is an excellent school.

All the best now,

Cookie


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 Post subject: Re: Move to Lincs
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:48 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:49 am
Posts: 13
Hi there, hope you don’t mind me jumping in. DD passed her 11+ this year with a comfortable good score of 238. She missed out on a place due to distance by 0.2 miles. Lincs LEA told me this year last place offered on distance was 12.1miles so to be safe I would make sure you are as close to Grantham as possible. If you look at admission criteria for KGGS for 2019 they have changed the way they measure distance from shortest driving distance to straight line. I am not sure what effect that will have or why they have changed.

On exam - timing is very important as they have just under 30 seconds to answer each question but you can build in time management slowly so as to not put her under any stress about it. The way they work out scores is complicated although you can find guides but you want to start getting her over 80% on each paper. I worked out you need roughly 78.5% to pass but if you take account of nerves on the day consistent marks in the 80s is a good indicator on being on track.

We used bond (and the bond online service is excellent), the GL practice papers and the CGP spatial book.

Doing mental maths and reading books with challenging words and playing games with antonyms and synonyms is good prep for verbal paper. Being able to recall maths skills quickly is invaluable for number sequences and some good advice we had was ignore the long questions (like Martha leaves at 10am, asif leaves at 9am type questions) and go back to them. They are only worth one mark and they can hold the kids up.

The NVR is so difficult to really get a grip on timing for the real thing. They are told when to stop and start a section and they can’t go back to a section even if they have time left on the next. Also there were no practice papers that had the mix of NVR and spatial which is what they will have in the real thing. I felt the 10 minute test prep was more useful for DD, than the papers for helping her with timing and tailoring them to the real timing they may have, so 20 questions in 10 mins sort of thing. The more practice the quicker they get but as I say I did my best not to worry her too much about it.

I really did think the bond online was the best, she could go and practice on the computer for 20 mins every other day and I could then log on later and see which types of questions she was clearly nailing and which types she needed to practice more. They also have a facility for timed tests.

Hope all this helps.


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 Post subject: Re: Move to Lincs
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:17 am 
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Joined: Mon May 04, 2015 2:49 pm
Posts: 82
Hi Mumtutu

Thank you very much, and the advice about speed seems more important than I thought! Really sorry to hear your dd missed out on KGGS , are you happy with your school now? I try to remind myself Grammar school is not the end all or be all and it matters much more the paths one pursues beyond school!


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