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 Post subject: Habs Girls - Extra form
PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2019 12:29 pm 
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I read a while ago, a thread on here about the year that Habs Girls over offered and had to take an extra form.

We have received a letter from Habs this morning, informing us that due to ‘a higher proportion of acceptances’ the school was having to take an extra form. Whilst I’m not overly concerned, could any members who were involved in the previous ‘bulge’ year, share their thoughts as to how it all planned out?


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:33 pm 
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Far fetched or could this be in part to the HB debacle?


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2019 4:14 pm 
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Some Independent schools do this from time to time, when they are able to accomodate the additional form. I know LEH added an extra form last year. Looks like HABS girls have done it this year. There are probably other independent schools that do the same.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:21 pm 
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Location: Herts
It is for two reasons:

Firstly because of the Habs new business model where they do not teach the girls the 11 plus work required for them to be able to pass exams elsewhere.

They no longer need to sit the Habs 11 plus so they no longer require the preparation if they are going to stay at Habs.

So without the preparation the preps are staying put as even if they wanted do they have not done the work to secure places elsewhere, so only 2 or 3 are leaving this year, so more preps.

Secondly more have taken the spaces this year so they have created an extra class so six classes of 25 with a total of 150 new Y7s in September as opposed to the existing five classes of 28.

I think it is good news all round.

Habs becomes a bigger school and class sizes for the new Y7s go down from 28 to 25 and more revenue to create more opportunities. DG


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:40 pm 
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That makes sense DG.

When we visited Habs, there was a fair bit of building work going on, quite a large new STEM building, due to be completed in July, this year, so maybe they also have quite a lot of extra physical space.

Personally we see it as a positive. DD was keen on an all girls school and for us, single sex is better served in a larger cohort. I suppose a higher uptake of offers also means that Habs don’t have to face the uncertainty of going to their wait list.

Thanks


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2019 7:13 am 
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Daogroupie wrote:
It is for two reasons:

Firstly because of the Habs new business model where they do not teach the girls the 11 plus work required for them to be able to pass exams elsewhere.

They no longer need to sit the Habs 11 plus so they no longer require the preparation if they are going to stay at Habs.

So without the preparation the preps are staying put as even if they wanted do they have not done the work to secure places elsewhere, so only 2 or 3 are leaving this year, so more preps.

Secondly more have taken the spaces this year so they have created an extra class so six classes of 25 with a total of 150 new Y7s in September as opposed to the existing five classes of 28.

I think it is good news all round.

Habs becomes a bigger school and class sizes for the new Y7s go down from 28 to 25 and more revenue to create more opportunities. DG


I was not aware of this new business model. What might that mean for their results overall, I wonder. It also puts their 11+ exam into context now. It certainly wasn't as difficult as the others. 150 pupils seems an awful lot. Far more than you'd get almost anywhere else. I find it concerning, to be honest.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2019 7:51 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:41 am
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Location: Essex
iwantthistoend wrote:
Daogroupie wrote:
It is for two reasons:

Firstly because of the Habs new business model where they do not teach the girls the 11 plus work required for them to be able to pass exams elsewhere.

They no longer need to sit the Habs 11 plus so they no longer require the preparation if they are going to stay at Habs.

So without the preparation the preps are staying put as even if they wanted do they have not done the work to secure places elsewhere, so only 2 or 3 are leaving this year, so more preps.

Secondly more have taken the spaces this year so they have created an extra class so six classes of 25 with a total of 150 new Y7s in September as opposed to the existing five classes of 28.

I think it is good news all round.

Habs becomes a bigger school and class sizes for the new Y7s go down from 28 to 25 and more revenue to create more opportunities. DG


I was not aware of this new business model. What might that mean for their results overall, I wonder. It also puts their 11+ exam into context now. It certainly wasn't as difficult as the others. 150 pupils seems an awful lot. Far more than you'd get almost anywhere else. I find it concerning, to be honest.


But the tutor group / teaching unit size appears to have gone down ? This is how your DD will spend the majority of her time - not even your local comp will have all 300 or however many in a year group there herded together for its subject teaching. Or is it that the additional numbers possibly meaning that your DD comes into contact with a few gels of a less stellar intellect is of concern?

Were you assured by the school at any stage that there was no intention of increasing the intake? Preferably in writing, if the breach is is of such concern? Tbh the difference between 140 and 150 seems pretty marginal to me.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2019 8:18 am 
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toadmum, I assumed they would be taking a max of 125. When I asked at the offer-holders' morning, they suggested this, although now that I think about it, the answers were a bit evasive. More to the point is the general evasion with which many of my questions have been dealt with by the school. This set alarm bells ringing for me, but I kept saying to myself that it was one person at the school, and s/he did not reflect everyone there. This latest communication is just feeding a creeping disappointment and disillusionment with the school. I just hope it's unfounded.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2019 9:23 am 
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Taking an extra Form does have an impact, although whether you consider the impacts positive or negative or minor or significant varies. The exact impact varies from school to school too.

Some schools are at or near capacity in terms of room space, class sizes etc and an extra class is a real stretch to physical resources. So you might expect longer lunch queues, more crowding the corridors etc.

For an individual year group, it is likely to mean it's harder to get into the A teams for sport. Whether there is less sporting or other opportunity overall, depends on whether provision for activities with limited space is extended - ie an F team is introduced beyond the existing E team, the size of a choir is increased or another choir added etc.

There can be positives too - more people to make friends with, more children in each ability range to bounce off of, perhaps the ability to offer a broader range of GCSEs or A Levels. It can lead to the number of forms being easier to timetable - ie 6 or 8 might be easier than 5 or 7.

Some parents choose a school because it's not too huge and are then disappointed when the year group becomes larger than they thought they are opting for. Some schools are very able to absorb extra bulge classes in terms of physical and other resources. Some are under-filled at the start and actually can deliver a better education with more children. Others offer the extra class as 'too many' said 'yes' and then struggle for the next few years in terms of space etc and have to make all kinds of compromises to the curriculum or other areas to cope with the extra numbers - they will never tell parents they are needing to do that or changes are because of that, but it can be a reality. Avoiding the bulge class is a key reason City uses exploding offers - their tight urban site means they simply cannot allow bulge classes to occur.

You can always ask about the implications of an extra class. You won't always get entirely honest answers but perhaps ask about;
- impact on class sizes where subjects are set or implications in later years when GCSEs are studied - what class size is offered now and what would they expect it to be for this larger year group.
- impact on sporting and other extra curricular opportunities
-impact on physical space - food provision, coach provision etc
-impact for staffing

A further impact later on is that if a school usually takes in at 13+ too or 16+ there are likely to be fewer places in that year group for those entry points.

If a school is decent size to begin with and has capacity interment for physical space, an occasional bulge class can usually be accommodated without significant issues.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2019 9:39 am 
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Personally I don't think a class size of 28 is right for fee paying independent schools. We went to the offer holder day in Habs Boys the week before and saw 32 boys in a Yr7 math class! Apart from Habs, I doubt you would find any secondary private schools with such a large class size.


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