West Midlands Schools / Colleges
West Midlands in general
When I first went to this school in year 7, I that it was going to be a great school with money and a school that was really going somewhere. As I soon realised, it wasn't as good as it was cracked up to be. KES boys are seen as 'posh little boys' who NEVER dont behave and this is how they are expected to act. You have to ... pass a test to get into KES so the people there are bright however, there isnt a behaviour test. They dont even know you when they choose you. They just look at your test mark. The amount of people who complain about being pushed in front of in a que or not having a door held open for them is rediculous! The new headmaster there now, Mr. Moore-Bridger recieves a rediculous amount of complaints and strangly he acts on them.
I think we have a problem in most schools now-a-days with teachers getting power to their heads. Sure they are in charge but I know that if a pupil doesnt have a letter explaining why they haven't done their homework it is assumed that they havent bothered to do it. If a letter comes in, no matter what the excuse is (it got burned coz dad dropped some cigarette ash on it etc...) it is believed and the pupil is allowed to do it.... At KES now, this is definitly a problem that is very obvious.
Unfortunitly in the summer of 2001, many teachers left (a total of 9) which has ment a total reshuffle of the teaching staff. I dont know if these teachers have settled in yet however to the un-lucky ones, these teacher have left during their GCSE or A-LEVEL courses. This I feel is un-fair.
It is a good school. It gets good grades. However, it isnt the nicest place to work.
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West Midlands in general
I am currently in the upper sixth form of this school in School house. I have been here for five years. The school is set on the other side of the river severn over looking the town of shrewsbury. Thereae i total 11 houses. two of which are for day boys the rest are bording houses. The school sit is very vey nice. ... There are acres of playing fields, boat house, New buildings includint the £10 million school opened by the prince of wales.Last term. The buildings them selves are very nice inside., The main school buliding Is being refurbished to have the latest techology installed, it is estimated that in 3 years there will not be a scrap of paper in sight.
The houses them selves are very good. They are competative and very atomospheric. As you have to live in ne with about 50 other boys you soo learn to lke abnd care for one another.
The teaching standard hee is very good. in almost all subjects A an A* grades are the ly grades achieved in both a level and GCSE.
The year groups here range from the 3rd fom (yr 9) to the upper sixth form. when you foirst arrive it is very very hard you have to do everythng for the house, bring up braed from the cantine, take the washing out etc etc etc.
The hosues are split into dorms, bedsits and sudys. In the s3rd 4rth and 5th form you are given a dorm and a study which is shared with about 5 other boys. In the 6th form you ae given a bedsit for your self which is a study and a dorm in one.
the school day starts at 8:30 and finishes at nne at night. you have 8 lessons on mon. teus. and fri. 6 on wed and thurs. and 5 on sat. the lessons are 35 mins each. There ae 6 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon. then there is a 2 hour homwork period that starts a sevenoclock at night whic is called top schools. This is only done during the week.
The school is very atmospheric and cometative. It is one of the top public schools in the contry. anyonentersted should go to WW W.Shrewsbury.org.uk. The only downfall s the fees £80,000................................
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King Edward VI Five Ways School
[ UPDATE April 03 ] I see this has a fair old few reads - possibly from concerned parents?? I should point out when I wrote this - about summer 2000 - so information may be quite inaccurate. I've heard some of the new changes but not witnessed any of them and this is definitely not a comprehensive list - here ... goes -
- £80 grand on changes to the top of the drive
- New headmaster! Old Deputy (till what? '95?) Mr Wheeldon
- No hymns in assemblies anymore! (Poor old Mr Griffiths)
- Girls are in every year now
- Lots of teachers have left (I can't believe Mr Jones has gone!)
- the bus services have changed a lot - I dont know the new details
- probably other stuff i don't know
I should also say that during my almost three years of uni, my brain power has actually shrunk (no mention of alcohol, please). I choose to think that means that at Five Ways, my brain functioned at it's best. Or that i wasn't quite so lazy. Hmmm.
[ End update (that was very star trek/military wasnt it) ]
When I first saw this category on Dooyoo, as I'm sure many people do when they see it, I thought "Yesss! Revenge!!!!" in a surprisingly evil tone (for me anyway). "I'm gonna have a field day with this one!". You may have guessed that I went to Five Ways, from 1993-2000 to be exact, ie yr 7 to Sixth Form. But seeing how this is Dooyoo and all, I'm gonna have to try and be fair (at least a bit anyway :).
If you're from Birmingham, you will have undoubtedly heard of the King Edwards Foundation of Grammar Schools. If you're not from Brum, you may still have noticed a few of em near the top of them league tables in the papers, but apart from that, you probably won't know a great deal about it.
To gain entry to one of the schools you've got to sit an exam (the "11+"). Clearly, if you do well, you're in, if you d on't, ha unlucky.
So, onto the school itself. King Edward VI Five Ways School opened in 1883 and is named after the school's original site, in the Edgebaston area of Five Ways (to those that know Five Ways island, the school was where that statue of Sturge is next to the Swallow hotel). In 1958, the school then moved to it's current site, in Bartley Green (BG's a whoooole different op).
When I first moved to Five Ways, things were a lot different to when I left. At the start, the school was far more traditional. The boys wore black blazers and got in heaps of trouble for walking round without one (that hasn't changed but it sets the scene). The main sport was rugby and they even had a few Fives courts out the back (Fives is an old sport similar to Squash- we never played it). They didn't offer home economics, but they did use to a few years before I arrived. Typically chauvanistic, it was called "Bachelors Survival". Not that this school was old fashioned or anything. The only thing slightly modern about it was that it allowed girls i
nto the Sixth Form (oooh, groundbreaking). Over the seven years I was there it did a lot of modernising.
In 1998, girls were admitted for the first time, making it the only fully co-educational school in the Foundation (A pretty big step for them I can tell you). To accomodate these changes, the school spent 2 million quid doing the place up, building a new teaching block and a sports hall. As well as getting (gasp) a female deputy head. The headmaster changed too, but that was for different reasons. The intake of pupils increased too from 100 to 150 kids per year. So at the moment there are girls in every year except years 10 and 11.
For my first 3 years I hated it. I almost left it was that bad. They gave us sooo much homework compared to people at other schools. And we had to do big, proper exams twice a year too which nobody at other schools did. Life wasn 9;t that much fun. However, life for me picked up big time in Year 10 as soon as I was able to drop all the annoying subjects (Art, Music, CDT, yeah all the creative ones!) and focus on the ones I was good at. From then on I was happy for the rest of my time there. In fact I look back on it now and wonder what I was complaining about. However, I very much doubt that it would work like that for everybody, but that's how it was for me.
I came out with a very good set of GCSE and A-level results and the overall results for the school have improved every year for like 7 years or something stupid. They're getting like 100% pass rate of people with 5 A-C's at GCSE and they usually come somewhere in the top 200 in the country for GCSEs and top 100 for A-levels. About 3/4 people go to Uni after A-levels which is very good. Of course the stats speak for themselves, but there is a lot more to be said.
I got on with most of my teachers and found most of them to be very good at their jobs, and nice people. In fact I even email one of em every so often (aw
ight Dave!). However, there were a few, I'd say about 3-5 who I did not rate at all. This isn't a personal issue, they just weren't the best communicators and as a result struggled to hold the class' attention. I know, there are teachers like this everywhere, but because the rest of the teaching was of such a high standard, I noticed the "bad ones" a lot more. Overall, I would say the science departments are stronger than the arty departments, but then I might be completely biased!
I do believe that most of the staff at the school care about the kids. However, if I was asked to rate the pastoral care, I would not rate it that highly. Bullying in the blatent-gimme-yer-dinner-money sense is not much of an issue at Five Ways. Any offenders are dealt with swiftly and severly. However, the minor bullying, the name calling, the people that get picked on subtly, that inevitably occur, is not dealt with adequately in my opinion and just gets swept under the carpet. Thankfully I was never the victim of such things, but I did see it happen at close hand quite a lot.
You quickly learn which teachers you can talk to about stuff and which you can't. PSE is not treated with much respect by the kids and lessons are rarely all that successful. Sometimes the teacher won't be too much more informed on the topics discussed than the kids. Also, two Sixth Formers (form prefects) are attached to form groups in the lower school (yrs 7 and 8) and are meant to help out on the pastoral care department (as well as try and control the class before registration), but I don't think they make much difference to be honest and many don't turn up half the time.
These are excellent. This is probably because the school had grant maintained status up until 1999 (ish) and was therefore basically richer than all the other schools. The library is nice and full of stuff and the IT facilities are
exceptional. This is because the school has an agreement with RM (Research Machines- a computer company) which means that it is used a trial site for it's new products. The school and it's pupils have benefited greatly from this scheme (and me in my free periods!). However, it is a shame that the kids are so restricted in their use of the PCs. If they were allowed to surf the internet a bit more freely I think their skills would improve a lot quicker than without. The network has a good filter to stop all the "inappropriate material" (as it's so aptly phrased all the time), so I don't see the harm in giving the kids some room to maneuver and learn for themselves. Hmmm, anyway. The sports facilities are very good too. The two fields (for rugby, hockey, cricket, football now and then) are kept in good nick by the groundsman and there are 4 tennis courts in good condition too. The gym is getting a bit rundown but that is offset by the brand new Sports Hall which is like twice the gym's size or something. There's a swimming pool which isn't very good, it's really shallow so it's only used until Year 9 and has a history of breaking down. The classrooms generally have all the equipment they need too, although when I left the teachers were starting to make noises about lack of resources (because they were starting to notice the loss of grant maintained status).
When I was there the school seemed pretty rigid in what it offered although that seems to be changing with the new A-level rules (4-6 subjects instead of 3). Unsurprisingly you get the traditional subjects being offered. History, Geography, Art, Music, middle of the road stuff. Nothing new and weird like psychology. Cos that'd just be crazy. For GCSE you sit 11 exams (more than most schools), of which maths, english and english lit, science (choice between 2 or 3 GCSEs-worth), at least one language, IT and a design option are all compuls
ory. The languages are choices from german, french or latin. Of the remaining subjects you can pick pretty much any out of the non-compulsory ones. As for A-levels, I don't have a clue about the new system since the government messed about with the curriculum.
It's meant to be very strict, but I never found it that all that bad to be honest. There are only two types of detentions: one 45 minutes long, one 90. But you have to do something reeeally bad to get the second one, and they don't throw the first one about too much. I only had one the whole time I was there! (oh great now you think I'm some kind of goody goody!) Suspensions are rare and are only really used for bullying, blatent (big) vandalism and drugs. Like one time a guy came in stoned and he got suspended for a few days. People are only really expelled for bri nging drugs/air rifles (!) into school though. You come out fairly well behaved though.
The school is basically officially christian. Full school assembly is held 4 mornings out of 5 and a hymn is sung (an old traditional boring one). Attendance is compulsary unless parents go out of their way to object to the christian bit of the assembly. The kids treat RE lessons as a joke and once they reach year 10, they don't get anything at all from them. I don't know whether this is still the case though, because a new RE bloke has been appointed recently. I would guess that this hasn't changed a lot though to be honest.
This is probably the one thing that bugged me the most throughout my time at Five Ways. The spotlight is always on rugby, cricket and hockey. And seeing how I can't play any of em it got well annoying! In the first few years it feels like football is almost discouraged. Basketball is also not treated with much respect either. (these are my two main sports! Grrrr) Netball is getting increasingly important with all the girls tu
rning up, but I don't think that the PE department is really bothered about netball that much compared to things like rugby. Cross country, athletics and tennis are also played but not to a great extent apart from the specialists. Older pupils are offered sailing on the reservoir nearby, rock climbing and badminton at Newman College round the corner (a teacher training place). There's also a chess team but I don't think that really counts! You do 1 or 2 hours sport a week. Not enough in my opinion. I reckon you should do a sport (that you like) every day! I would have loved to play basketball every day! Wishful thinking though.
Most of the pupils come from outside Bartley Green (I didn't! Yay me) and have to bus it into school. This is ok cos there are 4 main routes running to the school (002,18,22,23), plus WM Travel put on a special bus (892) going to and from school.
Other Random Stuff
-For some reason there's a bit of a rivalry with the local comprehensive, Bartley Green School. Coming from Bartley Green (not the school), I can see both sides on this and I'd say that most of the trouble between the two schools is caused by Five Ways pupils. They try and provoke the BGS lot from the safety of the bus and cry like babies when they get battered cos of it. It doesn't help that a lot of em look and act like "stuck up posh rich-boys" and look down on the "stupid poor" locals, but that's not to say that no Bartley Green School pupils are at fault. One time a load of BGers "boarded" one of our buses and beat up random people up in repsonse to continuous taunting. The invaders escaped from the back window of the top deck! I was cracking up while I watched that. This was quickly followed by a hoax bomb scare. I thought these incidents were funny, but I guess the black-eyed people didn't think so! Tensions have calmed lately quite a lot and there has only been on
e incident in the last few years. Of course these little wars are insignificant really but make an impact at the time.
-There is not nearly enough playground to play football on at breaks since the construction of the new McCarthy block. Grrr!
-The school appoints prefects from the Sixth Form. These prefects do a whole bunch of things. The 4 school captains have the top jobs and they boss around the other 60 or so below them. There are 3 types of prefect: Form prefect- discussed above in the pastoral care bit, Computer prefect and bog-standard prefect (not a technical term). These do the general supervisory stuff like during lunch in the dining room or on the playground.
-The school seems to ask for a lot of money. There are loads of rich parents and sometimes I feel like they're trying to exploit them cos they demand money a ll the time! Like for example they asked the parents to contribute to a new organ that cost £18,000. Eighteen flippin grand!! For an organ! They've got a grand piano, can't they make do with that? But somehow though they got the cash together for the organ. Can't believe the parents paid for all of it.
-Musically the school has a lot to offer. A dedicated teaching block and a whole bunch of concerts involving a choir and other random instruments. Lessons are offered for specific instruments.
-A lot of emphasis is placed on careers in Key Stage 4 which is a good thing, but I reckon too much time is spent on the Record of Achievement. The school does enough to help in University applications, but because the task is a bit daunting for 16 and 17 year olds who are just used to their small little school cutting up their meat for them, it can feel like they are not helping enough.
-There's an Old Edwardians group for ex-members of the school. It's meant to be quite good but I'm not in it and I don't know much about it. I'm told nostalgia will kick in when I'm
about 30, so I'll come back and tell you then, shall I?
-Any more info? Ask me for the real deal or check their website
-Flippin heck, I just re-read everything I've written and it sounds too much like a prospectus for my liking. I hope it's balanced enough, so here's the summary. I might add some more if I can think of anything.
I would recommend this school highly. Kids may struggle with the heavy workload at first, but it pays off in the end. The early exposure to exams is a big plus too. Within the Foundation it is not statistically the best school, but has some advantages. It's also streets ahead of other schools in the area of BG.
Many people would award five stars on account of the exam results, but nah, there are way too many t hings wrong with the place for that. Four stars!
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West Midlands School / College
School / College /
School / College / Wolverhampton Girls' High School, Tettenhall Road, Wolverhampton, West Midlands, WV6 0BY. Tel.+44 (0)1902 312186. Fax. +44 (0)1902 426908
School / College /
Address: Alexandra Road / School / College / Tipton / West Midlands / DY4 7NR / England / Tel: 0121 557 4146
School / College /
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