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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 7:42 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2011 6:50 pm
Posts: 51
Had parents evening tonight (DD year 5) and we got on to discuss her teacher's opinion of the eleven plus and Colchester CHS. The teacher's daughter is a past pupil and comment was made about how harsh an environment it is with limited pastoral care, bitchiness amongst the girls, self harming, pressure +++ and exam crazy teachers! The teacher concluded that the teaching is excellent but recommended that we carefully consider whether the environment is suited to our DD.

Is this view outdated? A friend has a DD in year 9 and has nothing but praise for the school. I don't know anyone else with direct experience of the school - until I thought of this forum!

Some honest, up to date accounts and opinions would be really welcome.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 8:47 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 12:47 pm
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Location: Essex
Did this woman remove her daughter from the school? If not, I doubt it could have been as dreadful as she described. I have heard similar rumours about another girls' GS but the accounts from current parents are quite different.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 10:18 pm 
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DD started in September so limited experience so far but we and she are extremely happy. She was the only child from her school to get a grammar school place this year so knew no one but the school were very good at arranging meetings and get to know you sessions and she has quickly made good friends. The pastoral care so far has been great - better I would say than CRGS (and I have no complaints there either), whilst the boys are encouraged to stand on their own feet quite quickly, DD has I feel been looked after more in her first few weeks. A lot of form time and ?citizenship has been spent learning about each other and doing form bonding activities. There is no house system at Col CHS so the girls compete as a form against the other 3 forms and this competitiveness is encouraged. Non academic activities are definitely encouraged and a lot of charity work goes on (2 bake sales and a non uniform day already!). An large amount of cakes (especially in RE?)and sweets seem to get consumed as well so I certainly have no concerns at present re eating disorders although her teeth may be a different matter!
She gets regular homework but nothing yet has seemed unreasonable or particularly hard. We obviously haven't got to exams yet so I can't comment there.
Yes the school encourages the girls to have ambition, particularly I feel into traditionally male careers (they offer engineering at GCSE but not textiles or food tech!) but it hasn't seemed particularly high pressure yet.

She is happy that she has made the right choice.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 6:25 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:46 pm
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Sorry this is not personal as you request, neither to the school nor to girls :roll: :) but as you`ve not had loads of replies I thought my observations may be of interest

Several friends daughters, and many friends of my sons, have gone through/are going through the school and they have quite varied experiences of CCHS, even between sisters. Individual characters and particular group dynamics all play their part. The majority seem to have very positive happy feelings about the school.

Some have mentioned 'bitchyness', but don`t you get a little of this almost anywhere there are teenage girls? The only actual incident I know of (bullying accusation) was dealt with very efficiently and effectively by the school. The majority have not mentioned this at all.

One or two have said its very pressured and I definitely get the impression its a more intense environment than CRGS but then again I think that may reflect a characteristic of competition between teenage girls rather than anything the school are doing.

The girls seem on the whole to be a happy, cohesive bunch who succeed academically and have a fair amount of fun on the way.

If I`d had a daughter and she was academically capable I would not have hesitated to send her to CCHS and I can`t immediately think of anyone who has regretted sending their daughter/daughters there.

Hope that helps.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 9:23 am 
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Many thanks to those who have taken time to reply.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 3:59 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 2:07 pm
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Location: Essex
We visited one of the recent school open mornings. Our dd is taking the 11+ this year. We were shown around by two delightful, year 8 girls who were close friends. We did ask them about 'unpleasantness' between the girls but they both said they hadn't seen or experienced anything like this & felt that bullying would be swiftly dealt with. They said this was a common question due to being a girls school. When I told them that our son had witnessed physical fights between girls in his comprehensive they were very shocked & said they hadn't seen this in their school. On the homework front they said it was regular, probably most evenings, but nothing they couldn't cope with. They also explained about the two separate streams for maths (both being in the lower one) & said it was the same work but at a slower pace.

We have placed this school as our first choice on the CAF, rather than Chelmsford Girls.

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Clarabelle


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:06 pm 
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Hi, I just thought I would add my own observations, for what it is worth, about my DD's experience at CHSG - she is in yr 8 and is very quiet however even though she was the only girl from her primary school it did not take her long to make friends. One of those is still a best friend the others move in slightly different circles but there has not been any major falling out. There are the odd comments which I would put down to the all girls environment however the form tutor dealt effectively with those.

On the homework front the first term of Yr7 was definitely the heaviest of the year, and this term seems to be fairly heavy however it is not particularly difficult from what I can tell and as long as you do a bit most nights and at the weekends it can be kept on top of. Exams were not such a big deal as I expected and my DD did virtually no revision (in my opinion!) and did perfectly ok.

All in all she is very happy and although not keen to do extra- curricular activites this has not been a problem as far as the school is concerned.

Good luck!


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 10:45 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 2:09 pm
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Location: Great Notley
My DD is also in year 8 and I have not heard any negative comments apart from the occasional moan about the amount of homework they get but she gets on with it during the week to enable her to have free time at the weekend.
I think any girls school will have a certain amount of bitching, its all part of growing up. The girls that I have met are polite studious young ladies and the teachers (apart from one) seem to be extremely helpful and want the best for the girls.
All in all we are very happy with the school and hope our next DD gets in too.


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