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 Post subject: WGGS Open Day
PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 8:00 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 24, 2013 11:59 am
Posts: 100
Did anyone else go tonight? What did you think? It was very crowded so I didn't get to see all I wanted to or ask all my questions, but the headmistresses talk was very different from any other I've seen. Obviously she feels that this is not a school that needs to try to sell itself, rather it was all about reasons you should not choose the school. (Class sizes 30+ etc) and she was extremely "my way or the highway"

Current parents, is she only like this at open day? By this I mean that her talk really seemed to lack warmth. She came across as very austere and cold. Is this correct? Or is this just an attempt to weed out applications from those who won't fit in academically or socially?


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 Post subject: Re: WGGS Open Day
PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 8:40 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 3:47 pm
Posts: 100
Mrs Hyde has been trotting out the same speech for years, I think. :lol:
Yes, I do think she's trying to put people off and I wouldn't like my DDs to be on her bad side, but we had her for my DD2's interview and she was lovely. She also sees quite a bit of the girls as they move through the school and the 6th formers seem to adore her.
She's South African and very matter of fact, and they are strict about RE/ Sex Ed /homework and no holiday in term time but so far the school has definitely been a good choice for us. We weren't that fussed about the school until we went on the open day, and I can see that it's not going to appeal to everyone so if you see something you like better, you should move WGGS further down your list of choices.
They always seem to have plenty of applicants.


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 Post subject: Re: WGGS Open Day
PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 10:00 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2014 9:43 pm
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My mum says she was doing the same speech when I went to the open day 20+ years ago :lol:

My DD has been there for half a term and really likes going to see Mrs Hyde to get her excellents signed. She also enjoyed the lesson her form had with her in her office.

She is more friendly once your daughter is in the school, but much of what she says at open day is realistic. The girls are expected to work hard - DD has (what seems like) hours of homework. They are also encouraged to join club after club. DD enjoys the clubs very much though and she is motivated (and enjoys!) to complete her homework - I just wish she would ease up on the decorating of it - all the colouring in is taking all the time!


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 Post subject: Re: WGGS Open Day
PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 10:23 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 5:34 pm
Posts: 239
Dame Helen adores her girls. I think she genuinely cares about each and everyone of them. Her speech is well known and as you say very unlike any other head speech in that she is not encouraging you to send your dd there. However everything she says in that speech is true. It is hard work and the girls are pushed hard, everyone is expected to try their hardest. It does not mean that you have to be the brightest but you do have to work hard. The other girls expect their form mates to pull their weight. Effort is rewarded as well as achievement. They have a good form tutor system, girls have the same form tutor for 5 years so although she may not teach all the girls she does get to know them well. Matron is also lovely and a real source of pastoral support. My dd is in year 8 and she loves the school and all that it stands for. There are very few who come out of the school without loving it.


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 Post subject: Re: WGGS Open Day
PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 9:01 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 24, 2013 11:59 am
Posts: 100
Thank you everyone- that's great to hear. Of course, we don't even know our scores yet, so no idea if we will even get the chance to apply, but I do find it incredibly hard to judge these schools from open days and quick visits, especially when they are very crowded. It's always far more useful to hear from current parents.

Perhaps that's what all the schools need to do- put all current and prospective parents in a room and let them talk!


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 Post subject: Re: WGGS Open Day
PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 9:06 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 3:47 pm
Posts: 100
OMG. I can't believe I forgot to mention Matron!
She is amazing and has been so helpful with our girls, especially our second who is probably on a spectrum of some description and has found the shift from primary --> secondary more than a little challenging. The pastoral support is definitely one of the many strengths of the school.


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