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PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 8:52 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2016 8:33 pm
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After having visited Watford girls school on their open day today, I was quite taken aback at how unpleasant the surroundings are. I could hear the constant drone of traffic even whilst we were nbeing walked from one building to another in the school, there was no playground to speak of, it felt like you are living in the belly of a metropolis.,.even though the school in itself seemed fairly good, the teachers kind and supportive, I wonder if the general soullesness of the place(manifested in lack of green spaces, sounds of nature etc) might be unhealthy for the children. Also, the manic speeds at which the cars were racing on the highways either side is school seemed really dangerous to me,,,it just didn't give me a calm, positive vibe.,,dif anyone else have the same feeling?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 10:11 pm 
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It's in the centre of a large town. I'm not sure what you were expecting?

My daughter loves the fact that she can go out for lunch when they have a half-day, or shopping with friends.

As for the manic speeds, the cars on the ring road do occasionally reach 30mph, but in rush hour it's more like 3mph. There is a pedestrian crossing which is controlled by traffic lights.

Having said that, I think you should trust your instincts. If you don't feel that it's the right school for your daughter, then don't list it as one of your preferences.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 11:02 pm 
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It's a pity you don't get to see the lovely gardens and fields that the girls often spend their time in/on as the open days are at night. I've always thought there were quite a few trees and green spaces for the sized school it is.
Secondary schools don't generally have 'playgrounds' as such anyhow.
The location of the Girl's school is very urban but this means it has good transport links, and the girls do enjoy being able to go into town easily. And some of the roads will quieten down once the bypasses are complete.
But yes, if you are looking for a more rural setting then you should look elsewhere.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 11:14 pm 
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Thanks for your reply 3b1g, I just can't help thinking, if there was a happiness index for schoolchildren, would access to green spaces, a bit of quiet , closeness to nature, changing colours of the sky etc qualify as important factors? Since Watford dosent offer the above being in the middle of town, do you think the children are missing out(without knowing)? I know the school offers great clubs and pastoral care.,,is that a great enough trade off?
I apologise if I'm being a terrible bore, just trying to get some clarity.,


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 11:20 pm 
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Thanks k1w1mum for your reply, the Watford girl who was taking us on the tour did say that there are fields that the girls use which belong to the school.,,do they use those for sports activities..and during break times? would you know what outdoor sports activities they participate in?
Sorry, I'd prepared the question for the q&a but forgot to ask.,


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 12:40 am 
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Hey, it is what it is, a city/town centre school. There are plenty of quiet spots and green areas but you are not going to get a countryside idyll.

Only you and your DD can say what represents as you put it "enough of a trade off". My DD is more Music and Art oriented and all about the touchy feely stuff and has been very happy with the environment and often used to spend time in the grounds with friends eating lunch or just chilling out at the appropriate points. She is now in yr13 and enjoys the proximity to the town and ease of access and transport etc.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 12:47 am 
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Not too bad on green stuff for a town centre

Image


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 6:30 am 
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Only answer is to move ooop north - can see plenty of hills and sheep from the local GS grounds, even then they prefer to play cricket and footy etc in the quad. Grass comes into its own at daisy chain time.

Seriously though senior schools are so different from primary schools - it can come as quite a shock sometimes .


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 6:38 am 
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This thread reminds me of comments made by the City of London School for Girls a few years ago. Paraphrasing:

Look around. We're in the Barbican. This is an urban school. Our location offers many benefits, but if your heart is set on green fields, this is not the right school for you. We're not moving.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 7:32 am 
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Location: Essex
If you want greenery, St Clement Danes looks to have plenty of it, to the casual passer-by? Of course, I may be wrong and my journey from Gt Missenden back home to the seaside might take me past the only leafy bit of the whole site and the rest is a seething cauldron of industrialisation.

Encouraging children to dwell on what they might be 'missing out on without knowing', in the context, sounds a little unhealthy to me, I'm afraid.

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