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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 1:55 pm 

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:16 pm
Posts: 197
I am really really struggling with this, and we haven't even got close to test time! I already have a son at a Grammar, and thought that second time around the whole process would be much more straightforward. I'm struggling with forming a view on the schools. Come the happy day when DD (hopefully - and with all fingers and toes crossed) passes a test to get into a Grammar I'm having difficulty determining if we really want that place - wherever it might be. We are lucky in that we have a very good school on our doorstep which we are well within catchment for which has all sorts of 'travel/convenience/friends on the doorstep' advantages

Overall comments regarding the Boys Grammars are pretty universally positive. For sure there are a few niggles here and there, and the personality of the schools differ, but the overwhelming concensus is positive. That is not the case for the girls Grammars. I keep hearing negative comments, or positive comments which are quite heavily qualified. Some of these are direct from the parents, others hearsay. I've been round the schools once, and will go again, but I would very much value the opinion of anybody with a daughter already at one of these schools. Please PM me if you would rather not have your views made public and in advance thank-you very much indeed.

PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 7:32 pm 

Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:26 am
Posts: 284

I'm in the same boat as you! DS at GS and although DD is only Yr 4, we will soon have to start thinking about a bit of tutoring if she has any chance of getting in (I think the girls' schools are even more competitive than the boys' schools). We are also in the catchment of 2 good comps but due to our location, we only have the option of one GS - Wally Girls (which we are just inside the catchment of). I have heard a lot of mixed comments over the past couple of years. A close friend has a daughter in Yr 7 who is enjoying it very much. DS also has several friends there (that he met on the bus!) who are enjoying it but then someone else I know took their daughter out and sent her private because she was being bullied.....

I went to Wally Girls myself (many years ago) and didn't like, so I have a slightly negative view, but I also realise that it has changed a lot since my day!!!!

It would be nice to get some really positive feedback


PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 8:04 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 2:21 pm
Posts: 316
Hi Threekids,

I'm surprised you've had so little response to this!

Anyway, I'll put in my two pennyworth. I have two at Nonsuch. As an ex Tiffin Girl myself, I looked round all three of your schools expecting to put Tiffins as first choice, but knew immediately that for my girls (and only my girls!!!!) Nonsuch was the better fit school.

We are extremely happy with it, but as I've said before, no school is perfect. The girls work hard - tested frequently - and are expected to reach certain standards in the tests. (That's not necessarily a good thing, but it is something I expect happens at all three of the girls' schools). DD1's class had problems with a temporary chemistry teacher earlier this year, but the school was monitoring the situation and they laid on extra after school classes to make up for lost time. DD1 was not happy, but I was impressed that the school didn't just leave this to chance.

Lots of extra curricular, but as some things are oversubscribed, there is might be a lottery for places. In our 4 years so far at the school, one of my DDs has missed out only once on something she wanted to do, so it hasn't been a major problem for us. School also has joint CCF with Sutton Grammar, which has proved very popular in our house (for obvious reasons :wink: )

Music is great, drama getting better. Could still make better use of sports facilities, but still probably best girls' school as far as sport is concerned in Sutton, and in fact Tiffins and Nonsuch are regularly the only state schools entering the Surrey schools hockey tournament. Lots of opportunity to do "non-traditional" sports e.g cheer leading, badminton and often have visiting sports people e.g. English National Ballet did workshop last term and professional rugby players visited this term.

There is a good mix of girls there (probably 40-50% Asian intake) and my DDs have made some really good friends. Of course you get the usual girly bitchiness, but it hasn't seemed to be a major problem.

Not really sure what else to say. New head doesn't seem to have made a huge impact in terms of changing things, but hey, if it ain't broke, don't fix it :D

PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 9:24 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 8:57 pm
Posts: 35
Nonsuch is an excellent school.

Agree with 2outof3 re testing - the girls are tested to within an inch of their lives. (I guess it's the same at Tiffin and Wallington, but don't know).

Don't agree re chemistry debacle - feel the school didn't act quickly enough and possibly bowed to pressure from parents whose DDs are currently sitting their GCSEs/A levels

I am extremely impressed with the ethos of the school - the girls are competitive and this shows in their results, however the teaching is not always inspiring - they have the cream, and don't need to go the extra mile.

Also agree that there's a real mix of girls and I have been pleasantly surprised at the lack of bitchiness.

Would definitely recommend this school but don't think it's right for everyone. Fun is not an adjective I would use in this context. It's very academic and very, very results-focused, in my opinion.

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