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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2015 12:31 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 8:39 am
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Any other parents still around the boards? Any tips from parents of the older girls? Anyone ready? :shock: :wink:

The Induction Day mail suddenly makes it all seem quite imminent!

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2015 12:46 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2014 9:06 am
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1: wait for the uniform sale at the school as they still have plenty of stock to get rid of at lower prices, best to ask on induction day.
2: your daughter will be allocated a "buddy" through out the year to help her out (from current year 7)
3: don't worry about the travel bit, girls seems to be travelling in groups :-)
4: plenty of after school clubs to join
5: PSA is fantastic way of getting to know the parents and help the school

My daughter loves her first year at TGS, I am sure your daughter will too. Good luck


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2015 2:02 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:45 am
Posts: 183
Location: Kingston upon Thames
Hina has said most things already.

Additionally, the school is very keen to enable new starters to settle in, they will give you info at induction including contacts of classmates so can meet in holidays, or arrange to meet on bus etc (if you haven't already done so then get a zip bus pass, apply on TfL website). From memory new year 7 start a day before years 8,9 in September as they have lots of admin in an extended tutor time.

They run activity day in September, at a watersports centre in Ham, all about team bonding, thinking of problem solving in practical way etc.

First two weeks in Sept are all familiarisation with secondary school way of working (different lessons in different rooms etc), no homework, little formal learning, and plenty of opportunities to make friends. The idea is to make sure the girls are settled in and happy first. From week 3, workload can seem a bit patchy until about Feb half term (there are many feeder primaries and some have covered some topics, but not others, so there is unevenness in how much needs to be learnt by each)

All the girls are expected to be of similar standard, therefore no streaming of ability in year 7. The only exception is PE. The initial PE test was a run of about a mile, fastest in top set etc., so practice running around a field 3 times during the summer.
There are some other tests later in Sept (baseline tests, so school has a start point for progress, but not every subject), not expected to revise for these.

I think they ask for PSA volunteers or class reps at the induction day, good way to meet other parents (as is the quiz night, (October ?)

Uniform used to be bought from the school, they changed few months ago to using John Lewis (can try it on for size in schoolwear section on top floor at Kingston, late night Thursdays, with free parking after about 6pm). As Hina has said, school are going to have a uniform sale of their remaining stock.

Daughter will enjoy it very much


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2015 6:44 pm 
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Really helpful replies, thank you. DD has a zip card and the journey is straightforward and direct, albeit an earlier start. We also know a couple of others who'll be starting in September, but we're all in the same clueless boat. :)

DD enjoys and hopes to continue a couple of external activities; we don't know if that's feasible, but have already had to make choices for the first term. None would conflict with after school clubs btw. I know the TGS music tuition fees, but haven't seen prices for anything else. Are clubs generally free/school-provided (barring external instructors)?

Do they really wear the white and navy coats for lab work and the like? Also, some of the girls have very pristine-looking aprons in the cookery photos. Do they make them, or do we need to add that to the list too?

Any advice about acceptable mobiles? Would girls be ostracized if their phones aren't the latest and greatest? Not sure that a fancy first phone is sensible, but open to persuasion...

What about an iPad? Laptop? Other device? Running Word? Or something else?

Beyond the direct debit, do we pay for text books? Supply paper/refill pads? Alright, I admit it, I have NO idea about the practical side of secondary school life nowadays. :lol:

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Buying online? Please support music at TGS. Thousands of retailers, no cost to you.

Tiffin Girls' School has a designated area; see the determined admissions arrangements. Use the journey planner. Note the Admissions timetable and FAQs.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2015 7:25 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 1:05 pm
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Location: Reading
Don't know about TGS, but some general starting secondary tips can be found here.

viewtopic.php?f=39&t=33061


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2015 9:17 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 8:39 am
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Thanks, Tinkers, that was fun to read. 8)

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Buying online? Please support music at TGS. Thousands of retailers, no cost to you.

Tiffin Girls' School has a designated area; see the determined admissions arrangements. Use the journey planner. Note the Admissions timetable and FAQs.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2015 10:11 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 4:02 pm
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Stroller she will love it! Not much else to add really... In my experience (music and drama mostly) no charge for extra curricular activities. The only thing that surprised me was being asked to pay towards art and design materials (it's a token amount though). Haven't been asked to pay for text books.

We've recently invested in a laptop which has been very useful. She seemed to have to do a lot of the early homeworks on the computer and print at home. They do have a print allocation at school too I think.

No idea about trendiness of phones. They are allowed to use them at school (which surprised me as it is a complete no no at the boys' school). My dd has an iPhone but it is second hand.

I've also been very surprised at the number of external activities my daughter has decided to keep up outside school. It's enabled her to keep up friendships from primary school and taught her to be very organised about getting homework done.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 6:28 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:00 pm
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Location: RBK
Sorry to add some pinch of salt here, though quite like the school.

My information is from recent conversations with friends and their dd in years 8 to 10.

If your dd is already musically talented and selected for Choir / orchestra etc, there would be after school practice/clubs etc. for others, lunch time clubs may be.

Lunch time clubs are usually run by 6 formers who would be obviously busy with Uni visits, admission interviews and A2 exams. So quite a few of lunch time clubs are on paper only or run irregularly.

Same with the sports. Try to get in school team, otherwise there is no after-school activity.

Most worrying aspect is the capacity issues. TGS used to admit 120 girls upto 2012. Went up to 150 from 2013. It would be 180 from next year. This is already resulting in cuts in some areas, most notably IT rooms cut from 4 to 2 and smaller. (I stand to be corrected, but this was told to me by at least 3 TGS girls). Morning IT room times have been reduced and rooms get full within minutes. Girls coming before 8, are sent to dining hall. So if your DD want to use IT room or want a print for early lessons, forget it. Library is also used for some staff meetings after school. So sometimes, the girls are sent away though the library is supposed to be open till 5 pm. Problem if you have arranged late pick-up. Again, I stand to be corrected.

Not much of public speaking/debates clubs or external speakers on regular basis either.

But if your dd is academic with not great interest in after school activities or has other external activities to go to, this school is just the place to be.

Have not commented on home work as some said it is done in an hour or so and others said it is at least 2 or even 3 hours work a day. Suppose it depends on dd. some may be putting extra time to do it very well.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 10:55 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:45 am
Posts: 183
Location: Kingston upon Thames
Stroller wrote:
Any advice about acceptable mobiles? Would girls be ostracized if their phones aren't the latest and greatest? Not sure that a fancy first phone is sensible, but open to persuasion...

What about an iPad? Laptop? Other device? Running Word? Or something else?

Beyond the direct debit, do we pay for text books? Supply paper/refill pads? Alright, I admit it, I have NO idea about the practical side of secondary school life nowadays. :lol:


Start with a cheaper mobile, in my DDs year 7, initially most had older phones, but through the year these gradually got upgraded.

Some form of home computer is needed, either laptop or a desktop. School does provide a basic version of office for downloading on home computer, but we didn't as we already had the full version of office 2010 installed. They get a monthly print allowance at school, but in practice will also print homework out at home as getting time to print at school isn't so easy due to lack of machines available before school. The school has recently had barmy idea of cutting the IT rooms (which I disagree with).

Only contributions are a token amount for art/practical materials and for school trips, don't have to pay for books. However the school pays if they are eligible for the free school meals premium. It is all done through parentpay online, lunch card is also topped up online from home on same system.

You will need to get a pad of A4 ruled paper for use at home, (and one ruled with squares) the ones with micro perforations where you can tear out the sheets to hand-in are best. Plus usual stationary, pens, pencils, coloured art pencils etc.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 11:09 am 
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Posts: 123
I don't know if this helps, but my daughter is ok with normal old phone, it's normally switched off and can only use it during the break/lunch times, and only in certain part of the buildings, you cannot use it in corridors.

Lunch card is no longer in use since first week of June, it's now biometric finger printing. Paid via parentpay.

Printing: my daughter seems to print all her work in the library, school pays £4 each month per student to print in the library. I think it's called the printing credit?

Office365 is now available for all students to download on home pc's or use it online. Introduced over the Easter holidays

Programming software: The Mediator is now available to purchase for £12 to use it at home too, normally costs over £600 online :-)


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