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 Post subject: Tiffin Girls Questions
PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2016 11:26 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 9:52 am
Posts: 35
Hi

We will be applying to Tiffin Girls next year and I was wondering if anyone would be kind enough to answer some questions.

Firstly, do you think the school is preparing well for the increasing numbers joining the school in September - is there enough space to cope with the new numbers? I read that they plan on building 2 new science labs, but what about the other facilities?

Also, does the school rely a lot on supply teachers? What's the staff turnover like?

Finally, the dreaded 65 bus - my dd would be getting on in Richmond - is it really overcrowded and subject to delays? Is it worse in the morning or afternoon? I believe the new Kingston Academy has opened next door, has that had any impact on the numbers of children using this bus route?

Thanks for your help :)

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2016 1:25 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:45 am
Posts: 183
Location: Kingston upon Thames
Saffron wrote:
Hi

We will be applying to Tiffin Girls next year and I was wondering if anyone would be kind enough to answer some questions.

Firstly, do you think the school is preparing well for the increasing numbers joining the school in September - is there enough space to cope with the new numbers? I read that they plan on building 2 new science labs, but what about the other facilities?

Also, does the school rely a lot on supply teachers? What's the staff turnover like?

Finally, the dreaded 65 bus - my dd would be getting on in Richmond - is it really overcrowded and subject to delays? Is it worse in the morning or afternoon? I believe the new Kingston Academy has opened next door, has that had any impact on the numbers of children using this bus route?

Thanks for your help :)


The school is converting the Atrium in the new block at the front this summer, by in filling to give 2 extra rooms.
No formal plans have been published about further expansion, but it would seem they are about to start fundraising with the intention of building new to replace the ROSLA block (back left of site) which would need serious structural work if it is to continue more than
few more years. I assume ROSLA block was quickly erected for raising of school leaving age in early 1970s. A lot of the buildings in that part of the school are currently single storey, and it might even be possible to build above the kitchen and canteen to add classrooms.

Staff turnover has been high, about 8-15 seem to leave each year but a new Head has now started so might settle down. They have lost some of their senior staff to other locations. Doesn't seem to be many supply teachers, but they have had a few straight from University, and the reality of the cost of housing means many seem to move on once they have a couple of years experience. This is a London problem, not just a TGS problem.

The 65 bus contract expires in July and the new 5 year contract awarded by TfL from July apparently increases the daytime frequency to every 6 minutes which should help. The number of buses working the route increases from max 24 to max 27. The planning application for adjacent Kingston Academy (which is the old TGS site) has a rather strange reference to TFL confirming they will be increasing frequency by 10 buses per hour by Sept 2016. I think this is false as TfL are obliged to have a consultation under Local Govt Act and they haven't done so (they haven't consulted for frequency change either so something is wrong). Locally there are rumours that the frequency increase might be extension of 71 to Ham, or a reroute ng of K2 via Tudor Drive to link the area to Kingston Hospital. Even the local MP, Zac Goldsmith, doesn't seem to know what is planned for the buses (unlike Boris who seemed to take interest in the buses)


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2016 2:07 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 12:07 pm
Posts: 217
Location: Kingston
I just received this email...

Dear Residents,

I am delighted to invite you to come along to one of our public drop in events to learn more about the Go Programme, a £30 million worth investment from Transport for London and the Mayor of London to increase transport options, enhance public spaces, improve safety and support sustainable travel in the borough in order to deal with the pressures of a growing population.

Wednesday, 9 March from 5 to 9pm at Kingsgate Church, 61A Clarence St, Kingston upon Thames KT1 1QT

Saturday, 12 March from 11am to 3pm at Richard Mayo Centre, Eden Street, Kingston upon Thames, KT1 1H


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2016 2:09 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:00 pm
Posts: 5418
Location: RBK
Mayor's election time. :lol: :lol:


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2016 2:55 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 9:52 am
Posts: 35
whichwitch wrote:
I just received this email...

Dear Residents,

I am delighted to invite you to come along to one of our public drop in events to learn more about the Go Programme, a £30 million worth investment from Transport for London and the Mayor of London to increase transport options, enhance public spaces, improve safety and support sustainable travel in the borough in order to deal with the pressures of a growing population.

Wednesday, 9 March from 5 to 9pm at Kingsgate Church, 61A Clarence St, Kingston upon Thames KT1 1QT

Saturday, 12 March from 11am to 3pm at Richard Mayo Centre, Eden Street, Kingston upon Thames, KT1 1H


Maybe they could extend the district line from Richmond to Kingston and have a special stop for Tiffin Girls :)

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2016 3:00 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:00 pm
Posts: 5418
Location: RBK
That would be really good for Kingston; but by the time they get planning permission, 2016 intake would have already graduated.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2016 3:09 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 9:52 am
Posts: 35
Snowdaddy wrote:

The school is converting the Atrium in the new block at the front this summer, by in filling to give 2 extra rooms.
No formal plans have been published about further expansion, but it would seem they are about to start fundraising with the intention of building new to replace the ROSLA block (back left of site) which would need serious structural work if it is to continue more than
few more years. I assume ROSLA block was quickly erected for raising of school leaving age in early 1970s. A lot of the buildings in that part of the school are currently single storey, and it might even be possible to build above the kitchen and canteen to add classrooms.

Staff turnover has been high, about 8-15 seem to leave each year but a new Head has now started so might settle down. They have lost some of their senior staff to other locations. Doesn't seem to be many supply teachers, but they have had a few straight from University, and the reality of the cost of housing means many seem to move on once they have a couple of years experience. This is a London problem, not just a TGS problem.

The 65 bus contract expires in July and the new 5 year contract awarded by TfL from July apparently increases the daytime frequency to every 6 minutes which should help. The number of buses working the route increases from max 24 to max 27. The planning application for adjacent Kingston Academy (which is the old TGS site) has a rather strange reference to TFL confirming they will be increasing frequency by 10 buses per hour by Sept 2016. I think this is false as TfL are obliged to have a consultation under Local Govt Act and they haven't done so (they haven't consulted for frequency change either so something is wrong). Locally there are rumours that the frequency increase might be extension of 71 to Ham, or a reroute ng of K2 via Tudor Drive to link the area to Kingston Hospital. Even the local MP, Zac Goldsmith, doesn't seem to know what is planned for the buses (unlike Boris who seemed to take interest in the buses)


Thanks for all the info. If they're only fundraising now, I guess that building work is a few years off.

I'm glad to hear they're not relying a lot on supply teachers, as for the staff turnover, as you say the new head might have a positive effect.

I was on the 65 bus the other day in the morning and it was jam-packed - I don't think I've ever been on a bus that full and I think it would be really unpleasant experience for the new joiners if they had to face that every day. More buses should help a bit but also the road between Petersham and Ham is a real bottleneck. I think they need to widen the road but of course that's not going to happen!

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2016 3:10 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 9:52 am
Posts: 35
tiffinboys wrote:
That would be really good for Kingston; but by the time they get planning permission, 2016 intake would have already graduated.


True enough and it would probably eat up the whole 30 million!

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2016 12:07 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 9:52 am
Posts: 35
Apologies, I've thought of a few other questions, but maybe they'll help this year's starters too.

Do the girls carry a lot of books to school? There seems to be a trend near us where the state school kids don't carry many books in their bags and I was wondering how it worked at Tiffin (thinking again about public transport and lugging heavy bags around!).

Also, if they have to bring in sports kit/PE bags and other paraphernalia - do they have lockers big enough to fit everything? And does all of this live in school or would they have to bring it back and forth on certain days?

Finally, with the overcrowding issues, is it possible to have lunch in the canteen or wiser to bring a packed lunch (which is yet another thing to carry...)?

Thank you :)

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2016 1:50 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:45 am
Posts: 183
Location: Kingston upon Thames
Saffron wrote:
Apologies, I've thought of a few other questions, but maybe they'll help this year's starters too.

Do the girls carry a lot of books to school? There seems to be a trend near us where the state school kids don't carry many books in their bags and I was wondering how it worked at Tiffin (thinking again about public transport and lugging heavy bags around!).

Also, if they have to bring in sports kit/PE bags and other paraphernalia - do they have lockers big enough to fit everything? And does all of this live in school or would they have to bring it back and forth on certain days?

Finally, with the overcrowding issues, is it possible to have lunch in the canteen or wiser to bring a packed lunch (which is yet another thing to carry...)?

Thank you :)


Some carry books everyday in a rucksack, of course not all subjects are needed each day. What seems to work is having 5 trays or desktop open magazine files at home, one for each day of week so can put things for the next day it will be needed.

There are lockers, good enough for PE kit, some folders, coats etc. PE kit normally stays at school for whole half term unless it needs washing.

Lunch has been a problem, specifically the servery which is a bottleneck. I understand plenty of lunch seating (and even more outside during warmer months), but big queues to get served (and recent stories of running out of hot food some days). School had a plan to open a second servery line for cold food only (thus freeing up the mixed hot and cold to just hot food) which should double throughput. Haven't heard much about this recently but they know they have extra 60 students from September.

Canteen is cashless, they get a card which you can top-up online via ParentPay (can see what they bought for previously few days as well)

All this gets explained later. There is a celebration (of getting a place) evening. A school changeover day in July (and parents come in about 2:30 for briefing, before collecting their daughters. Year 7 also start a day earlier in Sept as they need a tutor group day for admin stuff.

The only thing you need to do is go onto TfL website and apply for a ZIP oystercard bus pass (allow about 6-8 weeks in summer, about 3 weeks otherwise), you will need a digital passport style photo when you apply which is usually the part that takes time.


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