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 Post subject: Surbiton High School
PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 8:26 pm 
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Location: south west london
Good luck to all those DDs taking the exam tomorrow. Haven't heard much about the school on this forum or what the entrance test is like. Anecdotally I hear it's easier than schools such as Wimbledon High and Sutton High (which DD is also taking) but wondered if anyone else had any experience of the school and whether they are willing to share it with me ? Many thanks


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 11:18 am 
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Of the 3 schools you mention, Wimbledon High is the most difficult owing to the competition. followed by Sutton High which gets many girls who have 'failed' the 11+ for Nonsuch & Wallington, then Surbiton High which is much easier.

Be aware that unlike the other two, Surbiton is a Church school, with all that that implies, so worth thinking about if you have views on this.

I can tell you that the Head (in post for about 2 years) is young, came from being Senior Teacher at Sutton High, and is well liked. I know 3 girls who attend the school & both they and their parents are delighted with it.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 5:55 pm 
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As a family, we know a lot of girls at Surbiton High (including my niece) and all seem very happy there.

I can't think of anyone who's applied from our (state) primary in the last 3/4 years who wasn't offered a place at Surbiton, so it does seem 'easier' to get in to, possibly partly because their intake is around 125 girls as opposed to 90 at Wimbledon and 100 at Sutton High.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 8:32 pm 
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Many thanks to all of you for your really useful replies. It's very hard to work out the unique selling points for each of these schools when you look around. You definitely get the feeling that pastoral care is top of the agenda at Surbiton, with academics a driving force at Wimbledon, but Sutton I just don't know..


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 11:24 pm 
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Sutton High's intake is nowhere near 100, in fact it is about 65 - 70, and always has been. The school makes a special feature of its small classes (18 - 22) and its pastoral care. Many girls come from the Junior School there, with a high proportion not even trying for GS, because they want to stay at SHS - even very able ones who would walk it.

SHS gets fantastic results, often on the level of Nonsuch without the pressure, and the girls seem very happy there. All the girls we know who went through SHS (daughter's babysitter for 6 years / 2 daughters of teacher friend etc) loved it.

Living in the area, I can tell you that SHS girls are polite, friendly and cheerful, and in 23 years here I have never been sworn at by one, or pushed aside on the pavement by one - and that's something I can't say for girls at Nonsuch or Tiffin, such incidents with them being a weekly occurrence. Just a small thing, but one notices it as an oldie!


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:22 pm 
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The schools are all very different - I too looked at all three of them last year for DD2.

One point to bear in mind about Sutton High (which I really liked) is that it does seem to have a falling roll number. In the last two years it has had additional entrance exam days as the school wasn't full. When I asked about this at the open days the school was very candid and said that it faced much competition from the local grammars and the other high number of independent schools in the vicinity. (There are several girls at Nonsuch who transferred from the junior school). I have no idea whether the falling numbers will mean that the school will lower its entrance requirements or whether the last two years was in fact just a blip.

Surbiton is definitely gearing up academically and results have shot up over the last few years. Some people don't like the array of buildings - lots of road crossing and the sports facilities are a bit of a trek. (There were grumblings a couple of years ago that there wasn't enough sport - unless you ski (!) but the school did try to address those concerns.)

Wimbledon certainly seems to be the most academically driven (no view on whether that is a good or bad thing - horses for courses!) :D

Anyway, hope that helps


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:08 pm 
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Location: S.W. London
[quote="huntlie"]Sutton High's intake is nowhere near 100, in fact it is about 65 - 70, and always has been.
quote]
Sorry, I can see where I went wrong. As I don't have experience of Sutton, I based the figure on the number of girls taking English GCSE (as I thought that'd be all of the year). That was 74 in 2008 (and 81 in 2007) - but I then mistakenly added the 24 girls who'd taken it in year 10.

The small classes do sound very appealing, though the lack of demand mentioned by 2outof3 could be a worry if it continues.

By the way, the Surbiton head actually came there from Guildford High (part of the same United Church group as Surbiton), rather than directly from Sutton!


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:41 pm 
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Yes, I forgot she spent a couple of years at Guildford. She went from being Head of Geography to Head of Sixth at SHS in 3 years, then 2 years to ST. Makes me feel decrepit.

Yes, SHS has had fewer applications in last 2 years although it does vary a lot. This year, for example, they managed to keep several very able ones who would usually have gone to Nonsuch, or so I'm told. I hope it was not with the bribe of a Scholarship, since all those seem to go to girls from the JS!

When my friend who taught at SHS was there, she used to say that applications had gone from 96 for 70 places, to 120 for 65, then next year to 100 for 65.

I would think that there's not a huge difference between SHS and Surbiton in academic terms - the main differences are the Church School element, and of course the sites: Surbiton has lovely buildings IMHO, but is very spread out, whereas SHS is all on one rather pretty single site, with little gardens and courtyards and so on. Wimbledon High is regarded as more academic than either - I know two sets of families where the older girl went to WHS and the younger did not quite make it, so went to SHS.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 5:07 pm 
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hi

I am new to forum, my dd has just spent the day at Sutton High School and thinks she has not done well in the test, esp verbal reasoning as she did not realise the first part was practice and went straight into the paper - she then got time taken off the actual test. they were told to take their time as they had plenty of it. She did not rush as thought they were refering to main paper and as a result did not finish the paper (she was "docked" by 15 mins, ie time girls were given for practice test). She ended up missing out the last page.

I suppose my question is what kind of scores are they looking for and do they take into account anything else, ie the interview? PE lesson?

SHS really was her favourite, but she feels she may have blown her chances...


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 7:05 pm 
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Try not to worry. They do place a lot of emphasis on the interview, with such things as how interested she seems, what kind of books she reads, what she wants to do with her future if she has any ideas yet...

The P.E. lesson so far as I know is not vastly important.

They are sympathetic to the sort of thing which happened to your DD, and as long as she has performed reaonably well on the rest she should be fine.

SHS will also look at what she got in Year 6 - they like Level 5 if possible, and if she has that it will go a long way towards making up for any exam mistakes. That's the good thing about this process, unlike the 11+ it is possible to get a picture of 'the whole child.' It certainly seems to work for SHS.

Fortunately they don't keep you waiting too long - you should know in about 3 weeks or so.


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