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PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 2:50 pm 
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hi - I have just completed the rounds of filling in application forms and open evenings for several schools, we have short listed 2, Surbiton High School - but seemed a little busy. Academic results are good, and extra stuff extensive but also visited St Catherines in Twickenham. DD loved this school, said she felt really welcome. The class sizes are smaller and the intake is around 3 form entry.

Wondered if anyone had experience of either school to point me in the right direction for when the time comes to decide. (should I get the choice...!!)


Last edited by Dfox on Wed Oct 03, 2012 5:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 7:34 pm 
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Hi, I know many gilrs who are very happy at SH. My friend's DD's only complaint is the music teacher! Yes, it is getting a bit overcrowded. Last year all waiting list was admitted. Sorry, don't know abot St.C, but I would think about the religious aspect in this case. If you are atheist/agnostic and try to bring your DC like that, it may be not right place to be.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 11:37 pm 
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Location: S.W. London
As far as I know, St Catherine's (surprisingly) doesn't go overboard with the religious side of things. One of my daughter's primary school classmates, who's a Muslim, goes there.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 9:32 am 
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Well, that's unusual, it is not often you see muslim children in the church schools. St C students went to meet the Pope recently.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 9:41 am 
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Probably not to unusual, some parents who want a "religious focussed education" will send the kids to schools of other religions as their own are not available. Often to do with the religious ethos of the school in general as opposed to a secular school.
A Pakistani (muslim) doctor I knew had been taught by nuns in a Roman Catholic Convent school in Pakistan


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 10:45 am 
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I know both these schools through friends, Surbiton is my closest girls independent school to where I live. Personally as a mum of five girls and no boys I think I know girls very well and I would choose St Catherine's. SH has just got bigger and bigger in recent years and I think that has had an effect on the school, in an all girl environment it can be very intense. Pastoral care is better at SC. SH has more of an urban feel to it, by that I don't mean the social mix I mean the attitude of the girls. One of my daughters has many friends from SH and they are very advanced for their age compared to her friends from other schools. I know people that love SH but I don't think its for the shrinking violet type. Having said I would choose SC, because the school is much smaller the pool of friends is therefore more limited and girls do have their various friendship issues throughout secondary school. Friendships are very important in those years for girls. I think you should go with yours and your DDs gut instinct.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 9:56 am 
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My computer died and have finally got back on line - Louise2 - SS quite big and busy, but girls seem very happy and the children have to move through the school and cross a road as the school is situated on two sites, but this seems to be managed with ease. Lots of extras for the children to do at lunch times and after school.

St Cs had a great feel. We had the interview with St Cs and the head met us with her dog, totally relaxed DD who was very nervous and broke the ice. St Cs exam seems to combine activities like swimming and cooking, again it appears to me, trying to minimise the stress, the childrens welfare seems top of the agenda. Academic results and extras are less.



Very different schools but both have very positive points - a hard choice..


Last edited by Dfox on Wed Oct 03, 2012 5:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 6:30 pm 
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After many weeks of torture - having been offered a place at St C and SS we made the decision to accept the place at SS. We did this in full consultation with DD. Though she felt really comfy at St C. Taking into account travel and the extra stuff available DD finally made the choice of SS - perhaps the fact that 5 other girls in her school were also going may have swayed her!!!

The follow up from the SS has been great and we feel the right choice for DD.

Our younger daughter however we think will be better suited to St C, smaller classes and a less competitive atmosphere. But it worked well for older DD to make informed choices so if we are lucky to get both offers - we will let her make the final choice. She is going into year 5 so the whole hassle of tutors starts again. At least I have an idea what to do this time round..what a completely stress full and confusing process the first time around.

good luck to all you first time mums.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:35 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:53 pm
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DD just completed her first year at SHS and I am amazed the difference in her, not just academically but also how her confidence has grown - she is a different child.
I was never blown away bt SHS when we went to open days etc and we chose SHS mainly because of it's location, but it is the best decision I have ever made for her. Its a very kind, laid back school, the recent school inspection was excellent, and the new gym facilities should be a huge benefit to the girls.
There was a problem I think last year when too many girls took up places and they ended up with 2 extra classes, the head has promised this was a one off, it was not popular with the parents and far fewer offers were made this year.
I know ST C's, it is a lovely school as well - you were lucky to have 2 such nice schools to choose from - although that just makes it harder!
Good Luck to your DD for September.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:46 am 
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DD has completed the first half term in year 7 at SHS and loves it.

Homework about 1 hour or so - some pieces don't have to be in until the following lesson so she can catch up on the weekend as she is sooo busy with netball and hockey team. I am exhausted - picking up and ferrying her to matches - but she is really enjoying the balance between the academic and sport side. Even if you don't make it to the teams (they have A-D) they still include anyone that wants to play so there are opportunities for everyone no matter what level they are.


The communication between parent and school is great - they have a system where you log in and you can see merits and demerits. Lots of stuff sent via email.

She loves the new uniform and likes the blazer as she can keep her phone and bus pass close. Blazer has to be worn all year round and during moving about the school. I am glad the new uniform has been introduced as it was one of the negative points for me - how trashy the girls look in the scruffy jumpers and very short tight pencil skirts. It will be interesting to see how the older girls adjust to the new uniform when the whole school has to change over next year. I hope the head stays strong and ensures the girls don't roll up the skirts so you can see their knickers!!!! Creates such a poor image for the school.

We have had to make so many sacrifices to send DD to an independent school, and within a few weeks both hubby and I have agreed we made the right choice. DD has turned into a confident young lady already - quite scary the changes that have taken place. All positive ones - except my baby is growing up!!!


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