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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 7:51 am 
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I am trying to find out more about the SPGS. Found a few threads here, but not much. Has anyone come across more discussions on the subject of preparation, exam, intake, life at the school, pastoral issues for that particular school?


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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 3:14 pm 
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Location: Maidstone
I have send you pm with some links and info but I have no other knowledge about the school.

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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 3:21 pm 
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There have been a lot of discussion about SPGS on Mumsnet forum - Secondary Education. Not sure about recently but when exams going on - Jan/Feb time there seemed a lot.


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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 5:05 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
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Location: East Kent
have you tried the search facility (top right under the banner, above the time and date!)


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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 11:03 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
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Location: Herts
I have posted some stuff on SPGS. My dd sat the exam last year. If you do a search on my posts you will find what we thought of it all. We went to the music afternoon and that was an eye opener, then dd sat the computer test and then the all day exam so we spent quite a bit of time there. Also a poster called Mark Thymne has posted quite a bit on SPGS versus HBS. Happy reading, feel free to pm me on my opinions unless you think it is worth a public airing. DG


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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 11:47 am 
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Location: Herts
Harrowparent had some good posts as well.


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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 2:15 pm 
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What do you want to know Dreamgirl? I have a daughter there.


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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 7:12 pm 
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preparation - if your daughter would needloads of preparation for SPGS then I'd suggest sending her somewhere else as she will struggle for the next seven years and feel rubbish about herself. SPGS goes on and on about not wanting people to be coached as it coaches all the individualism out of them. Not sure myself. Theres definitely a "type" and it's a "know it when they see it" thing to do with confidence, inqusitiveness, thirst for learning. Go to open events and meet the current pupils and see what you think. Meanwhile word on the street and in the corridors is that there';s been a big turnover in staff in recent years with a lot of popular staff on their way. New management said to be keen on forcing up exam results EVEN further and forcing up Oxbridge places EVEN further. Lots of ££ spent on cosmetic stuff like landscaping, the school bell, a thoroughly controversial rebrand and new logo, website etc. Older students quite cynical and negative about new attitudes.


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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 9:58 pm 
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Cherry pink, I thought I'd go through some of your points, insofar as I know about these things:

"preparation - if your daughter would needloads of preparation for SPGS then I'd suggest sending her somewhere else as she will struggle for the next seven years and feel rubbish about herself. SPGS goes on and on about not wanting people to be coached as it coaches all the individualism out of them." My interpretation of SPGS advice is that coaching won't really help and therefore is a waste of time and money. Have a look at the entrance tests. The questions are very difficult and unless a girl is clever enough, no amount of coaching is going to help her answer them. And if she is clever enough, she won't need coaching. As for interviews, everything I've heard is that they like quirky, interesting girls and they ask questions that get around pre-prepared answers.

Theres definitely a "type" and it's a "know it when they see it" thing to do with confidence, inqusitiveness, thirst for learning. I'm not sure there is a type. Some of the girls are shy, some awkward, some very confident, some boisterous. But, as you say, they all seem to be keen on learning.

Meanwhile word on the street and in the corridors is that there';s been a big turnover in staff in recent years with a lot of popular staff on their way. I don't know if this is correct, though my daughter has one or two newish teachers and one who is covering for maternity leave. The head of music recently left rather abruptly. I don't know why.

New management said to be keen on forcing up exam results EVEN further and forcing up Oxbridge places EVEN further. I think this is true of all the top schools and I think this largely matches parents' wishes.

Lots of ££ spent on cosmetic stuff like landscaping, the school bell, a thoroughly controversial rebrand and new logo, website etc. The school bell is a nice innovation and I can't imagine it cost very much. The rebrand and the new logo are, meh. The website doesn't look any more interesting or complex than that of any other school. I suggest it can be more informative. The landscaping is nice, but pretty modest and covers what would be a suburban garden. We're not talking Capabillity Brown. Some parents complain about the expense of the school meals. The food is good but it's not haute. My daughter likes it and eats healthfully there. One big expense has been the recent reconditioning of the singing hall.

Older students quite cynical and negative about new attitudes. In my experience, children are very conservative. They never like change to things they've grown accustomed to. My guess is the older girls don't like it because it's (slightly) different from how it was when they started.


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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 10:30 am 
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Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 3:31 pm
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Hi Mark Thyme!

Isn't a good prep school the ultimate coaching and preparation for SPGS (and other elite selective schools)?

Every girl I know of who has received an offer from, for example, SPGS, Henrietta Barnett or North London Collegiate has been at a prep school and/or been coached/prepped by tutor/family.

WH


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