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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 7:59 am 
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Considering this again for DD2 (we put down a deposit for DD1 before plumping for HBS) and would welcome some insight from existing parents (especially those that have experience of other schools).

There seem to be a couple of potential strengths to me:
1) Smaller class size will give teachers the opportunity to give more assistance to children who need a bit of help (as I've said elsewhere, HBS have a bit of a sink-or-swim teaching policy from what I've seen, and pupils are pretty much allowed not to do homework if they don't want to). DD2 has a more relaxed approach to work than DD1 and might benefit from this.
2) The independent "je ne sais quoi" factor seems to enable pupils to get into better universities even if exam results are no better. I presume this situation persists.

Some possible weaknesses:
1) Bernice McCabe will be leaving soon, and this could result in a temporary period of "slackening off"?
2) The school in the Far East may also result in some loss of focus in the London branch

Ah... Just realised, I should probably post this in the Independent section. However, I am interested in comparisons with top state schools, so maybe will leave it here?


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:04 pm 
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Maybe it depends on whether you expect your kids to go to oxbridge or do medicine, probably easier than at hbs.
How many go to oxbridge from hbs?
What about the fees?
The other thing is that nlcs will have girls there from very wealthy backgrounds where it could be average to go on holiday abroad 3 or 4 times a year, live in a house with a swimming pool, have amazing birthday parties as opposed to parties at pizza hut?
One thing I like about the selectives is that you get kids from a real mixture and some from quite humble backgrounds and others from more wealthy backgrounds.
nlcs will have much longer school holidays.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 7:53 am 
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hopeful5 wrote:
Maybe it depends on whether you expect your kids to go to oxbridge or do medicine, probably easier than at hbs.
How many go to oxbridge from hbs?
What about the fees?
The other thing is that nlcs will have girls there from very wealthy backgrounds where it could be average to go on holiday abroad 3 or 4 times a year, live in a house with a swimming pool, have amazing birthday parties as opposed to parties at pizza hut?
One thing I like about the selectives is that you get kids from a real mixture and some from quite humble backgrounds and others from more wealthy backgrounds.
nlcs will have much longer school holidays.



Sorry, but have to disagree with you. I think there will be as many 'super rich' kids at NLCS as at HBS (why pay for education that might impinge on lifestyle when one can get it for free and still live well) - the majority in both schools will come from the 'squeezed' middle and because of the bursaries that Independents have to offer to retain their charitable status, your child is more likely to come across children from very humble homes at NLCS than at HBS.

My experience at, what was then called Public School, is that uniform was a great leveller and I, for one, was completely unaware of the different backgrounds of my classmates and that some parents were making huge sacrifices to send their daughter to that school - or maybe I was just very naive!


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:21 am 
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I think hopeful5 is right. HBS parents are generally not do wealthy (I suspect that we're be in the top 10% there, but in the bottom 50% at NLCS). I guess we're in the bottom 20% at current primary, though. Also, the kids at HBS are very aware of the richer ones (partly through parties, but also phones, etc). However, I don't think it really matters.

I can see DD1 at Cambridge, DD2 much harder to call.

It's also about the experience while there as well as outcome, though.

What's the homework load at NLCS like? Especially projects. I've had enough of them at primary level!!!


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 12:01 pm 
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Hi!
This is my first post although I've been an active lurker for a while.
As an NLCS parent, I can tell you that if Mrs. McCabe was leaving we would have heard. The school is veeeery well organised and nothing is done by stealth. When teachers in high positions have retired in the past, we've had years of notice.
NLCS is very diverse economically. There are some with huge houses and some living in tiny flats and lots in the middle. The girls simply don't care. The one girl in DD's year with flash parents got a bit of stick about it- it wasn't nasty but her parents are really OTT. No Bentleys and plenty of old bangers. What counts is clever.
My DD loves it and I love how intellectually curious she is and how much she adores her teachers. They actually inspire her and she has really made an effort to try things that feel like a risk for her. I can't think of any weaknesses at NLCS. The only negative comes from some parents who push their girls too hard. The school tries to get them to relax and never tells you where your daughter ranks in relation to her peers. I think you'll find that a problem shared by both schools- parents can have trouble trusting that 'doing just fine' is good enough. I may be rare in being happy to see a duff mark every once in a while because I think it can remotivate the girls if they are coasting.
As for HB, the head came from NLCS and he's a really lovely man. He was very popular with the girls. One of DD's friends moved from NLCS to HB at the start of this year for financial reasons ( suspect the school was not approached for help as in other cases I've known, they fight to keep the girls) and isn't happy with HB. It isn't as culturally mixed and very swotty. I think that at NLCS they are confident that everyone will get their A*s so they leave them to get on with it and encourage sport and the arts. My DD is very organised so homework is an hour max. She has been encouraged from the start to spread and prioritise and never lets it get on top of her. HB seems to lack the 'goodies'. DD's friend is very sporty and isn't getting much of that at HB.
Having said this, I know parents who are happy with HB and appreciate that the girls tend not to be very sophisticated. How does DD feel? If money isn't a crucial factor for you, it should just come down to where she can picture herself going.
Hope this helps.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:56 pm 
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Location: Barnet, Herts
I don't know anything about NLCS but I too had the same misconception as hopeful5 when my Ds started at an indie from state primary. It simply isn't true. Whilst there are a few wealthy families who have houses with swimming pools - they are very much in the minority.
I have several friends who have children at different indies and they all say the same. As shootmenow says these schools are economically diverse and there are many children who could not be there without scholarships and/or bursaries.
So I wouldn't let this put you off deciding on a school. It is a little like buying a house - you get good vibes and instinctively know which is the one for your DC.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 4:43 pm 
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Location: Herts
Mmm, I know lots of people who have turned down HBS, DAO, Lattymer and QEB for indys because they can. I find it very hard to believe there are more wealthy parents at HBS than at NCLS. I am also puzzed about the dd that moved from NCLS to HBS for financial reasons. You can't just move to HBS because you can't afford the NCLS fees. You have to be number one on the waiting list and an existing pupil in the right year group has to leave. Re the comments on HBS, it does not represent itself as a sporty school, it is not a focus. Sporty academic girls would be more likely to go to DAO, it was one of the main reasons why we put DAO first and HBS second. Which sports are the big focus at NCLS? Dd has played against the Netball team a few times. I shall await with great interest Barnetdad's response to your comments about the girls at HBS being swotty and unsophisticated. Did you apply for HBS at all or was NCLS your first choice? DG


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 5:14 pm 
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Hi DAO you can move from the junior school at NLCS to have senior education at HBS so perhaps that is what the parents did. I know a family where they moved their daughter from DAO to NLCS but not sure why. Families I know who send their DD's to NLCS are full of praise and none of them are wealthy but have made huge sacrifices to pay the fees. However the school is supportive and not only academic but wants girls to have all round ability and interests. Extra cirricular activities are pushed to ensure that girls have other interests.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:35 pm 
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Actually, the family who moved from NLCS to HB did a non standard entry year. It was short notice and a bit of a surprise. The girl did not sit for HB at 11.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 7:23 pm 
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shootmenow wrote:
Actually, the family who moved from NLCS to HB did a non standard entry year. It was short notice and a bit of a surprise. The girl did not sit for HB at 11.

Could be one of many reasons - a boy left an indy prep and joined my DSs overfilled state primary last year - was being bullied and his parents just wanted him to get out asap.


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