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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 1:59 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2011 12:24 pm
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These are our top three at the mo ... my daughter's set her heart on Latymer Upper, I like the leafiness and open learning culture at Highgate and her dad adores Habs, which I suspect has the best pastoral care but is of course just girls!

Love to know your thoughts on differences between the three... and also if she does end up being a scientist (current passion for physics/engineering while knowing little of either!), which would be best for her?

She is also a keen actress, and we suspect quite talented as she's just been given a drama scholarship at Marylebone Girls- which is also high on our list.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 2:00 pm 
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That said.... we know it may well end up them choosing us, not the other way round! No idea how she'll perform in the exams - she's academic but nervous!


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 8:15 am 
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I'd go for Habs! Sorry dont know the other schools but do know that Habs is excellent, excellent teaching, facilities, turns out very confident girls which your daughter sounds like.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 11:31 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2012 1:40 pm
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My daughter loves Habs and is currently studying three science plus Maths in he 6th form. It has brilliant pastoral care and for a highly academic school is surprisingly non pushy. The school produces articulate and confident young women and has a huge number of extra curricular activities for all sorts. Most importantly, every girl is treated as an individual.

The selection process sees them interview all girls who achieve over a certain level on the exams and makes a decision on the whole picture. The fact that they don't simply award places on exams means that it's not all or nothing on that January morning and that girls get a chance to show their personality.

Do come and see the school at work during the day. It was the relaxed, yet purposeful atmosphere that decided it for us over other indies and our first choice state chool.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 3:32 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2009 8:07 am
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Location: London
All three schools are very nice, very different and indeed very popular.

Ideally your daughter would sit for all three with the mindset that she would be happy going to any and that they all have advantages. Then if she fails to get at place at one, no one is disappointed.

If you then have a choice, it should be made on the basis of what is best for her. Factor things in like the safety, reliability and length of journey. For example if she really wants to row, then Latymer is the place.

The biggest element will probably be co-ed or not co-ed. My daughter has friends in a number of West and South London schools and most seem happy at the schools they have chosen - or to put it another way the schools appear to have done a good job in choosing them. The one exception is a girl who probably would have been much happier in a mixed school rather than her very nice and well regarded all girls school. She is also the only one, out of quite a purposeful group, who appears to be disengaged and under performing at school. The trouble is, and not something people always think about at 11+, is that switching from single sex to co-ed at sixth form, can be really tricky. Rumour has it that applications to Westminster doubled last year, that Latymer is now able to pick from a lot of very qualified candidates, and that the direction of travel in South London is from JAGs to Alleyns, or from Clapham High to Emanuel and rarely vice versa.

For many girls and boys, single sex from 11-16 and then co-ed after is an ideal compromise. However if you think your daughter is likely to thrive in a mixed environment and you get the chance at 11+, then take it.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 7:57 pm 
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Really interesting thoughts from all of you... huge thanks for these, and particularly the detail on Habs which endorses everything I hoped. If we do go single sex, this definitely seems the one for us.

That said my daughter enjoys the chaos/humour boys seem to introduce to the classroom and being an only child, I think going co-ed would be hugely beneficial (I spent most of my time at university discovering the opposite sex having been to a girls boarding school - and my studies certainly lost out!)


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 11:41 am 
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Location: London
Perhaps the wider point is that secondary is like primary. With primary you might initially want a small nurturing school that will suit your infant but by the time they are in Yr5 or Yr6 you realise that a busy vibrant place may have been the better option - as long as the child was sufficiently robust at the beginning.

This also applies to Secondary, where we also focussed on the initial years and did not give a lot of thought to the sixth form provision. If your child is arts orientated then an academic girls school will push her all the way through. If she likes maths and science and can hold her own with the boys, the provision is some girls schools is great, but otherwise a co-ed school with a largish sixth form may be the better option. She then gets to University already well used to a co-ed environment. It is surprising how small some of the girls sixth forms (CLGS, SHHS, WHS, not to mention Frances Holland, More House Queengate etc) are, with some losing a reasonable proportion of their brighter pupils at this stage.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 12:21 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2012 1:40 pm
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Girls are more likely to take cine and maths at A level at single sex schools.

I initially wanted co-ed for my daughter. She originally gave the single sex aspect of Habs as the only thing she didn't like. Once she tarted that all changed. They have boys from the boys chol on the coaches and the building is next door, but both of us feel that she has been able to do far more and in comfort without boys in the classroom. She meets plenty of members of the opposite sex as friends and at extra urricular activities not to feel unable to exist in their company!

Funnily enough her cousin goes to Latymer Upper and he doesn't have a single female friend.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 10:14 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2011 12:24 pm
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Great feedback guys... and if anyone had to summarise the differences between the schools what would you say?

I think - but may be wrong ....

Habs - best results, only girls, amazing pastoral care especially when start, less pressurised than London girls schools and girls more "schoolgirly" and less makeup/short skirts et al

Latymer - tough when you start, very urban, values drama but not hugely inclusive re drama, ????? really dont know much more!!!

Highgate - more traditional pupils, very open learning culture within teachers (continued quest to improve in way I like), ??????

And not sure where is best for drama - think they are all strong - Latymer seems to value as much as academia but seems to have less opportunities than the other two!


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