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 Post subject: Habs, highgate or shhs?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:56 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2012 9:33 pm
Posts: 2
Hi. I have just discovered this forum and it is great!
I would just like to ask your opinion on three schools that happen to be our favourites.
Our daughter just sat the 11+ and has been called back for interview at habs, highgate and shhs.
We like shhs because we live two minutes walking from the school and it has a good reputation.
We like highgate because it is coed and it seemed very modern and lively.
We liked habs because of the facilities, the results and the happy girls feeling, but it is really far away from where we live.
Our daughter is creative, sporty and quiet, probably stronger in English than math.
I would love to hear your opinions on these school and any advice you might have in this difficult decision making time.
Thank you!


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:28 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2011 12:24 pm
Posts: 160
We've had interviews at the same schools - your synopsis sounds very accurate.

I think I'd suggest seeing who offers you a place and then drilling down - many go back to take another look.

Happy to pm then if helpful.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:57 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2010 10:13 pm
Posts: 283
For your dd's sake , I would suggest you wait and see what offers and scholarships you get and then narrow them down to your preference .

The danger with having a preference now , is that dd may be disappointed if she is not offered the 1st one on your list . My only concern with having a school minutes away from home is that you will have to entertain all the kids most of the time and dd may loose focus and maturity if she is so close to home . Distance is always an important factor and I will not choose a school that's too far for dd to travel, especially during the dark November months .

Best of luck with the offers !


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 3:35 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2012 1:40 pm
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Are you on a coach route for Habs?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 3:48 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
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Location: Herts
Hello, I just spent an hour on the phone last night going through the merits of Habs versus St Albans and talking through the same sort of points. Habs has the reputation but St Albans is a better location just like SHHS for you. I would say that Habs is more Science and Maths based than English and also the girls do drive themselves hard. But if your dd has a strong personal work ethic I am sure she will do as well at SHHS. I don't think better results is worth a much longer journey and less of a local peer group. If Habs is really far away she will not have local friends and it will be a strain for you. Who will go and get her if she falls ill? Habs is a fantastic school but I have spent the last three years noticing miserable children standing at bus stops by themselves while my dd's go off to school on the train with a great gang of mates. I used to think great schools were worth the journey but I changed my mind. Is there anything that you think Habs gives you that SHHS does not in terms of what your dd needs? DG


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:02 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:21 am
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I agree with DG, distance to school is an important factor to all DCs as they have to commute the same journey for the next seven years. Results wise there is not a huge difference between HABS and SHHS. The most important factors might be where her classmates are going and her personality. Which ever school matched these factors would probably suited her most. :D


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:22 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2012 9:33 pm
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Thank you for your replies.
It is really useful to hear other opinions at this stage.
What I like about habs vs shhs( I agree results are similar) is that it is far from the London "bubble" and the girls seemed unsophisticated( in the good way) and more down to earth.
I do care about results, but I also want my daughter to grow in an happy environment and I have heard too many girls unhappy at shhs( probably because it is the only secondary local school for girls and maybe if I lived next to habs I would have heard the same stories, I don't know).
I do like highgate very much because it is coed. My dd says she doesn't want the boys but she doesn't know she will change her mind. And probably highgate as well as habs is more science, math oriented and I feel my daughter is stronger in English .
I appreciate daogroupie your honest reply that you changed your mind about travelling long distances for a good school. I will think carefully about that!
What do you think of highgate?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:13 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
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Location: Herts
I think you hear more stories about SHHS because you are local. My sister's best friends daughter was at Habs and was admitted to the Priory while she was there. There are lots and lots of stories about the pressure the girls are under. Do a search on here and I am sure you will find some. I dont know anything about Highgate except that they only started taking girls fairly recently. They might still be focused on teaching for boys, I would want to have a conversation with the mother of a girl there. DG


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:55 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2012 1:40 pm
Posts: 133
We turned down WGGS for Habs because we liked the relaxed atmsphere and pastoral care at Habs and we've bever been disappointed. Our daughter had a bad time with bullying at primary, but is ver happy at Habs and has often commented how supportive it is.

Yes, there is a culture of success in many areas and the work goes beyond that which is needed simply to pass exams. The fifth and sixth formers are expected to take on responsibilities. And it is certainly not the place for an over-tutored girl. But whenever I am in school, I see happy, busy, relaxed girls, bursting with confidence.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:12 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2011 4:30 pm
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I completely second Sally's comments. We too turned down WGGS and although weve only been at Habs for a term and a bit ,it is everything we hoped for and more. At the beginning of the year it was made clear to us that all our girls are bright and that whilst they are expected to work hard academically, they are all expected to fully participate in extra curricular activities be it, musical, sporting or one of the many lunch and after school clubs. There are so many unusual clubs and activities eg synchronised swimming that there really is something for everyone.
My DD friends travel from all over London and Herts , mainly via the amazing coach service. There are very few stops on each route, just lots of routes, which minimises journey time. We know of several girls travelling from St Johns wood and Finchley Road.
We were struck by how appreciative all the older girls were of their environment and had a self confidence but tempered with a degree of humility we had not seen elsewhere.
Well done for getting to this stage- they are all good schools. Good luck !


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