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PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 7:49 pm 
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Hello, I am a complete newbie here so apologies if this is the wrong place or even the wrong type of subject for this board. I posted this on a different website but would value further opinions and there seem to be plenty of folks with decent views on here. I have noticed several similar topics on general public vs grammar and public vs comp but I wanted to discuss specific schools.

My DD is entering year 6 this month and is fairly bright (top third of class at a very good Richmond state primary but not a high flyer who will make it to Tiffin or St Paul's), better at English than maths, socially very mature, makes friends easily, loves sports, art and dance, but lacks a little confidence in raising her hand in class.

Her teacher thinks she has a good chance of getting into Putney High and similar schools (eg, Godolphin). DD definitely wants to go to an all girls' school.

I guess where I am struggling is whether paying £12k+ annually will be materially worth it. We can afford it but would notice it so it is a bit of a consideration but not the deciding factor. The exam results are better at Putney but that presumably is a function of the girls who go there and I don't know if DD would still get similar results at Waldegrave (which itself gets decent results for a comp). I simply don't know what incremental impact going to a good private school would have. I am also worried I might short change DD in terms of sports facilities/other activities by not going private.

We know girls at both schools and they all seem happy content but it is hard to truly compare because none of the families have girls at both schools.

Any thoughts? Thank you


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 2:37 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:59 am
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Location: N London
Hi Tiredandconfused, we faced the same choice for our dd this year who will start at a north london indie this week (eek!). Of course you will never know what would have happened if you had made the other choice, and we based our decision on which school suited dd best. Our local comp is fabulous and gets fantastic results but its huge and terrified dd. we felt she might be overwhelmed or overlooked and may not be pushed to her potential or have as many opportunities there. We could be very wrong but at the indie she felt relaxed and secure, the size and atmohere was a fit and we liked the slightly less grown up looking IYSWIM girls we met there. It was calm and purposeful but not overly pushy or too hothousey. If all goes well I think the results academically would be similar but the atmosphere is a bit different, I think anyway.
It was not a case of not liking the comp, in fact we are planning to send ds there (starting y6 this week) as he loves it and it suits his confident outgoing personality (he also has not been keen to work for indie exams so not overly confident he will get in!). You have to fit the child to the school, and of course be sure the finances are ok, you can always do extra sport etc outside school.
All you can do is visit the schools with dd, talk to the kids and teachers there, then see where she gets an offer and make your choice. Hope someone who knows your schools will come along soon.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:05 pm 
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Hi TiredandConfused,

Have you checked whether you geographically have a chance to get into Waldegrave. The street you live in makes all the difference. See the council website for info (they publish maps).

Also, are you aware that the Putney and Godolphin exams are set at quite different levels? Feel free to PM me if you want further info.

Wombat1


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:28 pm 
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Thanks to both of you for your replies. Yes, Wombat I am aware of the catchment area for Waldegrave and we are perfectly located for the 15% B zone - several girls on our street have got in in recent years (and are very happy at the school). Will PM you re your comment on the exams.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 7:02 pm 
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Hi

I was chatting to a friend today about a girl who got 10 A*s at the local comp and her friend who got 5 As, 4Bs, 1C at the nearby selective private school. It has always been possible to get great results from a reasonable or good comp. But it's not all about the exam results. For me it's about the climate in which they learn and how those results are achieved. If you think that overall, results aside, the private school will suit her better mentally, emotionally, academically and prepare her better in every way for the future, for her career and her life, send her there.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 7:10 pm 
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menagerie wrote:
I was chatting to a friend today about a girl who got 10 A*s at the local comp and her friend who got 5 As, 4Bs, 1C at the nearby selective private school. It has always been possible to get great results from a reasonable or good comp. But it's not all about the exam results. For me it's about the climate in which they learn and how those results are achieved. If you think that overall, results aside, the private school will suit her better mentally, emotionally, academically and prepare her better in every way for the future, for her career and her life, send her there.
With the obvious caveat that 5 As, 4 Bs and 1C will exclude that child from many academic and career options, so some parents may feel the fees, particularly at a selective school, were a little high for such an outcome. Depending, of course, on the aptitude, personality and attitude of the child in question, which can never be factored into these arguments successfully. Sadly we can't run controlled experiments with our children and life is always full of 'what ifs?'


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 7:26 pm 
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Yes, this is the problem. So really you have to accept that you made the best decision with the information you had at the time and hope for the best.

But like you amber, I would not feel those results were worth the fees unless they were, for that child, stunning results.

There are people who choose what they see as relaxed, fun, sporty, desirable appearing prep schools round here. The results can be puzzling to me though - a child who moved to a not very good primary because they could no longer afford it found that she was way down the class in reading and maths, another whose parent is wondering when, if ever, they will be taught their timetables etc.

If it were me I would want the good teaching plus all the frills if I were paying.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 8:21 pm 
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menagerie wrote:
Hi

I was chatting to a friend today about a girl who got 10 A*s at the local comp and her friend who got 5 As, 4Bs, 1C at the nearby selective private school. It has always been possible to get great results from a reasonable or good comp. But it's not all about the exam results. For me it's about the climate in which they learn and how those results are achieved. If you think that overall, results aside, the private school will suit her better mentally, emotionally, academically and prepare her better in every way for the future, for her career and her life, send her there.


I agree with all the points you have mentioned except to compare the GCSE results of the two girls. The only similarities between these two girls are their gender and age. They might have from different primary school, family background, academic ability and of course the secondary they went too. The top student at a comp can get 10A* but not all girls at even the best indie will get 10A*!


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 10:46 am 
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Thanks for your replies. In my mind both Waldegrave and Putney High are very good schools so that makes the decision. Putney definitely has better headline results (this year 88% of PHS GCSE grades were A*/A, while Waldegrave was just over 50%). However, PHS is a pretty selective private school and Waldegrave is a comp (albeit in a nice area). I guess we can never really tell if an individual girl would get comparable results in both schools.

There are also the other non-results factors like confidence gained, extra curricular activities and social circles.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 10:47 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 01, 2013 7:40 pm
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That makes the decision tougher. (Missing word)


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