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PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:30 pm 
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I would be very grateful for any advice or information on the senior schools at Channing or North London Collegiate please. I know that Channing is part of the North London Consortium, but it doesn't seem to be as academic as some of the other schools in the group? (NLCS, CLSG).

My dd loves science, maths and sport, so I am keen for her to go somewhere that will suit her. Channing seems to be very keen on music, art and english etc. Whereas North London Collegiate seems to be a lot broader. I have met the headmistresses and some of the parents at both of these schools and they seem very nice, but I would appreciate any input, especially from current parents, as I am looking for a "warts and all" description, rather than a "best behaviour" open day view.
Thank you.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 5:51 pm 
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The Head of North London Collegiate is an English teacher so this subject and Drama are very highly rated there too.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:33 am 
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Thank you Kingfisher!


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:49 am 
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They are both lovely schools. I have 2 DDs at NLCS and Channing wouldn't have suited them but for different reasons. NLCS is very, very academic and the pace is fast. Girls need to be either super-bright or hard workers. The school is not pushy- no prizes or rankings- and the pastoral care is exceptional. However, I could see that a girl who doesn't tick along at the same pace will be unhappy. The interview process is very good so it is rare for one to slip in who isn't suited. They do not cull so even if a girl is struggling, they'll do everything they can to keep her if she's happy. That said, the academic stuff is just baseline. They are expected to get involved in clubs, societies, music, sport and community service. Busy=Happy.
Channing used to be quite gentle but has upped its game over the last few years. I think it is going through a hard time in some of the upper years because the expectation is SHHS level achievement and the girls are not all up to it. Some feel very pressured as a result. This will change as their position in the league tables keeps rising. More clever girls will opt for them over SHHS. Channing has recruited some fantastic teachers recently and it will become more intellectually ambitious.
Now you are asking why I don't think their competitor is NLCS? Facilities and size. DD2 swims, plays lacrosse and just generally needs to run around. Channing has a lovely site but it is, and cannot be other than, a small school. Some girls love being known, feeling like they are part of a family. It gives them security. DD1 would have gone mad being at the top academically without a mass of girls to keep pushing her on. It's just too small.
Look at these schools with an eye towards who your DD will be and not just who she is now. Try for both consortia and then ask yourself if she'd sink in a big pond or suffocate in a small one.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:28 pm 
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shootmenow, that's a great insight into these two schools.

Would you say that Channing and St Helens are around the same academic standard? I know that St Helens has also upped its game in the last couple of years.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 2:26 pm 
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I loved the channing school at the open day- the head was impressive and i liked her speech. it is a small school but does still have open grounds ( and chickens if they're still there) but it is bigger than other schools like queens gate which i thought was too squashed. It is able to give the girls the attention they need with classes being small but unfortunately there is no direct route for us.

This year channing got 85 a-a* whilst I think from memory st.helens was 89. I would say look at gcse and a level results over a 5 year period as results can vary according to the strength of the cohort as well.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 3:26 pm 
Having had quick glance at the school profiles of the schools mentioned above , I think poeple are" splitting hairs here" they all seem very academic to me.
what you need to know is - what value does this or that school add to my childs education?
All of these school conduct an assessment in yr 7 as a baseline. i.e is the school able to turn a C grade into an A at iGCSE . Ask them ,they have the data but you need to ask!
yes NLCS is top tier , but they select the brightest , these very bright and more importantly self motivated girls would probably do just as well in a lower ranked school IMO.
think whats in the best interest for your child, you know him/her best-sorry if I sound like I'M preeching, but I think value added IS the most important measure of a school
I found the link I wanted to share with you back up my opinion.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/ed ... hools.html


Last edited by JSN on Tue Oct 29, 2013 3:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 3:54 pm 
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Thank you all so much for your replies. Shootmenow, your contribution has been very helpful to me, thank you for taking the time to post it. I am going to take another look at both schools and sit my dd for them both to see how she gets on, (she might not get an offer from either of them) She is on the list of the last 250 girls at Henrietta Barnett, but (if she received an offer) I just don't think that it is the right place for her. Having input from current parents really does help, as a school visit can only really give you a snapshot. Finding this forum has reassured me that I am not the only angst ridden mother out there!


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 4:01 pm 
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Letitbeover, the exam is the same as both schools are in the same consortium group. She will only need to sit the papers at one school and the results will be shared between each school to which you have applied. You do need to fill in two applications though.

Many students apply for more than one school in the same consortium or even in both groups. The exams are comparable in terms of difficulty.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:18 pm 
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All good advice for you. Why are you sceptical about HB? Again, it wouldn't have suited my girls at all but what put you off? I think that the Head at Channing is really lovely and honest and looks for potential. That's why they interview all girls. She was also smart enough to tell me at our 'chat' that she thought DD2 would be following her sister to NLCS.
Do look at the results tables by subject. One criteria for me was how many girls do STEM subjects at A level and Classics.


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