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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 12:05 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 22, 2014 11:57 pm
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Hi this is my first time on the forum and wish that I had found it sooner. My DD has been offered a place at SAHS and also St Francis College and we are struggling to make a decision. Wondered if any forum members have any experience do these schools?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 9:47 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
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Location: Herts
Yes. It all depends on what you are looking for. St Francis is a lovely school, the Head has her own daughter there in Year Nine. But St Albans is a far stronger school all round, very focused academically and very strong in Sports especially Netball. To give you an example I know of a student this year who came in the top five in the St Francis exams but did not get into the scholarship tests at St Albans or in the top 200 at the DAO exams. I also know of a students who left at the end of Year Eight because she did not feel she was being challenged enough. I also know of a student from a local state primary who sat the Year Four tests to join the prep and got 100% in everyone even though she is not on top table at the state primary. If your dd is academic I would be concerned that she would not be challenged enough. We know students who were very average at our old primary who are on top table at St Francis. These are both schools with a strong local focus even though both have a good coach network. Tell us some more about your dd and what she is interested in. DG


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 10:22 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 22, 2014 11:57 pm
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Thanks for the response it is very helpful.

DD is doing well academically and works hard. She also has lots of interests outside of school including swimming, dance (tap, modern, jazz) and piano. She is a gentle girl who seems to make friends quite easily. She is extremely happy at her current school where there is a strong pastoral culture which has enabled her to grow from being very shy little girl into a quietly confident young person. We want her to be stretched academically but also to have fun and continue the positive experience at school that she has had so far.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 10:33 am 
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Location: Herts
Which school does she want to go to? DG


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 10:50 am 
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Don't assume a child will not do well because a school is less academically driven and high-powered. A happy child can achieve wonders in the right environment - so much is down to personal motivation and attributes. The only statistic which matters at the end of the day is the one concerning your own daughter. Good luck with your decision.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 1:37 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2011 9:13 am
Posts: 64
Hi there, cannot comment on St. Francis, but as a mum with a daughter at STAHS, I couldn't be happier!
The pace academically is very fast and coming from a state primary, it was a bit of a shock to the system. Now in y8, my daughter thrives in it.
The pastoral care is 110%, teaching - flawless and the behaviour and manners of the girls impeccable!
The music department is amazing and has given my daughter so many opportunities. Last year she went on a choral concert of Germany. And because the school is affiliated with The Abbey, I get a chance to attend concerts held there.
If your daughter is sporty, they have a very good netball team and excel in swimming.
The location is fab for the girls, as they're right in the heart of St. Albans but that has it's downfalls as 'Mr. Piggy Bank' gets raided every Friday morning :lol:
My daughter was the only girl from her primary school to go there, which was a bit of a worry. But she has made some really lovely friends and is so happy.....which is what you want to hear.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 3:27 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:59 pm
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If your dd is academic I would be concerned that she would not be challenged enough.

Perhaps she could learn to challenge herself, then! A much more relevant life lesson imo.

OP if you – or rather your daughter – really likes St Francis, I wouldn't discount it. She might be happier in that sort of environment and if she works hard anyway she is clearly stretching herself, that doesn't have to come from the school.


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