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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2015 9:23 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 26, 2015 9:13 pm
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Does anyone have any info on St Gabriel's Newbury? Considering this as an option for my daughter or possibly the Abbey School in Reading.
Any feedback/information that you have about these schools would be very much appreciated. Also, how competitive are the entrance exams? What percentage are children expected to achieve and are they required to do well in all papers?

Thanks


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2015 8:14 am 
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I have first hand information on these schools.
Which year group is your little girl in? where do you live?


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2015 9:29 am 
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Location: Reading
I have a fair bit of experience of The Abbey (but none of St Gabriel's)


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2015 5:01 pm 
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She is currently in year 5, happy & doing very well in her current school. She would look to join the new school in Y7. We live in a village about half way between the 2 schools, so both schools are equally good for travel.

We're also considering Kendrick, but I think she may struggle to get a place as it seems so competitive.

St Barts is another school we have visited and she liked, but again I think we would be unlikely to get a place as we are quite a distance out of catchment.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2015 5:02 pm 
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academics - not St. Gabs.
Peace of mind with travel and school life - not Abbey.

If you enjoy socializing and lawn parties and hog roasts then St. Gabriels is great. But the curriculum is so laid back we cannot find them in league tables of any kind. There is no competition for spaces as they would add a new classroom if it comes to over subscription. Nothing strict or no rules as such. My DD had to be bored to death with 4 times tables with a whole bunch of girls who couldn't do it still at year 4. Sports is great. Technology is amazing. Scholarships are pretty easy to obtain but wont make a huge difference really. Not my cup of tea. I ran the other way as soon as I realized its negatively influencing my academically gifted child. I paid a whole terms fee without attending a single day of school but extremely happy now that my DD is recognised as G&T at current school and is thriving in a challenging environment

Abbey is academically sought after. Not recognized for sports as such nor technology. Travelling in and out, Drop offs pickups are a nightmare as well. The scholarships are pretty competitive so level expectations are high as well.

Neither of the schools are good if you have plans to move to another high achieving school as they wont prepare children on time for any entrance exams nor do they have any tie ups or rapo with St. Pauls or NLCS to say aloud.

Both schools are notorious about changing staff abruptly.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2015 5:45 pm 
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Thanks. Do you mind me asking which school your DD is now attending.

My DD is very good at English, probably top of her class. She has a good chance of achieving level 6 in SATS next year and scores well on the Mock 11+ papers English & Verbal Reasoning.

Maths, however she finds more difficult. She isn't bad at it, but I'd say more good average ability.

I'm therefore looking for a school that will challenge her in English, but will also be able to support her and help her to improve her maths skills.

She has no interest in sports.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2015 12:08 am 
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I'll pm you.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2015 7:14 am 
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stanfy, 11+(CEM) exams these days are English heavy - 50% VR, 30% Maths and 20% NVR. So if your DD is good at English she has a good chance to get into Kendrick. Just work more on her maths. DIY or tutor to get her up to speed in Maths to solid level 5/entry level6. You still have time. Maths usually gets better with practice. Let her take some mocks so you will know where she stands and address weaker areas. Play with this year's CEM results spreadsheet to get an idea how much strong English/Maths helps. If you have any questions/need help post in the berks forum. We will do our best to help you.
If it helps you, my DD took Sutton mocks last May and she was borderline pass(strong English weak Maths) probably because we started preparing late and didn't do any papers till Easter. However, DD has managed to get into Kendrick.

Sorry, I don't have any experience of Indie schools.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2015 9:28 am 
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My daughter is at the Abbey (started in year 7 now in year 12). She obtained a scholarship to both The Abbey and St Gabriels although that was obviously a while ago. The Abbey give quite a few scholarships which do give a small amount off fees (more with a means tested bursary). When DD got her scholarship from St G's there was no financial element. I have prepared other children for entrance exams locally since then and my son is at St Joseph's College.

I don't recognise some of the comments about the Abbey from above posters so my daughter has obviously had a different experience. Her education has been amazing and she obtained fantastic GCSE results. She has had many inspirational teachers who have gone above and beyond what I would expect from a teacher (and I am a teacher!). If there are any problems I have found them extremely supportive and caring. It is quite a pressured environment as exam results matter to them but they are very experienced and thorough at preparing the girls for exams. Although not known for its sports there are many sporting successes at The Abbey and sporty children are encouraged. There are many county and national players there for a variety of sports. My daughter is sporty(county standard) but does a non-school sport so she does sport mainly out of school. If she was a netball player or a hockey player she would be catered for. Similarly for art, music and drama - talent is recognised and promoted.

Entrance exams - The Abbey is far more selective than St Gabriel's and the exam is harder. When DD did St G's test they tested science but I don't know if they still do. St Gabriel's is far less selective. If you are aiming for The Abbey then I would enter for Kendrick even if just to use the exam as a preparation. As someone else has said the entrance exam for Kendrick changed this year and is much more English (and in particular vocabulary) based.

Travel wise we have found getting to the Abbey far easier than St Josephs's which is just round the corner. DD went on the bus which picked up 50 yards from our house and dropped off at school. She loved the bus journey - said it was the best bit of her day. DS had to get the train and then a school bus which was late every day. As I now work in Reading I take them myself.
Please pm if you want any other information.


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