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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 10:43 am 
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Does anyone have more information on the Northwood College (Maxwell Road Nortwood)? I have few points as below

How is the school ethos?

Does the school keep pushing students to achieve more or is it a case of taking things forward as per the child.

What is the average capability of the students? Does it have more percentage of bright students than mediocre or the other way around?

What is the rating of teachers and teaching quality ?

My daughter has got admission into Northwood College and I want to ensure that is worthwhile spending so much money.

Thanks


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 4:28 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:00 pm
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Location: RBK
Although A2 results are it everything, but you could try to get some knowledge about their intake and school's teaching quality by carefully studying it and see where your daughter fits in.

http://www.northwoodcollege.co.uk/files ... 202014.pdf

On their website, you could read their leaver's destination as well. But I am sure you would have seen all this data before applying at this college.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2015 6:39 am 
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I would be asking how the merger with Heathfield will affect your daughter.

I can't answer the other questions; I did attend the junior school and the first year of the senior school, but the school has changed a lot since.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:52 am 
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In a similar situation, we have accepted a place for September entry.

From what we have seen so far of the school I can point out the following:

1. The staff & the headteacher are very friendly, welcoming and happy to assist. Compared to other West London Independent schools, they may be keener to attract pupils, but then again I do not like schools with an attitude that comes across as a little snobbish "we are so good because of our results etc". They are also better organised.

2. The results are good, but they are not as high in the league tables compared to other schools. This is partly because they do not prevent girls from taking the subjects that they want - again this says something about the ethos of the school.

3. The headteacher was keen to point out that they are not as selective as other schools in the consortium. One of the KPI's that is not mentioned as often is the "value added" and on this NWC scores highly, this is all down to very good teaching. This is what we were told, we will see from September....

4. They have joined the GDST, this provides some security regarding the financial backing of the school and the annual fee increases.

5. The situation in West London is getting more and more competitive each year. We are out of the financial crisis so more families can afford the fees. A few years ago girls from the lowest set in the class would get into these schools easily, now no chance! Maybe some of the girls already in the school do not fall in the "super bright" category but I would expect that this September's intake will be of a good standard. They did an additional VR/NVR test prior to making the offers.

6. Yes, it is A LOT of money, but the comprehensive that we got has a lot of bullying going on and I don't want DD to be doing hairdressing, manicure and singing 1D songs for the next 7 years. If she does not settle there are always options available, occasional places come up at 13+ (with some girls moving to boarding schools) and you can always change at sixth form.

This is the basis on which we made our decision. I hope that it helps and that our DDs are happy in the coming years


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 8:45 pm 
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Thanks so much for your information.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2015 9:20 am 
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looked briefly at their results and in 2012 and also 2013 they did very well indeed - not too far off the mark compared to other more academic schools

2014 saw a drop and I wonder if this is because of the merger? Was teaching compromised? Did the ability of the cohort wide?

Will be interested to see how they do in 2015 I am hoping the figures start rising again to previous years

2014 saw 32.2% A* at GCSE
2013 saw 43.6 % A* at GCSE
2012 saw 42.1% A* at GCSE

compared to St Helens which in 2014 saw 49% of all grades awarded A* - which were their best results ever.

Rather hoping that NWC will revert back to 2012/13 figures going forward and that 2014 was a blip from attention given to the merger.

Any views?


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2015 9:23 am 
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BTW The very eloquent year 10 girl taking us around the school talked of girls in senior years doing very well and going on to study at London's top medical schools and I know a couple of girls who have chosen this school over more academic ones because their families feel that they will do just as well and be very happy to boot!


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 9:08 am 
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The results are partly based on how the school allows (or doesn't allow) the children to take subjects. At NWC the headteacher told us that they have a more flexible approach compared to other schools and basically "don't play the league table game". Instead, if a girl wants to do a particular subject they will discuss (as obviously a better mark will be of benefit to the student) but they will not prevent them from taking it if they are not predicted to get an A-A*.

Another point from the HT was that not all the girls that have the necessary grades will apply for Oxbridge (because of the complexity and stress that the application process involves) - from the girls that do decide to apply there is around 50% success rate.

Both DH & I liked this ethos that did not seem too pushy but on the other hand offers an academic curriculum and encourages girls to achieve to their full potential.

I don't know much about the merger. I know that Heathfield was a very small school, my understanding is that it was so small that it was no longer financially viable. The girl that took us around on the tour was from Heathfield, she seemed a lovely young lady and was very helpful. For my DD I don't see much impact as at year 7 there will be girls joining from a variety of schools and they have the time to integrate. I guess it might have more of an impact on the girls that are in years closer to exams but I don't know anything more.

I am not looking for a school that is super on the league tables, I want DD to be happy. And I hope she will be happy at NWC, with every interaction so far from the school it has been a positive experience. I have a younger DS in a private primary school, he has SEN and his prep school, although not "the best" in the area is definitely "the best" for him because he is being looked after and supported. So we are happy and he is too.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 7:31 pm 
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Location: Essex
I would rather hope that pupils heading for grades necessary for Oxbridge might be choosing to apply elsewhere for the positive reason that their particular desired 'elsewhere' is a better place to study whatever it is they want to do - rather than for the negative reason that the Oxbridge application process would all be too stressful :shock: . Is that really the way that the HT put it? That would definitely put me off a school.

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