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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 2:34 pm 
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My DD is on the waiting list for CLSG. I'm aware that if she is lucky enough to get an offer we will have to respond quickly, so I'm trying to find out some more information about the school to help with our decision.
I'm also aware that there may be no offers to the waiting list at all!

I'd be really grateful for advice from people who know girls currently at the school. My DD and I both loved the school when we visited it. It felt friendly and relaxed and the girls seemed confident and happy. I've also been very impressed with how the school has communicated with parents throughout the application process. However, I know that girls' grammar schools can be intense, competitive and bitchy (having been to one myself) and that problems with eating disorders and self-harm can be common. I didn't get the feeling that CLSG was like that, but can anyone confirm that our impression of the school was correct? Do the girls feel that they are under relentless pressure? Has anyone experienced problems with pastoral care?

My other question is about discipline, which I have no reason to believe is a problem at CLSG. My DD is very conscientious and well-behaved (at school) and does not need to be pushed to do her schoolwork. She can be quite quiet and very authoritarian teachers tend to make her anxious rather than push her to perform better. How does the school deal with the more "minor" infringements of school rules (e.g. messy uniform, talking in class, etc)? Are they heavy-handed in dealing out punishment? We would like her to be in a liberal, relaxed environment.

Thanks


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 2:56 pm 
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Hi curiousjoyce!
DD1 is at CLSG in Year 10 (having come from a state primary). I have been very happy with the school, and so has she. As far as I can tell the pastoral care is good, and I certainly haven't heard anything about strict discipline.
However the girls there are quite driven, and do put themselves under a lot of pressure (this very much comes from the girls themselves, in my experience). I have seen issues with eating disorders and self harming among DD's friends. As far as I hear these have been dealt with with compassion and understanding at the school level.
DD2 is at South Hampstead and there are similar problems there - I think they are unfortunately quite common for a group of that age.
City has a lot of bursaries and scholarships, which makes for a great, diverse group. Occasionally the girls can be highly strung, and there are falling outs and tears (they are teenage girls after all!), but certainly it's never seemed to me like a cliquey type of school.
It is a school that values autonomy and independence - the girls aren't mollycoddled, but neither are they pushed too hard - it's got to come from themselves.
Hope this helps!


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 4:25 pm 
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I can only agree with what GGMum is saying.

Best of luck and hopefully she will get a offer soon.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 4:39 pm 
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Just wanted to say that I hope you get an offer! I have a friend whose DD was offered a place and I know they won't take it, so fingers crossed for you.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 5:03 pm 
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Thanks to all of you. A recommendation from a parent is worth a thousand glossy brochures!

We'll keep our fingers crossed as it's my DD's first choice.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 5:05 pm 
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Additional question for parents with children at the school: how is the pressure ramp up throughout the years? Appreciate that academic schools do mean hard work at some point or other, but I guess there is a difference between a 11y old and a 15y old, and I'm curious to how much thought is being put into the phasing in process?

CLSG has a very intimidating reputation on the difficulty front and it'd be interesting to hear about how younger girls cope with it.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 5:20 pm 
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As an observer just wanted to say how nice to see someone whose primary concern is pastoral care rather than Oxbridge numbers or top top academics. Nice. :D Lucky daughter - parent whose priorities are right imho.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 5:22 pm 
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Well FWIW DD2 at South Hampstead had much more homework in Y7 than DD1 at City... Although it does ramp up afterwards and certainly by year 9 they work very hard.
There isn't as much focus on extra curricular - it's there if you want to do it (and they do have clubs and sports teams etc) but there is no pressure to join in if you'd rather not. That was a plus for DD1 but may not be the best for everyone.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 6:30 pm 
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Thanks Amber. I know that DD will get the A-level results she deserves wherever she goes to school, so long as she feels happy and supported. So for us, the decision is based on what else the school can offer apart from exam results.

I found your comment about extra-curricular activities interesting, GGmum - is the lack of emphasis just from year 10 or have you noticed it all the way through? If so, that would probably be a negative point for us.
I would like DD to have the opportunity to take part in lots of extra-curricular activities so that she is not constantly focussed on academic work (and hopefully grows into an interesting person!)


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2016 6:52 am 
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Hi curiousjoyce,
They do have a lot going on if you want to, and some of DD1's friends are part of many clubs and squads. DD1 has always preferred doing her extra curricular activities outside of school (she does tennis, dance and piano but not at school). All I meant is that she hasn't been put under any pressure to join in - the activities are there if you want them but nobody will look at you funny if you choose to abstain, or do it somewhere else.
That said obviously they don't have the sports facilities of some of the other schools, being in the centre of town.
One of the great things about the location though is that they do plenty of trips to museums, monuments etc, from the very beginning, just taking public transport or walking.
Hope this helps. Don't hesitate to PM me if you want more info.
Best
GGMum


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