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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 9:37 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:43 am
Posts: 60
Talk about dilemmas that we as parents face during the gruelling period of 11 plus. My dd has so far cleared DAO, Latymer( grammar) and NLCS and Habs( Pvt). The clear choices for us are:

NLCS and DAO

The dilemma- whether to go private for the next 7 years or take up DAO and support dd with extra 121 sessions in eng, maths and sciences. we are going for NLCS offer day as well hoping to request one from DAO before we make up our minds.

Requesting all parents who have been in similar situation before, to give us their take on what made them choose which one and how is their dd finding the chosen school now. Before someone poses the q of affordability, we are not eligible for bursary, and will be able to afford however have a second child and sacrifices will have to be made. We would like to understand whether paying better part of £200k over 7 years is truly value for money. DD is happy with either choice. we have considered the following:
1. travel time- more or less same, slightly less for DAO
2. work ethic required- more so in DAO than NLCS as peer and school pressure will mean, dd will have to be on top of her game. she is quite a hard worker any ways.
3. pure gals vs mixed school- does this matter?
4. May be go for DAO now until GCSC and then attempt NLCS again.

many thanks


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 9:48 am 
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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 5:27 pm
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Location: london
Well I have no particular affinity with either school but I'd go with DAO at a shot because

1 Co-ed
2 Brilliant school
3 Nearer
4 Sibling preference
5 £200k

Also, what makes you thinks she will need extra support there? If she is bright an hardworking she will be fine at either, if not she will not :) Good luck and well done to DD.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 9:50 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2014 4:04 pm
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I didn't have this dilemma as we didn't try for any private schools but I have a dd in yr 8 at DAO with a ds about to start this September...

I can tell you that dd absolutely loves the school. She loves the fact that she can be herself. She can be hardworking and intelligent and it is seen as a "good" thing in her group of friends. She has great friends - a big group of about 10 who all seem to be lovely and very similar to her in many ways.
If your dd has passed the exam I think it very unlikely she would need extra support to cope with English, Maths and Science. Dd is finding the workload very manageable and the standards (whilst high) are achievable. None of her friends have any extra help. This year they are setted for maths and languages - she has friends who are academically a bit weaker but are coping absolutely fine in their sets.

The music is amazing. The sports are really good too (don't know how they compare to NLCS). The pastoral support that we have seen seems fantastic. They are really encouraging and they encourage effort as much as achievement which I love. They send frequent emails/postcards etc telling us how well children are doing. My dd is only really friends with girls. She seems to treat the boys with a bit of disdain if I'm honest (but she's only 12!) but I love the fact that she has to work with them and that there is definitely no mystique attached to them as I see with some of my friends' dd's who go to all-girl schools.

I suspect from seeing the school now over 18 months that it might not work for everyone. If children are lazy or can't be bothered then maybe a more stringent regime would work better for them. I definitely get the feel that the school assumes / expects the students to be mature and sensible and therefore is quite relaxed with some rules etc. We have had a fantastic experience and all the teachers seem incredibly committed and focused on trying to get the best out of the students - but then dd is committed too. Would we feel the same if she was trying to scrape by doing the bare minimum? I don't know... Maybe other people can answer that better.

All I know is that I feel incredibly lucky that dd is there and that ds cannot wait to join her!


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 10:27 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:45 pm
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If your child might need support at DAO I suspect they might need it as an independent school which would cost you even more. There would be no question in my mind, but I don't have a spare £200,000!


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 10:44 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 12:52 pm
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Location: Shamballa
Mixed or Single Sex-does it matter ?

Eldest dd is in single-sex school and second dd is in DAO.The size of the school and the peer pressures in a mixed school are an interesting mix.I suspect girls perform better in a single sex environment ( according to some articles anyway).

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 11:13 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2016 8:05 pm
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Save the 200k and give it to her towards her first property when she's started her first job & ask her then "are you happy l saved it or would have preferred to go to a different school"? Do you even need to guess what her answer would be?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 2:29 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2012 8:48 pm
Posts: 205
Loobylou, your post has made me feel very happy. We are waiting for 1/3 to find out if it's DAO or HBS for DD but I'm pretty certain she won't have made the cut for HBS. Your post has reminded me why I will be delighted for DD if she goes to DAO!


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 2:50 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2014 4:04 pm
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Stokers wrote:
Loobylou, your post has made me feel very happy. We are waiting for 1/3 to find out if it's DAO or HBS for DD but I'm pretty certain she won't have made the cut for HBS. Your post has reminded me why I will be delighted for DD if she goes to DAO!


I'm glad! I'm sure she'll be happy wherever she goes - good luck for 1/3!


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 3:14 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:43 am
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Thank you all. Looks like DAO is winning on all fronts bar some research benefits of single sex schools.

Loobylou- DAO being a mixed entry school, will you please advise how the schools goes about setting the sets, when does it start and do students sit in their respective sets for all subjects or are there classes when they all come together?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 3:17 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 11956
grammar2012 wrote:
Thank you all. Looks like DAO is winning on all fronts bar some research benefits of single sex schools.


Not according to the Ofsted report ... it concluded mixed schools were better.


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