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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2021 1:53 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 02, 2019 1:01 pm
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Hi there, DD got her offer from CCHSG on Monday. Just wanted to ask if any parents with children already at CCHSG could give us an idea of their experiences so far with CCHSG, bearing in mind we aren't likely to get a chance to have taster days at any schools during this covid year.

I've already found some useful info on this previous thread, so thanks very much to those contributors:
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=57733

What I specifically wanted to know was:

(1) How well are the start/end of the school day managed?
Given that they are situated directly next to St Benedicts School I always imagine it must be fairly chaotic with over 2,000 pupils all exiting from the same small side road. I know that the adjoining main Lexden Rd has also always been horrendously busy with traffic with 6 other schools located on the same road. DD would be walking so I'm not too worried about the main road...apart from how on earth several thousand pupils can socially distance from each other walking on the same stretch of road - the answer is They can't!

(2) What has been your experience with the pastoral side (both positive and negative)?

(3) How well do shy girls fit in, given that this is a highly competitive school where girls are constantly being pushed to further themselves.

(4) For Year 7, how have your expectations been met? Have they all been expected to hit the ground running and been treated like the older pupils with no leeway? Or have they been allowed to ease in slowly, given that some of the girls will have still only been 10 years old a week or two before senior school life started.

Would be very interested to hear more from CCHSG parents (both positive or negative), I'm happy to listen with an open mind.

TIA :)


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2021 8:53 am 
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My daughter went to CCHGS a few years ago. She is in first year of uni now .

First week of school was organised really well better than many others. She felt comfortable, it ran smoothly and we helped to make new friends.i felt

My daughter did absolutely amazingly academically there. In the top group for gcses. I can't fault that and it has set her up for life.

Socially it was rather a mixed experience. She is quiet but managed to make friends easily. As she got older she has become more alternative and never felt this was accepted at her school. She says she felt they were more interested in a ' certain yltype of girl' and she wasn't like that.

I felt the school was absolutely on point acedemically but for my daughter not so much for the rest.

I live right near the schools and feel the children look as safe a possible in the given situation. There is a lot of safe out in the morning keeping an eye on things from both schools.

I know many girls absolutely love it there. It has given her an amazing work ethic, she is so driven and knows exactly what she wants in life.

Socially it took her a while to get fully back to herself after leaving.

This is just my daughter's experience. The pressure is also huge there. She never felt that clever until she left but I think going to a grammar school that is probably expected.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2021 1:27 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2015 5:58 pm
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I was on that 2019 thread!

1) How well are the start/end of the school day managed?
Its not just St Benedicts, its also CRGS, Philip Morant and the private girls school on Lexden road (St Marys). They did stagger the school starts and finishes pre Covid e.g. DD's friend at Phillip Morant starts and finishes 20 minutes before CCHSG, which helped. Not much social distancing on Lexden Road or Norman Way sadly, the pavements are just too narrow and busy, but the kids walk in groups. That bit of Lexden Road is the worst and tightest part, the pavements widen further up. Lockhart, Endsleigh Court and Sussex are usually pretty quiet if you wanted to skip the worst bit (and you wanted to go right on Lexden Road of course). I suspect your DD will walk in a large group and I see lots of girls outside in masks if she wanted to continue to wear hers.

(2) What has been your experience with the pastoral side (both positive and negative)?

DD hasn't had much experience of it. Some of her friends have had positive experiences, some negative. They do encourage reporting of friend's/classmates concerning behaviour to pastoral care and they do try and act quickly to get more information etc.

(3) How well do shy girls fit in, given that this is a highly competitive school where girls are constantly being pushed to further themselves.

I think statistically there is quite a high number of shy/odd girls at CCHSG. My DD found four friends very quickly in year 7. She has met more in groups and clubs, including some in other classes and years. DD is a bit quirky and socially awkward but she didn't struggle to find friends.

(4) For Year 7, how have your expectations been met? Have they all been expected to hit the ground running and been treated like the older pupils with no leeway? Or have they been allowed to ease in slowly, given that some of the girls will have still only been 10 years old a week or two before senior school life started.

Year 7 was a long time ago for us (five years), but I think they took it slow at first and ramped it up starting from Xmas. I remember thinking it wasn't very pressured at first. I don't think they got a huge amount of homework either. I am still surprised how little work Yr 11 DD gets home compared to what I remember of my GCSEs at a grammar school in the dark ages. What they are strict on in Yr 7 is the uniform rules and the behaviour rules. They come down much harder and quicker on Yr 7 than they do on the other years. They shut down three WhatsApp groups very quickly when DD was Yr7, there were a rash of 24 hr and 3 day suspensions etc. The rules say they have the right to look at a girl's phone/messages if they feel the need for behaviour reasons so I would make sure your DD knows all the rules and follows them and isn't silly with her phone. DD's friend got a 3 day suspension for taking a photo in class which she posted on her instagram - no phones allowed in class. But the amount of bad behaviour in later years is quite small.

Happy to answer any other questions, DD has been very happy there and is hoping to go there for 6th form this September.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2021 11:09 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 02, 2019 1:01 pm
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Many thanks hongkong for your insight based on your daughter's time there. Academically we are quite comfortable that DD will get into the swing of things fairly easily as her current primary has kept standards high throughout these past 12 months as well as for the whole of primary. Socially DD too is pretty quiet and is not particularly mainstream in her interests so am hoping she will be able to find other likeminded girls there or hoping that she will be easily accepted and comfortably able to make friends with other girls there.

Glad to hear the school has set your daughter up well for her university path now. Hopefully by uni age there is less pressure to socially conform to stereotypes and groups. Wishing your daughter all the best with uni!



hongkong wrote:
My daughter went to CCHGS a few years ago. She is in first year of uni now .

First week of school was organised really well better than many others. She felt comfortable, it ran smoothly and we helped to make new friends.i felt

My daughter did absolutely amazingly academically there. In the top group for gcses. I can't fault that and it has set her up for life.

Socially it was rather a mixed experience. She is quiet but managed to make friends easily. As she got older she has become more alternative and never felt this was accepted at her school. She says she felt they were more interested in a ' certain yltype of girl' and she wasn't like that.

I felt the school was absolutely on point acedemically but for my daughter not so much for the rest.

I live right near the schools and feel the children look as safe a possible in the given situation. There is a lot of safe out in the morning keeping an eye on things from both schools.

I know many girls absolutely love it there. It has given her an amazing work ethic, she is so driven and knows exactly what she wants in life.

Socially it took her a while to get fully back to herself after leaving.

This is just my daughter's experience. The pressure is also huge there. She never felt that clever until she left but I think going to a grammar school that is probably expected.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2021 11:46 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 02, 2019 1:01 pm
Posts: 23
Thanks Colcmum for all your tips both on this and on the 2019 thread. Yes I totally forgot about Philip Morant also! About a year or so ago my husband (who had never done the school run before) drove us up Lxdn Road at about 3.45pm and we were sat stuck in traffic for ages. He then decided he would turn the car round and take an alternative route muttering under his breath that there must have been an accident or breakdown somewhere (judging by the traffic queue) until I told him "No accident, this is just a standard school day on this road!" :shock:

My DD sounds very similar on the "bit quirky and socially awkward" front so I'm hoping there will be lots of acceptance and diversity in interests within such a large intake this year.

Thanks again and I may well come back to you with more questions later on in the year! :D



Colcmum wrote:
I was on that 2019 thread!

1) How well are the start/end of the school day managed?
Its not just St Benedicts, its also CRGS, Philip Morant and the private girls school on Lexden road (St Marys). They did stagger the school starts and finishes pre Covid e.g. DD's friend at Phillip Morant starts and finishes 20 minutes before CCHSG, which helped. Not much social distancing on Lexden Road or Norman Way sadly, the pavements are just too narrow and busy, but the kids walk in groups. That bit of Lexden Road is the worst and tightest part, the pavements widen further up. Lockhart, Endsleigh Court and Sussex are usually pretty quiet if you wanted to skip the worst bit (and you wanted to go right on Lexden Road of course). I suspect your DD will walk in a large group and I see lots of girls outside in masks if she wanted to continue to wear hers.

(2) What has been your experience with the pastoral side (both positive and negative)?

DD hasn't had much experience of it. Some of her friends have had positive experiences, some negative. They do encourage reporting of friend's/classmates concerning behaviour to pastoral care and they do try and act quickly to get more information etc.

(3) How well do shy girls fit in, given that this is a highly competitive school where girls are constantly being pushed to further themselves.

I think statistically there is quite a high number of shy/odd girls at CCHSG. My DD found four friends very quickly in year 7. She has met more in groups and clubs, including some in other classes and years. DD is a bit quirky and socially awkward but she didn't struggle to find friends.

(4) For Year 7, how have your expectations been met? Have they all been expected to hit the ground running and been treated like the older pupils with no leeway? Or have they been allowed to ease in slowly, given that some of the girls will have still only been 10 years old a week or two before senior school life started.

Year 7 was a long time ago for us (five years), but I think they took it slow at first and ramped it up starting from Xmas. I remember thinking it wasn't very pressured at first. I don't think they got a huge amount of homework either. I am still surprised how little work Yr 11 DD gets home compared to what I remember of my GCSEs at a grammar school in the dark ages. What they are strict on in Yr 7 is the uniform rules and the behaviour rules. They come down much harder and quicker on Yr 7 than they do on the other years. They shut down three WhatsApp groups very quickly when DD was Yr7, there were a rash of 24 hr and 3 day suspensions etc. The rules say they have the right to look at a girl's phone/messages if they feel the need for behaviour reasons so I would make sure your DD knows all the rules and follows them and isn't silly with her phone. DD's friend got a 3 day suspension for taking a photo in class which she posted on her instagram - no phones allowed in class. But the amount of bad behaviour in later years is quite small.

Happy to answer any other questions, DD has been very happy there and is hoping to go there for 6th form this September.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2021 1:08 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2015 5:58 pm
Posts: 71
Yes, Lexden Road is an absolute nightmare. I always laugh when people come on here and say they practiced the drive or bus trip to one of the schools along there, usually at weekends or in the holidays. Or imagine after an hours train journey everyday their daughter wants to walk up and down the hill to North Station.

The surrounding roads aren't much better at pick up and drop off because of the primary schools and other secondary schools in that area. Occasionally I have to pick DD up from school for a dentists appointment and I feel so sorry for the residents of the side roads, particularly Lockhart, so much selfish parking.

I'm sure your DD will be absolutely fine, it is so normal to worry especially when so few local children go to the school. My son is going to the local comp and pretty much everyone I know has sent their children there, lots of cheap uniform floating around etc. CCHSG isn't for everyone, there have been some girls who have left and others who are desperate to leave after GCSEs. Part of that is the travel and lack of social life, the other part is the academic pressure. Luckily it was the perfect school for DD and it has suited her very well indeed.


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