It might be worth you posting a similar message on the Indie thread too as you'll get more info about the Indie schools you mention on there.
I don't have any personal experience of any of those schools, but my cousin is an English teacher at St Helens and has been there for years. She said the atmosphere is more relaxed and less pressurised than Habs. Her elder DD went to WGGS and loved it, her younger DD didn't get in there and is going to St Helens.
As for practice books, I think Sargul is thinking of Susan Daughtrey for VR, there are lots of others too. Have a look through some of the old threads there are some useful suggestions of practice materials around the forum.
GL to your DD