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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2018 12:41 pm 
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Dear members,

We are in process of completing the CAF form. My daughter has done well and we hope she will get her first choice which is TOGS. But it is never done till we actually know.

The confusion is on 2nd and 3rd option just in case. We live very close to both TOGS and Weald and the walk is just 5-7 minutes, hence only went to both these schools for open day/evening.

TW girls grammar shd be 10 minutes by bus from our house, so door to door it will be 15-20 min travel hence not a problem

Can someone please suggest based on their experience which one cd be a better option between Weald and TWGGS. We will put option second and third between these two.

Thanks,
KD


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2018 1:04 pm 
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Hi Kentbridge

We are in the same position as you, however we live just further towards TW (just about in catchment for TWGGS usually).

You need to be aware of the usually very small catchment area for TWGGS. Even though you sound quite close, you may not be close enough - I think last year they went out to just over 3 miles by the second or third round of offers - it would be worth giving them a call to check this. It really will depend on how many girls have passed and how many take up places at other schools.

We like both TWGGS and Weald and having visited both, it is hard to decide which is 'better'. I would say Weald has slightly better facilities and is much larger. TWGGS is a smaller school and no boys in sixth form. No current sports hall but apparently one has been approved and building starts in 2020. Both had nice atmospheres and the girls were lovely, confident.

You really have to decide whats most important to you and go with that. Family lifestyle and getting other children to/from school are important factors to consider too.

With the equal preference scheme, you could put TGS first and if you don't get a place on 1st round, it doesn't affect your ability to be offered your second or third choice.

Good luck and let us know what you decide! I think we are going with Weald then TWGGS and we'll wait and see!


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2018 1:42 pm 
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As a current TWGGS parent who could have had TGS for DD, I wish that's what we'd done. TWGGS gets great results, and is absolutely fine, but it's stuck in a timewarp, and in my honest opinion rests considerably on its laurels. I don't think that the pastoral care is particularly brilliant and the sports provision is woeful. DD only really chose it because it is on our doorstep and she wanted local friends, not because she actively wanted to go there. That said, she is now happy and doing ok, but I think that if she'd gone to TGS she would have been pushed a bit harder, and actually pushed herself a bit harder. If you have a high achieving DD then it's fine, but I feel that for the 'average' TWGGS girl, it's decidedly average and doesn't send them out into the world with huge ambition....(for example, at a recent careers thing, the girls were given cards highlighting careers - DD's group was given cards with the routes to being PA, a dental hygenist and a nurse.....! When I asked her about the other cards - engineers, doctors, pilots, surveyors etc she said she hadn't seen any.)


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2018 1:44 pm 
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Thank you for quick reply countrylifeKat, really helps. Hope we will have few more perspective on this as well that can help us decide.

Cheers
KD


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2018 5:28 pm 
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I was having a similar dilemma. My DD has always been adamant that she wants the Sevenoaks Annexe as her first choice so we had to decide between TGS and TWGGS for second choice. I emailed a list of questions about TWGGS to the mothers of 7 girls that I know that have DD's at TWGGS asking for their opinions and I was shocked by the answers. Several of them said they wished they had chosen Weald instead. They all said TWGGS gave far too much homework and always gave a large project to complete during the holidays. They also all said it is very old fashioned and the lack of technology drove them insane.

I'm sure there are plenty of girls happy there but I was certainly put off by the answers I received. Luckily pretty irrelevant for us as we are almost guaranteed a place at Weald.

Don't forget if you do live outside the catchment area for TWGGS there are 14 governors places for high scoring girls. The score required for these is normally a little bit lower than TGS so if you have enough for TGS you should also be fine for TWGGS.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2018 11:38 pm 
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Thank you so much panicmode and sevenoanks mom for your inputs. Extremely invaluable and very helpful.

Cheers,
KD


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:06 pm 
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Hi, as a prospective TWGGS parent am interested to read this thread. Can anyone elaborate more on the old fashioned, resting on laurels, poor sports provision?
Many thanks


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 3:31 pm 
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School2018 wrote:
Hi, as a prospective TWGGS parent am interested to read this thread. Can anyone elaborate more on the old fashioned, resting on laurels, poor sports provision?
Many thanks


My own personal view is that things have been done the same way for so long that they wouldn't know how to change if they tried. The head's speeches are always about "the TWGGS way" and the "TWGGS girls" and "don't ask me to change it, this is how we've always done things and it works". :roll:

I have had a few issues about a particular subject for DD and was chatting to a friend whose DDs have been through the school and are now at uni, and she said, "oh, don't tell me, X teacher and this is what they said when you went to the school" and it was spot on - 8 years later or something stupid. The trials for the sports teams are done on about the second day of Y7 and if you miss them, they tell you to come to the clubs and you'll get a chance to get into the teams - which just isn't true. There are so few matches, they often get cancelled and I don't feel that the sports teaching is particularly good - more a tick in the box for OFSTED.

Friends have had major issues with pastoral issues and the school have been unhelpful at sorting things out - one friend's sixth former daughter told me they bang on about support and pastoral care, but that the girls don't feel like that and always just have to sort things out ourselves.

My DD is in Y9 and there is a woeful lack of school trips - they have missed out on skiing trips (now offered to Y7 and 8 - too late for her), the German markets trip has been stopped, there have been no exchanges to foreign schools thus far, whereas my son at Skinners has done a huge amount (they have an all year trip for a week every year - battlefields, Loire Valley etc) and could have done way more than he has done if we had bottomless coffers!

And then there is the lack of technology already referenced and the careers lesson I mentioned earlier too - TGS had a dynamism when we went round and I felt that she would have left, ready to face the future, whatever it is going to look like, where TWGGS just feels 'safe' and ploddy to be honest, and lacking in ambition for the girls' futures. I'm sure my DD will get ok results because they do seem to get them, but I'm disappointed in the school experience overall and do wish that I'd insisted on TGS for her. That said, she is happy and she has made a good group of (local) friends which is what she wanted.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2018 9:09 am 
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Thank you for your honest reply. Could you elaborate more on the lack of technology? Also, the school trips - what has your dd been offered in terms of enrichment? You mention that she doesnt seem to be particularly pushed - do you feel that as one of the more able she isnt stretched? Also, you say that your dd is happy with good, local friends - how does she feel on all the points youve mentioned? Thank you for any insight, all very useful.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:51 am 
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On their website they have an end of year review document which shows all the extra curricular type stuff on offer - looks pretty decent to me - worth a look just to give you a feel for what opportunities might be available. Seems to be a few trips throughout school and plenty of music / drama / art competitions etc


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