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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2021 3:30 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2020 6:10 pm
Posts: 10
Hi everyone

With the CAF date looming a week on Monday we are starting to face the reality of making a final school decision with our DD.

This is not helped that we only have 24 hours from finding out about Tiffin Girls to making a decision on St. Paul's Girls or Wimbledon High.

I know we are making an assumption that DD will get a place at Tiffin Girls, but thus far she has done exceptionally well in the Exams (Academic Scholarship at WHS, and in the top 20 out of the 900 who sat for Wally Girls/Nonsuch) - we submitted a FOI for her rank.

Assuming she does get a place at Tiffin we have a very hard choice to make. Which is made even harder by the fact we know absolutely nothing about Tiffin apart from its academic success.

There was no open day this year, and the virtual tour was only available for 6 weeks in July/August. The school didn't email us to let us know there was a virtual tour and we were very busy re-opening our business after it has been shut for the first lockdown. When we checked the website in September it had been removed. Which is very strange considering the SET schools and private schools have theirs accessible at all times.



DD is currently at a very good private school and is used to the facilities, sports, extra-curricular activities that they provide.

DD is also super competitive, resilient and driven. We put no pressure on her it all comes from within. She swims at a county level and plays Hockey to club standard.

As a parent we only want to make the best choice for her, and we would love to hear from Tiffin parents about their experience with the school.

Pastoral care, Sporting Facilities / Team, Extra-curricular clubs etc....

We know SPGS is the number one school in the country at present, but we would love to get rid of the burden of paying fees. BUT not at the expense of doing our best by DD

After all a SPGS education is £200k + over the seven years the girls are there.



Any help, insight and advice relating to Tiffin is gratefully received and accepted.


TIA


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2021 4:14 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 9:39 am
Posts: 1460
NathanJ wrote:
Assuming she does get a place at Tiffin we have a very hard choice to make. Which is made even harder by the fact we know absolutely nothing about Tiffin apart from its academic success.

There was no open day this year, and the virtual tour was only available for 6 weeks in July/August.

The pre-pandemic open day was just a couple of hours once a year in early July, with many families moving from one classroom to the next en masse. You’d have had a chance to speak with teachers and older students, to see art, listen to musical performances, see the drama and sports facilities and maybe participate in some simple science activities. In sweltering heat, you’d have heard positive messages, but in reality one face would blur into the next and you might have been intimidated by the size of the milling/mingling crowds. However, one of the underrated things about a physical open day is that it gives families a reason to make the journey for the first time and to get a feel for the school’s location, layout, etc. Given the three schools you mention, how do the proposed commutes stack up? Prioritise time, convenience and how easy it would be for your daughter to make the journey independently, including after her after-school events.

NathanJ wrote:
DD is currently at a very good private school and is used to the facilities, sports, extra-curricular activities that they provide.

DD is also super competitive, resilient and driven. We put no pressure on her it all comes from within. She swims at a county level and plays Hockey to club standard.

As a parent we only want to make the best choice for her, and we would love to hear from Tiffin parents about their experience with the school.

Pastoral care, Sporting Facilities / Team, Extra-curricular clubs etc....

Many girls come to TGS from fee-paying schools, it’s definitely not uncommon. I’m sure their parents weighed up the same factors in their decision-making.

Our experience of TGS has been positive. The teachers really know the students and care about them. Expectations are high, but there’s plenty of fun and friendship in parallel.

In normal times, there’s a good range of extra-curricular activity both at lunchtime and after school. There are details on the school website. Music is exceptional. Drama and art also seem impressive. In addition, off the top of my head, in the last few years there have been trips to the Barbican (to record with the LSO under the direction of Sir Simon Rattle), Cornwall (for art), Ely (for a recording with Gabrieli Consort), Ghent (senior choir), Venice (choirs and orchestra), New York (drama), plus various Geography field trips and Duke of Edinburgh expeditions, trips to galleries, plays, museums, musicals and operas in town, etc. There have also been co-productions with Tiffin (the boys’ school).

I’m less aware of sport - perhaps parents of sporty girls can comment? - but those I know of seem happy enough. Funding of £2.9 million for a new sports hall has been secured btw. The plans are on the school website. There’s also an opportunity to take up rowing with the boys’ school. (The club is actually closer to the girls’ school). Does your daughter swim and play hockey outside school currently? If so, wouldn’t that continue?

NathanJ wrote:
We know SPGS is the number one school in the country at present, but we would love to get rid of the burden of paying fees. BUT not at the expense of doing our best by DD

After all a SPGS education is £200k + over the seven years the girls are there.

Which school is first / second/ top whatever depends on the - often less than objectively comparable - assessment criteria. For schools on that end of the curve, the differences are often immaterial. We turned down SPGS (also CLSG btw) for TGS. No regrets. Under the current headteacher, TGS has grown and secured funds to pursue and deliver ambitious infrastructure replacement and expansion projects.

Good luck with your decision. I’d still emphasise the importance of a sensible, not nightmarish, commute...

_________________
Buying online? Please support music at TGS. No cost to you. Fundraising makes a difference.

Tiffin Girls' School has a designated area; see the determined admission arrangements. Use the journey planner. Note the Admissions timetable and FAQs.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2021 9:23 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2020 6:10 pm
Posts: 10
Hi Stroller


Thank you for the detailed reply.

The commutes are much of a muchness for us.

WHS - 10min, TGS - 20min (but our 5yo DS is at school in Kingston), SPGS is 40min by the school coach, but we are 5 mins from the bus stop.


Good to know about the new Sports Hall and the investment in TGS.


DD will keep playing Hockey outside school, but swimming will probably have to go/reduce now the academics are ramping up.


NathanJ wrote:
In normal times, there’s a good range of extra-curricular activity both at lunchtime and after school. There are details on the school website. Music is exceptional. Drama and art also seem impressive. In addition, off the top of my head, in the last few years there have been trips to the Barbican (to record with the LSO under the direction of Sir Simon Rattle), Cornwall (for art), Ely (for a recording with Gabrieli Consort), Ghent (senior choir), Venice (choirs and orchestra), New York (drama), plus various Geography field trips and Duke of Edinburgh expeditions, trips to galleries, plays, museums, musicals and operas in town, etc. There have also been co-productions with Tiffin (the boys’ school).


Thank you for the info.


NathanJ wrote:
. We turned down SPGS (also CLSG btw) for TGS. No regrets. Under the current headteacher, TGS has grown and secured funds to pursue and deliver ambitious infrastructure replacement and expansion projects.


Thank you so much for the reassurance that means a lot to us.




I have another question about GSCE choices if I may.....

How many are the girls allowed to study? Are there any restrictions? For example can they do German & Spanish and drop French?
Is Mandarin studied at GSCE?

TIA

PS - If anyone know about sport and fixtures it will hopefully reassure DD.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2021 10:43 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 9:39 am
Posts: 1460
NathanJ wrote:
I have another question about GSCE choices if I may.....

How many are the girls allowed to study? Are there any restrictions? For example can they do German & Spanish and drop French?
Is Mandarin studied at GSCE?

TGS students do 10 examined subjects for GCSE, which must include triple science, double English, maths and either French or Spanish. The final three are personal choice. No Mandarin, no German. The current booklet is here:
https://www.tiffingirls.org/PDFs/Studen ... 20-22.aspx

_________________
Buying online? Please support music at TGS. No cost to you. Fundraising makes a difference.

Tiffin Girls' School has a designated area; see the determined admission arrangements. Use the journey planner. Note the Admissions timetable and FAQs.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2021 11:16 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 9:39 am
Posts: 1460
NathanJ wrote:
Hi Stroller
The commutes are much of a muchness for us.

WHS - 10min, TGS - 20min (but our 5yo DS is at school in Kingston), SPGS is 40min by the school coach, but we are 5 mins from the bus stop.

They all sound feasible. Public transport gives you greater flexibility and independence than a coach. The next question is which secondary school will your son attend? :lol: Just joking, although I’m sure your DD’s choice of secondary school may influence that decision in due course.

I hope someone else can help with the questions about sport. Good luck.

_________________
Buying online? Please support music at TGS. No cost to you. Fundraising makes a difference.

Tiffin Girls' School has a designated area; see the determined admission arrangements. Use the journey planner. Note the Admissions timetable and FAQs.


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