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PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2020 9:44 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2019 6:56 am
Posts: 4
Hi All,

My daughter has been offered both Habs girls and St Albans.
By the open day and the interview day, we prefer St Albans over Habs due to the kind nurture and ambience of the school. My DD loves St Albans more. Travel distance is not an issue.
But I got feedback from some that STAHS is secondary compared to Habs and that it is a backup school.
My daughter is academic and self-motivated. But she thrives more in a friendly environment.

Am I really missing out something by choosing STAHS over Habs? Is it crazy to decide by the open day experience?
Many thanks in advance .


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2020 11:18 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:24 am
Posts: 41
Firstly, many congratulations to your DD on securing 2 great offers!

Previous Habs parent so info maybe slightly out of date, but here are my thoughts...

Are you sure travel isn't an issue? I'd always advise to go for nearer school if there's a genuine tie.

No way is STAHS a 'back-up' school to Habs in academic terms - you only have to look at results and destination of leavers pages on the schools' websites to see that. I suspect that view probably was established many moons ago when Habs sent 20+ a year to Oxbridge, plus x to Medical Schools etc - the 'end' result nowadays is actually very similar (in fact STAHS had a higher Oxbridge success rate in 2019).

Habs is very much a North London school in terms of catchment - yes some come from northern Herts, but predominantly North London/ Harrow/ Pinner etc and obviously that impacts social life - you and your DD will likely be doing a lot of travelling to meet up with friends at weekends!

Habs expanded its Yr 7 intake in 2019 to around 140 - therefore a much 'bigger' feel as a school probably than STAHS?

Apparently the standard of sport is much higher at STAHS and therefore more competitive to get onto teams as a result - not sure if this would be something to consider?

My DCs found Habs buzzy, lots of on offer etc and made some great friends, which they're still in touch with today. Teaching generally very good.

Your DD will do very well at either - perhaps ask for another visit to both?

Congrats again!


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2020 11:25 am 
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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 5:27 pm
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Location: london
No, it is not crazy at all, that's what open days are for. What would be crazy would be to choose a school based on tittle tattle. Habs may not offer some girls who get offers at St Albans, but they did offer yours. Their results may on occasion (and not necessarily in 8 years time when it matters for your DD), but this will reflect my previous comment, nothing more or less. Bright girls clearly do very well at St Albans, and there is no evidence which can show that individually any of them would have done better elsewhere. Ignore the feedback. In my experience there are parents who seek to vindicate their choices by drawing inaccurate correlations about 'better' or 'back up' schools, vulgar, braying bragging frankly. The good news is their DD will not be going to St Albans if what you say is true, and you and your DD can be well rid of such nonsense.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2020 2:44 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
Posts: 9953
Location: Herts
There are plenty of highly academic and sporty and musical students at St Albans girls and boys.

Because there are a lot more local students there is a lot more going on after school as at Habs some areas do not have a late coach.

If you and your dd prefer St Albans then that is where you should go.

Students will do best at their first choice school.

No question about academic rigour.

A student I know of got all A stars at GCSE, 3 A Stars and A at A level, First Class Honours degree and about to start a PGCE at Cambridge having also been awarded a scholarship from the Royal Society of her subject.

Certainly did not need to go to HABS to fufil academic potential. DG


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2020 3:52 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2019 6:56 am
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Thanks a lot for the quick responses. It is reassuring to know that we are not in the wrong path.

We were very impressed by the the tour and their friendly approach in the interview. But sometimes playground gossips puts you off.

And I especially like the approach by mad? "
mad? wrote:
The good news is their DD will not be going to St Albans if what you say is true, and you and your DD can be well rid of such nonsense.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2020 4:07 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 5:27 pm
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Location: london
aspire2000 wrote:
And I especially like the approach by mad?

You're welcome :wink: Good luck to DD

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2020 4:35 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:35 pm
Posts: 57
Hi

We feel exactly the same about stahs v habs and we will likely take it over Habs. I’m wondering if you’re local to us as you’re looking at both? We are in Arkley.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:25 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2019 6:56 am
Posts: 4
Hi Emma6362,

Good to know that u too feel the same. The offer-holder day also helped us to decide in favour of STAHS.
We are local to Barnet (near Totteridge & Whetstone ) and not very far from you.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:10 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:35 pm
Posts: 57
Great - we are very local to you too. I'm going to PM you if that's ok - we are also very keen on STAHS and hearing there are kids locally to us really helps!


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