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 Post subject: Henrietta Barnett views
PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2021 9:34 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2021 11:10 am
Posts: 14
Hi All,

My daughter sat the entrance exams for Latymers, Dame Alice and Henrietta Barnett.

She cleared round 2 of Henrietta Barnett and is able to apply. She has also made the top 65 of Dame Alice and I'm hoping she'll also rank well at Latymers.

Due to Covid, we have not been able to see Henrietta Barnett and so I needed advice on the school generally.

I wanted to know about the general vibe of the school and if they are a 'pushy' school. What sort of a girl would be a good fit there? I noticed they have very academic clubs, but what about things like dance clubs? Is there an intense amount of homework? Are the girls overly competitive with each other? Anything else that can help me decide?

My daughter is bright and also hard working. She's not afraid to put in the hard work. However she is also very well rounded in that she enjoys other things like dance, drama and being social. She is not 'just academic'. She is in a great state primary school which really nurtures them and applauds their hard work and achievement. I've noticed this makes her want to do better naturally.

In terms of commute, all these schools are an equal distance from our home but I do like the school bus transport service that Henrietta Barnett has.

I'd really appreciate anything that can help us decide our order of preference.

Thanks in advance.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2021 10:15 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 10, 2021 6:14 pm
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Following as we are in the same position
You mentioned bus service to HBS? where does the bus go from?


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2021 10:28 am 
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N14mother,

I've read on other threads there are various private bus services (may be mini buses I'm not too sure) that go various routes including door to door. I don't know much more than this unfortunately.

I'm not sure if DAO or Latymers have anything similar.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2021 11:09 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 10, 2021 6:14 pm
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DAO and Latymer do not and rely on public buses.
Both schools are a straight bus from us
But HBS would be tricky - we are in n14. Private buses are from ilford and Harrow only
None from N14 presumably as there aren’t enough children local to that area who attend
Looking at postcodes of previous years very few from n14, n21 etc


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2021 11:19 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:39 am
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HBS does have a lot of opportunities for music and drama. Besides all the usual concerts, in the past they've done a big musical production every year and, given the resources at hand, the quality has been very high. I don't know about dance clubs. There are several sports clubs, such as netball, badminton, martial arts, volleyball, basketball, etc, though some are only available for older girls. DD did fencing for a couple of years but I don't know if it's still on offer. There are of course the usual residential school trips at home and abroad and many intellectually / socially / ethically inclined clubs and discussion groups. There's also a large and very popular robotics club but entry to this is highly competitive.

My Y12 DD enjoys sports, music, technology, etc but can initially be quite shy. She's quietly self-driven and has found a strong footing in the school, has a good set of friends and is thriving. Other girls are much more assertive and have a more obvious presence but I believe there is a place for all types of girls, from the studious to the all-rounder. The school does acknowledge and celebrate achievement in its many forms.

It's not a pushy school but the girls are high achieving and, like my own DD, self-driven and sometimes put pressure on themselves. I remember the first time she did exams in Y7, she became quite anxious as she didn't know if she was "good enough", but now she's much more relaxed and takes all tests and exams very much in her stride.

With regards to the minibuses, parents should be aware that a couple of times in the past they have been found to be lacking necessary licence etc. Just this morning, I saw DVSA officers out in force on Northway checking over these minibuses, though I guess that's in some way reassuring.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2021 12:22 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2021 4:30 pm
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We’re in the same position, with top 300 HBS and a very high ranking for DAO - we had no particular knowledge about DAO and HBS before exams and live halfway between them. Our priority is that our dd is happy, as happy children thrive. My dd had lovely experiences at each test /music audition at DAO, and we appreciated the DAO tour the other week. However, she came out a bit nonplussed from HBS each time - we haven’t had an opportunity to visit the school, but were a bit concerned by what my dd had to say - amongst other things, teachers shouting, some of the other kids being a bit unpleasant to each other (one girl commented in the break she found the first exam really difficult, and a group of other girls were less than sympathetic and were outdoing each other telling the poor girl with how easy they had found it). We fully appreciate she may have been unlucky with who she was placed with, and don’t envy the mammoth task HBS has in processing so many applicants. However, my dd was also concerned by the distance a lot of the girls said they had travelled to do the exam, and whether she’d have any friends locally if she attended. Given HBS is our local grammar school, we’d love to be able to visit it and support it, but at the moment we’re struggling to see how we could place it above DAO on our CAF.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2021 8:30 am 
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N14 mother & exam time,

Can I ask which school you went with in the end? We have decided DAO.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2021 2:44 pm 
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ExamTime, like your DD, my own DC really enjoyed their music auditions and aural tests for the 11+. Between them, they did 8 such assessments and each time found the staff to be very encouraging, though of course the number of candidates was minuscule in comparison to those for HBS Round 1. Approaching 3000 test candidates probably meant that staff were under some pressure to get girls in and out of classrooms promptly and in an orderly fashion and there may have been some raised voices, though staff shouting is as far removed from the norm as you can get in HBS.

Since any 10 year old girl in the country can take the exam but, going by current numbers, only about 1 in 30 will end up at the school, my guess is that none of the delightful young ladies your DD encountered during the break will actually be in the school come September 2022, so best not to judge the pupils at the school too hastily.

My guess is that you've probably worked all this out but I think it's worth clarifying for others.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2021 10:54 am 
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Completely agree, nyr, re HBS. We’ve gone for the place at DAO which works for us (couple of younger siblings to take into account, more straightforward journey, dd’s preference). We’re just a little sad we may be throwing out the baby with the bath water with HBS.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2021 3:17 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 10, 2021 6:14 pm
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MrsA: Decided to go with DAO - prefer the all rounder approach, facilities. Also having spoken to many many parents…. All were full of praise


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