Withington Girls School Entrance Exams

(61 Posts)
yummymumoftwoandanangel Tue 14-Aug-12 12:16:12

We have registered our 10 year old daughter to write the secondary school entrance exams in January 2013. Can anyone please recommend any private tutors who are specialised in this particular entrance exam? Thanks.

yummymumoftwoandanangel Fri 17-Oct-14 15:40:15

Also, I must add that the girls are far from nerdy or geeky. They may be smart but they know how to have fun. The do and act like all normal Tweens and teens. Films, dressing, sleep overs, boys, shopping you name it. As I often tell my daughter, "fun with brains and beauty with brains". They have it all at WGS. Also their headmistress, Sue Marks rocks. I guess in life you can't please everyone. Not everyone will like you. However, I can personally vouch that all the parents and staff I have come across, have the utmost respect for and think she is a great leader. I personally, have not had any reason to question her ability.

yummymumoftwoandanangel Fri 17-Oct-14 15:29:18

It's been a while since I started this thread and thought I would give an update of my daughter's progress. She has been at Withington Girls School for a while and absolutely loves it. Most of the girls and their parents are really down to earth. Unlike a lot of misconceptions and stories about posh and privileged parents in the independent sector, most of the parents I have met including myself are far from privileged. We all have high standards and expectations for ourselves and our children. We come from a plethora of socio economic backgrounds. WGS has been an eye opener for my daughter. The journey has not been an easy one. She has learnt that she can't relax and just use her natural intellect to cruise through life and expect great results. WGS has helped her to focus, better organised, develop her critical thinking skills and be very proactive. Also there is a lot of emphasis placed on fostering emotional, moral and social intelligence. The teachers and authorities are extremely proud of the success of the school. Rightly so! It never ceases to amaze me how many times I have heard " WGS has very high standards". I now have a better understanding of how they maintain those standards and get those amazing exam results year in and year out. Also, they don't take any prisoners and would give it to you straight because they actually "know" your daughter. No fluffiness. Last week, I was asked whether I thought moving my daughter there had been a good decision. Without a blink, I answered yes. WGS brings out the best in its girls. It separates the wheat from the chaff. If you want your daughter to get one of the best education in the world, send her there. You won't regret it. However, you as a parent must be willing to muck it and work with the school to bring out the best in your child. You must be ready to teach your daughter coping and resilience skills because it won't be an easy ride. After all who said the world is an easy place. Your daughter can't just fly by the seat of her pants at WGS and expect good results. She would have to knuckle it down and work hard. There is nothing 100% foolproof in life, however a WGS education will enable your daughter to become resilient, face challenges head on, smart as a whip, confident, secure and prepared.

isipritchard Tue 15-Jul-14 21:28:15

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

aciddrops Sun 24-Nov-13 17:11:39

Is all this infighting going on at all of the Manchester private secondary schools? From my small amount of knowledge, it seems to be.

bmw66 Sun 24-Nov-13 14:03:41

Good luck to all those sitting enterance exams after X-mas-it will soon be over Hooray!

Deebz82 Sun 10-Nov-13 23:12:34

My ds passed sgs/chs and kings but decided he wanted to go to sgs as he found it more friendlier and he felt more comfortable. I would suggest you take part in the taster days (the kids get to spend a full day at the school and take part in activities/lessons)that are provided by sgs and chs (not sure if kings do one)and see how your ds feels. My ds attended both and decided pretty much straightaway he wanted to go to sgs. I attended all 3 schools on the open days plus ehen ds had his interview and agreed sgs was the better choice. Everyones different though hence why I think its a good idea to enrol your ds on the taster days and contact each school and ask how they would support him with his dyslexia.

PolkadotsAndMoonbeams Sun 20-Oct-13 03:28:50

Ok, that was a long post!

Basically, if you would have got in from another school you'd be fine. If you only got in because you'd been at Ladybarn and knew the exam back to front but perhaps weren't as academic, you could struggle.

Obviously this would apply to anywhere that 'overteaches' an exam, it's just that Ladybarn (along with Withington Juniors) is particularly bad for doing it.

It's the same principle as if you have a tutor for hours a week to pass.

PolkadotsAndMoonbeams Sun 20-Oct-13 03:25:32

This dropped off my TIO, but I see some of you were asking about my comment about some LBHS pupils struggling there.

I wasn't very clear in my post, I didn't mean all Ladybarn girls would struggle there. But there are some who probably wouldn't have got a place if they'd been to a school other than Ladybarn, because Ladybarn do prep incredibly hard for the entrance exams.

These are the ones who find it hard.

Obviously my evidence is anecdotal, but my DSis's year was probably the first that sent very high numbers (15+) to WGS (my year only had three or four). My DB was at Ladybarn, so we saw it from both sides. His year was ridiculous, with around 25 places offered to Ladybarn girls.

Now I refuse to believe that all the girls at Ladybarn are just that much cleverer than the girls at all the other prep schools in the area! Or that much cleverer than the cohort was two/three years previously... It therefore seems reasonable to believe it's down to the way they're now being prepared for the exam. I know my DB did much more exam preparation than my DSis and I did (another prep school).

And, yes, once some of them were there, they did struggle. The work at WGS is fast paced. If you spend most of year 5 and 6 doing past papers then you'll be good at them, but when you're expected to learn new things very quickly, some people do come unstuck.

bmw66 Thu 05-Sep-13 20:58:48

r/c 123
have a look at this meta-analysis of the "top schools in the N.W
take a look at bns analysis

bmw66 Wed 04-Sep-13 23:10:11

BTW I think there are 2 types of interviews , the first are those who passed comfortably , the school in now in " selling mode" and will do almost anything to persuade you and your child to accept the place,
and those who are borderline ( any child can have a bad day even very bright ones, especially when you are only 10-11 yrs old ) this is when they may re-visit a question in the written assessment , or may ask a more nuance question like " if you were a instrument what kind of instrument would you be and why )? every reasonable child should be allowed a second bite at the cherry! all they want to confirm is , is the written assessment consistant will the actual child-if that makes sense

bmw66 Mon 02-Sep-13 17:42:11
Computer1 Wed 28-Aug-13 23:45:20

Bmw66. Thank you for usefull suggestions,we have started Bond VR and maths but will try English books as you suggested. Any more suggestions for interview prep?

Runningchick123 Wed 28-Aug-13 20:29:14

Bmw66 - thanks for the link, it was an interesting read.
I have to admit that I would prefer my son to go to SGS, partly due to proximity from where we live but also partly because it is co-ed, but he has his mind focused on getting into MGS. I have prepared him for the fact that MGS will be looking for a higher academic level and certain personal qualities when he sits the entrance test as I don't want him to be disappointed if he doesn't get in.
We are going to attend the upcoming open days dor a variety of schools and get a feel for them all and he might change his mind. Me and DH don't mind what his choices are, we just worry about financing it in the long term and worry about our son being happy with whatever choice he makes.
Our son is currently at an indie prep and they will help guide us towards which school environment would suit our son so hopefully we will be able to make the right decision taking into account where our son wants to go. The current school is not a feeder for any particular senior school so they won't be too biased.
The article that you linked to was food for thought and confirmed a lot of what I thought about single sex schools, although I went to a girls school and was surprised that the findings are not the same for girls schools as they are for boys schools. I do wonder if part of the statistical evidence is due to the fact that boys are expected to be the breadwinners and work hard and get high paid jobs and are more pressured. I know that this fact might be more relevant in certain cultures and boys from the previous generations. Hopefully things are changing.

bmw66 Wed 28-Aug-13 14:41:25

if you have difficulty in getting the page google "why single sex schools are bad for your health if you are a boy the independent."
all comments well for and against !!

bmw66 Wed 28-Aug-13 14:34:02

DEAR R/C 123
I just thought you may find this link useful when deciding on your choice of indie for your very clever boy.
It had some influence on our choice of school the research came out in 2009 around the same time we where in your predicament

I know you are a nerd ! and knowledge is power and all that!!
my personal view in the end was " I have no problem with other peoples' girls civilising my son but I rather not have my girl distracted , she is sensitive and civilised enough , (wink)
it was an important reason we chose co-ed for your son, no doubt new research will totally contradict this article !!

jalamwaca Mon 26-Aug-13 14:52:25

MK,I guess what I am saying is he has no interest in going there regardless of whether he would pass the entrance exam or not and nor do I.Just because my daughter goes to a very academic school doesn't mean I automatically want the same for my son as he is a completely different child with different needs. .Ill end here by saying all schools have their pros and cons,its all down to individual preference and I think all the private/grammar schools in the Manchester /Cheshire area offer an exceptional education and we are very lucky to have such an abundant choice for our children.

bmw66 Sun 25-Aug-13 20:52:12

SGS and CHS are academic schools and if your son can pass their 11+ then I am sure they can maximise his potential.
however if he average across all the subjects i.e 4b or less at KS2 have alook at North Cestrian Grammar School in Altrincham or Hillcrest in Cale Green in Stockport.
now Imust go and do some washing

bmw66 Sun 25-Aug-13 20:27:55

MK , I don't think we that far apart in this discussion it's just when one makes statements like "forcing girls to stand on chairs" is going to get peoples back up and frighten others who may children at WGS or potential parents reading this post in yrs to come.
I am sorry if I offended you in anyway it was not my intention XX

MaryKatharine Sun 25-Aug-13 19:55:58

I guess what you're saying is that if your son had been more academic then you would have sent him to MGS. So I fundamentally differ in that I would not put my DS in for the MGS exam nor would I put my DD in for the exam at Withington (or MHSG for that matter). I would have probably kept them at CHS because it seemed to have a very different ethos to the others. I didn't like Stockport Grammar either. We did visit The Grange and i quite liked it but as we lived in Wilmslow it seemed too far away.

Anyway, I certainly wouldn't chose a school to give me 'bragging rights'. And I agree that we all have a responsibility to make the right choices for our kids. But for me, sending my naturally very academic DD1 to a school renound for being very academic would only have narrowed her education. I want it to be as rounded as possible. I want her presented with all the options and it not just be expected that she take all academic Alevels and go to university. If she tells them she wants to be a hairdresser then I want a school that will say, 'great!' Here's how you go about that.

Just to be clear, if she wants to go to university, then great, we will support her all the way. DH is an Oxford educated lawyer and I have my degree, PGCE and MA from a top 5 university so we are not anti education by any means. I just want something different for them all, especially dd1.
People pay their money and make their choice. It's just that they wouldn't necessarily all make the same choice from what's on offer.

jalamwaca Sun 25-Aug-13 19:49:39

My son is not an MGS boy either,he is not interested in sitting the exam and wants to go to CHS,SGS or Kings. Does any one have any feedback on a good school for a boy whose weakness is English?(slightly Dyslexic)?Any advice would be greatly appreciated thanks.

bmw66 Sun 25-Aug-13 19:29:57

my point is the issue only becomes contentious when posters try to contradict all the avialable evidence.
WGS is more academic then MHSG -the evidence is overwhelming over many yrs
why does it seem strange the the enty criteria would be more stringent for WGS
yes you are right there are plenty of girls who passed both but chose MHSG for the reasons you have rightly pointed out , but IMO on the balance of probability most parents would rightly or wrongly choose WGS over MHSG Iif for no other reason but to have bragging rights over their neighbours , sadly thats just human nature , as I have siad before we as parents have a resposibility to choose on the basis of the childs best interest.
I not trying to be provocative , honest ,I am just trying to make sense of this age old rivalry

MaryKatharine Sun 25-Aug-13 19:04:01

I'm not sure what your point is? I have already pointed out the difference between my children. It doesn't mean I think any less of dd2 because she's not as academic as her sister. My point was that not all the brightest and the best would necessarily chose Withington. Some of those girls would chose MHSG or CHS instead. That choice doesn't mean they are not as bright as the girls who chose Withington.

bmw66 Sun 25-Aug-13 17:47:56

my son would not of made the grade for MGS when he was 11 yrs old , so he went to The Grange I would not get offended if someone pointed it out it's just a statement of fact , it does not make him any less of a person in my eyes or any other sensible persons eyes! we all know different childred mature at different rates, so WGS is more academic then MHSG so what ?

MaryKatharine Sun 25-Aug-13 16:39:28

But a school ethos can change dramatically in as little as 5yrs. It may not be helpful but only in so much as a parent needs to visit with their daughter and get their own feel for the place. As I said, different parents want different things from education. When we lived in the area, I deliberately discounted Ladybarn as it seemed to sell itself on prepping for WGS and MGS, neither of which was for me.

In the same way, It is equally as unhelpful to suggest that girls who attend MHSG do so because they didn't make the grade for Withington.

Runningchick123 Sun 25-Aug-13 16:30:58

In the 1980s they probably did make the girls stand on their chairs for dropping a grade - in the early 1970s most schools also used the slipper and the cane (state and private).
We have moved with the times, thngs have changed and telling stories about things that happened 30 years ago isnt helpful.

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