St. Anne's Catholic School, Southampton

(38 Posts)
doglover Fri 02-Mar-07 21:17:39

I'd be very grateful if anyone out there could offer opinions/views about this girls school. I've looked at the website and am impressed by the latest OFSTED report but would welcome any other input. My dd is only in Y3 but our local secondary schools are pretty woeful and we would seriously consider moving if necessary. My best friend's dd has just failed to get into their first choice school and they are absolutely devastated. I really don't want us to be in that posititon in a couple of years time. Positive and negative views equally welcomed! Many thanks.

doglover Sat 03-Mar-07 10:45:10


Lilymaid Sat 03-Mar-07 11:00:31

My niece didn't get into St Anne's but went to another girl's comprehensives in Southampton. She didn't like it at all - bullying, general atmosphere that it wasn't cool to try etc. Her parents now bus her to one of the schools in Romsey - together with quite a number of others from that area of Southampton.

miljee Sat 03-Mar-07 12:11:11

Can I ask, Lily, is that RCS or M'bat that your neice goes to? M'bat is our catchmented school and I was wondering what it was like, now.

Re St Anne's I've heard generally good reports. A friend did say she'd seen a group of girls with skirts hitched up, trowels of makeup on etc, looking rather tarty BUT I've seen the modern girls from my oh-so-middle class Salisbury grammar looking like that but its OFSTED ascends to heaven singing the Hallelujah Chorus as it goes! And another friend's said her 3 year old daughter had dropped a glove near a group of St A's girls and they all noticed and one picked it up and ran after my friend with it immediately.

However, I gather Southampton does apparently have some fairly serious secondary schooling problems so it's wise to be considering options right now!

Lilymaid Sat 03-Mar-07 13:56:44

I'm afraid I don't know! Whichever school she now goes to they reckon it is better than the one in Soton and my niece is much happier there.

doglover Sat 03-Mar-07 15:15:55

Thanks, mn. Any more pearls of wisdom?!

Rhubarb Sat 03-Mar-07 15:16:47

Are you catholic?

shewhoneverdusts Sat 03-Mar-07 15:17:48

My daughter goes to the 'other' girl's secondary in Southampton and is in year 9, they have recently received an 'outstanding' for their ofsted. The two schools are very similar to be honest with a vast mix of tarts and academics at both. All I can say from my experience is that my daughter has been accelerated and is taking three GCSE's this year and is very happy. I do know of girls who left after only one half term and went to Romsey and they are very happy too. It's really down to the individual and who they are with in the sets at school. But, things are changing and Regents Park will be a mixed secondary as of September 2008, so it will be interesting to see how things change then.

doglover Sat 03-Mar-07 16:42:56

Hi Rhubarb. No, we are not Catholic but C. of E. We would prefer our 2dds to be educated in a faith school environment and there are no other alternatives.

doglover Sat 03-Mar-07 16:51:57

Thanks for your input, SWND. We actually live outside So'ton near Hythe so our options are really pretty limited. Our catchment school is dire and private education is out of the question financially. We are looking for a nurturing school that can offer a challenging curriculum for an academic, musical, quiet little girl. Why does it have to be so hard?!!!

Rhubarb Sat 03-Mar-07 21:19:01

s'aright, we are catholic and our kid is in c of e school cause I don't really like faith schols. Muight help if you got to know the priest though, seriously the priest influences it a lot.

doglover Sun 04-Mar-07 21:10:00


shewhoneverdusts Mon 05-Mar-07 15:30:08

Hi Doglover
How is Houndsdown doing now? It always used to have a good reputation, but I am going back about 5 years, to when a friend of mine worked there?
It is hard when you want somewhere to really take care of your dds. I completely understand We can't afford private and it is really quite sad as my dd1 would have thrived in that environment, although as I said before, she is doing incredibly well where she is. I believe there is a very nice private faith school in Allington Lane (Hedge End?) or somewhere around that area, and the fees aren't as bad as King Edwards or the other local ones.

doglover Mon 05-Mar-07 21:21:42

Thanks,SWND. Houndsown is an extremely popular school...... no chance of getting in unless you're in catchment so it would invovle a house move. If you can remember the name of the other school that you mentioned, I'd be very grateful

doglover Wed 07-Mar-07 14:21:39


Celery Wed 07-Mar-07 14:28:18

I didn't go to St. Annes, but many of my friends did ( I knew them from Primary school ) - at 11, I went to a Winchester comp, they went off to St. Annes. It's a good school, or atleast it was 16 years ago! Sorry, I know that's not much help - but it's always had a good reputation, although generally I think single sex schools do. There was the usual running joke, about St. Annes' girls being sex mad, but that only comes from the single-sex/nuns thing! I'm not even sure if the teachers are nuns these days, but there were in my day.

I also worked and lived very near the school in my early 20's ( ten years ago ) and the St Anne's girls always appeared much more polite and well-mannered than other school children in the area.

doglover Wed 07-Mar-07 17:01:04

Thanks, Celery. It's good to get a range of opinion which we'll add to the general mixing-pot! What a hideous nightmare

brimfull Wed 07-Mar-07 17:07:15

Mountbatten has a good reputation I think.I know someone who teaches there.
Wildren in Hedge End is very good aswell.

We are in Ringwood ,great primary and senior schools here aswell if you fancy moving.

doglover Wed 07-Mar-07 20:05:50

We will have to seriously consider moving but really love our presesnt home and have no desire to move other than the schooling issue. We are caught in the same dilemma as many of you, I'm sure

shewhoneverdusts Fri 09-Mar-07 17:34:06

Completely understand how you must be feeling. We were not in a position to consider a house move and ended up with the local girl's school which many people would not have been happy with. However, as I said in my earlier thread, we are delighted with the outcome and things have been far better than ever imagined. It's not always as bleak as it appears at first. Keep your chin up and remeber schools can change very quickly with changes of leadership, so what may be dire at one time may become very good later.

Megglevache Fri 09-Mar-07 17:36:15

Message withdrawn

doglover Fri 09-Mar-07 20:50:53

Thank so much for continuing to respond to this thread. I keep trying to remain positive (and normally succeed!) knowing that things usually turn out to be fine! I feel myself getting really screwed up when you hear about parental 'choice' when, for many of us, it's hobson's choice! If you are able to investigate further Megglevache, we would be very grateful.

Tommy Fri 23-Mar-07 20:45:15

don't know if you're still around doglover. I know St Anne's pretty well, being and ex pupil and an ex teacher! Undoubtably the best bet for girls in Soton and you would probably have a good chance of getting in being CofE. They have had a new head recently who has made a few changes but all for the better as far as I can gather (still have friends working there and friend's daughters who go)

If I can be of any help, please let me know!

doglover Fri 23-Mar-07 21:35:10

Oh, Tommy, you are a star! I didn't expect to see this thread ressurected, so what a wonderful surprise! I actually contacted the school yesterday, enquiring about a visit but unfortunately the policy is that prospective parents cannot view the school until their daughters are in Y5. Whilst I can quite understand this, it doesn't help us reach a decision about whether we should move to a better catchment area or will we be OK under the admissions criteria for St Anne's. Naughty, I know, but I'm half considering asking one of my friends to view the school and accompanying her! Is that terribly immoral?! A few questions, Tommy! Are there strategies in place to integrate girls who start not knowing any other pupils? We were really impressed by the caring ethos noted by OFSTED and assume that there are opportunities for this. Our daughter is musical (violin) and would possibly meet the criteria as one of the 10%....... are these fiercely contested? I'll probably have loads more questions but I need the loo!! Speak to you tomorrow and many, many thanks again

doglover Sat 24-Mar-07 13:24:29

Bump, for Tommy!

Anchovy Sat 24-Mar-07 13:31:40

Ooh, me! me! miss! <Anchovy jumps up and down and puts her hand up>

I went there!

But I left, erm, 25 years ago, so no real info. However my mother used to be a governor there and still "knows" the school quite well - she used to teach at two of the "feeder" schools outside Southampton - and she certainly rates it.

Tommy Sat 24-Mar-07 16:56:34

Hi doglover - there are girls from lots of different schools so your DD won't be the only one who might come on her own. In my day, we certainly had an induction day where the classes would meet their tutors and so on. We didn't particularly have a strategy as such but I don't remember it being a problem. There is a 7 form entry so pupils from the feeder schools are all spread out anyway.

They do have an open evening which, presumably is open to the public so you could go along to that however old your DD is. IIRC, it will be in July (I think) or, if not, September. There sometimes have an advert in the Echo about it so it's not by invitation only or anything. I could always find out when it is and let you know anyway.

I'm not entirely sure what the admissions criteria are anymore but if you are a practising CE you would be higher up that list than if you weren't IYSWIM. Also the music thing would help - not sure how that works as it came in towards the end of my teaching time there.

Hope that helps - can't think of anything else at the moment but if I can, let me know.

Tommy Sat 24-Mar-07 16:57:14

(Anchovy - might we know each other? I left there as a pupil in 1983!)

Anchovy Sat 24-Mar-07 19:23:50

Tommy - how funny - do you want to CAT me? I left in 1982, so must have been in the year above you (assuming you left after the sixth form).

I have an unusual name (which is why I am suggesting CAT and not giving my email as I only have a name related addy). I was house captain so its also up on a board somewhere!

How funny to go back and teach there! I bet you have lots of gossip I would be interested in!

Do you have any ongoing association with the school? I live in London and my children are very small (if you do the maths you can work out I am one of those nature-defying, career-orientated late breeders that the Daily Mail so dislike!). My parents live in Winchester (which is where I was brought up) and I think have random contact with the school (they are uber-Catholic!)

doglover Sat 24-Mar-07 22:48:52

Thanks for the comments everyone. I suppose our questions really are focussed on the ethos of the school. Can the keen, motivated girls actually get on and LEARN and the teachers actually TEACH without the constant misbehaviour and disruptions which prevail in our local secondary schools? I know no school is perfect, but we just want our 2 dds to have a decent standard of education and not to be made to feel like freaks if they do well. As a teacher myself (primary), I'm pretty realistic about schools but hope that St Anne's can offer more of nurturing, accepting environment than seems to be the norm around here! We all know that girls can be incredibly bitchy and I assume that there is a strong anti-bullying policy in place which takes a low-tolerance view of this behaviour.

Tommy Sun 25-Mar-07 20:18:19

hi there - was chatting to a friend who teaches there today. He says that, behaviour wise, it certainly is better than a lot of schools and there are plenty of "good" girls who just want to get on and work. It is not generally seen as particularly abnormal to want to do this!

However, I would add that it is, of course, a comprehensive school so there are plenty of pupils from all walks of life IYSWIM. When I taught there (bearing in mind I left 9 years ago - blimey - where did that time go?!) I got fed up of all the usual politics etc but did know that I could go into my classroom, shut the door and actually enjoy the teaching - something that I did not exoperience in the next school I went to because the behaviour was so poor in all the groups, not just in some as was the case at St Anne's.

It sounds to me like your DDs would probably enjoy it there and that you would like it as well - all you can do is try! You are "in catchment" as it were - the Catholic primary in Lymington is a feeder school so there would be other girls from your area so that wouldn't an issue.

BTW, the private school Hedege End way is called The Kings School which is wuite small as far as I can gather but run by an Evangelical Church which may or may not be to your liking.

doglover Sun 25-Mar-07 21:06:22

Continued thanks, Tommy, for all this useful information. It's certainly helping us to get a realistic picture of the school which is exactly what we'd hoped to do. We really appreciate everyones' contributions

Blogspot Thu 18-Apr-13 19:08:42

St annes is amazing if you still want to know. Im a st annes student and i absolutly love it. if youve heard about students being crazy about the lenth of their skirts or the amount of make up they put on then your most likly to have heard a lie. yes people come to school with make up abd short skirts but teachers are strict about it. they make you remove the make up and shout up the stairs saying i can see your pants so dont be scared that your dd could turn in to a short skirted orange. anyway, st annes is amazing. everyone is really nice and its a lovely atmosphere. yes we have to go off site for pe but it gives us a chance to get fresh air and see the big wide world. its also great in terms of results. ive gone up a whole level scince primary ( im in yr 7 so dont think im in like yr 10 and have only gone up 1 level) and i went to a really bad primary so i defently recomend st annes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Blogspot Thu 18-Apr-13 19:12:12

also im a c of e that came on her own so i no how it feels to be the only one from your school but trust me, ive made soo many friends but keep up with my old ones still

Talkinpeace Thu 18-Apr-13 20:11:00

6 year old thread : much has changed in Southampton since it was started.
Skirt length at St Annes not being one of those things (it is unchanged since I lived in the Polygon in the 1980's)

eatyourveg Fri 19-Apr-13 21:42:14

yes much has changed since I was there too - the demise of the toilet nun is shameful wink

ziggyzugg Sat 17-Aug-13 00:04:14

Sister Bog -we used to call her- always knitting wasn't she?

ziggyzugg Sat 17-Aug-13 00:04:35

Sister Bog -we used to call her- always knitting wasn't she?

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