St Teresas Effingham

(29 Posts)
Aboleyn Sat 09-Feb-13 20:24:12

Any thoughts on this school? DD is a quiet, gentle, non-sporty girl who needs nurturing, not pushing. I love the grounds and the atmosphere at St T's, and the new head seems promising. Felt GHS and St Cats, as much as I liked them, would be too pushy/sporty for my girl to comfortably keep up (if she passed the entrance exam in the first place!). Not sure about Tormead, it felt a bit cramped and that it is going to be a building site over next few years. Did like the Tormead head though, but again is it too demanding?

homebythesea Sat 09-Feb-13 22:51:58

What about Manor House - better GCSE and very supportive nurturing ethos

Aboleyn Sun 10-Feb-13 09:09:43

I did look at manor house, but felt it was v small compared with current school, and lack of sixth form put me off. Also had a friend who moved her daughter from there to St T's recently.

Fayerfield Sun 10-Feb-13 11:36:07

Hi Aboleyn,
Hi we looked at St T a few years ago and thought it was more geared to overseas students. My daughter did pass the exam along with everyone else who sat it! A friends DD got a scholarship but after a year left as they found the school not to be very academic. She was top of everything at St T but having gained a place at Tormead, they have found that she is not in any of the top sets. (not in the bottom either) Though shocked at first at how far behind she had fallen, they are happy that she has competition and is working hard but importantly is happy.

My DD is at Tormead. Yes it is a pain with the building work and does seem cramped. BUT b4 building work started did not feel that way at all. Phase 1 finished in a couple of weeks and the school facilities will be great.

My DD is also shy went to Tormead from a state school and knew nobody. Has lots of friends now and is doing very well. She is not sporty but has tried a few things and was encouraged by teachers and friends. Do not worry if not into sport there are lots of other activities and you don't suffer if not sporty.

If you think about it, GHS has a pool, really how often will you use it? ST T has fields which you look at and some of the winter you can't get to the school. Those things sway some people but how useful are they to your DD? Tormead is small but we have use of Surrey Sports Park when we need it.

I highly recommend Tormead.

Plus it is not far from RGS so will be handy for your DS if he decides to go there. Well done smile

Aboleyn Sun 10-Feb-13 15:13:15

Thanks Fayerfield, food for thought indeed. Think I need to go back to Tormead again! DS will indeed go to RGS, we are so delighted he has got the place. Obviously lack of outside space has not played a part in the RGS decision at all, so should not influence choice of school for DD. Just think DD would benefit from confidence boost of being near the top, instead of struggling in any way. She is very anti-competition, probably because of her annoyingly brainy brother! Also DH likes the idea of her being safely tucked away on a campus school with school buses than public transport, walking to and from school etc!

Fayerfield Sun 10-Feb-13 15:43:39

Hi Aboleyn,
Definately worth another look at Tormead. We were worried about not being near the top and she has done really well. Not in top groups for everything but enjoys those subjects as well. They have a senco lady called Mrs Odlin who helps with struggling girls. The school has dyslexia etc children as well and they have a more caring attitude not exam results attitude like some other schools. My dd can email her teachers anytime with a problem and they always reply as soon as they can.

My DD sounds like yours, she was anti competition and still is in some subjects. She has the same problem with an annoying clever brother but her brothers is younger! He will be going to RGS in Sept as well.

Not heard much on St T since the new head took over but there was a bullying problem there a while back but may have been erradicated now. Also school buses used to leave without picking everyone up. My friend was always complaining that her dd had been left behind!

Your DD will be on train with brother and lots of girls from T and GHS. Girls all walk ogether up to the school and there is a walking bus in the evening at 6pm where the teacher sees your child safely onto the train. Also any problem at RGS or T they are near each other for you to get to.

Good luck with your choice. What a year you are having. Exam results from RGS and now finding a school for DD...... smile

twixaholic Sun 10-Feb-13 16:52:02

ok have done a quick name change as am an ex st t's girl. I have kept fairly up to date with school and will consider it for my dd, but have a few more years than you to witness the success of new head ! It is mostly day students but yes like any boarding school i reckon it is reaching out to overseas students to ensure numbers don't fall. I suspect that the supportive, family like environment is still there, from which most girls emerge with life long friends, some from different backgrounds (in Surrey that's a huge plus !) As a non town based school a bit more sheltered (pos/neg either way!) but obviously dependant on your out of school life. Sounds like the train to Tormead/GHS/RGS is a big social highlight !

Like you, I will also look at Tormead if my dd is academically suited. But I am concerned that she is the type to 'give up' or slink into the background in the face of the confident, sporty, forge ahead girls and wouldn't get the most out of extra curricular life as a result.

Whatever you choose, we are quite well served by girls schools and a capable hardworking dd would def get grades good enough in any of them to enable a change for sixth if need be.

Aboleyn Sun 10-Feb-13 21:05:08

How lovely to hear from an ex St T's girl! You are right, all the schools mentioned here are great. Still won't stop us agonising about getting the right one though!

mummytime Sun 10-Feb-13 21:18:49

If it turns out you choose the wrong one, it is not unheard of for girls to move. I have known GHS to St Catz, GHS to Tormead, and GHS to St T, also Tormead to St T. And several other moves.

twixaholic Sun 10-Feb-13 23:10:22

Lucky to have the choice but doesn't make deciding all the easier. Everyone talks about 'gut' feel but I'm not convinced I have it !! I think with girls particularly so much depends on the cohort they are with as well.

Good School Guide says of St T's that it's a family atmosphere, good pastoral care, sheltered from the 'Surrey mums syndrome' !!

apple6 Tue 12-Feb-13 11:54:26

I have a ds and dd (years 1 & 2) and looking to move from state to private sector. Both reasonably bright, keen learners, bit sporty; dd very arty and into singing and drama; loves reading and writing, son keen to be challenged as finds work too easy and boys too disruptive in current school. Wants to be with children who are keen to learn. I am Looking for nurturing but academic school but not hot house , ideally co-ed and upto 18 so don't have to do common entrance /11+. Any views on st g, weybridge or Claremont fan?

apple6 Tue 12-Feb-13 11:56:36

Meant to say, dd loves St T (prep) and fab headmistress there ! but not sure if I have any other option for my son other than cranmore?

YippeeTeenager Tue 12-Feb-13 12:26:08

Reigate Grammar is superb, for girls and boys. Personally I'm not a big fan of single sex schools, but RGS gets a huge thumbs up!

twixaholic Tue 12-Feb-13 13:16:20

Not many co-ed to 18, I think at years 1/2 you may find it difficult to predict what sort of school would suit at 11 or 13. CLFS Ashtead and St George's for example, not usually compared academically with Claremont. Although unusual, sometimes parents are advised to look elsewhere at 11, and conversely you may realise that your dc needs more of an academic challenge than the senior provides. Not to mention changes of heads/teachers/school finances !!!

I would also say that ime in state things settle down a bit in year 3, with more differentiated group work.

Not sure if it's just me but I find local co-ed preps very boy heavy after age 7. If your ds is in year 2, think you may have missed the boat for year 3 Cranmore entry, exams were a few weeks ago.

surreyschoolsmum Tue 12-Feb-13 16:20:07

My daughter went to Tormead and is a quietly confident but an unpushy type and quite sporty. She is bright and got AAB at A level but always thought she was 'not very clever' at Tormead. In retrospect I think she would have done just as well academically and maybe better as the classes are much smaller at St Teresa's and gained a lot more confidence. My friend sent her similar daughter to St Teresa's although she had a place at St Catherines and she blossomed and gained such a lot of confidence and poise. She ended up as Head Girl with AAA and is at a top university now. St Teresas have a mini bus from Effingham Station so your daughter could still get the train if she wanted to. I think it is horses for courses really Tormead is nice but she might blossom more somewhere else. good luck with your decision.

BeechAvenue Wed 13-Feb-13 11:46:24

Following with interest as a St T's old girl (really pretty old -- I was there from age 6-18, left in the mid 90s). It always felt like a very different world to the more academically-focussed Guildford schools. I am an Oxbridge academic now, so in some respects it's obvious that I ultimately did well in that department regardless of the fact that there wasn't a lot of pressure and I tended to cruise while remaining at or near the top of the class. When I meet students now who went to more academic schools, I realise that I probably could have learned a lot more at school. On the other hand, I was happy, had good friends, and spent a lot of time on art and crafty things which still give me enormous pleasure. Perhaps I wouldn't have got here, or be able to do my job now, if I hadn't had that kind of freedom? Having that side of me helps me keep the stressful aspects of my present academic work in perspective. I see a lot of students who have had relentless academic pressure all their lives, and some of them clearly thrive on it, and some of them obviously don't. I don't really have anything useful to contribute, but the thread brought to mind a lot of stuff I've reflected on from my own experience. My actual memories of the school will be useless to you, as it's ancient history grin. Good luck. I have no idea what the right answer is for anyone!

BeechAvenue Wed 13-Feb-13 11:50:04

And I recognise the confidence issue surreyschoolsmum raises -- I am naturally unconfident and I think that might well have been exacerbated in some other environments. I used to think my parents had made a slightly mysterious choice of school, but the more I think about it the more I can see what I could have lost elsewhere and gained at St T's.

twixaholic Wed 13-Feb-13 14:41:01

Ok Beech if you're an old girl I'm positively prehistoric ! I remember having friends at GHS and CLFS and I remember feeling that they lived in a different world socially as well .... weren't let loose on local boys schools til nearly 6th form. Wonder if that's still the case !

BeechAvenue Wed 13-Feb-13 14:55:22

grin That was exactly my experience! And then you would get an occasional Sixth Form dance for which minibuses would deliver boys from St John's, RGS and Reeds. Plus their teachers. Who would stand around watching, along with yours, and monitor anyone proposing to 'get some fresh air'.

Aboleyn Wed 13-Feb-13 17:38:22

Sounds perfect for keeping boys away from my precious little girl as long as possible! Seriously though, thanks for your comments ladies, you have all really helped me, I am going to look at Tormead again, but I think St T's ticks all the boxes for my DD.

holidaysrcoming Wed 13-Feb-13 18:35:59

I reckon St T's is going to grow in popularity, with new head, investment and if results continue to improve. I too think it might be a better fit for my dd. The only reason I am considering not sending her to the local o/s secondary is because of her sensitive nature and doubt she would get involved in many activities eg sport drama. But thinking about it, that could equally happen in an independent with a highly competitive ethos, even though she might cope academically.

The other school that I have heard positive things about is Priorsfield.

Happymum22 Wed 13-Feb-13 20:13:46

Agree with holidaysrcoming, if you like St T and Tormead but want a 'mid-point' then maybe Priors Field? A good friend works there and says it is both traditional but 'with it' and really listens to what the girls want and are interested in.

They often have occasional spaces in year groups. They are having a big new facility build which opens in sept so don't be put off the building work!
Tormead is fairly academic and very much a day school, girls do a lot with RGS and GHS from year 7. It is a very urban feel (as you know no doubt!). Girls have lots of freedom from early on to wonder into town on fridays in groups and meet up with boys or watch a film or whatever.
St T is opposite- country, sheltered, v traditional and catholic. Fairly non selective.
Priors Field is county location but not quite so middle of nowhere, near to Godalming and Guildford. Girls mix with RGS and Charterhouse from younger age than St T but most probably not as much as GHS/Tormead. Its numbers are better than St T (but St T new head seems to be pulling the school back up). PF is great at supporting the weak but pushing the bright and catering for everything in between. Know many happy girls there who really thrive and love the school.

Mamamia80 Fri 08-Mar-13 21:44:55

Hi. Have a dd in st Ts and another in ST Cats. We love both schools. St Ts is changing a lot under new head and they seem to be getting it right. We were offered places in GHS and Tormead but decided against it as the mixed backgrounds make the girls extremely competitive, trying to reach their parents high expectations. Also I have friends with daughters at Tormead who have suffered bullying. I do recommend St Ts if your daughter is gentle and is looking for an environment where to thrill rather than survive or compete. I recommend St Cats if you have a very academic girl who can manage her ability and is strong without feeling the pressure to achieve big things

Tanith Sat 09-Mar-13 08:29:04

Have you considered the Royal School in Haslemere?
It's not selective, but it has a reputation for bringing out the very best in the girls who attend.

holidaysrcoming Sat 09-Mar-13 17:06:22

mamamia - can i ask what you mean when you say it is the 'mixed backgrounds' the make the girls extremely competitive? thanks

Mamamia80 Sun 10-Mar-13 15:05:29

Holidaysrcoming- what I meant by it- and based on my experience with 4 children,- when children come from generations of families in private education there is no high expectations regarding the child's performance, it's more about who they become and the environment they are in.When the child is the 1st or 2nd generation in the private system, parents seemed to put high expectations in their children just to justify the option of going private. The parents tend to push more as if the academics or sports/music would make the child stand up from the rest. This makes environments to turn over competitive.This is my opinion and I have no intentions to offend anyone though.

holidaysrcoming Sun 10-Mar-13 17:54:52

Thanks for your reply - in all the msnet debates never heard this point of view before - interesting !! Not sure where I'd sit in this equation though - from 'generations' of private but in all honesty unless my dd tries for the more academically selective of these schools mentioned I would struggle to justify cost of private - from an academic success perspective only I might add.

So yes, to a certain extent I guess I'd be always wondering if I was getting value for money, but not sure how that would translate to my incredibly uncompetitive dd getting her elbows out ...!

UniMama Wed 17-Apr-13 12:09:54

Hi, I know this thread seems to have finished now. However, I just wanted to add that I have a family member who attends Kilgraston in Scotland where Mr Farmer (the new head at St Teresa’s) was head for 9 years. She is in her final 2 years of school now and I visited Kilgraston many times whilst Mr Farmer was still there.
He did amazing things for Kilgraston and my relation who is there has had nothing but top marks as have her friends, but most importantly she is a happy girl and an all rounded individual. She is set to leave school with 3 A* if she continues her current success and is planning to go on to study medicine. I have every faith that St Teresa’s is going to go from strength to strength and with a new head of Prep and some other new staff joining in September I can only see good things for their future.
Just thought that might be helpful for some who are feeling doubtful about St Teresa’s.

Padar Sat 07-Sep-13 16:46:45

My daughters went there.Both are academic girls, both did very well and have been very happy. Were not happy at Tormead.
One of them has had a long term illnes and her hospital told me : 'the best school we ever dealt with'.
I don't want to go too much into detail, but the school really went extra lengths with my daughter, supporting her even after she's left.
Very caring school , but not too small, and girls with many different talents.As you describe her, a school like St T's will suit her.
Prior's field is similar , academically( also caring).These schools have a broad intake, league tables don't tell you the whole story.One girl who wasn't good at science has been given so much support that she got her place at uni.
the biggest difference with a 'more academic 'school is that the girls are taught in sets, and at a school like Tormead the girls will be generally more academic and competitive, at st T's mostly the tops sets will be like that.But being friends with less academic girls takes the pressure off of having always to perform.Some girls do better with less pressure.Tormead will put more pressure, it can work for some girls..My daughter has found no difference in academic level .She was top half at Tormead and first or second set at St T's. With schools, don't over think,go in and let your gut feeling tell you what's right for your child.Mine didn't get different GCSE results or A level results then the girls who went to the schools that are perceived as more academic.Difference is, they love their school.

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