Wimbledon High for VI form?(12 Posts)
There is a bit of an exodus from all the girls' schools at 16. There were unusually high numbers, around a quarter, left DDs' school (not WHS) in both DDs' years, but it settled down in between. There have been problems in DD2s year, amplified by an all girl environment, but I think sometimes there just are more girls who want a change. DD1s year were 16 before KCS opened up to girls but Latymer's coed intake at 11 had not yet come through to sixth form, so they took in more girls, and quite a few left to co ed, Westminster, Latymer, KGS, State Sixth Form Colleges and Boarding Schools.
A similar mix in DD2s year but a few to KCS. They are finding it far more segregated than the all through coed schools, girls and boys largely stick to themselves. A teacher friend who toured around the first year girls were admitted felt some of the teachers were struggling to adjust to the arrival of girls. One old teacher proudly showed her a chair in the new girls loo, presumably because the delicate little flowers need repose and she rather shocked him by saying " Good grief what do you think they need that for, Breastfeeding?"
Admissions process does seem to be opaque, a few predicted and then realised, 10 A* pupils rejected. In one case they gave feedback that the school reference was not good but that was not the case at all. However it seems to be inconsistent at all schools including Westminster and DDs and their peers assume subject choices are an important factor. If a subject is popular in a particular year they are not going to have room for new pupils.
However DD1 stayed on in her smaller sixth form and it did not affect her sixth form experience, if anything more individual attention. Results were certainly "best ever". Won't be in DD2s year though!!
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I've a son in the 6th form at Kings and a daughter elsewhere. Kings is not a school for many girls and I certainly wouldn't want my daughter there and neither would she thrive there.
KCS btw is offering A'Levels again from next year so the whole mix may well change again. The girls at KCS come from a variety of schools not just WHS.
As you have posted on this thread Starra your daughter may be at Wimbledon High - are they backpedalling this term to make sure not too many girls pass the exam and so leave? They must be a bit worried about their A level results dropping and presumably don't want to see their best girls go off to Kings' and boost their university application statistics!
My daughter has just failed the entrance exam for KCS? With no feedback from the school, it is really frustrating. Has anyone had a similar experience?
Sorry you have not been lucky in finding current parents. We discovered WHS when we were looking for 11+ alternatives for a sporty girl who struggled with English. I basically went through the Good Schools Guild and then put all the post codes into TfLs journey planner. Hence my interest in school demographics, as I tried to work out what was worth applying for. If we allowed a maximum of a 50 minute journey in any direction there were in excess of 25 girls and mixed indies we could consider.
WHS is surprising accessible from Central London, but not on the general radar. I assume people look at the tube map and forget that as long as you can get to Waterloo or Vauxhall there is a fast and frequent train service. (Or change at Clapham Junction from Olympia or Victoria). Wimbledon, for someone who had never been there and in contrast to Dulwich, is well connected to other parts of London including a train loop that goes through places like Clapham, or on the tram that potters through south London. Both my daughter and I thought it was a lovely school, and felt that Wimbledon would be a great place to meet up with friends outside school. (Unlike, say, City) .
Kings in contrast is well on the central London map. Indeed there has been surprise when new parents discover that the majority of pupils tend to come from further out of London. I suspect this represents the lack of indie alternatives for boys and the ferocious competition for what there is.
I understand (DD ended up unexpectedly getting her first choice school, one she had been advised not to bother to apply for, and like marriedinwhites daughter has continued to make progress) that with the appointment of an impressive new Head, WHS that year was a bulge year that year , and the first year that girls living in Wimbledon generally chose WHS over Putney if they had the choice. I would assume that as more central and West London boys go to Kings, and it is now often preferred over St Pauls because of the latter's tiger-schooling reputation, more of their sisters will consider WHS, with half an eye on transferring at sixth form.
There is always going to be some movement at sixth form, though I would be surprised that with interest from a wider catchment the numbers involved will be a problem. It is a chance for the school to take in bright girls from elsewhere, including marriedinwhite's daughter. And a chance for the girls to expand their social circles as they meet their friends new Kings contemporaries.
Some good points already made. Forget not that it is not just the WHS girls who are applying to and being accepted into the 6th form at KCS. The IB will suit some girls and not others just as it suits some boys more than others.
Very much second the poster who said that many of the girls at WHS, and also PHS, will have been there since they were 4 and will probably benefit from a change. I believe the first intake of girls will complete their IB this summer and it will be interesting to see how their results compare to those of the boys.
If the cleverest girls are leaving WHS and PHS for KCS and Westminster I rather hope that my dd might take up one of the vacant places. She has made academic progress in leaps and bounds post primary but didn't quite make the grade for the high schools at 11.
Personally, I think there may be scope for two way traffic between KCS and WHS where perhaps KCS boys who decide they really want to specialise for 6th form and focus on A'Levels rather than the IB might be welcome to transfer to WHS.
Thanks, Needmoresleep. I think you are right about the numbers accepted to Kings falling - I understand 5 out of 8 applicants from WHS were offered places after the November exam, whereas last year (the girls who have just started in Year 12) the proportion of offers, and total numbers, was much higher. Westminster had to close its open day list early, so that fits in with the numbers point you were making as well.
I take it from your last paragraph that you don't have a girl in WHS VI form, which I am trying to find out about? Everything would be much easier if schools were not "businesses", both in the state and private sectors, which have to give the best spin on everything all the time!!
Kings have only been taking girls for a couple of years so it would be surprising if there were entrenched views about the role of WHS.
I wonder if the possibility of going to Kings for sixth form is fully on the radar of girls at other schools. WHS will be different as many will already have brothers there. Numbers applying to Westminster apparently doubled in the past year, and so over time and as having girls in the sixth form becomes established, I would expect numbers applying to Kings from other schools to rise and for the numbers accepted from WHS to fall.
IB will be an attraction for the increasing numbers seeking to study at American and European Universities. It is one of the reasons why Kings is increasingly preferred over St Pauls for boys at 13+ so it can be expected that their sisters will start to follow suit.
That said we looked seriously at WHS when at the 11+ stage. It seemed a lovely school, and part of the attraction was the possibility of Kings for sixth form. Some will have been at the school since the age of 4 and will simply want a change.
Anyone's DD stay on from Year 11 to Year 12 and not join the rush to King's? Is a lot of time spent helping the "replacements" get up to speed or is it the home grown girls who are feeling/falling behind? I perceive a local feeling that WHS is seen as a King's prep and not a serious contender at A level - is this fair?
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