Surbiton High or Emanuel which would you chose?

(13 Posts)
Marsha2013 Sun 17-Feb-13 18:05:58

Hi. We have just received offers for DD for these schools. I would really appreciate your opinions as to which one you would chose and why (We are really struggling to make a decision as we loved both schools). Thank you

basildonbond Sun 17-Feb-13 20:09:04

presumably one must be easier for your dd to get to than the other - that would be a starting point for me

From what I know of Emanuel it is not so fantastic that I'd want my child to have a long or difficult journey to get there ..

What does your dd think? Would she prefer all girls or mixed?

I don't know much about Surbiton High but know several children at Emanuel. It is generally thought of as the choice for less academic children - that's not to say it doesn't have some very bright children there, or that the less academic children don't do well, but there are many other schools I'd rather send a very bright child to

CarrotsAreNotTheOnlyVegetables Sun 17-Feb-13 21:51:56

Know several people with DDs at Surbiton and they are very pleased with it. Seen as less academic hothouse and more nurturing but still get good results. Don't know much about Emanuel but from comments I have seen on MN I think it has a similar atmosphere.

The two schools are pretty far apart - is one closer or are you pretty much midway between? Also Emanuel is mixed whereas Surbiton is single sex - what is your preference on this? I would think the choice would come down to distance (don't underestimate the effects of a long daily journey) and any strong preference re single sex or mixed.

Happymum22 Sun 17-Feb-13 22:23:47

Have friends with DDs at Surbiton. Heard it is great, the head was at Guildford High previously and has really brought the school up to date. Good results and supportive, fun atmosphere.

Marsha2013 Sun 17-Feb-13 22:38:55

Thanks for you replies...

Distance wise one school is about 4 miles away and the other 6

The journeys are comparable one on school bus from end of our road and one would be a public transport bus again from the end of our road. the time taken on journey would be about the same.

We wanted a school with good pastoral care which is why we went for these two. DD likes them both otherwise I would be happy to give her final decision.

Co ed vs single sex is the obvious difference and I don't have strong feelings or experience on this so other peoples advice is greatly appreciated.

Feels quite scary having to make a choice. (Haven't done this before!)

I dont know about Surbiton High personally, but our son has an offer from Emanuel and we are very very pleased. Of all the schools we visited it was the one we loved the most, and seemed most nurturing. Compared to other schools, the process has been very child centered. They were the only school to write a letter to the child explaining the exam and interview process. I think that is great. Also, I love how they invited the children along for the challenges, they really got to see all sides to the child, how they behave, interact, what makes them tick in addition to exams and interviews.

I have a friend with two daughters at Surbiton, and they love it, but that is the primary. But they moved them to the primary especially as they can follow through until 13+.

We are awaiting results from Ibstock next week, and if he has an offer there also, it will be tricky as even though they are second choice, he can walk to school within less than 15 minutes.

Schmedz Mon 18-Feb-13 09:23:49

I think if it is an equally good choice for your child, then go with whatever is closest and/or where most of her peers are likely to live close to you. Both schools have a good reputation, although neither are the top-notch academic type of school, they both seem to add value. SHS rather focus on their gymnasts and skiers so if your daughter is good at those sports she will be well supported!

Hullabalooey Mon 18-Feb-13 15:14:07

I don't know Emanuel at all but my daughter goes to Surbiton High and is now in the 6th form. She started in year 7 coming from a state primary and has very happy at SHS. I would say she was probably slightly "above average" when she joined at 11 and Surbiton have done a really great job educating her - she got all A's and A*'s at GCSE, is on course to get A*/A's at A level and is currently holding offers from 5 Russell Group unis. (As are many of her friends) On the whole, we have found their teaching staff to be excellent and very supportive. My daughter was not a "natural" mathematician (!) and struggled in that subject at primary level but SHS taught her in a way that she could relate to and she ended up with an A at GCSE - something I would never have thought possible at age 11! The Head is open and welcoming and totally committed to the school. Every effort is put into getting the best out of each girl no matter what level they may work at. Sport is good across the board- they have excellent results in athletics, rowing etc not just gymnastics and skiing. They are also developing a strong Performing Arts department and already have an excellent Art and Design department. But more than anything I think the friendliness and supportive atmosphere at the school has been the best thing. When making the decision in year 6, I also wondered whether an all girls school was the best choice (she could have gone to KGS or Ibstock - also good schools!) but she chose Surbiton and definitely doesn't regret it!

Marsha2013 Wed 20-Feb-13 20:05:28

Thanks again for your responses.

Hullabalooey... It sounds as if your daughter has had a fantastic time at Surbiton and I must say that is exactly the impression we got from the Open Day and going through the 11+ process, which is why we are so delighted to be offered a place

Both Emanuel and Surbiton High rate very highly in terms of pastoral care. I know they are not academically elite but I do believe there is a lot more to a well rounded child that pure academics and to be frank they are the offers we have.

PureQuintessence ... congratulations on the Emanuel place, I think Ibstock and Emanuel are quite different offerings so I hope you get the outcome that suits you and your son best.

Mrshighandmighty Thu 21-Feb-13 17:04:04

All three of my ds are at Emanuel and I can't recommend it highly enough - the school is rapidly improving its academic status and this is a particularly good time to 'get on board' - my sons were not exactly firing on all academic cylinders when they took their entrance exams at 11yrs old, but the school took that early unrealised potential and pushed them to develop their academic promise - my oldest ds started in the bottom set for maths and science and now (yr9) is in top set for all three sciences, and second-from-top for maths! I swear I had no idea he had it in him. My twin dss are also finding themselves mentally challenged - one ds is in a class full of scholars and has fixed on the highest achieving girl and is determined to beat her in maths! What motivation! My other ds is being swept along so he is determined to improve too.

On the mixed vs. single sex choice - in my case we are very relieved to have girls in our boys' lives - they are learning how to relate to girls and how to have them as friends without assumptions ... (you know what I mean?).

As for the location - well, yes it is an urban school (with 12 acres of playing fields!) in the middle of Clapham, but personally I believe that the 'street-awareness' my boys have developed in their commute to and from school is extremely valuable. They need to know what and who is around them in the real world, and Clapham has a much more diverse community than rarified Richmond where we live. The school puts a great emphasis on safety/awareness/common sense which is delivered regularly and seriously - and in the three years we've been there - I've yet to hear of any problem that came from an outside influence unconnected to the school (which is what many parents initially have worries about).

Good luck with your decision!

Marsha2013 Sat 23-Feb-13 11:50:32

Just a quick question ... DD is not at all sporty - will this matter at Surbiton High Senior? Are the girls generally all very sporty there and if so are the ones who aren't odd ones out?

Thanks for your help

Schmedz Sat 23-Feb-13 14:23:20

I would not think SHS is particularly sporty although they do (like any school) promote their excellent sportswoman. With such a large cohort in each year there are bound to be plenty who won't be 'sporty' and lots who won't be in the top teams :-) there is, of course, good sports provision for regular PE lessons in which all girls will be involved anyway...however reluctantly!
They are also a school that offers generous sports scholarships so there are bound to be some very sporty girls drafted in too. I personally know two who have accepted for Y7 in September and they are exceptionally talented in sport (and lovely girls as well).

Hullabalooey Sat 23-Feb-13 15:05:44

If your DD isn't particularly sporty it certainly won't make her an "odd one out". The school has definitely given Sport more attention over the last few years and is currently developing/has plans for improved sports facilities at their Hinchley Wood site. But as Schmedz says there are many girls who aren't interested in being in a top team. My DD isn't very sporty but likes to "take part" so gets into the team spirit by taking part in things like the Inter-House Netball and Rounders tournaments - which are more light-hearted (some dressing-up and face paint is usually involved!)

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