Surbtion High Senior or KGS

(20 Posts)
amidaiwish Fri 08-Mar-13 18:21:58

What swayed your decision? I am 2 years away and without any offers (!) but these are the 2 I imagine I'll be deciding between.

Gummie Fri 08-Mar-13 16:38:27

A toughie and to thank those who posted with their views. We decided on SHS. xx

chickydoo Wed 20-Feb-13 21:45:10

To add to my previous post
One of my boys says KGS is rather lacking on the party front grin
He's jealous of his Hampton buddies who seem to party more with the LEH girls.
FWIW the girls at KGS are delightful (not saying they are not elsewhere)
When son no2 left his prep at home, I took it in to school at lunchtime and a really sweet girl said " you look frazzled, would you like a cup of tea?"!!! She was only about 14...Bless her.
I think we are generally very lucky with all the great schools in the area.
I am just glad my kids are sorted and happy ( well one more to go )

pixelchick10 Wed 20-Feb-13 21:29:13

I have a daughter at SHS - we didn't try for other schools as she was in the Juniors and we are generally very pleased with it. It takes a wider intake of abilities than some other schools in the area- but the girls are set in many subjects so if you have a bright kid, rest assured they will be challenged! And they will give support to any girls who need extra help in any area. I think they do their best by all their girls ... My best friend has a child at KGS and is v pleased with it, especially the new head but one observation: her daughter has a far more active social life - lots of parties etc ie there are boys to distract the girls! You may prefer that but I'm glad I chose an all girls school ...

Copthallresident Wed 20-Feb-13 17:57:28

Tintagel I am going on the verdicts of my DDs peer groups who have gone or are going through these schools, so nothing to do with recruitment drives. They perceive we have two local schools that currently have a buzz about them, have really engaged their pupils who love being there and enabled them to thrive, and already seem to be becoming more popular as a result. Latymer as well as KGS. In both cases DDs' cohorts were certainly skimmed of the most able by more selective schools and the attraction of rolling acres and yet they have achieved impressive things. I would probably add Hampton in terms of engaging the enthusiasm of their pupils, although that was always very selective and has the acres. I think the Head has a lot to do with that, the last Hampton and Latymer Heads were charismatic and loved by the pupils. The new Head at KGS is similarly impressive. The other thing that swings it is an emphasis on encouraging the potential in each pupil instead of a relentless focus on A*s to keep them at the top of the league table.

When DD2 was making the choice I turned up at the rolling acres at the very ninth hour to drop off the acceptance, we had agonised about the decision and I had even dreamt of a KGS with extensive elysian fields grin. The thing is I encountered in the car park a whole group of other mothers who had wrestled with the same dilemma. I think a new Head and that sort of "buzz" is going to start influencing that decision the other way.

Tintingal Wed 20-Feb-13 14:09:56

KGS seems to be on a recruitment drive at present. Not sure about it being "one to watch", any more than any other West London private school. KGS is trying to be the school of choice, rather than the school kids go to if they don't get into Latymer, LEH or Hampton. But it will always suffer because of its location, lack of onsite sports grounds and pokey feel - which bothers some parents more than others.

Hullabalooey Wed 20-Feb-13 13:53:38

can't all be perfect! sorry!

Hullabalooey Wed 20-Feb-13 13:52:57

Actually I agree! As I said - not all the pupils at these schools can be problems, just as they all can't be perfect. My DD has told me stories about SHS girls as well as those from LEH, Putney, KGS and Latymer. That was my point, really, all schools will have to deal with "exclusive" cliques and sometimes whole year groups that are disruptive or "bitchy". My daughter's year at SHS has on the whole been lovely (like your DD1's year at her school). Her opinion of friends changing is just that and she is sad that some girls (and some of the boys) that she knew from primary and now meets at parties etc are changed characters. But that's life!

Copthallresident Wed 20-Feb-13 13:01:44

hear, I meant

Copthallresident Wed 20-Feb-13 13:00:50

Hullabalooey Don't agree with that perception of LEH either! What I do think is that in all the schools around here you do from time to time get some difficult attention seeking characters, SHS is in no way exempt, who try to take hold of the group norms, exclude and define what is "cool" in reference to themselves. The schools have no control over where these characters turn up but obviously being attention seekers their antics do become known and reflect on the school, when in fact it is the way they are handled that should reflect on the school. I do think their antics can get amplified in an all girls' school because boys are less tolerant of bitchy and exclusive behaviour. It can create an atmosphere in a year where some girls get intimidated into assuming a "hard" persona. DD1s year was a lovely year full of nice girls and the norm at her school, DD2s year are notorious for the antics of a few girls that would truly make your toes curl. SHS has had it's share of these girls and I can quote similar incidents, indeed have witnessed one.

However in DD2s year what was required to be cool was so extreme that most girls have no wish to get involved and as a result have been more confidant about asserting their own values and identities. It's just you don't get to here about the nice girls.

Schmedz Wed 20-Feb-13 12:40:41

Would agree with your daughters perception of those at LEH but not
KGS!

Hullabalooey Wed 20-Feb-13 12:35:33

I have said all this in a recent previous thread, so apologies for repeating myself, but I actually have a daughter at SHS so I wanted to put a few comments right! My daughter goes to Surbiton High Senior and is now in the 6th form. She started in year 7 coming from a state primary and has been very happy at SHS. 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) We have found the 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 and not exactly "new" as she's been there 5 years! Every effort is put into getting the best out of each girl no matter what level they may work at. 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 also had offers from KGS and Ibstock) but we let her choose and she chose Surbiton and definitely doesn't regret it! I did ask her about her choice a few days ago and about her friends who went to KGS and LEH - she said that she thought "something" happened to some of the girls who went to KGS and LEH, that they had become (in her words) "hard" and some were now "not particularly nice people" (!) Of course, that doesn't apply to everyone at those schools and there is no doubt that their academic achievements are impressive but no school is perfect and I would recommend letting your daughter go with her preference.

chickydoo Tue 19-Feb-13 19:27:28

I have 2 boys at Kgs
They are very happy, independent kids.
Girls do very well there. Head is fantastic.
Pm me if you want anymore info.
Is your daughter sporty?musical?
In to drama?
Kgs is highly academic, I thought both my boys were very clever & they were top of the class at their primary schools. They are very average at KGS.
Kids all seem keen to go to school, low levels of bitching a really good mix.

Gummie Tue 19-Feb-13 17:08:45

Thank you all for your comments so far, you have certainly made me think twice about SHS.

amidaiwish Tue 19-Feb-13 16:53:50

placemarking... i know teachers at DD1s school (outstanding state primary) are pushing KGS for anyone talking about independent. They seem to think it is definitely the place to go.

Copthallresident Tue 19-Feb-13 16:46:53

Xposted

Copthallresident Tue 19-Feb-13 16:46:23

I would agree, girls DDs have known at KGS have loved it and thrived, it does have more structured discipline than the girls' schools but having had a DD in a bitchy year at a girls' school (not SHS) that the school failed to control I am sure that is a good thing. The girls they have known at Surbiton have done well but there is a feeling it has lost some of it's distinctive supportiveness in becoming so large .

The new Head at KGS is very impressive whereas I have heard less positive things about the relatively new Head at Surbiton (who did have some very large shoes to fill).

I get the sense that KGS is becoming more popular and sought after, and results, certainly in terms of universities DDs peers have gone to have become if anything more impressive than some supposedly more selective schools . The DDs perceive that is because it is more encouraging and interested in individual potential rather than a A* factory (which used to be Surbiton's unique selling point)

However there is a lot of I in that OP, how does your DD feel? They tend to be very good at knowing which school feels right for them.

DD1 knew a girls' school was right for her and thrived. DD2 just wanted to follow DD1 but I always thought coed would suit her better, and that is where she has chosen for sixth form.

Lots of advantages to girls schools academically but socially if you get a bitchy disruptive year it gets amplified, the presence of boys tend to put a damper on that sort of behaviour. Also the girls can go a bit boy mad without the daily reminder of the reality that their socks smell........

Gummie Tue 19-Feb-13 16:34:08

She loves SHS as a lot of her friends are going there and I know she will have a ball. With KGS not many but it is academically better and she is not frightened of boys just its not as 'clean' like the girls school. I know where ever she will go,she will be fine but I need to choose and want her to be happy and thrive and have fun.

Schmedz Tue 19-Feb-13 16:27:35

Research shows that at senior school, coed suits boys' achievements better than girls. Take it with a grain of salt, I think. All the girls I know at KGS love it and are thriving. Which does your daughter prefer?

Gummie Tue 19-Feb-13 16:23:04

Help! Both schools are great, one is co-ed. My daughter is currently at a girls school and we have this choice. Is going co-ed so bad or should I stick to a girls school. Should I choose better positioning on league tables? Is KGS more disciplined in their teaching than SHS which I hear can be 'too easy going'. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks

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