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Can anyone with girls at Tiffin...right now in the school give me their honest opinion of what it's like? Is their daughter happy? Have friends? Do most of their friends live miles away? Is it as much of a pressure cooker as people say? Do the girls have fun and what is contact with the school like? What is the induction process for the girls?
My DN has just left Tiffins. I think she had a great time and made some good friends.
One thing that let her down a bit was the school's input when she was choosing her 'A' level subjects (sorry, know this is quite a bit ahead for you!!). I think she was poorly advised and her choices (made with input from her school) meant that her transfer to uni has been not as smooth as it could have been.
Anyway that's behind her now and she is enjoying her gap year and lined up to do a good course in a good university.
Someone posted on here recently about TGS....her dd was there. She was very funny, and down to earth, and basically said it wasn't a mythical place where unicorns prance in meadows (I think I have paraphrased )
Aww thanks Mrsrobertduvall that was me before I left, now name changed.
The most important thing to remember is that TGS is a good school because all the girls are clever. The teaching is generally good but not extraordinary. I have always thought the school had a lovely calm and civilised atmosphere but it is not a mystical pink castle in a rainbow meadow with frolicking unicorns .
Totallymummy, congrats to your daughter and I hope she is looking forward to going to big school. My DD is now in Sixth Form so may be a bit different for younger girls. We are one of a minority in the year that live far away, most in DD's year are in the Kingston, New Malden area. It does cause problems sometimes but there is public transport or parents giving lifts. I think they are more scattered in lower years.
I don't think TGS is a hothouse. The girls are all clever but there is a range of ability. The teachers encourage them to do well but do not really force them. I sometimes wished they would have given my DD a kick up the backside.
Some parents do use it as an exam factory. There is competition among some girls and some parents are a bit on the pushy side and want their DD's to get top grades, be doctors etc. Unfortunately not all can manage it. There seems to be quite a lot of tutoring but it doesn't seem linked to ability - some parents are a bit paranoid they won't get the grades.
Contact with the school is good. There is an active PTA and there are a lot of concerts, exhibitions etc. There are termly newsletters, regular letters home which are always emailed via parentmail or available on the website. The parents evenings are well organised and younger years have an additional target setting day which is a one to one with the teacher, daughter and you. There are charity events from time to time and careers orientated talks in the evening etc.
Generally they have been swift to act on any concern I have had to raise. Pastoral care is fairly proactive and good from what I have seen. I think they have less experience in dealing with conflict and SEN than many other schools but their provision is certainly quite reasonable.
They currently have a sort of team building event early in the new school year for year 7's. I assume they have a visit day in the summer term as well, in any event you will go there to get the uniform (start saving!). No doubt they will contact you nearer the time.
Yes, my daughter has had fun, most of the time she is relaxed but girls do love moaning about the school skirt length, no make up etc. In the last couple of years the school really has gone out of its way to address concerns about uniform etc but is fairly strict about that and lateness.
They are a very diverse group of girls some are from more "traditional" backgrounds, do not believe in premarital sex and have rather reactionary views towards gay people. Others indulge in underage sex, street-drugs, alcohol etc. In other words the normal teenage range of behaviour.
I think TGS is an excellent school on the whole and I am very glad that DD went there and decided to stay on for Sixth Form. We haven't experienced the problems that the other posters DN did but I try and look for information outside the school about careers/University etc and so does DD (Student Room etc) and not rely 100 per cent on them. No school is ever going to be one hundred per cent perfect and little things do annoy me from time to time but compared to the problems we have had with my younger child's school they are extremely minor.
notfluffy and others thanks for your quick replies your words are reassuring and the info you have given is very helpful. My daughter is a bit daunted as we haven't really been able to get a good sense of the school in the way that you can get more inside other schools. Do the girls get mixed up as they go through the years or do they stay in the same form group all the way through?
They stay in the same form group until Sixth Form. The house always remains the same - not sure what they will do with the additional form this year though. They set for maths from year 8. That is really to support the girls who struggle in maths. From year 10 they are in option groups depending on GCSE subjects but they stay in the same form. Some girls do maths GCSE early and do AS in year 11. Some do French AS early. There is no "setting" apart from these. My Dd had the same form teacher for a few years - not sure if that was a deliberate policy.
The form group and the house are two different things now. So I suppose the houses will stay the same W, S, B and F, they will just get bigger. The girls are mixing for art, DT, drama, music and PE, I believe. But only within their half of the year group , so in reality my DD(y7) knows the girls just from one other form group in the year and those in her allocated house. DD has lot's of fun in TGS, has lovely friends, who all live not that far from school. So far so good for us...really ticks all the boxes. There are some " boring" girls, who think only about studying and tests, but they are in the minority. I believe, they are seriously pushed by their parents, and not by the school.