Emmanuel School/ Clapham & Streatham High - getting harder to get into?

(19 Posts)
keepcalmandthengiveup Tue 23-Feb-16 11:15:16

Hello all, and good luck with the current process of secondary schools - both state and private. I understand it is getting harder and harder to get into Emmanuel and know that 2017 entry list is now closed - though they did say to ring back at the end of Feb to try again. Is this also the situation for Clapham & Streatham High? Does anyone have any insight on the situation there? Is SCHS school becoming increasingly hard to get into as well as I had previously thought that they were both similarly regarded (aside from the gender issue of course). Previous discussion with the Emmanuel head put the demand to demographics, so I guess it would apply to competition from all schools I guess. Any thoughts or insights would be appreciated. Thanks

Railworker Tue 23-Feb-16 11:23:36

Hi Keepcalm, I heard that S&C were very oversubscribed this year and that their entry levels are steadily rising. Anecdotally, some girls who might previously have seen the school as a sure thing did not get an offer this time around. This is probably due to: birthrate; great location; relatively good level of facilities for London school (all they're missing is a swimming pool in MHO); steadily rising results - they do seem a notch ahead of Emanuel and Sydenham High this year, so we will wait and see if the trend continues. I have been watching this school for a while now as it seems a good fit for DD. The girls I've met seem calm and well-balanced and the school seems more 'normal' and ethnically diverse than some private schools. Would welcome others' opinions though.

keepcalmandthengiveup Tue 23-Feb-16 11:38:12

I feel the same way, I feel it is well rounded, nurturing, and has the right balance for me in terms of being sufficiently challenging, whilst giving their students room to breathe. The demographics is more reflective of London too. Interesting that it is moving from a "sure bet" option to higher up the ladder. Thanks Rail.

mummyinatizz Tue 23-Feb-16 12:17:28

Hi there, We've just accepted a place at SCHS for Sept '16 and couldn't be more delighted. DD sat for Emanuel too and didn't get it, not even WL. Larger year 6 and siblings make places there even more tricky. I haven't analysed the end results, ie GCSEs/A levels, but if the bar is getting higher at 11+, surely they will increase too by the time our DDs gets there.

Feels like a good time to be going to SCHS, lots of new facilities that DD will be able to use/enjoy in her years there.

Railworker Tue 23-Feb-16 12:41:03

Hope it goes well for your daughter mummyinatizz - and congratulations on securing the place!

AnotherNewt Tue 23-Feb-16 12:56:09

In the September 15 round, girls who might otherwise have expected an offer from SCHS were not even making the waiting list. The new head has been there for a few years now, and the school is starting to become more sought after, not least because it seems to have such a lovely atmosphere.

Emanuel has been a positive choice (rather than a fall back) for a few years now and that is reflected in standard required for entry. It remains committed to a very inclusive sibling policy, which probably will mean that it's never going to be top of the exam tables (siblings have only to reach the basic pass mark) and that, plus the doubling of numbers coming up from their year 6, mean that the standard for a new candidate to the school at 11+ has risen considerably.

Railworker do you know if SCHS needed to use their applications guillotine this year? They came close to it last year.

Railworker Tue 23-Feb-16 13:11:19

Hmmn, not sure I know, AnotherNewt. But I know someone who does - will get back to you later!

mummyinatizz Wed 24-Feb-16 13:00:00

Thanks railworker thats kind.

At the time, spoke to the registrar at SCHS, she said the cut off is not that strict, there is flexibility to add applicants to the list. She said it helps would-be applicants to focus the mind. Don't know how many applicants they had in total this year, DD sat the reserve date, along with about 50 others, don't know the numbers from the main exam date.

Railworker Wed 24-Feb-16 23:41:09

I heard (though have no personal experience) that SCHS operated a "guillotine" this year when they reached 350 applicants. Perhaps the registrar allows more leeway than this though, mummyinatizz?

Noitsnotteatimeyet Thu 25-Feb-16 06:51:40

At dd's old primary every single girl this year who applied to SCHS got in, which has been the case for as long as I can remember

It's also still the case that very few of them take the place if they have another offer

Anecdotally, there does seem to be more of a squeeze on places at Emanuel- although certainly in dd's year the numbers were boosted by it being seen as a back-up. Of the 60 children in her year, all but 2 sat the exam but the majority of those would have had no intention of taking a place if they got in somewhere else

AnotherNewt Thu 25-Feb-16 07:39:59

A figure of about 350 as the maximum number of candidates is what is heard, but don't know if they've ever had to close registrations.

I note you say it was your DD's old primary school, Noitsnot so do the figures you cite cover the last two or three years and include this one? There has been quite a change in the last couple of years and girls are really being turned down.

Emanuel has been really turning candidates down for a few years now.

Noitsnotteatimeyet Thu 25-Feb-16 12:25:38

Yes - dd's now in Y8 and the strike rate from her old school for SCHS has not changed at all, if last year's and this year's results are anything to go by

They're all getting in and all the girls in the top half of the cohort all choose to go elsewhere

Railworker Thu 25-Feb-16 13:35:56

They (SCHS) are getting great results if they are only getting the lower half of the cohort then. Sounds like good value added.

AnotherNewt Thu 25-Feb-16 13:45:59

Thanks, Noitsnot !

I've just checked and the current head arrived in January 2012. I thought that the way parents talked about the school changed after he'd been there a couple of years. And there certainly were candidates who received no offer from them in the most recent years (but obviously lots who did as well).

Some of that might be a reflection of the greater number of applicants. Even if they're not yet using their cap on applications, it does seem that they are getting close to that point.

OP: are you considering any other schools?

keepcalmandthengiveup Fri 26-Feb-16 12:53:12

I wonder if the squeeze on Emanuel is that they now take in two classes in Y6 for their 10+, which restricts their intake from outside at +11.

I like both schools for their relaxer style, and roundedness, but as we are still some way away from +11, we will just keep watching, and visiting schools to find the right fit. I have always liked WHS, but competition is high, and I am concerned that my DD may find herself at the tail end of these very well accomplished girls, and be at the bottom of the class, which won't do her confidence any good at all. May this could be something we could discuss in terms how do you balance out the decision of a really good school with great results, and your child's place in that school? Or have I got the equation the wrong way round, i.e. because it is a great school, your child will get great results?

Railworker Fri 26-Feb-16 13:50:53

Interesting point pp.
I think if schools are highly selective and cream off the top percentages of students they are doing something very wrong if they don't get the highest academic results. But being in the top 2%, 5% or whatever academically, makes very little difference in terms of how happy and satisfied you are as a person and the opportunities open to you (caveat - unless you have a burning desire to go to Oxbridge) compared to being in the top 15-20% academically. You're still likely to go to a good university and study the subject you are interested in.
I also think different people thrive in different circumstances - some very bright kids might prefer to 'lead from the front' and enjoy a more relaxed atmosphere at their school. For some, the cut and thrust of a fast-paced, super-academic school brings out the best in them.
What is clear, is that quality teaching makes a difference. League tables and results aren't good instruments in helping to gauge quality of teaching, with so much being dependent on the type of pupil who has been selected in the first place (in the case of selective schools).
Guess that's why these boards are full of people discussing the finer points/not so fine points of different schools/methods of schooling!
Sorry, this is a muse as I'm trying to get to grips with all the conflicting information about schools that is about these days.

HPFA Fri 26-Feb-16 19:09:20

keepcalm - I went to an independent grammar and personally I felt sorry for those girls who were always at the bottom, especially those who were also hard workers! I also knew someone who struggled at a very academic school and when I congratulated her on her perfectly decent GCSE results she shrugged and said "They weren't good compared to everyone else in my school."
I admit I'm not a huge fan of "hothouse" schools in general. However hard the schools try I don't see how the atmosphere isn't going to become highly competitive, I worry about kids thinking they're thick when they aren't and I don't think it does any harm for the highly intelligent to learn to mix with the not quite so elevated. Given that there are quite a few private and state schools who seem to get great results from a more mixed intake I'm not sure the disadvantages are worth it.
However, I'm sure you'll get lots of replies from people whose kids are thriving in such schools!

Railworker Fri 26-Feb-16 20:11:03

I'm inclined to agree with you HPFA - a level of resilience is needed at a super selective and I think they are definately more geared to either the natural high fliers, or kids with unshakeable self esteem. I went to a very middling comp and was completely oblivious to the fact that I am definately not in the top 2%. It never occurred to me till I got/scraped into Uni and was faced with the top 20% (allegedly) that I was actually bottom of the heap (academically speaking). Tbh I think I must have gained a lot of confidence from spending my childhood blissfully unaware of my limitations. And the shock was easy to get over as a grown up.
I think gaining confidence in your abilities in childhood and being exposed to a wide range of different people can only be a good thing. But I was lucky enough to be in sets with very few behaviour issues....

HPFA Sat 27-Feb-16 08:32:47

Thanks Railworker - I love people who agree with me! The grammar school I went to actually had a much wider ability range than would today be normal in a super-selective - probably about the top 20%- 30%. We weren't set within the school and I didn't notice that the top girls had any difficulty getting great results - it was more those at the bottom who I felt lost out.

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