Guildford Highschool or Surbiton High?

(44 Posts)
jennymalaysia Sat 27-Feb-16 11:52:58

Help!! We have until Thursday to decide on Surbiton High (on an Academic Scholarship) of Guildford High. My DD is a good allrounder, sporty but not a genius and has been really really lucky to have been offered an academic scholarship to Surbiton and a place at GHS. The results at GHS are amazing but I am concerned that DD will lose confidence at the school because everyone is so bright. Also heard it is really pushy and competitive and don't want DD to feel too much pressure. Surbiton seems more "real" and Ive heard scholars are well looked after but the results are quite bad and I'm concerned that DD may end up coasting. ANY ADVICE would be really appreciated. Thanks so much

ohtobeanonymous Sat 27-Feb-16 12:59:14

My choice would be GHS. My own eldest DD was offered an academic/music scholarship at one school and a place at another more academic school. WE chose to decline the scholarships and never regretted it for a moment. It was so motivating for her to be surrounded by like-minded girls and she LOVED going to school every day.
GHS is certainly not pushy and competitive, any more so than SHS.
Good luck with your decision.

GinandJag Sat 27-Feb-16 13:08:54

I'd go with the one that's easier for her to get to by herself.

ohtobeanonymous Sat 27-Feb-16 13:19:37

very good point GinandJag - that was also part of our decision (15 mins vs 45 mins travel!) with all the before and after school activities, the days can get long!

ohtobeanonymous Sat 27-Feb-16 13:20:39

very good point GinandJag - that was also part of our decision (15 mins vs 45 mins travel!) with all the before and after school activities, the days can get long!

GinandJag Sat 27-Feb-16 13:40:21

At my DDs' school (not too far from GHS), I remember the headmistress saying that unless your daughter can get to us by public transport or school bus, it's probably not the right school.

It's a lot different driving an 11 year old, and then having to drive a 16 year old.

SWLondonGirl Sat 27-Feb-16 14:47:58

Personally, I would choose GHS. We had a similar dilemma and chose the more academic option and haven't once looked back.

Stillunexpected Sat 27-Feb-16 15:52:12

In a straight comparison of exam results, GHS scores more highly but I certainly wouldn't describe the exam results At Surbiton High as "quite bad"!?

nowomansland Sat 27-Feb-16 16:01:29

I would definitely choose GHS over Surbiton despite the academic scholarship. If your daughter got a place there in the first place then she will definitely be well suited to that school. We have not found GHS to be competitive or pushy at all.....most of it is just hearsay. The school produces great girls and great results to match. We are not Guildford based and have found that train travel is not a big issue as there are many girls travelling on same line together and they seem to love the social side of it. The school is also in the centre of town which is a big plus especially as they get older !

jennymalaysia Sun 28-Feb-16 10:07:30

Hello all. Wow. I've never used Mumsnet and am amazed and grateful that you have taken the time to help me make this big decision. Thank you so much. I completely agree about the travel point - we discounted St Caths for that reason. We are fortunate to live in Claygate - 2 minutes from train station - so it will be a really easy commute to GHS. The train is full in the morning of students. We are also really handy for Surbiton - right on public bus route - which is FREE! My main concern is not wanting my happy, confident carefree girl to become stressed and lose her confidence surrounded by such amazing girls (somebody has to be in the bottom set!). If I had to choose, I would choose a happy childhood over Oxbridge for her - the odd review of GHS is quite damning in this regard. Even so, we are still leaning towards GHS..... Thanks again everyone.

chickindude Sun 28-Feb-16 10:29:42

Where does your daughter want to go?
Choose the school that will make her happy. If she is bright she will do very well at Surbiton.
Results are important, but I know several girls who have not enjoyed GHS.
What is your heart telling you?

SAHDthatsall Sun 28-Feb-16 11:47:35

Does the sports make any difference? What about after school sports and picking up or getting home? SHS sports site is potentially walking home distance for you! Though I know someone rowing at SHS and they have to be picked up from the other side of Kingston / Hampton Wick. I don't know GHS.

Mizzletoe Sun 28-Feb-16 14:20:49

We were in a very similar position two years ago so I know how hard this is OP. You know your daughter best and if she is studious and fairly serious then GHS will probably be a good fit for her. My DD is now in Year 8 at GHS and enjoying every minute because she has a real love of learning and she can be a geek there without being made fun of IUSWIM!
If your DD is similar then she will be fine so go for it. Is she at state school or a Prep? If Prep then the Head will have supported your choice so he or she will know that GHS will suit your DD academically as well as socially. DD says some girls in her year do struggle with the academic competition (according to them anyway!) but they are usually the ones who've been heavily tutored to pass the entrance exam.
I don't know SHS so can't compare them.
In the end we realised we had to let our DD choose tho. She's the one who has to go there after all!
Good luck.

atthegates Sun 28-Feb-16 16:23:42

My DD is on the waiting list for GHS. really nervous and would like to know if there is any chance for her to get a place.

AMumOfThree Sun 28-Feb-16 18:05:20

Jenny if your daughter is academic and has got into GHS without extensive tutoring then it is fairly unlikely she will end up in a bottom set (and in year 7 only maths is set anyway). This is in part because around 40% of the year group come up from the junior school, and the ability range is likely to be a bit wider amongst this group. If your daughter is happy and confident she is likely to fit in well at GHS, and the train from Claygate will be full of girls going to The school (and to Tormead and boys going to RGS too!)

cavedescreux Sun 28-Feb-16 21:52:50

GHS, hands down.
"If I had to choose, I would choose a happy childhood over Oxbridge for her"
I know many, many people who had both.
Good luck.

MrsJoyless Sun 28-Feb-16 22:45:34

My DD does a very similar journey to SHS, so I will add my vote for SHS. DD's year 7 class was drawn from the same geographic area so friends were no further away than Surbiton itself. If your DD is likely to be in a team, you will be glad that the sports ground is handy, and purely selfishly it is great for me that it is so close e.g. for those pre-dawn drop offs for trips.

jennymalaysia Mon 29-Feb-16 08:03:16

Hi everyone, thanks a lot again for your advice. Regarding lettin my daughter choose, I quite agree but the problem is she does not mind and has asked us to choose. Re over tutoring, DD was in a state school and moved to a prep last year, where she entered in the second set and stayed there. It was not until September that she decided to work hard, entirely her own decision. I definitely would not say she was over tutored though over Christmas and half term she was doing at least a paper a day. It seemed fairly effortless for her and she was not the least bit anxious or stressed. I would have been a basket case at her age! My big concern is that she is happy and fun loving and very sociable and I really don't want to put her into a situation that changes that, though from most of the comments I've read, GHS won't be likely to affect that too much. The train is so handy that even with after school sports she has a quick and easy way home. To ATThegates who's DD is on Guildford wait list, you should call the school and ask where she is on the wait list an what the chances are of getting a place. The head at the prep school said that both LEH and Guildford were hard to tell whether anyone on wait list would get a place, that it depends on the year. Good luck.

TeddTess Mon 29-Feb-16 10:06:34

In your situation from the info you'd given, i'd choose GHS.

interestingly you didn't apply for LEH?

TeddTess Mon 29-Feb-16 10:08:00

then again did you get the 50% academic scholarship from SHS? or the 20%? surely the 50% would convince you if your dd doesn't have a strong prefernece?

cakeisalaystheanswer Mon 29-Feb-16 10:53:43

What does your prep school head say? They have the experience of sending DCs to senior schools every year, they know your DD personally, what is their advice? Also, where are the rest of set 2 going? because this seems to be your DDs peer group working at a normal pace.
GHS is one of the top girls schools in the country, the only reason not to go is if it will be too much of a stretch.

jennymalaysia Mon 29-Feb-16 13:13:55

Prep school head does not really know DD as we has only been in school 4 terms. She did not recommend one way or other, isn't saying anything really. DD is in set 2 only because of the catch up required when she joined school in year 5. She has now been moved to set 1. I suspect she is one who is more likely to coast if seen as "top dog", as evidenced by the effort she put in over last 3 months to get into a great school. She does respond well to challenges. Scholarship is 25 percent, so not insignificant but not a reason to go I think. And it can be taken away in any year if she falls below standard.

cakeisalaystheanswer Mon 29-Feb-16 13:27:25

I know exactly where you are coming from with your "top dog" comment and IMO she needs to be at the most selective school because there is a narrower range of ability and she will be less inclined to coast.

In your situation I would find it difficult to turn down one of the top girls schools in the country. She is very lucky and I'm sure worked very hard to have a place.

TeddTess Mon 29-Feb-16 14:05:37

GHS then. definitely.

SAHDthatsall Mon 29-Feb-16 14:21:51

Yes GHS for me. We have boys but I suspect we were in a similar situation between Hampton and Reeds and went for the former.

Still curious (no great reason) as to why you missed LEH off your list...

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now