LEH or GHS?

(16 Posts)
Cantwaittillitsallover14 Fri 15-Apr-16 13:38:14

I am desperately seeking advice on either school as we have two days left to make a decision on which to accept for my daughter entering Year 3. Our hearts are with LEH but everyone seems to choose GHS at the moment! Also, she gained one of only six places (40 + applicants) at GHS whereas LEH is only about 2/3 to a place as its a new intake. The GHS offer was a complete shock and off our radar so had no preset preferences. Should this be at all relevant? Both seem amazing schools and I wish we could keep both 😊

mary21 Fri 15-Apr-16 14:38:51

Where do you live? Local friends are important.you dont want to live on theA3

jaguar67 Fri 15-Apr-16 14:59:28

Both great schools, assuming there's no great disparity in fees, absolutely go with the nearest. Once she hits Senior school and required for weekend fixtures/ rehearsals etc., not to mention all the socialising...trust me, you will kick yourself if you/she are travelling further than needed.

agapanthii Fri 15-Apr-16 16:11:24

Both great, really much of a muchness. Your heart clearly says LEH, your head should tell you to go with the nearest/easiest journey. If they are different, go with your head.

AMumOfThree Fri 15-Apr-16 17:54:04

A few comments from a GHS parent:

I agree they are both good schools. Both my DD were very happy in the junior school at GHS and the senior school is fantastic. I also agree with pp that commutes matter, and suggest that you consider both the commute now from year 3 to 6, when you are likely to be driving, and from year 7 when your DD will be able to take the train. The train is a very convenient option if you are close to a station on the line that goes to London Road, and many GHS girls use it.

GHS has a very wide catchment even at junior level, and even more so at senior level when the train becomes an option. If you are in the Cobham/Esher area there will probably be lots of other girls in that area at GHS, so living locally does not necessarily mean more convenient from a social point of view.

Also, it can be quite challenging being one of only 3 new girls into a class of 20 or so. GHS does mix the existing classes up in year 3 to help this, but if your DD is not socially confident she may find it quite challenging initially. Over time though the "new" girls do get fully integrated with the rest.

Final point on GHS junior is that I think the jury is still out on Mr Gibb. There have been quite a few changes in staff as well over the last few years and I think the character of the junior school will change a bit under his leadership.

Cantwaittillitsallover14 Fri 15-Apr-16 18:22:47

Thank you so much everyone for your sensible comments. It's hard to be objective after a while, especially when your DD is only six and rather a bank page as yet. The school bus at LEH is a draw for logistical ease but GHS is cheaper. Both schools have huge staff changes and new heads and I wonder how long Mrs Boulton will stay at GHS? Will she stay longer than four years when her last child leaves as that would be 16 years..where will GHS be without her? Any thoughts MumOfThree? I actually expect her legacy will be very strong don't you?

AMumOfThree Fri 15-Apr-16 18:53:15

Hard to know how long she will stay and unfortunately I have no inside knowledge (not even parent gossip) but I agree her legacy will be very strong.

A quick Google tells me she is 52, so it's quite possible she will stay until retirement. GHS is to some extent seen as the flagship school within the United Church Schools Trust, and my impression is she and other senior teachers do some work with the other associated independent schools (such as when the trust took over Dunottar a couple of years ago). I'm hoping this keeps the job interesting enough for her to stay.

Cantwaittillitsallover14 Fri 15-Apr-16 20:04:15

Sorry I didn't mean to stir things...I think GHS would also be sensible in promoting from within as they did in the juniors to maintain its unique ethos. How is Mr Gibb different from Mrs Phillips and do you know if they will ever change the very appealing policy of GHS being a through school? So hard to predict 11 years into the future and yet the head is everything isn't it?

AMumOfThree Fri 15-Apr-16 20:49:57

Have PM'd you.

Cantwaittillitsallover14 Fri 15-Apr-16 21:44:36

Thank you so much! Does anyone know if the new Head at LEH will be reintroducing the formal 11+ from Juniors to Seniors? Does anyone know anything about the new Junior School Head starting in September?

agapanthii Sat 16-Apr-16 12:59:43

No , if anything they have recently made the process to move up simpler and less formal not more formal. And all parents have been emailed about the new junior dept head. As a parent with an offer I would just ask both questions , the school is very transparent and open so you would be better getting their take on both questions. I am sure they would be happy to reply back . Call them!

Cantwaittillitsallover14 Sat 16-Apr-16 14:56:39

Thanks agapanthii. Are you happy with the school? Is the new Head of the Senior School as great as people are saying? The present Head of Juniors seemed very nice, it would be so much more settling if she was staying! I asked her about the 11+ and she commented on how parents felt their children to be behind outsiders as they hadn't taken it. She commented on maybe children still doing the test even after being offered a place in year 5. Do you know anything about this? The girls who shoes us around said the test in year 5 was easy and did not seem at all stressed by it which impressed us. So much change but hopefully for the best!

agapanthii Sat 16-Apr-16 15:30:03

Yes, I have been a parent for many years with girls in both junior and senior currently. I am really happy with both the school and new head. It is a shame the junior head is relocating elsewhere burnt trust the chill to chose an excellent replacement. I am sure competition was high for the place and the new incoming head will have been chosen carefully.
The year 5 entry test has been scrapped, as a snapshot of their ability and suitability for seniors; they now look at the whole picture and whether the child is thriving, so much less formal now. But even before, it wasn't a special test it was the usual end of term exams they used as the indicator. The girls are tested regularly, usually with no notice so to them it's just class work and relaxed. Girls only sit the external test if they wish to be considered for scholarship.

agapanthii Sat 16-Apr-16 15:30:29

But trust the school ...

Cantwaittillitsallover14 Sat 16-Apr-16 15:52:08

Many thanks for your feedback! Where would we be without Mumsnet?! Still have plenty of time to decide...until midnight on Sunday...

TeddTess Tue 19-Apr-16 14:06:16

what did you decide?

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