Cheltenham Ladies College

(67 Posts)
onebananatwobanana Thu 30-Jan-14 13:37:16

Can anyone with a DD at this school give me an up to date view? Would love to hear about going at 11 vs 13, academic pressure and quality of teaching, sport and extra curricular, how integrated the non UK based students are - and are there more non uk based students in the 6th form as there is an additional intake then, how is the pastoral care, how's the new head getting on? How does it compare to Wycombe Abbey, Downe House etc etc

Thank you.

Shootingatpigeons Thu 30-Jan-14 15:18:49

My experience is a little out of date in that the last girl left a couple of years ago but I have acted as UK Guardian to a number of expat friends' DDs who came to UK schools and CLC impressed me the most. The last Head made a very determined effort to develop a strategy, seeking advice from teachers in International Schools, on handling the mix of UK and overseas schools. In other schools there is a danger that other pupils, and indeed staff, and even one Head in my experience, treat those from other cultures as stereotypes and that is when you get tribes sticking in exclusive cliques speaking their own language. CLC will not tolerate that whilst valuing cultural difference. It is recognised overseas as achieving the best level of integration. It is also the choice of the expat teachers I know. All the girls I have known go through there, 7 now, have been happy and have done well.

soul2000 Thu 30-Jan-14 16:10:41

Is that "Integration" with the local Community , and the "State School" kids then ?......

onebananatwobanana Thu 30-Jan-14 18:02:33

Thanks Shooting for your comments. Anyone else got any views they can add, especially if you have a DD at the school?

Shootingatpigeons Thu 30-Jan-14 18:04:05

Soul Well I was referring to the integration between home and overseas students within the school obviously since that was the question and I made it clear I was addressing it hmm But since you mention it, yes, actually www.cheltladiescollege.org/home/SearchForm?Search=community&action_results=Go Part of the attraction to the expat parents that I know is the community involvement and the fact that the school isn't hidden away behind high walls as the others mentioned here are. The Boarding Houses are in other parts of the towns and the girls actually have to walk to school and through the town. They are not hidden and protected from the real world. It surprised me just how down to earth the school is.

Perhaps you are unaware that if you are an expat, even one returning here, you have no or very little chance of getting into a state school. There is no process for applying until you are back resident at an address in this country, even if you own a house and can prove you are coming back, so you can't even plan and are always reliant on waiting list places arising, which they don't around here. My friends whose daughters went there are teachers, have given many years to the state system, but when their daughters are unhappy in overseas schools for whatever valid reasons, they had no state option and they have appreciated the option of CLC.

As far as overseas students are concerned, they don't haven't a state option either but in these global times it does the UK a lot of good that they come here to learn and go back with hopefully positive perceptions and that ability to operate between our two cultures. Hopefully if a school has effective strategies as CLC does, that will work with the Brit pupils as well.

Sorry OP for hijacking the thread but Soul is doing the rounds tonight and doesn't appreciate it isn't all black and white, there are shades of grey.

soul2000 Thu 30-Jan-14 19:37:49

shooting pigeons. I actually met two delightful 16 year old girls from there when I was on holiday in the South Of France.

There were lovely but totally "Jolly Hockey Sticks" and naive to the real world , which is great if you have " Upper Middle Class Multi Millonaire Parents which both had". When invited on to one of their parents yachts, they served the sandwiches (Which they Made) and wine beautifully.

However its not real life ( Maybe for them) is it.. P.S If I had a DD and the money I would not hesitate in sending her there , but that is down to the faults of the state system, and the importance of the old school tie.

summerends Thu 30-Jan-14 19:52:35

I can pass on some second hand (but probably reasonably accurate) current information whilst you are waiting for the 'real deal' onebanana. Quite a few pupils joining at 13, particularly boarders and they are said to integrate well. Quality of teaching is supposed to be generally good but with some weaker elements (rumours that English teaching is variable for example), I would assume that is the same at Wycombe Abbey? Very good sport, drama, art and other extracurricular opportunities, girls do have to choose to concentrate on one team sport in their later years but the winter team sports are not dominated by lacrosse as in some girls' schools. Music groups are probably more available for the top end musicians.
The girls have a fair amount of set homework and are expected to get (rather than congratulated for) top grades. I am not sure how much they are taught to think outside the curriculum rather than just loaded with work and if Wycombe Abbey is better for this.
The more recent perception is that the balance is perhaps now too much towards overseas / high achieving Asian students and this does colour the atmosphere of certain boarding houses and the academic achievements of school generally but I don't know what the proportions are. The new head is said to be a positive influence.

NigellasDealer Thu 30-Jan-14 19:57:31

soul on the one hand you are sounding pretty chippy and then you are saying you would send a daughter to such a school...
so actually you sound jealous and petty

soul2000 Thu 30-Jan-14 20:07:12

Nigella. I understand and know what a fantastic school it is . The fact though is that to much your life chances and expectations are down to which school you have been educated in.

This is something i don't understand about Mumsnet who are broadly in support of wycombe Abbey/ Cheltenham /Harrow . E.T.C , but mostly vehemently opposed to Grammar Schools.....

Lioninthesun Thu 30-Jan-14 20:08:02

Soul - if you thought they were naive and 'jolly hockey sticks' which you seem to see as a bad thing, why on earth did you accept their hospitality? It sounds as though they were being kind and you have thrown it back in their faces (on here at least!). Sorry to hijack. My grandmother went here and my great aunt was head of Geog - so have a sideline interest smile.

NigellasDealer Thu 30-Jan-14 20:10:46

well i attended the sister school in London for some years and am grateful for that.
(miss buss and miss beale, cupids darts do not feel)
I know plenty of people who attended Comprehensive school and did just fine in later life.

soul2000 Thu 30-Jan-14 20:22:56

lion. Its fantastic delightful , old fashioned to be "Jolly Hockey sticks".

If you can get though life like that , well you are a "Very Lucky person" .
there is absolutely nothing wrong with being a "Jolly Hockey Sticks type of person.

Their Parents went on to tell me what a good head "Vicky Tuck" was, who had just announced she was leaving . One of the girls had got an A in As Maths at 15 so was a diligent hard worker and a credit .

Stressedbutblessed Fri 31-Jan-14 05:18:09

Have 2 of my Dds close friends have just joined CLC Y7.
One is not enjoying it at all. Has been placed with overseas students even tho she herself is overseas - she is English so she feels excluded. She is finding the curriculum hard going but in fairness she isn't one of the brightest by a long shot and she isn't sporty- she is enjoying however the chance to do non academic subjects for the first time. She has so far spent many weekends out of school as she doesn't enjoy the environment.

Friend number 2 parents and child happy so far. feel it's well balanced and not too much pressure.
Both girls were not overly academic.
Cheltenham does lots of marketing activities out here and it is a preferred school for Asians. I'm not sure about the % but I'm guessing reasonably high.

3rd friend left CLC year 9 as parents didn't feel the sciences were at the level she needed to be to enter medicine so transferred to a USA boarding school as she wasn't accepted into Wycombe.

3 girls we know at Wycombe are all v competitive, very smart and driven. All are GCSE year now. I wouldn't say they are aggressive but are the ones who were top 2% academically. The pressure there does seem to be intense however they all totally love the school.

The most important thing is really whether a particular school is right for your child. Everyone has unique experiences and requirements.

Shootingatpigeons Fri 31-Jan-14 07:36:47

stressed the parents should speak to the school. One of the girls I supported had a problem with a group of overseas students in her house and the school acted very quickly and moved her to another boarding house as well as taking action on the behaviour. I am surprised a house is all overseas though? It was the practise to achieve a mix in the past.

Shootingatpigeons Fri 31-Jan-14 07:37:29

And I agree that Wycombe Abbey is not for the faint hearted.

Stressedbutblessed Fri 31-Jan-14 08:10:16

Morning shooting - yes they have gone over this week (as it's cny) to discuss with the school. Surprisingly there was no exam for CLC for the O/S applicants at 11+ Which is why she was sent there. Really sad as she is quite miserable.

OP - forgot to add another of Dds close friends was new to Downe House at Y7 this Sept is really enjoying the school.seems the pastoral care is excellent and teaching excellent. Both the girls at CLC complained the campus is very large and spread out but girl at Downe House feels it is very inclusive.
Another friend just entered St Mary's Ascot at 13 and loves the environment as it has very good balance of Drama/ art and sports.

Anyone any experience of St Swithuns???

summerends Fri 31-Jan-14 08:29:34

I agree with Stressed that the academic ability range seems quite wide for such a perceived as a 'high flying academic school'. I suppose that makes their results particularly impressive. The way the school buildings are spread out must become a plus when a child becomes more confident as I imagine it is less claustrophobic in older years. With regards the science teaching, I have heard that it was very strong so it just goes to show how variable anecdotal experience can be.
I'm not surprised by the experience of your DD's friend Stressed, I had heard that the choice of boarding house in that regard was important.
Is the strength of Wycombe Abbey due to the selected cohort of very bright girls or is the teaching as stimulating as for SPGS or Westminster?

I have friends there, and know a few teachers.

The friends who have been through the school loved it, had an amazing time.

I use their gym facilities, and its good.

Lots, and lots, and lots of Chinese students, who do all tend to stick together, but plenty of othet ethnic groups so it never caused my friends a problem.

wholesomemum Fri 31-Jan-14 08:41:08

dear ladies who are having a go at soul about being "chippy". Here's a reasonable fact...in discussing these schools...not just minor public schools but major ones, in fact, you are talking about joining the ranks of the pinnacle of the global elite as far as schooling goes. Which is, frankly, not how most people in the whole entire giant world live and nor do most of them want to. I have worked in one such school and many of my university friends attended them. My father is self made but we went to state so straddled both worlds. I can confirm that the girls who attend such schools ARE jolly hockey sticks to anyone not from this tiny cohort of top schools. And, to be frank, from the bottom of my soul I would not send my girls to one...even though this may well be entirely appropriate for people whose families belong in those circles. For exactly that reason: the liberal and usually pretty rude use of the phrase "chippy" which assumes that everyone else should want to be like them. Unforts all power elites think like this but you know...life can be far more interesting, nurturing, colourful and supportive when you don't feel compelled to buy into your community and social circles. I loved many Cheltenham girls etc. When I met them but pitied their naivety (they were absolutely at the mercy of rich boys from Eton or Harrow who treated them and their precious virginities like expensive disposable Dishrags) and their arrogance (assuming they were the best when in fact copious spoonfeeding goes on in such environments and of course, the end result was that at university they were all outperformed by brighter kids from state 6th forms like Hills Road who'd been taught to think more independently...and it was such kids who went on to do inspiring innovative things or make movies whilst most of the private schoolers ended up in the city). One girl couldn't even wash up. They had no skills for dealing with the general public and were rude to all the cleaning and catering staff and worried about going into Internacionale (a cheap clothes shop) in case it we as too "chav". I can also tell you categorically that as a teacher at both stare and a top private girls there was a far higher incidence of bullying, eating disorders, self-harm and drugs at top girls schools. My advice as one who's seen beneath the well-constructed veneers, for what it's worth? Would be, if you can afford top flight schools, opt for somewhere mixed where the genders grow up learning to respect one another like Bootham or Marlborough. Because those have been the most savvy private school girls I have come across. And stop using the word chippy. We really don't all want to be part of an antiquated power structure that tends to make its members rich but unhappy.

yegodsandlittlefishes Fri 31-Jan-14 08:53:43

My DCs are at the local grammars. CLC has a fantastic reputation, wonderful buildings in an idylic setting. I've only heard good things about it. The school runs beginner sessions for their girls at the sports club my DCs attend and they always seem polite, happy & healthy. They sometimes stand out at the club as being not particlularly clued up about the sport and caring more about their hair and nails than care of equipment (but tbf they are the beginners, not the elite).

Shootingatpigeons Fri 31-Jan-14 08:56:56

I could add that that experience at CLC was in stark contrast to that of a friend's quite geeky DD at Wycombe Abbey where the pastoral Head of Year 7, who was an old girl and though young got up in tweed and brogues like a character out of Bunty, decided that the solution to having an attention seeking bully in the year was to put her in the dorm with her on the basis some of her gentle geekyness "might rub off" on her. shock it didn't, she made her life a misery, an obvious outcome you would have thought hmm I have heard quite a few tales of a "sink or swim" approach to pastoral care there and girls being airlifted out but I also know of girls who love it. They are all girls with a strong work ethic as well as enjoying that slightly anachronistic and twee uncompromising boarding school experience. The Boarding Houses at CLC are more of an attempt at a modern home from home and speaking to the House Mistresses always felt like speaking to a wise aunt, experienced, caring, pragmatic and reasonable.

However I cannot believe the teaching at any of these schools is other than stimulating.

Shootingatpigeons Fri 31-Jan-14 09:07:53

Wholesome you are anything but your user name. What a tasteless offensive and sexist post. I think it is totally inappropriate and deeply offensive to make comments like that about teenage girls, any teenage girls, whatever their background, state or private. Reported.

summerends Fri 31-Jan-14 09:14:42

Wholesome there is of course some truth in what you say. However I would just qualify your point about "being taught to think" at sixth forms such as Hill's Road. Successful students from some state schools may consist more of "self starters" who of course will flourish at university and in work. However don't forget that certain sixth forms are full of the children of very bright academics and therefore it may be difficult to separate out that influence from the quality of teaching they get with regards their ability to think.

Needmoresleep Fri 31-Jan-14 09:38:35

With boarding the decision, surely, has to be a combination of child and school. DD knows a surprising number of "failed" boarders. Girls who did not settle and had to be moved, or boys who are now frantically applying to London sixth forms having left to board at 13.

I don't think there is a hard and fast rule about which schools are happier and which not. Worse perhaps to be in a school where everyone else seems happy.

I recognise the profile of nice, polite, hard-working but sheltered girls, though the ones I know better were at St Mary's Ascot. In most cases I parents have chosen boarding as it provides a gentler environment than West London day schools. We also know one or two who have started boarding aged 13, possibly to take them out of a party culture. (That said my non-boarding DC seem to have avoided parties pretty much altogether, whereas the WA girl DD knows seems to have a pretty frantic social life when at home.)

With overseas students much, presumably, will depend on why they are there. If they are looking for top notch grades and entry to a prestigious University, either in the UK or US, and their parents have sacrificed to give them the opportunity, it will not be surprising if they give a lower priority to wider school life. Especially if the school has selected the strongest academic candidates, those most likely to win the glittering prizes, and not paid much attention to participation in Extracurricular. I might look at the ethnic mix in sports teams and the school play, compared with the mix for Oxbridge entry to help reassure myself that there are not two distinct groups, and then ask how it is managed. (This is a genuine problem, however the worse affected can be sociable girls from a dominant overseas minority who want to mix across the year group but who find themselves pigeon holed from the start.)

onebananatwobanana Fri 31-Jan-14 13:19:23

Thank to everyone who has contributed. All very interesting points of view and I don't think anyone would label my DD or us as a family "jolly hockey sticks"!! That aside, the vibe I'm getting here is the choice of house is important and to look outside the maths and physics depts to the extra curricular side to see how integrated all the different nationalities are. We were told that the new head has introduced a system where they choose the house once you have a place in order to try and prevent cliqueyness or one house becoming "musical' or "sporty". Interesting comment about the teaching - clearly the results are excellent, so maybe it is thorough but uninspiring? Lots of food for thought and questions to write down and check out.

Please continue to contribute!

Bowlersarm Fri 31-Jan-14 13:28:17

What an extraordinarily strange post Wholesome. (And are you really a teacher? Wot with no paragraphs n all)

I don't think it's entirely relevant to the OP either. She will either send her dd there or to a similar school, I would imagine. Your rant is hardly going to encourage the op to consider a total U-turn.

I know nothing about the school personally, OP, but good luck with your decision.

onebananatwobanana Fri 31-Jan-14 13:31:00

Thanks Bowlers!

Lioninthesun Fri 31-Jan-14 14:04:54

Wholesome no one was 'having a go' at your friend Soul I was merely pointing out that if they were happy to accept the hospitality of these people, to mock them behind their back was not very nice. I still stand by that.

Your reverse snobbery on the other hand, is even worse. This is not a thread to discuss your views on the class system, but to discuss education for parents who are interested in a specific school.

soul2000 Fri 31-Jan-14 14:42:41

Lion. I did not know calling someone a " Jolly Hockey sticks" type of person was a insult. I actually thought it was a term of endearment , to describe a nice old fashioned charming type of person.

I also said what lovely young ladies they were on that occasion, however I only pointed out how lucky you are, if you can get though life like that.

I am sure many Ex C.L.C girls have managed to get though life that way. Good Luck to them for never witnessing or being exposed to the harsh realities of life.

Shootingatpigeons Fri 31-Jan-14 14:56:43

Soul I strongly suspect the CLC girls I know have been exposed to a good deal more of the harsh realities of life than you have, having lived in China through the SARs crisis, the tsunami etc., and been involved in a considerable charitable effort to provide help to those badly affected (indeed one had to run for her life when the Tsunami hit Malaysia). They are extremely well travelled and not to 5* resorts. Their schools are in partnership with a number of charities so they have visited the under resourced orphanages that help care for unwanted girls, the school run in the ruins of a shopping centre for the children of Nepali families etc.
I don't doubt that there are jolly hockey sticks type girls at CLC as there are the sporty, the geeky and the narrow minded etc. at all schools

All these stereotypes are fine for indulging your prejudices but they don't reflect the diversity of real life.

Shootingatpigeons Fri 31-Jan-14 14:57:26

And they don't help OP

summerends Fri 31-Jan-14 15:38:40

onebanana I would think the teaching is inspiring in a lot of cases. However I don't know how much effort and time is directed to developing curiosity and reasoning outside the prescribed exam syllabus. Sometimes that can be eclipsed by the effort put in to getting near perfect marks in past papers to nail those top grades.
I would be interested if anybody else thinks that extra dimension is provided by Wycombe Abbey or any other school for girls.

Xpatmama88 Fri 31-Jan-14 16:25:02

My info may be a bit outdated. Funny enough CLC, Wycombe, and Downe House were the schools we checked out for our DD, my husband was offered a posting in Asia and DD was in one of those superselective day school then, and after a long and interesting discussion with her Headteacher about choosing the right boarding school for her. We decided to go for Wycombe Abbey mainly for the academic reason. We already missed the 11+ entrance, instead of doing 13+, we opted for 12+. We had to fly back to take the entrance exam, which was a whole day of interaction, and examinations for her. And we never look back at our choice, she gained excellent results, she is now in her 5th year medical school, and gained a 1st in her BSc, she has a great friendship group from school with many capable girls achieving their potentials. I think we are fortunate that she really enjoyed her time in the boarding school and the academic challenge that set upon her.
Being honest, it is very tough on the child to be so far away from home and family, and the support of teachers and staff in the boarding school is vital. So choosing the right school is important, and every child is different and I think you need to go and visit and find out whether the school is right for your child. I think in comparison, CLC has the most Asian overseas girls so it would appeal to some families.

Lioninthesun Fri 31-Jan-14 18:29:39

Soul when you assume that everyone is under one label, you make an ass out of u and me.
I know plenty of people who are in private schools for many different reasons, scholarships included, from all walks of life. It appears that it is the children in State schools who are ignorant of 'all' walks of life, as your opinions and reverse snobbery seems to be allowed to be touted about freely. If anyone were to go on about people being 'oiks' or indeed 'chippy' as another poster said, well - your friend rushed in to your defence!

Anyway - this isn't about views on private schooling. Some people from all schools will be naive. Not all people see that as a huge problem, less so when you have high grades and can go on to a good profession.

soul2000 Fri 31-Jan-14 19:29:35

First of all although I agree with much of Wholesome's Post I have never seen her before on this site.

As to whether I am ignorant of all walks of life , I can assure you that I am not, most if not all of my friends went to either Public/Private or Grammar Schools. I was someone who was educated so poorly in a supposed middle class Comprehensive , that I was left 3 years behind when my parents finally put me in to a last ditch "private School" . I am aware that Private Schools cater for every type of student and people from different walks of life.

But enough of my life story, back to the point. For most Children or pupils in this country , "Grammar School Girls" are "Jolly Hockey Sticks", totally sheltered from the realities of everyday life in a inner city Comprehensive School. The point is with schools of the ilk of C.L.C/ Downe/ Wycombe Eton E.T.C you really are creating a very small social elite of people ( who are Ignorant of the realities of life) The projects undertaken in India ETC that Public Schools undertake to make themselves "Feel Good" are all well and good, but do nothing for the many hundreds of thousands of struggling families or children in the U.K. You only have to look on the Teenagers section of this site to see how two families are being "Fucked" over by cost cutting Social Services ( Not their fault they don't have any money) to see that real life is a millon times different from the bubble all "Public School kids live in" Its not their fault , its what their are taught to believe by the schools they attend.

As for why people get angry when the term "Chav" or Oik is used , but not the term Toff or Tim nice but dim is down to one simple fact. The Toffs or Tim are able to defend themselves the Chavs or Oiks are not.

Although for "Political" reasons, many "Enlightened" public school Boys/Girls might not use the term Chav Or Oik , they still think that way in truth.

Lioninthesun Fri 31-Jan-14 19:50:16

I see no point in continuing this - OP didn't want your views on the social injustices of private schools or speculations on how people in them view the world or your apparently omnipotent ideas on how all 'social elites' think. I suggest we let this drop as this is not what the thread is about.

summerends Fri 31-Jan-14 19:59:01

soul everybody lives in a bubble of sorts, some have the advantage of economic security but lack a happy family life, others lack both. We in the UK live in a bubble compared to other parts of the world. You can't blame schools for inequality of life, especially as most of them try to teach social responsibility and good manners.

Bowlersarm Fri 31-Jan-14 20:02:33

Why are you continuing with your tirade Soul?

The OP isn't interested in your private v state schools debate.

Truly puzzling.

Why don't you start your own thread about it, instead of hijacking the ops?

soul2000 Fri 31-Jan-14 20:20:38

Ok Bowlers Arm... I am not hijacking any thread,I am defending myself.

I made a bit of a "Joke" about integration , and all "Hell" breaks loose.

I can see now why all the public school lot wanted the abolishment of Grammar Schools , they wanted any form of competition ( Though Little) Extinguished.

Lioninthesun Fri 31-Jan-14 20:24:19

<hmm>
Soul - I went to both Private and State schools and am hopeful DD will go to a Grammar. Am I not elite all of a sudden? I don't seem to fit into your square peg hole.
How do you know what we are all thinking, it's awfully spooky! hmm

MumT2 Fri 31-Jan-14 22:11:03

How many applicants in WA vs CLC? How many are eventually taken on?

Shootingatpigeons Sat 01-Feb-14 10:50:52

Mum I am not sure it works like that. Entry to these schools is not as competitive as it is for some day schools. They are not going to have 5 UK applicants for every place. If you reach the required standard in the CE or own exam in CLCs case, which as highlighted below does not seem to be that demanding, and show you have the aptitude for boarding at interview they will take you. I strongly suspect that both WA and CLC ( possibly not Downe as it is very British) could fill their schools several times over with better qualified overseas students because they are the destination school overseas but they are obviously wanting to achieve a suitable mix.

summerends I was the guardian to the DDs of friends who are teachers themselves who were looking for a school that would educate their children in the widest sense as opposed to teach to the exam. They all chose CLC because they regarded it as the most open minded school with sound educational strategies. I actually do not know of a selective school that features in the upper parts of the tables that do not make a point of the fact that they teach beyond the exam. Indeed most restrict the number of GCSEs to the bare minimum required for uni entry, for precisely that reason. It is much more common for state schools to be pushing able pupils to take more exams than are necessary.

Soul I suggest you take the beam out of your own eye before criticising the mote in anyone else's. Your posts betray an astonishing level of narrow mindedness to my reading and the fact that you could endorse wholesomes obnoxiously sexist and patronising post says it all really. There is a big world out there, I suggest you go out and learn about it, instead of sitting at your desk trotting out all these stereotypes and prejudices. Why don't you come and help with the mentoring charity I am involved with, if you could qualify as a role model for a clever pupil in an inner city school who needs someone who can widen their horizons, give them the knowledge and insight to enable them to set themselves ambitious goals and help motivate them to achieve them?

Heliconia Sat 01-Feb-14 11:32:30

I have children who are currently at this school and who have left. Shootingatpigeons information is entirely accurate in my experience and matches my own exactly. There is some misinformation on this thread though.

There are some traditional boarding families but the changing economic environment means that the mix is not predominantly 'jolly hockey sticks' many families are first time buyers and a significant number are British expats whose fees are supported by employers or governments, or who earn high salaries overseas.

I believe that 20% are international students. For parents very concerned about that, it might be worth checking the make up of our most selective universities and places of work to see the mix of nationalities your children will be working with later in life.

Several of my daughters' best friends are of other nationalities. Efforts are made to keep houses similar in make up so choice of house is not important, unless your child doesn't like her housemates, but you won't know that until they get there anyway. Sometimes Girls of other nationalities like to spend together and in older years cook their own local food for example, but they are fully integrated. I think anyone who has expat experience will identify with the need sometimes to be with your own countrymen. These girls are usually intending to go to uk or us universities anyway and have remained firm friends with my older daughters after leaving school.

It is a larger school than most so although it is similar to Wycombe in terms of numbers of academic pupils, it has a lot more pupils and so is less selective at the bottom, hence the proportion of girls attending Oxbridge/Ivy league is smaller, even though the actual numbers may be similar.

All round development is excellent and the current head is especially keen on this. There is a vast selection of activities for the academically inclined and for those who have different talents - too many to take part in everything you might like. There are also activities at different levels so that you can enjoy an activity for fun even if you are not particularly good at it.

Heliconia Sat 01-Feb-14 11:41:08

It doesn't really have a campus as such by the way. It is a school spread about the town so girls have to walk to the playing fields and to houses for dinner along the streets. This is quite different to a school set in 50 acres, 5 miles from town.

They also share some activities/lectures etc with other secondary schools in the area from both sectors and there is a large and thriving community links programme.

morry1000 Sat 01-Feb-14 11:56:29

It is only down to DDs Cheltenham Ladies College Educated English teacher who was prepared to stand up for DD , that DD is still in School.

She is the most normal person and gives so much to her pupils going far beyond the other teachers there.

The other teachers convinced themselves that DD was unteachable and only capable of E Grades "Em** was having none of it, and now thanks to her going against the "Advice" of the Deputy Head managed to get DD readmitted to yr 11, because of Em, DD is now working at A* standard.

If the school are producing people like her , the school is a credit in developing woman who can contribute to society.

I had to comment, because I often agree with Soul , but I think on this one she has allowed her own hang ups from her education to cloud her judgement .

soul2000 Sat 01-Feb-14 12:19:13

shooting. I said I agreed with a lot of what Wholesome said, I did not say I agreed with her views about being exploited by boys. I have also said the girls I have met were lovely people .

Regarding Volunteering ,I would love to Volunteer , alas though I don't know if someone with Grade Es and Ds at Gcse and a City and Guilds In Travel And Tourism, studying Level 1 Open University Social Science can offer anything.

Although I used to have a successful Pub and Bar business before changes in licensing law and high borrowings brought it to a end.

Morry. You are right I am bitter with the education I received , and sometimes I can say chippy things for a bit of a joke.

Shootingatpigeons Sat 01-Feb-14 13:14:50

I wish you all the best with your studies which hopefully will help you appreciate that stereotypes, especially when peddled by the media, are very dangerous and very often not rooted in reality. First priority in the learning experience at my university is to dump stereotypes at the door and to encourage the students to see issues from different perspectives. It is also to spot any sort of "ism" which is why I will not read beyond wholesome's offensive language. I strongly suspect wholesome is a man anyway, from the rhetoric.

I'll quite happily admit that I had the obvious preconceptions about Boarding Schools and CLC in particular when I toured them with expat and overseas parents looking for a school for their DDs who were not happy in the schools overseas and for whom Boarding School was the only option short of coming back to an uncertain future in the UK. They were all first time buyers and also, like me, wouldn't have hesitated to send their children to an outstanding state comprehensive given the chance. These schools are expensive, we couldn't afford to send our DDs there, so of course all the parents are affluent and amongst them are some who seem to come from another planet, and doubtless they will raise their DDs to be the same. However at CLC I was surprised at how down to earth it was, how much it reminded me of my own state grammar school, or my DDs indie. It is simply a good school, and I would be confidant it would teach my daughters to think for themselves, have curiosity and reasoning skills and equip them to succeed in the wider world and in whatever career they choose. My friends down to earth DDs have not in any way struggled to fit in or find like minded friends, nor have they in any way struggled to adapt at uni or in the wider world. They can wash up as well!!!!

Shootingatpigeons Sat 01-Feb-14 13:25:04

I probably have some sympathy for your viewpoint by the way, it is just I think we should focus on giving everyone the chances a girl at CLC would get. I don't actually think they are that different to the chances an outstanding comp would give, in terms of academic achievement, we just need to make sure all our state schools can achieve that aim.

However putting a school like CLC up as a straw man to be knocked down is utterly irrelevant to that vision. As long as parents have a choice they will decide on schools like CLC and I think we help OP by giving her accurate feedback not peddling our prejudices .

TheOriginalSteamingNit Sat 01-Feb-14 13:25:40

Does anyone remember a documentary a few years ago about new first years at CLC? It was 2008 I think, and I was interested as dd was the same age.

Two of them were very sweet: I wonder how it all went? All you people who know the school might have been aware of the programme at the time?

Shootingatpigeons Sat 01-Feb-14 13:42:26

Yes I watched it, it didn't quite chime with the experience my Friend's DDs were having, obviously these things get cut to an agenda / for entertainment value. I have no idea what became of them. They were Year 7s weren't they? So if it was 2008, sounds about right, they will be sixth formers?

TheOriginalSteamingNit Sat 01-Feb-14 13:45:05

Yes.. I don't remember anything about it being especially torrid, just quite a nicely done film about eleven year olds and their friendships!

Shootingatpigeons Sat 01-Feb-14 14:11:39

I wasn't meaning it was cut like Celebrity Big Brother!! Just there didn't seem to be much involvement by the adults / house mistress, wasn't one of them excluded? I got the impression they set out to make a film that did what you say. In fact the House mistresses I dealt with tended to keep an eagle eye out for that sort of thing and to proactively have lots in their toolbox to tackle it. I was always quite jealous as my younger daughter had a bad time with some difficult characters and her day school teachers never really understood the true extent and nature of it or could intervene effectively in the same way.

soul2000 Sat 01-Feb-14 14:41:32

shooting. Thank You for those kind words in wishing me success on my "Long Journey from Academic Incompetence with the Open University"

you are quite right though about stereotypes and perceptions. The portrayal in all media, be that written or visual is of either one of two . It is also likely my views have been swayed by my own meetings with certain types of "Public school Boys" like the ones from Millfield who pushed me into a swimming pool at a fancy house party when I was 17. ot I have met public School girl who laughed at the schools I attended.

. I have though friends who attended minor Public schools St Annes/ Howells both are now (Defunct) .
and also one from the god awful Queen Ethels who was kicked out of her Grammar 20 yrs ago for Wagging and using other worldly substances (It was at the time you did not need Level 5 to go to Grammar) Ethels was the only place that would take her.

However when you visit any schools , and its pupils you should always take them on face value , not on some preconceived prejudices based on previous encounters with different people.

yegodsandlittlefishes Sat 01-Feb-14 16:37:04

I wonder if CLC will feature at all in the upvoming Cheltonians (TOWIE based in Cheltenham)? <shudder>

yegodsandlittlefishes Sat 01-Feb-14 16:37:42

Hehe, that should say upcoming, but is a rather apt typo. smile

TheXxed Sat 01-Feb-14 16:44:59

For what it's worth, the kindest, most intelligent and loving soul I have ever met went to CLC.

She has 1 first class undergraduate degree degree from an RG uni and in the middle of getting a second.

summerends Sat 01-Feb-14 16:50:33

Shooting and Heliconia I would agree from what I have heard that CLC is a sound school with lots of opportunity from extracurricular activities and the girls I have met from there often are well balanced. However I am not convinced that the school produces the best independent thinkers compared to pupils from other schools I have come across.
With regards the percentage of Asians, I suspect that they contribute in a major way to the good results of the school and entry into top universities. That is easily ascertained by looking at the list of higher education destinations against names. That's not unique to CLC

Heliconia Sat 01-Feb-14 16:57:51

Summer ends, they can only work with the girls they get and as has been said it is not the most selective. My own ex clc daughters are at Oxbridge as are a number of their friends of varying nationalities.

Shootingatpigeons Sat 01-Feb-14 17:09:06

Yes, amongst the girls I supported is one who is now a medic, who just completed her elective working in a hospital in Cambodia and an engineer specialising in design who works for Arup (and I am guessing that you don't walk through that door without a lot of independent thoughts!)

Wandastartup Sat 01-Feb-14 17:29:24

My experience is now out of date but I do not think we were spoon fed. The lessons taught well beyond curriculum and our course work was done independently rather than with help from parents.
My non expat sisters both have Oxbridge firsts and I have a PhD and a medical degree.
I do think 11+ entry where possible helps integration( I arrived at 12 and sometimes felt left out) I know there are more 13+ candidates than in my day.

summerends Sat 01-Feb-14 18:31:14

Those examples of academic achievement are certainly impressive and I know my perception is also anecdotal although in my defence it has been based on those who had and have been labelled academic high flyers by the school in a certain area. CLC certainly has some staunch supporters on this thread. You are making it sound like a non selective school though and therefore should n't be compared to WA as an equivalent academic girls' school even for sixth form entrants.

beetle22 Sat 01-Feb-14 19:36:00

I currently have a DD at CLC and she is loving it. We chose CLC because it was the most down to earth and happy school we came across whilst still academic enough for a bright child AND because compared to some other boarding schools felt "normal". DH and I are both from working class backgrounds and we both worked very hard to climb the greasy pole of corporate life to be able to afford to choose how to education our children. The boarding school bashing on this website is quite frankly silly. If you actually go and tour CLC NOW ( not 20 years ago) you will see that it is full of parents like us - i.e parents who have worked hard to earn their money and who have decided to education their children in this way. There is of course the odd family of "old money" but the vast majority I have met are unaffected and normal lovely people. I have great friends in London who choose to attend the grammar school but buy a brand new car every two years. We don't but send out DD to CLC. Why? well actually because for us the alternative is the super pressure of the central London schools and in our opinion education is about more than just passing exams and we don't want our DD spending every Saturday shopping in Westfield.
And... despite what people believe we are not rolling in money and we are not jolly hockey sticks types. Yes we have done well enough to send our DD to CLC but hey why should I feel guilty about that - I have worked hard to earn every penny I have and choose to spend it that way and have paid lots of tax along the way and by sending DD private I free up a place for another child at a non fee paying school.
Why did we choose CLC - well as I said down to earth, everyone happy and we believed it was academic enough to push DD who is bright. We turned down Wycombe as in our view the whole place was miserable and looked like they wanted to escape!
To date we are happy as DD is taking every opportunity to try things she has never done before, is making excellent progress academically and is the happiest we have ever seen her.

Heliconia Sat 01-Feb-14 20:08:40

Summerends, the choice is not simply selective or non selective. If you think clc is not selective I guess you have little experience of the full ability spectrum.

Qa has a sixth form of about 80. Clc is 135 ish. The top 80 at clc is likely to bear comparison academically to those at wa. (Mine were accepted at both and I like both schools)

Clc is large enough and has the right staff and resources to teach those it accepts appropriately and to their potential. The slightly broader spread allows the inclusion of whatbthe head calls 'interesting people'

Heliconia Sat 01-Feb-14 20:09:20

WA not QA.

summerends Sat 01-Feb-14 21:13:14

Well onebanana I think you have now got a fair amount of information in favour of CLC and less so in favour of WA.

onebananatwobanana Mon 03-Feb-14 11:34:43

Hi everyone. Thanks again for all the contributions. Beetle and Heliconia - I agree that the place feels very down to earth - we were impressed when we looked round, lots of happy, smiling faces, teachers who came to explain what they were doing, pupils who were desperate to tell us what they were doing. Has a very "purposeful" atmosphere. Was very impressed with new Head, in fact I prefer her to Vicky Tuck, who was excellent but more "business like and distant".

Does anyone have any views on how to navigate the choice of house?

maggie52 Thu 03-Apr-14 12:01:58

onebananatwobanana My DD is at CLC and she said that there is no way of choosing houses. You used to be able to give a preference but they found that whole friendship groups from previous schools would all go together which was not the point given they were in a whole new school with new girls. Now, they try to mix them up, you would still have a couple of friends if you were from a school who were sending lots of girls to the school. You can write on a form anything you like in terms of concerns etc. but that does not guarantee you a place in that house. They do of course try to make everyone happy. If your DD finds she is not happy in the house she was put in, she is allowed to change as soon after as she likes. I know this was the case for 1 girl this year. They all have their strengths so it is not too competitive when it comes to competitions.
I think the best thing to do is tour a few of the houses and go from there.

My daughter is really enjoying the school and feels they try to get the best out of all the girls. The pastoral care is excellent, but they don't mother-cuddle them which is good as they need to learn how to look after themselves.

She is musical and fairly academic. She has a busy schedule so there are people watching her making sure everything is ok. She came from a day school that was probably a bit more academic but she is thriving a lot more at CLC, we'll never look back on our choice to come here. Im sending DD no.2 here in September 2014. She is an academic scholar and I'm sure will thrive just as much as number 1.

My only concern is how big the year groups are (80 in year 7, 90 in year 8, 140 in year 9) My DD has found she hasn't been able to properly speak to everyone in the year group. She did start in September but given she is 2 terms in, I find this should not be the case.

In my DDs year she thinks about 30% are Asian so it is not too bad. the majority are actually British.

Hope this helps!

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