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Guildford primary and secondary schools

(16 Posts)
Twirl Fri 27-May-11 16:28:56

We are soon to make the move to the Guldford area and I am hoping for some advice regarding state schools as this will determine where we live. Are there any primary or secondry schools that you would be unhappy to send your children too? This school malarky is a mindfield!

ExpatMummyInOz Mon 30-May-11 01:47:03

Hi there, just wanted to say hi as in the same boat as yo! I am looking at moving to Guildford/Godalming area next year and have just started to research schools etc - I can't believe how fraught the whole process is!

Might be worth posting your question on the Local Mumsnet forum for Guildford too.

ExpatMummyInOz Mon 30-May-11 01:49:16

The first line should have read been 'you', not 'yo'! Clearly I also need to go back to school, let alone the kids! grin

mummytime Mon 30-May-11 08:51:10

Okay I haven't replied before because the question is too broad.
Are you Catholic? Are you desperate for George Abbot? Are you C of E (can help with primary schools)? Where do you need to live, eg. is someone commuting into London?
What kind of a school do you want? Do you want a non-religious one? Are you going to live in a village or Guildford itself (or Godalming)?

I know of schools I wouldn't send my children to but that is because I know my children and certain schools would be disastrous for them.

However most schools will allow you to visit before you have moved. I visited a lot of primaries before we moved (within Guildford) several years ago.

Good luck.

Bel29 Mon 30-May-11 22:11:59

Hello, does anyone have girls studying in Guildford High, St.Catherine's or Tormead? Can you please advise on the interview process for 4+ y.o.? How do they test literacy and numeracy? Any interview tips will be very useful. Thank you!

mummytime Tue 31-May-11 08:41:05

They're not testing literacy or numeracy at those ages, they are testing potential. You cannot prepare them. (Big secret the High school occasionally makes mistakes and then suggests it may not be the right place for your daughter, St Catherine's not all girls from the Junior school make it to the senior school, Tormead reckons that those who join at 11 have higher average scores than those who started at 5).

Fiddledee Tue 31-May-11 19:21:59

For 4+ prep - I sugggest doing lots of jigsaws, making sure they know their phonics & numbers up to 20 I only know of one of the girls schools, where there were two lots of tests. First time it was one-on-one, tested rhyming words, phonics and jigsaws. Second time was group activities, where they did lots of arts & crafts stuff. As this is all heresay from my 4 year old daughter I don't know exactly what went on as you just drop them off.

I did no preparation and DD went to a very unpushy pre-school, where they did no formal work and she got in. DD loved the whole process but I was scared stiff!

The 3 girls schools are very different and you need to think where you and your child would thrive best.

I do know a few girls that did not get into any of the 3 schools this year so you need a back up - a state or a non-selective private school.

Bel29 Wed 01-Jun-11 22:24:31

Thank you so much. Very useful. Do you have any recommendations re non-selective private schools in Guildford (as a back-up). Thank you!

mummytime Wed 01-Jun-11 22:27:20

For a girl or boy? Manor House, St Theresa's, maybe Rydes Hill, the mixed preps eg. Belmont, Longacre. Or some very good state schools.

Bel29 Wed 01-Jun-11 22:29:58

For a girl...Thank you!

aroomofonesown Wed 01-Jun-11 22:53:24

St Hilary's (Godalming - goes up to Year 6) is an excellent non-selective school. You can then do the GHS, St Catz, Tormead route at 7+ or 11+.

mummytime Thu 02-Jun-11 07:56:23

For a girl there are far more options, I only listed a selection.

Fiddledee Thu 02-Jun-11 10:13:13

St Teresa's has a fab new head of prep school. St Hilary's I think is very good too. Which non selective prep school to go for depends where you live really as you don't want to go through town to the other side.

Bel29 Thu 02-Jun-11 22:33:12

Thank you!!! Very helpful.

Twirl Thu 16-Jun-11 12:54:52

Mummytime, thanks so much for responding and sorry for seeming to leave the thread - real life got in the way! You are right of course, my question was too broad. We will have to live centralish Guildford for daily commuting to London, although we will be swayed by Godalming if the school options are better. We are CofE (children baptised) but don't really go to church (except usual Christmas etc), so not sure this would help? We don't mind C0fE or non-religious schools. Is County still a good option if we don't go for GA, or are there any other good options? This would be a home for a long time so I am really anxious to get the secondary school right!

mummytime Thu 16-Jun-11 13:29:29

Okay being C of E if you can get a Vicar/Pastor letter will mean you can guarantee a place at Queen Eleanor's or Holy Trinity depending on where you live, but you can probably get into those or other good primaries anyway.
Secondary is more of an issue. Guildford has 5 State secondaries, 3 of which are next to large council estates, which does affect intake; they are King's, Christ's College and George Abbot. One, St Peter's is Catholic, and at present (didn't used to be the case and school transport changes could change it) you have little chance of getting in unless you are a Catholic, well getting in in year 7. Then there is Guildford County, the old girls grammar, used to be the most sought after, and still gives pretty good results, 66% get 5 good GCSEs.

None of the schools are dreadful, none for instance would put metal detectors on the entrances.

However if you are living close to London Road Station or the main station you are probably just looking at George Abbot and County (unless things change with St Peter's). I know people who have chosen County over George Abbot, people who have had problems at both. I would suggest if it is important to you, that you contact the schools (asap or after the end of October) to visit. People do visit schools all the time here, September and October are likely to be busy though.

However schools do also change a lot, I have heard rumours of change in the reputations in Godalming schools for instance.

Another option is to live in the villages that are part of the Howard of Effingham catchment, which is a lovely school.

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