Girls - Private - LEH/GHS/SWPS -others?(39 Posts)
My DD is Yr 4 in state juniors and we are thinking about her secondary education. We have the choice of an 'outstanding' comp (in catchment) or possibly independent. Thinking of Sir William Perkins (both DSis and I went there...rather a long time ago), Lady Eleanor Holles, poss Guildford High. Will go to the open days but wondering what current views/ experiences are of these schools - or others? DD is bright, top sets (level 4c at end yr 3, which I think is good) and loves maths, science and sport (esp tennis and hockey) but can be sensitive - might struggle in a catty environment - and is a bit ambivalent about girls schools. Would welcome any views or alternative suggestions. We are in Weybridge area - many thanks!
I wouldn't touch LEH with a barge pole. Have not heard one positive report from a number of parents with very different types of girls who went there at some stage over the past decade and as recently as last year (all are now thriving at different schools).
Different strokes for different folks...if you get a good feel for it on your visits there, then it might be OK for your daughter.
I am afraid I am not familiar with either of the other two schools, but know one absolutely delightful young lady who has just started at GHS so there's at least one fab pupil there!
I've heard great things about LEH from lots of parents! We found it very hard to pick between it and GHS. It all is so subjective, go and have a look and see for yourself, only you will know what will suit your DD. Look at the sixth form and think are they the kind of girls I want my DD to turn out to be.
My DD was at GHS and I really do have no complaints, she had a great time there are really thrived. And IMO the pushy/powerhouse opinions aren't true at - it was far less pushy than I expected, if anything it was un-pushy and the girls do have a lot of fun! Really outstanding pastoral care too. If your DD is academic enough to get in and it feels right then she will be fine.
Both great schools, while they look similar on paper I would go and see them as they will have different strengths and emphasis.
Just realised this is quite an old thread that has been revived.
Niku I don't have any DCs at either school but I do know dozens of families who go to LEH. They are all local, genuinely lovely girls who are academically able, sporty and/or musical. They work hard and play hard but more importantly, they are a really lovely group of girls who also care about each other and the place they live.
I have met Heather Hanbury on a number of occasions and think she will bring much to LEH, she has such drive and enthusiasm; (if I'd know when applying for schools last year that she would be appointed new head at LEH I would have applied there too!)
Good luck to your DD, I'm sure she'll thrive at either school, but don't discount LEH on the basis of some of the posts here...
I have 2 dcs at the school and I really don't recognise some of the gripes in this thread. I think it's a fantastic school. Great teaching, great kids, I feel blessed that my kids get to go there. If it's a good fit for a sharp child who is inquisitive and quick to learn new concepts, then they get on brilliantly there.
Friends with dds at GH report a similar experience - they are both really great - which I'm sure you know. You must have a gut feel for one over the other, surely? Make a list! I'm sure the parents sat on the waiting list would rejoice for a place, so I hope you come to the right decision for your dd soon.
hi I'm new and google brought me here, would really appreciate to get your insight of SWP vs. GHS. My girl got accepted by both school for year 7, SWP has given her scholarship, although she seems in favour of GHS as in her mind (and told by her current school teachers) GHS is higher in academic ranking....; She'll need to take train to GHS whilst SWP has coach services.
I felt she'll feel more confident in SWP and might have more opportunities to grow, which I think is critical in this age more than anything else (higher score etc....). On the other hand, we all agree GHS provides more diversified extracurricular activities, sports and music wise. Or maybe there're more better aspects that we're not aware of. Please help - those of you who know both schools, is GHS that much 'better'? Thank you!!!
Also in our situation, if she does any of the after school activities, it means we'll need to commute to pick her up, as most train 'buddies' will have gone home already, I wouldn't feel rest assured if she gets on train on her own, esp. when it's dark. This would also be a major compromise as we both work full time. Thank you!!
GHS is certainly one of the top academic schools and girls from DD's juniors who went there seem to be doing very well. It is very close to the train station so I'm not sure that you need to worry about the afterschool activities as there will be other girls making their way there too. But that doesn't mean a bright girl wouldn't do equally well at SWP which is another nice school (though a level down obviously in the league table rankings) and, obviously the scholarship is a plus. I'm sure she'll thrive at either school. I have to say if my daughter got into GHS and was keen, I would be tempted to send her there as its such a top school ... which school is nearer to you?
Thank you trader! SWP is slightly nearer and coach stop is 2 min away. Is your daughter in GHS now?
My girl is not very vocal and tend not to speak up if there are strong characters. I'm concerned she would not have the same confidence as GHS is a lot more competitive? What's your experience?
HI 22mom I kept my DD in Surbiton High School where she was at juniors (in same girls school group as GHS) ... so don't have first hand experience of Guildford but DD has friends who go there - same for SWP but there will be people along who do ... but you never know, a change of environment might be just what your DD needs to help her become more vocal! She's done very well to get in and it's an excellent school and the girls we know who go there are lovely ...
One of the creators of this site used to go to GHS. This might possibly influence the feedback you read about that school. (Just saying...) . If you do go and look round, the best thing to do (as I have learned through hindsight) is to check the drop out rate of children at each school. My daughter went to GHS (all top sets so no academic probs) - and is now very glad that she left!! It is a marmite school - girls either love it or hate it. Many parents like it for the prestige. "Independent school of the year" doesn't mean much - it's about how the school is for your individual child - to say the girls are "all lovely" is utter rubbish - no school can say that!! There are some lovely children there, but the overwhelming ethos is to succeed at all odds and all costs, the girls are encouraged to be uber competitive (prob more by the parents than the school to be fair) and yes, non sporty or non musical children can be happy there - so long as they really don't want to participate in these activities!! Lower level participation is not only not encouraged, it is not countenanced!
Piece of advice for parents thinking of applying to GHS... based on experience and on my opinion ... your current school has a large role to play in the GHS decision making process. So be very careful when assigning your first choice. Especially if applying to both St Catherine and GHS.
I thought you only had to assign a first choice for Common Entrance schools.
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