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Anyone with children at GSAL/GSAL Junior School?

(29 Posts)
musicalfamily Sat 05-Jan-13 09:28:06

My daughter attends the local primary school and we have had many issues with the infamous "boredom" situation. She is currently in Y3.

The plan was to carry on regardless until the end of primary with a view to transferring her to GSAL or similar secondary as local secondaries are very poor, but this year we have hit an all time low.

She is very unhappy, she is in a very low achieving cohort and the focus this year seems entirely on the bottom group. I am thinking of moving her early but I was wondering if anyone had experience of GSAL. We have visited and liked it but have heard mixed reviews with regards to girls attending (as it was a boys' school previously) and also its size (it's huge) and wondering if anyone could allay my fears.

DD visited too and like the look and feel of it. All she wants to do is work at her level really, something that sadly hasn't been possible so far in her school. Also she is very musical, so any comments on that would be appreciated too!!! Thanks in advance for your help...

Rosevase Sat 05-Jan-13 10:15:52

It wouldn't be the school for me... As it is just so huge. I have visited it lots of times to watch my DD in sports matches there and I don't like the atmosphere as it feels so impersonal to me. (But they do have the best carpark ever!)
Have you l

Rosevase Sat 05-Jan-13 10:17:45

Sorry, should say
Have you looked around any other schools? It might help one way or the other and make the decision clearer.

musicalfamily Sat 05-Jan-13 10:22:30

Thanks Rosevase - have looked around Wakefield Girls but wasn't sure if it was academic enough for my DD, as that has been the biggest issue for her so far - also not convinced and all girls' school would suit her (prefers boys to girls most of the time!).

Another option although a bit more of a commute for us would be St Peter's in York - might go and visit as that could be a contender for her..

Rosevase Sat 05-Jan-13 15:54:09

St Peter's may think it's musical, but their best musicians in senior school come from The Minster ;-). If you are considering driving to York, I'd look at The Minster. It's a lovely, lovely school. Very caring and musical and some seriously bright girls go there. It's just to age 13, but it'll give you time to consider the best senior school maybe?
In Leeds, Frobelian as a junior school is seriously very academic but again has excellent pastoral care.

OldBeanbagz Mon 07-Jan-13 10:44:20

I've looked around the senior school at GSAL and was very impressed although it won't be where i send my DD as it's just too big! They teach the boys & girls seperately until 6th Form so maybe you should check if this is the case in the Junior School.

If you're looking for a junior school i can recommend Frobelian and the music department is strong there. It's very acedemic too and all the Y6 pupils generally get into the senior school of their choice (many with scholarships).

bcellsfan Wed 09-Jan-13 21:12:24

I have children there. They are in senior school now, but did Juniors as well.
We have had no problems with the size, and lived through the merger as well with older children.
The staff are fantastic, and the whole school is carefully set up so the children do feel that they are known, and not just numbers.
Lots of the staff really do the extra mile again and again, not just over academic issues but also pastoral ones.
The sports and music provision are outstanding,and the food is excellent (important to my kids!)
Junior school is taught in mixed classes.
I would happily recommend it to anyone with an academic kid, but it suits best those who also throw themselves into other activities as well, and make full use of the huge number of clubs on offer, and get involved fully in their houses.

St Peter's is also great but the drive into York is awful, and Saturday is all day once past Y9 - lessons every sat am, compulsory sports every sat pm, just am school for those at Olaves. GSAL has sports fixtures on sat, but these usually only occupy 2-3 hours.

bcellsfan Wed 09-Jan-13 21:16:03

St Pete's is also nearly twice as much again for day fees as GSAL.

musicalfamily Thu 10-Jan-13 13:51:56

Hi bcellsfan,
thanks for the reply! We have decided to go for it and my DD is going for her assessment in 2 weeks' time!!
My DD1 does already 9 extracurricular activities and she wants to do more, it is a nightmare to cart her everywhere, hence this is a huge selling point for us. She is also very academic, especially in maths and sciences, which I think will also suit. I was pleased to hear your reply as it is always nerve wrecking to make this sort of decision - I will let you know how she gets on!!!!

LondonMother Thu 10-Jan-13 15:05:43

GSAL was not a boys' school previously. There were two schools, Leeds Grammar School (boys) and Leeds Girls' High School (girls - obviously!). They merged on the Grammar School site (although I think the juniors are still at the old LGHS site - or they were until recently).

Interested to hear how it's all going. I went to LGHS and have mostly very positive memories of the place, although that was a long, long time ago.

bcellsfan Thu 10-Jan-13 21:17:06

Juniors never went down to headingley, pre-prep did and still are down there.
Musical, best of luck to your dd, please do come back and let us know how it goes for her.

musicalfamily Thu 10-Jan-13 21:27:54

She is desperate to go there now, I just keep my fingers crossed she gets in!!!
Will update with results when we do get them!!!

musicalfamily Fri 25-Jan-13 10:13:35

just as an update - my DD had her assessment day, she absolutely loved the school, the setting and the teachers.....however and here is the big BUT:
she was put in the class where she would be going into and there were only 3 or 4 other girls - all the rest boys. She said that there some very very noisy/disruptive ones too and although the teachers were very strict, at playtime they did go and disrupt the girls' games and the girls commented on the fact they did that all the time.

My DD still loves the school, she said the teaching was amazing and the facilities also, but I am very concerned about the ratio boys/girls tbh...I am starting to wonder now whether she would be better off at a girls only school...

bettys Fri 25-Jan-13 10:32:46

As others have said, have you looked into The Froebelian? I went there, admittedly about a hundred years ago, and then on to LGHS. It is a high-achieving school, the leavers list is impressive. Could be worth considering going on to GSAL for yr 7 when the girls are taught separately (I think, not sure about that)

musicalfamily Fri 25-Jan-13 12:50:44

Yes, unfortunately froebelian is way too far from where we live so we are not able to consider it. We are going to have a look at WGS you say we can always (and would definitely) review in Y6 for entry at Y7!!!

Rosevase Fri 25-Jan-13 21:46:41

Please consider very carefully before you send a girl to WGHS. I know it of old, and have visited it recently too. I would not send my own girls there. I don't think the standard of teaching is anywhere near high enough. The boys' school in contrast, always is consistently (well, whenever I have visited!) great! Hard to get a proper opinion from just one off visits as ad adult, but I really would think again.

sausagesandwich34 Fri 25-Jan-13 21:52:19

WGHS is no where near as academic as GSAL

I've looked at wakefield and leeds for yr7 and didn't bother applying for wakefield

I know GSAL is massive but doesn't feel massive when you are there -if that actually makes any sense what so ever!

musicalfamily Fri 25-Jan-13 22:15:16

That's the impression when we got when we went round the two schools, so I am really grateful for those opinions, thanks. Will rethink about what to do....!

Rosevase Sat 26-Jan-13 10:22:35

Did you consider The Minster School in York. If you want musical, it is the best grin.

musicalfamily Sat 26-Jan-13 10:35:58

unfortunately the drive to York (as pointed out by another poster) is far too arduous and none of the York schools offer any bus services for whatever reason.

So in my position I am only able to consider those two schools mentioned above. I know it's not ideal but that's the only realistic option for juniors!!

It feels like a daunting task with so many conflicting opinions, really nothing seems that ideal at the moment and she is desperate to move...

musicalfamily Fri 30-Aug-13 19:10:38

If anyone was interested, my DD1 is starting next week - fingers crossed she will be happy there and it will be worth all the upheaval. I am nervous yet excited for her!!

bettys Sat 31-Aug-13 09:12:07

Good luck to your DD, I'm sure she'll be very happy there. I drove past the new site in Alwoodley recently & it looks fantastic! (It'll always be the new site to me - I'm so old!)

musicalfamily Sat 31-Aug-13 09:59:38

Thankyou Bettys, I will check back in I think in a few weeks' just if anyone else is in my position and wants to consider it hopefully will get some food for thought either way!!

Cakegirl11 Wed 04-Feb-15 22:48:39

Hiif anyone could help. My daughter has recently sat for her 11 plus exams and not sure which school to send her. Any suggestions btwn gsal n whgs?
We found the headteacher n admissions manager very unapproachable. Has anyone experienced this situation?
Are the children left segragated regarding coming from state sch vs independent s hool? How big are the classes at gsal?

Cakegirl11 Wed 04-Feb-15 22:51:25

The headteacher at whgs was v approachable but not sure about the academic results of the school

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