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Bedford Girls School, Bedford.

(20 Posts)
Bunny999 Mon 10-Feb-14 18:31:33

Thinking of sitting my DD for Bedford Girls School, Bedford, part of the Harpur Trust. I have heard negative comments re weak leadership and school seams to have lost its direction. A friend sends her daughter there but is rapidly losing faith.....opinions sort......many thanks.

lottysmum Mon 10-Feb-14 21:23:01

The school has gone through allot of change since the two Harpur Trust schools merged ....

I personally think that Bedford Modern is a far better school but Co_ed...

The results are still good for the girls school but I have been surprised that the entry tests dont appear to be too challenging - I've not heard of many girls with average intelligence being turned away ...whereas I think Bedford modern are taking the cream of the crop and there results are allot better....

Oubliette0292 Wed 26-Feb-14 20:28:59

We looked round with DD last year, but didn't warm to the place (can't put my finger on what was wrong though). She now goes to St Andrew's and is very happy there. She has a couple of girls in her class who were offered a place at Bedford Girls' and didn't accept the offer.

Pawprint722 Fri 07-Mar-14 09:26:21

My daughter has been at BGS for the last 7 years . To be honest, we have had a few problems - mostly with the amount of work she is set but I can honestly say that she has been very happy there. She has some excellent teachers and achieved 12 A* and A grades at GCSE. She has also secured a place in the Head girls team.
They push girls to be the best they can and encourage extra curricular activities.

Flossie272 Fri 07-Mar-14 11:22:47

We moved to Bedford two years ago and visited Bedford Modern, St Andrews and the Girls' School. Both of us, and our daughter, loved the latter from the moment we walked in and just couldn't warm to Bedford Modern. We liked St Andrews but we definitely favoured a selective school and, fortunately, DD got a place at the Girls' School on assessment. She's really happy there and I love the fresh, modern approach the Head has towards educating girls specifically. Even if we hadn't found Bedford Modern a bit old fashioned, my preference was always for an all girls' school. I'm surprised you've heard criticism about leadership there - I find it to be not only strong but really quite groundbreaking in terms of both teaching and co-curricular activities. I'd definitely recommend a visit if you're still undecided. We couldn't be happier and DD has come on leaps and bounds since she's been there not just academically but in confidence, happiness and maturity too. Good luck finding the right school. I guess we were lucky to have felt so strongly one-way from the start!

primenot Mon 24-Mar-14 17:25:21

Hello, I hope you've had a chance to look at the schools mentioned above now. I am new to mumsnet but a fan of Bedford, so thought you'd be interested in my comments. The BGS is the result of a merger between 2 girls' schools, the Bedford High, and Dame Alice. It has lost a huge number of girls since the merge. My daughter was at one of these schools since the age of 7, very happy, but as soon as the merger happened she became very unhappy very quickly, as did many of her friends. She is outgoing and friendly and clever, but lost all faith in the teaching ability of the staff and the terrible leadership from the inadequate head teacher, who is more interested in making herself popular with the governors. There is little respect for imaginative, bold, or reflective girls. She has left the school and is extremely happy in a sixth form elsewhere. My other daughter went to St Andrews, and was happy there, then Bedford Modern for sixth form. St Andrew's has a wonderful new head who will make the school a great success. Although the school is non selective , my daughter is now at a leading Russell group University. I don't know what age your children are and am sure the junior school at BGS is fine, but I wouldn't send to the senior school.

sarahp1234 Tue 25-Mar-14 10:02:31

Hello bunny999. We currently have two daughters at BGS - one in the Junior School and one in the Senior School and I have to say we have always been very impressed by Miss MacKenzie the Headmistress and Mrs Howe the Head of the Junior School. Our daughters are doing really well academically after coming from a village school and the range of out of school activities is excellent. My eldest daughter absolutely loves lacrosse and will hopefully be starting rowing next year too. Her confidence levels have improved no end and we feel the support at BGS is second to none. Our youngest daughter has also settled in very well and loves the libraries and dance and drama lessons. We were fortunate to join BGS after the merger and have never had any problems that the school has not dealt with in a timely and professional manner. I would definitely recommend a visit to the school - our girls are having the time of their lives!

Motleyii Wed 26-Mar-14 10:32:55

I have one daughter at BGS Junior. Her previous state primary wasn't working for her and she was really unhappy so we made the move last September. After two terms at BGS she is transformed - super happy, good set of friends, never wants to miss a day even when she's ill. It's certainly true that they push the girls, but my daughter is academic and is lapping it up (to my great surprise, I thought she'd barf on that amount of homework). She's sporty too and the provision/facilities at all the Harpur Trust schools is way in advance of what the state sector can offer (and I've got no axe to grind - I went through state schools in North Beds and loved them). What impresses me the most is how the girls say they feel like sisters in a big family - I drop my DD off at school every day and there is a palpable feeling of warmth and friendship amongst the girls. They must be doing something right.

I do detect some lingering "them and us" feelings among parents of senior school girls, mostly ex-BHSG who I guess see DAHS as the "winners" in the merger. As a new parent I don't see BGS as a continuation of either BHSG or DAHS. In fact, I talked to the parent of an ex-DAHS girl who recently visited BGS after having graduated and she said she would much rather have gone to the school she found at BGS than the DAHS she experienced before.

Usual rule applies - go visit a bunch of schools and see which feels right. We visited BMS (didn't like, too formal) and BGS, and it was a very easy choice for our DD.

oscaralfie Fri 02-May-14 14:29:50

BGS, fantastic school, my daughter absolutely loves it and loves the support she gets from all her teachers and peers. School is getting better every year and do agree this has taken time from the merger due to staff, parents and pupils against it. Sport is fantastic, with PE staff going out of their way and giving up so much of their time to develop my daughter, who wasn't sporty, until she went to BGS. Would recommend it over BMS and St Andrews, as schools not as good BGS in every department. Send your daughter to BGS, you wont be disappointed!!!

FozzieMK Sun 04-May-14 18:27:18

Now now oscaralfie - this is the 3rd 'old' thread I've seen you posting the same glowing 'copied' review on ha ha! I guess you searched for BGS and then copied and pasted this on to every thread - how ingenious of you . . . . . . . fails to mention slightly suspicious

oscaralfie Sun 04-May-14 19:15:21

Dear FozzieMK, why do you suspect anything suspicious??? I'm just very proud of the school that currently gives my daughter a fantastic school experience! The school is not perfect and they wouldn't keep everyone happy but what school will? After reading one review of the school, I then wondered if there were any other reviews of the school and gave the same opinion/view point as I did on the first. The whole point of mumsnet is to help and give honest advice to a question asked by a parent in a similiar position as mine. Parents can visit BGS and get there own opinion on the school, I'm just sending my happy experience, I hope it continues and my daughter gets the quality teaching myself and my husband pay for and expect.

lottysmum Tue 06-May-14 18:38:53

Think you will find that BMS results surpass the girls school...91% A-B compared to 83%....

At Bedford Modern School 98% of GCSE grades awarded were between A*- C, compared to a national average of 68.1%, with 40 of the School’s 152 students obtaining straight A*/A grades. 91% of grades achieved were between A*-B, with 70% of grades at A*/A grade compared to a national average of 21.3%. Overall, a pleasing 33% of grades were A* with a clean sweep of 100% of the Year 11 girls and boys achieving both Maths and English at grades A*-C.

At Bedford Girls’ School 83% of girls obtained A*-B grades and over 50% of all the entries scored an A* or A. Matching the success of its IB and A level pupils earlier this summer, BGS also saw 41 girls obtaining 10 or more A*/A grades in its first ever set of GCSE results.

Whywhywhy101 Tue 03-Mar-15 21:45:28

I go to bgo and it sucks if you are not perfect and are not afraid of the teachers the teachers will bully you I'm being bullied by my English teacher. If your duaghter has a personality and or is different DO NOT SEND YOUR CHILD TO BGS unless you want them to be picked on by the teachers. If your child has had a ruff past don't send them to bgs seeing as it's the most bitchy and judgemental school their is THIS COMING FROM SOMEONE WHO ACTUALLY GOES THERE.

keepingcalmandcarryingon1 Mon 06-Nov-17 16:32:18

any more recent updates on BGS? am at the start of the process for dd and am wondering what to think about the conflicting opinions here...but they are a few years old now. anyone got girls there right now?

JS17 Tue 21-Nov-17 13:18:43

I have three daughters in the senior school at BGS and I would definitely recommend it. It is a very progressive school, the leadership team are very impressive, forward thinking and approachable, and I would say that the school is very nurturing for the sensitive and disorganised (my DD's) so definitely go and make up your own mind.
It is worth mentioning that my first DD joined after the merger in 2011 and I think a lot of the earlier chat was an emotional response to what was undoubtedly a difficult time for some - not all - of the girls going through it.

user1479741925 Wed 21-Mar-18 15:29:17

I recently came across these old threads after hearing a local parent discussing some of the views expressed as ‘knowledge’. My feedback would be more strident than the polite rebuffs of recent posts.
BGS is an excellent School, with extremely high standards and is on an upward trend with regards to both Sporting and academic achievement. It knocks spots off any local school and the negative views expressed, by a tiny minority, four years ago are even less accurate now than they were four years ago and provide an example of how misleading the internet can be! My advice talk to parents now, better yet do the legwork and talk to the school yourself.

Runderfull Sun 15-Apr-18 22:54:31

Under resourced prep school with inexperienced teachers(around entry level). Class sizes are too big. Staff not consistently following the schools behaviour policy. Particularly around sarcasm and other associated behaviour. Best practice not employed across the years. No transparency on the child's performance. Over worked = lack of care and poor communication.

user1479741925 Mon 16-Apr-18 16:07:08

Sounds like the challenges in any school you care to name but not a fair representation or characterisation of this school. Just a bit too bitter and anonymous for my taste?

g1a2 Thu 23-Aug-18 15:22:08

A really interesting debate, I suppose much depends on perspective and perception. The difficulty is finding an objective appraisal of such schools, since they are not subjected to the same type of scrutiny as other schools, in saying that the results of all 3 Harpur Trust Schools are excellent and the ISC comment favourably. Also consider that the three schools are naturally competitive with one another which makes posts you read unreliable in some ways. The only way to know is to go and visit and speak to some people, but then even here it is difficult since they are ultimately businesses and as such have an eye on money, this isn’t in itself a negative thing at all but it does decrease the reliability of what you maybe perhaps told. I hear excellent things about Bedford Modern and Bedford School. I have heard worrying things about BGS, high staff turnover, many part time teachers, harassment of staff allegations, financial difficulties, concerns over iPad emphasis and impact on medium and long term mental health of girls, but then such things as the previous person rightly mentioned maybe hearsay are are anecdotal.

Londonhappygal Sun 07-Oct-18 20:51:37

With any school you need to go and look at it yourself. On my first visit to BGS i was struck by the energy and culture and how impressive the students were showing me around. This feeling has never left me. I now have 2 daughters in the school, Junior and Senior, and i am constantly amazed by the opportunities they have. The teaching style is so modern and forward looking. Girls can do anything and this is so relevant in today's word. Love the new Science area and makes me want to go back to school! Would love my younger son to go here and have this education grin

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