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Looking for mixed school recs for a girl

(29 Posts)
4happyhours Tue 10-Jun-14 11:01:22

DS should be starting at Eton in sept so that pits us in the SE area for thinking of DD's school ... She's 9. I don't really want all girls as it won't suit her - I happily attended and teach at / taught at girls' schools so know the set up! - soooo ... Any recommendations for 11+ or 13+ for girls? Going to try her for local grammar but considering Marlborough, bradfield, Wellington in the meantime ... Anywhere else we should look at?

grovel Tue 10-Jun-14 14:41:57


CharlesRyder Tue 10-Jun-14 17:57:42

Bradfield is lovely and gentle, Wellington is a more bullish environment and would suit a more confident child.

Brighton College- or is that too far out?

summerends Tue 10-Jun-14 20:55:59

I would still go and visit a couple of the really good all girls' schools as I think they differ as much as the various boys' schools, both in the type of girls they attract and general atmosphere.
Other well known coed is St Edwards in Oxford.

4happyhours Wed 11-Jun-14 07:08:11

Thanks Summer; I've worked at two of the more famous/celebrated ones and I'm pretty sure she needs boys in her peer group. And I'm pretty sure we wouldn't want to be parents in the all girls' environment too, but that's a whole other discussion!
I like the confidence of boys/mixed schools as institutions, if that makes sense.
Thanks for suggestions all round. We know the head at BF well, and it's in the right ball park for son at Eton. Looking for west-ish of London; Brighton too far away really. Anyone coming in for Marlborough?
Hadn't considered Haileybury at all even though kids used to be at their previously connected prep school (now disassociated).
Looked at Teddies Ox for DS, but wasn't taken with the boy pupils we met (staff were excellent though) so it may be that we need to look again for DD ... Also liked Chelt Coll for DS v much, but one size doesn't for all and I'd need to be convinced it's 'for girls' ...

summerends Wed 11-Jun-14 07:43:23

Interesting 4Happy about your insider experience of girls' schools with all the discussions about single sex education. So what sort of girls would enjoy the all girls' schools that you have taught at and vica versa? Does the same apply in older years ie sixth form?

4happyhours Wed 11-Jun-14 09:42:04

Happy to discuss, summer, but by DM if you like. Let me know where you're looking at and I can give you an inside track if I know ... Both schools are great and I've love teaching at them (and I would've been happy as a girl there myself) but my daughter needs to be in co-ed as she finds the pettiness of big groups of girls a little too tiresome! She's very girly, very arty, very able (even at science which is not genetically there In her makeup) but I think the normalising influence of boys will suit her better coming from a home with a normalising big brother!

summerends Wed 11-Jun-14 11:28:10

Thanks. My DCs have only been at mixed or boys so only know second experience of all girls'. TBH though from second hand experience there is pettiness at later ages amongst girls in co ed schools as well as all girls' but it does depend on the mix of personalities and particular year groups. However, just like any peer group you can't control for that.
A different more provocative issue is whether 'pettiness' in girls' schools is not helped by the preponderance of female staff and coloured by certain personalities in charge.

4happyhours Wed 11-Jun-14 13:10:20

That is an interesting one. Not sure! I've worked for great heads.
I think parents in boys' schools are less fussy, so that could explain something ...

cakeisalwaystheanswer Wed 11-Jun-14 13:14:02

I am just moving DD from all girls to co-ed for Y7. I am struck by the number of only children or all girl, or girl dominant families at the girls school and wondered if this is usual? The whole experience has been a bit Malory Towers and I am surprised that girls schools have changed so little since I was there.Sorry to hijack 4happy, but you've worked in the sector and would be interested to hear your opinion. PM if necessary.
We looked at a few boarding co-eds for DD including Wellington which we liked for her. We also liked Epsom, but as a weekly board, and Cranleigh. We then found a co-ed day school she liked so she is going there instead.

4happyhours Wed 11-Jun-14 13:26:10

Hi, not sure if that's usual at all ... I think at the school I work in, there is a healthy mix of girls with brothers ... Don't seem able to DM from my phone although I can reply if you DM me first, weirdly!

4happyhours Wed 11-Jun-14 13:27:08

Btw what did you think of cranleigh?
Also, what did you like about Welly?

cakeisalwaystheanswer Wed 11-Jun-14 15:31:08

Really liked both, but Wellington seemed to attract more of the London/Int smart set, Cranleigh seemed more like a local school, albeit an extremely nice one. The smart set thing can put some people off, but probably not in your situation.
I, probably stupidly, do buy into some of the Wellington happiness, more to life culture. But you will get lots of posters come on and say its all rubbish. It will be interesting to see what happens with the new head.

summerends Wed 11-Jun-14 15:48:16

4happy, what about Sevenoaks ? Sounds as though your DD is able enough and an allrounder so might be a contender.
Glad you have always worked with great heads. I was talking general management rather than particular heads.

4happyhours Wed 11-Jun-14 16:57:44

We contended with the (pushy?) smart set in the Ascot prep school they used to attend, so it doesn't put us off necessarily, even though we're not part of it, as mere teachers ...
I have today asked for prospectuses from Sevenoaks, Marlborough, Christ's Hospital, Wellington, Bradfield ...
going to maybe add Teddies Ox and Rugby back into the mix and then have a look at all the bumpf before vetting and finally passing on to DD to see what takes her eye too ...

4happyhours Wed 11-Jun-14 16:58:30

Oh, cake - I like the happiness wellness thing too - I've seen the Head of it present in an Inset I attended, and was v taken with the idea ...

CharlesRyder Thu 12-Jun-14 07:07:29

Don't know how much they managed to embed it, but the Happiness thing was a total gimmick when we were there. It certainly didn't extend to the staff either!!

4happyhours Thu 12-Jun-14 12:21:44

wink Charles
Had prospectus through from Christ's Hospital today - fascinating place - looks well worth a visit!

CharlesRyder Thu 12-Jun-14 19:00:23

We had a friend at Welly who went to be a HsM there. DH had a chat to her about a job that came up and she basically told him to run for the hills!! Don't know if that was just because the pay isn't great though grin.

I wonder if your smart Ascot prep was the one we almost sent DS to. Does it begin with L?

4happyhours Thu 12-Jun-14 22:41:23

Ha ha yes charles - did we overlap?!

CharlesRyder Fri 13-Jun-14 06:37:14

No, DS was going to start in Reception this September but DH has a job at Sherborne so we are off to Dorset!

4happyhours Fri 13-Jun-14 06:39:00

Oh brilliant! We know Chris Davis well. I'm assuming your DH used to teach at the same place asy DH?

CharlesRyder Fri 13-Jun-14 06:51:16

We've been at Welly? It was brief, DH didn't really cope with Seldon!! Also Bradfield.

DH is currently at a girls' day school. I'll be amazed if we haven't crossed paths somewhere along the line!

DH is going in as DH-Academic to join the mission to pull the boot straps up. Going to be hard work I think! I'm looking forward to having a school house again though. grin

Sorry- totally side tracked your thread there!

CharlesRyder Fri 13-Jun-14 06:52:39

I assume your DH was at North Windsor comp if you know Chris?

4happyhours Fri 13-Jun-14 18:35:37

Oh how lovely! Chris and Innes are just gorgeous. Yes; Slough Academy ... 13y. I was at a girls' (full boarding!) school in ascot as a HoD before we moved west too ... Loads of L prep kids headed to Welly. Chum of mine about to start in eng dept in sept.

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