Has anyone's DD gone to Oxford High in Year 9?(18 Posts)
My partner has been offered a post near this school and this opens up the possibility of our DD attending Oxford High. My initial thoughts are that it's a bit shabby as far as buildings go, but it gets excellent grades, provides good value for money and has seemingly happy girls. Our DD would join next year in year 9. We were pleased with the girls who showed us round the school but I'm worried it might be too cliquey at the stage DD would join.
Does anyone have any recent experiences of this school, please? Or ideas for other schools? She is quite academic and sporty.
Thanks Chipsandegg, I'll look at Headington. Do you know anything about Oxford High? It's in a more convenient location for us.
OHS gets very good grades, but it is very selective, so that's no surprise. Visit Headington and take a look, they get similar results with a much broader ability intake. Facilities are top notch too.
Do a search on here about OHS and you'll find the views of others regarding pressure and the like.
Chipsandegg, that is very helpful. I didn't think to do a search on OHS, of course! I had heard that about Headington's facilities and must admit that some of the facilities at Oxford High looked a bit tired. I think I will book to see Headington. My DD can cope with the pressure as she currently is at a very academic school and thriving there but I would be interested in hearing about the friendships. I will do a search now. Many thanks.
FWIW a) I would take comments about pressure with a pinch of salt - if your dd is already at an academic school she will cope fine. b) I attended a school very similar in ethos to OHS, a long time ago admittedly, but a lot of girls entered in y9 and fitted in very quickly. I think everybody was pleased at the new blood. I do know girls currently at OHS and they're very happy
I don't think many join in year 9, quite tough to integrate. Headington has more joiners at that stage. Facilities are great and value added impressive. I was also disappointed OHS girls only did double science at gcse. A deal breaker for us and my DD.
Thank you, areyoutheregoditsmem
Slummiemummie Apparently they have increased the places for year 9 entry and added an extra class as there were more girls wanting to join. I don't know if this changes matters or not. I, too, was disappointed at double science at GCSE but the A level provision for the single sciences was impressive. Many girls go on from there to do science at university, so it doesn't seem to be a hindrance but this is one area I don't know about. I wonder how many girls take triple science at GCSE? Might they change this if enough girls ask for it? This may be academic as I don't know if DD would choose to study sciences at A level anyway, and there is a chance that she could move elsewhere for 6th form.
It sounds as though I should go and look at Headington. Does anyone have any views about St Helen's and St Katherine's?
Are you just looking at private schools? If not, then you're presumably also near Cherwell? Not sure how many places are likely to become available in Year 9, but there's an open evening next Thurs if you're interested.
Glitter the issue is that Double science at gcse to three science A levels would be a huge jump. The sixth form is not that large I believe so maybe not so many choose science As so not an issue. Not sure. But these are able girls and I wasn't convinced by the science teachers reasoning re double award. Choosing a school for year 9 I would definitely choose for sixth form too. Years 9 To 11 have literally zoomed by...also nice not to have the whole settling in thing again in sixth form. Good luck! Ps SHSK has a new head coming in 2015.
AmberTheCat Just looking at private schools but I have heard amazing things about Cherwell, thank you for letting me know about the open evening.
Slummie That's true, I imagine a big gap from double science to 3 science A levels. I know things can change but DD seems more into languages at the moment and I doubt that she would choose 3 sciences at that level. On the other hand, there is no harm in keeping options open. Will give it some thought. Does Headington offer triple science GCSE? We are keeping an open mind for 6th form, too, in case she would like to go co-ed. It looks like there is a lot of choice in Oxon, if my DH is still working here by that stage. The girls at Oxford High said they link up with some of the boys from nearby schools for socials so she might choose to stay at that stage.
Now I didn't know that about a new head at SHSK, although to be fair I hadn't heard of the place until this morning! Many thanks.
glitter in Y9, Headington increases the number of forms from 4 to 6, so there is a fair number joining the school at that stage. Form sizes are around 20-22ish. When visiting OHS, I was told 30 and "Our girls can handle it".
By triple science, do you mean individual subjects? If so, then yes, all girls start off studying them as separate GCSEs - it's not an option.
Happened to be at SHSK open day yesterday having wandered up from Abingdon's. The incoming head at SHSK gave a very good talk, but I was very impressed by the girls there in terms of attitude, helpfulness etc. Their new science centre was very impressive indeed and my daughter was enthralled by some girls in white coats making potions and slime. Anyway, their results are if anything better than OH now, and in particular they have a regular 13+ entry point (so a good number of new girls coming in to help on the clique thing). The musical performances were brilliant and we saw two groups of girls having some serious fun in drama and musical theatre. A network of buses shared with Abingdon provide transport form all over including Oxford, so is a serious alternative to OH. Friends with DDs who have moved there are very happy. I must say I was taken aback by the feel of the place - there was an amazing sense of the girls really having fun at the same time as doing some serious study. I know one can get carried away by Open Day glitz, but this school seriously impressed. I have not had a look at OH yet but know folks who are very happy with it, apart from the utter hell of getting into Oxford. If you lived really near it would be a different matter.
Thank you, Chipsandegg, your replies have been very helpful. Oxford High told me they have just this year increased the number of forms in year 9 to increase the number of girls, sounds similar to Headington, although I don't know how many progress from the pre-prep to that year group and whether that has any bearing. Headington seems very big in the senior years so any cliqueyness would be diluted, I imagine. Oxford High, I don't know. OHS has larger forms but the girls are split into smaller groups for subjects and the naturally at A level the class sizes become smaller still, depending on subjects taken. At least, that's how I imagine in.
By triple science, I meant at GCSE. They are all taught the three sciences individually but some schools offer the chance for pupils to take a triple award at GCSE.
Roguedad We attended the SHSK open day, yesterday, too. I was impressed - like you, by the confident and helpful girls. We all loved the science laboratories and all the other facilities. As you say, it's easy to get blinded by the glitz of open days but it did seem genuine. Oxford High seems a shabby, overcrowded place by comparison. Also, the school seemed very positive about what the girls can do. I would have no worries about my DD being isolated there; as you say there are so many starting at different points and DD already knew a number of girls from being in clubs across Oxfordshire. The girls seem to do very, very well there and I liked the new headmistress. I get the feeling that she might not make too many changes, either.
My concern is just as you mention. The network of buses. It would add on over an hour to our journey and I am very worried about becoming a disengaged parent because of the distance. What to do...Wondering if moving is an option but we have only just moved in to be closer to Oxford. I wish SHSK could be on the OHS site!
PS- Roguedad Are you going to the Oxford High School open evening for the senior school on Fri 3rd Oct? Maybe see you there! It will be interesting to compare like for like on these open events.
Can't make it Friday - our research is for a couple years ahead so we are doing it bit by bit. As for the bus thing: Well, our son has just started at Abingdon and has one of the longer commutes. We were worried at first but a slight move forward of bedtime has controlled the fatigue problem. We do not take him to school but to a convenient bus point that is on the way to work. A phone takes care of deviations, and the buses are flexible enough that you can go on a different route one day a week if there is something to get to. As for disengagement, well, I have just told myself that it is my job to get him/us to events. Right now I am lucky to have a job that makes this possible. It's an issue. I need to find out how OH transport works - SHSK/Abingdon have it really well sorted.
I'm a bit late commenting on this, but thought I'd share some of my views on OHS, which my DD attends; I couldn't rate the school more highly. Apparently Year 9 is becoming a bigger point of entry - there's an extra class in Year 9 this year - and they're reducing class sizes (to about 21 in Year 9 - much the same as Headington). I initially shared your concern about the fact that they only do double science at GCSE, but DD says that they supplement this with extension work which ensures that the girls are able to get brilliant results at GCSE and are completely ready for A level by the end of Year 11. As glitterflitter says the number of girls who continue with Science in the sixth-form and go on to study Science/Medicine at university is also really impressive.
DD's just left OHS (to go to uni to study science). One of her best friends joined in year 9 and a couple of others at the start of sixth form. A bigger clique issue was a few groups who had been together since the start of the OHS nursery - but nobody needs to be friends with everyone.
DD did double science GCSE but it was a non issue - plenty of girls in her year have gone on to do medicine and she didn't have any issues with the step up to A level. I thought she said the next year were doing triple, though? Maybe they've found double + extension works better for them and have gone back.
And I couldn't speak more highly of their support for someone who's good at a non-school sport - one which isn't at all trendy. DD missed multiple weeks over the years to compete internationally and they always made it work. (OxfordMum probably now knows exactly who I am )
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