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St Catherine's Bramley 6th form

(21 Posts)
JugglingChaotically Sun 07-Dec-14 17:51:20

So after my earlier thread ....
DD1 has an offer from St Cats for 6th form entry in 2015 and we have to reply by tomorrow.
We all really liked the school and the general atmosphere and DD is keen to go somewhere academic.
But it's so difficult as 6th form is a key time and change is always a risk.
Have others gone to St Cats for 6th form?
Are there many London/Surrey boarders?
(Not worried about boarding as weekly boarding already.)
Any thoughts?

JugglingChaotically Sun 07-Dec-14 18:43:15

Bumping in hope of help!!!

ZebraDog Sun 07-Dec-14 21:28:57

St Cats is great for sixth form, it makes a bigger thing of being a sixth former (more responsibility, trust, opportunities) than other girls' schools. It is academic. I would not say it is academic in the same way as GHS/St Paul's girls'/LEH which are very selective and (almost always) get every girl excellent outcomes. It is much more academic than local schools like Prior's Field, Tormead etc though - so perhaps a good balance.
Lots of girls live locally or SW London.
It is fairly traditional and some say it is very 'love or hate'.

JugglingChaotically Sun 07-Dec-14 21:56:56

Zebra. Thanks for that. We loved it but moving at 6th is always a risk.
DD has an offer from 6th form boys school too and need to see it again but st cats wants answer tomorrow.
Had decided to pay deposit as 90% certain it's the right answer and thought we had till March but just read contract and it's a terms fees also if we sign and then decline blushblush
We don't have that sort of spare cash.
Think DD would love it.
Wished she'd gone at 11 (had an offer).
But how easy is it to break into the existing cliques?
Any idea how good English and history depts are - huge number doing maths based on stats?
Horrible pickle to be in.

JugglingChaotically Mon 08-Dec-14 07:29:07

Anyone else?

Eastpoint Mon 08-Dec-14 07:34:00

Look & see whether students are going on to read history & English & where they are going, that will give you some idea of how well those subjects are taught. Lots of girls do maths at my daughter's school as the homework doesn't take as long as essays & if you can do it it's straightforward.

JugglingChaotically Mon 08-Dec-14 07:36:36

Did that last night East.
Not many read English and history but those who do go to good universities. Doesn't look like a particular strength though.
And that is part of reason she is looking to move.

Eastpoint Mon 08-Dec-14 10:28:54

Can you ask them what they can offer her beyond the curriculum for English/History? What is the school magazine like, will she have the opportunity to edit an in-house publication and/or be part of an active history society? Do they have many external speakers? What does the other school offer? Do they do residential trips to Arvon etc.? If not many of them do humanities is there more scope for leadership opportunities for her? Do they enter their student led publications in national competitions which would give her the chance to win awards? Would she have 2 teachers for each subject and do they specialise in A level work or are they teaching throughout the school? Are they sticking to A levels or moving towards Pre-U, how are they managing the change to terminal exams only?

JugglingChaotically Mon 08-Dec-14 11:36:15

East point you sound seriously clued up on this. Wish I'd thought of even half those questions.
(I will be so much better prepared for younger DC!)
I know the other school does lots of the things you mention and have moved to pre u for some subjects but not English.

5exybomb Mon 08-Dec-14 12:20:53

I used to go to St Theresa s and knew many people that went to St C's and it was a horrible school then. Many girls were very unhappy and unless you were one of the favorites, never got chosen for anything. Apparently it hasn't changed much. Having said that you are entering at sixth form so it might be different to the main school. Might you consider Cheltenham ladies if she is happy to be a boarder? I know girls that go there and its a lovely school and very academic.

Eastpoint Mon 08-Dec-14 13:10:11

You can still ask them - you are helping your daughter make a very important decision, they might let her have another day there to see what she thinks of it.

Pusspuss1 Mon 08-Dec-14 13:43:05

I went there! Enjoyed the 6th form more than the earlier years, to be fair. Hated it in general, though. It was cliquey as hell, and there was lots of bullying, particularly if you were academically successful. I did English lit A-level - lots of people did. I had great teachers, one especially, although she's now left. I think English is something they do very well. Don't know about history so much. I think the school makes a better job of arts subjects than it does of the sciences, in general. We had a whole bunch of Chinese girls join for the 6th form, all completely amazing at maths, but spoke next to no English! That could explain the maths thing, if it's a regular occurrence. I did maths A-level too, and thought the teaching was pretty ropey.

What else would you like to know? Where is she now? That would colour my opinion on a move, fwiw... How academic is she? What's her third A-level? I think in general a 6th form move is barely worth it, it goes so quickly.

5exybomb Mon 08-Dec-14 14:56:26

I agree with you Pusspuss1, it was cliquey as hell but sixth form was better I think. Its hard to move but where does she go to school now? is a move necessary?

JugglingChaotically Mon 08-Dec-14 15:34:58

She would like to move to somewhere with a more academic outlook and high expectations.
Many of the boarders at her current school are local and at st cats DD would be more local.
Focus is work anyway for 6th as you say.
Cliquey at current school also but I fear that is the case with all small girls schools.
3rd a level, Puss, is uncertain. Possibly French or RS or psych

5exybomb Mon 08-Dec-14 16:39:55

what school does she currently go to?

JugglingChaotically Mon 08-Dec-14 16:41:00

A small girls boarding and day school at which she is a weekly boarder.

JugglingChaotically Mon 08-Dec-14 16:41:36

It's rounded, just not right for DD at the moment.

Pusspuss1 Mon 08-Dec-14 17:08:33

Would she board? I didn't, so can't comment on that. I think their French teaching is very good, or at least it was when I was there. The school is reasonably academic in general, but it's not in the same academic league as GHS, for example. A lot of girls I was at school with didn't end up with real careers, I would say...

ZebraDog Mon 08-Dec-14 17:48:37

If you are choosing between St cats and a school where all girls will be new then I would go for the second option e.g. charterhouse. It will be much easier socially. I would also second the comment on lots of international asian students coming in and taking maths a-level.

JugglingChaotically Mon 08-Dec-14 18:09:41

DD would board at st cats but we live about an hour away so localish.
The other is all new girls but full boarding with only 1 weekend home every half term. Quite a distance away.

JugglingChaotically Mon 08-Dec-14 18:10:12

Good to hear English and French strong.

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