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Guildford/ Godalming/ Haslemere/ W Sussex girls schools- Tormead, Royal, Farlington??

(28 Posts)
Lubyl00 Sun 15-Mar-15 20:13:13

I am starting to look for senior school for DD and will be going to open days shortly. Have decided to go to independent single sex, but there are so many in this area! I'd be very grateful for any comments on Tormead, the Royal and Farlington. I understand GHS & St Cats are high pressure and StCats very wealthy so prob not for us, but opinions welcome. DD is v bright, on the G&T list, but I realise that's within the context of our local primary school, where she is now, so will still have some tutoring before the entrance exams. She enjoys working hard and achieves well, but currently only when she has to, so a bit of a push will be good and I will not be happy paying for somewhere she is not meeting her full potential, but I want a place with a feeling that there is more to life than exam results. And tell me anywhere I haven't thought of... Thank you!

inthename Sun 15-Mar-15 20:50:21

Tormead is highly thought of. Farlington has a local reputation for being naice and not much else, certainly wouldn't say its an academic school! If you're in that area then the state girls school (Millais) is much better. Have you looked at Priorsfield?

Lubyl00 Sun 15-Mar-15 21:06:19

Thank you inthename We are nearer to Cranleigh, so not near enough Millais. Thought Priorsfield less academic too? Thanks re Tormead and Farlington. Do you know anything about The Royal at Haslemere?

inthename Sun 15-Mar-15 22:05:01

No, sorry, have a ds so not too familiar with the all girls school, but have friends with girls at F and T, Priorsfield not academic as Tormead but more than Farlington. I only know the Royal because they keep sending adverts out for their boys school.
StCats is a popular choice in your area as is GHS

Lubyl00 Sun 15-Mar-15 22:22:45

Ah thank you inthename another couple of years & I'll be wanting boys advice! Am worried by stories of high pressure atmosphere at SC and GHS...

manijoem Mon 16-Mar-15 12:53:20

As an ex-pupil of Farlington, a Cambridge graduate and a current parent, I would urge you to visit the school and make your own mind up! They have a 'Farlington in Action' (Open event) this Thursday afternoon, and others at regular intervals. If the dates don't work, they'll set up an individual visit to suit you. There's no way I would have sent my (v intelligent) dd if I had any doubts about her being challenged. You get a wholly rounded product - they are academic girls but they also do music/drama/art/sport/DofE/Voluntary Service, etc, etc. Friend's daughter got 2 A* and 2As at A level last summer and is now at St Andrews. None of the pressure associated with other hothouses in the area, but space and support to develop into who and what they want to be.

Lubyl00 Mon 16-Mar-15 17:03:15

Wow, thank you, manijoem, that is exactly the sort of school I am after- the possibility of academic success without the hothouse pressure and whilst enjoying life beyond the classroom too. Could it really be possible?!

manijoem Mon 16-Mar-15 19:42:44

Well, I believe so but don't just take my word for it!
(BTW there's another thread going with other people's views. Try looking at "Farlington Girls can someone give me the low down")
I would really suggest a visit - give them a ring

trinity0097 Mon 16-Mar-15 20:17:03

The Royal from September will have the boys on the same site not a separate one, although classes will still be single sex, depends how single sex you want your single sex school!

Lubyl00 Mon 16-Mar-15 20:26:11

Trinity0097, thank you, yes I'm interested in the Royal's diamond idea. Can you tell me anything else about attitude/ achievements at the royal?

Lubyl00 Mon 16-Mar-15 20:28:56

Manijoem thanks so much, I will visit. I am just cautious as I don't want to be taken in by the marketing spiels, at the end of the day these schools are selling a product and they need people to buy it, so I am keen to hear some opinions from those in the know, like you! Will have a look at the other thread, thank you.

missbunnypenny Mon 16-Mar-15 20:30:12

My daughter is at Farlington too... I wouldn't underestimate the pastoral care, which is excellent. They are great at getting the girls through the tougher periods. The opinions on lots of these forums don't seem to sync with the Farlington we know. I would suggest you visit for yourself, to really get a feel.

ElephantNeverForgets Mon 16-Mar-15 21:44:00

Ignore GHS pressure comments, if your DD gets in then she will be the level to cope and thrive - we found it was very laid back from the school's side. Any pressure came from individuals parents but more because they were hardworking families. Don't rule it out! It is an incredible school for the right girls (but there is no certain type there too).

St Cats is slightly less academic than GHS but still very good. Much more country boarding school compared to GHS/Tormead which are a bit more down-to-earth town centre day schools. Priors Field is less academic, sells itself on being relaxed and modern (new head coming from more academic caterham though). Again, PF is out in the country and has boarding so very different from the day schools. The Royal has always seemed odd to me, you either want single sex or not but worth a look, I think it is similar to Priors Field academically. Tormead is good and a good 'in between' being super academic and relaxed but it is a building site at the moment!

They are all great schools but have different approaches and atmospheres so you'd have to go and visit.

Lubyl00 Mon 16-Mar-15 22:52:32

Thank you missbunnypenny, I will visit. And thank you Elephantneverforgets for taking the time to give me a great overview of all of them, I guess we are lucky to have so many to choose from, but it doesn't make it easy! I will start visiting and hopefully come up with a shortlist.

mummytime Tue 17-Mar-15 11:15:49

I'd suggest going to look - and check on the best way to get there. Maybe try driving at school run time, because what is do-able at quiet times might not be so pleasant in the morning rush.

The first time I heard of the diamond model was this school. So they may have some interesting information.

BlueStringPudding Fri 03-Apr-15 22:01:12

Hi - both my DDs went to the Royal, and it really is a great school. Very nurturing but stretches the girls academically. Both DDs got very good results, and had a lovely time there. Go see it for yourself...

Marf6868 Wed 06-May-15 20:34:52

My DD is at Farlington in the Prep school and has been at Farlington since nursery. My daughter who was very shy and sensitive has thrived at Farlington both in her academic achievements and confidence. The support of her teachers has been amazing and I personally feel the school has a great balance between encouraging the girls to achieve and enjoy being at school. To me I think being happy at school encourages the girls to do well. The atmosphere at the school is great and I have never heard of any issues of bullying which for me is very important. I love the fact that it's a small school and that all the girls are known as individuals. It's a very friendly and supportive school with a very active PTA. I have nothing but praise for the school and intend to keep my DD at Farlington until 18. I would certainly say take a visit to Farlington to see what you think.

Regarding Millais although it does have a very good academic reputation for a state school, I have come across many parents who said bullying and "bitchiness" have been a problem for their DD's.

user1495553772 Tue 23-May-17 16:45:00

If you want academic success Farlington possibly is not for you. Your Daughter may do well as some teachers are ACE others not so good. It's clicky and likes to think it's elite but is seriously short of funds and behind on IT.

mummytime Tue 23-May-17 21:10:01

This thread is from 2 years ago. Surprised I wasn't on it.

Op must have chosen already. I would bracket GHS, Tormead and St Catherines as a very similar level academically, but different in other ways. I known state school girls go to all three.

user1495570691 Tue 23-May-17 21:29:21

I am not in fact a mum but a darling (I hope!) daughter. I know you've mentioned single sex, but as an insight from someone who's recently finished secondary and a levels I didn't know if you might be interested in any other suggestions.

I am 19 and have just returned from a gap year after having completed my sixth form studies at St Peters in Merrow. I would not describe myself as particularly religious but I found the teachers there invaluable. Throughout my gap year they have given me amazing support as I applied for university. Although I was no longer a student they helped me through absolutely everything.

On another note, and hoping not to cause any offence, there were a few students who joined (and continue to join) the sixthform who left girls schools as they found the atmosphere to be that bit too competitive at times, and some struggled to get along. However I know some that loved their time at single sex school!

A thing to beat in mind when looking at school is not only what option is best, but also which option is best suited to your daughters needs which you already seem to be covering! 😊 I hope I don't sound patronising, just thought a recent opinion may be useful - good luck in choosing a school and the best of luck to her with her studies! Xx

Expupilthoughts Tue 23-May-17 22:02:30

I went to Farlington all the way through the school, my sister also went but left and did her A levels elsewhere.

It wasn't a bad school and I got good grades but I wouldn't send my own daughter there.

I found on the sports side of things you were either in every team or none at all. I was really keen on sport but wasn't part of the sporty crowd and generally felt excluded. I eventually stopped making any effort with PE at all for my last few years, avoiding it when I could. However after leaving and going to university I started to pursue sport again and won several trophies for tennis and swimming and now several years later I'm a keen runner, doing regular half and full marathons. It's a shame that school installed such a deep loathing of sport in me through my teenage years when I am actually a sporty person as I have since discovered. I feel I missed out on the opportunity to try team sports and I'm very much a loner when it comes to activity (even with running I never run with friends or people from my club as I have a deep ingrained "I'm not good enough to keep up with them" mentality, even though I run faster than them in races).

The school was very clicky and a few of the teachers were shockingly inadequate - several people in my year ended up having personal tutors in certain subjects, myself included.

I'm in contact with about 70% of my year, I think only one or two are big earners, a few have married very well and don't work, and most have good but fairly ordinary jobs (nurse, school admin, teacher).

I didn't hate school, I did quite well. I wouldn't choose the same for my own daughter.

user1495553772 Wed 24-May-17 21:07:26

Think you've summed it up quite well!

user1495553772 Wed 24-May-17 21:09:03

I had noted age of thread but sure people searching reviews will still read it.

poloking86 Wed 24-May-17 21:22:50

I notice how old this thread is but I'm sure will still help people!

I went to St Catherines from 4 years old to 18. I loved every minute of it, I wasn't particularly academic but they certainly helped me get the best results I could. Was involved in all house activities and sports but not pressured. Its a lovely friendly school that feels more like a family, and the new sports facilities are fantastic!

I plan on sending my daughter there from 4!

imjessie Wed 24-May-17 21:39:29

I'm local to this area , I'm wondering what the point of it is if Millais 's results are better ? Seems a bit odd if that is the truth .?

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