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Sutton high, CLFS, Tiffin Girls or Nonsuch?

(13 Posts)
Castlesinthesky2 Mon 20-Jul-15 15:12:24

Hi,

Dd will be applying for secondary this autumn and very academic(likely to get level 6s or their equivs). . We are looking at grammar/selective schools (state & ind) near Epsom. So far, we have identified Sutton High, CLFS (Freemens), Tiffin Girls & Nonsuch, and would be interested in advice about which to choose, please. We have looked round most of them and have formed some views but struggling to choose.

Particularly interested in which are the hardest to get into. Is Sutton High easier than the others?

Thanks in advance.

Ladymuck Mon 20-Jul-15 21:47:00

Most girls will sit for a number of schools, so your list isn't unreasonable with 2 state and 2 private. There is an overlap in terms of girls applying for all of these schools, but there will be more girls in total sitting for Tiffin and Nonsuch than the others (which require a fee just to sit the test). All 4 schools will have very clever girls, and it is worth bearing in mind that the cleverest girls could be found in any of these schools (eg some families will always opt for private over state, but most will only be able to access state). In term of the relative scores of the last girls to get a place, then I would expect the grammars to have the higher cut-off score, just because of the huge number of girls sitting.

BeaufortBelle Tue 21-Jul-15 07:30:21

We have looked at Sutton and Nonsuch recently for 6th Form. Sutton is a back-up. We really didn't like Nonsuch which we felt gave off a rather ugly and negative vibe. Shortly afterwards the head was suspended if local papers are anything to go by and I would tread carefully because the school is unlikely to have stable leadership in the next few years and this is never good for a school community.

If you are in Epsom I wouldn't discount Wimbledon High School - very easy journey on the train and more academic that Sutton High.

At the end of the day we have found that school chose the pupils on the whole and somehow the right fit is achieved.

Have you looked at Rosebery? We hear very good things about it.

Castlesinthesky2 Tue 21-Jul-15 23:30:24

Thanks Ladymuck and BeaufortBelle.

Nonsuch - when we looked round we found it very cold and the PtA volunteers gave a poor impression of the school. Not v enthusiastic. Teaching staff were more friendly and enthsiastic. The acting head had a strong presence and seemed friendly. Nonsuch is looking at forming a multi academy trust with Wallington, so could bring stability but also changes. Not sure all resolved with last head. He was sacked for emailing a sixth former via personal email. Apparently he is a family friend. The NUT may support him with a legal challenge.

I looked at Wimbledon but DH thought it was too far. It does look lovely, though. Guildford high is out for the same reason.

Rosebery seems a bit like marmite - love it or hate it. I know lots of people who rate it highly but I know a girl, who just been taken out because the teaching wasn't, in the opinion of the parents, good. It is v big school and run effectively as 2 schools. Dd doesn't like it. Dd's primary school is very close by, so we see the girls coming out of the school at the end of the school day.. They push past the primary school children and ds was scared of them when he was younger!

We really like clfs but there are only 20 places. It had a lovely atmosphere and the staff and students were lovely.

We really liked Sutton as well. Staff were lovely and good raport withe students. It is our back up but would happy for dd to go there.

Couldn't look at Tiffins as dd was a
In a play the evening of the open evening. Looks lovely but currently without a head and a long journey involving changes of train/ bus. Dh v keen on and thinks dd might have better chance than Nonsuch. We are just outside the catchment for Nonsuch but in for Tiffins!

BeaufortBelle Wed 22-Jul-15 08:27:12

Very interesting feedback about Rosebery. I'll bear that in mind. We didn't see any hints of that at all when we visited. Can you tell me a bit more about it being run as two schools. pm if you find that easier.

AMumOfThree Wed 29-Jul-15 21:53:34

Are you sure Guildford High is too far? There is a direct train from Epsom (25 mins from Epsom station to the train station across the road from GHS). I think girls do in practice come from as far away as Epsom. My DD will be going into year 7 in September, PM me if you want more info about the school.

jeanne16 Wed 05-Aug-15 07:19:50

I taught at Rosebery briefly. I think the comment about it bring run as 2 separate schools comes from the school being split in 2 for timetable reasons. However all schools above a certain number of pupils do this as the timetable software they use requires this. I have never heard this described as a problem. However it is true that your DD will never be in classes with the 'other half' of the school.

You will need to live very close to the school to have any chance of getting in.

Zilla74 Fri 07-Aug-15 17:47:22

My DD is staring at Nonsuch in September. We both loved the school, it seems very friendly to us.

In my opinion travel distance is almost as important as the school itself. I think it is hard on an 11 year old to be travelling too far (or too long!) on public transport.

Not sure if this helps, but when the girls in DDs class got their offer of a place, it seemed that those who got offered Tiffin also scored high enough to have been offered an out of catchment place for Nonsuch.

Please do PM me if I can help further.

mertonmama Fri 07-Aug-15 21:38:40

Just to confirm what Zilla said above....

DD was offered Tiffin and scored high enough to get an OOC place at Nonsuch.

Sutton is definitely easier to get into than the grammars. I'd second the suggestion of Wimbledon - it's academic but easier to get into than the grammars - but if it's too far it's too far.

My advice would definitely be to focus on proximity. In the end ease of journey swung it for us and edged us to our 2nd choice school over our original 1st choice.

MrsCornish Sun 09-Aug-15 18:50:23

Tiffin has appointed a head, left Tiffin boys a couple of years ago to take a headship somewhere, joining TGS in jan 16. feeling positive about him.

byroniks Sun 16-Aug-15 21:00:52

Has anyone applied to Tiffin who lives outside the Designated Area? I was told that regardless how high your score in the test, you won't get a realistic chance of getting an offer.

tiggytape Mon 17-Aug-15 14:53:52

Tiffins has an absolutely huge designated area covering a densely populated part f London and Surrey and all those living inside that area get priority for places.

If by some unimaginable fluke there were too few children living inside the area who passed the exam and who wanted a place then vacancies would be up for grabs to those living outside the designated area. In practice it is hard to see how that would ever happen. The area is huge. Lots of children pass the test who live inside it and they would beat any score from children outside. A child would need to live inside the area and get a top score.

camptownraces Mon 17-Aug-15 21:22:22

I'd echo what AMumOfThree said.
If OP is in Epsom, the direct train to London Road Guildford makes GHS very do-able, and WHS is an even shorter 19 minute train journey.

However, what realistically are the prospects for OP's daughter?
OP says "level 6s", but how would that translate as regards entrance test scores? The current school is unlikely to give a forecast if it is maintained, but a private school might.

It's likely a tutor is involved, and should be able to give some guidance to the parents on the likely outcomes of applications.

Four or six entrance exams?

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