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Sporty Secondary Girl School in Central London?

(24 Posts)
Whalie Mon 17-Oct-16 13:39:21

Just looking for suggestions or even recommendations for DD who is strong all rounder? Many thanks!

Needmoresleep Mon 17-Oct-16 20:22:49

Depends on what you mean by central London. I would start by looking at the co-eds. Alleyns, Emanuel, Latymer Upper, Highgate. Note Alleyns (and JAGs) have buses which serve some bits of Central London. As does LEH.

AnotherNewt Tue 18-Oct-16 07:08:39

I can remember having this sort of chat a few years ago, and the conclusion was that there was were no outstandingly sporty schools in central Londin that admit girls (for boys btw, the answer was Dulwich, Whitgift being further out).

But the JAGS and the GDST schools are pretty good, though a couple of them seem to prize gymnasts above those who excel at other single sports, with all rounders somewhere below that.

Any school with on-site facilities generally does more sport and better than those which don't (which tends to rule out the very central schools).

I'd have a look at JAGS, PHS and maybe SCHS for single sex, and Alleyns and Emanuel for co-ed.

Whalie Tue 18-Oct-16 11:28:32

Thanks AnotherNewt I will check those out smile

Whalie Tue 18-Oct-16 13:21:30

JAGS looks fab but DS although a good student not top of table/grammar school material.

Whalie Tue 18-Oct-16 13:22:18

Sorry - I meant DD blush

agapanthii Tue 18-Oct-16 23:43:21

Godolphin and Latimer, LEH, NLCS.

EmpressoftheMundane Wed 19-Oct-16 10:16:12

The only central London school I think of is City of London School for Girls. Great school, but no playing fields at all. Would Habs be too far out? It has lovely playing fields, fantastic gym and pool, and good academics.

sanam2010 Wed 19-Oct-16 15:26:34

I think I started a thread with the same title about 3 years ago :-). I think the conclusion was that Putney High is fantastic for sports, as is Latymer Upper. All the Dulwich schools as well though of course not Central, also NLCS but again not Central. I'd say Putney High would be best, they have an elite sports programme etc..

ealingwestmum Wed 19-Oct-16 15:40:44

JAGS if south, Godolphin & Latymer (very good), LU and LEH (latter does lacrosse vs hockey) and yes to WHS. Not all GDST schools are good at sport, most are not and only field enough players for A/B teams to an average standard. Sevenoaks also has very good facilities and results. CLSG consciously said they are not good at sports other than those played on site (netball), and this was at their interviews day!

Good luck with your research OP

agapanthii Wed 19-Oct-16 15:46:39

Godolphin & Latymer also plays lacrosse rather than hockey.

sanam2010 Wed 19-Oct-16 15:52:58

I am pretty sure G&L play hockey, they even have their own astroturf for it on site, unless things have changed...

AnotherNewt Wed 19-Oct-16 16:21:17


It might help if you could describe a bit more what you mean by 'central' London. Because I really wouldn't describe some of the schools mentioned here - for example LEH - as central. Or if you were considering further out, which directions would have reasonably straightforward journeys for your DD at school run o'clock.

ealingwestmum Wed 19-Oct-16 16:33:10

SPGS plays lacrosse - G&L definitely hockey (or they did last week agapanthil).

I'd agree re the central schools location, and this could then also include the state schools that major on sports too...

Needmoresleep Wed 19-Oct-16 20:01:49

SPGS, LEH and Putney are Lacrosse. G&L, Latymer Upper, JAGS, Alleyns Surbiton High and WHS are hockey.

City is good at girls football, and have a pitch on site.

It would help to know which sport. Generally a sporty kid does better joining a club and doing sport outside school and working their way up the County and regional systems. Very sporty schools can make this difficult as they want the same girls to turn out for lots of their matches.

There is also a difference between schools who push elite sports and simply pick those who are already of a good standard, and those schools who encourage everyone to have a go, even if it means their teams are less impressive. The former can get quite competitive, with less confident girls perhaps giving up though lack of encouragement.

And schools can vary. Portland Place has a reputation for netball. Surbiton for gymnastics. Though this can change if a key teacher leaves.

agapanthii Wed 19-Oct-16 20:25:52

My mistake!

ealingwestmum Wed 19-Oct-16 23:22:43

Easily done agapanthii, so many variations by school. I remember researching this topic nearly 4 years ago and needmoresleep provided pretty comprehensive, accurate advice then too!

Needmoresleep Thu 20-Oct-16 07:20:13

Thanks ealingwest. Sport was a crucial part of my dyslexic DD's school life, and is likely to continue to be through University. She has just finished but over her secondary school years she managed to be in school teams for seven different sports (including boys cricket!).

I think it is worth taking a step back and asking what you want from sport. If you want a shot at an elite sport you probably need to pick your sport quite early. And you may be better off selecting a school that does not emphasise sport, but is close to training, or indeed is the school whose facilities the sports club uses. Sporty schools (KGS is one example) expect their team members to turn up on Saturday mornings, and you don't want to be choosing between school netball and, say, gymnastics training. Similarly some well regarded academic schools will allow, say, tennis players training at Roehampton to be on reduced schooling, others not.

For most the bigger decision is between a school that is successful in teams sports and those that encourage participation. One surprise, particularly for girls coming from state schools, is just how good other kids are. So for a spot on the swim team, enjoying swimming probably won't be enough if four others are qualifying for county championships. And prep school girls will often have had at least four years of school team netball, so if the emphasis is on results, taller prep school girls get the spots.

American Universities expect applicants to have been engaged in a wide variety of activities including sport, and being, say, a competent hockey player might not get you a scholarship but could put you ahead of the competition for an over-subscribed Ivy. The good thing is that this means that a good core of Central London kids will keep up sport through their secondary years (with parents on the sidelines trying to capture the best moments on video to send off with the college application) but it also means that standards are high and competition is tough.

DD switched at sixth form to a school which has a relatively poor sporting reputation but where participation was encouraged. She chose to try a couple of new sports, both of which she enjoyed. She liked the fact that team membership was broader and not limited to the same sporty girls, and that training was fun even if some had limited talent. Though DD never reached that level, we observed a few kids on national pathways who seemed to have forgotten that sport can be fun. Similarly playing in a club senior ladies team allowed her to meet supportive role models who saw running around a cold sports field a couple of times a week as a natural way to let off steam.

ploughyourownfurrow Sat 22-Oct-16 14:22:40

If the child is talented it will shine through, irrespective of the type of school it attends. IME private schools add little value. My DC competes at national level. Attends a comp. Outside clubs and coaching are key, and, I cannot stress this enough - the child`s own enthusiasm.
I see too many pushy parents with offspring frogmarched into punishing regimes with expensive coaching when there is little motivation or talent inherent in the child. The child is on the pitch or track, miserable and crying, but the parent is continuing to push and pay inflated coaching fees in the mistaken belief that if you throw enough money at the problem it will be resolved.

sendsummer Sat 22-Oct-16 15:46:04

If the child is talented it will shine through, irrespective of the type of school it attends. IME private schools add little value.
Although talent may shine through opportunity might not be there to introduce a DC to a sport. Once again it all depends on the parents how many outside activities are possible and encouraged. I think at quite a few private and most state schools the skills and training of the stronger perfomers who are important to win fixtures are mainly acquired from outside clubs. That does n't stop school sport being fun though if the teams bond and like their school training.
There are some private schools that add value though by introducing the basics and then at senior schools supplementing training even at the highest level for sport like rugby, hockey, lacrosse, cricket and rowing. These schools will feed into the county, national structure, top clubs and use the same coaches.

ploughyourownfurrow Sat 22-Oct-16 17:41:06

Coaches will work with talented children for free. There`s no need to splash out on private education.
Many high level coaches are irritated that they are forced to supplement club work - where most of the talent is - with higher paid work in the indy school sector.
Coaches have devotion to their chosen sport and would prefer to develop the most talented youngsters.
The privatisation of youth sports coaching is also causing friction in clubs, where highly dedicated, successful veterans, who are volunteers, may be pitched against a new breed of private coach. Sometimes there`s resentment when both are forced to share the same training space.

sendsummer Sat 22-Oct-16 19:05:31

ploughyourown I don't disagree with most of what you say but althoughit it depends on the sport and private school, a talented or moderately talented (as is mainly the case for DCs in these threads) can get a pretty good package of introduction to a team sport(s) they enjoy (and might not of thought of) plus higher level coaching and encouragement to trial for county, club etc.
Unfortunately perhaps but sport coaches need to be pragmatic about earning a living by supplementing their income in schools just as for example many musicians do.
I would also add that IMO sport coaching is not just about the elite, many private schools tend to do better at promoting sport to a wider range of abilities.

AnotherNewt Mon 07-Nov-16 06:53:46

OP - I might be a bit dense here, but could you clarify what question you a re asking.

Is it that you are pretty sure you're DD will be going to a private school and are looking for the best fit, with sport a key element?

Or are you looking for the best coaching for a talented young sportsperson during the secondary years?

EatonGate Thu 10-Nov-16 16:44:18

I went to City girls myself and had the most wonderful time there but it is really not a sporty school (probably one of the reasons it suited me!) so I would strike it off the list if that's something that matters to you.

More House is very central and the girls you see around Sloane Square always seem to be in their P.E. kits. I have no idea about quality of sports, but my impression is that they do a lot of it.

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