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Query about Stephen Perse 6th Form College

(11 Posts)
HKMOMhere Thu 05-Jan-17 13:30:41

Hello, everyone! My daughter received an offer from the Stephen Perse 6th Form College in Cambridge, and we would need to decide and reply as soon as possible (the coming few days...less than a week).
There seem to be little comments about this school on the website, so I would like to ask everyone here whether you/your relatives/friends have any experiences with this school. What's life like? How's the teaching, the campus and the pastoral care? Are students pressurised? I would appreciate any help from all of you!

So my daughter will be studying abroad (we are from HK), planning to study IB. We do recognise SPF is a day school though, and she is ok with living with a host family. She is a very academic child (all rounded expect PE, but she still enjoys it), predicted highest grades for all subjects, not very girlish, a bit sensitive, a bit shy and quiet in unfamiliar environments.

P.S. My daughter is on the waiting list of some other schools, such as Sevenoaks, NLCS etc. So if we declined the offer, and if there were vacancies in those schools, there would also other choices to choose from.

Thank you again! smile

Chanandler Sat 07-Jan-17 21:32:53


I don't have any experience of SPF 6th form yet, but I have a daughter in SPF senior school who will soon be heading there. The girls are all very bright, and don't worry about not being sporty - she will fit right in!! It's a lovely school and my daughter is blissfully happy there - I can't imagine the 6th form is much different. Cambridge is a lovely city to be a teenager in too.

Good luck to her!

AlwaysYes Sat 07-Jan-17 21:35:34

Its a great place, my brother teaches there and loves it! The atmosphere is very nurturing. Cambridge is a great city to live in too.

Allthebestnamesareused Sun 08-Jan-17 16:54:23

Also I am not sure whether you are of Asian descent but Cambridge is a very diverse area and there are good number of Asian children at the Independent Schools in Cambridge who integrate fully with all students.

She sounds just right for SPF.

HKMOMhere Mon 09-Jan-17 14:02:49

Thank you for your replies!
My daughter is definitely excited to live in Cambridge, but the host family seems to bit far. Is a 30 minutes bus ride/ an hour walk actually considered far? Thank you!

Also I would like to ask, is the pressure great there, given that it has such a great academic success. My daughter is just a bit worried about the pressure and whether the teaching suits her. Thanks again!!!

Chanandler Mon 09-Jan-17 22:56:48

Students come from miles around to SPF so a 30 min bus ride won't be at all unusual - my DD gets the train every day.

Re the pressure, again I have only experienced the senior school but all the students are bright and they all have a good work ethic, so it actually seems less pressurised than other schools we have experienced - the staff are very relaxed and trust that the students will get the work done.

My DD was anxious about her studies at her last school but is now very calm, happy and really enjoys her lessons - it has been NOTHING like the "hothouse" environment we were concerned about!

Good luck - she will love it.

HKMOMhere Fri 13-Jan-17 15:45:00

Thank you for your reply, Chanandler. Very helpful comments! I do think she will love being in it, and the deadline is now getting very near. I would also like to ask how are the facilities there? Is there a medical care centre there etc.? Sorry again for disturbing you!

Chanandler Sat 14-Jan-17 20:54:19

Hmmm I'm not sure about the medical centre, sorry. The pastoral care is amazing though so I'm sure they do.

DullUserName Sat 14-Jan-17 21:24:12

Medical centre? If she's living with a foster family then she'll register with a local GP. OP: the school will be able to advise you very well on such matters as they'll have plenty of experience welcoming pupils from overseas.

One thing regarding transport: be aware that traffic in Cambridge is truly dreadful at rush hour. Your DD may wish to consider cycling as an alternative to a slow bus or the hour walk.

RockNRollNerd Mon 16-Jan-17 20:22:22

Lots of kids come into the Cambridge private schools from surrounding areas and have commutes of between 30 mins and an hour so 30 mins by bus won't be that unusual.

Try posting on the Cambridge board in the local section of the site - you'll probably get a lot more responses there.

LilyNellas58 Wed 01-Mar-17 22:11:16

Hi there, I have had personal experience with the SPF sixth form as my daughter is currently in her final year there. From your description of your daughter, she sounds of a similar nature to mine and although my daughter has achieved academic excellence in her sixth form years, it is to the severe detriment of her health and wellbeing. Many of the students are extremely self-confident, often bordering on arrogant and we have encountered numerous problems with a lack of support, involving over 20 teachers leaving the school in one year. She is taking the IB and therefore lost 6 of her teachers as a result. Teachers often cancel lessons, are extremely delayed in giving back any marked work and generally uninspiring. Although some students in the year group have faired well in the sixth form, it is clear that this is a minority amongst my daughter's peers, many of whom wish they had chosen to study elsewhere. In terms of support, it is severely lacking and from what I have seen and experienced, it seems as though my daughter has been predominantly self-teaching and many students have tutors outside of sixth form - hence why SPF achieves such good grades. Sorry if this seems quite negative, but I believe you ought to know this side of the story before you make your decision.
In terms of medical care, there is only a nurse as the senior school, so if your daughter is ill, she must take the school minibus to the school (a 10-15 minute drive in traffic). There are limited sports facilities although there is a library that is willing to order books in for students and the school utilises technology including iPads in education.
I hope your daughter is happy wherever she goes! smile

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