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Wakefield independent schools

(23 Posts)
hel110 Sun 04-Mar-18 11:57:06

Hi We are looking for an independent school for our daughter to start in September (reception). We’ve looked at Wakefield girls and Silcoates but are finding it difficult to make a decision! Academically we liked what Wakefield girls offered but am concerned it’s an all girl school and could be pressurised. Silcoates on the other hand, we liked the inclusive community feel. Liked that they looked at more than academic. However my concern is this may be at the cost of a good academic education! As you can tell am confused so would appreciate any experience people may have had with either schools - thanks

InvisibleUnicorn Mon 12-Mar-18 11:47:07

Does it have to be in Wakefield? I'd go further out and get the best of both worlds.
Good academics and someone that cares about the whole child.
I'd widen the search.

SisterNotCis Mon 12-Mar-18 14:53:39

A relative was looking at schools in W Yorks recently. When relative chose a different school DS weighed in with he hadn't found Silcoates very sportsmanlike on the pitch in a recent match. Just one story !

InvisibleUnicorn Mon 12-Mar-18 15:30:01

@SisterNotCis they weren't 30 years ago either 😆 I didn't say so as thought it was outdated, but it's interesting that that's still the case now. It must be ingrained culture 😔

OP I'd look for a school with a better ingrained culture.

Hoppinggreen Mon 12-Mar-18 19:43:31

How far are you from Huddersfield?
Huddersfield Grammar School is excellent and confusingly NOT selective

Hoppinggreen Mon 12-Mar-18 19:45:13

Sorry, pressed too soon
I know a couple of parents who transferred from Silcoates due to concerns about a Pastoral care and one from Wakefield who felt single sex dudntbduit their child

ApplesTheHare Mon 12-Mar-18 19:47:51

Funnily enough I thought this thread would be about Wakefield Independent School itself. It's independent, mixed and doesn't seem as pressurised as some of the other schools. DD loves it and it's gorgeous tucked away on the Nostell Priory estate.

LoniceraJaponica Mon 12-Mar-18 19:53:48

I have friends with children at WGHS and Silcoates. Both sets of parents are happy.

However, Silcoates is less academic and they don't offer double or triple science at GCSE. They do the separate sciences so if your daughter only chooses, say physics and biology she would be at a disadvantage doing biology A level as there is quite a lot of chemistry content. This means that if she wants to go to 6th form elsewhere she wouldn't be allowed to do biology because everywhere else covers chemistry in the double or triple science syllabus, and it is a requirement if she wanted to go to Greenhead for example.

The 6th form at WGHS isn't that good. Most of the students leave and go to Greenhead as it is one of the best 6th form colleges in the country and gets better results than all of the independent schools in Wakefield - and it is free.

hel110 Mon 12-Mar-18 20:16:17

Thanks all, I would prefer Wakefield as I work either at home or in Leeds so it would fit into our routine. We have considered Leeds Grammar but didn’t get a good feeling. Wakefield Independent and Ackworth are both good schools but not really workable when considering dropping her off and getting too/from work.

ApplesTheHare Mon 12-Mar-18 22:03:30

Yeah if you're working over in Leeds travelling to and from WIS or Ackworth would be hellish. Good luck finding the right school for your DD.

InvisibleUnicorn Mon 12-Mar-18 22:47:04

@hel110 I'd go back and have another look at Leeds Grammar. From a professional perspective I am super impressed with what they are doing at the moment.
I don't live anywhere near there or it would be a consideration for me!

SisterNotCis Tue 13-Mar-18 09:37:37

Like InvisibleUncorn, our relatives were impressed with GSAL & that's where they have plumped for. They were keen for good pastoral to be part of the picture. DS plays matches there and seems friendly when wandering lost looking for furthest pitches.

blackeyes72 Tue 13-Mar-18 16:44:00

Another vote for gsal out of all the ones you mentioned here... I know people with children at all of them.

hel110 Tue 13-Mar-18 22:50:06

That’s all, I’ll have another look at Leeds although I’ve had a few friends with issues there. Many thanks for your comments

lifechangesforever Sat 07-Apr-18 21:32:57

Can I ask @hel110 does your daughter go to an independent school now for primary?

We live in Birstall and work in Leeds so looking around Kirklees in general - WGHS has a bus that goes straight from our house so would be ideal and therefore, we'd be looking at a feeder primary school (maybe Queens in Morley or Dale House in Batley). Just wondered if you had any experience of the primary schools in the area.

GSAL is completely the wrong side of Leeds for us and really, Wakefield would be the only option, beside looking at maybe Huddersfield and Halifax (but again, completely different direction!).

hel110 Sat 07-Apr-18 22:05:29

Hi

My daughter starts primary school in September so I’m afraid I don’t have any experience of primary schools other than the ones we’ve looked at. We would be looking to send her to WGHS junior school from age 4 until she’s 18 as ideally I would like her to remain at the same school

Rosieposy4 Sat 07-Apr-18 23:08:46

My reply may appear to be waffle as trying to avoid identifying myself, have personal knowledge of more than one of htese schools as a parent.
Points in no particular order
WGHS definitely not the majority that go to greenhead at 16+
Check gov compare schools database to back this up, 90 at y11, 70 each in sixth form.
Silcoates not selective but can get top results with bright kids, eg in one year I know all biology A levels were at A or A*, agree need to insist they do all three sciences at GCSE, though one of theirs ended up at very well respected med school on only 2 science GCSEs a couple of years ago. Never found them unsportsmanlike ( that seems to belong to woodhouse grove locally) Smallet school gives more opportunities in many respects.
GSAL enviable facilities, not sure it is any better than the other 2 schools, many fab staff, some poor. More expensive than WGHS, or at least it used to be.

GinAndToast Sun 08-Apr-18 10:37:33

@hel110 I'd not scare yourself by thinking this is one decision you need to make all be way up to 18. In my experience, it is very rare that any one school suits one child all the way.

I'd pick the one you think will work best for now and keep an open mind. There'll be headship changes, management changes and ethos changes in the next 14 years in all these schools. You can easily move to one that suits you better later on. Kids do!

I'd go have another look at WGHS and GSAL and concentrate just on what the lower end of the junior school is like at each.

Run2018 Fri 25-May-18 15:40:46

HoppingGreen, do you work for Huddersfield Grammar/Cognita?
We pulled our child out from Huddersfield Grammar. It’s not value for money at all and a lot of parents are disappointed with it. I would recommend Qegs. An excellent school which delivers value for money. The head at Huddersfield Grammar opens the car doors when some parents drive in on a morning. Need I say more.

Run2018 Fri 25-May-18 20:59:04

WGHS is part of the foundation and I have heard excellent things about them too.

lifechangesforever Sat 26-May-18 10:47:51

I think that unless there's any major shifts in the next few years or we move (DD isn't even born yet!!) that we'll be choosing WGHS if it suits her needs at that time - I would love to put her in there from junior school but the travelling would essentially mean one of us couldn't work and therefore not pay the fees, so we'll need to look at a local primary (independent or state) and then she can get the bus when she's old enough for high school.

Good to hear opinions about Huddersfield though, as it's another we'd thought about. Although DH has now moved jobs so no longer on the commute route.

Run2018 Sat 26-May-18 11:50:40

Best of luck! I’ve got another boy who I’m hoping will get a place at QEGs too and a third on the way. Not sure what gender but if it’s a girl I’ll be looking at WGHS too. Travelling is a bit tough at times as we travel from Huddersfield but my son is used to it now. I think we will be relocating in a few years as the school day will only become longer and I don’t want to be stuck in all that traffic! smile

elvira22 Thu 05-Jul-18 21:42:58

I have friends who work at both GSAL and WIS and have a little knowledge of WGHS. In my opinion WIS is overly small and this restricts what can be taught eg no food science and also limits sports. IME schools can promise a lot to get you to go there eg special personal curriculum but don't deliver in practice.

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