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Wimbledon High vs Godolphin&Latymer

(16 Posts)
ContinentalMum Mon 25-Feb-08 11:58:19

DD has been offered places at WH & G+L, and we have to decide this week. Would appreciate any advice from anyone who has made this decision or knows girls at both and how they compare. On all objective criteria they are evenly matched, the only real difference we can identify is that G+L does IB rather additional to A levels, tho' that is a long wasy off so not sure whether that should sway us either way.
DD can't decide which one she wants, keeps changing her mind. Travelwise WH is 20 min and G+L is 45 min.

snorkle Mon 25-Feb-08 12:59:42

If there's that little in it I'd definitely go for 20mins travel time - will make quite a big impact on quality of life. (WHS is my alma mater, but expect it's changed loads since then)

westendgirl Mon 25-Feb-08 14:56:46

G+L is probably more 'urban' in nature. Smart, streetwise girls with a tendency to take money for granted (which the Head fights!). (Think Davina)
Academically totally non-competitive, less driven personalities accepted just as much as really motivated, quiet as well as loud. In fact, tolerant of different personalities, the support for girls going through craziness - anorexia, harming etc (there aren't many, but like similar schools there are a few), seems to be good.
Discipline is very light but effective, can be quite witty.
Current head is wonderful, seems to know just about everything but also knows when to turn a blind eye. Unfortunately she's retiring, don't know anything about her replacement.
Don't know much about WH.

ContinentalMum Mon 25-Feb-08 17:55:55

snorkle - dd doesn't mind the travel, but that's our major concern.
westendgirl - thanks for that. I am leaning towards G+L because it seems to be more rounded. Also they do work in local primary schools, volunteer work and work experiences abroad. But am a bit worried about the girls being snobbish. dd is very grounded (we don't have loads of money) and I'd like her to stay that way. Won't be able to compete with size of house or exotic holidays.

mimsum Mon 25-Feb-08 18:25:54

I went to G+L but suspect it has changed loads since I was there ... at the time it was a real mix (it had just gone private from voluntary aided) with some very wealthy girls and loads from 'ordinary' families - I loved it

one of my friends has a dd at Wimbledon High - she and her friends seem v sorted and grounded - WH seems slightly more provincial in feel than G+L which could either be a plus or a minus depending on your point of view!

westendgirl Mon 25-Feb-08 22:28:57

I know what you mean about the financial competition. There are plenty of 'normal' people there - just have to see past the loadsamoney brigade! (Although it might be possible to get taken to somebody's luxury villa wink)

ContinentalMum Tue 26-Feb-08 09:37:31

I guess what it boils down to is that if GL would be around the corner there would be no question. But as it stands it would involve tube/tube or tube/bus, whereas WH would be long walk or short bus ride. Anybody has kids travelling on public transport? DDs only concern at the moment is that an art project might get squashed

bumptobabies Tue 26-Feb-08 09:50:08

re kids being snobbish, dd attends palmers green high school, grandparents fund this and we dont have much cash. dd has £20 a month plus £15 phone credit a month it seems to work. she is aware of the difference but it is representitive of society people on varying salaries. the parents are lovely actually it is the skint ones that feel the need to over compensate that can be rude.

good luck choosing

does ayone have any advice for getting ds to the level required for latymer he is only 5 but feel we probably should at least start encouraging him to say the alphabet.

it seems so many apply so any tips appreciated

Anchovy Tue 26-Feb-08 10:06:57

We live equidistant between the 2 and I'm sure will be mulling this over in the future! One of our lovely babysitters was at G&L and is a very pleasant, mature, grounded young lady.

Do you have other DCs? One of the things that will slightly affect our choice for DD as well as the pure travel time aspect is where our DS ends up - if he is at KCW, for instance, WH or PH are going to be more attractive.

I believe there is an interesting question as to whether Latymer going mixed is going to affect G&L.

ContinentalMum Tue 26-Feb-08 10:28:23

We have another DD but she's only at nursery now, so makes no difference, we wouldn't do all girls for her until secondary.

westendgirl Tue 26-Feb-08 18:23:47

As at many London schools, some children travel quite a distance on various types of transport, as do the teachers. The result is quite a variation in tolerance of lateness - which I guess is the same as at work. I've never heard anyone complain about a long journey, certainly up to 45-60 minutes just seems to be taken for granted.
The G+L older girls do take to Hammersmith Broadway being part of the journey - become very good at dealing nonchalantly with the seedier types, but also at frequenting Starbucks/Primark etc. Thus life in London.

At the end of GCSEs it looked as if there was going to be a massive movement into Latymer for the sixth form. In the end very few moved, and all those we know regretted it. I would say that Latymer suits the super-confident, 'louder' types better, while the quieter ones develop at their own pace at G+L.

ContinentalMum Tue 26-Feb-08 19:35:19

Thanks for that. DD is definitely the quiet type, but confident and determined.
Just had a meeting with the head of her prep, who recommended GL for her. Also said that GL is socially and culturally more diverse than WH. I guess you're right about the travelling, we just have to get used to the idea.

halogen Tue 26-Feb-08 21:22:47

I travelled about an hour to school in Hammersmith and an hour back each day at that age (SPGS). It was fine and I got used to it really quickly. I liked being able to sit and read on the bus/tube, actually. It was a nice quiet time in my day. And as time went on, the fact that the BOYS went on the bus, too, became a major reward!

hattyyellow Wed 19-Mar-08 09:41:52

Had lots of friends at WH when I was at school. Like my GPDST school, it's brilliant academically but I don't rate it highly for arts/drama/sport etc.

WH also, like my school, stopped people taking exams if they were likely to drag down the pass rate .

G&L girls more savvy, but I'd say WHS girls not far behind.. but in terms of snobbishness there's equal amounts at both...

I'd say your WHS teen more likely to be hanging out on Wimbledon Common and in Surrey at the weekends and your G&L in central London..

If your DD is likely to get involved in lots of after school activities I'd go for the shorter pick up any time!

ContinentalMum Thu 20-Mar-08 14:23:24

Really appreciate all the input. Have in the end decided on GL. Was what DD wanted. We are aware that in a few years time, when she's squashed on the bus on her way home, she might change her mind and blame us grin
GL responded really quickly, asking which, if any, music lessons she would like to take, inviting her for a day with the other new pupils . . . so we have a very good gutt feeling.

beebs88 Sun 17-Jul-11 23:07:23


I know this may be a little late but I was searching for entrance exam papers online and I came across several mumsnet threads about secondary schools and as I, and most of my yeargroup, absolutely ADORED Godolphin and Latymer I thought it would be important to let all of you know. It may not produce the same insane Oxbridge entry results as St Pauls Girls but it has phenomenal pastoral care and gets all girls into really good universities: girls who at other schools would never achieve those sorts of successes. It does get about 17% of the year into Oxbridge, about 5% into Ivy League Schools (that is to say only 5% go to US universities and all go to Ivy League Schools!) and the rest go to Bristol, Edinburgh, Durham, Nottingham, Manchester, UCL, LSE or Leeds. It was very sociable and friendly, in a way that I didn't find more high pressurised schools like SGPS and yet got better results than schools like Francis Holland. I can really tell that someone went there as it gives you self assurance but not overconfidence and it definitely does not make you always need to prove that you are academic (unlike SGPS...). I really, really loved it and I think most girls you'll meet from there would agree, unlike at many other London girls schools.

Also it came top in the country for IB, has incredible school trips (Sinai desert anyone?!), great facilities (e.g. hockey pitch onsite) and brilliant teachers.

I really cannot reiterate how much I loved it. Also if your daughter is thinking of leaving in 6th form, I would urge her to stay as I think it makes a big difference having teachers who have known you since you were 11 writing your references rather than people who have only seen one year's worth of work from you...

Anyway, thought I'd just let you know that.



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