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Grammar vs schools in Hillingdon Borough

(2 Posts)
Beth1234 Sun 01-Feb-15 15:39:51

Hi mothers,

Am in need of desperate advise as you will understand shortly.

DH and I (are) were looking to move near Dr Challenor's high school (for girls) in the hope that both my girls would get amazing secondary education. We were to put our current house (in Hillingdon borough) in the market when we met a lady yesterday who completely gave us an opposite view of what we originally thought.

Of course, De Challenor's has a fantastic reputation (or so I thought) until this lady mentioned that she and her daughter (14 yo) have had terrible experience with that school and are now looking to move on. In fact the impact on both has been so bad, that they are not even willing to try Chesham grammar and are solely looking to move private.

She also mentioned, there is ample of bullying in that school, with girls self harming and into drugs and the tutors have no care in the world. They are not interested also in making a child understand work that they otherwise do not.

Apparently the school is n trouble due to limited funds and the headmaster has recently resigned as such.

Apologies for this very long msg but as we cannot afford private and are not strict catholics, we thought this would be the best option, but just by hearing his one experience we are a bit shook up.

Any advise will help.

Many thanks,
Beth x

HalsGal Thu 05-Feb-15 15:36:29

Hi Beth

DCHS is a good school but that doesn't mean some people are going to have bad experiences there. We had mixed responses from people on every school we considered!

I don't know how much is rumour and how much of that is true, not being there myself, but I think any grammar school is going to get some children who can't cope with the pressures of a highly academic school. Many children will be there because they were tutored heavily to pass the 11+ rather than naturally working at that level and they can often feel stressed by the pressure of trying to maintain those expected standards which may come out in many ways.

Another factor which I think parents underestimate (and I've seen happening to some friends) is that a child moving from private school to grammar is in for a very different experience. They often expect the same level of teacher attention that they got at private but this is a state school with big class sizes and the teachers don't have the time to hold everyone's hands. They are also now in secondary school and are expected to be more independent and more mature than in primary - if they have a problem with their work they need to actively approach their teacher for help.

No idea about funding and the head though.

Perhaps visit the school and get a feel for it yourself on the next open evening.

Finally, how sure are you that your daughters will pass the 11+? It's not a walk in the park as any parent in Bucks will tell you.

Good luck.

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