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Teddington, Waldegrave, or Turing House(43 Posts)
Hi, my daughter is currently in year 5 and we have been living in a rental in Teddington for several years now. However, we are planning to buy a property soon. Obviously, we need to be very careful with property location and timing, because we'll have to register for secondary school in October 2018. Assuming budget isn't a concern (I wish!), which of these schools would you go for and why?
My daughter likes reading and arts, but wants to become a vet or work for Nat Geographic - loves animals . Obvs that might change but she's always loved animals, can endlessly watch documentaries. She is in top sets for English, is average/slightly above in Maths - she's the youngest in her class and I believe that shows a bit. She's sporty, but not playing anything at a competitive level. She does have a good voice and takes piano lessons but wouldn't say she's very musical either. She is sociable and friendly, although sometimes "too nice" - I'm worried about bullying and girls cliques.
I don't particularly like the idea of a girls school, it feels very foreign to me, but I'm open to considering it. I like Waldegrave for its academic results, but when I look at the girls results of Teddington, they look similar. We're not religious at all and so faith schools are out of the question.
We're planning on visiting Waldegrave at one of their open mornings, and will also go to Turing House open evening. Re: Teddington - we know a bit more about it from parents, and we've visited the school a couple of times, not for open days though.
Any thoughts? Thanks in advance for any comments.
PS. We are in the catchment for Teddington & (I believe for) Turing, at the moment. So the choice is either stay in this area of Tedd (smaller house) OR move to be in the Waldegrave catchment area (poss bigger house).
Personally I would go for Waldegrave all the way. It has great results, and people I know who've had their girls go there have been very happy indeed. The 6th form now takes boys. It's a much sought after school.
Out of the other two I would stay well away from Teddington (from what I've heard, so not first hand experience). I have heard good things about Turing House, but they will move at some stage. They can't stay in their current location forever.
They're all good schools TW11 so you can't go too far wrong. We know families at all there schools with kids doing well.
I've got a daughter in Y9 at Turing and she's very happy and we are too. She says they're had a couple of new girls joining this term who have transferred from Waldegrave so I guess its not for everyone.
The move to Whitton is planned for 2020 last I heard and they're getting another temporary building to tide them over but haven't said where it is yet. It sounds like you have another year before you apply though so time to think about it. If you choose your location you could probably be in all three catchments. Don't just look at the March 1st cut off distances through as the waiting lists always move loads after national offer day. I've seen Teddington uniforms travelling from Twickenham this term and they look like Y7 newbies.
I can't comment in detail on the schools but there are particular advantages / disadvantages to both girl only and co ed education. I think you are right that girl cliques and exclusive behaviour are more of an issue in girls' schools, but they also offer a safe environment for girls to assert themselves, believe in their abilities and gets their heads down without boys stealing the show, that can be especially important if they go for STEM subjects.
Above all I would go and look, you will be surprised at how strongly you get a "feel'" for what is right for your child, trust your instincts. Results just reflect intake, it is about which school will best help your child to achieve their potential. One way to do that is to flick a coin on your last two options, if you feel disappointed by the result then you will know what is right. I am the last person to discourage rationality but I have experienced both girl only and coed and seen the advantages and disadvantages for different personalities and learnt the hard way that you should trust your instincts.......
Thank you very much for your comments, they're really helpful.
With Turing, I really liked what I read/heard so far, but there is a bit of a risk at the moment because of site-related issues. Then, maybe I am risk averse and prefer a more established school.
At the moment I'm leaning towards Teddington (so is my DD - strongly - but that's just because that's all she knows, and and the social aspect, she'd probably be familiar with many faces in the school and some of her friends are going there.).
@Hamptonwick1974 please elaborate on those concerns with the school. It's not the first time I read comments like that and I don't know what to believe, is it just unsubstatiated rumours? What exactly have you heard? There are quite a few parents who I know are happy with the school, and their exam results are improving every year. In fact Tedd girls results are similar to Waldegrave if you filter by girls vs boys.
these are girls only results from 2016, the 2017 aren't posted yet:
I have also heard of girls moving from Waldegrave as a result of being in years where cliques have subverted the norms, including exclusive and attention seeking behaviour. Frankly that happens in all the girls' schools (state and private) and is a result of individuals with difficult backgrounds turning up in a year, you cannot anticipate that. The presence of boys tends to mitigate their ability to be manipulative. However in that particular case the girls took the behaviour with them......
sorry posted the wrong link for the girls results:
Just to throw another one on the table - rightmove.co.uk says that weat we are also in the Grey Court admission area... not sure if true though? North Kingston/Ham would appeal for the lower cost as compared to Tedd.
Any thoughts about Grey court?
I am in the same position as you with a daughter in Year 5, and live in catchment for Turing, Waldegrave and Teddington. However, I also have a son in Yr 8 now at Turing, we looked at Teddington and Turing for him, and he chose Turing based on the teachers, the other pupils and general enthusiasm that everyone there has. Very happy with Turing, academically excellent, and important for my son v good socially, he's quite shy, but has made really lovely friends with people he did not know when he started.
However, we obviously couldn't look at Waldgrave for him, so will be going to see it for our daughter along with Teddington once again so she has more things to compare.
My worry (like yours) is the all girls nature of Waldegrave, but to mitigate that I know lots of really lovely girls in all sorts of years across the school, who do love it there, so I think you just have to accept that there may be difficult people everywhere, and there will always be more nice children than trickier ones!
My end advice would be go to them all, and perhaps let her choose, I think the element of the child choosing sets them up well, they feel motivated to go there, and of course if they hate it down the line you can move, there are still people shifting about now in Year 8, and a huge churn still goes on at the beginning of Yr 7. And of course you are choosing between three good schools, so really there is no wrong answer.
Hi, there is no getting away from the fact Waldegrave has excellent results and does well by its low achievers which is testament to good teaching. More so then Teddington or Orleans. However I have known a fair few girls who have been spectacularly unhappy there. Mostly girls who a bit quirky, a couple who have been diagnosed while at the school as being on the autistic spectrum other who are just individuals. So it is worth considering if your dd fits the mold.
I believe they get the girls working a lot harder than Teddington or Orleans do. No real experience of Turing
I have children at both Teddington ( boy) and Waldegrave. I am very happy with the education at both schools. Main differences I have noticed are
1)range of extra curricular activities seems better at Teddington. Lots of free sport open to all not just select few in a team ( which in a large year of girls at Waldegrave is very competitive.)
2) facilities at Teddington better I think, very nice environment, not sure how important this is?
3) Extra support at Waldegrave seems excellent eg Stuck shop weekly after school help for Maths and science that girls can just turn up to if they are struggling with something at get one to one help. May exist at Teddington too?
4) Difficult to compare social aspects etc as son very laid back, daughter tends to keep her head down and avoid any potential confrontation .Both schools have disruptive behaviour as you would expect at a secondary school.
5) This may vary a lot across different friendship groups or be more common in girls but Waldegrave feels more pressured,
Lots of very high achieving girls which I think has triggered some self esteem issues for my daughter, but also does motivate her to work hard.
Have friends with children at Turing and Greycourt and not heard anything negative about either.
Overall I think you're in a great position with a choice of fantastic schools, probably comes down to matching your daughters personality with the right school for her!
Thanks so much to all of you, so much stuff to think about. Will definitely visit the schools together with DD. I wish they still had open evenings, both Waldegrave and Teddington dropped their open evenings, you can only visit during the school day on set dates, in the morning. How are we supposed to take yr 5 kids out of school, does that count as authorised absence?
If you write to your head, they will almost definitely allow you to go out to see those schools, we have had to, as of course it's really important your child goes with you, you should get an authorised absence. Note for Waldegrave you also need a ticket (free) but booked on line.
Agree it's a good idea to allow your dd to choose if she is choosing from several sensible options. It's hard for kids to go to a different secondary school from most of their friends. My dd was naturally biased towards Teddington as most of her friends were going there many with older brothers and sisters there already. But she didn't like Waldegrave when she visited aged 10 and hated it when she visited it for the 6th form open day last year so it ruled itself out, although it's now very hard for non Waldegrave girls to get into the 6th form anyway. I'm afraid they are inclined to slightly overdo the "we are so special" message which doesn't go down too well with slightly more relaxed people! Have been quite happy with Teddington and all the girls she has been friends with are lovely and a lot of them have achieved very highly in GCSEs and gone on to do sciences at A-level so that just isn't a valid worry I don't think. I think there is less bitchiness than at Waldegrave - they reserve it for the boys! A couple of girls in her year moved to Teddington because they were unhappy at Waldegrave but that could just have been random circumstances. I have lots of friends whose daughters have been happy at Waldegrave. I don't know much about Turing House but I think the commute to Whitton might be a paid - terrible traffic crossing A316 in the mornings. Have had many friends with children at Grey Court which is really nice. Much preferred the Grey Court 6th form to Waldegraves.
The Turing site situation isn't for everyone, but if you really like the school its worth keeping an open mind.
A lot of people from Twickenham/Teddington never go over to Whitton so they think the new Turing site will be miles away but its closer to the current site than Teddington School is and a quicker bus journey. TfL will need to up the frequency of the 481 when it opens though.
I think the A316 crossing's ok for pedestrians and bikes as there are bridges or an underpass depending on which bit of Twickenham you're crossing from. I don't like the pedestrian crossing on the west side of the Hospital Bridge Roundabout. It would be good if that could be a bridge instead, and it would keep the traffic flowing better too.
My other half drives that way around 8am or a bit after (TH starts at 8.30 and they're meant to be in good time before that). He says the route is only blocked occasionally, like when there's an accident on the A316. It gets stickier after 8.30 when the primaries have their school run.
Teddington can get busy around that time too though.
tw11, the Rightmove school checker only uses the National Offer Day distances, so you'll end up over-spending on houses if you don't take it with a big pinch of salt. There's a list of the 2016 September 1st distances doing the rounds on Facebook which shows how much they can grow by, although it will be different every year. Link to list is here - www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/401246/response/975955/attach/html/2/20663%202.csv.txt.html
Turing has no track record when it comes to GCSEs and A levels, and its SEN provision seems a bit iffy. I'd go for Waldegrave every time.
tw11 bear in mind some other parents will always prop up their own decisions by slagging off other schools.
As others said, they're all potentially good choices so you need to go with what your child wants guided by your own instincts, based on visits, talking to people about their direct experience, reading websites etc. A good bit of advice I got at the secondary transfer stage was to follow the schools' weekly newsletters and social media feeds for a while because it gives another angle on a school's personality. Also, if you're reading Ofsted inspections look at the dates as some haven't been inspected for a while.
I know some people who chose Turing and they also read up on the reports and results of other schools in the same academy trust. They aren't direct comparisons as they're in very different areas and some of them are faith schools but in terms of how they're run and the academic oversight there will be a lot of similarities and might help you get over the "new school phobia". New schools can have an energy and purpose that gives them something extra. For that reason have you thought about RTS too?
I wouldn't take too much notice of A level results because all the local sixth forms are very new and still in a state of flux, with some more successful at recruiting students than others. There's a lot of swapping around at KS5 and now that Waldegrave is in a trust with Teddington, Hampton and Twickenham School they all have responsibility for results across the trust, so I wouldn't be surprised if there's some sort of consolidation at some point. Either way, your daughter is likely to have her own strong ideas about where she goes to sixth form.
I hear nothing but positive things about Grey Court, but the commute from this side of the river is awkward - either a long bus journey, changing in Kingston or Richmond, or a cycle across the river at Teddington Lock and through woodland.
Another factor that I heard about last night is that the current Teddington head, John Wilkinson, has been promoted to be overall head of the Richmond West Schools' Trust, which runs Waldegrave, Teddington, Twickenham and Hampton High. As both the deputies of Teddington and Waldegrave have moved to run Hampton and Twickenham recently there may be a brand new head of Teddington from an external source soon. Parents tend to like Mr W - he is perceived as a good manager and nice man but not necessarily as charismatic and good with the kids as the previous Head so it will be interesting to see who they find next.
Thanks again. We're definitely in the catchment for Tedd, TH, and Grey Court and so we will be probably better off postpone purchasing a property until after we start school (although I'm fed up with living in a rental), so that's 2 years from now. More deposit saved I guess...
Well, unless DD falls in love with Waldegrave, case in which we need to find a property and move in before October next year. I can't stand the thought of moving to another rental.
@drumkit: thank you for that list! and @lottie for the news re: the Tedd school headteacher.
Just to say that they have already appointed a Teddington headteacher - see the main thread. She must have been appointed with the knowledge that Mr W was departing.
When comparing GCSE results between Waldegrave and Teddington girls, I can see C grade and above is broadly similar, but I get the impression that A* & A grade results are a much lower % at Teddington - especially in English, which strikes me as very under-achieving given the intake over past few years. Possibly because there is a weakness in teaching English, other essay-based humanities don't seem to do well in terms of highest grades - with many scraping through with a C grade. Science has been strong, but they have lost around 5 teachers in the past year, and stopped streaming some years which may impact the quality of teaching. That said there are certainly many very bright, motivated kids at the school. I'm just not sure they are best-served by some of the teachers. Hopefully the new headteacher will really fulfill the potential of all the pupils.
@user1485813778: results aren't everything. Having said that, do you mind posting a link with the results, I might be reading things incorrectly on the DfE site.
Grey Court is in lovely grounds and nowadays outstanding. They’re art and drama especially good.
tw11 - don't think the granular grade breakdown is on that sight (I might also be missing that)...just looked at the hand outs at the open evenings on past couple of years and what was said/not said in press releases when results came out....