We are starting to look for schools for our daughter for reception. We visited a couple and I really liked STAHS but got feedback that kids are under pressure I don't mean any offense to anyone who goes there, but I wanted to get your feeling about it. For example if you daughters go there, do you feel you need to pay extra tutor and let her study hard in the weekend to meet the bar? I am trying to understand what people mean by under pressure, to see if that would work for us and our daughter or not.
Hi there. I have daughter at STAHS. She is currently in year 13.
It is a highly academic school that gets results if that is what you are after.
If your daughter is interested in Oxbridge, Medicine, Dentistry or Veterinary science the support for application is exceptional.
The pastoral support is excellent.
The vast majority of the teachers are excellent.
The school does mostly produce lovely, confident and thoughtful students.
The school s very good at nurturing and developing talent where it already exists. Not so great at teaching girls from scratch. For example a talented linguist will flourish but someone who has difficulty with languages will not be overly encouraged or taught. This is most apparent in PE and games. The girls picked for teams are without exception those who already have talent and skill. If a girl is not already showing talent she will not be encouraged and nurtured - for example my daughter is not particularly sporty and despite being at the school all this time still does not know the rules of lacrosse - despite us having to buy a lacrosse stick for about £50. All of the attention is paid to the girls who are already good at it. The teachers are just not interested in the non talented girls. These girls will also be in a number of outside school clubs to be taught and then get to show off at the school. This runs right across netball, hockey, tennis, gymnastics and swimming. To be fair to the Headmistress I think that she is trying to address this.
Although generally the teachers are good there is some bullying of pupils by teachers which is really not addressed. I have heard of this in Modern Languages, History and Maths.
The Headmistress is very good at promoting the school and herself in the press but seems to be unaware about what is happening in the school - see the above point re bullying by teachers.
It is expensive! We have to pay exam fees on top of school fees, pay extra for lunches. NOTHING apart from teaching is included in the fees. Speaking to friends with children at other independent schools this is not the case at all schools.
There have been ALOT of cancelled lessons in sixth form - with no explanations given.
It IS a highly academic school and most of the girls in sixth form have an additional tutor for their weaker subjects.
As you can see - good and bad. On balance I am happy my daughter is there as she is happy but it definitely not for everyone.
Hope that helps.
Interesting to read that description of the high School as it doesn't sound like its changed at all since I was there in the early 90s!!
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