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BHHS Any current reviews?

(9 Posts)
Ombre2000 Sat 06-Apr-19 11:36:54

Hi. we are considering Brighton and Hove High School Seniors for our daughter and would appreciate any current opinions. Would you still choose it for your child? Does she feel safe, happy and learning well?
Many thanks

PKBex1 Mon 08-Apr-19 17:07:06

Our DD is at the school and current opinions off the top of my head are:
Good, approachable teachers that generally get on well with the girls
Excellent music, drama and dance. The school really is very good for this.
Sport: Some people think sport at BHHS is poor. It's got a great sports hall, gym and dance studio and some netball courts but quite a lot has to be done off site. However, sporting opportunities are good if you want to represent the school as competition for places is not nearly as fierce in other places. A good bunch of PE and sports teachers too.
There is an issue with bullying at the school for some girls. There are 'cool girl' cliques in most of the years and although many sail through with no problems there are a lot of victims on the way. I personally know of at least 5 or 6 girls that have left for bullying-related issues and that number was even higher in the year above. As I say some girls are robust and they don't get affected but if your DD is anxious and low in confidence it could be an issue. Ours is ok but it has been very tricky at times and I'm not sure she has had the support she has needed.

For us and many others mobile phone usage is a problem at the school and I don't know many parents that agree with the school policy. Many have complained to but for some reason there is a reluctance to change. Because the girls have unrestricted access to their phones when outside during break and lunch there aren't many girls that leave their their devices in their bags. I know that other schools are far stricter and I think it makes for a happier place and at least a bit more conversation.

I'm told the food is terrible.

Is BHHS is a good city school? I would say yes. Given the chance again would I send DD there? Probably not.

Ombre2000 Mon 08-Apr-19 18:10:06

Thank you PKBex1
Would you mind saying what year your daughter is in?

PKBex1 Tue 09-Apr-19 13:45:54

Probably best not to give away DD's year. I've changed username too when answering your post as I don't want to jeopardise her anonymity.

You might be interested to know that the school is soon to be re-branding itself from 'Brighton & Hove High School' to 'Brighton Girls' (with a new logo) and I think the penny has finally dropped that they are being out-competed by neighbouring schools and so they are embarking on a serious marketing and PR campaign (and I bet they read this post too). In days gone by most of the girls from the prep school would naturally progress to the High School and remaining places would be filled by new girls. This has altered dramatically in recent years and new girls probably outnumber old. My view is that the Prep School Head has done such an amazing job (or she's been very lucky) that she's almost created a feeder school for places like Brighton College and Roedean who poach considerable numbers of academic and sporting talent using their impressive open days, gleaming facilities and tempting scholarships. The High School has been a bit behind the curve and I think they are struggling now to make up numbers and retain 'old' girls and attract 'new'. It is also predominantly the old girls who end up leaving in years 7-8 and few of these places get taken up.

Despite this, and bucking the recent trend, I've heard the majority of the current year 6 are moving to the High School in September which is a good sign - although it is a small year.

I hope this has been helpful. Obviously many may disagree with me but I hope this has come across as fairly reasonable and fair.

Ombre2000 Wed 10-Apr-19 07:35:29

Thank you for responding and I understand that you can’t disclose your daughters year. I think you’ve been quite fair 🙂
I can’t say I blame the school for rebranding, there is stiff competition in the area. In many ways what you’ve described has alleviated my concerns about it not being completely subscribed. Not being that it isn’t a good school just that they have been left behind in terms of marketing and PR.

brightonlucy Wed 05-Jun-19 13:53:42

Hello, not sure if you are still looking. But we are coming to the end of our time at the now 'Brighton Girls' so it's given me the opportunity to reflect on whether it was worth the investment. I think probably not, but it's hard to tell!

Our daughter probably would have fared just as well at Varndean or Stringer, and had a wider choice of subjects, better sports and more choice of friends. It's been ok, the teaching is a bit patchy - some of the GCSE physics girls tried to complain about the quality of the teaching and I have met some great and not so great teachers there. The school has been unhelpful and uninterested in any feedback about the quality of teaching in my experience.

My daughter has never experienced nor commented upon bullying there, so i'm not sure if she's been lucky or the bullying is just heresay. The re-branding is a source of much embarrassment and jokes amongst the girls. Google 'Brighton Girls' and you'll get escort agencies and hen do's. The girls were told at school that the school wanted to appear as 'edgy' I think they should focus upon good results and high quality teaching, but they are just to small to get great teachers working there.

On the whole it's been fine, but I often reflect upon whether it was worth the investment, I'm sure it would have been better spent elsewhere, a friend goes to Burgess Hill Girls and it sounds really great in comparison. We have discounted the 6th form as it's tiny and old fashioned, the subject choices for GCSE are also old fashioned and limited, and not doing the girls any favours. Perhaps with a new head coming in it will improve, but I would definitely recommend looking elsewhere. The school feels a bit lazy and in need of a serious re structuring and staffing rather than just a surface rebrand, it's still the same school underneath.

Notinahundredyears Fri 03-Jan-20 13:18:17

Ombre2000, you probably made a choice already? I agree with brightonlucy. Not so sure about Burgess Hill Girls though - have heard mixed reviews and not all is great there. As for BHHS - Brighton Girls (hate that name) - I have a DD there in senior school and all the above points - re feeling of being a bit lazy and not being able (or not wanting to) to deal with bullying are the main points. I would say you get the same as you would get in a comprehensive school minus the huge discipline issue and large classes. The actual syllabus is no different from a state school (apart from music) as I understand. In short, disappointed, but still wouldn't send mine to a local school as heard horrendous stories.

Zoidberg Thu 09-Jan-20 13:21:41

My DD just went to the assessment day for entry into Y7, I hope she gets in but sad to hear your concerns. It sounds like you think the new head won't make much difference either.

On balance I still think the high school will be preferable to our state schools, we're not in catchment for Varndean or Stringer.

She's at the Burgess Hill assessment day now, that probably is my favourite, but it's a lot of travel time that will impact on her physical activity and that's a big downside, and it's 20% more expensive. And she's not keen!

Notinahundredyears Fri 10-Jan-20 17:20:21

Zoidberg, good luck to your DD.
I personally hope the new head will bring a positive change and will turn this school around. Fingers crossed.

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