Waldegrave or Teddington School?

(18 Posts)
Petje Sun 17-May-15 09:44:05

We are a Dutch family moving to Teddington this summer. We are now searching for a house. Our oldest daughter needs to go to secondary in 1 year, so location of the house is crucial. Which school would you go for (we have 2 daughters): Waldegrave or Teddington? When you look at results Waldegrave seems the one, but then Teddington seems to improve a lot, and we see more houses to rent in the Teddington than Waldegrave catchment area. All advice, latest news on the schools, very welcome.

tw11 Mon 18-May-15 12:43:48

Both schools are great, but Waldegrave gets better academic results on average and is rated Outstanding by Ofsted, while Teddington is "only" Good. However, Waldegrave is girls-only vs Teddington which is mixed gender, how do you feel about that? Also, I'd go and visit the schools if I were you...

Devora Mon 18-May-15 23:04:33

I can't swear this is true, but a brainy friend insists that if you analyse girls' and boys' results separately you will not find a big results gap between teddington and Waldegrave. In other words, girls do nearly as well academically at Teddington as at Waldegrave.

LProsser Mon 18-May-15 23:55:58

Teddington used to publish girls and boys results separately at one time to show that girls at Teddington did as well in their GCSEs as girls at Waldegrave and it was only because Teddington had 2/3 boys that their results were lower. However I think that was when they were trying to convince parents of girls it was OK to send them to Teddington - parents used to have a choice as catchments overlapped and to worry about the gender imbalance. Now it is impossible to get into Waldegrave from the Teddington catchment area there are no more separate results. The gender balance is a lot nearer 50/50 now. Maybe it stopped because it was upsetting the boys and the parents of boys! I think your daughters will be happy whichever school they attend Petje.

sheilafisher Tue 19-May-15 10:03:45

Both schools are great, and work closely together. Teddington, as you may have noticed has a beautiful new building, and Waldegrave a beautiful new sixth form building. I think it will come down to whether you are happy with single sex or not. We have ended up with 3 at Waldegrave, and (very, very personally) have found that it seems to be working very well for us. That said, all three DDs do after school activities with a fairly heavy male bias, so I don't think they miss out on much because of that.

Prior to the shrink in catchment, we would definitely have gone for Teddington, because single sex seemed just odd to us, and something we had no experience of. It has actually worked out very well.

Petje Tue 19-May-15 10:21:22

Hi all, thank you so much for your advice, really helps. Good to know both schools are good and GCSEs results for girls similar. When I look at data available online, it seems that the subjects the girls take seem to be different in both schools. More Math and Science in Waldegrave and very wide scale of subjects in Teddington (that is if I understand the data correctly). To be honest, I think I have one girl for which Waldegrave would be a perfect match (she loves science, very good in math) and another girl for which Teddington might be better (loves languages and art), but with the whole catchment situation have to select one. Remains difficult, but as you all say, can't really make a wrong choice. That's the good thing about Teddington. Really looking forward to our move! Thanks again for all your input, Petje

Petje Tue 19-May-15 13:28:30

and Sheila, thanks for your comment on the single sex. We are also not used to it at all, probably pro's and con's, but think it might work out for our girls as well if we make sure they meet boys outside of school. TW11, agree the best way is to visit the schools, have visited Waldegrave already, now only Teddington to go, and make our final choice.

MrsSalvoMontalbano Wed 27-May-15 16:24:11

I heard that Teddington has had a big turnover of staff this year and a new HT.
Behaviour is vastly better at Waldegrave.
If your DD is keen to learn, no contest.

LProsser Sun 31-May-15 23:10:42

Teddington had a new headteacher at the beginning of summer term 2014 so over a year ago now. There has been some staff turnover but much of this appears to be due to retirement and other non-sinister reasons - in one or two cases teachers have moved away because of house prices I'm afraid but that affects all schools locally. The not so new head appears keen to appoint good quality new staff, including those with experience of A-level teaching which some of the longstanding retirees did not have as no A-levels before this year. I am always being told (complained to!) by my dd that he is very strict. I'm sure behaviour is exquisite at Waldegrave but I haven't found that there are big problems with behaviour at Teddington so interested to know why you think Waldegrave behaviour is "vastly better". I know there was a comment in the last Teddington OFSTED about low level fidgeting - is that what you mean?

MrsSalvoMontalbano Mon 01-Jun-15 12:11:43

LProsser - I have worked in both schools, so can compare them from that viewpoint.

Heathclif Mon 01-Jun-15 16:28:47

petje Single sex education is different. In a good year with girls who have respect for each other then not having boys in the environment can mean they can focus on their studies free of any gendered expectations. There is evidence that girls are more likely to have the confidence to opt for STEM subjects in a girls' school, and of course Waldegrave has a specialism in Science and Maths. There is also evidence that different teaching methods suit girls and so girls' schools will favour the methods that suit girls best. And of course in a still patriarchal society it can be argued a girls' school gives girls a break to grow in confidence.

However whilst in boys behaviour issues tend to manifest themselves in rather more noisy and disruptive ways in a cohort of girls it will often emerge in the form of manipulative and exclusive behaviour. When there are enough girls indulging in that sort of behaviour in a cohort that can be hard for a school to tackle, or even recognise. The presence of boys tends to inhibit the more extreme manifestations . You can get dysfunctional cohorts like that at any school, state and private and I have certainly heard of such cohorts at every local girls' school including Waldegrave, leading to girls being taken out of the school. Of course you cannot know in advance what a cohort can be like but I am sure you will have an instinct about which environment would suit your daughter best.

MrsSalvoMontalbano Tue 02-Jun-15 15:21:31

Pupil progress at Waldegrave v Teddington
This is useful comparison site (Dept of Education) - compare lots of stats that the schools like to bury - eg how many and what type of pupils make expected progress - by comparing two or more schools gives a useful pointer for questions to ask when you visit as it takes you behind the spin regarding their headline GCSE scores, and excuses for a weak cohort.

LProsser Thu 04-Jun-15 09:41:13

Thanks Mrs SM - useful to hear from someone who has been on the staff. My dd does complain that there is a lot of attention seeking behaviour from boys in some classes. She particularly enjoys her language class this year as there are very few boys in it - only about 25%. My experience so far, at primary and early years of secondary, has been that the presence of boys seems to mean that the girls are more unified and don't bitch about one another as they have a common enemy that is so much more irritating to focus on! But obviously there are always things going on in schools that you don't hear about as a parent.

I also feel that there are less problems with body image and stress in mixed rather than in single sex schools based on what I hear from friends with girls, especially at private schools. My friend with a daughter at a leading North London private girls school has just told me that her daughter's A-level field trip was cancelled because there were so many girls in the class suffering with anorexia and stress that couldn't be taken on it. I wonder if this is because the girls in co-ed grow up seeing that the girls that are most popular with boys over the years (in a friendly way) tend to be the jolly and sporty ones and in real life popularity is not based on appearances so much.

The comparison site you flag up has been mentioned here before - I agree it doesn't make Teddington School look good compared to Waldegrave. There is such a range of abilities in a 240 pupil intake that it's hard to get a perspective on what's happening. I've heard anecdotally that the teachers in secondaries locally complain that their intake has too many classed as high achievers to enable them to show sufficient progress but that sounds a bit pathetic! I don't know what the impact of the more detailed SATS starting points that mum told us about a while back will be.

Heathclif Thu 04-Jun-15 10:02:49

LProsser I think that in a girls' school the attention seeking behaviour in a problem year manifests itself in group norms that are much more focused by manipulative girls on the way you look, predatory activity with boys etc. ways they can make sure they are the Queen bees. As you say familiarity breeds contempt, and such behaviour evaporates in the face of a group who don't comprehend the game, let alone play it......

LProsser Sat 06-Jun-15 17:32:34

I love the way you put it in that last sentence!

There's a story here about Cheltenham Ladies taking steps to prevent so many girls from becoming depressed e.g. getting rid of homework, introducing meditation. In the newspaper edition it said that it was doing so following a rise in the number of girls diagnosed with depression but that doesn't appear in the online version.

MrsSalvoMontalbano Sat 06-Jun-15 18:16:49

You could look at relative absence rates, which gives an indication of how healthy an environment ... Unfortunately they don't give staff absence rates - that would throw up a few shockers and stark comparisons...

Hebe2 Sun 28-Jun-15 20:35:42

Thanks for the link MrsSal. I have found this value added data on 'best 8' GCSE's very interesting. So would a score of around 1036 indicate getting one grade higher than expected in 6 of the GCSE's taken? looking at the government analysis it seems to say so, all within confidence levels indicated. Therefore a score of 1048 would be achieving one grade higher in each of the 'best 8' GCSE's taken, taking into account prior achievement at year 6 SATs. I would like to know if I fact I am reading and interpreting the data correctly... Any teachers or followers of this thread good at statistical analysis ?

foxinsocks Tue 30-Jun-15 21:18:21

Can't click on the links as on my phone but mine both at Teddington (one girl, one boy) and I'm very happy with their progress. Dd particularly has constantly exceeded where even we thought she should be! Ds, it's too early to tell.

Be very careful re admissions and picking where you live as this will be key whatever you choose.

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