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Anyone with a DD at the Cavendish School , Camden?

(7 Posts)
sunburst Sun 20-May-12 23:44:36

Really need some help in information about this school. The school has offered us a place and although we have been on a tour very little information about the school in league tables and other media.

We were wondering whether it compares with schools such as St Margarets in Hampstead or Channing? Any information would be welcome

Bellybee Mon 21-May-12 16:27:24

My DD is at Cavendish. She is extremely happy there and they are a lovely bunch of girls. Obviously Channing is an academically selective school so you will get a wider range of abilities in Cavendish (meaning that the teachers need to be very good!), there are some highly gifted children and also some who need extra help but this is all catered for. Unofficial streaming starts at year 2. Pastoral care is excellent, the girls are all taught to care for and look after each other and this seems to be working - no mean kids in the class! Their results at year 6 this year were good - lots of places accepted at South Hampstead, Channing, Highgate, Queens etc.

yesbutnobut Mon 21-May-12 17:12:09

I know families with girls at Cavendish and they love it. Some slightly quirky teachers - a plus I think - and of course don't forget it is Catholic. Very good music and the girls seem to do well at 11+. Very sociable school for parents. Numbers do drop off as the girls go up through the school e.g. if parents get a place somewhere else or don't want to put their daughters through the pressure of 11+.

sunburst Tue 22-May-12 22:48:56

Thank you both, that's really helpful. Are the families who go there generally professionals? Also do they encourage sport? I didn't get the feeling it's too Catholic (we are not) - is that right? We would like a mix of religions and cultures....

SlimSchadey Tue 12-Jun-12 15:19:12

Hello, late to this thread, but have a Q -- what does "streaming" mean, unofficial or official? BellyBee mentions this in her post above. Just for the record, I went to a recent Cavendish tour and just loved it. Thought everything about it was just right and was the first school where I could see my child and our family fitting in. And I have visited a lot of schools!

sunburst Sat 07-Jul-12 00:14:35

Hi Slim, I agree it's a lovely school, and we're sending both our girls there. I think streaming means separating on basis of ability and how much help the children need - quite normal x

cavendishmary Mon 12-Nov-12 14:56:59

Hi, there. Joining this stream wearing three hats. I had three girls through the school from 2.5 to 11 years, have taught Primary for years and joined the Governing Board which I now Chair. (btw the majority of the governors at this school are current or former parents, so that is not only a)very unusual indeed but b)gives you an insight into the importance attached to the parent 'voice' and is frankly a huge contributor to the warm and unpretentious vibe at the school) This isn't an 'ad', just an honest and perhaps better-informed-than-most perspective. It does have a Catholic Foundation and yes, the children are encouraged to live by values of kindness, tolerance, compassion etc but the idea that it is in any way dogmatic is way off. I'm a pretty tepid Catholic myself and it was just the right 'dose' of spirituality for my family. There are children of other faiths and no faith and a family's personal choice on religion doesn't impact at all. The school's values are those of any sane and decent parent. Those of you who have paid us a visit will have seen the real deal. No window dressing, just a celebration of what the children do. There is a huge mythology about setting/ streaming which can be a pretty insidious process if badly handled. The Cavendish has a big mission to avoid the 'one size fits all' factory approach which many private schools go in for because they are selective and the pupils are roughly all the same ability (high). Cavendish go in for a more tailor made provision and individual learning and the children's progress is tracked (not tested!!) regularly to make sure that there is extra support when needed and additional challenge to keep them stimulated. I am naturally biased but it is a delightful little school and one which girls miss and return to long after they've left. Trust me, it is possible to have academic rigour without stress and the outcomes at 11+ sort of speak for themselves. If you're unsure about whether it's right for your DD book another visit, come to a play or concert. Just ring up. If I can meet you for a cup of tea and a chat will and the Head is super-approachable. These are huge decisions and it can be a very scary process. Hope that's helpful. Good luck to you and your girls wherever they go.

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