North London Collegiate or Highgate School at 7+(34 Posts)
My DD has just been offered North London and Highgate School at 7+.
I was convinced I will send her to Highgate (co-ed, less pressure, excellent facilities, more of a mix ethnically (North London appears to be mainly Asian/Jewish)). But quite a few of my friends told me this is the wrong decision and DD woul be a perfect girl for North London. She is very bright and self motivated. I don't need to sit with her when she does homework and she always wants to do her best. She is very confident but also very sensitive. She has no problem at all making friends but gets upset when there is any disharmony even when she is not involved eg when someone is not nice to someone else.
Any opinions on both schools would be extremely welcome.
Lilly - Highgate has very many extremely able children. There is great provision - early morning maths club for the two top mathematicians in each class, something called Brain academy where a few of the more able children where they do algebra etc.
We have a very bright child (ie had a choice of Westminster) going in sept to join a sibling.
Vast majority of the parents are hardworking professionals. A lot of mums work. I'd say the most common profession in my son's year 5 class is doctor.
Yes, there are some notable a list celebs. But vast majority are yes, overall privileged, but not many of the superwealthy.
It's an amazing school. For what it's worth I know a family with two boys at Highgate who are in the process of moving their three girls from North London to join the boys. Found the latter way too much of a hot house for their very able girls. Clearly though its a fantastic school and the majority of parents happy with NLCs.
Thank you so much for your detailed reply!
May I just ask another questions re provision for able children?
I heard that year 3 is mainly consolidation of knowledge. My daughter is already at mid to end year 3 level in English and Maths and in fact will do Sats for year 3. (I don't say this to boast but because I really value your opinion) Will the school provide interesting extra work? Someone told me her son was only given more of the same, when he finished his work early in class.
Lilly - most parents at both schools are professional middle class parents. You will not see A-list celebs at NLCS but will find some at Highgate (e.g actors' and footballers' children).
As to stretching the able, I cannot comment on Highgate, but at NLCS at year 3, for example, the Maths and English books for the whole class are year 4 books (but not only). They stretch the most able too and there are provisions to help the ones who need help.
As to the question for arts and sports I am not sure whether you refer to time for after school activites. At NLCS they do plenty of art, drama, music during school hours. They is always a performance (or 3) around the corner. There are also free clubs for games, gymnastics, swimming, arts and crafts and numerous music activities, chamber choir, instrumental ensembles, orchestra etc. Most girls have additional music lessons and/or attend sports/other activities outside school hours too.
Feel free to PM me if you have more questions.
We're friends with parents of a child at nlcs because she left our state school to go there at the end of year 2. We have nlcs down for 11+ but from what we now know we think either the school is not really ahead of others in terms of school work or the child is too bright for them.
Hampsteadmum, they don't do year 4 work or use yr 4 book at year 3. I KNOW that because we regularly see their year 3 work and I can even tell you what they are doing right now in maths.
For Lilly2013, don't worry about the home-work level (it is not too much and not too difficult for any child at that stage in a good state/private school), don't worry about the HIGH intensity teaching (if it's there at all, it is not far away from anything they do at most good schools), and as for rich parents (don't even think about that although the father of the child we know is something special brain-wise and will sooner or later appear prominent in national life).
What I like of nlcs is the array of outdoor projects they expose young pupils to in addition to their studies. Yesterday for example those in Y3 learnt about Vikings and had time to research and prepare for this class and seeking objects to take to school. My state school child was filled with envy but she did most of the preparation with her friend but could not appear in the class with her good friend and had to wait for her from school to fill us in with the rest - which they then practised together.
This is where nlcs develop the child and prepare them for outstanding results in later years. They have outstanding scripts for the child to learn every now and then. They hold several events every now and then. In less than one year, we can see the difference in the all round ability of the nlcs child rather than us just knowing her as being very clever.
So if you believe that people learn more by doing projects, testing things out by themselves and being regularly creative and challenged to think outside the box rather than being taught to memorise stuff or just do kumons worksheet forever, then you would easily understand why nlcs appears to be a great school. This is what I think separates them from the other schools I know about and why they produce outstanding results. They have the right formula and work really hard on presentation too. If I was in government, I would get some of their people to help out on education policy.
The head at NLCS does help out on education policy.
Yes - what did you decide? Does anyone know how many reserve list letters Highgate issued?
Hampsteadmum, your post is so helpful, would you mind if I pm you to ask you a few things about nlcs?
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