Opinions on pastoral and safety at Guildford High School(6 Posts)
Morning, does anyone have any first hand experience of pastoral care and general attitude of children attending Guildford High School? We are considering applying but I have heard (anecdotal) stories around prolific bullying and eating disorders. I don't want to generalise and I'm sure they are over-egged but I was wondering if anyone could settle my worries? Thanks, A
DD was there, never experienced bullying - at most the occasional very low level unkindness/petty girls - BUT that is normal and the same at any school. Yes there was probably the odd instance of bullying but I can imagine it would be dealt with very quickly and efficiently. From what I saw, the girls are generally very polite and good natured.
DD received some outstanding pastoral care while she was there when our family went through a bereavement. It was really above and beyond what I'd expect and very personal. They knew my DD and what she was like, what made her 'tick' and very much catered their approach to each girl's personality and situation.
In terms of eating disorders when DD was there, there was the occasional case - but nothing extreme or more than usual levels. Which is good considering it is a very academic girls school full of perfectionist hardworking girls (often traits associated with anorexia!) I don't know the current situation - DD left a few years ago. I worry what the new GCSE system/A level will do to academic girls' mental health though generally!!
You have to remember it is very tough to get into and as such all the girls are very bright. We found the school fairly relaxed though once you are in, detentions etc were rare. The girls there all WANT to work and do well. But they are also very caring, value their close friendships and have lots of fun! It is a great school for the right girl.
Negatives - not sure it would suit DD if she had scraped a place and was 'bottom' of the year group as it could have led to her feeling disillusioned that she wasn't bright or good enough. Most teachers were fantastic but the odd one was poor (same in any school though). A few 'tiger parents' in the junior section but we just ignored it and didn't let it worry or bother us! This is dated information though.
IMO nothing unusual there - from our experiences it was all excellent and a very personal caring atmosphere. For those that need it, there is extensive support available.
I would say that most Guildford schools can be a bit "intense" and girls at GCSE level do pressurise themselves. However the GHS girls I know seem pretty well balanced, and even one shy one I knew who joined at 11 seems to have "found her place".
Being an all girls school it is more aware than most of eating disorders, and from the girls I know there seems to be an awareness of ensuring friends do eat (my DD complains about this a bit, but she is a worry about eating).
If you are going into the junior school and it isn't the right school for your DD, there is movement to other local schools.
BTW one old GHS girl who I knew in the past, used to complain a lot about the school, but I noticed that she now sends her own DD there.
I know a number of parents with girls attending GHS and I have to say that I have heard nothing but good things about the school. No mistaking this is a highly academic school with very bright girls who seem to be very inclusive and make great friendships during their time there. Once, I even witnessed one of the girls standing up for a friend involved in a small squabble at school (witnessed a lovely conversation between teens with a great sense of what was right and wrong). As with any girls school, there will always be squabbles (not quite bullying really !) but girls are generally kind, polite and willing to stick up for themselves and their friends if need be. In fact, I know parents of three bright girls who moved to GHS from highly academic london schools due to the amout of pressure and bullying experienced elsewhere. In comparison, I have been told that GHS has excellent pastoral care compared to other schools of the same calibre. If I had a daughter (I only have a DS), it would definitely be my school of choice.
I have a daughter at GHS and it is the best choice for her. She totally loves it. The girls and staff are friendly and supportive. She smiles every day before and after school. What more could a parent want?
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