Glendower vs. Pembridge

(11 Posts)
bombcyclone Tue 05-Feb-19 15:42:42

In a bit of a spin and could really use some help.

Making a choice this week between Pembridge Hall and Glendower -- and, given some of what's going on in both schools, not even really sure where to begin.

Really hoping some wise parents with daughters in either might be able to help.

Starting with Pembridge: we know that quite a few girls left for Bute, Glendower and KP last year, and that gives me pause.

Seems there'd be a lot of pressure to jump on that bandwagon, but working towards the 7+ then testing again for SPGS after that seems a pretty intense way to spend one's early childhood.

But maybe that's just the norm these days. And: maybe the 7+ isn't actually all that stressful. Thoughts?

What happens to girls who stays through the 11+? And: even should a girl who stays through 11+ secure entry to a great prep, is she really as well prepared to perform strongly as compared to the Pembridge cohort that left for Bute at 6?

Beyond that, one hears that there has been high teacher turnover lately -- although given how much OTT venom is spewed about Pembridge, one takes what others say with a massive grain of salt unless they actually have children in the school.

But then I look at Glendower and it's not as though it's smooth sailing over there, either.

Truthfully, I find myself really put off by the sudden departure of their headmistress -- not just in terms of its the timing, or in terms of losing her as a resource, but in terms of the how blasé the administration is when discussing it.

The fact that parents won't know who Mrs. Knolly's replacement is for quite some time appears to be being swept entirely under the rug -- or, if acknowledged, sort of fobbed off as an irrelevance.

Everyone seemed to make such a big deal out of how amazing a Head Mrs. Knollys was whilst she was committed to being at Glendower -- waxing poetic about her visionary leadership and the impact it had on the school and all the girls and so on.

Surely it would make sense that her departure would be considered equivalently problematic? And if so: should one reconsider sending one's daughter to Glendower because of it?

Any Glendower or Pembridge parents who want to shed some light on what's going on? I'd be grateful for the insight.

OP’s posts: |
newmummycwharf1 Tue 05-Feb-19 21:55:06

Not a parent in these schools but every one will tell you that 7+ prep is intense anywhere. You are wise to consider not putting your child through both 7+ and 11+

bombcyclone Tue 05-Feb-19 22:01:53

Thanks. And apologies for the completely bonkers looking strike throughs above -- I don't post often. Which is subtle.

The double 7+ 11+ thing does seem pretty grim. Ditto the academic moves that would potentially accompany doing well.

I appreciate you underscoring that, though; I tend to wonder whether these exams are actually pretty harmless and it's just that people are often a bit OTT about everything having to do with their children (understandably), but if you say they're grim, I'm sure they are.

OP’s posts: |
MMmomDD Wed 06-Feb-19 16:36:52

When you are in a school system you’ll see that there is often turnover.
Lots of teachers in preps are young women, in marrying and childbearing ages.
And most schools in the area (except for FH) have had a HM change in the past 5-7 years.
And their reputations have largely stayed the same.
Same happens at secondary, btw. For example - both SPSG and G&L have new HMs this year...

So - G is and will still be stronger academically than PH. And it’s a coveted position - so they should be able to get a strong candidate.
And then the parents would be informed. When there is an actual information to communicate.
G’s HM is leaving as a step up in her career. She did the same when she came to G. It’s not surprising.

Good luck. Choosing a school at 4 seems daunting and a huge decision. But as time goes on - you realise that it’s just one step in a long marathon. And nothing is cast in stone - people can and do move around schools in early Prep stages.

Your girl will be fine whichever decision you make now. And as the time progresses - you’ll need to observe and adjust if necessary.

ZebraZigZag Wed 06-Feb-19 17:32:28

Lot's of good advice. I am not a parent at either, but looked at both and am a prep school teacher so quite in the loop of the london preps.

Where is head of Glendower going out of interest?

ZebraZigZag Wed 06-Feb-19 17:32:40

Ignore apostrophe on lots!

user149799568 Wed 06-Feb-19 17:39:49

Notting Hill Prep

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dietcokemegafan Thu 07-Feb-19 06:16:51

7+ is hideous. My son has just got into a school we like but it was not a nice experience. And that was with school support from a pre prep.

bombcyclone Thu 07-Feb-19 16:16:46

Thanks for your input, all.

Interesting to note that the shift from G to NHP is seen as a step up career-wise; not sure why that would be so if G is as strong a school as it's meant to be.

Agreed that there is turnover of teaching staff and leadership across the spectrum of schools, but persist in thinking that Heads make a real difference in terms of the feel and attitude of the institutions they lead.

As I understand it, G, for example, was even more of a pressure cooker than Faulkner House until the current Head came in and softened it.

Although she also did away with the sibling policy straight out of the gate, so perhaps she wasn't as mellowing an influence as all that.

Frankly I'm also just a bit confused about what sort of families are sending their children to Glendower. Pembridge, I understand...for better and worse.

OP’s posts: |
MMmomDD Thu 07-Feb-19 17:35:43

For a bright kid - neither Glendower, or Faulkner feel like pressure cookers. At all.
I have two, both are/were one of these schools. And for my girls the pace of learning was just right.
And if anything - a bit slow at times.

As to what kind of parents.... Same exact kind that send kids to Glendower and Faulkner House.
People take their kids to assessments in the schools in the area. Then - brightest ones (as much as one can judge at 4) end up at G&FH.... Others go to the other schools they got into.

MMmomDD Thu 07-Feb-19 17:41:29

As far as a step-up - NHP is a bigger school and is co-Ed and goes to 13....
bigger=better

Plus she must have been offered a good package.

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