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Insiders view on strengths/weaknesses of Edinburgh independents?

(30 Posts)
neverknowinglyunderdressed Mon 09-May-11 17:06:53

Have been to look around GH, SM, GW and EA and visiting F this week. I generally felt that they all seemed much of a muchness, so difficult to choose. Is each school 'known' for something ie one is more academic, one more arty/sporty etc? If I knew what differentiated them - it might be easier to match that up to my DTS.

Also we are not 'posh' would like to know that we will 'fit in' too.

Its bad to decide based on the colour of the uniform isnt it? grin

OP’s posts: |
kaumana Mon 09-May-11 17:25:31

One big selling point is that GWC is on one site unlike GH whose pitches are miles away. Which maybe explains why GWC tends to be perceived as the sportier school and GH more academic. Though not much in it tbh.

kaumana Mon 09-May-11 20:23:34

Might be an idea to post in the Local Edinburgh forum.

AMumInScotland Mon 09-May-11 20:39:40

EA - I think they have to do cadets? Only started taking girls recently, so probably not yet very mixed.

EA and F considered posher; GH, SM and GW more middle-class

GW - good music department, much stronger than GH (when we visited 4 years ago anyway)

GW and SM very similar intake - depends if you want co-ed all through or not

I'd say they're all good broad schools - pretty sure you wouldn't regret any of them, from what I saw of them at least (Visited all but F looking for S3 place, no offers...)

crazycarol Mon 09-May-11 21:30:57

What year are you looking for entry? All of the schools are academically selective and all achieve excellent exam results.

SM (esp Junior School) good for music, GW also good for music. GW also good for sport (but sports block being redeveloped at the moment - no idea of impact). Although all of them are considered good for sport. GH playing fields a bus ride away from the school, SM similar, but not as far.

Fettes has a very high proportion of boarders, EA, GW, GH all day pupils and SM a small number of boarders (25 approx in the school).

Fettes follows a mainly English style curriculum with GCSEs & A levels. The others follow the Scottish curriculum mainly, with a few GCSEs & A levels for good measure Some also offer the IB - F & GW, not sure about the others.

GW, GH co-ed throughout. SM single sex for s1-5 and co-ed for s6, EA used to be boys only and only recently added girls and has a higher % boys.

Some of them are a bit more 'formal' in their style F, EA, others less so. You will find at all of the schools there are pupils from different backgrounds. The visit should give you a feel of how you would "fit in" and which are right for your family.

You may however find that you don't get to choose! GW had places for less than 1/2 that took the s1 test, GH less than 1/4. No knowledge of the others, but it does vary slightly from year to year.

kaumana Mon 09-May-11 22:02:28

RE GWC sport - only swimming has been affected with the redevelopment.

Update below

http://www.gwc.org.uk/our-school/george-watsons-college-centre-for-sport/

crazycarol - has a given a good breakdown. Take heed of her last paragraph.

claire201 Mon 09-May-11 22:08:26

I have friends with children in smc, not overly impressed and has put me off sending my dd next sept to the nursery. I have been told heriots better, but bit of a pain to get too, also st georges has a good rep for girls. Also thinking about cargilfield as it is small which is appealing.

neverknowinglyunderdressed Tue 10-May-11 08:20:10

Actually looking for entry in P4, (posted here as thought more traffic) so also considering Cargilfield. Will prob get to choose, kids v bright.

OP’s posts: |
neverknowinglyunderdressed Tue 10-May-11 11:36:54

Is Fettes selective?

OP’s posts: |
AMumInScotland Tue 10-May-11 11:48:05

They are all selective!

neverknowinglyunderdressed Tue 10-May-11 12:32:33

Oh, thought it might be of the 'super rich but average' variety! grin

OP’s posts: |
neverknowinglyunderdressed Tue 10-May-11 12:38:02

When I went to look around before, GH (difficult location and no sports pitches) and EA (no dramatic buildings) were my favourites, but with those drawbacks. But, I don't really know why, just a vague feeling. Shouldn't it be a bit more scientific?

OP’s posts: |
AMumInScotland Tue 10-May-11 13:46:55

I know there's a huge amount of angst about picking schools - but your gut feeling is probably as good a way to choose as any, when you're picking between schools that are all pretty good anyway.

kaumana Tue 10-May-11 16:38:14

Your drawbacks include "no dramatic buildings" . Are you having a laugh?!

claire201 Tue 10-May-11 16:40:42

how do you know your children are brighter than the other children already at the school?? I will hopefully not run into you at the school sports day! yuck.

Northernlurker Tue 10-May-11 16:44:27

Oh dear - Edinburgh is full of bright kids and bright parents looking at schools. I think it's very unlikely your children are brighter than any others.

The 'dramatic buildings' thing is v funny though. You were trying to make us laugh weren't you? Nobody would seriously decide where they were spending thousands of pounds on education based on the stonework....would they?

neverknowinglyunderdressed Tue 10-May-11 16:59:48

Claire - I didn't say that they were brighter than the other children at the school. Just that they are v bright.

NL - Why is it unlikely that my kids are brighter than any others? I'm 'in' to architecture, if all things were equal with two schools and one had a nicer building, it would sway me. wink

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claire201 Tue 10-May-11 17:12:47

Regardless of how bright your children are it is a very arrogant and tasteless thing to say!! completely off putting. Also you are setting yourself up to look like an idiot if your children don't excel! poor kids. I don't know anything about you but anyone who has been well brought up and attended public school themselves would know not to say something so cocky. Did you go to Leith Academy yourself and now have a bit of an inferiority complex????

kaumana Tue 10-May-11 17:31:06

Regarding entry into P4 I think you'll find there are waiting lists for years P3 and above in most of the fore mentioned schools. As you have not mentioned your children sitting any entrance exams I assume they will sit for next years entry and therefor will be behind those who are curently on the waiting list.

Ps I think you are a bit mad

curiouscate Tue 10-May-11 19:24:36

The sort of parent who chooses a school for their dc based on architecture is rather shortsighted IMO. A parent who chooses the school based on the strengths & ethos of the school and interests of their dc is one who cares about their education and wants the best for them.

I love the look of Fettes on the Edinburgh skyline, very impressive but wouldn't send my kids there in a million years.

kaumana Tue 10-May-11 21:30:37

I don't think you are aware that we can check your previous posts. Please don't waste time from people that need genuine advice.

kaumana Tue 10-May-11 21:58:24

Actually that being said, I think you know exactly what you are doing. Very interesting going over your posts.

claire201 Tue 10-May-11 22:46:23

Flip, you are the same half wit who was going to lie on cv. Bonkers.

cuckooclock Wed 11-May-11 17:28:35

OP has vanished, wonder if she was lying about how bright her dc were?

claire201 Wed 11-May-11 19:28:04

I actually feel very guilty about being nasty! I tried to delete my post but couldn't work out how! oh well! I am sure Fettes will be delighted to have two more academic geniuses to add to the three hundred others! the might even get a bursary they are so bright!

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