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St Marylebone School, Westminster. Is it really as amazing as people say it is?

(28 Posts)
welovesausagedogs Thu 23-Feb-12 20:14:40

I have heard lots of great things about St Marylebone recently. One of our close family friends started year 7 there this September, they say it's fantastic and say the quality of teaching is better than at their son's private school.

Is it really this good? Just interested about this school, seems like a hidden gem??

kensingtonia Thu 23-Feb-12 22:32:58

I know a girl who started last year, she seems to like it, but it is just a school with many good points but not always perfect. I think many state schools have very good teaching, perhaps it says more about the parents' expectations and there is often a honeymoon period after starting at a new school. Not exactly a hidden gem, very well known in west London and I have known of people who went to church for five years to have a crack at it.

areyoutheregoditsmemargaret Fri 24-Feb-12 09:42:35

I agree, it's hardly a hidden gem it's notorious as one of the best girls' schools in London and every yr 6 girl within about five miles seems to have a crack at it.

MrsSquirrel Fri 24-Feb-12 10:06:56

My dd's friend goes to St Marylebone and is very happy there. It is a good school, but it's not heaven on earth. IMO other schools around here, e.g. Camden Girls, Parliament Hill, are just as good.

I agree it says more about the parents' expectations about private schools being better.

welovesausagedogs Fri 24-Feb-12 11:25:15

Yeah i think you must be right about their expectations of private schools being better, i think they were happily surprised when their daughter who didn't get even a place at any of the private schools they tried for got a performing arts scholarship there and is now excelling in all her subjects. They did say though that the morale among the teachers there is very good, with lots of teachers choosing that school in which to work.

pithy Fri 24-Feb-12 15:37:53

Would concur with positive reviewers of St Marylebone. We chose it over offers from independent schools and have not regretted our decision. Teachers are highly qualified: Oxbridge, other RG amongst their number, and dedicated, responding quickly to parental concerns. School is partially selective for music, dance, drama, and moves are afoot to strengthen its EBAC rating - a maths specialism was recently added. St M. has climbed steadily in the FT performance tables for the past five years. Extra-curricular topics include: Bi-lingual book club, science, debating, Latin. Regent's Park is opposite for sport. A recent addition to the, admittedly cramped site, is a cleverly integrated basement sportshall. It also belongs to the London Schools Athletics Association, and came in the top half dozen, in the LSAA's regional cross country finals, giving the likes of Latymer, Alleyn's et al, a run for their money. Music is outstanding, several choirs and orchestras, with links to nearby RAM.
It truly deserves its outstanding status IMO. Setting caters for the high fliers, who are taught to cherish and respect SEN pupils. Popular with parents from the nearby BBC, central London academics, creative types, but also manages to be socially and ethnically diverse.

thirdhill Fri 24-Feb-12 17:24:46

Generally a very good option, its reputation steadily built up from tatters by the current Head.

But be realistic. Latin is new, Greek not in evidence. RAM proximity and their shared interest in the church organ does not make for better music than other comparable schools. No dining space despite recent expansion. Despite comp status, will restrict exams its students take [indicative of league obsession]. Lots more BTECs than well-established outstanding comps. How much longer will the Head stay?

Of similar standing as Grey Coat's, Fortismere, and increasingly Lady Margaret [who seems to be wobbling of late]. Unlikely though to match Dame Alice Owen's or Camden Girls, who keep improving faster and from a better base.

Does it match some of the best girls' independents in London? Depends on your child! Which in itself must make it worth looking at, and a lot more parents than there are places for think that.

notatigermother Fri 24-Feb-12 22:34:48

Actually Camden Girls is no better at GCSE than Marylebone. CSG is definitely much more desirable and has better oxbridge and A level results than Marylebone but theres very little between them in earlier years.
I know girls at both schools and, if you have the choice, I would just go for which ever is closer.
I wouldnt not pay to send my dd to Queens or Portland Place over St Marylebone but its definitely not giving CLSG a run for its money.

thirdhill Fri 24-Feb-12 23:19:30

"Actually Camden Girls is no better at GCSE than Marylebone."
As you seem focussed on qualifications, you should be aware that one allows girls to sit any exams they want, despite the effect on school results, and the other controls the exams they sit with a huge slice of exams that are BTEC.

"CSG is definitely much more desirable and has better oxbridge and A level results than Marylebone but theres very little between them in earlier years."
Since the same teachers teach both GCSE and A Level, one has to ask why the A level results and Oxbridge hit rate are better, after the BTEC years are removed. Not really the same league at all.

However most would say that the educational experience is very different between them. Which also explains the difference in results.

"I wouldnt not pay to send my dd to Queens or Portland Place over St Marylebone but its definitely not giving CLSG a run for its money."
Queen's College and Portland Place cater for different girls than City. I would have said QCL was also a different educational experience but these days they seem to be responding to your line of thinking. If you're paying for exams, CLSG is good but SPGS perhaps better "value"? Or opt for a London grammar if your child is up to it.

welovesausagedogs Fri 24-Feb-12 23:37:51

I think all of you have provided very interesting points, and it confirms that finding a "good school" is just as much about as finding the right school for your child. Regarding theirdhill's comments, i know from those who have worked at both schools and those who go to those schools past/present is that the intake for sixth form at both schools is very different. At Marylebone, only those who do very badly in their GCSE exams will not be accepted to study in the sixth form. Whereas at camden the same rigorous criteria of having at least a B in maths, english and science that is applied to new applicants is also applied to those who are already there. I also know that camden is a very popular choice for those coming from private schools especially boys who wish to study art subjects, such as classics, history, art etc. I also know from one of our close family friends daughter who left camden last year at the end of year 13 that the level is very high in the sixth form with those who had difficulty not being accepted and she found that her friends who joined marylebone at those who had been there since year 7 found that there is a more mixed ability feeling, like a true comprehensive. So it's hard to look purely at results between the two schools, both seem to offer very different things and suit very different types of girls, so perhaps looking at value added would be a fairer way of comparing the level at teaching at the two schools.

welovesausagedogs Fri 24-Feb-12 23:54:19

Looking at the results for GCSE's from 2011 - St Marylebone got 81% 5 a-c including english and maths and camden got 70.2% 5 a-c including english and maths. Both have very good results agrees with what notigermother said about the results.

And camden had an average a-level score of 891.3 and Marylebone 808.7, i think the disparity between the gcse results and a-level must reflect a move at year 11, e.g those who leave to go into the private sixth forms or to other sixth forms with a better choice of subjects or where their fit in the grid. It interesting though, and it's easy to get bogged down with results, but the main thing is that one chooses the right school for their child.

thirdhill Fri 24-Feb-12 23:55:38

OP how interesting that you say " i know from those who have worked at both schools and those who go to those schools past/present is that the intake for sixth form at both schools is very different. At Marylebone, only those who do very badly in their GCSE exams will not be accepted to study in the sixth form...."

and yet started the thread " Just interested about this school, seems like a hidden gem??",

and the general publicity feel about it all.

Poor St Marylebone, with such friends.

Welcome to MN or hope you enjoy yourself.

NonnoMum Sat 25-Feb-12 00:03:15

The Headteacher sent her own daughter to private school. Always a disappointment IMO.

welovesausagedogs Sat 25-Feb-12 00:11:41

Too be honest, i know people who go there/been there - but i have only heard good things about it recently. I wanted to start the thread to see if the opinions i have heard where representative of what people think generally.

I also have another reason for starting this thread, been offered a position at St Marylebone and another school and deciding between the two, so you have helped me gain a more balanced opinion on St Marylebone so i need to do some research into the other school, before i decide which school i would feel most suited to working in. Thanks for all the comments, they have all been really useful.

pithy Sun 26-Feb-12 01:00:40

If a school wishes to shine in the league tables it is likely to veer towards the EBAC - Gove's new gold standard - comprising traditional academic subjects, and not BTECs. IME, St Marylebone takes a robust approach to GCSEs, and I cannot imagine the current cohort of parents being fobbed off with BTECs. As Notatiger says, the recent crop of results is impressively solid, 81 per cent with five a to c, including English and maths, and is on a par with the best non-selectives.
Former pupils do get to top unis: one I know of, got a double first at Cambridge this year, many more go to Durham, Exeter, Bristol., etc. IMO St M. is "amazing" to achieve these results as a comp. As an experiment, I would like to see what CLSG, Latymer, JAGS, could achieve with the same banded intake as ST M.
These so called "top" schools turn away those below average - preselection is all. Around 60 per cent will have exceptional test scores, while the middling or well connected, will be tutored under a regime bordering on systematic cruelty: many denied a well-rounded childhood and forbidden play, sport and music.

Uteroelen Mon 27-Jun-16 23:11:28

Hello- I have found this old conversation about St. Marylebone and am wondering if anyone has more recent experience with this school. I am particularly interested in how it compares to other girls schools in the area, both state and private. Thanks

Westminster002 Mon 04-Jul-16 12:11:47


Would like to know if it's still on a par with Greycoat and Camden?

cingolimama Mon 04-Jul-16 12:25:22

West, certainly on par in terms of great teaching and academic achievement. But while they are all fantastic state schools, they offer slightly different things. For example, both St.M and Camden have outstanding music departments, while Greycoat has an emphasis on foreign languages. Between the St. M and Camden, I think that St.M has a stricter, more rigorous culture, iykwim, while Camden is more laisser-faire (which suits some girls but not others).

Westminster002 Tue 05-Jul-16 20:21:50

Thanks Cingolimama,
DD starts there in September. We agonised whether to put Marylebone or Gratcoat 1st on the school list. We went with Marylebone as DD (very mature for an 11 year old) fell in love with the school. Our only concern was she is the only student going from her primary. However, meet plenty of other parents at the school last night who's DD's are in the same situation.

cingolimama Wed 06-Jul-16 09:13:51

Hi West! My DD starts in September too! And she's the only one from her primary as well. About a third of her house was in the same position, so really I think it will be fine. There's something rather liberating about starting with a clean slate - as DD said "no one will ever know about the embarassing things I did in Y3".

Please feel free to PM me if you like.

TrixieBelden Wed 06-Jul-16 12:30:42

And my daughter is also the only one from her primary going to Marylebone! I spoke to two other mothers of girls her in her house on Monday evening who said the same thing.

Bobisyouraunt Sat 25-Mar-17 19:15:20

My DS has just got a place in the sixth form. He's now agonising about whether to leave his independent school to go there for sixth form. Pro and Cons for both. Does anyone here have a boy in the Sixth form either currently or previously?

beafrog Sun 26-Mar-17 11:23:49

In a similar position with Sixth Form place Bobisyouraunt but for my DD. Any thoughts on Sixth Form there would be very useful!

Chocrock Sat 20-May-17 18:55:57

My DS has been offered a place in the sixth form at St Marylebone for September. He is really keen but I have heard from a few reliable sources that there is a big party culture in the sixth form and it is putting me off. Does anyone know more about the sixth form?

Chocrock Sun 21-May-17 09:20:00

Anyone know st Marylebone sixth form?

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