St Teresas, Effingham or alternatives?(24 Posts)
EBee I hope you don't mind but I have sent you a pm as I have looked at both the schools you are talking about and have some qs. I don't know if it's just me but I struggle at open days as I feel like I have seen facilities and snapshots of school life. And my 'gut instinct' changes every day !
Hi, hope this isn't too late to be of use. DD2 is at St T and has had 5 happy and productive years so far. The new Head is keen and responsive to girls and parents views and requests while clearly having a strong direction for the school. There have been new A level subjects introduced, improvements underway for academic studies as well as the usual sports stuff - Tennis and Swimming coaches, new & refurbished sports facilities.
There is mixed ability intake and results are good - girls are stretched and encouraged but don't seem squashed by the workload. Academic girls are supported and other talents are also well supported - music, art, drama, sport are all given time and encouraged, but in an inclusive manner, not a competitive one.
The site is beautiful and has plenty of bus routes so you don't have to drive every day. The old prep school site was sold a few years ago which helps the development costs.
The majority are not RC, but RC and non RC seem happy with the ethos of the school.
DD2 did not follow DD1 to Tormead, the smaller school and class size at St T suits her better, but ultimately you have to go with your gut instinct and so far we are very pleased with DD2's experience at St T and the vitality of the new Head.
I've just been reading your post and I would recommend Manor House. It is small, all girls and nurturing but as it finishes at 16 you could then choose a co-ed school or boarding for sixth form when your daughter has more confidence and good GCSE grades behind her.
The most important thing is to visit the schools you might be thinking of as it will give you a feel for the school. If it feels right it will probably work for your child.
I know this thread is resolutely looking at private schools, but since the Howard was in the thread title I can't hold back from pointing out that the average Oxbridge take for the sixth form was in no way worse than a private school when I was there.
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Londoner 01: We live in Guildford too. DD1 is in Y7 at St Catherine's in Bramley. We are very happy so far with the school. It's pacey and has a 'get on and do it' ethos, but not sure if it's actually pressured. I can't comment on nurturing as DD1 hasn't needed that. DD2 probably needs a cuddlier environment and we are looking at either St Catherine's or Prior's Field for her. Prior's Field certainly has a very good reputation for pastoral care. A lot of girls from the DDs' (Catholic) prep school go on to Farnborough Hill and it's got a reputation at our school for providing a very good, rounded education in a warm environment at a good price.
Londoner St Johns doesn't have Saturday school any more, only matches if your DD is that way inclined.
OP- Manor House- gets better GCSE results than St T's and the joy of its smallness is that no one gets lost in the cracks and has an opportunity to do whatever they enjoy. I would encourage you to have a look
gosh that makes the whole choice thing even more complicated doesn't it ? you almost need her to do 'taster' days at the ones you and she shortlist, because in this situation, it will be her peer group as well as the school's ethos that help her achieve her potential. It's amazing how year groups and even classes can differ, esp with girls. Good luck !
I would look at Farnborough Hill, It's Catholic but not too catholic IYSWIM and very caring and nurturing. No Saturday school either.
Okay I would wonder which State school she is at - you don't have to answer but State schools do vary a lot. (And I have spent time in quite a few in the Guildford area.) Also year 7 isn't the best year to judge a school by, my DC have flourished much more in year 8.
If you are thinking of moving her and she is in a State school then do not just look for year 9 places, an in year one may become available (I knew someone go into Tormead in year 8 for example). I would also look at King Edwards in Witley, The Royal School and Farnborough Hill.
We live in Guildford but are flexible on location, for us, finding the right school is priority over convinience. We are looking for my DSD who is currently in year 7 at a state, she has made good friends and finding it OK but we are noticing a huge difference between her, and our other DD who is at a private, in the qualitiy and opportunities.
To give info to explain our move.. DSD (who we are looking at schools for) lost her mum a few years ago now. She and her dad recently moved in with me and my 2 DDs and we are engaged. She is quite emotionally sensitive and needs tlc and a bit of a boost tbh, which she is just not getting in huge classes and a big school. My 2 DDs are at GHS and a state primary. We are keen to bring up all our children with the same opportunities, i.e. finding them all the best possible education, especially for secondary.
I am not sure if St J's will have the nurturing element? Any info? We are put off my Sat school.
Will look at SWP.
Any current views on Tormead? Unsure if they will have a year 9 space though.
Dinkdonky, will PM, thank you.
Dont want to out myself (NC'd for this post) but I went there, left in 2007, and am not catholic at all. Happy to answer any questions you (or anyone else reading this) have by PM.
Box Hill (mixed) and Dunottar (girls) are other, slightly less academic schools I can reccommend that arent far away. Reigate Grammar is also very good but more academic.
I would be put off St Johns if you arent religious as I believe they have to attend chapel on some weekends, plus saturday lessons?
when you look at the results of the some of the schools mentioned on this thread, i reckon top set Howard/GAbbot get similar results. So it's not results I'm looking at, I just wonder what opps the quieter kids get to take part in sport/drama etc and get the most out of their school years. In large numbers, do they find time to encourage those who are not A team material/confident go getters, but might simply want to 'have a go'? or do they sit on the sidelines quietly keeping their head down for 5 years !!
I went there and my mum used to teach there, admittedly some time ago, but it's reputation is still excellent.
Gosh, if you are in the catchment for the Howard, I personally would have to have a really good reason to pay for private.
It might still be worth trying St J's especially if current head backs you. They only went coed a couple of years ago and are more keen to be flexible towards girls than boys !
CLFS quite a small intake at year 9 - I think 20 and entry competitive from a wide area. St John's apparently great for girls who would not be happy in a cliquey girly environment.
I guess depends where you are - that's a fair spread of schools and access to trains etc. The other one to consider is Sir William Perkins in Chertsey, hear good things.
St Johns have closed their list for 2015 Yr 9 intake (so if shes Yr 6 its unfortunately too late) St G also pretest at 11+ now for Yr 9, not sure if GHS pretest (the boys equivilent do)
How old is she ? St J's may have already closed their list for next couple of intakes although they are keen to take girls.
Yes, I'd heard of very low numbers and financial struggles. The head looks like he is on a mission to change things, and it could be really good, but I wonder where the money is coming from?
Hope someone with more info comes along soon!!
We have Priors Field on the shortlist but are a bit stuck. She is keen to board when she is older, maybe from year 11 or 6th form onwards.
Tormead looks possible and she can always move to board at 6th form, but heard mixed things since the new head?
We prefer single sex but flexible.. again maybe change and go co-ed for sixth form.
We are in very early stages of gathering a list of schools. St T, Priors Field, Tormead, Surbiton High (She likes guildford high but not quite academic enough for a year 9 entry we suspect, we have been told SHS and GHS are similar).
Ruled out St G as told very catholic and we are not at all religious, ruled out manor house as not sure its right for DD being so small, any views on CLFS or St Johns??
Really stuck after that!
Afraid I'm watching rather than commenting.... Their GCSE results have been excellent last few years. Local gossip - am calling it such as simply don't know whether it is ill founded or not, is that A level success is largely down to numbers of hard working Chinese girls. Some have murmured about financial difficulties and low numbers in junior school, but marketing I recently received after sending for prospectus indicates that they are going to invest in even more new facilities.
Are you looking for boarding? single or co-ed? Tormead, Priorsfield, St George's, CLFS, Manor House or even St Johns depending on your dd's academics/personality.
Looking at St Teresas Senior for year 9 entry, I had heard bad things a few years ago but see there is a new head who previously turned an independent school round and it became School of the Year.
The website looks good but wondering if there is any insider knowledge?
We are not catholic which is a worry.
Any other similar schools in the area. She is bright, but not quite GHS/St Cats level, her step-sister is at GHS.
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