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To choose one school to fit two different siblings?

(9 Posts)
amidaiwish Tue 19-Feb-13 16:50:53

I am having a dilemma...
My dds are 18 months apart and i would like them to go to the same secondary.
We are looking at independents in SW London and the dilemma is how to find one school to suit them both (and that both will get in to...)
DD1 is v academic, confident, quirky. A good swimmer (though should be, she has had a zillion lessons) but otherwise not overly sporty. Plays chess. in G&T group all the way through. read (by herself) at 3. Has a small number of very good friends. Gets on well with boys.
DD2 hard to tell as she is only yr2, top table in her class, but certainly not G&T or exceptional academically. Very sociable, very girly, into ballet, dance etc... Sporty? maybe, can't tell yet but she's definitely more interested than DD1. Boys irritate her already.

So.... do i just go for the best school for DD1 and then decide for DD2? Do any of the independents have an active sibling policy?

DD1 would be fine in any of the academic hothouses (she doesn't get stressed) and would probably thrive as inherently she is a bit lazy (does the minimum if she's not that interested).
DD2 more sensitive, more competitive...

The schools currently on my list for DD1 are: LEH, Surbiton High, Kingston Grammar, St Paul's Girls.

sorry bit of a brain-dump but any comments welcomed. TIA

Eastpoint Wed 20-Feb-13 08:08:47

LEH & SPGS do not have sibling policies & they would not be appropriate. I don't know whether Surbiton & KGS do. ( Godolphin & Latymer does but that is not on your list).

As DD1 is only y3 or y4 why don't you go to the open days next autumn when she is in yr5 and explore the schools fully. Register on their websites & you will be invited to different events,

amidaiwish Wed 20-Feb-13 08:21:12

Thanks Eastpoint, Dd1 is yr4. I have open days booked with surbiton high and will see LEH & KGS in the autumn.
Would be interested to hear what others do re siblings, it would be easier if Dd2 was the cleverer one!

tiredaftertwo Wed 20-Feb-13 08:27:51

I wouldn't worry about this now. You are in a very fortunate position of being likely to have a choice.

You have to exercise that for each girl individually.

Choose the right school for DD1. If you need a tie-breaker, you could use which will suit DD2 the best, but there are more important factors and you learn more about the guts of a school during the application process. And DD2 may change a lot in that year.

Then choose the best for DD2. You will know a lot more about DD1's school by then. And her contemporaries will have gone to other schools, so you will know more about them too. Most people seem to find the decision a lot easier the second time round.

amidaiwish Wed 20-Feb-13 08:40:23

Thanks tiredaftertwo, that's helpful

tiredaftertwo Wed 20-Feb-13 10:14:17


Ladymuck Wed 20-Feb-13 10:34:37

Agree. The advantage in being able to afford to go the independent route is that you can choose the best school for your dd. It may not be the same for both of them, but to be honest most secondary school children make their own way to and from school, so I think that you need to think about why both dds need to be at the same school? Will they need to be at the same university too?

IME most selective secondary schools will not have a sibling policy, but co-ed schools will be usually more sympathetic to the idea that families want to stay together whereas single sex schools will have many families who are obviously choosing different schools for their children of different gender.

tiredaftertwo Wed 20-Feb-13 11:28:12

It can be fun having children at the same school - they may know each other's friends and teachers, you only have to learn one system for options and whatnot. But it is not a deal breaker.

Sibling policies at selective independents tend to be that all things being equal they will take a sibling - they won't take anyone who won't cope.

tbh, I suspect all the schools you are considering are good, and labels like 'hothouse' hide a much more complicated reality. Where your child will be happy and do well may be down to luck as much as small tweaks in the school's ethos or facilities or whatever. I have two children at the same school. Their experiences have been quite different.

I agree with LM about co-eds - they may well promote the family ethos more.

I think single sex vs co-ed is the biggie, personally.

BackforGood Fri 22-Feb-13 00:43:01

I agree with Tired's first post. Make the best choice for dc1, then assess what is best for dc2 when the time comes. As she said, you'll be better informed then, both about the secondary schools, but also where your dc2's strengths lie, and what might / might not suit her.
I certainly wouldn't fix on the idea that they need to go to the same school as being the key decider for where dd1 goes. Surely you want what is best for each of your dc ?

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