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11+ options - SHHS, CLSG, NLCS

(36 Posts)
MajesticWhine Thu 28-Feb-13 07:26:18

We have a difficult decision to make and want to do it soon. Can anyone pitch in with personal experiences? SH is our nearest and the others would involve a tube ride. But our DD favours CLSG over the others. But it will be very hard to turn down NLCS with its record of results and brilliant facilities.

wubwubwub Tue 03-Jun-14 09:45:07

Queenswood is one of (if not) the best girls school in the country for Drama

Hisown1997 Tue 13-May-14 19:40:33

Hello everyone! : )

Well I have a dilemma, I'm trying to choose between sending my 16 year old daughter for sicth form (year 12) to Queenswood or NLCS. She is very much into drama, dance and music french and english lit and is very friendly. These two years are very important to her and she needs to be in a place where they will nurture her and bring out the best in her. I don't want to put her in a pressurised environment for sure!

In addition, does anyone know what Nlcs is like? I would particularly like to know if a child is struggling how do the staff and girls take it. Is the girl made fun of, treated normally and is she helped. Tips on friendship etc would be great too. Would this school be good for what she wants to study?

Does anyone know what Queenswood is like? Would queenswood be good for what my daughter wants to study?

Love both schools but just can't decide?


yessirnosir Wed 06-Mar-13 22:32:02

I certainly never want to discuss schools again, it's a shame we'll have to do it twice more!

It is reassuring to know someone else made the same choice, I just wish I was confident enough to be happy with the choice on my own. Still, dd seems even happier this evening and I know I'm happier with my worries than the one poor soul left in dd's class who, as of today, still didn't have a place. I really, really feel for her.

QPmummy Wed 06-Mar-13 21:39:10

We ended up going for our daughters choice too! At least she can't blame us in her teenage years for sending her to a school she didn't feel comfortable in!
I hope you are all feeling as relieved as I am tonight. We've all had enough of school discussions!

MajesticWhine Wed 06-Mar-13 21:05:08

Congratulations! I know what you mean about the doubts. I am filled with the same worries. But at least you know you have done your best to get it right in good faith. And if it's your DD's choice, then I think that's very important. I am delighted you came to the same outcome as we did. It feels very reassuring. See you there smile

yessirnosir Wed 06-Mar-13 10:56:57

Well, we made the decision at 7 this morning, have gone against all my expectations and gone with CLSG. After I had dropped off the acceptance, dh rang and said let's change our minds to NLCS, not helpful. It was dd's favourite, so at least she can't throw it back in our faces when she's a stroppy teen. I thought I'd feel happy to have made the decision, but I just feel worried we made the wrong one. I guess now we just have to be positive and get excited about it.

See you the Majestic!

yessirnosir Wed 06-Mar-13 10:47:58

Well, we made the decision at 7 this morning, have gone against all my expectations and gone with CLSG. After I had dropped off the acceptance, dh rang and said let's change our minds to NLCS, not helpful. It was dd's favourite, so at least she can't throw it back in our faces when she's a stroppy teen. I thought I'd feel happy to have made the decision, but I just feel worried we made the wrong one. I guess now we just have to be positive and get excited about it.

See you the Majestic!

horsemadmom Wed 06-Mar-13 00:37:00

I have DD2 starting in September and DD1 in yr 10. We absolutely love NLCS. DD1 has been well supported and nurtured but never, ever feels pushed. There will be many girls coming alone from small primaries and many families with no experience of private school. If your DD has been offered a place, it means that they really believe she'll thrive there. It does everything it's reputation would suggest- stimulate and excite the girls' learning, offer a huge range of sports, arts and clubs and create confident young women. All of this happens without a feeling of competitiveness or pressure. PM if you need more info.

ThrebnellBlewitt Tue 05-Mar-13 19:42:37

Hi just joined Mumsnet and just getting the hang of these thread thingies. Also struggling to decode the messages. Our eldest has been offered NLCS and St Albans High School and as we are based on Herts the High School is nearer. We have lots of local friends and colleagues with good reports of the High School but no one re NLCS. Eldest a polymath and worried re unknown and totally different demographic to small state primary in rural village. Any advice would be appreciated

curious100 Tue 05-Mar-13 10:49:23

Daughter got in NLCS, HABS and Watford Grammar - choosing Watford Grammar

QPmummy Sun 03-Mar-13 11:24:25

my youngest is at ShJS and it is very sporty. My friends daughter is heavily involved in sport at the senior school too.They've just employed a new headmistress for the junior school from another GDST school. I think it's a great school -very happy with the junior school so I'm sure the new senior school head will be equally great.

I'm torn between the senior and Highgate because SHHS is so good and when I ask my daughter if she'll REALLY be ok with getting the bus at 7.15 as oppossed to 8.00 I can see the glimmer of doubt in her mind...!

Whatever you choose it will be fine ...!

yessirnosir Sun 03-Mar-13 09:37:17

So, I've actually been dreaming about this now, but new day, new questions.

Anyone know any word on the headmistress situation at SHHS? Either more on why she left, or who might come in? SHHS is feeling like a bit of a punt at the moment compared to the others. Also anyone have any opinion on its sports focus? Is it a sporty school at all?

horsemadmom Sun 03-Mar-13 00:05:06

Her retirement hasn't been announced yet so not surprised they couldn't give you a straight answer. I really wouldn't worry too much. They're very on top of things. DD2 had auto-immune problems that meant that DD1 couldn't be exposed to and bring home certain infections and the school was over the top about enforcing hygene until we had the all-clear.

yessirnosir Sat 02-Mar-13 23:46:13

Thanks for that info on the nurse Horsemad, that may be why they were a bit evasive when we asked to speak to someone about the health thing. Hadn't actually really thought through different holidays - another thing to worry about.

Given we're not going back to SHHS until Tuesday we may not have the luxury of truly sleeping on a decision. I can see I'll be hand delivering our acceptance on Wednesday morning, in which case I may pick SHHS as it will be easier for me to get to!

My position has always been they're all good schools, she'll do well anywhere because she's clever and a hard worker and a decision is not right or wrong, only a decision. You'll never know if things would have worked out better or worse if you made a different decision, because you don't get to go back and do it differently. So why is this SO HARD?

QPmummy Sat 02-Mar-13 23:18:11

Such a personal choice but you'll know you've reached the right decision when you've made a choice and are happy with it the next day!!

horsemadmom Sat 02-Mar-13 23:06:56

Yay, 18jam!!!!
Yessirnosir- I've had 3 kids and 3 schools for a decade (this changes in September- happy dance!). It is a pain in the bum! If this helps, look at the school websites for term dates as this will be the biggest contributor to 3schoolitis. The East London schools have different half terms from the North/West London schools.
As for health concerns, I can understand this completely. The nurse at NLCS is retiring this year which is sad as she's seen DD1 through surgery, broken bones and too many bugs to count. Lovely lady. I'm sure they'll replace her with someone wonderful and your DD would not be the only diabetic girl. DD1 has 2 friends with it. I think it helps that the food is very good and there are lots of healthy choices so girls aren't tempted to skip meals and they can go to the front of the queue. Always a salad bar, pasta bar, sandwich platters, jacket potato station in addition to hot options.
As for local friends, Do consider when you look at your tiny 10/11 yr old that in a year or two she will think nothing of going off with her Oyster card on her own. Girls come to these schools from all over London. None of them is 'local' to everyone. Look at what school is the least stressful to get to. DD1 takes school coach for an 8 mile trip that takes 45 mins- easy! DS takes the TFL bus and walks for a 1 1/2 mile trip that takes 45 mins (wait for bus, sit in traffic)- not as easy.

yessirnosir Sat 02-Mar-13 22:35:10

Everyone seems able to make a decision but us! I do feel bad that we're sitting on 2 extra places, but I really don't want to make a decision until we've been back to SHHS as well. I have let Channing know, so I'm doing my best.

We have a further issue in that my dd is type 1 diabetic, and that makes me nervous firstly distance from home and secondly about the level of care - it's very hard to judge as they all say the right things, but I know things can be different when they are actually there.

Have you all taken into account what is the most prestigious school? My dh is influenced by this, hence favouring NLCS (which is also what dd's school think would be best), whilst for me it's really not a factor. I'm thinking more of local friends and being manageable for our family - I'll have 3 schools to deal with.

DH has just gone to bed with an 'oh, send her to City then.' We seem to be beyond rational debate, I'm wondering if we're at names in a hat stage.

18jam Sat 02-Mar-13 22:24:10

horsemadmom, that clinched it. we're coming. smile

horsemadmom Sat 02-Mar-13 22:07:11

Come to NLCS! I liked you and DD!!!
I do know it's a tough call. We are really lucky that we had no hesitation in chosing a known quantity. Time for a pro and con list.

QPmummy Sat 02-Mar-13 21:54:00

DH thinks NLCS too far out and friendship base will be crazy so we didn't apply for there.
I have a friend with daughters at Highgate and hear good things, that its academic but not overly pressured and great feedback from pupils about passionate teaching. Highgate came in around 10 for GcSE so think they must push the girls but the also the sport is a big draw for my daughter.
I loved all the Highgate staff and teachers at both open days so think I may win me over from SH.

18jam Sat 02-Mar-13 21:34:43

QPmummy are you considering NLCS? We're in your position - DH favours NLCS, I'm undecided but think I may favour Highgate, daughter leaning towards NLCS, but only just. DH thinks Highgate doesn't have reputation for being pressured because they don't expect enough of the girls.
Tomorrow is D-day for us, when the week starts I want this OVER!

MajesticWhine Sat 02-Mar-13 19:06:23

I kind of think if they did well enough to be offered a place, then they will be able to cope with the pressure. However, I haven't heard great things about how SH ensure the well being of the girls, and that it's quite a tough environment for settling in, but that is third hand information, so I'm not sure how accurate.

QPmummy Sat 02-Mar-13 18:17:37

Yes, decisions will be made by Monday...we are lucky having the choice.
I've declined a couple so hopefully a few parents will be happier on Monday morning!
Any feedback on SHHS has been positive so maybe I'm being overly protective. Which school do you think is regarded more highly SH or Highgate?

horsemadmom Sat 02-Mar-13 17:30:33

Best advice, having a DD already in a 'hothouse' school, speak to as many parents as you can with girls at the schools! DD1 at NLCS feels encouraged to do her best but never ever pressured and was advised when she chose her GCSEs to ensure she had time for fun. Do try to speak to someone who has a DD who has been through the school as that can give you an idea of how the tone changes as they go through exams.
Most of all...
Do it SOON! There may besome child who wants a place desperately and you are sitting in her chair!

yessirnosir Sat 02-Mar-13 16:44:34

Hmm, the whole hot house thing - I've heard it said about every one of the schools we are looking at, so maybe I just have to let it go. We've already decided on a highly selective school whichever we go with, so is one of them really going to be worse than any of the others? Though I don't think Highgate has that rep, as far as I know, so maybe that's the one for you QP if it's a worry?

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