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Surrey co-ed school- good for sixth form

(27 Posts)
Happymum22 Wed 17-Apr-13 14:44:28

DD is at one of the Guildford academic girls day schools, she is in year 10 and recently expressed a desire to look around elsewhere for sixth form. She loves her school but is keen to look at some co-ed schools, it is not definite she will move until we've weighed up the options. Boarding is flexible as well -ideally she is my youngest DD and I want to keep her at home and my baby as long as possible
I am reluctant for her to move, her two older sisters stayed at the girls school for sixth and loved it. They formed good friendships with the RGS and so didn't miss out in that area and both had boyfriends during sixth form and lots of socialising went on.
I can see with her though perhaps she would gain a lot from a change and there is no harm in looking. She is pretty academic and I am keen a new school would have good academics too. Money wise I am concerned some of these are too much of a push and she'd need a bursary/scholarship to go there.

We have listed all we can think of which may be options:

Kings Wimbledon (I am keen on this option)
Charterhouse (but having heard some experiences of girls there I'm not sure)
Espom college (what are academics like?)
City of London Freemans
Kingston Grammar

Any opinions or experiences? Any other suggestions?

handcream Wed 17-Apr-13 14:49:22

So could I ask - what year is she looking for entry?

Wellington and Charterhouse are big bucks (over £30k per year)

Happymum22 Wed 17-Apr-13 15:42:06

She would be starting September 2014 in Lower Sixth.

Needmoresleep Wed 17-Apr-13 16:18:47

Expensive also, but have you considered Westminster. Being part of the sixth form is quite special. Boarding is available, and it is not a difficult journey from Guildford.

handcream Wed 17-Apr-13 16:31:47

Wellington and Charterhouse I suspect have already allocated any bursaries but no harm in asking. What I do know is that both of these schools are difficult to get into especially CH in the 6th form for girls.

Happymum22 Wed 17-Apr-13 16:37:36

Needmoresleep- thanks for the suggestion. It is the kind of school which would appeal to dd I think. Do you know how easily they give out bursaries or scholarships. She is bright -comes near the top at Guildford High currently- but I don't know if that would be good enough!

MrsWobble Wed 17-Apr-13 16:46:42

Not sure what you've heard about girls at Charterhouse but my dds are there. They are happy and we are pleased with outcomes. It is expensive though - my daughter has a scholarship but it's only 10% so doesn't really make much of an impact on the overall cost.

Happymum22 Wed 17-Apr-13 16:53:02

Thanks for your comments MrsWobble. Without going into too much detail and stirring false rumours (as that is all I've ever heard- rumours)- I heard girls can struggle to settle and the boys can be less than nice to start off with.
I assume the settling thing is the same for all new schools, it takes a time especially going into boarding from being a day pupil? And time for the byoys to adjust to girls(!)?

Needmoresleep Wed 17-Apr-13 17:19:29

Competition is pretty ferocious (look at The Student Room) but often the girls who get in, are not the ones who expected to get in. I guess they know what they are looking for. So if she likes it, it is perhaps worth a shot. It is really special.

There are bursaries, but I suspect there are enough bright candidates from the state sector who would not be looking at a private school without a lot of financial help to mop up whatever is available. Again though worth asking. Bursaries are restricted to UK applicants, not those from overseas.

Girls seem to fit is pretty well, though I suspect in part the school is looking for girls who can hit the ground running and make the most of the opportunities. TBH my son and his friends are pretty nerdy and so the girls seem to have the upper hand.

handcream Wed 17-Apr-13 17:43:28

As shocking as it is Charterhouse and Wellington in particular choose YOU despite the hefty fees. There is lots of money in the SE.

Unless of course you have a child genius or you are the child of someone very famous and your parents could do something for the school!

Dededum Wed 17-Apr-13 18:04:26

Godalming sixth form college - loads of privately educated students go there for 6th form. A good prep for University, learning to work independently, great social life, mix with the plebs grin

ShipwreckedAndComatose Wed 17-Apr-13 20:22:20

I was going to suggest Godalming too. It has an excellent reputation, and with your options being wouldn't hurt to look.

Happymum22 Wed 17-Apr-13 22:06:40

Thanks for suggestions. Godalming is an option I guess, lots of older DDs friends went there for sixth form and did very well.
Any views on any of the others of the schools I listed?

Anthracite Wed 17-Apr-13 22:19:49

St George's College in Weybridge is a good school and easily accessible from Guildford.

Happymum22 Thu 18-Apr-13 10:26:12

Anthracite- how catholic is st georges?

Copthallresident Thu 18-Apr-13 13:14:49

OP Two DDs at academic girls, one stayed put for sixth form, one moved and they have peers who moved to.

Westminster makes some surprising choices, not always the cleverest, DDs and friends assume that it depends on popularity of subject you apply for, and this is true to some extent of all oversubscribed sixth forms

KCS very selective and IB has heavy workload, quantity rather than quality. Is your DD a generalist? We are an expat family and liked the idea of IB but both DDs welcomed chance to specialise. For some reason the boys and girls stay quite tribal, haven't heard of that at Westminster but perhaps it is because the coed sixth form is still quite new for the school. When teacher friend went to Open day for first cohort she was proudly shown a chair in the new girls loos, presumably on basis these girls are delicate little flowers and exclaimed "Good grief what do you think they need that for? Breastfeeding" Aged master turned puce.....

KGS Seems to have happy purposeful culture, DDs friends report a more encouraging teaching style that their academic girls school. All the pupils seem to love it there.

St Georges very inclusive, plenty of non Catholics. Again happy school and good pastoral care.

Know DDs who have done well at all these schools, including medics Oxbridge etc. Don't think academics an issue, it is more which atmosphere best suits.

DD who moved has found settling in whilst hitting the ground running with ASs a challenge but her confidence was undermined by a bitchy year at girls' school.

handcream Thu 18-Apr-13 14:58:11

I have been thinking as well. Arent we lucky we have all these choices, clearly the SE is the place to be!

BeckAndCall Thu 18-Apr-13 15:19:16

Re Westminster, if its any help, for the current lower sixth at GHS, two girls applied and one got in - so not a dead cert, but doable if that's where she'd like to go. And I think for the upcoming L6, one girl is transferring to Westminster (maybe more, but I've only heard talk of one)

As you know, your DD being your third in Guildford, a more typical route is to go on to Godalming college - if you wanted to look back to the state sector.

malinois Thu 18-Apr-13 15:28:47

Another vote for Godalming College - excellent reputation, and lots of public school kids go there anyway so she won't stick out.

Happymum22 Thu 18-Apr-13 16:18:24

Thanks for comments.
That is interesting BeckAndCall- I hadn't heard of any GHS girls going to Westminster before. None went from my older DDs years who are both now uni age and beyond. Good to know the move is possible. Do you know the stats on how many are staying for sixth form at the moment at GHS? Do you know how many are have been going off to Kings Wimbledon as well? (Sorry taking advantage of your obviously better insider knowledge than me!!)
My older DDs year at GHS only 8 left but younger DD's year 25-30 left. I am wondering if DD's sudden interest in a new school is due to her peers talking about it if this trend of leaving for a levels has continued.

BeckAndCall Thu 18-Apr-13 17:35:39

Hi happy - for the current lower 6, my DD can count only 6 who left - and about another 6 joined from elsewhere. For my elder DD ( now year 2 at uni) about 11 left ( it was a big year - started as 125 that year) and about 6 joined. (Both DDs happen to be in the room right now so have asked them directly!).

The year before my eldest DD though, I think about 20 left - but that's probably the last time there was a big out flux that I'm aware of ( so the group now aged 21) ( was that your younger DDs year?)

And I've not heard of anyone going to Wimbledon college at all (but I don't know everything!). I know a couple who have gone to Charterhouse and one to Wellington , but with only anecdotes to report back, no real trends as such.

Magrug Thu 18-Apr-13 23:12:09

Another thumbs up for St. George's Weybridge - super school. I'm not a parent, but many of DC1's classmates went there and I only hear good things from both the children and their parents. Get in quick because they are strict about entry deadlines.

Mutteroo Thu 18-Apr-13 23:19:21

DS has a friend in LIV at Hurstpierpoint. He's been there for 4 years and as far as I'm aware is happy. It's not considered to be an ultra academic school, but there's Oxbridge places gained most years. DS chose to leave his public school & attend our local state sixth form college & its been a fantastic decision. The mix of pupils is quite diverse & he enjoys it as he has friends from his state primary as well as his posh prep!

Another good reason to pick the state option at sixth form is the the real reason is its a good link between the cozy school atmosphere & that grown up environment of university. My old dentist's sons both left RGS to attend Godalming College & I don't recall there being any concerns.

Happymum22 Sat 20-Apr-13 23:54:42

Thanks for the replies- a lot of helpful comments.

prelim29 Tue 23-Apr-13 21:41:02

No harm in considering state 6th forms in Guildford as well as Godalming college - George Abbot and St Peter's both have excellent 6th forms who accept students from other schools. Why not look around a few state and otherwise to gauge an opinion.

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