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Waldegrave or Putney High?

(24 Posts)
MLP Tue 23-Jul-13 10:55:50

Hi. I realise there are lots if discussions re public vs private but I was trying to be more specific in terms of above schools.

DD is fairly bright (top third of class at a very good Richmond state primary but not a high flyer who will make it to Tiffin or St Paul's), better at English than maths, socially very mature, makes friends easily, loves sports and dance, but lacks a little confidence in raising her hand in class.

Teacher thinks she has a good chance of getting into Putney High and similar schools. She definitely wants to go to an all girls' school.

I guess where I am struggling is whether paying £12k annually will be materially worth it. We can afford it but would notice it so it is a consideration. I am sure the faculties are better at Putney and the results are too but perhaps the latter is a function of the girls who go there and DD would still get similar results at Waldegrave. I simply don't know. I am also worried I might short change DD in terms of sports facilities/other activities by not going private.

We know girls at both schools and they all seem happy content but it is hard to truly compare because none of the families have girls at both schools.

Any thoughts? Thank you

MLP Tue 23-Jul-13 10:57:55

DD is year 5 so will go through exams this Jan coming. Clearly no guarantee she gets PHS but let's assume she does for this thread. We live very close to Walsegrave and right in the catchment area.

Schmedz Wed 24-Jul-13 14:19:57

If you feel the closer state school with provide a similar standard of education and opportunities then it should be a no brainer! If you feel that there are many more 'positives' about PHS then it would be worth applying. Make sure your DD has a look around both at the Autumn Open Days and see how you both feel about each when you visit. Also if there is any particular information you want to know about each school, come prepared to ask students and staff when you visit.
Gut feeling almost certainly will guide your decision. If after all that you feel you'd be equally happy with either choice, save your money for nice holidays or university fees insteadwink

MLP Wed 24-Jul-13 14:57:08

Thanks. I guess I feel a little guilty about the holiday vs education trade-off! Even though I probably shouldn't.

jennycoast Wed 24-Jul-13 14:59:58

I agree with Schmedz, but if you live in the Waldegrave catchment, PHS is a long way away. She could be doing loads at Waldegrave every day with that extra time - sporting or homework club.

(DD2 about to start there)

jennycoast Wed 24-Jul-13 17:37:12

Also, if you check out the Waldegrave website, you'll find a full list of the extra curricular stuff. It is very impressive, and not far off what DD1 will get at her private school. Infact DD1 is quite jealous of DD2 in that respect.

MLP Wed 24-Jul-13 19:08:49

Thanks Jenny. As a matter of interest, which school dies your DD1 go to? Also very interested in why one at private and the other at state. Was it a function of fit/preferences?

MLP Wed 24-Jul-13 19:44:17


pixelchick10 Wed 24-Jul-13 20:22:13

Although I know of two parents who have pulled their kids out of Waldegrave this year and sent them private (KGS and St Catherine's) ... I'd be tempted to try it myself though ...

jennycoast Wed 24-Jul-13 22:37:18

DD1 is only going private because we moved in year. She'll will be going to the school opposite St Catherine's... Co-ed, so no good for your DD if she is set on girls only. LEH/KGS had no space available for her. She was heartbroken not to get a place at Waldegrave, she loved it when we looked round with DD2.

Copthallresident Thu 25-Jul-13 09:17:35

I have two DDs, one sixth form, one at uni, so look at this from the other end.

Firstly whether their peers went private or Waldegrave, Orleans, Teddington, Oratory, Tiffin route made little difference to where they ended up. The bright ones are at good unis irrespective of going state or private. They may not have achieved quite such good grades in state schools / sixth form college , though marginal and hard to say whether that is down to state school / private given all the variables, but unis want the brightest students irrespective.

At the state schools there is an issue with crowd control, even at Waldegrave not every pupil is motivated. The biggest difference those who went private at 16 noticed is how much more quickly the private schools can move through the curriculum, which meant that an A at GCSE meant more motivation and private study for a state school pupil. I gather the states are now addressing that with more revision classes etc.

At any school, state or private, you can get dysfunctional years, a few girls can subvert the norms at a school and create a bitchy exclusive environment. The schools, even those that select, cannot know how the girls who turn up are going to behave. The "cool" crowd to be found downing Vodka, and worse, in Marble Hill playground on a summer's evening will include girls from Waldegrave, LEH and all the schools. I have known people take their DDs out of state and private schools because of difficult cohorts /bullying. Unfortunately that is down to luck of the draw.

In retrospect what matters most is visiting the schools, it is a bit intangible but you and your DD do get a feeling for whether a school is right for your DD. my DD1 knew exactly which school was right for her, and it wasn't the one she had thought she most wanted to go to before we visited / had interviews, and she was right and thrived. If you can afford private then money shouldn't be the deciding factor. I would cast the net wide in your open day visits, perhaps include a couple of the co eds just to be sure. There is a great new Head at KGS for instance, lots of satisfied parents at Radnor etc.

MLP Thu 25-Jul-13 10:05:41

Thank you. That is very thoughtful and useful advice. Much appreciated.

Elibean Thu 25-Jul-13 11:36:22

I would agree with Copt (again blushgrin). Go and see the schools, and see which one your dd feels happiest in - and you, too.

My niece is starting at PHS in September, and said it felt like a very happy school when she looked round - but the facilities were 'a bit tired' according to her parents, so don't assume it has heaps better facilities than Waldegrave. I'm not sure facilities matter all that much, either - unless sport is a massive priority, or something similar.

Copthallresident Fri 26-Jul-13 10:14:08

The only thing I would add is that Putney High isn't that popular a choice this side of Richmond. DDs' friends tended to end up at Surbiton High (bus used to go from Tower Road, may be different now, but there is a school bus) LEH, St Catherines, KGS, Radnor and St George's Weybridge (bus from Fulwell) (and Tiffin and Oratory). The realities of everyday life, travel, where sports facilities are situated, having local school friends are all important to being happy at school. DD1 ended up with a friendship group of mainly Twickenham friends and by sixth form that expanded to include a group of local boys too. I must confess I very much appreciated that It meant I wasn't called to drive out to Putney, Wimbledon or wherever at midnight on a Friday \Saturday night to collect her!

MLP Fri 26-Jul-13 10:23:04

Thanks for that. We are more towards Richmond (smack in the middle of the "B" zone for Waldegrave, so if we endwd up with PHS, DD could walk to Richmond station and grab the train to Putney. It's a good point re friends though. We currently live somewhat removed from the catchment area for her primary school and that has added some hassle re school runs, play dates, etc.

Copthallresident Fri 26-Jul-13 11:12:48

In that case you could add Godolphin and Latymer and Latymer Upper into mix, there are big cohorts travelling to both schools on the tube from Richmond.

MLP Mon 29-Jul-13 10:14:31

Are LU and G&L more competitive/hot house than PHS? Purely basing that on the handful of kids I know at the various schools.

Copthallresident Mon 29-Jul-13 10:22:59

I don't think either is particularly a hothouse, all the pupils I know at both are happy. More competitive to get in, especially LU these days but there is no harm trying for them if they feel like the right school for your DD. it is sensible to try for more than one school as it can all go right or wrong on the day. Most of DDs peers that tried for G&L and PHS got into both, and not all by any means chose G&L . It isn't all about exam performance, they do look at your DD as a person and whether they will fit in and contribute to the school community. Personally I was more concerned about my Dds ability to keep up with /cope with the smart cool set, the further into town you go, the smarter and cooler they can be IYSWIM. Ironically poor DD2 managed to get a super nasty cool set even though we headed out of town instead of into it!

MLP Mon 29-Jul-13 10:28:04

Thanks. I would have similar concerns re the "cool crowd" but it's so hard to second guess where that might happen more.

MLP Mon 29-Jul-13 16:54:35

I guess one unknown factor is how well Waldegrave gets on with the addition of a sixth form. At least PHS have a track record to look at. Hopefully Waldegrave do it well but it's new territory for them. Ideally I would prefer DD could stay at the same school for all seven years.

Copthallresident Mon 29-Jul-13 19:40:59

Did you realise the Waldegrave sixth form is going to be co ed? And that the schools in the collaborative partnership who will be aligning their sixth form offering, basically the oversubscribed academies, Teddington, Orleans and Waldegrave will not have enough places even for those who currently go on to sixth form study (and of course in future all pupils will go on to some form of sixth form study). They plan to select on distance as with admission at 11. I gather that some of the Waldegrave staff are hmm about the co ed proposal. However a lot of the girls' indies lose significant numbers to the coeds which all expand their sixth forms for sixth form (and in KCS case go coed at sixth form)

MLP Tue 30-Jul-13 09:09:44

Yes, I had seen that. Not sure what to make of coed for sixth form. It feels like a long wag away for now and my DD will likely change a lot in the time between now and when she is 16. She is firmly in the girls only camp at the moment.

jennycoast Tue 30-Jul-13 18:56:05

I noticed too that though the original over subscription criteria for the sixth form included siblings already at the school before distance, that has now gone. I don't think I imagined it, because it is/was particularly relevant to us.

Parent247 Mon 21-Apr-14 18:09:05

MLP - PHS is definitely a good school, but don't be fooled by the current fees... They hike them up every year above the rate of inflation, something like 6% pa (and have been doing so for years with no sign of relenting). The fees then jump up once they reach senior school.

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