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Coombe Girls

(48 Posts)
burstroma Thu 24-Oct-13 10:43:32

Have a dd who is going into secondary school next year. Has there been a change to the schools admission - something about a straight line rather than walking distance. Want to get into CGS but dd will have to take a train from RP to New Malden station, and fear she may be out of the catchment?

Zhabr Sat 09-Nov-13 19:41:30

Is it the same number of girls in TGS and CGS at the sixth form? I thought that Coombe has the joint sixth form with the Coombe Boys school? have no direct experience with CGS but my friend's DD was there, did not make it to the top stream( it was just one class back then). My friend has said that she felt that her DD was "invisible", as the attention went to the top stream girls to get the best results out of them, and to the "girls at the risk". The leavers destinations are on the school website.

fondofuk Sat 09-Nov-13 18:29:21

Hi all. I have no intention to disregard CGS and what i meant by "still choosing Tiffins over CGS top stream" is not about univ admissions but about life-long "pride". In fact A*s from CGS must have more advantage than same grades from tiffins. Now question is the rate of top tier univ entrants at CGS. How would it compare to that of tiffins assuming same no. of girls? If CGS produce decent percentage of oxbridge and couple of london univs every year, it may actually be better than tiffins......

Smartbutdopey Sat 09-Nov-13 12:22:14

OP..some stats may help..the catchment ares for CGS has shrunk over the last few years.

Distance from home to school of last girl offered a place:
2013 3.449km (2.1 miles)
2012 4.659 km (2.8 miles)

They admit 210 in Y7 but received 810 applications. So 4 applications for each place. CGS is an outstanding comp and I know of many families choosing it over and above other choices in Kingston and neighbouring Sutton. Good luck to you and your DD.

Smartbutdopey Sat 09-Nov-13 12:03:20

mingingintherain re Nonsuch.. I agree with legallady..the new head has made a good start. Website already relaunched, introduced 'meet the head' sessions and is determined to focus on the all rounded girl not just the academic girl.

doorkeeper Fri 08-Nov-13 14:28:05

Blu, celiamolestrangler - my experience is a long time ago, now, but I'm another one who did turn down a place at Tiffin to go to Coombe Girls! You can imagine CG is pretty pleased at those kids who do so.

MrsDavidBowie Thu 07-Nov-13 21:24:45

AnnaG...yes they do support struggling dds.
Dd struggled with maths, and they really helped her.

The pastoral care is superb. They have wonderful counsellors on site to support girls with all sorts of problems.

pm me if you want.

AnnaG Thu 07-Nov-13 15:53:04

OnGoldenPond (and her DD) - Thanks for a positive reflection on CGS.

So, they have teams in netball, rounders, cross country, volleyball, football, badminton, tennis and athletics and play on a weekly basis, plus training after school? No hockey?

And will they get the support in a subject if they are struggling?

DH went to the open evening and was impressed with the performance and approach of 'Coombe-ingdale'. I went to the open morning.

DD is in year 5, so have a little bit more time with looking at all the options of schools.

legallady Thu 07-Nov-13 15:46:25

Mingin from what I can tell so far, the new head at Nonsuch is a breath of fresh air! He seems determined that girls achieve an all round education and actually said last night (sixth form open evening) that nonsuch is not the place for you if all you want is to be crammed for A grades! He has also tried to put procedures in place to improve pastoral care.

MinginInTheRain Thu 07-Nov-13 15:17:20

So glad I came across this thread. Also have a year 6 DD, live close to CGS so would get offered a place. Like what I have seen too.

We also didn't get a great feeling about Tiffin so she did not sit that test but she did for Nonsuch - anyone got thoughts about that school and how compares to CGS. I hear the new headteacher at Nonsuch is a real improvement for the school.

Any thoughts most appreciated. can't wait for this process to be over...

OnGoldenPond Thu 07-Nov-13 09:04:06

Shooting - what an insightful and sensible response - you echo my thinking and express it so much better than I can, so I really have to give you a thanks

I just cannot understand the conviction among too many parents in this area that if only they can cram their DC into the "best" school their future is assured. Their future will be assured by the results they achieve which are down to their own abilities and the amount of work they put in. Any good school which expects pupils to give of their best will give Dcs all the tools they need to achieve their potential but in the end it is up to the child.

CGS will not attract any special treatment from uni admissions by the way, as it has a name as one if the top performing comps in the country.

Shootingatpigeons Thu 07-Nov-13 00:46:33

If top stream of CGS is equal to Tiffin academically I still would go for Tiffins because with its name she would not have to convince others how smart she is. Hate to disabuse you here but uni admissions officers are not stupid, A*s are A*s wherever you get them except A*s from a school that doesn't select AND has a cohort that are more than averagely disadvantaged and underachieve, or the pupil has experienced disadvantage, in which case an A* with contextual evidence will actually convince them a pupil really is smarter and more motivated. A good school will help them achieve their potential, indie or state grammar or outstanding comp. Choose the school that is right for your child and family, not the one that you think has a name. My daughter refused point blank to take a place at Tiffin 10 years ago, found it a cold and intimidating place. Her peers have achieved according to their potential whether it was Tiffin or LEH or Waldegrave or Teddington. (Honestly if you want your child to perform out of their socks go for KGS). Actually only difference is a tendency amongst the Tiffins to feel even more entitled / pressured than the Indies, a conviction they were the top 3% not actually born out by the difference between their results and the indies / top sets in comps ............... It is an entirely rational decision to choose other than Tiffin, not entirely sure about the decision it has to be Tiffin.

OnGoldenPond Wed 06-Nov-13 21:43:10

Oh yes you asked which schools they play. DD regularly plays against all the state schools in the borough and also against Surbiton High - bit of a rivalry there, I think they are quite evenly matched as CGS wins approx 50% of the time.

In tennis tournament played many Surrey private schools as DD explained above.

OnGoldenPond Wed 06-Nov-13 21:39:01

Anna - I'm sure you have misunderstood re Latin. In my DD's case each class alternated between going to Kings for their Latin lessons and doing the lessons at CGS. They swapped over each term but each class had equal time with each option. I would be amazed if they had now changed this.

I am staggered that you got the impression that there are no extracurricular activities or competitive sport played - that is definitely not the case. In fact DD has asked to give you the facts on this below:

Coombe takes part in competitions in netball, rounders, cross country, volleyball, football, badminton, tennis and athletics and there are extra curricular clubs in all of these and more. There are extra curricular clubs in music, languages, debating and literature among others. The competive sports teams actually perform very well and my year came first in the netball league, second in the borough rounders. We also compete in the Surrey Schools Tennis (we are the only state school to do so) and the year ten doubles team came second in this. The Coombe music department is also very high achieving and I am part of the chamber choir and the cast of Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat, playing the part of the narrator. I hope you didn't have too much of a bad experience at the open evening as I sang a solo in the presentation !

Back to Mum now! DD also tells me the school makes a big effort to make sure help is easily available if needed. Dedicated pastoral care staff and counsellors are always available to them on a drop in basis and the head of year is always available for girls to talk over any problems. We have found the school has always responded promptly and helpfully when we have had any issues

Sorry for the long essay but hope it is helpful!

OnGoldenPond Wed 06-Nov-13 21:09:44

Fondo - not theoretically, but actually. DD has 5 friends in her classes (express stream) who have confirmed to her that they did exactly that when they applied!

With DD we just didn't apply to Tiffin at all as the prospect of her going there gave me a really uneasy feeling.

Not sure why so many on this thread find this so difficult to believe - I am really not making this up!

As for the "name" of Tiffin giving some kind of advantage - not sure how that works. Uni admissions do not give added weight to applications from superselective pupils - in fact the opposite may apply. You DO know that CGS has an excellent reputation locally, don't you?

As for "convincing others how smart you are" only your results will do that - not trying to blag your way on the reputation of the school you attend!

AnnaG Wed 06-Nov-13 19:53:49

Questions for those currently at CGS on this thread, as would like to get a warm-er feeling about the school. We went to this year's open evening and open morning.

How's the pastoral care at CGS?
What extra curricular activities are available?
What competitive sport is played? I got the impression from the open evening/open morning that there wasn't any. If there is, which schools do they play?

From what I heard of other's experience, this year, you needed more than a SATS Level 5 to guarantee you to the top stream. And yes, there is 2 express streams, but only 1 of the streams are given the Latin lessons. confused (please correct me if I've misunderstood).

fondofuk Wed 06-Nov-13 19:06:18

Theoretically you are right but haven't seen any who would put CGS 1st and Tiffin as back up. Only those who are quite liberal about education and has very very bright DD would do that. If top stream of CGS is equal to Tiffin academically I still would go for Tiffins because with its name she would not have to convince others how smart she is. BTW anyone has own choice...

OnGoldenPond Wed 06-Nov-13 12:17:30

Yep Blu that's exactly right!

Celia - the point I've been trying to make is that with state applications none of the schools you list on your form are ever told your order of preference. The local authority then work out which schools on your list you have qualified for and offer you the highest preference school you have qualified for. The school is then told ( I think) only when a offer us accepted. You only get one offer but can request to be put on waiting lists. Tiffin is subject to this process like any state school.

Therefore it is perfectly possible to put Tiffin second or even last preference and still be offered a place if you pass the Tiffin test and you do not qualify for any of your higher preferences. Tiffin would never know. Similarly, if you qualify for a higher preference you would be offered that school and would never know if you had qualified for Tiffin or not.

Blu Tue 05-Nov-13 23:42:58

It really is an equal preference system! It's the law.

celiamolestrangler Tue 05-Nov-13 22:47:10

The thing is, I can't imagine turning a school place down that was so high up your list! Below third or fourth preference maybe ... but even then, I'd never do it in March, only if a higher preference came up on the waiting list after I'd accepted whatever we were given. I don't know what it would be like to have a private school back-up either.

I guess it proves it really is an equal preference system if you can get a Tiffin as a second preference offer.

OnGoldenPond Tue 05-Nov-13 19:46:44

Celia - you are wrong in your assumption that " The only people who turn Tiffin down have an offer from a private school or are moving from the area".

The people putting CGS as first choice ahead of Tiffin know what they are doing. They ACTUALLY WANT CGS in preference to Tiffin. They only sit the Tiffin test as a second choice in case they cannot get CGS. So they do understand the rules. As Tiffin do not know what preference they are placed in on the form, if a DD qualifies for it and does not qualify for a higher preference, they must be offered a place at Tiffin.

In our case CGS was our first choice. We did not sit DD for Tiffin as we knew it was wrong for her -. We considered briefly sitting her for Tiffin but we decided that even if she was offered a place we would turn it down so why go through the stress? Her backup in case she did not get CGS was a guaranteed place at LEH.

We were lucky in that we could afford the private backup at a pinch. Friends of DD who could not afford that option sat the Tiffin test but it was very much a second choice for them.

There are other good comps in Kingston but if you are likely to be in or near the catchment of Coombe you will be well outside the catchment of the other good schools - the perennial problem in Kingston.

Blu Tue 05-Nov-13 13:55:04

Two conversations here - firstly the Admissions process, in which, by law, all over England, no school knows where in the list you have placed them, and the LA will only ever make one offer - the school highest up your preference list that can offer you a place, and secondlay the schools people choose, which mean they put CGS as a higher preference than Tiffin - a fully reasoned and valid choice!

Good luck everyone, this thread only caughht my eye as I have heard a friend discussing the school as a possibility.

celiamolestrangler Tue 05-Nov-13 07:50:03

But maybe it was in the days pre-CAF when you applied separately to some schools and might end up with two offers? It wasn't fair really as it meant people hung on to offers others may have wanted.

celiamolestrangler Tue 05-Nov-13 07:42:43

I'm not wrong, that was definitely the advice of a Richmond admissions officer. If they didn't get Coombe Girls as a first preference it was a bit if a risk to turn any place down and go on the waiting list. That's probably why the advice was given. If you put Coombe first and got it, maybe you were within catchment.

Why put Tiffin on the list at all? There are other good comps in Kingston (or Richmond) apart from Coombe Girls.

OnGoldenPond Mon 04-Nov-13 23:54:13

Sorry, that should be in case they were outside the catchment for CGS.

OnGoldenPond Mon 04-Nov-13 23:53:19

Celia - sorry but you are wrong my DD knows several girls in her class who put Tiffin second to CGS on the form as they prefer CGS . They took the Tiffin test as an insurance in case they were outside the very small catchment area for Tiffin, as there is no catchment for Tiffin.

Really, there are lots of local people who do not see Tiffin as the holy grail of education and they really do turn Tiffin down in favour of CGS. We did.

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