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Abbey School Reading vs Farnborough Hill

(5 Posts)
eversleyparent Wed 12-Feb-14 16:09:22

DD has been offered a place at both Abbey School Reading and Farnborough Hill and we are really struggling to decide where she shoud go.

We were concerned that if she scaped in to the Abbey it may be too much for her, but feedback is she would be in the "top half" of the girls based on entrance exam performance.

Logistics are not an issue, we live in the middle of the schools and both have bus routes that have a stop five minutes from our door.

Our key question is fit and where will she get the best education. DD is pretty bright but not a rocket scientist. She is organised, diligent and a self starter (age eight she would get up and take herself down stairs to do some homework). However, she can be a bit of a worrier. That said she took three sets of entrance exams (also offered Lord Wandsworth, but decided that was really a better fit for DS in a couple of years time) with no concern or visible stress.

One specific concern is the size of sixth form classes at Farnborough Hill, only 40% of girls stay on so they can be as small as two in a class. This may mean near private tuition, but a lack of people to talk to about things.

Would really, really value thoughts of parents who have DDs in the schools at the moment and particularly anyone who had the same choice and what swung it either way for you.

Thanks in advance.

NCISaddict Wed 12-Feb-14 16:30:23

My DD left Farnborough Hill at 18, 3 years ago. She loved it and found the sixth form the best bit. She said that the small classes were really good for allowing everyone to make their point easily. In bigger classes I think she would have been tempted to sit back and not contribute quite as much.
She also says that the really small classes were for the less 'popular' subjects, eg History had 10 pupils, Biology 2 classes of 10 each. Things like languages had 2 or three pupils which I would imagine was good for conversation etc.
My DD was incredibly happy there and looks back on her time fondly.

eversleyparent Thu 13-Feb-14 07:52:35

Thanks for that NCISaddict, really helpful to get more colour re the sixth form class sizes.

Anyone with a view on the Abbey School?

nodumbblonde Thu 13-Feb-14 10:11:55

We faced a similar dilemma two years ago. DD is in now in her second year at Farnborough Hill and is absolutely flourishing in every respect. It may be less academically selective overall than The Abbey but the girls' progress is carefully monitored and we certainly feel that they are challenged accordingly. As for your concerns re sixth form, many children in Hampshire go on to the county's excellent sixth form colleges but I would certainly see the smaller teaching groups as a big plus and encourage my DD to stay at school. From what I see there is plenty interaction with other sixth forms in the area both in and out of school!

vixsatis Thu 13-Feb-14 12:28:55

I left FH many years ago, having been ridiculously happy. It is a very special place.

I still help with sixth form careers mentoring/interview practice and think that the sixth form is definitely on an upward curve: they now have some people who join the school just for 6th form. For an almost completely non-selective school they achieve very good results and about 25% of this year's UVI are Oxbridge candidates.

Equally, they will make an enormous effort with girls who struggle

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