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Which London girls' independent schools are doable from W5 please?

(22 Posts)
Givemeabreakimtryingmybest Mon 17-Feb-14 16:40:37

We live in Ealing and need to think about next stage schooling - what would be a reasonable commute via public transport from Ealing Broadway - do many girls travel to London schools from Ealing? Don't want dd to be the only girl from Ealing in her class!

Eastpoint Mon 17-Feb-14 18:21:53

Lots from Ealing at SPGS & G&L.

Givemeabreakimtryingmybest Mon 17-Feb-14 19:29:23

Thanks, Eastspoint - what preps\primaries are these girls coming from as there is no one in DD's class who is applying to these schools (they are all staying local)?. And what about other London schools - Francis Holland\Queens College etc? I expect CLSG is too far? Do you think it matters that dd might be the only one from her school to go to one of these schools? I am not even sure how to start the process of finding a suitable school - any advice much appreciated. We have been advised to look for something academic but I also want to ensure she ends up a fully rounded individual - she loves music and sport, for example. And if it is probable that she will be in a single sex environment then I would love to know which schools actively mix with other boys' schools.

Sundaedelight Mon 17-Feb-14 19:52:22

Lots of Ealing girls head to Notting Hill and Ealing High School.

Givemeabreakimtryingmybest Mon 17-Feb-14 20:08:51

Thanks, Sundaedelight - NHEHS is v local to us and is on our list but we wanted to look at other schools as well and were just wondering what else we should be considering.

Eastpoint Mon 17-Feb-14 20:15:40

Sorry I just assumed you'd automatically look at NHEHS, St Augustine's & St Benedict's as they are in Ealing. Lots of girls are the only ones from their primary schools going to the more central schools & from my experience that is more of a positive than a negative as they keep their old local friends and can reinvent themselves. LEH in Hampton is great but I don't know where the Ealing bus starts & how easy that is from where you live. Latymer Upper is mixed and the girls we know there are happy, some come from Ealing. I don't know anyone at Francis Holland or Queens College. We looked at Francis Holland SW1 but never visited Queensgate or Queens College. We didn't visit CLSG as we thought the journey is too far for where we live & there are other comparable schools closer.

Givemeabreakimtryingmybest Mon 17-Feb-14 21:22:45

Hi Eastpoint - sorry - I think it was just me being very confusing - I know quite a lot about the local schools here in Ealing - apart from NHEHS I doubt the other local schools would suit our dd - but I don't know much about other schools in London. I want to get an idea of which schools are reasonably accessible from W5 and which are reasonably academic \ musical \ sporty. We would be happy for her to travel to school - but within reason - and so I really wanted advice as to which schools we should be considering \ eliminating. Most people I know seem to aim for NHEHS but where else might they go?

Givemeabreakimtryingmybest Tue 18-Feb-14 10:03:15

Does anyone have any views on NHEHS \ SPGS \ G&L \ LU \ Francis Holland (SQ or RP) please?

Sundaedelight Tue 18-Feb-14 12:28:28

NHEHS - solid local indie with great results and balance.

SPGS - academically the best and superb teaching/opportunities. As a local, don't like what I see though, rude/arrogant behaviour on the street, smoking by my house, taking over the pavement etc. Not where my daughter is going. Ever.

G&L - again solid, academic without breaking the child, you need to "fit in" to an extent. Nice girls.

LU - best school IMO. Broad mix of pupils, very academic yet look for more, they love personality. No square pegs here, character is celebrated. Lots of sport. Tough to get a place.

FHSSQ - lovely school, small, fits some girls, others may outgrow. Not the most academic at 11 but delivers the goods in own time.

FHCG - bigger and fiestier than Sloane Sq. Slightly more academic. Lively girls, very popular and again delivers.

However, if I were in your shoes and lived in Ealing, I would make life easy and head to NHEHS!

VQSV Tue 18-Feb-14 12:48:48

To sort of state the obvious:

SPGS has the highest academic standards (virtually top secondary school in the country) and is not regarded as a place for the faint-hearted.

G&L more academic than Francis Holland (but be wary of taking Francis Holland for granted...I don't think they like to be seen as a "back-up" school and may explore real sense of commitment at interview)

i.e. your daughter pretty much has to be top of the year material (or exceptionally creative) to be looking at SPGS.

You can get a "feel" for how difficult a school is to get into (+ also preferences of candidates) by looking at 11+ results on websites of schools such as Bute House (academic prep which unofficially feeds into SPGS) + Glendower Prep etc.

My own daughter's prep school is a bit more North London than West (so slightly different group of target schools) but in a normal year gets 2 or 3 offers from SPGS...and sends 4 or 5 girls to Francis Holland (RP) which is regarded as a good friendly school for those looking for a slightly less intense academic experience.
Not an expert on transport links...but would think NLCS + CLSG are probably too far from Ealing...but if you are considering FH (RP) then maybe you should look at South Hampstead High school as well.

TaffyBogle Tue 18-Feb-14 12:49:52

NLCS have a coach going from Mount Park Road. Might be worth considering.

Givemeabreakimtryingmybest Tue 18-Feb-14 15:03:31

Thank you all very much - really helpful. TaffyBogle, I didn't know there was a coach from Mount Park Road - is there a regular intake to NLCS from Ealing every year do you know? It seems a bit far - but if lots go...

SundaeDelight - NHEHS is still very much on our horizon but I am concerned about the social side - they don't seem to have much contact with boys either through school or outside of it - or am I mistaken? I went to NHEHS myself and loved it but the opportunity to socialise with the opposite sex - which to me is an important part of growing up "normal" - was a let down. In that respect LU seems very appealing but worried about it going the other way there with too much distraction! Ideal for me would be single sex school with plenty of joint activities with other schools.

Does anyone know which schools socialise with which schools? I know that G&L used to do a lot with LU, but now it's co-ed I expect that is different?

VQSV - thakns for all the info - I like the sound of FH (RP) but again, not sure if that is an easy commute.

Sundae - Very disappointed to hear about behaviour of SPGS girls - hopefully it's the exception rather than the rule?

Re Latymer Upper - I know the school, and their facilities and results are all amazing - but is it still v much a boys' school that takes girls? Are the girls' sports facilities as good as the boys'? And ditto re results - I know they have achieved enormous successes, but does anyone know what the split on the grades was between boys and girls?

Givemeabreakimtryingmybest Tue 18-Feb-14 15:07:55

PS - Sundae - what do you mean exactly by 'you need to "fit in" ' (re G&L) ?

TaffyBogle Tue 18-Feb-14 16:22:22

NLCS pick up a fair number of girls from Ealing I know of three. It's about an hr on the coach as it goes via Harrow. Sounds a lot but to be honest girls who travel from Richmond/Central London to NHEHs have a fairly long journey. At least here you are safe and no changing.
Worth considering if your focus is on academics. I must warn you though the school is moving away from Consortium 2 and having their own paper from next year

WorkingItOutAsIGo Tue 18-Feb-14 16:41:58

Give - how old is your DD and what advice has her current school given about where might suit?

Being close to school is important but not the only thing - we lived in N London and so I know some of your suggested schools like FHRP and honestly think Ealing would be on the farthest reaches of their catchment which would make it tougher for your dd to integrate.

Other schools like SPGS are much more destination schools and so have a much broader catchment. If your DD is an SPGS type don't hesitate to send her there - the teaching is extraordinary and whilst I am sure Sundae is right in what she describes, I think anyone who lives near any school would say the same. Teenagers just can be loutish in groups! My dd is there and loves it and her friends are the opposite of what sundae describes.

I get the sense LEH has great mixing with Hampton if that matters but do think London teenagers find each other wherever they go.

Reasontobelieve Tue 18-Feb-14 18:14:49

As well as the length of the actual commute, you also need to allow for the possibility that some activities such as sports training take place before or after school. at least once a week, my dd has to get to school for 7.45am.

It was something that I hadn't thought about, as she wasn't very sporty at primary school. I'm glad now that we chose a school with a reasonable commute.

Eastpoint Tue 18-Feb-14 18:27:11

G&L has netball & hockey training before school at 7.45. G&L has good extra curricular gymnastics from what I understand. G&L do rowing at the KCS boathouse in Putney.
SPGS has swimming, lacrosse & netball training before school at 7.30. They use the SPS boat house.
FH Clarence Gate has training before school, they have to be at school at 7.00
Latymer Upper has hockey & netball after school and from year 9 rowing after school and on Saturdays. The girls facilities were not as good as the boys in the past (no trampoline which teenage girls like), no specialist gym teachers, boys sports team practices in the holidays but no hockey/netball pre-season practices for girls. There is a table tennis club at lunch time but no open access to table tennis tables at lunch time (there is at some of the girls' schools). Latymer has great rowing starting in year 9, mixed girls & boys in 8s.

Orchestra & choir practices tend to be after school and in my experience wind band & smaller ensembles etc at lunch time.

All the schools have matches & concerts after school.

Givemeabreakimtryingmybest Tue 18-Feb-14 18:40:58

Taffy - thanks - love NLCS but still think an hour is a long time - not sure I can justify it esp given NHEHS is on the doorstep.
Working - good point about FH(RP) - and I agree, although being close to school is not the only thing, it is still an important consideration from an 'integration' point of view. Yes, the current view is SPGS would be a good fit - but I don't want to make any assumptions and still want to consider other options. Did you look at G&L for your DD?

Givemeabreakimtryingmybest Tue 18-Feb-14 19:08:44

Reason and Eastpoint - for some reason only just seen your points - thank you, I hadn't even thought about the extra-curricular timetable. IT makes a big difference - esp if dd continues to be as active in sport and music as she is now. I love the sound of G&L - I know SPGS is utterly fantastic but I also think G&L is pretty special - from the sound of things I think DD would thrive in either environment - I am v concerned that dd reaches her potential but remains grounded. So much to consider! If - in a complete fantasy world - DD held offers from SPGS, G&L and LU - which would you recommend and why? DD is sporty, musical, creative and a bit off the wall (i.e. nuts). Perhaps a bit immature socially but academically v sharp.

WorkingItOutAsIGo Tue 18-Feb-14 19:19:38

Give - yes my dd had offers from g and l and NLCS. We ended up choosing between SPGS and NLCS. I found it very hard and preferred NLCS but in the end am so glad my DH pushed us to SPGS. It suits her down to the ground and she has turned out to love learning so much for its own sake and the teaching style so engages her. She is doing really well academically but as I said to her tutor this term I am thrilled that actually all she talks about at home is sport and music and extra curricular fun - she is having a great time and has lovely friends from a wide range of backgrounds.

WorkingItOutAsIGo Tue 18-Feb-14 19:27:23

Oh and we have v good friends who did do g and l and loved it. These are all great schools!

Givemeabreakimtryingmybest Tue 18-Feb-14 19:38:13

Working - yes, I know! All such great schools! Well, I'm sure it will all work out for the best in the end.... ! confused

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