G&L vs KGS vs LEH - would like to make decision and release 2 offers...(47 Posts)
Been reading the threads for a few months and it has been incredibly helpful. We are lucky enough to have the above 3 offers at 11+ and would like to decide very soon to release 2 of them to others. DD is bright but not stellar, needs a bit of a push to achieve and we are worried she may not be stretched enough at KGS which is her preference. We would prefer single sex education for her and her two brothers are at independent boys schools and doing well. She is also sporty and musical. We really are at a loss to decide: G&L seems a very outward looking and cosmopolitan school, LEH very sporty and more academic and KGS is a good all round school with excellent pastoral care though not as academic as the others. Any advice would be very much appreciated. Thanks!
Can you go back and have another look at them? It's very different looking round when you have offers in hand and the 'right' school might become obvious (it did for us when we were trying to decide last year).
Having said that I don't think you can really go wrong-they're all great schools. Good luck!
Firstly congrats on all the wonderful offers. In my opinion if your DD needs a gentle push to achieve I would definitely consider KGS or G&L. Lately, I have heard some wonderful feedback from KGS ..being a co-ed definitely has a different perspective. If your child is bright she will do well wherever she is...but she will thrive if in a school best suited to her...and if she prefers KGS then it should be definitely worth consideration especially as a co-ed school !! Same with G&L..heard fab things about the school. LEH is also v.popular but feel that it is for parents looking for prestige and top results and if your DD needs that extra push (like mine) I am not sure if she would thrive there. Which one is nearest to you as I am sure that may play a part too......but all of them are fab schools so whichever you choose ..you cannot go wrong !
Have experience of KGS...Highly academic. Your child will be encouraged to achieve to her very highest potential. In my child's year group getting a C in anything is rare and considered not very good, and certainly not very acceptable. Most attain A's & B's in everything.
The rowing is great, and hockey is encouraged. The fact that it is Co-Ed seems to make the children very well rounded and confident. The boys and girls have a huge respect for each other, and seem to look after each other. The pastoral care is fantastic, overall we have been very impressed.
Yes absolutely congrats to your DD - great selection of schools!
I definitely second the idea of going to have another look, and I'm sure you'll find you instinctively feel 'right' in one more than the others.
FWIW my impressions are:
KGS a lovely school, great results but seems to have a relaxed and friendly vibe. Really nice boys there too, which will probably be appreciated further down the line. Lots of great facilities.
G&L - definitely more London in its catchment. Lots of girls from South Ken/Notting Hill/Chelsea as well as further West. Loads going on, lots of energy and enthusiasm and great results without any conspicuous pressure. Very aware that girls can put themselves under pressure so don't overload with homework etc.
LEH I know least about, but from the girls we know that have gone there it seems to appeal to independent, confident self-starter types.
Good luck with your decision!
Know all these schools very well. Clara Maugham has it exactly right. If your DD prefers KGS then don't be swayed by the green acres and results of LEH. It is a good school for the right sort of girl but can feel pressured and their confidence undermined if they are not talented academically or in some other area. The teaching at KGS is encouraging and focused on the individual, and might well enable a girl to do better.
Well done to your DD! I have no direct experience of G&L and LEH but have a DD at KGS and academically she is challenged and encouraged and she is also extremely happy. DS is going to follow her there and we have chosen it over a nearby boys' school for him because tempting as the boys' school was, we didn't feel passionate about it in the way we do about KGS. I think you really have to trust your and your child's gut instincts. There is a huge amount of sport and music at KGS and the school is great about creating a positive balance between academic work and co-curricular.
Thanks to everyone for taking the time to post such thoughtful and helpful responses. The longest commute is KGS at about 45 mins each way and G&L the closest at a few tube stops. We were attracted to sit for KGS as it has a very good reputation, but also because we had heard such great things about Sarah Fletcher. So we are slightly concerned that she is leaving when her vision for the school is so obviously unfulfilled.
I may be wrong about the academic side but we based it on the dreaded league tables and also from several friends with boys at KGS who are very happy there, but bouncing along on Cs most of the time with their parents tearing their hair out at the lack of engagement from them. They are lovely boys though! DD is prone to coasting and has been heavily influenced this year by some girls in her class who are more interested in fashion and boys than anything academic and I guess we want her to go somewhere where it is cool to be clever and that it is expected of you. Though judging by the responses that is the case with all 3 schools. I also agree about LEH and resisting the peer pressure among other parents we know that it is the best school as it does seem to depend on your child being very confident and a self starter as someone said which i am not sure DD is currently.
I think the suggestions to visit the schools again are really spot on and I will try to do this with DD and then make a decision. Thanks again everyone for responding, it is very much appreciated!
Sorry one more question... Are there any G&L parents out there who could let me know of their experience for their daughters. It is probably my favorite school of the 3, but there is a perception in some parents in our area that if you send your child 'into London' to go to school they may be more at risk of exposure to drugs/alcohol etc although I know it exists in all schools. DD is slightly easily led and would be very grateful for any opinion on this?
I went to G&L many moons ago - yes there were some 'cool' girls who smoked dope and got drunk at parties but they were the minority and my friends at places like LEH and St Paul's experienced the same - I can't imagine things have changed that much in the intervening years so I wouldn't have thought your dd would be at any greater risk in hammersmith rather than Hampton!
Totally agree that the "cool girls" or attention seeking madams, however you want to put it, can turn up at any school. As a parent that is one thing you have no way of anticipating. It will vary from year to year in the same school and can happen anywhere. The only thing is that in coed schools the boys tend to be a civilising influence in that they have no time for the exclusive, and predatory, behaviour that the alpha girls use to gain attention in girls' schools.
My DDs are not at G&L but we know lots of girls there, at one point there were 5 girls who went there who live in our road. The girls we know vary in personality, some are quieter, some v sporty, others music scholars. They all seem to be working hard & enjoying school & life generally. If you are only a v short easy journey to G&L go for it. We know lots of girls at LEH & they are all v happy etc but the journey is a pain.
This takes me back! 5 years ago we were in the same position, except with a Latymer offer rather than KGS. So how did we decide? Results are nearly the same, locations/surroundings very different, commute to LEH was very long and ruled out some after school activities, LUS is co-ed, G&L is very nurturing, LEH has fabulous sporting facilities but no hockey.
DD now at G&L in Year 11 and it has lived up to all our expectations - it supports and encourages all girls to achieve their best, provides sporting and other opportunities for all (not just the A teams) and gets great results without undue pressure. Oh, and don't be put off by the London thing, all schools have drug/alcohol/party/cool-kid issues - the difference with G&L is the caring, and supportive way it deals with them.
Good luck with whatever you decide.
And remember that if you choose G and L the nearer school at least her friends will be (relatively) more local for meet-ups ... girls go to LEH from Windsor area, Surrey, Richmond, Putney and other areas - KGS will be a bit more local to the school but still a relatively wide area ... we live in Hampton (why oh why on practical grounds didn't we try for LEH at 11!) and DD's class at her indie girls school has many of them from Wimbledon - luckily she's not best friends with that set but if she was it would be a pain ...
trader21c had you chosen LEH your DD might have been in the Wimbledon class, or worse, the Ascot, or Esher or Chobham class. There is no escaping that if you have a DD at any of the local indies you are going to spend nights with the sat nav finding your way around Coombe, Esher etc.
Ha! shooting very true ... that's the downside of choosing an indie over the local school
If you choose G&L then your daughters friends and social life will be much more London centric. A neighbour friend of dd's goes to G&L and one girl thought she lived in the countryside (richmond!)
In our experience the LEH classes are quite mixed. My dd's class had girls from Chiswick/Kew/Richmond/Esher/Shepperton/Hampton/Walton etc - so quite varied. She often meets friends in Kingston as that is accessible for most.
All are fab schools. Remember with KGS that the sports facilities are elsewhere, and they are expected to find their way home from there - they are not bussed back to school. That really made a difference to the logistics and put me off for ds.
Go for G&L, you like it best and it's closest.
Thanks again everyone for your really helpful responses. What a fantastic community mumsnet is!
I'm an ex Dolphin. Loved my time there. I'm biased obviously but go for G&L!
They are bussed back to school after sports at KGS.
Never had a problem. Just leave from school as normal on games afternoon, but they tend to get home 3o mins later.
I stand corrected Chickydoo. Is tis a new development or have I always had the wrong end of the stick?
I think they just bus the 1st years? Am going tomorrow, will find out
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