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Francis Holland SW1/NW1/Queens College/Queens Gate/more House

(13 Posts)
starrystarrynights Fri 10-Oct-14 20:00:29

We've been to visit these schools over the last few weeks (bar More House which we couldn't make) for DD who has just been diagnosed as dyslexic.

I didn't feel much at Queens College but liked Queens Gate and FH SW1 both if which I believe offer some type of provision for dyslexia but I do need to follow up with the schools. There isn't much between the schools academically but there is on the fees which would make QG a streatham but we loved that there were so many clubs and something for everyone.

Any thoughts or views on these schools at all? Would you say that they are similar pastorally?

starrystarrynights Sun 12-Oct-14 13:10:48


KingscoteStaff Sun 12-Oct-14 13:19:28

My DN is in Yr 9 at Queens Gate. She scores very highly in English but really struggles with Maths, so did not get into FH or WHS. Queens Gate has been fantastic for her - pushed her English, while supporting her Maths in a very small group.

The sport there is not fantastic, but the Gardening club is great!

northlondoncat Sat 06-Dec-14 15:30:30

We looked at FHS NW1 and Queens College last year for a daughter who was dyslexic amongst other things. I spoke for some time to the SEN lady at Queens who I felt was very good and nice and on the whole I thought it was a wonderful school. FHS we liked but just felt it was so hot (Temperature wise and cramped) and the SEN person seemed very off and cold. We went back and back as FHS NW1 location wise was perfect for us but in the end chose another school that was nearer to us. If Queens College was nearer to our home we would have gone for it. I still feel a bit wistful I would say take another look. They have excellent music and drama and for what I understand sport is improving. The sport at FHS NW1 is pretty good and the clubs are amazing - allegedly best lunch in London too! FHS NW1 have a 'double lunch' so you can eat lunch at your leasure and attend a club or attend a club and each lunch at your leisure. Very impressive. FHS NW1 also has a great website with everything on it that you would need to know. Great GCSE results but then they tail off for A level

HeartsTrumpDiamonds Sat 06-Dec-14 15:34:37

The headmistress at FH NW1 is very well connected, well liked & respected. FWIW she just recently won the Headmistress of the Year award from Tatler magazine.

ohtobeanonymous Sat 06-Dec-14 16:12:39

Hearts - an 'award' from Tatler would be a huge incentive for me to stay away!! Not into pretension, but quality schooling smile

granolamuncher Sat 06-Dec-14 16:40:14

Same here, ohtobeanonymous. If you can bear to watch it, the latest episode of BBC2's "Posh People" showed how the "Tatler" guide is put together.

The head of KCS Wimbledon spent time with its editor and is heard to say the guide "matters". Of course it doesn't "matter". Tatler's never pretended to be anything other than a silly society gossip magazine.

That FH NW1 should be proud to be called a "public school" and to have won a so called award from a frivolous magazine would make its founders weep.

EdithWeston Sat 06-Dec-14 16:43:20

OTOH, FHS SW1 has a newish head and everything seems to be on the up. Still a very cramped site though, and I've not heard anything about dyslexia support.

NWgirls Sat 06-Dec-14 18:27:04

Hello to NLcat! Thanks for discussing schools some months ago, and I really hope your DD is well and happy.

I have never opened a copy of Tatler and agree with previous posters that quality education is what matters. So please put that award aside as irrelevant and don't use it as a (superficial) reason to reject FHS NW1.

DD is happy in year 7 at FHS NW1 which we chose over Queen's College. (We have no experience with the other schools mentioned). The positive atmosphere we felt - and really hoped would be there not just on the open days - remains. For us this was a really important point as DD needs a bit of encouragement and positive peers & teachers to gain confidence and put in the necessary work. She is also a bit sensitive and shy and this school feels like a good overall fit for her.

We have had some need for pastoral support which was not perfect but mainly good, but no SEN experience. Yes, lunch really is great - a main point for DD... Quite a lot of homework - but teachers are very good at giving constructive feedback and rewards on it, which helps both learning and motivation. Most subject teachers seem great.

We would definitely make the same choice (FHS NW1 over QCL) again for our DD. In addition to the above points:
- FHS NW1 is clearly ahead of QCL (and the other schools mentioned) on academics (79% A*/A vs. 57% in 2014 GCSEs), although this is likely to also reflect its somewhat more selective / competitive intake
- Location and logistics are better (for us) - being so near to Baker Street tube is hard to beat for NW London, and great to be next to Regent's Park
- Both schools have very good heads and warm/positive atmospheres, and are typical city schools with limited space
- DD just came out smiling every time she was at FHS, but she was more neutral to QCL - so for us this was a major point favouring FHS NW1
- FHS has a pool which is convenient for swimming lessons
- FHS has no prep school, so all girls start together

On the other hand:
- The one QCL parent I know has given very positive feedback
- We were genuinely happy to have the QCL offer as we did like it and it was clearly better than the third (private) and fourth (state) alternatives we had
- QCL is definitely easier to get an offer from than FHS NW1
- SEN provision, which might be very important for you, is something you should make your own mind up about - but I respect NLcat's view (which I know was based on thorough discussions) which favoured QCL

In your shoes I would apply to both (they use the same consortium group/test) and use the process of visits, interviews and tests (including for music/art scholarships) to get to know the schools before choosing.

Mumofthreelondon Sat 04-Mar-17 19:24:26

An old thread but I could use help. Need to decide ASAP between Queen's Gate, St James and Francis Holland South. Any views???

notdeadyetBOING Fri 20-Oct-17 08:37:46

Bump. I am particularly interested in FHS RP vs. FHS SQ in terms of pastoral care. Gather academics much of a muchness these days, but have heard that FHS SQ can be quite tough socially.... Can anyone confirm or deny? And is FHS RP 'gentler'?

NWgirls Fri 20-Oct-17 12:30:37

I can confirm that FHS RP in our experience lives up to its claim to be «kind», and I think it is quite low risk wrt settling, finding friends, feeling at home etc.

Unfortunately I have very little first hand info on FHS SS, and don’t want to stereotype.

I would register for both schools and let your DD pick (at the end of the process, when you hopefully have a choice, rather than now) based on her gut feel and journey.

If there is a particular concern behind your focus on pastoral care, feel free to PM me.

NotdeadyetBOING Fri 20-Oct-17 18:04:13

Many thanks, NWgirls. DD has had some friendship troubles over recent years and I am very conscious that she'll need to be somewhere that is accepting of individuals and puts a priority on kindness. Obviously all schools claim to, but in reality some do more than others. I have heard good things about Queen's College in that regard too. I was hugely impressed by the Head at FHS SS, but someone has subsequently mentioned to me that it is a school where the girls 'grow up fast' and need to be 'cool' which made me worry slightly.

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