Francis Holland SW1/NW1/Queens College/Queens Gate/more House(10 Posts)
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?
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!
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
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.
Hearts - an 'award' from Tatler would be a huge incentive for me to stay away!! Not into pretension, but quality schooling
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.
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.
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.
An old thread but I could use help. Need to decide ASAP between Queen's Gate, St James and Francis Holland South. Any views???
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