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I'm a weeny bit cross that there hasn't been a SW/W London Independent schools thread this yr.

(1000 Posts)
SonorousBip Sat 03-Jan-15 21:46:43

Every blinking year there is one - and I read, and nod, and note. Sometimes they go on for months and pages. But this year, when I'm actually doing it - pah, not a sausage.

If anyone wants to do a last minute SPGS/Latymer/Godolphin/ KGS/LEH/WHS/PHS thread, please do! (disclaimer - I'm not doing all of those.). But views welcome. Because I've got several days to form my final views smile

Gozogozo Sat 03-Jan-15 22:02:30

la, la, la, bump!

mertonmama Sun 04-Jan-15 08:21:14

Marking place! WHS, PHS and JAGS for us. Less than a week to go and DH has dreadful cold. Considering putting him in isolation to stop DD getting it. All quite calm though.

Having done the grammars feel quite prepared. The crush of Kingston on the Tiffin exam days was quite an eye opener for DD and me.

What are other people doing?

Pop1ns Sun 04-Jan-15 08:22:37

Latymer and KGS co-ed,make sure you want this for DD or DS.
They are all fine schools.
I would choose the nearest school to home.
They are all in the Sunday Times league and some lower than others but the differences are not that great IMO.
If co-cirricular makes a difference I would look into this.
Remember the way exams are set the school chooses the DC whilst some parents are under the illusion they are choosing the schools.

SonorousBip Sun 04-Jan-15 08:34:44

LOL, p0pins, thanks, I've done the basic checks etc re single sex/co-ed. (And actually I agree with pretty much everything you have said).

We're gearing up for the exams, which start this week. What I want is current gossip or personal observations!

Mertonmama - we went ice skating last week, which felt a bit reckless!

mertonmama Sun 04-Jan-15 09:38:27

Ice skating! V reckless.

DD has hockey tournament next Sunday - after JAGS on Saturday and before WHS on the Monday and PHS on Weds. In two minds about it at the moment.

Thinking if getting job lot of oranges and multi vits for DD - would that be a reasonable (not mad) thing to do?

KingscoteStaff Sun 04-Jan-15 10:03:29

I'm in!

JAGS, WHS, Ibstock, Roedean (VERY South London?) plus fingers already crossed for Lady Margaret.

Has anyone had a letter back about the JAGS sports scholarship assessment?

SonorousBip Sun 04-Jan-15 10:17:32

Anyone heard re how the new WHS head is getting on?

I've posted this before, but we went to an open morning just before the previous one left and she had definitely already mentally checked out, we felt - v short talk, little eye contact, did not take questions. DH and I both came out saying "What?".

Gozogozo Sun 04-Jan-15 10:37:45

Not too surprised at the checked out ness. ..lots of shifting heads with similar results.
FWIW ex WHS head now at LEH & word is very good - taking time to get to know staff & girls & better atmosphere.

mertonmama Sun 04-Jan-15 11:50:32

Friends with DDs at WHS very positive about the new head. Still think of it as the lesser school than PHS though, not just because of the league tables. Don't like the fact that they test just VR and NVR, seems to lack robustness.

KingscoteStaff Sun 04-Jan-15 12:02:10

Friends who know new WHS head from her Dep Head role at Wellington say she is fab. They are gutted she left there as had hoped she would take over from Anthony Seldon.

GingerbreadBiscuit Sun 04-Jan-15 12:17:48

New WHS head is great, we really like her.
Am happy to be PMed about WHS if you have specific questions. I have recent experience of the exam process.
Good luck to all your dc!

SonorousBip Sun 04-Jan-15 12:22:42

Yes, that only doing VR and NVR for entrance is either inspired or odd. Will be interesting to see if it changes the cohort at all. My DC's head said that it may give a higher number of dyslexic children as just VR/NVR was more dyslexic friendly than eg writing lengthy comprehensions and essays. (Pure observation).

I'm a TOTAL dunce at NVR - just cannot see the patterns at all!

I'm not sure I would put PHS as being "better" than WHS.

castlesintheair Sun 04-Jan-15 12:30:19

My DD is sitting WHS and she hasn't had the interview yet that they are meant to have in autumn term. We are overseas currently (they were going to do by Skype so not difficult to organise) and I already get the feeling they don't think she'll be good enough so won't bother wasting time interviewing her unless they really have to. Call me a cynic but I find it very off-putting.

castlesintheair Sun 04-Jan-15 12:34:23

Oh and SonorousBip, thank you for starting this thread. I too was feeling a bit anxious that there wasn't one!

SonorousBip Sun 04-Jan-15 14:38:37

Lol, Castles, exactly - lack of thread was another thing to worry about: as if everyone else had met up secretly off board and decided which schools were best.

We are tending towards co-ed, I think.

mertonmama Sun 04-Jan-15 15:13:58

Castles - don't worry about not getting an interview yet. Think they just do them in order of application received. We were very early getting ours in and got an early interview. Friends who applied nearer the deadline got late ones.

I think with the girls schools far less emphasis seems to be placed on the interview than for the boys ones.

Did anyone else do the grammars?

castlesintheair Sun 04-Jan-15 16:31:46

Thanks mertonmama. That is interesting and reassuring - you can start to feel a bit paranoid when applying from overseas.

When you say grammars, do you mean Tiffin etc? We didn't do it this year (obviously couldn't from o/seas) but friends' DC did. DD1's friend made it through to 2nd round of Tiffin girls and no one else from their primary did. 2500 sat first test I heard shock

SonorousBip, ha ha, I thought exactly the same and actually searched the education board for an "11+ special club" kind of thread only yesterday!

castlesintheair Sun 04-Jan-15 16:33:04

Our no.1 choice for DD is KGS so also co-ed inclined.

mertonmama Sun 04-Jan-15 17:06:50

Castles - yes meant Tiffin, Nonsuch and Wallington. DD got through to 2nd round for Tiffin and got a good score for Nonsuch, didn't do Wallington.

If DD gets Tiffin not sure if we'd take it above JAGS or PHS. Probably not worth thinking about until we know what (if anything!) is on offer!

GingerbreadBiscuit Sun 04-Jan-15 17:50:03

I'm baffled at the idea that PHS is better than WHS. WHS has done better in various exam tables and is also a far more rounded school IMO. Horses for courses I guess, as I know plenty of families who chose PHS over WHS but I'm not entirely sure why

mertonmama Sun 04-Jan-15 18:56:49

I think PHS is perceived to be better locally than WHS because of position in league tables, sporting facilities and the fact that it is perceived to be harder to get into. That's the chat I hear anyway.

I also think that PHS is more 'urban' than WHS. I see WHS as more of a 'local' school. Just depends on what you're looking for - and there really isn't much very much between them.

SonorousBip Sun 04-Jan-15 20:45:10

I'm not a PHS fan. I really wish I were.

Castles - yep re KGS. smile

Does anyone have any views re Godolphin?

KingscoteStaff Sun 04-Jan-15 21:08:17

The main thing we noticed about Godolphin was how white it was! Having come from open days at JAGS, SPGS and WHS, we were astounded at the lack of ethnic faces amongst the girls. Hardly representative of the local area!

We also felt there was a feeling of the school resting on its laurels, rather than looking forward to the next challenge. However, we did go to the very last Open Day, so maybe the staff were all exhausted.

SonorousBip Sun 04-Jan-15 21:50:36

Interesting, Kingscote. We went round twice - DH and I looked round our long list schools without dc and then went our (much shorter) short list with relevant dc. DH and I both really liked Godolphin when we did it for long list. But when we looked round it with dd we were a bit underwhelmed/less overwhelmed? The second time the head did a much shorter presentation and said she would only take questions from children. We had bigged it up to dd but I could tell she was not hugely engaged. Our guide was not "British"(not surmising - she told us) so we did not notice the v white vibe you mentioned, but interesting observation.

Overall, I don't feel like we really got the right feel of the school, hence interested in what anyone else thinks. Don't make me go to 11+ forum for views!

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