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(20 Posts)
esherry Sun 18-Jan-15 21:02:33

Please can I have some up to date views on Tormead School, Guildford. My daughter has just been offered a place (she may get offered others too - letters not arrived yet but she sat for GHS & St Catherine's). Gut feel is that she would love it but most of the threads are a couple of years old and I'd love to have some insight into how well the new Head is doing. DD is bright and sporty and into life if that makes sense. A very very happy child. I think she will do well where ever she goes, but I really want her to enjoy the journey if that makes sense. Many thanks in advance

ZebraGiraffe Mon 19-Jan-15 17:40:58

They are re-building the school gradually so there will eventually be much better facilities. The head is meant to be more settled, she wasn't too popular initially as I think she came in with a slightly different ethos/approach. The school was lagging a bit before the new head arrived.
I think Tormead is good for a girl who wouldn't thrive on the pressure and fact GHS is super-selective so you are with a class of 20 other very bright girls all day everyday. It is a little softer and more pastoral (not that GHS doesn't have excellent pastoral care), but still gets fairly excellent results. They do have a lot of fun at GHS, lots see it as being entirely focused on academics and being amazing at sport but there is something for everyone. St Cats is very different to Tormead/GHS- it is much more a country boarding/day school and more traditional with a strong house system. In terms of results GHS>St Cats>Tormead but the difference is minimal.
Your DD sounds like she will do well anywhere and suit GHS or St Cats very well too.
Which does your DD prefer?

esherry Mon 19-Jan-15 18:55:03

Thanks so much ZebraGiraffe.

DD actually wants to go to Tormead. My concern was over whether it would be academic enough to stretch her but not so academic that she would feel demotivated. Gut feel is that Tormead ticks all the boxes. My neighbours kids went there and both are now studying medicine and wax lyrical about the place. I'm just trying to canvas as much opinion as possible to go in eyes wide open ! Thanks so much for sharing yours.

mummytime Mon 19-Jan-15 19:26:40

Tormead is definitely an academic school, girls go onto top Universities. All three schools are similar academically with the differentiation as discussed above.
I'm sure she will do fine, and if the building works are on schedule she will just have the benefits. (The Head used to be Deputy at St Catherine's.)

ZebraGiraffe Mon 19-Jan-15 20:01:47

Yes I agree- Tormead is definitely academic, she will be challenged appropriately. I hope a Tormead parent comes along to let you know about the new head as I'd be interested too.

esherry Tue 20-Jan-15 11:24:31

Thank you both. Yep would love a Tormead parent to come on line...

rebby Thu 22-Jan-15 14:10:43

Following as am also interested in current Tormead views. ��

Ticksalltheboxes Thu 22-Jan-15 18:02:46

I'm a current Tormead parent! I have two daughters there, one about to leave (so been all the way through) and one who joined a term ago in Year 7 (hence I have name-changed for this post in case I get 'outed' as there are not many with that combination). I would say that Tormead produces happy, bright and successful girls without piling on the pressure that perhaps some other academically selective schools do and that is why we chose it and have never looked back. My eldest got into GHS at Year 7 and we were told that she was in their Top 10 from the 11+ results, but we knew that Tormead was the right school for her, that it would give her the space to be herself so she went there. And there are many in her peer group who are much more able than she at Tormead, so don't worry that it won't be academic enough, even though Tormead does perhaps have a broader intake than other schools. All the girls in DD1's year did very well at GCSE and I presume will do well at A2 and all with offers at top unis. DD1 wants to go into a medical career and three of the top unis have called her to interview and she awaits to hear from the final fourth choice.

The new head has been there about 5 years and I was at first worried that she might turn it into a St Cat's clone (too much pressure there from what I've seen through friend's daughters) having come from there. However, she has been true to the Tormead ethos of allowing girls to fully mature all their talents be they academic, sport or arty. Her style is quieter and more demure than the heads at St Cat's and GHS but that quietness hides very strong leadership skills as well as being very focused on where she wants to take the school. The staff at the school all appear happy and that filters down to the children. The style of teaching there now is about engagement and enouraging the children to take responsibility for their own learning, a style that we had loved at the state primary DD2 attended.

DD2 is very young in the school year and has always been mortally embarrassed about anyone watching her do anything so we were delighted that within weeks of starting at Tormead she signed up to be in the House Dance competition and was happy to perform in front of the whole school in a house troupe. She obviously felt confident enough to do that and that confidence had developed after only 10 weeks at Tormead.

All I can say is that I don't think you would regret choosing Tormead. It is a very happy, well-rounded school and produces happy and well rounded young adults.

newzealand68 Thu 22-Jan-15 18:52:05

My daughter has also been offered a place at Tormead for Y7 and I was really pleased to read your comments. I really liked the school when I visited it last year. We are just waiting to get one more result, but I think that even if that one comes through with a place, that we will take Tormead.

Ticksalltheboxes Thu 22-Jan-15 22:31:47

newzealand68 - I promise, you will not regret it. Good luck!

newzealand68 Fri 23-Jan-15 09:12:20

My other DD is at one of the other Guildford schools and suffered terrible bullying. Luckily a member of staff helped and it was sorted but I am not sure I would want another DD to go through that. She has had to toughen up as even teachers make quite unnecessary comments - she is now older and it does not upset her, but I get mad! I like the idea of a more nurturing environment, although I realise that girls will be girls, but what really matters is how the school deals with it. Apart from one teacher we were not supported by the other school when my DD was being bullied. It will be Tormead for us!

esherry Fri 23-Jan-15 10:55:53

Ticksalltheboxes - thank you so much for taking the time out to write such a comprehensive response. I am now convinced that Tormead is right for my DD. We too are waiting from more results but my DD wont even consider the other schools now !
Thanks again :-)

Ticksalltheboxes Fri 23-Jan-15 15:53:29

I have no experience of how Tormead deal with bullying as my DDs have never experienced it. Yes, there have been minor fallouts with friendships along the way but that will happen anywhere and is a good thing to learn how to handle. But that's not bullying. I have a friend with a daughter in Year 8 who was bullied in Year 7 last year and she has been delighted with how the matter has been handled and she tells me her DD is thriving.

Talking about pastoral matters last year they introduced a scheme whereby the girls do not stay in one form group for years on end for all their subjects. The girls are mixed up all day long into different teaching groups and form/tutor groups so that they meet a wide cross section of their peer group right from Day 1. It completely stops cliques forming as no-one can easily form a power base. I believe they get shuffled around into new groups in a couple of years' time - keeps everything moving and fresh. I love it.

newzealand68 Fri 23-Jan-15 17:10:31

That's so good to hear. Thank you so much for all the information on Tormead. I have just finished filling out our acceptance form!

esherry Fri 23-Jan-15 17:59:05

newzealand68 - not sure whether your DD knows anyone going to the school but if not, my DD knows quite a few from her school and would happily have your DD around to introduce her.
Roll on the weekend !

Cluelessnortherner Tue 27-Jan-15 17:55:52

Our daughter is at Tormead. She came from a state school and is our eldest so we have nothing to compare it to but we are thrilled by how she has progressed and developed in her time there. She is stretched academically but never pushed too hard and has fantastic opportunities in a range of sports and other extra curricular activities. Most importantly she is happy. It was the best decision we made sending her there! We can't wait to see the new building, it looks like it is going to be amazing!

esherry Tue 27-Jan-15 20:46:52

Cluelessnortherner (love the name!) thanks for much for replying and glad to hear that your daughter is loving Tormead so much. My DD has had offers from St Cats and GHS too but I think she is still Tormead bound - I really havent heard anything negative about the school which is quite an accolade !! Any other views - keep 'em coming ! Many thanks

anothercluelessnortherner Sun 08-Feb-15 15:31:27

Hi Just registered here.
I've been following posts for the Guildford girls schools very closely for two weeks. We are about to move in the area from Sheffield in Summer as hubby and I are both changing jobs. My eldest, DD is currently in Y7 in a GDST school, so we were desperately searching for a good school for her in Sept for Y8. Guildford and St cats have not given us hope about any places, but Tormead has called us for a private visit and we understand, they are happy to take a test and offer a place based on the results. I was very happy with their overall approach and prospectus, but wanted to know more from present mums about their experience. DD1 according to her teachers is bright and would do academically well but I find her very laid back and relaxed..i dont know how to explain... kind of not bothered!!! her results till now has been very good, so we are hoping for the best. So I am very happy with the messages here, as I feel Tormead offers the right mix. Also St cats appear to posh for me as we are working parents, cannot always afford luxury holidays!
Please can you help me re: their entrance test and how to prepare for it!!! We have a very short time maybe weeks only!!! Thanks.

yourmothernotyourfriend Sun 29-Nov-15 21:51:24

I moved to the Guildford area a few years ago. DD1 and DD2 have both been at Tormead ever since.

We have been very impressed by Mrs Foord’s changes to Tormead since 2010 when she took over the headship. She reduced the number of places in each year to ensure that the school’s USP is as a more nurturing environment, whilst also maintaining a reasonable, yet undeniably more diverse range of academic ability than at GHS. There has also been a significant changing of the guard amongst the staff with the recruitment of a raft of enthusiastic, dynamic teachers, both male and female, across all subjects. She has also presided over a major building project that has dragged the senior school buildings into the 21st century.

Her introduction of a range of scholarships awarded to girls entering both Year 6 and Year 7 to halt the exodus of brighter girls to GHS at Yr 7 has, but for a couple of exceptions, succeeded. There is, therefore, a strong feeling amongst current parents that Tormead's stock is on the up.

Fellow parents, like their daughters, are a sociable, down-to-earth bunch and come from a diverse range of backgrounds - did you come and join us?!

Confused687 Wed 06-Jul-16 06:09:33

Do the girls get outside to at much in year 7? It's quite a small site so just wondering if they hang out in their form room instead of being outside? Thank you!

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