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Bournemouth School for Girls or Guildford High School?

(22 Posts)
Luxulyan Sun 01-Feb-15 21:07:28

Appreciate comments on either school as we have to choose soon. Can just afford Guildford. No restrictions on location.

OP’s posts: |
ZebraGiraffe Sun 01-Feb-15 21:37:25

Are you moving I assume? GHS girls live in Guildford, Godalming, Farnham, Haslemere, Camberley, Surbiton, Esher, Claygate, Cobham, Worplesdon, Woking, Shalford, Horsley so a very wide area. Most come on train to London Road Station.

My DD was at GHS and had a wonderful education there. She is in her twenties now and a well-rounded, ambitious girl who is very close to her GHS friends still - they are all fun-loving, very successful so far in their careers, down-to-earth and caring.
GHS is great for academic girls who suit the environment of being among many other very bright girls. My DD is the type who elsewhere would have sunk and I can imagine not have pushed herself, at GHS she thrived in the atmosphere that everyone works hard and it is not uncool to be trying your best (but they also have a lot of fun and it is a very supportive school. I have seen DD and her friends have been left with an incredible work ethos which has helped them really thrive at uni and in the workplace.
It can be thought of as pushy, mainly because people think how can a school with such high results not be pushy but in my experience any pushiness comes from parents - not the school. They are very selective and so their job it just to provide an appropriate education to bring the best out of their intake and provide a rounded education, rather than to micro-manage them to achieve. They take in the type of girls who have very good potential so pushing isn't really necessary.
There is a lot of fun as well as work, loads of extracurricular on offer to suit all types. I remember DD saying there was a lot of acceptance of differences in her year group and by sixth form her year were very close and really celebrated others' achievements. It is (or was anyway) a place where all 'types' of girls - sporty, very confident, musical, drama, arty, quiet, book-lovers - thrived and were valued. I know for DD it was certainly somewhere she was very happy and she really liked and valued her teachers.
My niece is there now and seems equally happy. She is very quiet but seems to have a lovely group of similar friends and be doing well. I'm sure it has changed and evolved since DD was there - they all have their own iPads provided by the school now.
Of course, it is not a perfect school but I don't think any school is. It's faults were pretty minor.

Perhaps someone with a DD currently there will come along but I hope this helps.

2stixoftwix Mon 02-Feb-15 17:18:56

BSG is an amazing school set in a lovely area. Competition is fierce to get in did she pass the 11+ ?

Luxulyan Tue 03-Feb-15 09:48:02

Thank you very much for the comments so far. We are based in Hampshire at the moment but can move anywhere and like both areas. DD has passed at both schools. GHS has better results than BSG, pretty much at the top in the country, but is that worth the not inconsiderable financial investment? That is our dilemma!

Do you have any more thoughts on BSG?


OP’s posts: |
AMumOfThree Wed 04-Feb-15 19:05:18

Thought I'd reply as you've had no responses from current GHS parents. I have two DDs at GHS, although both are currently in the Junior School. So far, the school has been good overall and met the two things most important from my perspective - both DDs are very happy there and both are progressing well academically, without feeling very stressed or pressurised. DD1 is in yr6, so would be same year group as your DD assuming it is yr7 entry you are considering. PM me if you would like more information, though obviously my knowledge of the senior school itself is limited at the stage.

MrsWOLF1 Wed 04-Feb-15 20:13:15

BSG gets excellent results and girls travel from both Bournemouth and poole and surrounding areas being one of only 2 grammar schools in the town the other being the boys school competition for places is fierce ·I presume your daughter has passed the 11 plus Many girls get offered places at Oxford /Cambridge following A levels

Luxulyan Thu 19-Feb-15 01:29:11

Thanks for the replies. I've been looking at the leavers destinations for Guildford High, which is about 20% go to Oxbridge and pretty much 80% go to Russell Group. Bournemouth has about 4% going to Oxbridge and about 40% going to Russell Group, which is still quite good compared to other state grammars.

I also read that Guildford High girls only take about 9 GCSE's (or equivalent) and Bournemouth girls take 11 GCSE's. Also the IGCE's which are taken by some GHS pupils are included in the statistics which might inflate the GCSE results as they seem to get very high pass percentages.

OP’s posts: |
Luxulyan Thu 19-Feb-15 01:36:58

Thanks for the replies. I've been looking at the leavers destinations for Guildford High, which is about 20% go to Oxbridge and pretty much 80% go to Russell Group. Bournemouth has about 4% going to Oxbridge and about 40% going to Russell Group, which is still quite good compared to other state grammars.

I also read that Guildford High girls only take about 9 GCSE's (or equivalent) and Bournemouth girls take 11 GCSE's. Also the IGCE's which are taken by some GHS pupils are included in the statistics which might inflate the GCSE results as they seem to get very high pass percentages.

For A levels 97% of grades were A*-B at GHS according to their website and 71% of BSG grades were A*-B.

OP’s posts: |
uilen Thu 19-Feb-15 10:03:28

The different statistics (as usual) largely represent the intake - Guildford is far more selective than Bournemouth. They don't tell whether your child will be more or less likely to get A*s or not. However, I don't think BSG's statistics are stunning, even allowing for their intake, so perhaps it is true that any given girl might do better in the other school. I also don't particularly understand why you would move specially for BSG when a number of Hampshire comprehensives have their high achievers doing at least as well.

merrymouse Thu 19-Feb-15 10:07:39

If I were moving, I think I would move in catchment for one of the very good Hampshire secondary schools and pocket the change.

AMumOfThree Thu 19-Feb-15 13:50:45

Uilen, not sure I agree with you in terms of degree of selection for GHS - it is a conundrum I have been thinking about recently.

In terms of results at GCSE and A level and university destinations, GHS compares extremely well with the likes of LEH, JAGS, CLSG etc. and does at least as well if not better than Tiffin too. However, the ratio of applicants to places is much lower - for 11+ this year I was told around 180 sat for around 60 places, and many of those will also have sat for Tormead or StCats in Bramley (and some will choose these schools over GHS). There will also be a wider ability range in the approx 45 girls coming through from the junior school. So either GHS is a bit less "super-selective" but really does add value in terms of the quality of teaching, or there is significantly more self selection going on in terms of who applies. Perhaps it's a bit of both, but this still suggests really good teaching may be at least partly what gets GHS its excellent results.

Luxulyan Sat 28-Feb-15 19:50:26

I believe Bournemouth has arou 450-500 applicants for 166 places, so a similar ratio to Guildford. I'm wondering too why GHS doesn't receive more applicants. It could be population, it's quite a trek from London or cost. Self selection could be a factor, although with a fairly low application ratio the base ability might not be as high as Tiffin Girls, but the added value must be higher which does suggest some high quality teaching.

OP’s posts: |
CaramelTiger Sat 28-Feb-15 23:34:14

I think the GHS applicant rate is partly down to the fact there is a lot of choice for girls' secondary schools in the area and it is fairly obvious if a girl is likely to be GHS standard or not. The schools all have quite clear niches and so prep heads/parents are able to advice and decide more accurately where their DD would be most suited.
I think the teaching at GHS is a very high standard and very well fitted to the academic levels of the girls. That is combined with very hard working girls (often due to the families they come from) who want to do well. It is a very highly rated, well-rounded school (not just in terms of league tables and results).

I have to say though, if money will be tight then I would take the Bournemouth place.

Luxulyan Sun 01-Mar-15 14:03:58

If I read the GHS website correctly, the entrance requirements for both internal and external candidates are 6 A grade GCSE's plus Eng and Maths A-C.

Bournemouth is 6 A-C

GHS requirements seem to be
even higher than the SW London superselectives:

Tiffin: 8, 4xA, 2A-C
Nonsuch: 8xB+
Wallington: 8xB

OP’s posts: |
Luxulyan Sun 01-Mar-15 14:09:42

Although the teaching is undoubtedly v good, this might skew the A Level results if they have the highest achieving intake out of all of them. It would be interesting to know how many pupils leave after GCSE's or have to leave after having not met the requirements.

OP’s posts: |
AMumOfThree Sun 01-Mar-15 15:22:46

From their respective websites for 2014:

GHS had 96% A or A* for GCSEs
Bournemouth had 65% A or A* for GCSEs

As far as I am aware, while a few may leave through choice, there is not a big exodus after GCSES due to not meeting the requirements.

That said, there is obviously much more to school choice than just a academic results and your DD may well do just as well and be just as happy in either school - something only you can decide.

Needmoresleep Sun 01-Mar-15 20:09:01

I think Bournemouth is a nicer place to live. GHS applicants will be self selecting in so far as they willl come from a wide catchement. I assume almost all bright girls in Bournemouth would go there.

Both will clearly do well by bright girls. Given one, as I understand, is fee payng, and the other not, I would go for Bournemouth. Their football team is better as well!

mummytime Sun 01-Mar-15 21:30:45

I think most GHS girls meet the requirements to stay on for A'levels - they only wouldn't if "something" had happened. Some do leave to go other places (Co-ed private or state including sixth form colleges). There is a lot of places for bright pupils in the area - including State. For some specialisations other places might even be better than GHS (more do Textiles for example in other places).

The GHS requirement is pretty much what they expect their girls to achieve - and is pretty readily achievable at quite a few other schools.

BUT I think Guildford as a town (pretty much all schools) is far more pressurised than Bournemouth - from comparing with a friend who lives in the later.

EMPS Tue 29-May-18 06:01:31

Look at the league tables. BSG is nowhere.

mrsnec Tue 29-May-18 06:11:44

I know nothing really of the schools except a lot of my friends went to Guildford and loved it. None did particularly well but it was the 90's so very different now.

I just wanted to say I've lived in both towns and would much rather live in Guildford than in Bournemouth.

MrsSnitch Tue 29-May-18 07:43:05

You say GHS will be a struggle financially. Does this take into account the differential in your housing costs if you move to within shouting distance of GHS? Personally I think if your daughter is GHS material she will get in perfectly well in the grammar school, and you can have a better overall quality of life without scrimping. In particular you can use the money for enriching travel etc

NewModelArmyMayhem18 Tue 29-May-18 08:33:01

I would have thought that if you have a bright DD she will do well wherever she goes to school. She may even flourish (more) for being one of the cleverest ones at Bournemouth High School rather than just being one of many super bright girls at GHS?

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