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Your thoughts on City of London School for Girls, CLSG

(24 Posts)
MustChooseASecondary Sat 21-Feb-15 11:35:52

My DD has an offer at CLSG and is very keen. We will attend the open morning on Wednesday and are brainstorming what to watch for/inquire about.

We are about a 25 minute tube journey from CLSG, but we are not in a "feeder area." I am slightly worried about the commute. I know she will grow into it and love the freedom, but the first couple of years in the winter do niggle me.

Also, unlike the more local schools where she also has offers, lunch is a la carte, and it is an all girls school. So I wonder if the girls generally buy or pack their lunches and how much interaction there is with the boys' school.

We will also be on the look out for teachers. The open days/exam/interview didn't provide many glimpses of the teaching staff. For us as parents, we are really paying for intelligent, well educated adults to influence and guide our DD. We are 99% willing to take this on faith, but a little conversation with a few teachers would be reassuring.

Is there anything from your experience that we haven't thought of? It's a huge commitment for our family; it's our first child; and we want to get this decision right.


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MustChooseASecondary Sat 21-Feb-15 14:35:50


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snowsjoke Sat 21-Feb-15 16:05:04

Just lost a long post! Go armed with questions as I'm sure there will be teachers at the Open Day. They may be able to link you up with other girls travelling in from your daughters area. We are considering the boys school but the rush hour commute and lack of green space is putting me off but they're great schools with a good reputation. However, I'm not sure I want my ds school memories to be those of travel stress and an 'urban' environment, especially if I'm paying and I'm lucky enough to have a choice. The boys do mix with the girls for some of the curriculum (drama) and for several social occasions.

MustChooseASecondary Sat 21-Feb-15 16:34:22

Thanks for the reply snowsjoke. Yes, the rush hour commute is the biggest negative. The lack of green spaces would bother my youngest DD, but the oldest prefers art/drama/music anyway, and gets a bit of hayfever, so the urban jungle suits her!

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realhousewifeoffitzrovia Sat 21-Feb-15 16:43:48

Congratulations to your daughter! My DD is there - year 9 now! - and she (and we) could not be happier. The teachers are exceptional, and the girls are bright and independent. My DD did not go to the prep school and we are not in a feeder area either. The girls really do travel in from all areas, and they travel all over the city to meet up with each other (during the first year, I walked her to and from the tube, but now she goes on her own. By the ways we do a mix of packed and bought lunch, depending on how organised we are. I think you should absolutely go for it and congratulations again!

MustChooseASecondary Sat 21-Feb-15 16:55:32

Thank you for sharing your experience realhousewife.. What you describe, sounds ideal for our DD. I wish I could also walk her to the tube, but it doesn't fit with walking the younger DD to her primary.

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S999 Tue 24-Feb-15 01:55:44

My daughter was at the prep there and there is an excellent bus service to one of the non-feeder areas, where we lived.
Is that an option? The bus stops are pretty convenient.

MustChooseASecondary Tue 24-Feb-15 09:18:39

Thanks for the suggestion S999, I have already checked this and there is no bus service from our area. I wrote to the two bus companies that provide the service, one came back to me with a "no," the other never responded!

Out of curiosity, where did your DD go after prep?

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irisha Tue 24-Feb-15 12:22:02

When you say 25 min commute on the tube - is it door-to-door or tube time only?

We considered applying to CLSG for DD since I thought it would be an easy commute on the Northern Line from SW London. In the end we decided against it for various reasons, but I have since had to travel to the City for early meetings on a number of occasions and I bless the day we decided against it. The actual door-to-door is more like 40-45 min - 5 min walk to the tube stop, 2-3 min wait for the tube, 25 min journey itself, 5-7 min walk to school, etc, but it's the Norther line itself at 7:30am - it's hell!! You won't get seat and being squeezed from all sides by people, carrying a heavy bookbag, sports kit, musical instrument etc, 2 times a day for 7 years is not fun! Different kids have various levels of stamina, but it's definitely not something for my DD.

Try to do it with DD a couple of times to assess the ease of the journey before deciding, especially if you hold offers for more local schools.

Honkers2015 Tue 24-Feb-15 13:40:00

We are going to the clsg morning tomorrow and will try the northern line (from sw london) at 7.30 so dd can decide whether or not she can deal with it.... See you there Mustchooseasecondary!

AugustaGloop Tue 24-Feb-15 13:42:39

My DD has a couple of friends in y6 at the prep both of whom are moving up to the senior school in Sept. FWIW they are both really lovely down to earth girls and are very happy there.

MustChooseASecondary Tue 24-Feb-15 14:00:23

Irisha, it is 25 min on the tube, more like 40/45 door to door. So similar to what your DD was facing. We live out on the Central Line, so our local schools are good, but maybe not as good as South of the River choices like JAGs or Allyens. We think is clearly a better school for our DD in all ways but the commute. It's a tough one.

Like you Honkers we will be doing a test run tomorrow morning. See you on the open day!

It's nice to hear nice things about next autumn's cohort Augusta.

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AugustaGloop Wed 25-Feb-15 12:08:11

How did it go this morning?

MustChooseASecondary Wed 25-Feb-15 14:27:37

It was a lovely morning. The teachers, students and headmistress all come across really well. The adjectives I'd use: intelligent, thoughtful, enthusiastic, kind, happy, competent.

We just have to weigh up the commute...

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AlwaysChipper Mon 02-Mar-15 12:47:40

Our DD joined clsg yr 7 last year and our concerns were matched by yours. Happy to say no regrets whatsoever!

They partly group the classes with girls who live nearby so that travel buddies are possible and some travel in with a nearby sixth former for as long as they wish to, but of course you will need to decide on this.

The first term being the longest, darkest, and newest term was the toughest but this was true for all her friends starting at new schools across London and by Christmas, all had settled in.

Our DD also came from a co-ed school so we were on the look out for it to seem weird. She has blossomed in this environment, but we are careful to maintain our old friendships, this has been a cornerstone to her feeling confident. There is only occasional interaction with the boys school.

The much to say. It is generally wonderful and we are amazed at the breadth, depth and pace of it all. If stretching your DD to her full potential is what you are seeking this is a really good place to be.

MustChooseASecondary Mon 02-Mar-15 19:16:42

Thank you AlwaysChipper. Your DD could have been one of the bubbly year 8s that we spoke to at the open morning. smile

We've taken the plunge and put our deposit down. She chose it over a quite academic coed school that she could easily walk to, with green fields and panelled corridors, old school ties, etc. She felt CLSG was worth the commute.

I think even at 10 years old she was picking up on something very special about a girls' school done right. The coed school used to be an all boys school a generation ago. And all of the traditions, routines, and structures were built around boys and what they need to thrive. It's certainly not a hostile environment for girls, but it's not an environment built around girls and their particular needs. When CLSG thinks of their average student, they are thinking about someone very much like my DD, rather than a 6th form male Rugby player! lol

In the end, I think CLSG felt comfortable to her. It felt nurturing. It felt like a place she could do business.

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AlwaysChipper Sat 07-Mar-15 21:07:11

Well done for making a decision. My daughter chose it too, singling it out above two other very good schools. It sounds a a good fit from all that you say.

My DD was one of the year 7s showing possible new girls around and they all thoroughly enjoyed it. Hard to believe a year has passed since we did that same visit.

Very best of luck to you all.

Springisontheway Sun 08-Mar-15 08:44:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

funkymonkeymama Mon 16-Mar-15 11:37:13

I did the commute to CLSG from age 11 to 18 (around 45mins on central line) and can honestly say it's not a problem. Good decision, it's an excellent school.

MustChooseASecondary Mon 16-Mar-15 17:15:28

Thanks, funkymonkeymama, she is very enthusiastic and very much looking forward to September!

AlwaysChipper, your DD may have been one of the very bubbly girls we met very keen to field any questions. They all seemed to enthusiastic and desperate to answer questions that I found myself trying to make some up, so as not to disappoint them. grin

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Letter79 Sat 30-Nov-19 12:55:02

Good morning ladies, my daughters will sit for exams next year. We are moving back to London from another country. My dd is academically strong in her own school but where we were working as expats is far easier I believe from London primaries and I think we need additional help. I know people don't like sharing tutors and tuition companies etc but I would really appreciate if any of you could help me. Please please send me a dm incase you do not want to share the details on the group chat. I am in a desperate situation, I do not want to waste my daughter's talent because she is not trained for exam methods etc. We will be in London this winter and summer so we need a tutor in London who is familiar with spgs or city of london school level exam preparations especially. Thank you very very much for all your help.

Gingercat1223 Sat 30-Nov-19 13:54:14

@Letter79 , why don't you enrol your dd in a prep school? There are plenty that will take a dd in Year 5 to prepare them for entrance exams. They will also assess your dd before offering her a place and give you a realistic expectation of where she is suited to register for entrance exams in 2021.

Letter79 Sat 30-Nov-19 14:11:21

Hi Gingercat1223, We will only be able to move 2020 summer for good, due to our work situation. But will spend all summer in London to help kids for preparations etc.

Gingercat1223 Sat 30-Nov-19 16:38:44

@Letter79 , you probably need to engage an educational agency soon to assess your dd now & give you a realistic assessment of how much work needs to be done. Plus you need to visit all the schools by July & enrol her in a prep school for Year 6.
The prep school children that she will be competing against in Jan 2021 will start their preparation at school after Christmas. There are many schools across central London & into the Greater London area that will admit dc of all abilities into year 7 if you don't want to pursue the most competitive schools as indicated in your Mumsnet posts. All dc are advised to try for at least 3 schools with differing chance of success ie aspirational, likely & back up options.

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