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Current opinions on SWPS, Prior's Field and St George's

(17 Posts)
Confused687 Wed 17-Jun-15 18:51:24

I know two are all girls and one is mixed & Catholic and I know I need to visit all three (have done so for 2 out of the 3 so far) but I'd really value opinions from people who have children at the schools now or recently.

Important to me is that my children fulfil their academic potential (they're both very bright) via a well rounded, caring educational experience rather than a cliquey hothouse.

I want them to have opportunities, experiences and friends as well as excellent A levels. Having read a lot of threads and reviews about many schools it seems one needs to choose one thing or the other - a hot house or an academically inferior but caring school. Surely one can have both?!

I've visited Tormead, St Cats, Guildford High, Marist, LVS and they have been ruled out for one reason or another. I feel I'm going round in circles...

Virginia Water area - willing to drive up to an hour. Fees need to be around the £5,000 mark (many children...) so no suggestions for Wellington please! ;) I have girls but am considering both single sex and mixed schools.

NonDom Wed 17-Jun-15 19:45:22

My DDs are all at SWPS, and my DSs were at St George's (coming from Egham).

I think SWPS is fantastic - happy girls, motivated to learn and broaden their horizons. The teachers are encouraging and go the extra mile.

DS1 did well at SGC and has done well at uni. DS2 was pushed beyond his personal motivation and has struggled at Uni, without the support the school provided to get him through his A levels.

I personally wouldn't send a girl to SGC.

SWPS open evening is next Tuesday (23rd).

bananafamily Thu 18-Jun-15 08:26:53

NonDom very glad to hear that you're so happy with SWPS as my DD starts there in September! We are currently looking at moving house and I wondered how easy it was to get to SWPS in the morning from Egham? Do your DDs get the school coach, train or do you drive them? Also, do many girls live in the Egham area? (I know SWPS has a large catchment area). Sorry to hijack the thread OP!

wavedancer68 Thu 18-Jun-15 10:23:44

Lots of girls catch the train to SWPS - don't know how many get on/off at Egham, but there are plenty of girls on the train - there are groups of girls travelling together from each year group at the school. If girls are on a later train after school (because of a club) they either tend to group together with other years, or at least sit near another group. A lot also catch the train from Woking and Weybridge and the school is only a very short walk from the station. The number of girls living in the Egham area will change from year to year, but is usually smaller than the number of girls living in the Woking/Weybridge/Ottershaw, etc areas. Several girls live in Chertsey.

wavedancer68 Thu 18-Jun-15 10:28:40

OP - SWPS is an excellent school and I think it would certainly fit what you are looking for. Open Evening is next Tuesday 23rd June.

fairgroundsnack Thu 18-Jun-15 10:33:42

I think SWPS sounds like what you are looking for. It really prides itself on being caring, while still pushing for the best academic achievements each girl can get. They have a large catchment area and lots of girls get the train - it's quite a sociable experience and you get to know girls in other years who travel from the same area as you. They certainly used to try and make sure that there were people in each year 7 class from similar areas.

bananafamily Thu 18-Jun-15 12:42:28

wavedancer68 - do you know if many girls come from Staines? Have looked at a few places on Rightmove but don't want to move somewhere where they will have no friends from school. Thank you.

wavedancer68 Thu 18-Jun-15 14:20:57

I would guess that approx 5 girls in any one year come from Staines.

bananafamily Thu 18-Jun-15 15:38:13

Thanks, that's very useful to know smile

wavedancer68 Thu 18-Jun-15 17:04:16

Forgot to say - if you are moving in order for your DD to be able to catch the train to school you might like to consider that as the girls get older and move up the school the books and folders get heavier. If your DD will be walking to and from the station you might want to look at the residential areas near the station. Of course there are lockers at school, but if they are walking home from the station in the evening then anything they take home has to be carried.

NonDom Thu 18-Jun-15 20:01:01


There are loads of girls from Egham at SWPS.

I'm not working at the moment so I drive them (8 minutes). Last year two went by public bus and the other took the train with her friends, or I dropped them off at the station on my way to work.

bananafamily Fri 19-Jun-15 07:23:52

Thanks NonDom. I used to work in the Egham area, is it a nice place to live? Do you find it overly studenty? (apologies again to the OP!)

bananafamily Fri 19-Jun-15 07:54:10

Good point wavedancer, I hadn't considered that.

NonDom Fri 19-Jun-15 17:18:38

I love Egham. It has an excellent community feel. The students are mostly in Englefield Green.

TwigletPiglets Sat 20-Jun-15 13:20:57

Prior's Field is good if you want the whole letting each girl achieve their best without the academic atmosphere. It is good is you want a very rounded education with lots of opportunities beyond academics. It is very fun and modern attitude. New head coming in Sept who will hopefully improve the academic side and put a better emphasis on academics which I know lots of parents want.

ifancyagreencard Sat 20-Jun-15 13:30:45

well rounded, caring educational experience rather than a cliquey hothouse.

You've just described Prior's Field. DD (15) is academic. We're happy that she is challenged but no way is PF a hot house. It's possible the GHS/St Cats could squeak slightly better results out of her, but I wonder at what cost?

PF's academic performance has increased greatly under the current head. But it's not just about results; it's the other "stuff" that matters too. Girls' strengths in any area are celebrated and encouraged. Clearly important for those less academic girls, but it's been great to see my academic daughter find passions for creative / sporty things that we'd never have imagined would be up her street!

Confused687 Tue 23-Jun-15 17:23:17

Some great replies, which I i really appreciate. NonDom, why wouldn't you send a girl to StG? You can Pm me if you prefer.

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