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St Catherine's Bramley - any current parents? (Or Prior's Field)

(9 Posts)
Confused687 Fri 04-Dec-15 08:02:05

Hi, I'm looking at entry into Y7 in 2016 and would like to hear from any current or very recent parents of pupils there. My daughter is academic but I don't want a hot house for her as she's very sensitive and will end up pushing herself too hard. I'd rather she had a relaxed outlook and her grades will be ok. Senior school should be enjoyable in my opinion.

My other option is Prior's Field which I know is less academic but more rounded perhaps? I toured it and wasn't wowed by it.

Any opinions?

BlueStringPudding Fri 04-Dec-15 20:38:53

Whereabouts are you? You could also look at:

The Royal School, Haslemere
Sir William Perkins
Farnborough Hill

SharkyOctopus Sat 05-Dec-15 20:18:24

Got friends with DC at both.
St Cats is more traditional country boarding school. Prior's Field is very relaxed and more of a modern twist.

St Cats is more academic (not far off GHS level) so very similar academic environment and pressure. It runs a strong house system with tons of forced activities. Impressive new build. If you are looking at it I'd look at GHS etc. too. Friends with DDs at GHS say it is not as pressured as it is made out to be and their DDs are very happy there.

Why weren't you wowed by Prior's Field out of interest? Considering it for DD but not sure from friend's words:
Prior's Field has a new head from Caterham which I think will really change it, it has got a bit tired and stuck in a rut on its dated ethos. It is known as where you send your DD if she doesn't get in elsewhere (but some choose it actively over other schools and it is meant to be getting more selective). It is relaxed and the ethos is more focused on extra curricular and being comfortable. Friends with DC there felt their DD wasn't pushed enough and was let to get away with being lazy and always said 'I can't do it'. Other friends loved it for its spark and felt their DD really thrived... Yet to decide if it is right for DD who is less academic but I think will do better with a more studious environment.

Confused687 Thu 10-Dec-15 20:30:25

My DD is academic and pushes herself without needing to be pushed so PF would suit her from that regard - I don't want her overly pushed, she'll do her best as it's in her nature. I love Cat's as it just had the hard to define quality that makes you choose a school! lol!

shank2 Fri 11-Dec-15 08:40:27

We are very pleased with PF- daughter is on course for A/A* in at least 8 academic subjects- she works hard and the teachers are offering all the help needed- the difference with Prior's Field is that there has not been stress and it is a relaxed school - it is not a polished and strict school but a happy nurturing place. The two schools are chalk and cheese. I think the new headmistress is going to make it more academic.

PennyBrite Wed 16-Dec-15 12:39:04

Confused687, go with and have faith in your gut instinct! It's normal to have a bit of a 'wobble' as the entrance exams grow nearer. St Cat's is not pressurised, only in as far as it's a school with lots of bright girls who push themselves without anyone else doing it for them. The pastoral care is excellent, with lots of caring, highly attuned staff looking out for every girl.
This area of Surrey is full of excellent girl's schools; it's hard to go wrong really. And that's why your instinct about your daughter, who you know better than anyone, will be correct. You've presumably been to the open days and got a 'feel' for each school which is the whole point, so good on you for doing the research and the legwork . At this stage it's pointless having other people tell you 'what about school 'x,y,z?'. Relax and make sure your daughter feels you are happy, because your doubts can easily be conveyed to her just as she needs you to be reassuring as it's a huge step for her. Good luck!

Confused687 Fri 18-Dec-15 18:18:06

Thanks all, especially PennyBrite and Skank2. You've both summarised what I thought about both schools at open day. Which is why they're both on my list! St Cat's was a gut preference, nothing more. It's a tough time! Thanks so much for taking the time to post. smile

Summer888 Wed 02-Mar-16 13:02:10

I am absolutely torn between St Caths and Priorsfield, for Sept 2016 entry. My daughter worries about losing her Saturday morning sleep-ins if we chose St Caths. Could anyone advice if its every Saturday that they have matches, or just the odd one here and there? She is B team at her current school, so would realistically be C team at St Caths. Academically she is very bright and self motivated, gifted in maths, but also very creative. Not that interested in sports but does ok. Thank you.

PennyBrite Thu 03-Mar-16 08:26:01

Hi summer888. I don't have sporty daughters but they have friends who are. Commitments at St Cat's depend on how much your daughter wants to take part. Tbh, if she's only half-hearted in the first place, that will be obvious and she won't be picked for the top teams as it's pretty self-selecting in that there are lots of girls who aspire to be in the teams and who work really hard to get chosen. Why don't you email the Heads of PE to get an accurate picture.
If you discount the lax/netball (not sure which sport your daughter plays?), then on academics the 2 schools are,literally, in different leagues. It's up to you to decide where your priorities lie smile

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