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(45 Posts)
schoolschool Mon 15-Feb-16 09:06:16

My DD has been fortunate enough to to have been offered a place at SPGS. There are many negative stories about life at the school but we had a very positive impression of the educational offering when we toured the school. I would be very grateful if any parents with DDs at the school could give me their views - negative and positive - of the school. Most of the negative things I have heard are second hand rather from current students / parents. I have read the thread from January 2015 about the school. Thank you!

OP’s posts: |
notatigermum999 Mon 15-Feb-16 11:48:00

Would b v interested in this as well. My DD has been offered a place and it seems ideal for her but we don't know girls at the school currently.

DD is not uber confident but knows her mind and is confident without any bitchiness or arrogance. She is also v v kind and doesn't put up with any sort of alpha girl/queen bee nastiness.

Not worried about keeping up academically as she thrives in that sort of environment but more focused on likely peer set and what sort of peer pressure there may be in a school that is so academically successful with a reputation for producing a specific sort of loud, confident intellectual woman. Btw I have no issues with that product!!

Views by people with actual experience with the school recently would be appreciated. Think we have all heard various rumours and murmurings about SPGS ... Thank you

Almostdone2 Mon 15-Feb-16 14:20:43

I would also be grateful for feedback. I do know a few families that have girls there and they seem happy.

TeddTess Mon 15-Feb-16 17:40:43

you always hear bad things about schools which others can't get into.

if you liked it, go for it!

Dragonfly99 Mon 15-Feb-16 19:59:15

My DD is in MIV (yr7) and is loving it so far. Her friends all seem nice, certainly haven't heard of any alpha girl behaviour so far. There is so much going on, they all seem to join whatever interests them without peer pressure to do one thing vs another. There are some girls who are really good at one thing but nobody seems to be good at everything!

Almostdone2 Tue 16-Feb-16 09:28:25

Thank you dragonfly. For us part of the problem is we were managing dd's expectations to such a point that she didn't really consider getting an offer.

clb Wed 17-Feb-16 10:50:09

My DDs are both at SPGS and we and they are very happy with the school. One of its great strengths, I think, is how well it caters for individuals: there doesn't seem to be the sort of tribal type I see (perhaps wrongly) at one or two other London girls' schools.

Please do message me if I can be of any help.

neuroticnicky Wed 17-Feb-16 11:09:44

The terrible truth is that we mums whose DDs have not gotten into SPGS are jealous and people tend to run it down unfairly. I have known both pupils and teachers at SPGS and its a fabulous school which virtually every MC parent in London would send their DD to if they had the choice.

notatigermum999 Wed 17-Feb-16 11:58:53

Thanks neuroticnicky. We feel v fortunate that DD got in. There is no smugness in our house!!! The whole 11+ process is hideous imho and I have no idea what calculus was performed to assess the kids through it. We are v happy with DD results but equally we were just as happy with her approach to the preparation and would have been happy for her no matter what the schools decided (although we would have been furious with the schools for not offering her places!!!). I hope all the kids did well and everyone is pleased with their outcome as it was such a stressful and painful slog.

MissGintyMarlow Wed 17-Feb-16 12:01:38

Well, I turned down a place at SPGS for dd1 and so did some other parents I know, but that's not to say it isn't a fabulous school - we just preferred another school. If you liked it best of all the schools you saw then go for it.

neuroticnicky Wed 17-Feb-16 12:54:42

Yes I do know a few other parents who turned down a place at SPGS but this doesn't alter the fact that it is the best girls' school in London with inspirational teaching. You therefore IMO opinion need a pretty good reason to go elsewhere such as cost, travel distance or wanting co-ed.

schoolschool Wed 17-Feb-16 13:52:21

Thank you very much for the feedback. The school is close for us and my daughter seemed to like the teachers she met very much. My main concern was the pastoral side of things, so your posts were useful. My daughter is very academic, enthusiastic, kind and sensitive. She is confident in her academic abilities but she doesn't excel at a particular sport or musical instrument. He comment about catering for the individual was especially good to hear. Thank you for taking the time to respond!

OP’s posts: |
jeanne16 Wed 17-Feb-16 17:08:19

Actually there is one further reason why people turn down SPGS and that is the astronomical fees. We chose PHS for my DD as we felt the fees offered better value for money. She did very well there so I had no complaints.

teacher54321 Wed 17-Feb-16 17:11:20

I Used to work there and it is fabulous. Amazing teachers and facilities. My knowledge is a bit out of date as I worked there nearly 10 years ago.

usernameusernameusername Fri 04-Mar-16 19:14:10

Hi, I personally, go to SPGS and started quite recently.
I know this is quite biased, but definitely go for it!
The competition isn't as fierce as you think, with only a few girls standing out here and there.
Whether your daughter is sporty, arty, or musical there's definitely something for her.
There are sports team opportunities from the very start and it's a great way of meeting people outside your form.
Most of the teachers are extremely welcoming and lovely, and let me assure you, the food is AMAZING. Every day there are 4 food options, "fish", "classic", "theatre" or "veggie", as well as a dessert, a salad bar, natural yogurt made at school and a fruit bar.
If you're worried about transport, Hammersmith has 4 different tube lines running to it, District, Picadilly, Hammersmith & City and Circle, as well as an abundance of buses. They also provide a school bus scheme if you'd prefer that.
I hope your daughter chooses SPGS - you won't regret it!

schoolschool Sun 04-Sep-16 12:42:13

Just by way of follow up, my daughter started at SPGS last week and, although it has only been a couple of days, she has had a very happy to start to term and both our impressions of the girls in her form (and their mothers) are very positive. Everyone seems pretty normal. Thank you again to everyone who posted advice. I think we've made the right choice.

OP’s posts: |
proudesttigermother Mon 08-Jan-18 11:37:07

My DD (14) did not get an offer to SPGS. Years later, we have found this to be most fortunate as she fits in very well at her state school. She is however still haunted by her memory of wetting herself with stress during the exam. THIS IS THE KIND OF ENVIRONMENT PROMOTED AT SPGS!!!! LITTLE GIRLS WETTING THEMSELVES DUE TO THE COMPETITIVE & TOXIC ATMOSPHERE AT ST PAUL'S!!! It's not that I'm bitter about the school's poor decision to not offer my DD a place or that I want to slag off the school... I just want to warn prospective students of the hardship endured at such a school and the number of trousers you will undoubtedly go through.

Eatmoremango Mon 08-Jan-18 13:00:44

Proudesttigermother, I’m sorry your daughter had a dreadful time during the SPGS exam but it certainly is not the kind of environment promoted at St Paul’s. The whole 11+ exam system in London is awful, I don’t think you can blame SPGS itself for that. Sure, they are part of the problem but the big pressure on the girls comes from elsewhere. I can’t see how they can run it any better than they do. They also appear to do a great job selecting the girls that do get into the school. Good luck to all the DDs sitting the exam today. Some of them will have my DD helping them out. She’s a lovely, friendly, well balanced, caring, intelligent girl who has absolutely thrived at the school, as have her friends.

Thisdoesnotgeteasier Mon 08-Jan-18 14:24:09

“It's not that I'm bitter about the school's poor decision to not offer my DD a place or that I want to slag off the school..”

I’m sure you are not bitter at all and have completely got this out of your system. It’s not like you have reactivated a zombie thread from two years ago or typed in capital letters...

I’m sorry your daughter had a tough time at the interview and she’s probably not the only brilliant child to have been turned down by spgs but, while the school is super competitive, I’m pretty sure the promotion of pant-wetting is not a core to the SPGS.

My own DD wouldn’t have stood a chance of getting in, nor would she have enjoyed the pressure there but she gave a number of close friends who are thriving there and don’t find it at all toxic nor are they enduring hardship.

nocampinghere Mon 08-Jan-18 14:31:39

So what did SPGS specifically do on the day that caused your dd to wet herself?
How was it any different / more stressful / different to any other 11+ exam?

Lamplightlady Mon 08-Jan-18 14:57:38

Whatever the "kind of environment" actually is at these London schools, the SW London educational marketing machine is, in my opinion, guilty of creating a brand image of exclusivity and scarcity of supply that plays into the worries/ vanity etc of different parents...which is designed, as any successful brand is, to be able to get people to pay up for a somewhat differentiated product. The by-product of course is that its easy to lose sight of the end game (i.e. happy fulfilled kids) and tutor/push the kids excessively to be able to add this brand to the family collection even if its round hole in square peg. Nonsense about not wanting kids to be tutored but setting exams that only a small handful of kids would be able to pass without tutoring. At least the Consortium is trying to do something about it.

propatria Mon 08-Jan-18 15:01:48

Wow tiger,so you vent your anger on a school because your daughter failed to get in, you've ranted about Eton as well,lets guess..your son failed to get in ...not that you are might want to change your user name try failedandbittertigermother..

Thisdoesnotgeteasier Mon 08-Jan-18 15:32:50

I also wonder to what extent incidents of pant-wetting are a product of pressure generated not by the school but by the expectations of parents and how they frame the 11+ experience. My DD sat for more middle of the road, less competitive schools but was very relaxed - we talked about Zoella fashion tips on the way to the exams and played down the whole exam process.

Even at the low key, more nurturing schools where she sat exams there were still girls who were sick or burst into tears in the exam or hid in the toilet at the break and refused to come out. The schools in question all tried to make the exams appear low pressure and I don’t think I would be blaming them for those incidents.

The whole SW London exam scene is indeed stressful for a whole host of reasons but vast majority of kids will find the right fit at a decent school and it may well be that it’s not the school that is number one in the exam league tables.

BubblesBuddy Mon 08-Jan-18 15:46:53

Why try for thee schools if they are not the right environment for your child? Mine sat exams for less high level academic schools with no problems at all. As did the vast majority of children who went to the schools which were not overly seletive. Do not overstretch the child and be realistic. Then no problems on test day. We did no tutoring and no extra work. We chatted about what might com up at iterview but no mock interviews, no lying about interests and no readig up on the news! Being yourself was key. (Both were interviewed by the former Highmistress of St Pauls who did not advocate tutoring/prepping at her previous school or for St Pauls). My DDs coped with what they had been taught at state school!!! Unbelievable that they managed to get in anywhere but it is perfectly posible if you are realistic and do not stress and over-push a child. It is not the fault of the school. It is the fault of the parents and their expectations!!!!

Hebenon Mon 08-Jan-18 18:31:10

DD just sat the SPGS exam today. She did not find it stressful at all and we have done very little preparation. She had a really fun time and enjoyed her day off school. She's happily eating macaroni cheese right now and telling me about the 'puzzles' in the maths exam.

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