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The Laurels

(5 Posts)
JanieSa Mon 15-Feb-16 21:33:18

Hello. Does anyone have a child at The Laurels school in Clapham Park? Please can I have your opinion on the adequacy of sports provision and the quality of the teaching?

Abracadabra10 Mon 15-Feb-16 23:27:41

Hi janieSa. I'm afraid I don't have a dd at this school, but I did look into it last year. I guess you are aware of the OpusDei connection and ethos there? May be worth looking closely into - especially if you're not even Catholic!

JanieSa Tue 16-Feb-16 10:03:13

Thanks Abracadabra10. Yes I am aware of the Opus Dei connection and have satisfied myself that this is fine. I love the ethos of the school, the tutor system and the character education. But I'm concerned about how small it is and the impact this may have on sporting opportunities/facilities and friendship opportunities. And because it is new it does not have a proven academic record.

DMama2 Thu 18-Feb-16 12:35:56

Morning JanieSa

I do have a daughter at The Laurels, this is her second year and she is still loving it.

We are fortunate to have an excellent sports director to coach our girls, while continuously measuring and improving their fitness and technique.

Considering our small selection of girls (around 14-16), opposed to a large cohort of 100 girls to select from for a Team A, our girls have won South London Netball League and Lambeth girls' football championship!

I've been fortunate enough to witness our Sports Director coaching Year 9 in athletics last year and I was absolutely blown away at how she coached the girls in learning the technique for high jump. I'm not sure whether the girls were aware that they would be actually completing a high jump by the end of a single lesson, however, the way they were taught was exceptional. Always providing encouragement and critique.

Where we do not have enviable sports facilities within the school premises, our daughters have access to quality facilities that allow them to learn/participate in gymnastics, netball, athletics, hockey, basket ball, football, trampolining (I believe a club is being organised), swimming - evening learnt some synchronised swimming.

My daughter says that they play a lot of team sports, which has helped them in their clear communication and cooperation. An example she gave is that it has helped them to know each other better and can see if someone else needs help - it also helped them become better friends.

Quality of Teaching
Mrs Sanders, headmistress, has an excellent team of academic subject specialists. The quality of teaching is superb and is fed back to us through termly parent/teacher one to one tutorials, when we get to meet with our daughter's tutor in person. All the teachers provide feedback to our daughter's tutor, who in turn discusses the same with us as parents and is able identify any underlying issues. These tutorials put the wellbeing of our daughter (home and school) at the forefront, which has a natural effect on her learning.

My experience of The Laurels girls are that they are polite, generous and articulate, which is something that is at the heart of the school's ethos. I've found them to be mature in their thinking also.

We have had a Year 10 girl, whom I've met, take one of her iGCSEs last year in Year 9 and achieved an A* with a Uniform Mark Scale of 100%!

I believe girls are discussing their Options early in Year 9 and my daughter has completed GCSE work in science including experiments and tests.

Opus Dei
I think there are other parents who are better qualified to comment on Opus Dei, however, as a parent who is not a Catholic, I can say that my experience of religion at the school has been positive. We are a Catholic ethos school and the girls have Mass in the Oratory once per week with Fr Frank, whom I've spoken with about Catholicism before we joined the school. I found him to be easy to speak to without being pushy. In conclusion, the ethos of the school reflects our family virtues and provides a wonderful environment for our daughter.

The school very much fosters a family environment, where parents are included. The inclusion you may have experienced when your daughter was at primary school is not usually experienced at senior school, however, it is present at The Laurels and its brother school, The Cedars. We have a class couple who are generous with their time, even though they are working professionals. I think it would be fair to say that The Laurels parents contribute to the school in one way or another - I absolutely love the atmosphere of the school.

I do hope that I've been able to reassure you and look forward to meeting you at school!

SquirmOfEels Sat 20-Feb-16 07:18:42

This is the second hagiographic thread this month.

And more Mnetters seem ready to identify as having children at this school than any other Clapham school.

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