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St Catherine's in Twickenham

(37 Posts)
Horace123 Mon 30-Jan-17 06:29:48

My DD has an offer at Surbiton which we are delighted about. We are hoping to receive one from St Catherine's too. They are very different schools and I would appreciate feedback on St Catherine's from any current parents. We like the fact that it is small and it feels as though girls will fulfill their potential academically.

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Peanutbutterrules Mon 30-Jan-17 08:25:27

Our daughter loves it. It was the best decision we ever made. The class size of 18 is great as they get lots of attention. Academically she's flying and growing in confidence, socially she's found a lovely group of girls.

No school is all rainbows and unicorns but if you read the ISI report just posted on the site (published a couple of days ago) it all rings true in our experience.

The girls are stretched, but without the culture of only an A* is good enough. Can't recommend it more highly.

amidawish Mon 30-Jan-17 09:21:45

I'm hoping to have this dilemma in the next day or so too.
So difficult.
My dd isn't particularly sporty, wondering where she will "fit" at surbiton.

What's the music like at St C?

Peanutbutterrules Mon 30-Jan-17 09:31:18

Music is very strong as they are very keen on the girls being involved. Whether you like it or not all yr 7s are in the choir! Lots of lessons for instruments on offer. Our DD loving music, we think she can't sing for toffee but she's been encouraged lots by the school.

amidawish Mon 30-Jan-17 09:34:34

thanks so much peanutbutterrules. this info is invaluable.
i have about 100 questions.
maybe i should wait and see if she gets an offer!

which subjects are they streamed in? i'm a bit worried it's not academic enough.
is there an orchestra?

Peanutbutterrules Mon 30-Jan-17 09:42:34

They are set in languages, maths and sciences. If you read the recent inspection report you can see that they are stretching the most able well. They do move the sets around every 6 weeks - not tonnes move but a couple up and down iykwim.

We feel they are teaching the humanities very well - research, opinions, sources etc.

DD loves science and the new block is amazing. Yes there is an orchestra but its not huge as it is a small school.

Peanutbutterrules Mon 30-Jan-17 09:43:08

And string quarte type things as well (if memory services from events)

Thisdoesnotgeteasier Mon 30-Jan-17 11:22:14

We are waiting for St C as well. Limited experience of the school but have several friends with girls there and they are very happy. Good pastoral care and a non hot house environment but the girls are pushed to do their best.

amidawish Tue 31-Jan-17 09:36:49

If the offers come today (or not) can you report back? My post comes really late and i am too distracted to do any work! TIA

Horace123 Tue 31-Jan-17 10:56:21

We were told on the day of the exam that we would hear by the end of the month. However, I have heard from another mum that they will only post them on Friday this week. Tempted to phone and verify this but don't want to annoy them!

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amidawish Tue 31-Jan-17 10:58:45

Yes it is very annoying. She defnitely said by the end of the month. Today is the end of the month. Grrrrr

No point annoying them.

amidawish Tue 31-Jan-17 11:48:14

Maybe they don't realise how literally we take these things grin
I am sure we can cope til the weekend.

MadameCholetsDirtySecret Tue 31-Jan-17 12:08:03

It's good to hear St C's is doing well. I'm an old girl form a long time ago.

DameVanillaSugar Tue 31-Jan-17 12:14:24

Pasty Kensit is an old girl. Just putting that thought there for no reason at all other than I just remembered it.

Horace123 Sat 04-Feb-17 13:24:09

Good news from St Catherine's this morning, absolutely delighted. Fingers crossed for those expecting St Catherine's and Putney letters.

OP’s posts: |
amidawish Sat 04-Feb-17 15:27:58

Good news here too. Surbiton or St Catherine's, what a dilemma. Both such different schools.

Cath2 Sat 04-Feb-17 16:02:19

I had the same decision last year and went for SHS as it's an easier journey for dd. They are very different schools, returning to SHS for an open day for Offers should help as it's aimed at helping you make your mind up.

amidawish Sat 04-Feb-17 16:15:38

StC is a much easier journey for us.
Do you find SHS very big? Do the girls get lots of opportunities or do you need to be the best of the best / very pushy?

amidawish Sat 04-Feb-17 16:16:54

I can see how SHS is amazing for super sporty girls etc.. what about the average girl?

Horace123 Sat 04-Feb-17 17:07:22

I was very impressed with SHS - inspiring teachers, two lovely girls took us around the school, friendly atmosphere, great facilities. I just have at the back of my mind that DD will not get clubs she wants, never get a good part in a show, always be in a low team, not actually know the head mistress etc. Not for any reason other than that's it's a very big school with well over 1,000 students. St Catherine's has 408 in the school so she'll be a much bigger fish. I know most people would choose SHS because it's perceived as "better" but we are leaning towards St C. Now that their sixth form is well established I think they'll go from strength to strength.

OP’s posts: |
Cath2 Sat 04-Feb-17 19:15:13

The teaching at SHS is amazing, you know they are being taught by the best. At all these schools the drama and sports scholars get to be in the top teams and school productions - anyone who isn't a scholar and hasn't come from the junior school will find it more of a challenge to get noticed. I felt the dance opportunities were better at SHS for my dd but she misses having swimming on the curriculum. There are spaces in the clubs, the problem is the clashing timetable - you have to make choices from day 1.

DameVanillaSugar Sat 04-Feb-17 19:37:02

SHS is owned by a company called United Learning who own about 14 independent schools and 22 academies. They are commited to excellence, the ethos is "the best in everyone" and the teachers and Senior Leadership Team are always taking part in the most up-to-date training courses and education techniques. They encourage their staff to take MAs. Can you tell I used to work for United Learning?😀 PM me if you want more info.

That said, go with your gut feeling.

Peanutbutterrules Sun 05-Feb-17 01:00:08

I'm popping back on to say I think they are very different schools. St Cathy is a small school v Surbiton which is really quite big. Go with what you think is best for your daughter. See the recent ISI report of St Cathy if you need reassurance!

amidawish Sun 05-Feb-17 09:31:44

anyone who isn't a scholar and hasn't come from the junior school will find it more of a challenge to get noticed

this is my exact fear re choosing SHS. The year groups seem to be getting bigger and bigger.

And to throw another in the mix, am hoping for a KGS offer this Friday confused of course it may be a no letter but if it is an offer i genuinely will be in a pickle.

Peanutbutterrules Sun 05-Feb-17 10:42:19

The journey does make a difference - esp if they do after school clubs or sports. In Yr 7 they are shattered.

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