St Benedicts, Ealing(6 Posts)
My DD has been offered a place at two schools, and wait listed for 1 more. One of the offers is for St Benedicts in Ealing. We applied on a bit of a whim as we're not terribly godly, but I've recently met some utterly lovely children who go there, and who seem to really enjoy it. She's sporty and confident, and reasonably academic and the school seems geared towards that, without being too pushy.
Her other offer is for a more pressurised school- better results, but I worry about her always being in the bottom sets and struggling. It is also a much longer commute away- St Benedicts is on our doorstep! Some recent changes in family circumstances mean she's really not keen on a long commute, and she also plays two sports at quite a high level, one of which is supported by the school very strongly.
The pastoral bit in the tour seemed impressive, but one of my concerns is how she would manage as a girl in the school- they've only been co- ed for a few years and is it still focused in boys? Does anyone have any/ know of any girls who go there, who could give us some pointers?
I have friends who's kids are going there. They are always on about how brilliant the school is, especially the pastoral care. TBC I didn't even know it used to be only boys until now, I see loads of girls around, especially in the younger years so think it may be quite equal now. The 2 parents I know with kids there are "mild" coe so not to "godly" either!
It does seems to be a very balanced school on the whole: not to much academic pressure like many others in West London but at the same time the kids seems to thrive. The kids I know who goes there are quite sporty in the non-compatitive sense: they love sports but not in any top league kind of way.
Casbots- thank you! Really helpful. What you say very much supports the"vibe" we picked up. DD is sporty without being a superstar and clever but would not enjoy super pressurised. The results are good without being outstanding -92% A*-C (*41% A* and A). This is lower than other independent schools but pragmatically I want her to be happy as well!
I'm really tempted......
I have a dd at St Benedicts and can recommend it. My dd has been very happy there.The number of girls is each year group is larger in the younger year groups, but is relatively small in relation to the number of boys. It has never been an issue for my dd and I gave noticed that they make a special effort to ensure that the needs of the girls are met.
The aspects of the school that I have most valued are:
It is academic without being too high-pressurised. There are high performers at the school, but they have the complete range, so there is a place for everyone. The new head is driving standards higher, but although my my dd works extremely hard, the pressure is at a realistic level.
The staff are very caring and want the best for their pupils. There is also an excellent level of pastoral care. I remember emailing a member of staff about an issue and she phoned me back on the evening of that say - which was a Friday to put my mind at rest.
Just to add that although it is a religious school - and all pupils attend mass and study RE to GCSE - it us very inclusive. We are not Christians and it has never been an issue.
*Reason to believe*-interesting. It is increasingly sounding like somewhere DD would thrive. DH and I are atheist, but this is a decision we came to after both having religious education. For a while I have been concerned that DD hasn't had any opportunity to explore this, and has no knowledge of cultural Christianity, so I'm fine with mass etc.
You mention religious education up to GCSE- does this mean everyone has to do RE GCSE? Given the curriculum changes doesn't this severely limit their gcse options?
Yes, everyone takes GCSE RE. As we always knew that this would be the case, we didn't see it as a limiting factor in terms of GCSEs. If you look on the school website, there us a copy of the GCEE options brochure, so that you can see how it works. However things may have changed again by the time your dd starts her GCSEs!
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