Independent senior school Herts(20 Posts)
Please help ... my DD is adorable but not very academic at all. She's in y8 and her SATS show that she's under the national curriculum average levels in maths and science and average in English. She's also terrible at tests which always show less ability than when she's doing normal class work or homework. I want to move her from her state school to a private school but we live in Herts and I can't seem to find any that aren't academically selective. Can anyone help at all? TIA x
St Chris Letchworth. Sherrardswood Welwyn, aldenham is less selective.
I've heard lots of good things about St Chris Letchworth, however I believe it best suits self motivated learners.
I agree Aldenham is another great choice, though the Prep department are now using competitive entrance tests, so I'm not sure if they are gradually becoming more selective?
I can suggest some other non selective schools, but they would require boarding as they're not in Herts.
Depending where you are in Herts there is also St Marthas in Barnet/Enfield
Also, what are you hoping to get from the independent school that you feel current school is not providing? I ask this because it may help guide which private schools to consider.
Does she have any specific learning difficulties?
Royal Masonic? I don't know anything about it except my niece's three DDs went there from the Radlett area
Thanks all. So helpful as always. She doesn't have any diagnosed learning difficulties, although I'm going to investigate her processing speed. She can sit doing maths with me and get everything right with no help, then do a school test the following day and get just 20%.
We're looking at West Herts really. Anything from Welwyn and west would be doable as a day girl. Weekly boarding might be an option if there are non or less selective schools that are relatively close to Herts? It might help build her confidence a little more. So any ideas for boarding are most welcome. Thank you all x
No diagnosed learning difficulties but she's sitting at set 4/5 or 4/6 for most subjects. Unfortunately there seem to be quite a few disruptive kids in these classes and the teachers seem to spend as much time on crowd control as they do teaching. So all the time her gaps in knowledge are broadening. We've decided she will benefit from the smaller class sizes that an independent school can offer.
St Margaret's school, Bushey
Both are lovely schools, very good pastoral care, non overly selective and get very good results. Queenswood is very sporty and I think more selective than St Margaret's but takes lots of kids who are ' middling'. Both require a very ' gentle' entrance test but I wouldn't let that put you off. St Margarets is also a much smaller school if that's important. I hear very good things about Royal Masonic too.
In that case OP I would suggest weekly boarding at St Margaret's Bushey. It is a really amazingly nurturing school and is so cosy and friendly. Someone I know teaches there so if you have any specific questions please PM me and I'll ask her.
Princess Helena college near Hitchin. It is selective but takes girls with a very wide range of abilities and learning difficulties. If offers a very individualised education with very small classes and is a lovely small girls school. Tha pastoral care is exceptional. Boarding is available too.
You could also look at Sherrardswood which is also selective but takes children of different abilities including those with learning difficulties. It's coed but I think may often be boy heavy. The school also offers a very individualised education in small classes and has an excellent learning support dept if you daughter needs it.
I have heard great things about Abbots Hill but have no experience of the school. Aldenham is another option but again check how many girls there are versus boys. St Chris is getting very competitive to get into but you could have a look. Traditionally lots of kids with learning difficulties go there.
We moved our daughter in year 2 from the state sector to the independent one for very similar reasons. The small classes make such a difference. Good luck!
Queenswood is a lovely school if you can manage the fees!
I would talk to Queenswood. They are not that choosy. There is weekly boarding if you need it. The other advantage is that there is so much else to do, other than sport. So if you are not so bright, you can always find something of interest and there is a lot of emphasis on House competitions where everyoe gets involved. There is Leiths Cookery, Dance, Singing, loads of Drama, so many, many opportunities to flourish and be a well rounded individual. Even the Haka on Sports Day gets the non sporty involved! You get what you pay for!
Gosh everyone is so helpful as usual. Thank you so much. I'll take a look at the schools mentioned and let you all know how we get on. Thank you.
Just picking up on my thread again. We're seriously considering Queenswood but my daughters friend visited a year or so ago said there seemed to be a lack of energy there? Dare I say she said the girls looked unenthusiastic and not at all dynamic. We're surprised because we visited and loved it, but it was during lesson time so didn't see that many girls walking around, thus couldn't get a sense of the culture/atmosphere there. Of course now she's spoken to her friend she's gone from being bowled over to being pretty anti. She's a middling child, but is pretty energetic and likes to work hard and have fun doing so. She's in to all things current - music, fashion, etc, - as well as her drama and sport, and I want to be able to re-assure her there will be likeminded girls there and that she'll fit in. Any re-assurance out there??!!
I personally don't take the advise of others regarding schools unless they have first hand experience (such as their own child/ friend kids etc) of studying there.
A lot of children in my ds school use the swimming pool at Queenswood and I've had a lot of positive feedback about the school. In that the girls are super polite and grounds are beautiful.
I obviously don't know your dd personally, but if you've a good feeling about the school then go with your instinct. You know your dd best and if Queenswood would offer her the support she needs then it's a good fit.
I've recently turned down a very popular Indy in Herts for my ds as I knew he would struggle socially and chose a more nurturing school that was less obsessed with A*. If my ds had his choice he'd pick the local comp which local parents run miles from, just because some of his friends are going there and it's co-ed. children are forever changing their kids
Thank you, that's really helpful. I'm certain it's right for her ... just have to hope she gets in. She too would rather stay at the local comp, or any one of the others that her friends go to but, really, sitting in the mid to lower sets isn't doing her any favours at all. I think Queenswood will be a massive contrast but I think it's what she needs in terms of extra support.
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