Prior's Field vs Tormead(7 Posts)
My daughter has been accepted into both Tormead and Prior's Field Schools for their September intake. We're relocating from abroad and are a bit uncertain about which to choose. We got the sense that the pastoral care at Prior's Field will be better, which is important given that my daughter won't know anybody at all.
But we felt that Tormead's facilities were slightly better and that they would push harder on the academics.
My daughter is bright but needs to be pushed. However she is coming from an education system that isn't as good as the UK's.
What do you think?
My daughter is at Tormead. It is a lovely nurturing school with good pastoral car for the girls. It is academic but not pushy and the teachers know the girls' strengths very well. I can't comment much on priorsfield but I get the feeling that it is similar in some ways but with a wider range of abilities. perhaps, the main difference is location. Priorsfield is out of town and therefore has more outdoor space, sport on site etc, whereas Tormead make use of local,facilties for most of the sport. Tormead is probably easier to get to as there are regular local buses and a train station nearby as well as school coaches. My daughter is very happy at Tormead and is doing very well accademically. I hope that this is helpful.
My daughter is at Tormead. We are very happy with the academic side of things, they are pushed but without the hothouse feeling at GHS or St Cats. For example, they are happy if everyone achieves an A grade and they don't use a bell curve to re- distribute the high marks (I know St Cats does this). Priorsfield definitely has a wider range of ability, from very bright down to girls doing foundation GCSEs. The pastoral care at Tormead is also very good, in fact I think it is known as the academic school with good pastoral care. As said above a fair bit of the sport is off site because it is near Guildford, but the up side of this is that the girls can use public transport (mine use the train). Where will you be living? Might help you decide!
Always makes me chuckle how Tormead parents manage to add a bit of St Cats and GHS bashing into their comments! Not relevant here weary, and actually your 'facts' are incorrect.
uerforsometimes, irrelevant to this thread, you are right. Incorrect, no. You don't know how I have the information!!
"We got the sense that the pastoral care at Prior's Field will be better, which is important given that my daughter won't know anybody at all."
Melandra - What is it about Prior's Field that makes you think that it would have better pastoral care? Is it the fact that it's available 24 hours a day given its boarding facilities? Given your concerns, perhaps you should specifically raise them with Tormead and see if the school's response addresses them to your satisfaction.
Also, which year would your daughter be going into? If years 7 or 9 this is a natural entry point to Tormead (and Prior's Field for that matter), so she is unlikely to be the only girl being a new joiner knowing no-one else. A significant number of girls join following parental placements abroad (not just into years 7 and 9). For example, there is a sizeable cohort of BP and Shell-employed parents at Tormead.
Another factor to consider is whether your daughter will be taking advantage of the boarding facilities at Prior's Field. If you want to have that flexibility then brilliant but, if not, your daughter may miss out on socialising with her year outside of the normal school day. You may therefore want to enquire what proportion of her year will be boarders. I also agree with Clueless that the town-v-country locations of the two schools give them a very different feel and, accordingly, the outlook of their girls differs. Which school does your daughter prefer, and why?
We've found Prior's Field is great for the right girl. I only sent DD there as she was way off GHS and St Cats level and would have been towards the bottom of her year at Tormead. It has a wide intake but sets so it does mean your DD should end up with the right level of challenge or support according to her ability.
There is lots going on to get involved with. It is a country location so very different to Tormead. The school has a good ethos of letting the girls be themselves and care for them well through the difficult teenage years. It is very low pressure.
They got a new head last year who, although very nice, doesn't seem to have made many changes or impact. I know lots of DDs friends' parents were keen for a bit more discipline and more work ethos (while still keeping the supportive, fun atmosphere) but it hasn't happened. The head seems very nice but a bit of a wallflower who is keeping the school ticking but not moving it forward.
If your DD needs pushing to get work done, I'd worry about PF. There isn't a particularly strong work ethic and lots of the girls aren't self-motivated so it is easy for them to pick up this attitude (and hard for a parent of a teenager to over rule peer-pressure!)
It does get good value added results, has excellent support, very good teaching and lots of extra curricular all on site. A lot of pros.
We liked the school overall, as I said the only downside was this attitude thing - we were happier with our other DDs school choice as all the other pupils generally wanted to work hard and do well so DD picked up this view too.
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