Attended the open day with DD this week and was more that underwhelmed. We asked a question of a particular teacher and was very surprised at the rather haughty response. We didn't get to see much of the school as we could only go to the classrooms that had subject teachers. I would like to hear some more positive experiences as as the moment we've placed the school at the bottom of our list. I really wanted to like the school
We would have like to see more of the grounds but were only allowed in the main building. Really couldn't get a good feel for what it would be like to be a student at the school. Would like to know more about the interaction between the girls and the staff, whether the girls are nice to each other does the competitiveness that the head talked about create an air of pressure.
What is their pastoral care really like? As at all events of this kind schools like to tell us that their pastoral care is excellent. Is that really the case? I have much to say about the lack of decent support in our current school.
The sixth former showing us around wasn't particularly articulate or forthcoming.
Maybe this just isn't the school for DD but I don't want to rule it out completely just yet.
The pastoral care actually is excellent. The staff are very caring and there is an emphasis on flexibility to meet the needs of each individual student, especially in the sixth form.
It was dark for most of the open evening, perhaps that's why they didn't include the grounds in the tour? The sixth-formers mostly use the sixth-form centre and the food factory when they're not in lessons.
A large number of Y12s come from other schools and they seem to integrate well. The girls seem supportive of each other. Some of them do feel under pressure, but this comes from themselves (or their parents) rather than competition with each other.
My year 13 dd likes it and I'm pretty impressed with most of the teaching (modern languages excepted). Teachers tend to be older and more experienced than at other schools and you get the impression they care a lot about their subjects and that it's not just 'a job' to pay the bills to them.
My year 11 dd is looking forward to the 6th form and won't consider moving to or even looking at any other schools. The vast majority of girls already at the school stay on for the 6th form. Only a small number, mainly those who fail to get the grades to stay on for the 6th form, choose to move.
The girls are ethnically diverse, tolerant, and seem to get on by and large. No pastoral issues I'm aware of. The school has provided dd1 with excellent support for university applications - lots of support for writing personal statements, interviews etc. She's been offered places by all her 5 university choices (all Russell Group).