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Queenswood School

(27 Posts)
Cobblersandhogwash Wed 15-Nov-17 12:49:45

We are considering Queenswood for dd. Year 7 entry.

On previous MN threads, it’s described as not as academically strong as say Berkhamsted or Abbots Hill.

The results look pretty similar.

Can anyone give me further insights in this school, please?

BubblesBuddy Wed 15-Nov-17 14:14:40

My DDs went there. It’s a very different school to Berkhamsted (I don’t know Abbots Hill) and I don’t understsnd why posters thought it was not academic. I think the results tell you otherwise. There are many girls who do very well there but it’s not just academics because there is so much else to do. Confidence and participation are important attributes they concentrate on too. Many girls are ambitious and are well supported in this which is an advantage of a fairly small school.

There is a very cohesive nature to the school and the House system ensures healthy competition and lots of house activities are on offer as well as clubs and extra curricular activities. Sport, drama and music are excellent and I would like to think the new Principal is improving art. I believe the new sports arena is underway. Most girls can find a niche there whether it’s playing the drums, lighting the school play or being a tennis whiz!

It’s quite an expensive school but you get more for your money if your DD takes advantage of what is on offer. Many girls board further up the school and this provision is excellent. My DDs boarded all the way through and we chose Q over Berkhamsted which takes quite a few children who didn’t get the Bucks 11 plus pass mark. My elder DD got 140 in the Bucks 11 plus test so no back number.

I think the new head at Q will be an asset and parents have always been very welcome there to support their girls in house competitions, at sporting events and seeing the concerts and drama performances (plus lunches!). You can easily make new friends.

Queenswood has not been particularly difficult to get into and is not an academic hot house. However there is plenty of evidence that it’s a great school and I think anyone who thinks it’s not academic don’t actually know it!

Zodlebud Wed 15-Nov-17 14:30:00

These three schools have such different cultures that it would be foolish to compare them just on results.

Abbots Hill is where you send your daughter if she needs great pastoral care. The girls there are really looked after but there is very little of the “girls can do anything they want” message. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a lovely school but if you are a gregarious, confident girl then you will be in the minority.

Berkhamsted gets great results as children are frequently asked to leave if they are not meeting the Grade. A lot of parents tutor outside school as a result. A highly competitive school (children and the parents), feels rather pushy and wallflowers can get lost. Can’t question the great results and extra curricular though.

I have close friends with girls at both and they are extremely happy. Interestingly they never felt that they were choosing between Abbots or Berkhamsted - they just really didn’t like one and loved the other.

Queenswood feels more balanced. Girls expected to work hard but time off is valued too. Strong “girl power” message. Heaps going on outside the classroom. Amazing results considering not particularly selective and no culling!!!! I only have experience through an Open Day though.

BubblesBuddy Wed 15-Nov-17 14:54:07

No culling! I can confirm that. Girls do leave after y11 of course and quite a few because the Art was average. Hence my comment above. Queenswood attracts a lot of girls from North London and many have busy parents who value weekly boarding. I definitely agree that comparing on academics is just a starting point. It really depends what you want from an independent school and which school matches your aspirations. For example girls at Q are likely to have brothers at Harrow. Socially it’s a notch up.

Cobblersandhogwash Wed 15-Nov-17 18:15:55

Socially it’s a notch up?

BubblesBuddy Wed 15-Nov-17 18:31:19

Some parents look beyond the classroom! Social links are key for some people and the world they inhabit.

Cobblersandhogwash Wed 15-Nov-17 18:40:12

Oh I see. That isn’t our first priority.

I just need to find a school that will suit dd. Queenswood appears to be a good fit.

Zodlebud Wed 15-Nov-17 20:06:08

I am most certainly not after a social notch up but did feel very comfortable and at home there - I didn’t feel there was any “snob value” attached to it and the girls were very grounded.

But that’s just on an open day ...

BubblesBuddy Wed 15-Nov-17 20:31:47

An open day doesn’t give you any feel for what some parents might be like though. Most do look for the education on offer but there is always a tribe at many schools who want the social benefits of a school. The girls are great - I can second that!

You may not be aware but years ago Wycombe Abbey and Heathfield used to trumpet their socials with Eton. Queenswood had socials with Harrow. That’s how some schools worked. That was clearly a feature for some parents or why would the school do it or mention it?

Cobblersandhogwash Wed 15-Nov-17 21:36:40

I’m sure it is an important feature for some parents.

It’s not important for us.

It’s heartening to hear so many +ves about the school.

Zodlebud Wed 15-Nov-17 22:40:54

Socials with Harrow weren’t mentioned, although they do apparently have them with Lochinver House.

How many years ago were your girls at the school Bubbles?

BubblesBuddy Thu 16-Nov-17 20:53:00

Just a few. Lochinver House is a prep so that is for Trew girls. Harrow was for older ones (as Harrow doesn’t start until Y9) but possibly dropped now.

I rather suspect the parent body has changed from a few years ago though. The parents with boys at Harrow and Eton were a self-selecting elite and they clearly socialised with each other.

One pair turned up at a House Supper (fancy dress optional) in shooting attire. Various parents thought it was hilarious but, as you can imagine, for different reasons. Their social world was different and Queenswood had a number like this (I shot my first pheasant last weekend was overheard after an exeat). There are still very socially ambitious parents around but you won’t pick this up at an open day. It’s more Zumba classes these days. You may not choose a school based on who you shoot with, but others might! Or possibly who you do Zumba with maybe?

MidLifeCrisis007 Fri 17-Nov-17 06:39:53

Helen McCrory was in the year below me at Queenswood. That's my only educational claim to fame....

Cobblersandhogwash Fri 17-Nov-17 13:23:12

"self selecting elite"? Gosh, I'm a bit concerned dd won't fit in there now.

She's lively, sporty, quite academic but in no way are we part of (and nor do we want to be) part of some social 'elite'. That just doesn't interest us.

Zodlebud Fri 17-Nov-17 15:13:43

Me neither Cobblers. However, I really didn’t get the impression that the school is like that at all.

I always think that the headteachers tell you what you want to hear at open days. They know their market and pitch accordingly. I read smart girls who are prepared to knuckle down and get involved in everything available to them. No mention of socials or anything vaguely like that. The parents around me were interested in everything going on at the school as opposed to outside it.

I think I have seen pretty much every girls school in the vicinity. Downe House, Wycombe Abbey, Heathfield were all selling to a very different market to those at Queenswood.

You are going to get parents who are a bit not your cup of tea at any school, probably more so at an independent. I just avoid those people at my daughter’s current school and spend my time with “the normals”.

Zodlebud Fri 17-Nov-17 16:37:37

Plus Queenswood doesn’t feature in the Tatler Good Schools Guide so will be automatically eliminated from any potential “school name seeker”!!!!

Cobblersandhogwash Sun 19-Nov-17 21:38:27

Is it tough to get into?

BubblesBuddy Mon 20-Nov-17 01:11:21

No! Not tough to get into. It’s not Wycombe Abbey or St Paul’s!

I did not mean to give the impression that everyone was thinking they were elite there. I made it clear that it was a few and they often sent boys to Eton and Harrow so you can see that it was a minority as were the pheasant shooters! Of course the majority are normal. Of course the majority just want a good school. However you won’t pick up all the vibes on an open day. There are always parents in any school who are not your cup of tea. You just avoid each other because they probably won’t speak to you much because they have their own set of friends. It really is the same anywhere but Queenswood is a lot more social than the other schools on the Tatler list but will happily take girls who do not get into WA! One of my DDs went to one of the schools on the Tatler list.

Cobblersandhogwash Mon 20-Nov-17 20:24:58

And Wycombe Abbey is hard to get into?

Zodlebud Tue 21-Nov-17 21:28:57

Wycombe Abbey is the most selective girls school in the country and girls are registered years in advance for entry. Yes, it’s super hard to get into.

MissAnneElliot Wed 22-Nov-17 06:43:07

Queenswood is a fab school. Great new head. Dd left with A & A* at gcse & all A’s at a level. She was not the only one.

She was also into other things dance drama etc. Lots going on sport, drama choir etc. Girls encouraged to try things on offer.

I never noticed the snob element. Some of the parents are wealthy but certainly not all.

Parents actively encouraged to participate in the school events. Can’t recommend it highly enough.

PM me if you want to know more.

Cobblersandhogwash Wed 22-Nov-17 12:36:25

I don’t think dd will get in now. Someone told me it’s hugely oversubscribed.

BubblesBuddy Wed 22-Nov-17 13:21:54

Boarding won’t be over subscribed. Never was and they like boarders. I would give it a go and be positive.

Cobblersandhogwash Wed 29-Nov-17 09:32:55

Is the traffic always horrific around Queenswood?

BubblesBuddy Wed 29-Nov-17 13:59:22

No. Except in the car park!

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