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La Sainte Union - thoughts please!?

(17 Posts)
NofGreenGables Thu 03-May-18 12:44:12

Hello dear M-netters. Would any of you be willing to share thoughts / any experiences you have had of La Sainte Union? Daughter currently facing senior school choices and looking at state options.

Many thanks!

OP’s posts: |
bumblingbovine49 Thu 03-May-18 12:51:21

That is a blast from the past so I can't help posting. Is this in North London? If so I went there but 35 years ago so I am afraid I can't advise as to what it is like now I'm afraid grin

I am sure it has been through many ups and downs since I left in 1982 but I have a lot of good memories from there. Hopefully someone who can be more helpful about what it is like now will post soon

Inmyownlittlecorner Thu 03-May-18 12:55:31

My DDs go to a Catholic Primary School in Islington & a huge number of the girls go to LSU. A friend is sending her 4th daughter there in September & is very happy with the school.
My DDs won’t be going however, because we’re not actually Catholic!

NofGreenGables Thu 03-May-18 13:21:04

Yes! @bumblingbovine49 - Parliament Hill!

OP’s posts: |
NofGreenGables Thu 03-May-18 13:21:59

@Inmyownlittlecorner Welll that's reassuring... academically do you happen to know how it fairs?

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ourkidmolly Thu 03-May-18 15:43:36

It's very strict. Is that ok for you? What do you want from a school? The results are fairly ok to good for a mixed intake. It has large number of girls from Afro Caribbean backgrounds along with girls from all the other countries that make up the world wide Catholic Church. You'll probably have that diversity in all London Catholic girls' schools. Girls are generally travelling from all over north London. What are your other options? Where are you based?

NofGreenGables Thu 03-May-18 16:48:19

thanks @ourkidmolly - we are Catholic and although not super religious for many years, the kids have really taken to catechism etc. as a result of having done their Holy Communion and of their own volition asked if they could keep going! They really do seem to benefit from it all, the behaviour and mindfulness, their over all kindness and empathy. Their current school runs a loving but very tight ship and they love that. I suppose the question is - how strict is "very strict". I like a strict system, but not if it makes school a miserable and anxious, rule-bound place to be.

The other aspect that concerns me is that the results don't look great and my daughter is very academic. I am wondering whether it will be the right environment for her...

OP’s posts: |
ourkidmolly Thu 03-May-18 16:51:21

Why don't you send her to St Michael's then? LSU is a tight ship and there's some lively characters who need the control but some might find it oppressive. Where are you based?

NofGreenGables Thu 03-May-18 16:54:12

We are in Belsize. We are looking at St Michael's too. I just have a friend whose daughter left due to what she took as a complete lack of pastoral care on the part of St Michael's...confused

OP’s posts: |
ourkidmolly Thu 03-May-18 17:07:19

Well that's highly unusual. St M has a minuscule turnover in the first 5 years although they lose some at 6th form but that's totally normal. They have boys joining at that point. It's very different to LSU although with similar ethnic diversity but less socioeconomic diversity. It's a highly selective academic school. It suits some girls but not all. Certainly the results are far better than LSU but that's to be expected. If you're in Belsize then really it's St M or LSU. Why travel elsewhere? There's little to be gained for a big journey. You could jump on overland to Loretto in St Alban's but you'd be lucky to get in. Similarly Sacred Heart Hammersmith. They have a super strict admission though that prioritises 'baptised within 6 months of birth' etc. The results are impressive but that journey isn't.
I'd go and see St M for yourself. They're having a huge rebuild over the next 2 years which involves a completely new building. It looks very impressive. Certainly the girls there are lovely in my opinion but of course many are lovely in LSU too.

NofGreenGables Thu 03-May-18 17:30:04

@ourkidmolly, thanks so much, super helpful and reassuring feedback. We are hoping to visit it this term. I'll report back!

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silverback Thu 06-Sep-18 16:57:07

Four words..... Do. Not. Do. It.

ourkidmolly Thu 06-Sep-18 19:54:40

@silverback
Why's that?

FanDabbyFloozy Thu 06-Sep-18 21:44:46

Do not do what?!!! Very ominous!

silverback Fri 07-Sep-18 09:11:56

In my opinion LSU has gone from being what appeared to be a good school to, I'm afraid to say, a poor school. All in the space of a 2-3 years.

I think the staff (the ones I know of) are poor at dealing with anything that isn't run of the mill / no issue / day to day school stuff. And to be honest, even the day to day school stuff seems to be pretty bad too.

No end of supply teachers are being used, specific subject teachers (e.g. French teacher) teaching a different subject group (e.g. Maths), watching far too many movies in lesson instead of learning, unruly girls being allowed to disrupt at will.... and some other more serious things.

It's of no surprise LSU's GCSE results have declined...... from being +80% A-C, down to being in the 60s now I think.

Of course, it's possible that girls can make it through their time there problem free with decent or good results (although I think your daughter would need to be pretty self sufficient academically); but if the time comes that you or they need the school to help or provide support with anything then don't hold your breath. Report bullying that needs urgent attention.... don't be surprised if you have to contact the school numerous times over a period of weeks for them to even respond or acknowledge you.... ending with them making promises of how they will deal with things.... only for them to do nothing at all and allow the situation to continue.

Obviously this all sounds like an isolated opinion, but speaking to other parents, they also have their own stories of how the school has let them and their child down.

In my opinion and from what I have actually seen, LSU is a school in the middle of rapid decline, and I would strongly advise anyone I know against sending their daughter there.

FanDabbyFloozy Fri 07-Sep-18 15:11:10

That's a real shame - I thought LSU was a great example of a local school that does well year after year.

Sorry to read of your experience, @silverback. Are your girls still there?

silverback Fri 07-Sep-18 15:24:05

@FanDabbyFloozy - Nope.. removed.

It is a shame about LSU. It seemed to be doing a good job of keeping within touching distance of the group of usual high achieving London state schools (Greycoat, St Marylebone, Sacred Heart, etc etc).

I have just noticed that, according to their website, this year's results are back at 80%. I've got a strong suspicion this is a one off and won't continue though.. but I could be wrong.

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