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Chester schools advice

(7 Posts)
Elephantscantfly Tue 28-Aug-18 19:52:08

Moving to the Chester area and looking for any opinions, positives and negatives on The Hammond School, Queen’s School and Kings school, I think my daughter would be best suited to single sex as she’s quite shy but she’s used to mixed sex and Kings gets good reviews. Going into Y7 in September 2019

OP’s posts: |
AlexanderHamilton Tue 28-Aug-18 21:06:33

There is also Abbey Gate College if you are looking purely at the independent sector.

My Dd attends one of those schools. It’s a very unique school but unless your Dd has a very specific talent & is prepared to dedicate her life to it at this early stage it can be crossed off your list. Saying that my Dd has just achieved excellent GCSE results despite a reduced academic timetable and the school being completely non selective academically. She has been very happy there.

ChesterMother Tue 28-Aug-18 21:30:52

Welcome to Chester. The three schools you mention are quite different in character, four if you count the perfectly valid Abbeygate College suggestion of AlexanderHamilton. I would recommend you visit them all. King's, Abbeygate and The Hammond are mixed and Queen's is girls. The two I know most about are K and Q, the Hammond is a performing arts school but I know little more. Abbeygate has a lovely reputation locally. A quick look at the results pages of each school will tell you that K and Q are the most academically selective, if that's what you are after. Both K and Q have new Heads; K's head seems to have settled in well having been in post a year and Q's new head starts in September. Academically there probably isn't a lot between K and Q, but you could delve deeper into how well the girls do at K to compare with Q's and what each school's added value (the difference between what the pupil should achieve and what they actually do achieve) is. Your post says you have a preference for SS and Q's is the only option locally. It is an immensely supportive school, girls are guided and helped, but also given leadership opportunities in all areas of the school. Depending on what your DD is into Q's has an excellent reputation in competitive sport, but also has a fitness for all programme for girls who aren't into hockey, lacrosse and netball (Q's fields teams in all three), it's also brilliant at drama and music. Q's is very keen on an all round education and it's worth asking about the "Queen's Bacc" in the 6th form. My personal experience of King's wasn't great, but time has passed and there is a new Head. Queen's I can't recommend highly enough and will happily answer any questions if you pm me.

Elephantscantfly Tue 28-Aug-18 22:47:30

Thank you both, very useful insights. AlexanderHamilton, Whilst my daughter enjoys and is very good at dance she is also very musical and loves sport so I think I’d prefer a more varied curriculum so thank you. I’d totally missed Abbeygate College so will delve a little further, it’s a minefield but we’ve got some time yet before the entrance exams and any final decisions. Thank you ChesterMother I may pm you once I’ve done some more reading, you’ve both been very helpful!

OP’s posts: |
SummerStrong Tue 28-Aug-18 23:00:11

If I were to choose a private school for my DC, I would choose Abbeygate, as it is smaller and more intimate and has a reputation for being quite nurturing, with emphasis on academics as well as sport.

K & Q are superb schools, but much larger and perhaps a little more cut throat and more academically selective.

There are some excellent non-private schools in and around chester too.

It really is a great place to live and raise children, welcome.

AlexanderHamilton Tue 28-Aug-18 23:06:48

There is a music strand at Hammond & music is an integral part of the curriculum for everyone but there is very little sport. Only the drama & music students even do PE so it wouldn’t suit a sporty child.

The lower school dance course is elite & you have to be dedicated.

ChesterMother Wed 29-Aug-18 15:36:44

Don't want to argue with SummerStrong, but King's is much larger with around 750 pupil in the senior school (over 1/3 girls), Queen's has about 480 in the senior school (all girls) and Abbey Gate Coll has about 360 (roughly 40% girls). All three schools have had ISI regulatory compliance inspections in the last year so you might like to have a look at those. Whilst Queen’s is more academically selective than Abbey Gate it still prides itself on its nurturing environment and support for the pupils and the pastoral care is fantastic. My advice is still look round them all, gather your facts, but most of all get a feel for each and decide which suits your DD and you all as a family. Good luck. Although I honestly don't think you can make a bad choice out of those three, it's just which is right for you.

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