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Thoughts on 11+ City, NLCS, South Hampstead

(23 Posts)
OoomPaPa Mon 17-Sep-18 15:19:59

Dear All,

My daughter is sitting her 11+ now and our list of focus schools is concertina-ing. I am finding it hard to separate anecdotal critique from real concerns (which would make my shortlist easier to compile). From what I gather, City has seen a number of girls leave recently, and NLCS has been rudderless until the arrival of the new head (and therefore dropping the ball to the point that frequent absences often went unnoticed). South Hampstead seems to have upped its game.

My read is: Yes for SHHS, So so for NLCS and thumbs down for CLSG. Had I been forced to make my choice even 6 months ago, I would have had a totally different read on the whole thing.


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rightreckoner Mon 17-Sep-18 16:15:21

New parent at CLSG here - so far v happy though the head is leaving so that might add to your concerns. I think a lot will depend on how they manage the offer process in 2019 after the debacle of 2018.

I think your perception of SHHS is correct - struck me as ambitious for itself in a good way. We chose CLSG for social mix reasons not because I didn't think SHHS was a good school.

Hothouseorflophouse Mon 17-Sep-18 16:39:50

The head of City is leaving? To go where? She's not been there that long has she? Mind you, I get the sense that heads are far more ambitious than loyal these days generally, like that one at City boys who left as soon as she got the opportunity to go to St Paul's.

We've got y6 girl too. Friends tell me that the new building at SHHS has injected an energy into the place and I do believe that architecture can do this. I worry that even if my girl got into City we'd lose the place by not being quick enough with our deposit. The race to nab the place feels like another round to get through on top of exams and then interviews.

So we'll definitely apply to SHHS and I'm not as yet sure where else. Possibly Highgate, possibly City, the other consortium schools. No more than three though and definitely not NLCS as it's too far from us.

rightreckoner Mon 17-Sep-18 17:43:42

I think relocating altogether. America?

Hothouseorflophouse Mon 17-Sep-18 18:45:47

Oh that's fair enough, I quite fancy a massive relocation myself.

I feel like I should like City because it has so much to recommend it but didn't when I looked for older child. I would be interesting to see if I respond differently when looking round with a child who'd be a far more likely candidate to get in.

Hothouseorflophouse Tue 18-Sep-18 14:34:20

Rightreckoner, do you have any inside intel on what the plans is for the offers process in February? I know now we'll definitely be away for half term so I feel I need to know whether we'd be able to accept a place if she gets offered one...

OVienna Tue 18-Sep-18 15:39:49

I was on the CLGS website yesterday and noticed that they mention something about 'occasional places' now. I never saw that with DD1. Is this a consequence of the girls' leaving, a PP mentioned?

rightreckoner Tue 18-Sep-18 18:41:13

I don’t have any inside intel other than to say that at the offer holders open day one of the quite senior teachers told me they’d been horrified at how things turned out this year. I hope they know they cannot do that again ...

But if I were you I wouldn’t plan to go away in Feb half term. I only knew the drill from reading MN so I got there on the Monday morning. As an MN reader you know what happened this year and can be forewarned. Most parents simply didn’t know which is terrible but gives you an advantage. I really hope they don’t do it again though angry

OoomPaPa Tue 18-Sep-18 21:21:51

What happened in February half term?

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rightreckoner Tue 18-Sep-18 21:27:29

Basically offers went out on the Friday lunchtime at the end of term and unless you had been into the school with a big cheque and some docs by the Tuesday morning the offer exploded. It was half term week so many families got the offer, went away on holiday and, two days into half term, got an email to say the offer was withdrawn.

OoomPaPa Wed 19-Sep-18 09:44:29

That is just.... just shocking!

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Hothouseorflophouse Wed 19-Sep-18 10:51:27

There's a long thread on it somewhere here where you can read the gory details.

Rightreckoner you're probably right that anyone who's interested in City should plan their lives accordingly but we go away with family every February half term and it seems a bit previous to cancel a holiday (thus messing others around) on the off-chance that dd gets a place at City and we decide it's the right place for her. Maybe it's good for City to get rid of potential time-wasters like us beforehand but actually I think they're missing out on a girl who'd be very well suited to the school.

Ho hum. I don't know, it just feels a bit arrogant and eff you of them which is not quite what I'm after when contemplating spending a six-figure sum.

OoomPaPa Wed 19-Sep-18 15:09:03

Hothouse I couldn't agree more!

Thanks all of you for your insights.

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rightreckoner Wed 19-Sep-18 16:13:59

I quite agree. I’m really hoping the school see that they cannot allow this to happen again (I do accept that the outcome in 2018 was to a degree unintended).

Even though I won’t be affected next time, it feels important as a signal of the values of the school I have chosen for my daughter.

expat96 Wed 19-Sep-18 16:14:45

CLSG's response to last year's debacle apparently includes pushing back it's offers until the Monday *after* half-term so as not to disrupt people's ski tripshmm. Though I'm not sure I'd bet a potential place on that.

rightreckoner Wed 19-Sep-18 16:16:27

Oh and hothouse I totally respect your right to be a timewaster! It’s a massive decision with huge financial implications - who wouldn’t look at all the options and take time to evaluate everything properly ?

expat96 Wed 19-Sep-18 16:17:54

its, not it's.

Hothouseorflophouse Thu 20-Sep-18 10:35:46

Hmm interesting expat - although sadly we're not going skiing. It's a bit better as at least you'll have all the private school offers in and no one's penalised for going on holiday, but it still leaves the problems of a) state school offers and b) an unseemly Build-a-Bear-sale style stampede to accept offers.

Dancergirl Thu 20-Sep-18 13:35:59

OP, I don't know where you live but have you considered Habs or St Helen's?

buzzingmama Thu 20-Sep-18 17:51:16

What about Channing?

OoomPaPa Wed 31-Oct-18 13:34:39

Hello there, Apologies for radio silence. Just licking our wounds following the results from the state selective secondary exams. Sheesh.

@Dancergirl I think they are a bit far from us.
@Buzzingmama we went to see it and although it my personal feeling was that although it was perfectly fine and polished, and we were impressed with the classics dept. the girls on the whole were very vanilla, and I thought and the vibe was very much that of a Finishing School. It seemed undynamic to me. Would rather Camden School for Girls tbh.

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Hothouseorflophouse Wed 31-Oct-18 14:31:32

Are you in catchment for Camden? If you are, I'd just relax and take that.

It's difficult if it's not a sure thing. Friends of mine always said they'd take Camden over a private but weren't close enough to be sure. Then their girl got into City, they were pleased and accepted it. Then quite late on they got an offer for Camden, by which time they'd mentally committed to City and the advantages it offered (there are disadvantages compared to Camden of course, but they'd concentrated on the advantages).

BTW our son didn't do well at all in the state grammars to the extent that we thought the selective privates would be a waste of time (and we'd rather state than the less selective privates). Very 11th hour he did do the three most selective boys'/co-ed schools in North London and stormed it. I'm not sure why - they are easier to get into than the grammars by sheer numbers, but I also think the grammar school format suits the compliant, mature, methodical child, which he definitely wasn't.

OoomPaPa Fri 09-Nov-18 15:26:52

Basically @hothouseorflophouse, your son sounds like our child... It gives us a glimmer of hope, reading stories like yours. Fingers crossed. We are narrowly out of Marylebone and Camden catchments... which means not a slamdunk and more of a lastminute offer situation - if we are lucky.

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