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LEH or Notre Dame for a quiet girl?

(14 Posts)
schoolsout12 Fri 15-Feb-19 21:24:54

My dd has offers from both these schools. She is very bright but also quite shy and quiet. We like LEH as the journey will be easier and it’s obviously a very academic school which will challenge her. However, we’re worried that she will fit in with the image of the super confident sporty LEH girl and struggle to speak up in class. ND seems more nurturing but less academic. Any advice from current parents please.

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schoolsout12 Sat 16-Feb-19 08:37:51

Any advice appreciated. None of us can decide which one is best.

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PoohBearsHole Sat 16-Feb-19 08:39:32

Which one did SHE feel happier at?

PetraDelphiki Sat 16-Feb-19 08:41:25

There’s plenty of quiet studious girls in dd’s year...teachers are pretty good at involving everyone. dd Isn’t super confident or sporty but has found a nice range of friends and loves the school. Pm me if you want!

Btw I’d always say take the easier commute if you are torn...

Poppyred25 Sat 16-Feb-19 08:41:45

They are such different schools, even the selection process is so different, it must have given your dd an idea of what she would prefer.

schoolsout12 Sat 16-Feb-19 08:51:04

She likes them both for different reasons and can’t decide. LEH is very near us so would be so convenient.
Petra- that’s helpful to know there are quiet girls there!

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Prufrockspeach Sat 16-Feb-19 13:22:47

LEH all the way. Not to be disrespectful of Notre Dame as I am sure it is a lovely school but if she has earned a place at LEH I think you would be mad to turn it down. I think they are very good at picking the right girls and who would thrive there and they have picked your daughter. Congratulations!!!!

cakeisalwaystheanswer Sat 16-Feb-19 13:57:37

Because it's so close she can start at LEH and see how it goes. If it doesn't suit her she will always have the option to move to ND later. Moving down is easy, moving up is a lot harder.

littlemisslucky2 Sat 16-Feb-19 20:07:21

Also interested in this discussion as trying to choose between LEH and another. Thanks for feedback. I think LEH has a certain image that isn’t necessary accurate for every girl.

PetraDelphiki Sat 16-Feb-19 20:10:56

Dd is adamant that nobody is left out of things for being quiet (and the quietest in her class at the start of the year is now much louder and sillier!!!). Everyone has a chance to find their thing...sports or academic type clubs or me if you want more info

ZebraZigZag Mon 18-Feb-19 09:14:53

I really disagree with the perception that less academic school = more nurturing = better for quiet children (no that anyone on this thread has replied with that idea).
The confidence a girl can gain from being in an academic, highly-thought of environment is invaluable and these schools still have whole teams of pastoral staff, systems and ways to boost girls.
She gained a place at LEH and deserves it and the prestige that comes with it!

ND is sorting itself out I think but a few years back a good teacher friend of mine, along with many other staff, left as the numbers were low and there were worries about its sustainability. It has picked up but it certainly isn't what it used to be. Huge numbers leave at Sixth Form to Reeds, LEH, GHS, St John's, Epsom etc.

schoolsout12 Mon 18-Feb-19 12:29:16

Many thanks for those who have posted opinions. It’s such a hard decision to choose which she’d be happier at. We’re leaning towards LEH and agree she deserves the chance to go there having achieved an offer of a place (as much as we like ND also).
ZebraZigZag - your point about confidence growing through being at a top school is very valid. I agree that academic schools can be nurturing too and I believe the head is trying to make LEH more nurturing (they even have a very popular school dog!)

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ZebraZigZag Mon 18-Feb-19 19:53:20

To give context, I was at a top academic girls school - v similar one to LEH. While I was there I was quiet and in lots of situations was very shy. But I was in sports teams, had great friends, got great grades, was nurtured through some tough life events and I look back on my time there really fondly. I see it that wherever I went, I was always going to be quiet. It was who I was and I was never made feel it was an issue, just gently encouraged and celebrated for who I was. As well, these kind of girls' private schools always have quite a few other quieter girls so I didn't feel different and I didn't need to be anyone else. The happiness that came from this kind of acceptance was powerful in itself.
I can look back now and see lots of ways the school and my parents boosted my confidence. I certainly left with a quiet confidence and huge ambition. I look back so proudly at my education and even if at the time I was not the head girl giving speeches or taking part in the school fashion show, I still loved my time there and gained so much. I always remember my parents telling me how brilliant it was that I was at that school and how proud that made them. The confidence from that in itself has stuck by me.
I remember my sister, who went to another girls' school but much smaller, less academic (similar levels to LEH Vs. ND), was forced into taking part in a debating competition aged 13. She cried and cried, was really anxious about it but the school were on a real mission to make her do it. She did it and everyone was happy, but she still is mortified by the whole experience. She had many other happier memories there and I'm sure doesn't look back with anything but good feelings about her school. She did always get referred to as 'the quiet one' as there were fewer girls and the small environment meant the other girls felt very relaxed, spoke out even more & she stood out more for not being that type. It does give an example of why smaller/'more nurturing' doesn't always equate to better for quieter types.
I think it is important to remember a school can't and shouldn't be promising to change who your child fundamentally is. Character and personality is such a natural thing that if your DD is going to be a louder, more 'out there' 16 year old, it will happen wherever she is. Equally, if she is going to become a more subdued, calm girl who has her own interests and is happy in that, then nature will take her that way. You want somewhere your DD is simply accepted and able to participate. You will get that at LEH just as much as a smaller, less academic school.

... This is my conclusions after much agony over where to send my own DC only to have them grow and change in all sorts of ways, despite the same upbringing, school etc. etc!! I hope this helps. Obviously it is just my opinion.

schoolsout12 Mon 18-Feb-19 21:16:15

Thanks ZebraZigZag. A lot of what you say rings true. I was also a shy/quiet girl who went to an academic girls school. I coped fine and like you say was so proud to be at the school. I found my similar friends and being quiet has done me no harm at school or in life. At the end of the day, as parents we just want our children to be happy so thanks so much for your wise words which have really helped.

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