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Picking between Godolphin and Latymer &. Latymer Upper

(17 Posts)
NewLondonMom1 Fri 01-Mar-19 13:02:13


My DD has an offer from G&L and LU (and a few others which we declined) and we are struggling to decide between the two. The two schools seem similar academically, but different otherwise. My DD says she doesn't really care about co-ed vs. all girls - its all the same to her. She goes to a co-ed prep right now.

We like that Latymer has a swimming pool and DD likes to do swim squad and that drama is big as DD is enjoying drama at prep right now. However she isn't always the loudest in the class or the one with the main role in her year play. She enjoys sports, likes maths (is among the top children in her school in maths, but hasn't done any primary maths challenges/ kangaroo etc - I don't even know what those are), is quiet in class, but fearless and does whatever she thinks is right. Given that she is not the hand raiser in class, we worry that she might get lost at Latymer amongst the super bright, super academic or super sporty kids. She is just your average, smart, kind but naughty, fierce but quiet in school, child. Not strikingly strong in any particular subject (except maths, but even there she has never been pitted against the brightest minds).

Godolphin seems nurturing and gentle. It seems like an easier choice given there's no boys to worry about. I also don't hear the 'you have to be brilliant to be successful here' about Godolphin. They seem sporty enough, with the only disadvantage being that they don't have a swimming pool and don't do squad practices at school. So my daughter might end up dropping swimming. Again she's not brilliant at it, but is quite good at certain strokes and enjoys her squad practices.

We would love to hear from those of you that have children at both schools. If you have a child who swam in primary school, we would love to hear how they transitioned to either of these schools. Any guidance on the choice in general would be appreciated.

OP’s posts: |
Toomuchpressure169 Fri 01-Mar-19 13:15:14

Newlondonmum, I can’t speak for G&L but I have a child at LU and she sounds similar in personality traits to your daughter. I wouldn’t worry about her being overshadowed by other ‘alpha’ kids - such a plethora of personalities there, some quieter than others, some sporty, some not, some maths geniuses and some as my daughter says (where maths is not her strong subject) “mum I really don’t know how they got in”. So, in my experience she should thrive. My daughter is so happy there and so am I as a parent.

ObamaLlama Fri 01-Mar-19 15:50:17

I’m also an LUS mum and have posted a couple of times on here recently about how I feel my child has been lost in the crowd of super confident, super talented, super rich kids. I do not wish to keep slating the school, it’s not a bad place, but I am disappointed by the lack of nurturing and the lack of individual attention.

My child got into all the plays at their last school but none at LUS so we have never been able to take advantage of the lovely drama facilities. My child was good at sport but is not on A-C teams now so gets little attention or match activity in PE. I feel their confidence has taken a huge knock and I wish I’d chosen a school where they would have felt one of the most able rather than one of the least.

Livingwiththree Fri 01-Mar-19 16:24:18

Sounds like the perfect Godolphin girl. My daughter just started in Year 7. Quietly confident. The school seems incredibly supportive without being pushy. She couldn’t be happier there. Feel free to PM me with any questions.

1ndig0 Fri 01-Mar-19 16:45:38

Hi NewLondon - I have DC at LU and one about to start in Sept at G&L. I agree with Obama tbh, which is why we’re hoping for a more nurturing experience st G&L. And I say that, even though my DC at LU are hardly shrinking violets!
On a very basic level of comparison - there are 180 in a year group at LU, compared to 100 at G&L. So obviously more chance of participation at G&L.
They do grow into LU and they do find their niche, but it can take a few years.
I don’t wish to slate LU either but if you have a child who likes to feel “known,” by teachers, there may be better choices in the earlier years. The sports centre is amazing at LU though. No sports pitch on site however.

Utility Fri 01-Mar-19 18:56:34

G&L is a terrific school.
But, Indigo, there are more girls in a year at G&L than at Latymer!

ObamaLlama Fri 01-Mar-19 19:02:25

Utility - it’s true there are about ten more girls per year in G&L but there are more girls’ sports teams so the competition for sports places is slightly less. The competition for things like school plays etc is loads less because the at LUS the girls have to compete with the boys as well as the other girls.

Utility Fri 01-Mar-19 19:18:04

Using hockey as an example, LU and G&L both put out 6 teams in the younger age groups.
90 girls per year on average at LU, 120 girls per year on average at G&L.

1ndig0 Fri 01-Mar-19 19:19:23

Utility- yes you are right that ther would be 90 girls at LU compared to 100 ish at G&L. I wasn’t really thinking so much of sports teams though (because mine tend to steer clear of those grin) - more things like drama, debating, choirs, recognition prizes, as well as just the general hubbub of the place.

Utility Fri 01-Mar-19 19:23:43

Indigo: Agreed.
But closer to 120 girls per year at G&L (604, years 7-11).

Mulberry10 Fri 01-Mar-19 23:17:59

I’m coming to the end of G&L with a non-pushy, quietly confident DD and we’ve been so pleased with it. It’s inclusive, busy and full of opportunities without being overwhelming. In the early years my highly unsporty daughter felt inspired to join the netball club. When something isn’t going well they spot it and take steps. And they get great results without adding pressure to girls who they know are likely to be putting pressure on themselves. DD has made great friends and is really proud of her school.

juliettatrax Sat 02-Mar-19 10:46:17

Just wrote on another thread that there seem to be some very determined LUS bashers out there this year. My two dc adore the school, and find it academically fantastic, it's big but they're in very small tutor groups so they've had good pastoral care too. There are rich, entitled kids at LUS but there are at all London private schools - there certainly are at G&L, I see it all on my dcs' Instagram. Happy to answer any DMs about the school

pippingcall Sat 02-Mar-19 11:07:49

Just a couple of thoughts:
if you have a child who likes to feel “known” by teachers
You have to understand that when a school without budget constrains has more students, they have more teachers. I doubt class size is smaller at G&L. In all our years at LU, my child has been known by the teachers to an incredible depth. My DC is now in 6th form studying A Levels in subject groups as small as 6 students. The teacher that needs to "know" your child at LU will certainly do, don't worry. And the Head knows absolutely everyone which is astonishing.

LUS girls have to compete with the boys as well as the other girls That's going to be the rest of their lives out in the real world, at the workplace. Could be that girls in coed schools come out better prepared for it?

Personally, I went to a girls school till I broke free at 17 and would never send a daughter to one. But I have heard G&L is a lovely school and I can see from this thread that lots of girls are happy. It's just that my personal experience was suffocating.

1ndig0 Sat 02-Mar-19 12:09:48

Hi please don’t misunderstand me. I wasn’t meaning to “bash” LU at all! I’ve written on other threads about the many positives there. I totally agree the teaching is outstanding in most cases and the teachers are top of their game from what I can see. I love the social inclusivity there; the fact that the homework is not excessive and always relevant, rather than just homework for homework’s sake iyswim and the curriculum is superb. Mine are thriving now, thank god, but I do think it took them slightly longer to find their feet at LU than I suspect they might have done at other schools. Mine are not quiet, introvert DC by any means. There were far more academic yet quieter / timid DC from their prep who were turned away at interview stage. Obviously this is my personal experience and no more, but one DC had a horrendous period of bullying in Yesr 8 which did eventually get resolved, but only really once they mixed up the classes in Year 9. I nearly took this DC out at one point. Of course bullying can and does happen everywhere, but I do think at LU there are perhaps a greater than average proportion of DC who are used to being the “big fish in the small pond” and who don’t react too well to being a “smaller fish in a big pond” if that makes sense? They do seem to get over it by later years though and the dynamics settle down.

juliettatrax Sat 02-Mar-19 14:35:49

Personally, I think size is an advantage of LUS - there's a big year group and ime everyone is able to find their niche within it - be they more bookish, more musical, more sporty, more "cool" - though of course that doesn't necessarily happen straight away and many kids including my youngest go through a settling in period.

I have friends with dc at other, small schools and I gather there's a tendency for everyone in the year to be caught up together, with nowhere to escape the scrutiny of the most dominant kids in the year group.

I've also been fantastically impressed by how well my dcs' teachers in every subject know them as individuals. I come away from every parents' evening wishing my own, very excellent, private school had been as good as LUS.

Naturally, different schools suit different types and different families have different experiences, but it's been a wholly positive one for us.

NewLondonMom1 Sat 02-Mar-19 16:26:45

Thank you so much for all your varying points of view. This discussion has been hugely helpful for us. Thank you also for the informative pm's sent to us. We have read every word on all the comments very carefully and are still evaluating our choices.

OP’s posts: |
Seren2013 Wed 13-Nov-19 17:36:44

I agree with ObamaLlama about Latymer. It is so packed and like a marketplace. Maybe your child will find his way, maybe he won't. No one particularly cares. In general, the school has a much too high opinion of itself. They are always congratulating themselves. But their students are left to fend for themselves. There is low grade bullying and no pastoral care. They hired a head of pastoral care not long ago, but he turned out to be ill qualified for the job. The kids are stressed and self-interested. It's just not a happy environment. Of course some will object to this description. Not everyone is miserable, and not everyone who is miserable is aware of it.

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