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Claremount fan/Kew house/ st Catherine's

(15 Posts)
cantwait2020 Thu 03-Oct-19 23:21:04

Hi there

Just wondering if mums have experienced interviews exams or have their kids at these schools.

We're looking for a nurturing school where daughter can thrive with support and care. This is the key to great results once they're happy they'll do great.

Thanks for the feedback

OP’s posts: |
Gingercat1223 Fri 04-Oct-19 15:24:03

There are recent threads on all these schools on this section of MN.

I'm most familiar with CFC & you rarely meet a parent who isn't pleased with the school. The CFC & St Catherine's entrance exams are similar and both provide example papers in advance of the exam either on the website or for St C with the old head they handed you a practice set at the interview.

cakeisalwaystheanswer Sat 05-Oct-19 10:57:08

Friends have very happy DCs at Kew "doing great" for them but being happy at school does not give you straight A*s, not all DCs are academic.

Safiya80 Sat 05-Oct-19 17:38:12

If there is any SEN, don’t touch St Cats with a bargepole! Yes there are small class sizes, but small does not always mean personalised, unfortunately. They have zero strategies to support dyslexia, beyond some vague waffle about “support being transmitted via subject teachers”. You are told if you need SEN support, to find it yourself outside school! This has been the policy since the new head anyway. It’s such a shame because the school could potentially do so much to help the girls (many of whom have dyslexia, processing issues, or other mild SEN). But instead the school shuns this opportunity and has become a bit of a one trick pony.

cantwait2020 Sat 05-Oct-19 18:41:47

That's really interesting that you say that do our have you dc there ? We had our interview the other day the principle mentioned that there was support groups not one to one but groups. It would be good to investigate more into this as it is a lovely school and that's important... thanks a lot

OP’s posts: |
Safiya80 Sat 05-Oct-19 19:00:55

Yes they do have “support groups” but not until Year 10. Plus these are not specialist SEN orientated or informed. It’s just study skills or extra time when they can complete homework (with some support). Plus you have to do this “Study Skills” as a option, in place of a GCSE.

There is no longer any opportunity for any specialist SEN one-to-one sessions within the school (eg support strategies for dyslexia). They are against this in principle, so you have to find this kind of input from outside school.

Safiya80 Sat 05-Oct-19 19:05:48

What is very strong there is the art and the singing. At GCSE you can do Art, Photography, Textiles, Food and Nutrition, PE etc which are better options for some girls.

JoJoSM2 Sat 05-Oct-19 19:18:45

That’s surprising to hear. I thought indies tend to use freelance teachers for one to one support and invoice on top of the fees.

OP, if you’re looking round schools, speak to teachers. Ask how they differentiate for students with a particular problem. See if you’re happy with the responses.

Gingercat1223 Sat 05-Oct-19 19:32:18

@JoJoSM2 , the new St Cats head is repositioning the school & making it more academic hence the SEN policy.

Safiya80 Sat 05-Oct-19 19:43:35

JoJo - yes that is generally the case, but sadly no longer at St Cats. I defer thx previous head, there was a dedicated SEN teacher who could do one-to-one sessions / assess SEN / track progress. However she left for whatever reason at the same time and there was no consultation that this role would no be replaced. People just discovered this on returning in Sept. it’s been very difficult. A few girls had to leave. Others are struggling. There is a teacher who is nominated as SEN, but she can’t do individual sessions as she has a full teaching programme.

Safiya80 Sat 05-Oct-19 19:44:25

Under the previous head - (sorry typing too fast on my phone)!

Safiya80 Sat 05-Oct-19 19:53:59

Ginger - yes I agree that it’s almost certainly part of a strategy to reposition the school academically. Sadly, they seem to overlook the fact that the most academic schools also tend to have excellent SEN support and can identify SEN profiles and adapt to a range of learning styles!

Their GCSE results look like they’ve taken a dip this year, which may or may not be related.

JoJoSM2 Sat 05-Oct-19 20:20:27

It doesn't sound like repositioning of the school - it just sounds really crap and unprofessional. I've worked with kids with SEN in schools achieving 90%+ A-A* at GCSE. It's perfectly possible and not that unusual to be very very bright and still have some problems that need support.

JoJoSM2 Sat 05-Oct-19 20:29:23

If someone wants to reposition the school as more academic, they need to ensure their teaching is amazing to get the best grades possible + be more selective at intake.

Safiya80 Sat 05-Oct-19 20:33:48

JoJo - Yes exactly. I have other DC in much larger schools that get top GCSE results and some of the very brightest DC are dyslexic or on the autistic spectrum. They simply see “differences” as a different learning strength / style that others can learn from. They bend over backwards to help these pupils reach their full potential.

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