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11+: SW Lon/Surrey schools: St Catherine's or Claremont Fan Court School?

(16 Posts)
Stonehenge22 Thu 28-Nov-19 09:57:53

Hi, the entrance exam dates for St Catherine's in Twickenham and Claremont Fan Court school in Esher clash, so I need to tell one of them they are not our 'first choice'...never a good idea of course.

I'm completely torn which way to go. St Catherine's is nearer but very 'straight' and would be easier to have local friends. But Claremont has a school bus and it feels like it has lot more freedom for the kids to grow (and mixed) but perhaps not as academically focused but with a larger intake perhaps slightly easier to get in to.

Does anyone have any experience of either school or advice?

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Mynameis2 Thu 28-Nov-19 10:20:03

Go for the nearer school. It will make life easier for your daughter and you when attending Parents evenings/sport and events. I don’t know Claremont but St Catherine’s is a lovely school and I know some girls who go there who are happy there. I think they are about the same academically. I think St Catherine’s might be cheaper too especially if not paying for a coach on top of fees.

newdeer Thu 28-Nov-19 10:22:55

I know both schools. Depends on the child. If your daughter is not very academic Claremont is a lovely, happy, unpressurised school with good pastoral. If she is academic, St Catherine's might be better. That said, a friend's son got a run of straight 7s,8s and 9s in his 10 GCSEs from Claremont, so they don't hold back the brighter pupils.

Stonehenge22 Thu 28-Nov-19 10:27:24

Hi thank you very much, St Catherine's is def a lot closer. Have your friends ever mentioned about the religious aspect? (we are not religious) but I felt at the open-day despite being a religious school it was 'open' to all....

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Stonehenge22 Thu 28-Nov-19 10:29:14

@newdeer thank you - somedays she appears academic and other days not - so i was thinking St Catherine's would be good incase she did end up being more academic...but equally Claremont seems to be more her 'personality' at the moment..

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newdeer Thu 28-Nov-19 10:33:37

All the children I know from Claremont were very happy there. It's a gentle, kind school. I know the St Catz girls less well but DC socialise with them a lot and they seem like a confident bunch with high aspirations.

winteragain Thu 28-Nov-19 14:34:16

Can't give advice on the actual schools but don't worry at all about the clash. There are LOADS of clashes this year and the schools are aware of it. They don't need to know which is your 'first' choice- just tell them you have a clash and ask when their back up date is.

Mynameis2 Thu 28-Nov-19 14:50:45

It doesn’t matter if you’re not religious as long as you don’t mind the religious ethos of the school. I believe all girls have to do RS GCSE, and there is Mass to attend one or twice a year. Prayers are said in assembly and I think even at the start of the 11+ exam. It’s a very nurturing school and I liked the religious nature of it. I doubt many of the girls are catholic/religious nowadays but it used to be run by nuns.

JoJoSM2 Thu 28-Nov-19 19:20:47

On the academic front, this year Claremont got 45% grades 7-9 at GCSE vs 56% at St Katherine’s so not a mammoth difference. Claremont gets better A Level results. I’d just choose based on your impression on school tours and DD’s preference.

Gingercat1223 Thu 28-Nov-19 19:33:08

The Sixth form at St Cat's is tiny - most dd leave & either go to more academic private or excellent state options near by. @Stonehenge22 you rarely meet an unhappy Claremont parent but there is a lot to be said for location, crossing the bridge at HCP is exhausting for all.

Stonehenge22 Thu 28-Nov-19 20:20:09

hi thank you all, very very helpful. @gingercat1223 what does 'crossing the bridge at hcp' refer too - you can see my local knowledge is not great!

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Gingercat1223 Thu 28-Nov-19 20:22:14

The traffic at Hampton Court, I'm guessing you are coming from Richmond direction.

Stonehenge22 Thu 28-Nov-19 21:29:03

ah yes, and would be, traffic this end a nightmare also...esp in the winter...

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newdeer Thu 28-Nov-19 22:24:46

I would do anything to avoid having to take that Hampton Court route at rush hour. You can get stuck for hours, literally. Not something to brave every day if you have other options.

cantwait2020 Thu 28-Nov-19 22:47:05

We're also in the same boat, I choose st Catherine's for the main exam and claremount for the second date it doesn't really matter which you take. However I'd agree with the commute it was almost an hr getting to Claremont, st Catherine's only 20mins plus it's cheaper. The journey is putting me off as parents we'd also have to take time off to be present at school. Also friends you'll know who they are at st Catherine's because it's local so another thing I'm weighing up. Religion is probably a positive there's so many kids with no religion and non catholic so yes they're open. Best of luck

Stonehenge22 Fri 29-Nov-19 10:07:45

thank you @cantwait2020 - best of luck to your daughter too :-)

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