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(75 Posts)
Liam436 Tue 14-Jan-20 00:49:32

Hello,

Our DD is bright, but is not very sporty and is sometimes lazy.

Basically, we're looking for a secondary school that is:

1) Highly pressured and stretches pupils academically.
2) Has strict discipline.
3) Does not make sports compulsory.

We live in Fulham. One school nearby that we've have always been impressed by is St Paul's Girls' School. However, it's high fees would be a considerable burden for a medium-income family such as ours. What would be our chances of qualifying for a bursary?

Alternatively, can anyone recommend other schools in the area that would be suitable for DD.

Regards,

Liam

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Liam436 Tue 14-Jan-20 16:14:28

Glaciferous

Thanks for your advice. We will give St Paul's a try but I don't honestly expect to get a place. It's sometimes referred to the educational equivalent of Manchester United because of the way it usually comes top of the league tables. I therefore expect admission to be very competitive.

We won't be applying for Tiffin because the journey would be too long considering that we have so many good state schools closer to where we live.

I find it hard to believe that all schools could make sports compulsory., I know that there are some schools that don't have any sports fields, and others whose sports fields are so small that the number who can take part is limited by necessity. This seems to be the case with most inner London schools.

OP’s posts: |
Glaciferous Tue 14-Jan-20 16:31:38

Sport is part of the national curriculum at all levels up to and including KS4. So all state schools must offer it (though there might be less at some than others). All private schools are likely to make it compulsory as most parents want their children to have access to PE and be able to try plenty of different sports or fitness activities. It's not something I was ever keen on and my daughter isn't either but I am happy that she is doing it because it's good for her (and she has turned out to be a decent runner which she had no real opportunity to discover at primary with a tiny playground).

You wouldn't get into Tiffin anyway. They will fill their places from the designated area (and after that it is based on distance anyway).

glittercats Tue 14-Jan-20 16:32:58

Liam - if you’re going to try SPGS, you might as well try LU and G&L as well? All would be similar (walking)? distance and if you make the decision to go independent, it’s probably best not to limit yourself to one-shot. Most girls will sit 11 plus for about 5 schools.

I don’t think SPGS is exactly “low on discipline”. It’s more that they have high expectations and choose girls that will generally live up to this. G&L is very similar. LU is too, though a bigger school and co-ed obviously. None of then put up with much nonsense tbh and they don’t need exhaustive rules. They look at past school references when selecting pupils and will interview as well obviously.

glittercats Tue 14-Jan-20 16:41:42

On the sports front, hockey and netball or maybe lacrosse are compulsory as part of games lessons through years 7 and 8 (possibly 9)? but this will be the case in any school. After this, they can do all sorts - yoga, Pilates, Zumba, dance - you name it. There is something for everyone, basically. Go and have a look at the sports facilities. LU for instance, has an Olympic sized pool and new sports centre that families can use for a small monthly fee and it feels like a private health club /gym! Your daughter may not enjoy team sports, but maybe she’ll get into boxercise or whatever as she gets older. You never know?

Liam436 Tue 14-Jan-20 16:41:46

Glaciferous

I see.

I don't suppose you live in Fulham by any chance and could advice on any of our local schools? We're keen on both Lady Margaret's and Fulham Cross but want to know what other people think.

OP’s posts: |
Liam436 Tue 14-Jan-20 16:44:19

glittercats

Thanks for your recommendations.

I don't suppose you live in Fulham by any chance and could give advice on any of our local schools? We're keen on both Lady Margaret's and Fulham Cross but want to know what other people think.

OP’s posts: |
Glaciferous Tue 14-Jan-20 16:52:27

No, sorry!

Liam436 Tue 14-Jan-20 16:53:09

glittercats

Could be worth sitting the exams for one or two other independent schools such as LU and G&L. But to be honest, their ethos, and that of SPGS, is not quite what we had in mind. We want somewhere that is strict in the sense that it will severely punish bad behaviour, but not simply expel pupils for the first offence. Strict but forgiving.

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Liam436 Tue 14-Jan-20 17:12:09

My philosophy is that kids need discipline in school, but I'm not in favour of just throwing pupils out if they are troubled or have behavioural issues. Better to apply severe sanctions such as whole-week or even holiday detentions, and only use expulsion as a last resort.

OP’s posts: |
glittercats Tue 14-Jan-20 17:37:50

I don’t live far from Fulham, but I don’t know any girls that have been at FC sorry. Re- LM, I’ve heard some very good things from some and it’s a very sought after school. I’ve also heard some reports of bullying and that’s it’s a bit chaotic but, ultimately, you could probably find someone who would say this about any school.

I don’t think it’s the case that the independents mentioned will just throw you out for poor behaviour. There is a zero tolerance drugs policy and they will enforce that, but otherwise, they definitely use measures such as detentions / consultations with parents / referrals to school counsellors. In general, they’re very receptive to parents’ concerns, I would say.

Liam436 Tue 14-Jan-20 19:07:53

glittercats

We'll give the following independent schools a try: SPGS, G&L, LU, PHS, FHS. The first one has a long entrance exam. The last four have entrance exams, but I believe they are quite short.

Does anyone know if these schools do routine testing on a regular basis?

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BubblesBuddy Tue 14-Jan-20 19:21:32

What’s a holiday detention? Would you expect that to be staffed? Look at the behaviour policy of schools to see what’s expected. The majority of privately educated DC are well behaved and are used to self discipline. Heavy handed discipline is rarely needed.

anewdecade Tue 14-Jan-20 19:24:04

You will need to look at the admissions pages of the schools- they will all have their exams this time next year for entry into Y7.

What do you mean by routine testing on a regular basis?

No schools have short exams! Or no sport!

Liam436 Tue 14-Jan-20 19:26:43

Heavy handed discipline is rarely needed.

You'll get difficult cases in all schools, even with posh and clever kids, so any school needs to know how to respond correctly.

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Liam436 Tue 14-Jan-20 19:28:19

What do you mean by routine testing on a regular basis?

I knew of schools back in Singapore that made pupils sit a test every two weeks in most subjects. Do many schools do this in the UK?

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74NewStreet Tue 14-Jan-20 19:30:03

No, of course they don’t. Does your daughter have behavioural issues? You seem so focused on the “difficult cases”.

Trewser Tue 14-Jan-20 19:32:22

The discipline policy is usually outlined in the school handbook.

Dd is at a high achieving indie and no she doesn't have routine testing on a regular basis and discipline isn't particularly strict. You get the odd girl who really pushes it but they are a hard working law abiding bunch. She's not at any of the schools you mention though.

Liam436 Tue 14-Jan-20 19:33:04

Does your daughter have behavioural issues?

Not normally. But one's teenage years can be difficult and one can develop psycho-social issues for various reasons.

OP’s posts: |
Trewser Tue 14-Jan-20 19:33:40

Why are you so focused on punishment of badly behaved kids? Is your dd super naughty?

Trewser Tue 14-Jan-20 19:34:49

If your dd develops "psycho social issues" she's probably at the wrong school.

Liam436 Tue 14-Jan-20 19:35:06

Why are you so focused on punishment of badly behaved kids? Discipline in schools is important.

Is your dd super naughty? Not very often, no.

OP’s posts: |
Liam436 Tue 14-Jan-20 19:36:13

If your dd develops "psycho social issues" she's probably at the wrong school.

It's impossible to tell at age ten whether a child will develop problems later during their teenage years.

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Trewser Tue 14-Jan-20 19:36:54

My experience of high achieving girls schools is that they tend to try to be nurturing rather than disciplinarian, often very clever girls put enough pressure on themselves.

74NewStreet Tue 14-Jan-20 19:39:19

Stop anticipating psycho social issues if your child has shown no signs to date confused. You’re weirdly hung upon this; don’t let it become a self fulfilling prophecy.

Liam436 Tue 14-Jan-20 19:41:56

74NewStreet

I'm only concerned that some schools may not be good with pupils if they have problems.

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