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SPGS vs CLSG

(34 Posts)
Moni5 Mon 17-Feb-20 15:12:09

Hello All. There was a thread long time ago on this, but wanted to start a fresh one as some years passed since that one was live.
We are in the position to chose between these 2 schools, and we don't know what to do. Is there much difference academically between the two if it is for our DD to go on to the top Universities in the UK or US? Also, we live quite far from SPGS (1 hr and 10 min) but closer to the CLSG (40 min) - both by trains. Is traveling a very important factor to consider? Please provide some advice. Thank you much.

OP’s posts: |
Manchester7 Mon 17-Feb-20 18:23:24

Wow @Moni5 - your DD has done so well! Congratulations. What a good position to be in! Both schools are of course excellent, but academically I do think it is clear SPGS is ahead, so if that’s your key criterion SPGS has the edge. Take a look at their most recent results, for example spgs.org/about/news/2019-examination-results/ and www.clsg.org.uk/examresults But that’s only one factor and hopefully people with experience of the schools can help? The old threads could be useful too so you can see others who had the same dilemma. And you’re right to think about the commute - as well as the time it will take, are there many changes etc? Good luck!

Manchester7 Mon 17-Feb-20 18:24:13

Sorry, not much advice there I realise but wanted to congratulate you and your DD!

Needmoresleep Mon 17-Feb-20 18:34:31

Geography rules. 1 hour 10 minutes is too far and will make for a very long day. Think what your DD could do with an extra hour a day, and less energy spent on commuting.

Seriously we have known girls who lived a long way from SPGS and were not happy as a result, though in one case the parents still believed it was a worthwhile sacrifice. In practical terms 40 mins is probably the maximum, and you want a good alternative in case of strikes. Think also about frequency and about how crowded the train will be. Standing only of a chance to sit and learn some French vocabulary?

You could try the journey yourself for a few days....

FantasticFishcake Mon 17-Feb-20 21:22:45

I’m curious about this as SPGS requires pupils to have a commute of not more than 1 hour and parents have to confirm this in the application form. On a more general note, although not the be all and end all, commuting times are pretty important as your dd will, no doubt, want to be involved with clubs and sports that may take place after the school day as well as having homework to do. A long commute could result in the school day becoming very long - is that something that your dd will take in her stride? Both CLSG and SPGS have super academic outcomes for their pupils in terms of university destinations and exam results - I would query whether whatever difference there is between them is worth imposing a long and tiring commute on your dd. I appreciate I have no personal knowledge of your situation but I would be loath for my dc to have such a long commute.

Doryhunky Mon 17-Feb-20 23:30:54

I underestimated the impact a long commute would have on my dc...

MarchingFrogs Tue 18-Feb-20 00:07:05

though in one case the parents still believed it was a worthwhile sacrifice.

No doubt their DD will thank them in later life for insisting that she made it.

Moni5 Tue 18-Feb-20 07:35:58

Thank you all for your thoughts. We would be willing to move to be closer to the school, however, if academically there isn’t much difference between the 2 schools, then we would have no regret in choosing City vs St. Paul’s. CLSG is just more convenient for us, and a bit cheaper which counts.
Manchester7, thank you for the links, I see that there is really a small diff between the % of girls achieving those results for both A levels and GCSE. Also, I am curious if the girls continue to be tutored throughout the school in order to get into the top school? My DD hasn’t been tutored and I don’t intend to do that just to cope with a high demand school.

OP’s posts: |
Needmoresleep Tue 18-Feb-20 11:06:49

In every very academic London school you will find kids who are tutored. It is not needed but some parents seem to think it is. I suspect it is counterproductive and prevents children from developing independent study skills of the sort that are needed at University. The only exception, a senior teacher friend suggested, is if there are major problems with maths or English (DD was dyslexic so an issue for us) as these are building block subjects and problems bleed into other subjects.

I would not read too much into A level grades. Both my DC went to Westminster for sixth form. In DS' year there was a big group of very bright girls from SPGS who seemed to have decided they did not like the school and wanted a change. In DDs year there was a big and lovely group from City, most of whom had been there from the age of 7, and again felt like a change. Such movements will affect year on year results. (One thing to remember here is that City's sixth form is quite small, which may be why some move, but from what DD could see, the ones who left and the ones who stayed had formed close friendships and remained a bonded group.)

Binterested Tue 18-Feb-20 11:14:56

DD is at City and not tutored. I’m not aware of her friends being tutored but maybe their parents are doing it in secret grin. Your DD has done very well to get into both schools. I didn’t put DD in for SPGS as I wanted something closer to an ordinary social mix - City isn’t ordinary of course but SPGS is further along the wealth spectrum, shall we say. I only know one girl at SPGS and she very much has her head screwed on and can cope with the social and academic intensity. I would hesitate to send a more fragile child there, from the little I know of it. It probably has the edge academically but I imagine it’s marginal at this level.

Moni5 Tue 18-Feb-20 11:48:56

Very good insight Needmoresleep and Binterested.
Thank you.

OP’s posts: |
JBX2013 Tue 18-Feb-20 13:30:57

Hi Moni5!

What a wonderful choice your daughter has earned!

The central location, the accessibility from all round London, the location in the City, the financial support and contacts of the Livery Company behind them - all these are attractions of CLSG.

But SPGS is, quite simply, unique - in my opinion, simply the strongest school for any girl considered suitable by dint of earning an offer there. Intellectually exceptional, and with a culture which develops the strongest, most rounded, assertive young woman, SPGS is special. It will bring the very best out of your daughter and add a few dimensions, too, while respecting her core personality.

Congartulations to your daughter, and to your family, on her offers!

Moni5 Tue 18-Feb-20 15:52:59

What a great way to put it, JBX2013! Thank you much.

OP’s posts: |
larasmynone Tue 18-Feb-20 19:17:58

SPGS insist that the commute is under 1 hour.
Did you not read that on the application form?

Mustainzs Tue 18-Feb-20 19:35:18

From the application
”Girls are required to live within a reasonable distance of the school and should not be travelling for more than 50 minutes each
way. We may decline to pursue an application where in our opinion it may require an unrealistically demanding journey for the girl“

Moni5 Tue 18-Feb-20 21:39:58

Yes. Our shortest commute is under an hour but that might not be always the case. I wanted to get an understanding of the impact of a long commute in general and not really focus on 10-15 deviation from the shortest time. Thank you

OP’s posts: |
Needmoresleep Tue 18-Feb-20 22:16:33

Just a word of caution with the:

"with a culture which develops the strongest, most rounded, assertive young woman"

An environment of confident, ferociously bright, and assertive teenagers can produce some casualties. DD was not at SPGS but knew three in her age group who did not last because they were seriously unhappy. Equally though she knew some that absolutely thrived and emerged ready to take on the world.

Ericaequites Tue 18-Feb-20 23:56:48

I had a long commute by car each day to secondary school. It gave my mother uninterrupted time to nag and lecture me. It was exhausting that I went school all day, followed by team practice, and had no free time except for dinner and a bit of time with my grandmother in her side of the house. The shortest commute is the best.
CLSG has a uniform, which is a great savings in the long run. School authority is perceived as more evenhanded and easier to accept. It also means no arguement S in the morning. Not wearing makeup young means a better complexion later on.

Mustainzs Wed 19-Feb-20 07:01:52

I don’t understand, you said your commute was 1hr 10mins in your OP.

SPGS require a MAXIMUM travel time of 50 mins.

I think your answer is there.

nylon14 Wed 19-Feb-20 08:16:50

Why do people keep saying that SPGS require a max commute time? There are at least three girls in my daughter's year that live over 50 min away. They are all happy and join in on clubs and social events. If the school thought your daughter was too far away then they would have said something. Btw congrats! It is a unique and wonderful school.

jeanne16 Wed 19-Feb-20 08:22:59

While SPGS may be wonderful for most of their girls, there are many casualties unfortunately. My friend’s DD ended up in the Priory in her GCSE year. She couldn’t cope with the stress . Apparently there were 16 girls in her year alone with serious mental health issues.

serenfever Wed 19-Feb-20 10:07:02

We have an offer from St Pauls, which clearly said that the offer is contingent on DD living with us in London during term time, but not with a specific limit/threshold.

Kawasaki Wed 19-Feb-20 10:21:38

We were in the same position last year and chose SPGS as we thought it would suit our DD best and we have had no regrets since then.
Of course a shorter journey to school would be a big advantage when facing busy before and after school activities. However as long as your DD is happy with the school and ready to put in effort to make friends, then those things will subsidide the travelling distance.
We have not heard or experienced any difficulty in terms of mental health yet (touch wood) but to know that someone is having trouble keeping up with the fast pace at the school, we believe the pastoral care team will step in and help as they have been doing well so far.
Go with your gut feeling, OP and we wish your DD all the best.

serenfever Wed 19-Feb-20 10:28:11

We have an offer from St Pauls, which clearly said that the offer is contingent on DD living with us in London during term time, but not with a specific limit/threshold.

Bagpipes1234 Wed 19-Feb-20 12:45:38

@jeanne16 that is indeed sad to hear. Was this several years ago now? I think the pastoral care is meant to be much better now with a lot more awareness of mental health issues?

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