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St Albans High School for girls

(82 Posts)
pubandstate Sat 06-Jun-20 19:41:55

Can anyone tell me more about this school, specially under the new management with their new Head.
I visited the school few months go, went for an open day well before the lockdown,
I need some advise about this school, its culture and how they are comapred to good state schools.
Do they really nuture their students as they say or is it an academic factory. Pls help

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pubandstate Sat 06-Jun-20 19:44:54

the top management does not seem to have any Oxbridge educated.

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Zodlebud Sat 06-Jun-20 22:46:13

I don’t think you can judge a head purely on whether or not they went to Oxbridge.....

It is an extremely academic school. They only take the very brightest so of course their results are great. The girls put a lot of pressure on themselves to excel and it can feel competitive as a result. Girls at the top of the top sets at their primary school often find themselves as completely average once they get there. But for the right girl it is a brilliant school.

I wasn’t that impressed to be honest. It felt flat and there wasn’t much “buzz” to the place. Their facilities aren’t as flashy as some of the other local independents and sports fields are off site.

I have friends with children there and all but one have high praise for it and they are all happy and doing extremely well.

Choose a school that fits your daughter not based purely on results or which educational establishment the head went to.

pubandstate Sat 06-Jun-20 23:10:44

thank you Zodlebud for the info.
Do they really nuture children or just an academic factory.

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Zodlebud Sun 07-Jun-20 09:07:43

My friend with a child there who isn’t that happy with it isn’t impressed with the pastoral. Her daughter has had a few problems and feels like they have tried to deal with them initially but the help fizzled out. The pastoral side isn’t bad but it’s certainly not an area it excels in.

It’s an exam factory in that they teach lots of very bright and ambitious girls who want to do well and they get amazing results. They do stretch and challenge the girls though as opposed to just teaching to pass an exam. Like I said - if you have a very bright girl it’s a great school and not as pointy elbowed as say, Habs and NLCS. It does let itself down on facilities though and fees don’t really reflect this. Depends what you want from a private education. I, personally, felt some of the girls grammar schools in Bucks were on a par, if not better schools.

ImAncient Sun 07-Jun-20 09:11:27

From friends dcs who went there some were happy some not. The girls I know loved being close the town centre. I don’t think it’s as academic as NLCS or habs. But that’s my opinion. But I think it’s a nicer school.

NataliaOsipova Sun 07-Jun-20 09:14:09

the top management does not seem to have any Oxbridge educated.

A friend’s DD goes there. The head is American and has an MSc from Oxford (if the footnote on the stationery is anything to go by....!)

pubandstate Sun 07-Jun-20 09:46:24

Thank you everyone,
Zodlebud you said about grammars,
what about St Clement Danes compared to High School, much difference.

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Zodlebud Sun 07-Jun-20 09:55:43

Clement Danes is not a full grammar nor single sex so you can’t compare the two. They get great results and has an amazing reputation locally. I don’t know much about it though as we didn’t go and see it (we wanted single sex) and it’s a bit too far from us for me to know anyone with any up to date knowledge.

Zodlebud Sun 07-Jun-20 09:56:38

If moving into catchment is an option then check out Dr Challoners, Beaconsfield High and Aylesbury High.

pubandstate Sun 07-Jun-20 10:26:47

thank you Zodlebud, your info is very valuable.

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pubandstate Sun 07-Jun-20 10:37:16

Is it very difficult to get in to this school.
does it have a national reputation.

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pubandstate Sun 07-Jun-20 10:42:13

thank you ImAncient and Natalia

appreciate your info and time.

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Gazelda Sun 07-Jun-20 10:48:41

She'll need to do the SW Herts consortium exam to be eligible to apply for Clement Danes (unless you live within catchment, sibling etc). The exam takes place Sept/Oct in normal times and you have to register in June if you want her to to do the exam. Have a look at their website.

pubandstate Sun 07-Jun-20 11:50:49

Thank you Gazelda,
what about the st albans high school, is it difficult to get in.

or just anyone with money will be accepted.

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Gazelda Sun 07-Jun-20 13:05:30

I'm afraid I don't have any knowledge of St Albans School

pubandstate Sun 07-Jun-20 13:28:06

Gazelda, thanks
do you have any friends or family going to St Clement Danes.
do you know about the school, if so can you share your knowledge about the school.

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difficultchoice123 Sun 07-Jun-20 14:04:00

'anybody with money' will not be accepted. It's not Queenswood school. The entrance exams are quite tough so prep will be required outside of school even if your dd is a bright one. The min CAT score they would consider is 120 from what i have heard

Zodlebud Sun 07-Jun-20 16:13:28

The entrance exam to St Albans is tough. Many sit it and don’t pass.

@difficultchoice123 your information about Queenswood is a little out of date. It always used to be a backup school I will admit, but in the last few years it has become oversubscribed and this year had a large waiting list. People look for different things in schools, particularly when the alternatives are the highly competitive north London schools. Not everyone wants that for their daughter even if they are academically gifted.

Gazelda Sun 07-Jun-20 19:00:21

We really rated Clement Danes when we visited a couple of years ago. We would have put in our preferred list, if we'd have thought we had any chance of getting in.
As it was, DD was in s bulge year, so places even more competitive than normal. So we put down others we thought would be more realistically achievable either through distance or consortium test results,
DD got 212 on her consortium test, so wouldn't have got in to CD through that route.
Everyone I know who goes to CD is very happy there. Great variety of subjects, good facilities and dynamic Head.
When is your DD moving into Y7? Are you currently living in Hertfordshire?

BubblesBuddy Sun 07-Jun-20 19:27:35

Some of us didn’t look at other schools. Queenswood was the best. It suited DDs. That’s what mattered.

pubandstate Sun 07-Jun-20 19:49:08

yes many says St Clement danes is a good school.

but st albans high school may be better as it has less students and results are much better.

the head of st clement danes is a male I believe, few years in his job.

our entry will be 2021 to year 7

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Zodlebud Sun 07-Jun-20 21:24:51

You need to understand that St Albans gets better results as they are only taking the very brightest girls. Clement Danes is an all ability school - arguably their results are actually much better as a result as they are starting from a lower base.

Small class sizes are a plus. But you just can’t compare the results of a highly selective school versus a regular comprehensive.

pubandstate Sun 07-Jun-20 22:38:48

agreed Zodlebud.
thank you.

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Sampford Sat 13-Jun-20 12:03:01

My daughter is currently at St Albans High School for Girl and we're really pleased with it. DD is bright but has a real perfectionist streak that makes her doubt herself a lot. School have been absolutely brilliant in understanding the situation and encouraging DD all the time. The girls work hard but it really isn't the academic hot house it is sometimes portrayed as. The new head joined last September and, in my opinion, is fabulous. Of course, this is only my own experience - it's a school that really works for DD.

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