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Chance vacancy at channjng

(24 Posts)
afewtoomanychoices Wed 17-Jun-20 15:54:39

My daughter is in year 7 At another academic school in london however has been very unhappy, and has been delighted with the lockdown meaning she hasn’t been able to go! I wasn’t open to idea of moving as I didn’t think would find a spot anywhere. A vacancy has come up at channing to start year 8. Interested to hear your views on channing? She is very clever, not the likes of NLCS etc but still bright. She is quite shy and has unfortunately suffered from eating issues in the past year which we are trying out best to sort out. I’m wondering what people think of channing? Please let me know thank you

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afewtoomanychoices Wed 17-Jun-20 15:55:20

Sorry for the few typos!!

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NOTANUM Wed 17-Jun-20 18:02:25

I guess the main thing I'd consider is why she wasn't happy in her current school. Year 7 can be a terrible year and they haven't really formed friendships by March. Did lockdown come too soon for her?

It would also depend what school she is at now. If it was (say) South Hampstead, I wouldn't move her - the difference will be tiny. However if it was a selective state school (Henrietta or similar), she might do better in a private school with more pastoral care. That's not to criticise HBS of course but private schools tend to communicate better with parents when there are issues like eating disorders.

I liked Channing and considered it for one of mine. The lack of sports put us off accepting in the end (along with the exploding offers that year). But friends there have been happy.

I'd want to know how good their online education has been compared to your current school. Not all schools - private or state - are doing well in this field.

afewtoomanychoices Wed 17-Jun-20 18:25:58

She’s currently at a large co-ed school. She went to a small girls prep with just 20 girls and suddenly in a year group of over 150 which is quite overwhelming and maybe we didn’t consider it well enough before making the choice last year. She didn’t actually get into channing then, just got a waitlist. We liked it on our tour but when she didn’t get a place we didn’t think much about it as she was the only one to get into her current school from the prep and we were very happy and proud she got the place so took it. I don’t know about the online schooling at channing, her current one is good however she hasn’t been attending much, due to some of her mental health issues and it has been rather of a disaster this whole coronavirus situation! She has found making friends incredibly difficult, not so sure if she has many which is sad as I wanted her secondary experience to be happy. She has been doing fine academically. I would be very interested in the pastoral care at Channing. I do understand a new head is coming. I’m not sure what the old head was like in implementing pastoral care within the school... thank you for your reply

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Soma Wed 17-Jun-20 18:42:33

afewtoomanychoices, we know girls in various years at Channing from infants to Yr13, including Yr 7 and all but one have been extremely happy. We didn't apply as it wouldn't have suited my DD, although she came from a similar prep to yours. Assuming your daughter is somewhere like, Forest or Highgate, Channing might be more nurturing.

Malmontar Wed 17-Jun-20 19:08:29

Channing is v small. My DDs performing arts place has tons of Channing girls there. They seem like all the others tbh. Y8 and Y9 is such a horrible time for girls though, I would make sure if you do move her it's the right choice as they can all be catty, whatever school it is.

afewtoomanychoices Wed 17-Jun-20 19:42:40

thank you both so much. I am worried as it’s an all girls school and I’m sure we all know what teenage girls can be like! It’s just so hard to make a choice as the last thing I want to do is move her and it’s just as bad or worse. The pastoral care where she is right now hasn’t been great. This might be to do with the size I’m not sure

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PetraDelphiki Wed 17-Jun-20 19:45:04

I don’t know much about Channing except that they are about to get the most amazing new head. She’s currently deputy at LEH and dd adores her (as do I)...

mbell Wed 17-Jun-20 23:00:07

DD has left Channing for elsewhere but we’re still in contact with several families so know a fair number of current pupils.

Good points

Academically, most girls and parents are happy with the school.

Small school so easier to keep an eye on the girls

A few things to consider

Very little in the way of ethnic and economic diversity. Sadly our experience is that this will definitely affect how well your child fits in.

It can be a very cliquey school, particularly the parents. Lots of VERY wealthy single income households. Very few girls on bursaries compared to other Indies. If your DD is struggling with friendships, she might feel like an outsider from a wealth point of view if you don’t fall into this group.

The school has significant issues with eating disorders. This applies to both the primary and secondary school. Not sure if it’s better or worse than others but a high proportion of the girls are affected. Teachers are assigned each day to the dining hall to monitor eating and the school has in recent years sought specialist external input.

I would really try to examine why your DD is unhappy where she is first. You can then probe Channing a bit further on their Pastoral support to understand if they can/will support you.

I would say that Y7 is a terrible year with lots of stress and tears. Thankfully the pastoral support at DDs current secondary school has been brilliant. Fast forward to Y8 and she couldn’t be happier. Lots of friends, loving school and missing it terribly since lockdown.

Best of luck whatever you decide.

afewtoomanychoices Thu 18-Jun-20 10:48:47

That’s great to know about the new head. And thank you to mbell for that info. Yes it does worry me that in all girls school there are usually high rates of anorexia etc. I feel I can’t find an all girls school where this doesn’t exist!! That’s crazy and sad that a teacher has to be watching in the dining room every day. Such a hard decision this as I have a girl who is point blank refusing to return to school in September! So I’m at my wits end. I could call round other schools, not so sure where. As I was happy channing was an option as it does seem to fit the bill academically. Aargghh!! Not sure what to do!

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NOTANUM Thu 18-Jun-20 18:43:38

It's a tricky one. The girls who succeed in getting into these schools often have perfectionist tendencies which have pushed them to succeed which can manifest itself in OCD, anxiety and eating disorders.

I wonder if you could change tack completely and send her to a less academic, more nurturing school where the focus isn't entirely on success in academics? I don't know where you live but I'm thinking somewhere like Queenswood or perhaps send her to a good state school if there is one nearby?

NOTANUM Thu 18-Jun-20 18:47:09

Here's another idea. Would you feel comfortable calling your prep to ask your advice? They know your child the best and can perhaps even leverage their contacts regarding a chance vacancy.

Effzeh Thu 18-Jun-20 18:55:12

Yes it does worry me that in all girls school there are usually high rates of anorexia etc. I feel I can’t find an all girls school where this doesn’t exist!!

If you want a girls' school local to Channing with very good outcomes for their high achievers and a bunch of lovely, quirky, down-to-earth girls who are not obsessively competitive or prone to eating disorders, can I recommend Parliament Hill? It won't be what you're used to if you've only been in the private school system, but they have fabulous pastoral care and an absolute commitment to mental health. It's a mixed crowd, but their high-fliers do as well as they would anywhere else, and have a broader life experience to boot.

We, along with plenty of other parents, chose it ahead of Camden girls, which people get so obsessed about, and we have not been disappointed. smile

afewtoomanychoices Thu 18-Jun-20 20:06:04

Thank you all for suggestions. We have thought about state but then again we have only been in the private system and not that there’s anything wrong with state as lots of schools are great, we just had always envisaged our kids going private. But I will look into parliament hill still. Calling the prep is not a bad idea actually. We did have places last year at Francis holland and queenswood! Originally she loved the idea of weekly boarding but once we got the acceptance her mind changed. We are also very far to go as a day girl, probably around 45 min each way if not more

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Malmontar Thu 18-Jun-20 20:24:15

I would second looking at parliament hill, although you are a bulge year and lots of private pupils are going into the state system for financial reasons. We know one girl who left Channing in y10 to parliament as her family situation changed and she loved it. The only thing she commented on was that she had to be more independent, Channing, as I imagine a lot of privates, hold the kids hands for quite a while.

Beachcomber74 Sat 20-Jun-20 13:56:01

Email the head to discuss your concerns. I would jump at the chance as have only had very positive experience with the school but you need to be upfront about her eating issues and openly discuss this.

Vaunting Sun 21-Jun-20 19:46:49

I’m sorry for highjacking your thread afewtoomanychoices but I’d like to ask @Effzeh if I can PM her about Parli (v CSG)?

Effzeh Sun 21-Jun-20 21:08:03

@Vaunting sure

bimkom Sun 21-Jun-20 23:05:49

What does your DD want?
I had a very unhappy DD in Year 5 (so a fair bit younger) and we had an offer of an unexpected place somewhere else. I took her first thing in the morning to see the school in action (I realise at the moment that is probably not an option), and made some excuse for dropping her in late to the existing school. As we went between schools I asked her whether she wanted to move, and got an emphatic Yes. Was really, really unsure whether it was the right thing, especially moving a child at Year 5, when there was less than two years to go, but followed her lead, and she never looked back.
I know it is a bit different in a high school, but somehow she knew it was right for her, and it was. Sometimes DC (and maybe especially the shyer kind), really can suss it out.

afewtoomanychoices Mon 22-Jun-20 11:09:00

Thanks everyone. My daughter is very keen but I think that is mostly down to her just wanting to get out of the current school. A strong part of me is to accept it since it is a great school and fingers crossed it goes well... I am still tempted to call some others but part of me also thinks that won’t make a difference. I contemplated calling st Margaret’s in Hampstead but I do know that’s not as academic and she might not be stretched enough. Plus they also might not have a space!

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Notcontent Mon 22-Jun-20 11:45:44

I am late to the thread but I have a dd at Channing and she is very happy there. Size wise, I think it’s a good size - 90 something girls in each year group.

I don’t agree that all the girls come from very wealthy homes. Yes, there are some wealthy parents - as you would find at any private school - but also lots of girls from professional families that have enough money to pay the fees but are certainly not wealthy - increasingly they are girls from further afield (not just Highgate) - Highbury, Stoke Newington, etc.

Also, I disagree about the eating disorders point! Have never heard this before.

mbell Mon 22-Jun-20 16:04:04

DD1 has not long left Channing so we have first hand personal experience of the school.

It’s a good school for the ^^right girl but since the OP has posted about concerns re:eating disorders and friendships, I have tried to answer honestly.

My DDs class had very few “professional” parents and less than 1/3 of the mums had a job of any description i.e single income households yet easily able to afford the fees. It was a similar picture across the other classes. Agree therefore that not EVERYONE is wealthy but many are.

Our DD and our DS are both at other highly sought after independent schools like Channing so we have a comparator. Our experience is our children’s current schools are far more diverse, ethnically and financially.

“Also, I disagree about the eating disorders point! Have never heard this before.”

I’m afraid the issues re:eating disorders are very real and yes, there is monitoring taking place at meal times. The girls are just unlikely to be aware it’s occurring.

Notcontent it’s great you’re daughter is happy. Many of our friends daughters are happy there too. Some are dealing with issues.

The OP seems to have a very unhappy child so I was highlighting things she may wish to consider before accepting the place.

barbfoster1x Tue 30-Jun-20 14:36:38

Channing is lovely - not at all like other all girls schools.

afewtoomanychoices Tue 30-Jun-20 15:01:32

This is all such great and helpful information, thanks so much everyone. Still undecided!! I have a daughter who is very keen at least

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