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Tiffin v WHS v KGS v Coombe Girls(46 Posts)
I am new to this forum.
I am looking for some views on secondary schools. My daughter got through to the second stage of: Tiffin, WHS, KGS and we are waiting to see if she gets offers from those schools. We have also applied for Coombe Girls.
I would really appreciate any views from parents who have daughters in any of those schools. Unfortunately, we haven't been able to go to any open days because of the pandemic.
Thanks in advance.
Have you decided already if you want state or private to narrow it down ?
Well they are all very different schools as I'm sure you already know. Do you want state or private? Selective or non Selective? That'll give you your answer .
For what it's worth, I went to one of those schools and I turned out just fine, as did all my school friends. I have friends who went to all of those schools.
What are you looking for in a school?
What are journey times like to each school?
Those are 4 completely different types of school OP, so it really depends on your priorities.
TBH, I'd usually say scrap KGS because there isn't any green space on site, no real outdoors space for recreational sports at lunch etc, which sucks, but it's your only co-ed option, and i think single sex schools for girls, unless your daughter is a very particular type of girl, are a fucking awful idea.
Thanks so much for the responses. I think the bottom line is that if she gets into Tiffin then she will go there. I think the real dilemma lies in if she doesn't get into Tiffin then it's going to be either Coombe Girls or KGS or WHS (if she gets in). I am scared that she won't be pushed enough at Coombe, that is my main worry re state. On the other hand, private is going to stretch us to the limit financially. If money wasn't an issue, I would just go for private but really and truly what will she get at e.g. KGS and WHS that she won't get at Coombe?
@Ohalrightthen, please could you elabolrate on how these schools are different? I see free vs paid, that part is clear. We are in the same boat + PHS, so it would be great to see different views as I have not managed to visit WHS or Tiffin.
I understand from the school tours video, no school (KGS or WHS or PHS) has green space to play and run outside? By green space I mean the grounds that Tiffin Girls has, not sure how much the girls are actually allowed to run there at lunchtime though. They all have a couple or tennis/netball courts on site for lunchtime sport. My daughter doesn'd mind co-ed or all girls. She just wants a happy school with interesting teaching and "do loads of clubs".
I have a DD at one of those schools. If money is tight I would go for Coombe girls if she doesn't get in Tiffin. Im sure they will stretch their brighter pupils.
Also bear in mind that that the Waiting List for Tiffin will move a lot so even if she doesn't get in straight away its definitely worth finding out where she is on the WL. I know of one girl who got a place a few weeks into September at Tiffin and in fact left one of the schools you mention to go there).
I wouldn't be particularly bothered by the lack of space at any of those schools. The benefit of being in a town centre outweighs that in my opinion. They all have great sports facilities a short walk or coach ride away. Would depend on the child a bit though.
I would say that Tiffin more pressured than WHS, PHS or KGS.
@Mamaoftwogirls , yes I would focus on Tiffin, Tiffin WL place or Combe. If you don't get a Tiffin place/high WL it's unlikely you would get a straight WHS place anyway.
The green space for KGS is in Thames Ditton!
Thanks. I am not too worried about Tiffin being more pressured. My daughter is a tough cookie and can handle it. She loves academia, reading etc and she did really well with the 11 plus process. I think she would thrive in that atmosphere which is why I am worried that she wouldn't be pushed enough at Coombe (if she didn't get into Tiffin). This brings me to my dilemma: do I pay £20k per year (which we ultimately could do but wouldn't be easy) for 7 years or do we hope that Coombe will give her the same opportunities that the private schools will...
All-girl schools can be amazing, and all studies show girls achieve better (as a group) in them. I went to an all-girl school and had the best time of my life. Sent my daughter to an all-girl school and ditto.
@Oreo2019 please could you elabolrate on how these schools are different?
Tiffin and KGS are grammar schools, WHS is a selective independent and Coombe is a comprehensive. They're also in 3 different places, so commute will vary, which is important to take into account.
KGS is an independent school. For us commute is not a big issue to any of those schools. Coombe would be the closest but she could easily take the bus to the others.
@Ohalrightthen, KGS is a selective independent just as much as WHS. They are all within 15-20 min train/bus from eachother and equidistant from where we are. So apart from girl/co-ed I don't see differences between them and that's my problem.
By green space I mean the grounds that Tiffin Girls has, not sure how much the girls are actually allowed to run there at lunchtime though.
They are allowed to run there at lunchtime. I know about the school and can answer some questions if needed
You can buy a lot of extra curricular and tutoring for £20K pa
I say this as someone with one child in private secondary and one in state secondary
It would be great to hear how good is the online provision in all these schools in the covid situation, if anyone has direct experience, please.
My eldest DD is at TGS.
We rejected offers at G&L, WHS, PHS, and some others.
Money was (luckily!) not an issue in the decision. The A-level and university outcomes in STEM subjects at TGS were just significantly better. Even for many non-STEM subjects, TGS did better than WHS and PHS (and maybe even G&L, but I would need to double check).
Teachers at KGS and WHS have and have had DDs at TGS. They were quite forthcoming about this at open days, which is pleasing and speaks volumes about their personal integrity. One teacher at KGS told me that she had a DD at TGS and another at KGS, who did not get into TGS.
Of course, none of this means G&L, PHS, WHS and KGS are not outstanding schools. I would have been delighted to send her to any of these schools.
Lockdown provision has been very solid. She has a full set of lessons for each school day and homework. She has friends at WHS and it's the same there. There is overlap in teaching materials -- the maths text books used by TGS in Years 7 to 9 are the same as those used by the top sets at PHS. All the good schools seem to be using maths materials from Dr Frost at Tiffin Boys' School.
It is also worth bearing in mind that all the schools I have mentioned are very selective and this may well be the main driver in their results. I would not compare the results of a non-selective school to a selective school. What you need to do is dig deeper and try and estimate the results of the top set in a non-selective school. This can be done with some work. Or you could just ask the relevant school. You may be pleasantly surprised by Coombe Girls' School.
@CanadaUK, thank you so much for taking time and writing about TGS and WHS!
The online provision for TGS is very good.
I have DD at KGS. It's a great school and really happy with it, but we wanted Co Ed and selective, so it was the obvious choice. The girls schools were a back up. Lack of space isn't a problem as time is taken up with clubs at lunchtime (pre lockdown!) and they're always carting them to and from Ditton Field.
My DD went to TGS in Years 7-8, and then moved to WHS in Year 9.
Both schools are quite academic, but DD (who tends to do very well in "high pressure" environment) found TGS a bit demoralizing as there were very few opportunities for extracurriculars.
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