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Questions for current Guildford High School Parents

(22 Posts)
makemineatriple765 Mon 22-Feb-21 17:13:37

Hi - my DD has just accepted a year 7 place at GHS for September 21. I just wanted to ask any current parents whether there is any sort of induction for the new joiners or do they all just turn up on the first day of term? I’ve noticed some of the other schools have residential trips for year 7 or sports camps that run in August and I was wondering if GHS do anything similar? Just trying to manage my DDs expectations. Also, I was wondering if most of the girls will have played Lacrosse before? We are relocating from overseas and so DD, although hugely sporty, has never picked up a lacrosse stick? Many thanks!

OP’s posts: |
GU24Mum Mon 22-Feb-21 17:36:18

The school is probably waiting to see what if can offer - hopefully far more like a normal year this time. If so, there will be an induction afternoon in about the 3rd week of June to meet form tutor/class. There's a netball course late in the summer hols where the girls get to know each other (definitely not just for keen netball players). If they can run it there's also likely to be an outward bound overnight away trip either literally at the start of term or 10 days or so in.

If your daughter wants to try her hand at lacrosse and things are running, there are often courses run at St Catherine's for anyone to join - and when mine went it was mostly a mix of GHS and St Cats girls.

Hope that helps!

Ghsparentshelp Mon 22-Feb-21 21:53:49

We are in the same boat but I’ve heard bad things about the school and am getting increasingly worried. Can any parents at the school currently help? I’d love a spectrum of opinion. I’ve heard the head doesn’t have people skills and isn’t approachable and that the girls only get results at a great cost. How true is this? I’m so stressed

Fifthtimelucky Mon 22-Feb-21 23:26:41

I'm not a current parent but it's not that long since my girls left (the youngest is still at university).

Obviously things might have to be different this year because of Covid but in normal times I thought the school handled induction brilliantly.

Both mine were the only girls in their year to go to GHS from their (state primary) school and I was worried about them being isolated. I believe there were always quite a few girls in that position, and the school made sure that they were assimilated quickly into the school community. It puts girls from the same location into the same class, so if they travel in by train, as many do, they will do so with their classmates which helps to consolidate friendships.

The netball course was a great way to start and as well as using it to help them to get to know other girls, we used it as an opportunity for them to try out the train journey. By the time term started they had made new friends in our area and become confident with changing trains.

I didn't find the head to be at all unapproachable and thought the pastoral care was good (and the deputy head in charge of pastoral care excellent). I certainly didn't feel that either of my girls was put under too much pressure and they both spent 7 very happy years at the school.

OP: Most girls had never tried lacrosse before. Mine certainly hadn't.

harsto Mon 22-Feb-21 23:42:04

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makemineatriple765 Tue 23-Feb-21 06:52:41

@gu24mum and @fifthtimelucky thank-you for the info! That’s sound really good - fingers crossed that with the easing of lockdown things can go ahead. My DD would be particularly interested in the Lacrosse course so hopefully St Cats will still be running that. X

OP’s posts: |
Fifthtimelucky Tue 23-Feb-21 07:28:13

GHS always used to do a year 7 lacrosse course in one week of the October half term, though obviously by then they will already have been playing for a bit. If I remember rightly, matches didn't start until the second half of the term.

I assume that they will run that again if they can.

Strandguildford Tue 23-Feb-21 08:30:48

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makemineatriple765 Tue 23-Feb-21 08:38:40

Thanks guys! Sounds like they do a pretty good job of induction...let’s hope that the uk does as good a job at completing the vaccine roll out and releasing us all! smile

OP’s posts: |
Rosesurrey Tue 23-Feb-21 08:59:59

@makemineatriple765 it will be a good event, all three of the Guildford schools pride themselves on doing a great job with induction, it’s part of their USP and they do won’t want to be seen as being outdone by the others!

@Ghsparentshelp, yes the head doesn’t have a great reputation for people skills or charisma, she never has, but it doesn’t matter! You could put a womble in charge of GHS and you wouldn’t notice any difference from outside, it’s so established and there’s a good team there. So don’t worry about that.

makemineatriple765 Tue 23-Feb-21 09:29:46

@ghsparentshelp I wouldn’t listen to gossip. Loads of people slag off GHS but if their daughter was offered a place those very same people would gladly accept it.

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Nathbiker Tue 23-Feb-21 10:01:27

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Ghsparentshelp Tue 23-Feb-21 10:46:04

Thanks - I really appreciate the supportive messages.

Anyone have any experience of bullying at the school and how it was dealt with? How much is the head involved in the day to day running of the school? Are the teachers approachable?

Nathbiker Tue 23-Feb-21 11:08:31

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makemineatriple765 Tue 23-Feb-21 13:41:42

@nathbiker I’m not suggesting GHS is in anyway superior to other schools - I am merely pointing out that when people post “bad” things about a school (as opposed to observations that some parents may see as a positive thing and others may see as negative depending on what you are looking for) then you have to question their intentions. I chose not to send my daughter to Tormead or St Cats because I felt GHS would suit her personality better (and while I am new to GHS I have 3 older DCs so this is not my first foray into senior schools)....I would never dream of slagging off Tormead or St Cats on a public forum and I don’t understand why anyone else would unless they have an ulterior motive. At every school there will be children that are very unhappy as we don’t always get it right - but these experiences are generally not representative of the whole cohort and are therefore quite unhelpful.

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Fifthtimelucky Wed 24-Feb-21 08:37:06

@Ghsparentshelp : as no current parent has yet answered your questions about bullying, I will (as an ex parent).

I had two girls at GHS - for 7 years each. Neither reported any instances of bullying - either of themselves or others - during the entire time. That suggests to me either that there was simply no bullying, or that there was and the school dealt with it quickly and effectively. From what I saw, the girls were very supportive of each other.

The teachers were all individuals and my girls found some more approachable than others, but never reported any issues. One has contacted a couple of teachers since leaving school and they seemed genuinely pleased to hear from her and responded positively to her queries. She is planning to contact another one soon and has no concern about doing so.

As for the head, I don't know how much she had to do with the day to day running of the school. She had a solid team below her and I am sure she made good use of them. But she was a strong and efficient leader.

I guess no school is perfect, but I had absolutely no complaints.

Nehaj Mon 01-Mar-21 18:51:16

my DD is joining GHS'21 year 7 and your posts are reassuring. Thanks for sharing

Surreycommute Mon 01-Mar-21 20:27:48

We have had no issues, DD is very happy and well supported, genuinely loves the school, great relationship with teachers and has a lovely set of new friends. She works hard but we expected it, and she is pretty motivated. The induction in a typical year is good, hopefully they can return to normal and do the trip. If not, they have had some pretty good pastoral activities in a normal school year so I’m sure they will handle it well.

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