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St Catherine's School in Twickenham

(24 Posts)
shlomo Sun 07-Mar-10 19:36:29

Just wondered whether anyone had any experience or thoughts about this school...

RatherBeOnThePiste Mon 08-Mar-10 14:47:52

Message withdrawn

Strix Mon 08-Mar-10 15:21:15

Interesting, I heard just the opposite about it yesterday. A friend was telling me that one of her friends 14 year old goes there and gets literally hours of homework every day. I can say that the younger girls have VERY cute uniforms. smile

jackstarbright Mon 08-Mar-10 16:53:04

I've heard that the lovely prep uniforms are as expensive as they are cute smile. I have friends with dds there and they are all happy with the school. It might take a slightly wider range of abilities than say LEH or Surbiton, but the girls get a good (and nurturing) academic education. Having said that, an exceptionally bright girl might be better at LEH or Surbiton.

Sports wise they have good facilities (swimming pool and playing fields on site) and an 'inclusive' sports ethos - in the prep school anyway.

I agree its still seen by some as a 'full back' for Gumley (and Waldergrave) but this year was oversubscribed at 11+ and I know of girls who didn't get a place.

It'll be interesting to see what impact the sixth form makes.

Fergal908 Wed 20-Mar-13 14:13:53

My daughter joined St Catherines in year 3. Other girls from her previous school went on to both LEH and Surbiton. It took them a lot longer (a whole term) to adjust in their new schools, even more so at LEH. Though my daughter missed her friends she adjusted after the first week. This is thanks to the nurturing environment of the school. Year 3 teacher is excellent and chatting to other mothers from other classes they too are happy with the quality of education. My daughter is in year 4 now and I am happy to say she loves going to school and thoroughly enjoys learning. I like the fact the school encourages creativity with regular workshops with reknowned authors, poets, illustrators and artists, my daughter has found this very inspiring. The sports facilities are excellent and the annual Sports Day is held at the brilliant St Mary's University athletics track a few hundred yards away. Back to the previous comments re School Uniform, it is very smart and costs a little more than other independent schools in the area but the school has a great on site second hand uniform shop, where I have bought quite a few key pieces (the quality is very good so it wears well!)

Copthallresident Wed 20-Mar-13 14:32:57

Since this is in the secondary thread then I assume OP wants to know about the secondary. DDs' friends who went through enjoyed it and felt very supported and the parents were very happy, just sad that then there was no sixth form and they had to move on. It isn't as selective as other schools and so has a mixed intake and GCSE results reflect this but it does enable bright girls to get the same strings of A*s as other schools. Ethos is traditional and so it attracts parents who want that framework of discipline and support, no skirts hoisted up as far as is decent! Having said that I have heard of at least one year which had an influx of girls who had gone off the rails and the parents thought St C might put them back on them, but instead they subverted the norms, and made it less of a cosy atmosphere for others. However sadly around here no school is proof against attention seeking madams.

Copthallresident Wed 20-Mar-13 15:30:49

I would add that none of DDs' peers who went there were Catholic. It is very inclusive.

Gigondas Wed 20-Mar-13 15:35:20

Agree that does have good and inclusive reputation locally. I do wonder if Radnor house opening across the world will affect intake at all. [waves at copthall - come back to thread as have some lunacy to share with you that is school related ]

amidaiwish Thu 21-Mar-13 19:22:18

But doesn't waldegrave comsistently get better exam results? (And unlike st C does not have an entrance exam!)

amidaiwish Thu 21-Mar-13 19:24:24

But that aside I hear it is a very nice school full of very nice girls without the academic pressure of LEH and the other very academic schools in the vicinity.

Copthallresident Thu 21-Mar-13 19:31:02

amidaiwash Waldegrave gets a complete cross section of ability whereas the brightest going private will tend to get creamed off by more selective schools, SPGS, LEH, KGS, Surbiton and the other highs, there is a lot of competition. Whilst St Cs have an entrance exam that doesn't mean it is that selective. The reality is that the private schools who get the best results do so because they get the pupils who do best in exams. All of them will enable a bright pupils to fulfil their potential and I gather that is true of St Cs. In any case I don't think parents who chose St Cs are focused purely on exam results, they tend to be focused on the ethos and character of the school.

Gigondas Thu 21-Mar-13 20:05:00

Waldegrave also does have a selection criteria via catchment so it is not a feasible option for everyone.

amidaiwish Fri 22-Mar-13 21:01:28

That makes sense copthall. Didn't mean to come across as negative towards it, I have only heard good things but I always found it surprising that the academic results weren't as impressive as the others.

Cariss Fri 29-Mar-13 14:59:49

If your looking for your daughter to get all As at GCSEs, then this isn't the school to send your daughter to. The exam results reflect on the poor teaching.

Copthallresident Fri 29-Mar-13 22:57:51

Cariss That is absolute rubbish. They enable their bright girls to get As and A*s. I have no vested interest, but DD's friends had a very positive experience there, and they get really good results for the girls who go there, who are not generally the ones who were going to LEH etc. and they do that with good teaching and support. You might do better to wonder why the results at LEH etc are not better

veritata Sun 31-Mar-13 11:51:17

My daughter went there and did very well. We chose it because she is shy, and it proved a very good choice. She was able to develop her talent for singing and regularly sang in public, which she would never have been able to do in a larger school, and it really helped her come out of her shell. She got excellent results, easily comparable with those of girls at LEH, Putney High, Waldegrave and Surbiton. She went on to Esher College in the Sixth Form and again did well there.

sandra66 Thu 05-Sep-13 12:17:00

I have two daughters now there ... Both started at secondary school.
The first was shy, very shy, very good at school but never manage to be at the TOP because she was extremely shy, and lack of confidence. She is in top set in Maths and Sciences and she is doing extremely well. Not TOP of the class but on the TOP group !
The other, not as shy: we decided to send her there too after passing other exam (eg Surbiton).

The class are small (17 and 14 kids) and it is a joy for us parents paying so much that the class are kept small. This is not because parents are not applying ( I know 2 kids in my old daughter school that did not get the offer last year) but because I think it is not as easy as it sounds to get into it.
You don't need only to be accademically good, but they also look at the personality of the child and the family.

The teachers do care, and if you are good, you will definetely shine ... if you are not so good, they will help you to increase your confidence and will become good by the time you go!

The older girl knows everybody in the school and I believe the teachers and Sister Paula (Head mastress) probably knows all of them ....

Exam wise: the yougest found Surbiton ammission exam easier than St Catherine.

Regarding study: they do get quite a lot of homework and so far I didn't have to get any ''extra tutoring'' as other parents from LEH,Surbiton and Hampton boys are doing with their own kids, because expectation are way too high .....
And I didn't need my kids to give up any after school activities (as I know some parents were asked from LEH).

In general I think a good child will do good regardless what school he/she goes especially in the area.
There are some very good school.

What you get in St Catherine, is smaller classes, more attention, better facilities (because less kids to share) and you also get a better choice of universities, not just because of the results, which are pretty good for such a small school, but also because of the teaching techniques on how to pass an interview ....

My girls go to school with a smile, and come back home with a smile and this is what it is important for me.

Budur Fri 20-Jun-14 21:15:18

Hi, can I resurrect this thread. Did anyone take 7 plus exams there? How competitive are they? Thanks!

Chocfinger Fri 27-Jun-14 22:33:55

I also wish to resurrect this thread. It sounds a lovely school- we are considering it for year 7. Our DD is academic and loves swimming so the pool really appeals! Can anyone tell me if it is strong academically, I understand they always took a mixed intake but in the future will start to restrict it to the top 2/3rds?

Elisabetta2214 Sat 28-Jun-14 12:20:16

I am also interested in hearing about this school. The idea of girls-only, Catholic, nurturing and not too competitive ethos, appeals to me.

soddinghormones Sat 28-Jun-14 14:23:32

Not academic at all and surprisingly poor pastoral care for such a small school in the experience of a close relative's child

NMJ1903 Mon 14-Jul-14 04:10:15

My daughter has been at the school since nursery, and is now in the senior school. She is very happy at the school and as parents so are we. She is academic and is in the top sets in both maths & science. She is involved in the music and sport side side of the school and really benefits from the smaller classes. The problem with parents is that they think their children are brighter than they actually are and expect schools and teachers to work miracles. If your daughter is capable of a "C" grade, St Catherines will aim for higher and obviously if your daughter is capable of higher than they will aim for higher. We received her school report this weekend and we were very pleased with her progress. I do not think that it had poor pastoral care at all, the school prides itself on the girls well being and happiness. If I ever had a concern with anything, I email the Teachers direct and they are so supportive and resolve everything promptly. All the senior management team are wonderful and the Headmistress, Sr Paula is so approachable and genuinely wants the very best for the children. The school has some wonderful facilities like the 25m swimming pool, wonderful canteen, large Hall, drama studio, libraries, tennis courts, large field. This is a one stop school, they are not bused out to playing fields like some schools have to for PE lessons. The school has a very close link with St Mary's college where they hold their sports day every year and also have some specialist staff come and work with the girls from time to time. They hold many clubs for the girls, lunch times, after school and the girls are encouraged to participate as much as possible. People send Children to certain schools for certain reasons, like the kudos and reputation of some schools. If you want your daughter to achieve her best (realistic @ ability) and above all, you want HER to be happy, then St Catherines is the school for your daughter.

Rugbyscrum Thu 05-Feb-15 14:04:01

Could I resurrect this thread please? I am considering this school for my DD but to enter perhaps in year 4 or 5 and then stay to the senior school: She is bright but not top set, enthusiastic to learn but easily has her confidence knocked in the 'wrong' setting (ie too large/impersonal). Any advice out there?

Eastpoint Thu 05-Feb-15 17:38:26

I'd start a new thread, especially as you want guidance about it going through from yr 4/5 onwards.

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