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Coombe Girls

(48 Posts)
burstroma Thu 24-Oct-13 10:43:32

Have a dd who is going into secondary school next year. Has there been a change to the schools admission - something about a straight line rather than walking distance. Want to get into CGS but dd will have to take a train from RP to New Malden station, and fear she may be out of the catchment?

MrsDavidBowie Thu 24-Oct-13 11:20:42

Yes there has been a change to all RBK schools....distance now measured in straight line.

Depends how many children apply from New Malden area....

Simsim1 Thu 24-Oct-13 12:58:32

This link takes you to a distance calculator. I found it quite useful.

This should give you information on furthest distance offered in previous years.

Simsim1 Thu 24-Oct-13 13:03:49

Sorry forgot to convert links.

soul2000 Thu 24-Oct-13 14:15:57

Whats going on.. People wanting a "SECONDARY MODERN SCHOOL".....

Or could it be that it is just an excellent school with high achievement.

OnGoldenPond Thu 24-Oct-13 23:14:53

Coombe Girls is not a secondary modern as the local super super selective (Tiffin) takes so few from the local area that it really does not count.

Many local people put Coombe as first choice with Tiffin as backup.

Glad to hear a straight line rule has been introduced. makes much more sense. The old rules ignored the most direct walking route for my DD just because the footpath is gravel rather than paved - despite the fact that this is the route she now uses to walk there every day!

pixiedog Thu 31-Oct-13 01:18:55

I must be mad! We're in CGS catchment and I'm not sure whether DD should go there. She's in yr 6 at independent primary and she's down to take entrance tests at indie secondaries, but everyone is screaming Coombe Girls at me!

To be honest, paying school fees hasn't come easy and the thought of struggling for another 7 years is not a happy thought, but I kind of thought I'd just have to do it. I'm in 2 minds and I'd love to hear what you all think of Coombe.

I know that there's the express stream. Can I assume if DD is in top sets at primary that she'd get into this, or am I hoping too much? I guess what I'm saying is, if she wasn't in express stream I probably wouldn't want her to go/stay. I know I must sound like a dreadful snob, which I've got no right to be, so please forgive me already!

Ive put Coombe on CAF. When do I need to decide? I'm all new to this and would love to hear your views on CGS vs the indie route.

basildonbond Thu 31-Oct-13 06:37:11

I take it you've already put your form in as the deadline is today so make sure you don't miss it

Assuming your daughter gets offered CGS it won't be until 3rd March when all state school offers are sent out. Indie offers are usually out a little earlier but you have a bit of time to decide - the private schools are used to people using them as a back up in case they don't get their preferred state option

I know CGS has a good reputation however one of dd's friends had a miserable time there in year 7 - she didn't get put in the top stream and there was a lot of low-level bullying and she had very little in common with the other girls in her class. Her mum was going to take her out but she got moved up to the top set after Christmas in y7 and her experience was completely transformed - she's much happier now and has plenty of friends at school

Blu Thu 31-Oct-13 10:47:49

PixieDog - you can apply for your state place and decide whether to accept it in March.

OnGoldenPOnd: "Many local people put Coombe as first choice with Tiffin as backup."
How does that work? Surely if you paass the tiffin test at a high enogh level to get in, but have put another school higher on your list of preferences and could be admitted there, you would be sacrificing the Tiffin place?

Shootingatpigeons Thu 31-Oct-13 13:31:28

Blu If you don't get Coombe because of a changed catchment and you pass Tiffin then Tiffin is your back up, seems straight forward to me. Believe it or not some people do turn down Tiffin places, my DD hated it, found the staff cold and disinterested and wouldn't go there, and it isn't an irrational decision to go for the surrounding outstanding comps where your DD will do just as well in the top sets. In fact in hindsight now my DD and her peers are at uni Tiffin Girls' has not been able to produce the results it should have done for her cohort if it is selecting the top 3%, either it isn't getting the top 3% (my hypothesis based on the fact that the tests appear to be tutorable and they do not appear to have invested in tutorproof tests in the way the indies do) or something is going wrong with the added value.

MrsDavidBowie Thu 31-Oct-13 15:06:02

Pixiedog.....feel free to pm me.

Blu Thu 31-Oct-13 17:50:44

ShootingAtPigeons: of course! I have been listening too long to people who would sell their soul and more for a super selective over a more local school and my logic has been wiped!

pixiedog Thu 31-Oct-13 18:48:36

Thanks for that Basildon. It seems like all the rave reviews are probably for the top streams. What happens if DD goes there, but doesn't get into their expresso stream, or whatever they call it?! Does anyone know if you have to be Tiffin bright to get into top stream? Where would a bright above average girl go? All these questions! So don't know what to do!

OnGoldenPond Fri 01-Nov-13 23:46:13

To get into top stream generally need to have level 5s across the board in SATS, though the school runs alternative tests for setting for those who have not taken SATS - such as pupils coming in from private primaries.

So don't need to be Tiffin level but more like ordinary grammar level bright.

pixiedog Sat 02-Nov-13 00:50:05

Sounds good. Think DD may make the top stream then (touch wood). How many girls are in it? Do they get picked on at all by girls in the other streams?

I guess what I really want to know is how top stream at Coombe compares to the independents, like Surbiton High and Wimbledon High, not just academically, but the other stuff too. Would I be wasting my money continuing down the indie route when have excellent state secondary on my doorstep?

OnGoldenPond Sat 02-Nov-13 14:35:27

There are two classes of 30 making up the express stream. They originally had one class but had to expand it about 4 years ago (I think?)as they were getting so many bright girls coming in. Total intake in year 7 is 210 so that is seven classes in total.

There really isn't a culture of victimisation of bright girls at Coombe, certainly DD has not come across anything like this. I think because of the intake the majority of girls want to work hard so it is the slackers who are looked down on. Certainly the top stream is not a scared ghetto!

DD was previously at LEH juniors and was towards top of class at most things there, and finds herself in about the same position at Coombe. She does very well and is top in some subjects but in others there are breathtakingly talented girls who she knows she will probably never better. I think Surbiton and Wimbledon are a bit below the LEH level, so if anything you would probably find the academic level in the express stream a bit higher. This is because most of the top academic girls going private will probably end up at the like of LEH and SPG.

IMHO if you can get your DD into Coombe Girls the only advantage I can see of going private is the opportunity, if such things matter to you, of having your DD mix with the offspring of the wealthy. For well off families with plenty of money to pay fees sending their DCs to private schools is an automatic lifestyle choice which they don't really give much thought to.

pixiedog Sun 03-Nov-13 22:39:17

Thanks Golden. Sounds better all the time! I think we'd be mad not to go. There is one thing.... and it's a silly thing, but at the mo' DD speaks quite nicely (guess its from being with posh kids for so long, rather than from me!) and I don't really want her to start speaking all 'street'. Is this likely? Am I being ridiculous?!

OnGoldenPond Mon 04-Nov-13 16:15:56

The top stream is stuffed full of nicely spoken middle class girls don't worry about that!

DD teases me about my very obviously northern accent and I take the mick out if her for being posh!

I still thank my lucky stars that we took the plunge and chose Coombe we would have deeply regretted not doing it.

MrsDavidBowie Mon 04-Nov-13 17:03:37

She will just start speaking like a teenager ...lots of "like" and voice going up at the end of every sentence.

(I think you are being a bit ridiculous grin)

OnGoldenPond...don't you like carrots anymore??????

OnGoldenPond Mon 04-Nov-13 17:11:31

Yes and teenage speak is found in ALL schools!

MrsD, felt like a change, feeling a bit old at the moment!

pixiedog Mon 04-Nov-13 20:29:40

Fanks a lot for that - it was like really helpful, innit! Feeling so positive about it now. Thanks for bearing with me and all my silly worries!

MrsDavidBowie Mon 04-Nov-13 20:55:38

Nothing wrong with a change.

Glad your dd still happy.

celiamolestrangler Mon 04-Nov-13 23:06:52


sorry this is a bit late, like, but you asked about putting another school higher on your list of preferences and sacrificing the Tiffin place.

We had a talk by someone from Admissions who confirmed what you expected more or less, i.e. 'We can't advise on your choices but if you put Tiffin second and you qualify for another state school as first preference on distance you'll get that irrespective of your mark in any grammar school tests as lower preferences'. The only people who turn Tiffin down have an offer from a private school or are moving from the area.

OnGoldenPond Mon 04-Nov-13 23:53:19

Celia - sorry but you are wrong my DD knows several girls in her class who put Tiffin second to CGS on the form as they prefer CGS . They took the Tiffin test as an insurance in case they were outside the very small catchment area for Tiffin, as there is no catchment for Tiffin.

Really, there are lots of local people who do not see Tiffin as the holy grail of education and they really do turn Tiffin down in favour of CGS. We did.

OnGoldenPond Mon 04-Nov-13 23:54:13

Sorry, that should be in case they were outside the catchment for CGS.

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