Old Vicarage Vs Kew College - calling out to all the current parents

(11 Posts)
yingyang23 Tue 15-Nov-16 10:51:10

Dear mums,

I need your help me to get my head around one of the big decision for us parents - school?

We live in east twickenham. My daughter has got a place in Kew college (mixed school in Kew) and Old Vicarage (girls school in richmond hill) for reception. My daughter is usually shy at first but once familiar she is very chatty and loves getting involved in things. She needs that nurturing environment, attention and at-least one friend to make her get comfortable in a big setting like schools.

I liked both the schools in their open house. But i know if I look long term Kew College has very good results for destination schools compared to Old Vicarage. Also its a mixed school so a different feel to it (more state like). Old Vicrage is very proper, beautiful uniform and very beautiful building. Girls looked very well behaved as well. I cant assess anything from teaching or on extra curricular at this stage for both the schools. Can i please get some honest feedback from existing parents or anyone who has heard about the school. Will be very grateful. I am one confused mummy trying to make decisions for my darling daughter. Help please!!

LisaAP Thu 23-Feb-17 16:28:10

Hello. I had a daughter at OVS and was extremely unhappy with the school. I would not recommend the school at all. The school does not inspire girls. They want girls to be just like everyone else. Not individualistic at all. The destination schools are not impressive because the school encourages everyone to go for a safe destination and discourages them to stretch themselves at all. The teaching methodology was archaic. Moreover, the headmistress is simply awful. She is very negative, very biased, not caring, not inspirational, and not forward thinking.

Coincidentally, I met a governess at Kew College recently and was very impressed by the ethos of the school and the board's involvement.
Hope this helps.

seriouslycantthinkofaname Tue 28-Feb-17 09:59:21

I would probably go with Kew College, having had friends with kids at both in recent years. The KC parents are definitely more happy with their choice. KC also seems to be a more balanced school to me.

OVS is closer to East Twickenham but the commute to Kew isn't too bad at all. We have made the same commute with our DCs to another Kew school and it's been fine.

yingyang23 Tue 28-Feb-17 10:54:33

Thank you LisaAP and Seriouslycantthinkofaname for responding. Your comments are very helpful. I get the sense KC has got a lot of happy parents.

kamilla17 Thu 20-Apr-17 11:40:14

Hi Lisa, very interesting feedback. I am moving my girl to that school and your message is so powerful. At what age did u take your girl out of the school? I was impressed by their open day and hoped to receive strong preparation for senior schools. can you please share a bit more about Year 4 and 5 experiences.

LisaAP Sat 22-Apr-17 10:00:37

Hi, Kamilla. I ended up with leaving her there all the way through. The problem became much more obvious in Years 5 and 6. They are extremely weak on senior school preparation yet very much against extra help outside of school. If they think your daughter is brilliant, then they help you. Otherwise, they want you to go for a safe option and won't inspire them to achieve their potential.

kamilla17 Sun 23-Apr-17 22:28:22

Hi Lisa, many thanks for such a quick response. it is very frustrating to hear this. Would you mind if i ask more detailed questions. My email address is kami_ship@yahoo.com. Would you be able to drop an itroductory note, so I can ask more questions. I would really appreciate your help.

kamilla17 Mon 24-Apr-17 14:13:06

i would have thought with small sizes of classes in Old Vicarage, more efforts should be directed towards girls inspiration and development.

FrustratedofTW1 Tue 02-May-17 11:37:35

I find Lisa's post a little strange. I too was unhappy with OVS but because they streamed the children from Year 5 which created a difficult environment in which some girls developed illusions of superiority / inferiority, particularly since it was not really a division according to actual ability but rather speed of working. I am not sure the school entirely understood the difference though the Senior Schools did and that showed up in the destinations of leavers that year which resulted in some disappointed and unhappy parents who because their girls were in the "top half" of the year expected them to get into the more selective schools especially when girls in the "bottom half" did I would ask about the streaming practise now and decide whether you are comfortable with it.

However I could not fault the preparation for the Senior School exams which was if anything too intensive. I do think this pressure for extra tutoring arises from parental angst rather than the actual requirements of the schools.

I did feel that there was a failure to appreciate that life, and indeed the secondary schools admissions round, is not a horse race with exam results as the finishing post and perhaps girls who did not consistently perform in exams might have other dimensions to their ability that could have been better nurtured and developed. Instead there was a tendancy to focus on the front runners as it were.

FrustratedofTW1 Tue 02-May-17 11:56:34

By the way in the end the girls ended up at the schools that were right for their level of ability. External tutoring did not make any difference. Senior Schools are looking for ability and the exams for the more selective schools are characterised by having questions that require lateral thinking and creativity, and enable them to view a candidate holistically, you cannot cram for that.

LisaAP Fri 26-May-17 08:00:12

I hear from current parents that the streaming into the top half and the bottom half set is still the case. However, I also hear that some parents lobby to get their daughters into the top set, so the setting is not exactly indicative of performance in some cases. Either way, the recommended school for 11+ for girls by the head is pretty much the same regardless of the set.

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