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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2018 12:26 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:47 am
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I know a couple of girls at St Martins. I have heard comments previously that there may be a bit of cliquey-ness and lack of respect from some towards lunchtime staff but this is probably a select few as the girls I know are polite. As with all indies, you'll find the holidays are longer and this maybe a problem if you both work full time (but not if you want cheaper holidays) and everything else will cost more, ie music tuition, trips etc. I obviously don't know your personal finances but I would have thought it would be better for her to be average in CHG than considered "poor" at St Martins. Regarding fitting in, I know CHG make an effort to integrate and settle the shy ones and she would probably have a wider pool of girls to find similar like-mindedness. Travel is definitely a consideration, if she can walk to school, then it's got to be better than a long bus journey.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2018 12:40 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2010 4:27 pm
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I'm an old St Martin's pupil but I'm afraid I was there before they moved into the old Malvern Hall buildings and before they had a sixth form (the majority moved to either Solihull School or Solihull Sixth Form College).

Looking on the old girls' Facebook page I found a link from September to a Telegraph article ranking independent schools on their GCSE results. The school says it's ranked 140th but I can't see how many that's out of as it seems to be asking me to subscribe before I can search the table properly (unless I'm doing something wrong).

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/0 ... 3jo9_Js1Wk

Other than that, I'm guessing that all my impressions will be out of date.

Having just seen Cecilcaterpillar's post I'd add that there was certainly cliquey-ness when I was there. I was also one of the ones considered "poor" and I didn't have the happiest of experiences. Academically, at the time the Birmingham schools were seen as being better, but I don't know if that's still the case.

Happy to discuss further by PM if you want!


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2018 5:55 pm 
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It is a common advice, which I frequently read on this forum, to choose a school where a child will be happiest and "best fit". But this implies that we know the differences between schools, their atmosphere, their unique features, differences in policies etc. I personally don't have much knowledge of these two schools. Even open days are not very revealing as obviously they all want to market themselves in the best possible light. What is like studying there in reality remains unknown until you actually get in there.

So does anyone knows anything specific about Camp Hill for girls or St Martins? How selective is St Martins? Does CH het a stronger student cohort? Is the quality of teaching in St Martins likely to be lower than CH? What about extra-curriculum activities? Is a relatively bright girl likely to achieve more in CH or St Martins? What do you think?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2018 5:59 pm 
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Cecilcaterpillar wrote:
everything else will cost more, ie music tuition, trips etc. I obviously don't know your personal finances but I would have thought it would be better for her to be average in CHG than considered "poor" at St Martins.


We both work and are relatively financially secure but we wouldn't be able to afford tuition fees in any private school. We can only get in there if DD gets an academic scholarship (St Martins does offer full 100% scholarships). So, yes, that might be an issue.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2018 11:45 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 9:51 pm
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Nereida wrote:
St Martins does offer full 100% scholarships


Which are almost unheard of now so that probably tells you something about the academics as well. What are the terms and conditions of the scholarship? (Reason for asking: daughter was offered one for EHS but if she left before the end of upper 6th the whole thing had to be repaid: a lot can happen in 7 years.)


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:04 am 
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Don't know the terms of scholarship yet. DD has just had her scholarship interview so not even sure if she'll get one (but there are good chances from what I've heard at the school). I haven't seen anything about repaying the scholarship back. All I know is that it is subject to continuing satisfactory performance and reviewed every year. Was also told informally that none of their girls has ever lost her scholarship due to inadequate results.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 7:38 am 
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100% scholarships as mike1880 says are as rare as hen's teeth - the Charities Commission (which is now called something else, but the name escapes me), of which most independent schools are members, for all the tax benefits it brings, does not allow them, which is why the maximum in most schools is 50% with top up by bursary.

I don't know the school so I had a little look - it certainly says fee remission - which is 100% of fees but obviously there could be additional costs like exam fees, lunches etc that are not part of "fess" so there could still be a significant amount to pay - or not! But they do have a stern statement about requiring scholars to tell them in advance of the school year of anything that may interfer with their ability to participate in their scholarship discipline at school/before and after school - I suspect this is more for sport/drama/music than academic but it is something to think about.

If you are looking for a school that is currrently known for being strong on academics, then I suspect Camp Hill is the stronger candidate out of these two choices, possibly by a fair margin. That is not to say that St Martins would not suit your daughter - I don't know her - or, in fact the school - in however many years I have been on this forum, it just hasn't featured - being where it is in the country, surrounded by parents who have a vested interest in education, I am surprised it doesn't come up more often - possibly this is because it is not particularly strong on academics/drama/music and is used as a back up for those who don't get in or don't want a GS education?


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 5:10 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 2:09 pm
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Location: Solihull, West Midlands
St Martins is I think a fairly small school and would for many years have been seen as the (rather less prestigious) female equivalent of Solihull School which is nearby. Since Solihull School went co-ed several (15?) years ago I imagine St Martins has had to work harder to attract girls and (complete prejudice here) perhaps has a proportion of those who didn't get into the much bigger and very well-equipped neighbour, as well as those who want their girls to be protected from the rough-and-tumble of a mixed school (state or independent) while staying local. The OPs daughter with her top-scoring 11+ would be very desirable for their future exam results..

Personally I suspect there would be much better opportunities at CHG (academically and musically which is all I know about from past daughters of friends - DS2 knew a lot of the musical CHG girls from his 6th form days at CHB) and if the OP hasn't yet decided where to live then minimising travel time to Kings Heath would be sensible. I don't know what facilities there are at St Martins but small girls schools are not usually as well-endowed with wealthy alumni as the boys schools. CHB and CHG have the usual state school mixture of older shabby and shiny new buildings.

Or save on both money and travelling and investigate the local Solihull comprehensives, where very many bright children with interested parents somehow manage to get decent results.....


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 7:32 pm 
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I'm incredibly out of touch then as I had no idea Solihull School was completely co-ed.

Yes, my parents couldn't get me into the Solihull comprehensives - many of which they'd have snapped up a place at but I was 600+ on the waiting list for one and didn't even get a number for another. I think in my day St M's possibly had a large proportion of girls (myself included) who hadn't passed the exam for King Edward VI's.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 11:46 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 2:09 pm
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Location: Solihull, West Midlands
Catney wrote:
I'm incredibly out of touch then as I had no idea Solihull School was completely co-ed.


yes I had some local friends whose sons were both there and their daughter joined them in the first intake when she was in year 4 - said daughter is now on a placement year abroad as part of a degree so that shows how long it's been!

Other friends have had siblings girl/boy go all through the secondary school now both at university.

By contrast I don't know anyone who sent their daughter to St Martins - it definitely makes less impact locally


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