Disclaimer: These are the opinions of an opinionated person
Grey Coat Hospital isn’t strictly in South East London. However it has a fairly large catchment area, the Dioceses of London and Southwark. We fall just within this area so we paid a visit. And even if there is a small chance of getting in, I think it is important to have a look at all the possible schools. Its important to see what the so called good schools have what the others don’t.
Grey Coat is a 5 min walk from Victoria station. Again a fairly long queue greeted us. However they do have more than one open evening and a couple of open afternoons as well. The building that we entered was beautiful. We were ushered straight to their main hall for the headteacher’s talk.
It was a great presentation and the daughter enjoyed it as well. There was a sense of presenting not just the achievements of the school but also its soul. It is a Church of England school so possibly that is a necessity for them. We weren’t dumped with a ton of statistics though they were definitely mentioned. We got a sense of what the school was like for the girls in terms of their welcome, their day in school and all the activities that they could be part of. An interesting note that stuck with me was: “none of our girls were make up in school.” Now depending on your take that could be a good or a bad thing. From my stance I consider it a good thing and the daughter quite liked the idea as well. 🙂 Yes maybe, the brainwashing works.
A few of the students spoke. They spoke with humour and good intent and I felt I was hearing students speak rather than a pre-made speech. (It probably did go through channels to be approved but my impression was that it was genuine.)
At the end of talk in a matter of minutes they had assigned guides to a hall full of about 500 parents. The guides were good, they made sure no one was left behind and explained clearly each part of the tour. All the departments we got to visit gave me a good impression. Even though it’s a language specialist school and there is a strong emphasis on the arts the sciences looked pretty strong as well.
The students seemed to know each other and there was a sense of team in what they were doing. However we couldn’t see all the school as time ran out. We will definitely go again for another look.
I came away with the impression that my daughter could really thrive here. I felt it could give a structure for her to grow. However the journey times are an issue for us. It will take about 50 mins one way to get there. But as I said before we’ll go again to see whether it’s worth the trip.