Brigidine School Windsor

(52 Posts)
Mrssa Thu 29-Mar-12 15:09:37

Brigidine School Windsor is this a good school?

EBDteacher Thu 29-Mar-12 15:19:27

Think MrsMeaner knows something about the Brigidine, maybe she'll be along in a minute.

Not so long ago there was a bit of a hoo ha in the papers about it's finances and the school applying to become a free school. However, MrsMeaner says they've really got their house in order now.

What age are you looking for?

Mrssa Thu 29-Mar-12 15:28:59

We visited Brigidine School Windsor last year and really liked the school and teachers. We have visited a few other local schools and just did not get the some atmosphere and feeling…..class room numbers are really small 6 in year 1…This left me concern and I revisited and had a chat with Head Teacher..
I have been trying to look up school results and reports regarding which schools some of the girls go on to and school life at Brigidine School Windsor. Can anyone help please?

Mrssa Thu 29-Mar-12 15:37:09

Hello EBDteacher,
Thank you, My girl is 5 the youngest in her year. Currently going to Lynch Hill. We moved to Burnham in 2010 and I was not aware of the environment around Lynch Hill. My girl just does not fit in and I am having issues with the school moving schools have been on the card for some time and she will move her this summer. I just want to make the right choice for my girl…

MrsMeaner Thu 29-Mar-12 17:18:56

I have friends with daughters at Brigidine.

They absolutely love it. They had some difficulties last year, but seem to be weathering the storm and are very optimistic for the future.

One of my friend's daughters is in the junior school (year 4 or 5, I think) and the class size is around 10 (?). I think they work hard to work across year groups with the house system. Anyways, that particular child has loads of friends, so you wouldn't know she was in a small class. The other child is in the senior school and she is flourishing. She is fairly quiet and would never step forward in a bigger school, but now gets involved in every activity. She is also a top academic achiever on course for a sweep of A* in her GCSEs.

The family became quite involved in social activities when the school was having troubles, and now it seems that they are always doing something in the evenings, such as Quiz Nights, cabarets, school concerts.

If you look at national league tables, they have the highest position locally for small schools, and have the highest added value in their LEA.

Let me know if you want to know more and I will ask my friend. I can only imagine that she will be very positive about the school though.

I live within commuting distance of Brigidine but didn't know about it when my DDs were little. It just doesn't seem to get its 'brand' across very well. It is also bang in the middle of an area with the most complex number of educational choices.

Mrssa Fri 30-Mar-12 12:35:02

Thank you very much…
For all the information it has really helped as I just was not to sure.
You are very right the 'brand' just does not across very well and something seems to be missing…. Brigidine School will be right for my daughter and can you please find out a bit more about the school from your friend…life at the school, teachers in year 2, if girls don’t stay on where do there go and school dinners. Thank you very much

MrsMeaner Fri 30-Mar-12 15:08:46

As it happens, I will be having my Brigidine friend over for tea today, so I will get the low down from her then.

MrsMeaner Fri 30-Mar-12 19:59:26

Hi there, Mrssa.

The school lunches are all included in the fees and cooked on the premises. They will provide individual diets if necessary. They have regular, vegetarian and halal everyday, as well as soup and a salad bar.

Friend wasn't too sure about who teaches Y2 as her DD is a bit older, but when her DD was little, her teacher was the most lovely, gentle teacher. They have a mix of older and younger teachers. One of the thing she likes about the school is that a few of the senior school teachers teach all the way through, so the younger ones get the benefit of specialised teaching (music, pe, French). By the time they get to Y5, many of their subjects are taught by specialist teachers. Her DD2 chipped in at this point about getting to do crazy experiments in the science lab, and getting to do Home Ec and Textiles.

According to her DD1, most girls stay on for senior school. One or two may leave because their families are moving away from the area. However, one thing the new governors of the school have introduced is 11+ classes in the junior school so that families have a choice about staying for senior or moving to a selective school. This is the first year of it and there are no murmurings on the grapevine of any Y6s actually leaving.

MollieO Fri 30-Mar-12 21:37:53

Why would a school that finishes at 18 be offering 11+ lessons? That makes no sense at all. I see from their website that the lessons started in January so aimed for those taking 11+ in the next school year I assume. Imo it is too early to tell what impact it will have as those doing the 11+ lessons would be in this years yr 5 at most. You will get a truer picture in summer 2013.

EBDteacher Sat 31-Mar-12 11:50:31

MollieO I think the numbers in the junior school are (or have been until recently at least) quite low. According to their last ISI in 2010 there were only 50 kids in years 1-6.

So I would imagine they are offering anything that might attract families in. I reckon they should go they way of that prep school in Crowthorne and offer massively flexible wrap around. Especially as their location means people dropping off at 8am have to deal with Windsor traffic.

MollieO Sat 31-Mar-12 13:18:25

It's odd that they are so under subscribed when the co-ed school up the road has a waiting list (and doesn't prep for 11+).

EBDteacher Sat 31-Mar-12 19:01:21

Guess they have Upton House and Eton End to compete with in the single sex market in very close proximity. However, with the dearth of local independent girls senior schools I also would have thought a 2-18 set up would thrive.

Think it used to- who knows what happened. According to my friend it was once very much part of the local Irish Catholic community and Irish Catholic families used to send girls there and boys to St Johns. Maybe there are not so many Irish families in Windsor now?

ClaireAll Sat 31-Mar-12 19:18:37

There are lots of Polish catholics in the Slough area though. Maybe the bulk of them do not have children of school age yet, but there will be
a bubble at some point in the near future.

I am not sure about the catholic population feeding into catholic independent schools. I think there numbers are pretty low. It's not like a catholic state school.

I had a look at the Brigidine website to see what they had to say about 11+ tuition. I got the impression this was for outside candidates, in that it was taking place on Saturdays and run by an external company. Most independent schools have to maximise the use of their facilities, by renting them out when they are not being used by school. This possibly could count as community use for the charities act, if given free.

EBDteacher Sat 31-Mar-12 19:52:26

My friend went at 8 on a scholarship in the late 70's. I think things have changed a lot in the local community since then.

She tells me the type of Irish Catholics who set down in Windsor in the 50s and 60s were quite well to do and quite keen to keep their culture- and the school was part of that. From the stories she tells the school had a very Irish Catholic flavour, maybe that has not stood it in good stead for more broad minded secular times.

However, St Johns Beaumont appears to be thriving so that doesn't quite make sense.

ClaireAll Sat 31-Mar-12 20:07:00

There aren't as many boys' only prep schools in that area so SJB doesn't have the same level of competition.

Also, they have quite a high number of overseas boarders, especially from China. This is often seen as a worrying trend.

There are very few RC boys there and their day school profile very much reflects that of the local community (very multicultural).

EBDteacher Sat 31-Mar-12 20:25:08

That makes me wish even more I could use SJB (the multicultural bit, not the overseas boarders).

Why don't more schools' breakfast clubs open at 7.30am?? I can't possibly be the only person who has to be in work at 8am.

MollieO Sat 31-Mar-12 20:36:34

Doesn't SJB open early? Mind you it would be a hike and a half to do that journey four times a day from where you are EBD.

EBDteacher Sat 31-Mar-12 20:46:32

No, drop off at 8am. Same old story. grin

It does look amazing though and they row dearly hoping DS will be a rower. I have decided anyway. I MUST stop thinking about it now!!

MollieO Sat 31-Mar-12 20:49:20

They must only row in their senior year as most rowers wouldn't start before they're 12. Where we live there is plenty of choice for good local rowing clubs if it isn't offered at school.

EBDteacher Sat 31-Mar-12 20:57:48

You can scull from 9 or so. I will probably take DS to the junior group at Dorney when he is 9- but thought it would be nice for him to do it at school so there was no element of 'mummy makes me do it'. I could just take a hardcore, pushy parent, hassle the coach on a weekly basis casual interest. I've over thought my son's life haven't I? grin

ClaireAll Sat 31-Mar-12 20:59:28

My DS rowed at his prep school not a million miles from SJb. They went over to Dorney Lake.

He had breakfast there at 7.30am, btw.

MollieO Sat 31-Mar-12 21:06:41

I didn't realise they could start at 9! <<adds to list>> grin

I prefer the idea of Dorney Lake than rowing on the Thames.

EBDteacher Sat 31-Mar-12 21:08:43

Was it Caldicott or Bishopsgate? I know they both row. As MollieO says, it's not really a deciding feature as it's quite possible to do it out of school and DS might turn out to by hydrophobic or something.

And anyway.. I HAVE DECIDED!!! grin

ClaireAll Sat 31-Mar-12 21:32:31

Yes smile

Bridge19 Fri 31-Jan-14 21:59:32

Does anyone know what happened to the Director of Education at Brigidine School Windsor? Why did he leave?

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