Best schools in Devon

(58 Posts)
KitKat26 Mon 10-Dec-12 21:05:23

Hello All, We're relocating to the area - near Tavistock/ Plymouth and are trying to wade through the minefield that is schools - help please! Both kids are still little - 3 y.o boy, 1 y.o girl but thinking ahead for feeder schools to good secondary schools, where would you recommend? Probably prefer co-ed but I don't really mind.. Option of boarding may be nice when they are a lot older but Again not necessary - I would miss them too much!
Grateful thanks for any help!

JoanByers Mon 10-Dec-12 21:38:58
IndridCold Mon 10-Dec-12 22:13:01

I assume from your op that you are talking about private in which case Mount House in Tavistock is clear favourite.

Beautiful setting and grounds, they have a nursery for little ones and go up to 13. Children go on to a pretty wide range of schools, the last batch went mainly to Bryanston and the two Sherbornes, with a handful to Winchester and Eton.

KitKat26 Thu 10-Jan-13 19:40:25

Hi, was thinking either private or state if feeds into a good secondary.. Mount house looks lovely, what's people's view of new head and also vs. Kelly college? Thank you all!

propatria Tue 22-Jan-13 09:53:34

Mount House is lovely,worth every penny,The new head is fine,very different from the old one and on first meeting less impressive but is actually very good,few new ideas but nothing very drastic,nothing major to fix, the old head is now head of marketing at Sherborne,a post which suits him very well,I certainly predict that once his influence has stopped at MH that the numbers going to Sherborne will drop.
Kelly-not worth spending money on and certainly not worth spending money going to MH then Kelly,that would almost rank as child cruelty,maybe one or two children a year from MH go to Kelly out of say 30,which as its literally on the opp side of the river tells you all you need to know in how it rates.

stormforce10 Thu 24-Jan-13 12:48:53

DD has some friends who used to go to Kings School in Plymouth. I know very little about it except that they tell me they were really happy and sad to leave so it may be worth a look

propatria Thu 24-Jan-13 14:20:47

Kings Plymouth,not somewhere I was aware of but its website shows it to be a small private primary,it doesnt seem to list its leavers destinations and the selected highlights of its sats results are nothing to get excited about.

MordionAgenos Thu 24-Jan-13 19:14:01

Well, I think we can safely say it's not Stover, anyway.

Ronaldo Fri 25-Jan-13 07:13:17

To the OP - I do not know anything about Devon schools. However, I feel you need to be warned about some of the posters here. I find it incongruous that posters who live in Cornwall should express such strong views about schools in Devon and then completely off track recommend a school in Somerset, which even my scant geography of the area would tell me was not suitable for someone asking about schools around West Devon (and Plymouth?).

Fwiw I would take what these posters say with large pinch of salt. I would say, as an independent school teacher, go and see all the schools around your area and make your own decision. I very much doubt there would be any real considerable differences in them, so you base it on what you like and what you are actually wanting from a school. You also need to understand that those schools mentioned here are all very different kinds of schools which would suit very different pupils. You need to look at that and be clear about the kind of school you are looking at, the kind of DC who go there and what is offered.

Having, like others looked at the web site, it seems to me that “Kings" is a school similar to the small prep I have selected for my own DS. Now, I suspect this would not suit most MNers. It seems to be a school with a strong moral Christian base. My DW and I selected a school similar for reasons quite separate from what most parents might select upon.

Finally, I am getting quite annoyed, indeed angry at the snippy remarks being made about one school by these particular posters. Maybe they think it is funny. I think they are being b* * * y.... err..... Prejudiced. In the time I have been around and I have seen many comments from these two concerning that school, they have said absolutely nothing to substantiate their views. My feeling as an outsider is that they (or at least one poster) is actually an advertising placard for the school they recommend and nothing else. To do this they6 need to be disrespectful to their opposition. Of course they will fervently deny it. It is just my observation of course.

As a teacher in an independent school I am concerned about those comments. Any one reading may think they are authoritative. As far as I can see they are not. It is not acceptable in my view to make unsubstantiated comments about a school as they do. If it were my school being so bad mouthed without evidence I would be inclined to write to MN moderators. That may sound harsh. It is nothing to do with me, so I will just place this warning here. Be careful how you take advice on this site.

Ronaldo Fri 25-Jan-13 07:41:29

I correct myself, Sherborne is in Dorset - Somerset boundary. (even further away for someone who is asking about Devon) <shakes head> hmm

propatria Fri 25-Jan-13 09:32:51

Ronaldo,great you are still around,you are happy paying for schools like kings and your own school,I wouldnt,thats my opinion,nothing more,your post is the normal drivel from yourself,you dont even know where schools are but feel compelled to comment,you admit you know nothing about devon schools but feel the need to comment,no one recommended Sherborne as you claim,not of course that you actually even know where Sherborne is.
You however do cheer me up on these miserable mornings so please keep posting,

IndridCold Fri 25-Jan-13 10:44:46

What a bizarre post Ronaldo! The reason people come on MN to ask for advice and opinions is because one cannot necessarily believe a school's own website, which is obviously going to say 'We are marvellous'.

You admit that you know nothing about schools in the region and seem unwilling to believe that there might be one or two which are not highly regarded by the people who do actually live here. It is not prejudice, it is opinion based on knowledge and experience.

MordionAgenos Fri 25-Jan-13 10:49:41

And yesterday's DfES official exam results.

Ronaldo Fri 25-Jan-13 13:51:18

propatria, you assume too much. I said I do not know about Devon schools
(other than what I have read in the papers about Ivybridge). However, despite my error, I do know Sherborne School quite well.

My point is that if the OP wants a school in Devon she should not be directed to boarding in Dorset. If she wants a boarding school I can recommend many which would be far superior to Sherborne. Not that I would suggest here Sherborne is not an excellent school. I would never bad mouth or make snippy comments about a school (such as those you have made in the past about one school and the comment above by Mordeon Agenos)

However, if I were considering boarding I would not be looking at Sherborne. All schools in the country are open to investigation if you are boarding. However, if looking for a local school then one has more limited choices. That is why the OP needs to appreciate that taking the advice of some MNers is not the way forward.

MN should be a place where parents can obtain support and information - preferably from those other MNers who can vouch for a school from experience. It is not a place for someone who has never sent their DC to a school to dismiss that school ( as indeed you and another MNer have done).

I say the OP needs to do some leg work and look around because the opinions of posters might not be without bias.

Ronaldo Fri 25-Jan-13 13:54:38

What a bizarre post Ronaldo! The reason people come on MN to ask for advice and opinions is because one cannot necessarily believe a school's own website, which is obviously going to say 'We are marvellous'

I am not suggesting that the OP should look at the web site. Of course you cannot believe the website. Neither though are some posters to be believed when they make comments. They have no more knowledge than I do.

Lets hear from those MNers with DC in the schools please n ot from those opinionated enogught to put around thrid hand and probably old information.

Ronaldo Fri 25-Jan-13 13:56:13

sp - enough

Third hand ideas, rumours and historical reputations are often misleading. They should not be the stuff of a supportive network.

Ronaldo Fri 25-Jan-13 14:08:00

And yesterday's DfES official exam results

You cannot alwats judge by examination results. A school which is highly selective should get 100% A* - C pass rates and at least half the sixth form places at Oxbridge colleges and AAB in traditional subjects for the rest of its intake . The intake has been selected to perform that way If it does less then it is failing either in its selection methods or its teaching.

On the other hand a school which is not selective may be doing very well by its pupils if they manage 5 GCSE in any subjects or get university places at all. If such a school were to be getting any pupils to good universities or Oxford and Cambridge at all then they would be doing really well.

I always say it is better to look at a school and ask " what kind of DC will my DC be counting as friends here and what kind of parents have they got"?

For example in my own school which is semi selective btw - we have scholarship pupils aswell as those whose parents are there because they pay - and we take pupils from an area where the 11+ is still operational, we will take many DC who have failed the 11+ , have not made it into super selective schools and whose parents do not want to see their DC in state schools locally. Many of these DC are the children of teachers and head teachers at those local schools ( as well as our share of local gentry, farmers and professional parents ranging from barristers and accountants to engineers and high level civil servants (as well as the local business community).

Ronaldo Fri 25-Jan-13 14:10:06

You admit that you know nothing about schools in the region and seem unwilling to believe that there might be one or two which are not highly regarded by the people who do actually live here. It is not prejudice, it is opinion based on knowledge and experience

You are wrong on two counts
a) Thoseposting are know no more about the schools than I do
b) they are highly biased in my experience. .

IndridCold Fri 25-Jan-13 14:12:39

Ronaldo had you taken the time to read the OP properly you would have noticed that her children are very young (1 and 3) and she was asking for information about schools in the Plymouth and Tavistock area. Accordingly propatria and I both recommended Mount House in Tavistock, which is a clear winner.

OP also asked about which schools children went on to from there, and the two Sherborne schools happen to have been very popular among parents for the last couple of years. That is why we mentioned Sherborne in our posts. By the time OP's DCs are 13 things may well have changed quite considerably.

Incidentally, my opinion about Sherborne is quite different from yours. I would have quite happily sent my DS there if he had not won a place at an elite school. That doesn't mean I think that you are wrong or biased, probably just looking for something different in a school from what I look for.

Ronaldo Fri 25-Jan-13 14:17:02

IndridCold, had you taken the time to read fiurther, the OP asked for secondary schools not preps.

Incidentally, my opinion about Sherborne is quite different from yours. I would have quite happily sent my DS there if he had not won a place at an elite school

IF he had " not won a place at an elite school" .... says it all really that phrase. So Sherborne is not a top school. Its an also ran - as are those you dismiss.

Ronaldo Fri 25-Jan-13 14:19:39

I think too that the OP might want to consider whether she really wants her DC in a " proper prep" like Mount House or if she might be happier with her DC in a school which follows the more traditional pattern of changing schools at 11 rather than 13. In my experience as a teacher, there are many negatives when transferring at 13.

Ronaldo Fri 25-Jan-13 14:26:26

btw,I am not going to respond further to this thread. The OP requires appropriate answers from those who can so do. Not those already posting.

I have posted my warning and my view. She can make up her own mind I am sure.

IndridCold Fri 25-Jan-13 14:39:26

Really? I was quite enjoying our chat!

I'm sorry, but the OP asks for good schools for young children that will prepare them and feed them into good secondary schools. Mount House fits this description.

propatria Fri 25-Jan-13 15:54:14

"I do know Sherborne quite well" of course you do Ronaldo,you know it so well you didnt even know which county it was in..
Your bore everyone to death with tales of the child genius and how you teach in a school that does better in league tables than Eton,you insist on posting on threads which concern schools you admit you know nothing about but seem to think because you teach in a private school part time that makes everything you say right.you claim other people have no more knowledge of certain schools than you but your knowledge of them doesnt even extend to knowing where in the country they are located,you claim people who live in the area know no more than a person that cant even locate the school,parents post about a school but they know less than the great Ronaldo
Your arrogance is staggering,but very funny
You claim you can recommend many boarding schools which would be "far superior to Sherborne" please do so for a couple of reasons,so far Ive never seen you rec a single school,and given your often stated views on boarding why exactly should anyone take the slightest bit of notice of a boarding school rec by you,that would be like going to the vegan society and asking them for the best butcher in the locale.

IndridCold Fri 25-Jan-13 17:29:37

Quite relieved that Ronaldo works at a school that is better than Eton, but isn't actually Eton...

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