private schools northwood prep, st martins, st johns

(7 Posts)
dee134d Mon 11-Mar-13 13:42:49

We are looking to move towards Rickmansworth in the next 12 months or so and are considering the above schools for our son. We would be starting year 1 in sept 2014. Could anyone tell me anything about these schools, any info would be appreciated.

Also does anyone know if places open up for year1/year2 and if so how often. What is the level of competition for intake at 7+.

We also have a daughter and so any advice on private schools in the same area would be great.

Djay007 Thu 18-Apr-13 18:17:05

Dear dee134d, I have just been through the battle of the schools. The schools you have listed are excellent schools but highly competitive even at nursery. They search for a certain type of child at 2.5 / 3 years who are very sociable. They look for children who are not just academic and bright but must be able to play with new kids and take instructions from the assessors teachers. They usually have about 70 applicants and must pick only 15. St John's also reserve the right to reassess the child before they move unto reception. Some schools which are excellent is Goodwyns school but must register really early and reddiford school which is highly academic . I have a girl whom I intend to put through St. Helens , habs girls and nlcs assessment but for now I have safely registered her in Goodwyns and Reddiford which are excellent schools. It's a devastating experience to take a 3 year through an assessment and all they have is 45 mins. Their full potential is never seen in that short time. Good luck

moonbells Fri 19-Apr-13 08:02:57

dee where did you eventually decide to move to? I notice you were asking about Harpenden and St Albans as well as Ricky/Northwood.

When my DS was at nursery in Northwood, a lot of boys went and assessed for the nursery schools of the schools mentioned in this post (and girls to St Helens, Northwood College and the Royal Masonic). I would make the observation that the only people having a 'devastating experience' were the anxious parents! The kids just went along to play for a bit and weren't fazed in the slightest.

People seem to try for all three schools and then see which offers they get. tbh at 13, the proportion of places won at surrounding senior schools is pretty much identical, mostly MTS with a few Habs, Aldenham, John Lyon and the odd Eton/Harrow.

Of the trio above, St Martin's has a guaranteed transfer from Nursery to Reception, the other two don't. I remember hearing that St John's was the hardest to get in, as there were a lot of siblings, and there they interview the parents as well as having the play assessment. NP has the play assessment and there's a lot of teachers watching very carefully.

Getting in at nursery school level is the best way if you look at the odds: 30-40 places at Nursery compared with 4-5 at YR and sporadically from then on. I heard that at YR there were 45 boys chasing 5 places at one of the schools. Yes it is rather insane! 7+ I think is only for any vacancies into Y2 - don't think they add a whole class.

So for Y1, you have to take your chance at there being a vacancy at the right time.

Xenia Fri 19-Apr-13 15:24:17

Not hard to get into surely? Not as hard as places like NLCS and Habs by any means. Possibly get him into somewhere which feeds a lot of boys into Haberdashers boys at 7+ and move him there then. That is one option.

Girls - I suspect the pecking order goes something like - NLCS, Habs, St Helen's, not sure where you'd placae the others Northwood College, St Margaret's?, Heathfield, Rickmansworth masonic

moonbells Tue 23-Apr-13 09:06:10

I was just commenting on admissions procedures I'd heard about the trio of schools in the title, from parents in DS's old nursery, so that would mostly be at 3+.

I do expect NLCS and Habs (both) to be harder to get in. Know very little about girls schools, apart from reputation and what I've read on the 3+5+7+ etc threads.

RPR4568 Thu 24-Apr-14 08:42:50

This might help with the decision process, depending on what one is looking for in a school ...

www.watfordobserver.co.uk/news/10906191.Northwood_prep_schools_make_top_ten_list/?ref=rss

RPR4568 Thu 24-Apr-14 08:52:30

Btw, this year St. Johns had 18 spaces (for 4+) and nearly 60 applications.
St. martins had 7 spaces and same number of applications!!! Tough competition, so well done to those who got offers.

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