Recommended mixed private North Devon Schools for ages 3-18

(86 Posts)
Gatita1980 Sun 04-Aug-13 15:44:40

Afternoon, we are thinking of moving down to North Devon and need a mixed school for our son who will be in Reception in September 2014 and our daughter who goes into Year 1 this September. Ideally we would like to be as close to the coast as possible, we have stayed in Woolacombe, but are not sure how practical that would be.
Thanks in advance.

nomadwith2plus1 Sun 22-Sep-13 17:55:52

Hello,
Gatita- Which school did you opt for? We too are looking at Kingsley/ Shebbear for September 2014 entry. Would really appreciate your opinions on both.
Hope your move is going smoothly!

jazzyjd1 Mon 16-Sep-13 17:48:52

Hi Guys
I have been reading your threads very interesting.
I too am looking to move out of the city to relocate in North Devon. I see there seems to be a lot of emphasis on state schools and was wondering if you have some ideas of the good state schools in North Devon. I have two girls a three year old and a five year old. I am aware that there is a Forest School in Clovelly (is it private). Any info would be much appreciated.
Many thanks

Gatita1980 Fri 30-Aug-13 15:43:39

Yes, thanks, I think we have made a choice, now we need to work out where to live! How far away from a school would you live?

burnsie Tue 27-Aug-13 20:37:33

Hope the visits went well!

Gatita1980 Mon 26-Aug-13 21:17:51

Visited West Buckland today and I have to say we were all quite impressed with it's facilities, let's see how Kingsley fares tomorrow :-)

Gatita1980 Sat 24-Aug-13 14:01:53

We are seeing West Buckland on Monday and Kingsley on Tuesday

kalidasa Fri 23-Aug-13 21:54:02

Some of my family are at West Buckland at the moment and seem really happy with it, has served several quite different siblings well.

Lilliana Fri 23-Aug-13 21:31:57

Edgehill went co ed in 1991. I was in the first class with boys- all 3 of them!! I'm guessing I might know you can Jo as it sounds like you were there around the same time.

It's obviously changed a bit since then. I guess it depends what you're looking for but there are some great state schools that offer a wide range of extra curricular activities that would be worth looking at.

Gatita1980 Fri 23-Aug-13 21:09:19

Have I over-looked anywhere?

Gatita1980 Wed 21-Aug-13 19:58:57

I might try that next time, we have some things and places to see already, I will bear it in mind though, many thanks

HatherleighFolk Tue 20-Aug-13 22:01:00

I'd broaden your search. Bude and the surrounding areas are fantastic, as are Hartland and Westward Ho. Bude seems far better in winter than some North Devon areas. Shebbear College is the best independent school in the area, though not mentioned much here. Our daughter went there and was extremely happy. I'd definately give them a ring and visit there too. I think you'd see there is no better choice. Good luck..

Gatita1980 Mon 19-Aug-13 16:01:44

shonas I have just set up a meeting at Kingsley for when we are down, so now I can compare them both and get the kid's first impressions!

shonas Mon 19-Aug-13 07:42:48

We're in Instow - three miles from Bideford at the mouth of the Estuary. I didn't consider West Buckland purely because it is too far from us. Some children locally do take the bus - but it's a one hour school run each way which I just feel is too much. We could have moved inland to be closer to the school (because I have heard it's good) but wanted to live right by the sea! Also, I was happy with Kingsley - it ticks boxes for all of my children - and I feel, on balance, I'd rather they were rowing/surfing on the beach after school than sitting on a bus..

Gatita1980 Sun 18-Aug-13 08:41:19

I was put off Kingsley slightly due to the very small size of it, but having read some of your messages, I will give it another look x

fishybits Sat 17-Aug-13 07:16:36

DH and his siblings went to West Buckland. They were all very happy and all went on to RG universities and are doing extremely well for themselves.

Gatita1980 Sat 17-Aug-13 07:15:53

shonas could I ask what area you moved to and did you consider West Buckland as well?

Gatita1980 Sat 17-Aug-13 07:04:26

Thank you for this, I tried to contact Kingsley to set up a meeting but got no response, West Buckland replied in hours and agreed to see us. I will try Kingsley again to try and get a more balanced view x

averyyoungkitten Fri 16-Aug-13 20:21:11

Hello,
I have just seen this. I live in South Devon and my DC go to school there but I know North Devon. Can I put a word in for Kingsley School? Whilst West Buckland has a reputation as a better school (it is selective), you could do far worse than Kingsley. It will take you DC if needs be from prep to sixth form. Results are excellent.

The school was formed around 4 or 5 years ago from amerger between Grenville College which was opened in 1954 ( I think) as a boys school and Edge Hill which had been a girls school. However, both had been co educational for several years before the merger. Grenville was co educational from around 1994 when it merged with the old Stella Maris school ( a girls school founded in 1929 ). It was a while later when Edge Hill became co educational.

Edge Hill and Grenville were always in very close proximity . The back of Edge Hill being opposite Grenvilles site in Bideford. Grenville was a compact site which didnt allow expansion. Edge Hill had a good site. Edge Hill was on the edge of closure for many years one way or another.

Grenville was more stable but had a few accounting issues in the early 2000's ( or as someone at the time put it," The Bursar has up and left with the teachers pay". But they didnt go under. They were a Woodard School and a good one.

When they merged Grenville took its excellent teachers (and a special unit for dyslexia) and Edge Hill mostly gave them facilities. They became a Methodist affilated School ( which is what Edge Hill was). Its a good school. Most of the Governors are ex Grenville and that includes two ex heads.

The Grenville site is being developed for housing and money is being spent on facilities at Edge Hill. The current Head is due to retire soon but I wouldnt see that as a big problem.

I am biased, I went there. I would send my own DC there if I lived nearer. I will put the word in anyway.

MrsGSR Fri 16-Aug-13 14:45:28

Westward Ho! is actually part off Northam. It's quieter during the winter but there is still stuff to do, both here and in the surrounding towns.

shonas Fri 16-Aug-13 13:43:30

Sorry, spelt your name wrong! Also meant to say that there are pockets around here that do close down in winter (I believe Westward Ho! being one) but many other areas that don't and are thriving communities with lots for families with young children to do. In particular, Northam (little village just outside Bideford and about a mile from the school) and then Appledore and Instow - both at the mouth of the estuary of the Torridge river and three miles from Bideford. Incredibly pretty villages with good primary schools and much going on all year..

shonas Fri 16-Aug-13 13:34:25

Hi Gaita - bit late joining this thread but I have moved to the area in June (from Hampshire) and enrolled three of my children at Kingsley. It seems a fantastic school - very friendly and nurturing - with lovely parents and happy children. I wouldn't say it was a high pressured, competitive or particularly 'academic' private school - and it obviously depends on what your children are like and what you're looking for - but they have an amazing professional theatre, a dance studio, strong links to the rowing club and offer excellent opportunities in judo and gym (their other two strongest sports). Also a nationally recognised dyslexic unit and they are in the top five percent in the country for VA (value added). Hope that helps. Do get in touch if you want any further info!

Gatita1980 Tue 13-Aug-13 14:40:39

I wanted to thank you all for helping, we are going back down later this month and have even managed to get the Headmaster of one of the schools I might consider to show us around whilst we are there!
Watch this space smile

Gatita1980 Thu 08-Aug-13 10:56:54

teacherwith2kids I know what you mean, we are tied to school holidays and are away in the Oct half term, so maybe we will have to try the Feb half term and see if we can look at some of the schools at the same time. As lovely as Woolacombe is, the transport links are lacking and the roads are tiny, it may be that Braunton is a more practical idea with better access to larger roads.

jojane Thu 08-Aug-13 01:43:28

We go from south Wales to ilfracombe in about 2 1/2 hours.
We often go down in winter for Xmas etc and although lots of places are shut down we always enjoy our stay but that is because we have lots of family and friends there eg MILs friends annual boxing day party etc etc. if we didn't know anyone there would be a lot less to do.

teacherwith2kids Wed 07-Aug-13 20:56:46

Gatita,

As this move is very much 'fulfilling a dream', I do think it would be worth trying the waters a little to see if the reality matches up before committing yourself. A week or two booked in November or late Feb, with the intention being simply to test out the reality of life in that area (supermarket shopping, a children's activity or two, even timed trips to proposed schools at appropriate times of day) would be a wise precaution before committing yourself longer term.

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