Need feedback on some independent prep schools - north london (South gate/Mill Hill/Potters Bar)

(12 Posts)
deepti0105 Tue 13-Aug-13 13:30:21

Hi , I am looking at some prep schools for my son . As I am not originally from this country , I am really struggling to find information on school excpet oftstead reports and ISI report. I think the most important information that will help me is actaul feedback from parents . Would really appreciate if you some of you take take some time out and give me feeback if you know about these schools or if your children are going in any .

The schools I am looking at are :
- Vita et pax preparatory school.
- The Lochniver school
- Keble Prep school
- Grimsdale Prep school

nomorecrumbs Wed 14-Aug-13 18:14:43

What specifically are you looking for from these prep schools and what made you choose your list above? I've been to visit a couple of the schools above but it'll be very subjective information as my list of requirements in a school might be different from yours.

LePetitPrince Wed 14-Aug-13 22:15:57

I know all by reputation and have visited two. Grimsdell has the edge if you want to go all the way through to Belmont and Mill Hill to 18. The latter has abolished Saturday school and has a good local rep.

What are you looking for OP?

deepti0105 Thu 15-Aug-13 15:27:04

I choose these schools based on the proximity to where I live. I am currently in whetstone and also based on the reading the ISI reports of these schools and feedback from some parents from my son's nursery, but not that much.

I am basically looking at a all rounded school , which focussed on academic but also has provision for extra currilcular activities like sports, music etc . I am looking at schools which prep children for grammer schools.Not all schools reveal how many of their children got in to grammer school etc For ex : I read online that schools like Keble and Lochinver are up to 13 yrs so they don’t focus on preparing the students for 11 + , is that the case . But the ISI report for these schools are gr8.

The monetary aspect is also important for ex Vita Et pax and Keble are in budget , Lochinver is a slight push and Grimsdale is a big push , now I dont know how I can convince myself if spending that amount of money is really worth it .

I loved Grimsdale when I went to see it , but then since it goes all the way up to 18 , I have been told that there is not enough push in the school to prep children for grammer schools , no idea if that is true . Its ISI report indicates they need to improve on things like their ICT courses etc ... they are more on good rather than oustanding , but they are most erxpensive of the lot !!!!

I also prefer schools that do lunch in school itself rather than packed lunch , as I am full time working mum , it suits me better and I also prefer schools that have after school clubs till late so around 5:00 atleast …

Haberdashers is also another school I was looking at . I hope I have given some more information , for you all to be able to give me more information . Thanks.

nomorecrumbs Thu 15-Aug-13 15:52:03

If you're looking at grammar school secondaries for the future, you really want a prep that goes up to 11 years only.

Academically Vita et Pax is excellent but they don't do school lunches, can't remember about after-school but don't think it goes on til late - have you also considered Salcombe and Holland House, which I've heard are v v good - think they do school lunches and after-school provision too

LePetitPrince Fri 16-Aug-13 00:11:29

There is no breakfast or after-school club at Vita et Pax. Lochinver have both.

deepti0105 Fri 16-Aug-13 11:29:17

hi nomorecrumbs & LePetitPrince. thanks for the feedback . i shall look up holland house . Regarding Salcombe heard from few people that it used to be good yrs ago , but not so great now . Nots ure how true that is , but will still look up .

deepti0105 Thu 22-Aug-13 16:13:55

Hi , would really appreciate some more feedback , especially from parents who have their children in either of these schools

ag123 Sat 11-Oct-14 17:39:03

Hello!
Trying to start up an old thread as interested in lots of the schools mentioned above. Anyone got any comments at all on particularly Vita et Pax? Also Keble and Lochinver House...

Greenfizzywater Sat 11-Oct-14 20:10:35

I don't know any of the schools particularly but the general point is that schools will only prep for their end point. A school that finishes at 13 will do their best to make sure kids aren't prepared for the 11+ for example. A school that goes to 18 ditto. So if you're planning to leave at any other point the be prepared to do all the work yourself via tutoring etc.

Northlondon1975 Wed 22-Oct-14 11:44:39

Hi ag123. We viewed Keble and vita pax about a year ago. Vita pax is undeniably lovely school, we really loved the nursery and the children showing us around seemed very confident and happy. Major drawbacks for us were the class sizes which were around 24 I believe and also children eat packed lunch at their desks. We felt that we were not much better off than going with our local outstanding state school.
Keble - loved it, really close knit, nurturing atmosphere. The boy who toured us round was amazing and well rounded child. Liked the headmaster very much too. Academic and pastoral sides both seemed well catered for. Packed lunch in reception only (I have a packed lunch phobia)! If I had only boys would definitely have gone for this school but don't like local options for my daughter so have gone co-ed. also Keble goes up to 13 and they don't like losing boys at 11 therefore you would need to tutor for 11 entrance exams as they don't give the impression they help with that.
Have friend at lochinver, she seems happy enough with it, very multi-cultural, seems a popular choice.
Hope that helps a little.

H4dley Fri 24-Oct-14 10:24:38

Have you looked at Dwight School which is in Friern Barnet and North Finchley - good report, small and friendly, pretty expensive but a good option

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