Views needed on private senior schools in South/South East

(85 Posts)
Labro Mon 14-Oct-13 01:25:44

Hi,
Could use some help.
Looking for independent senior school for my ds for 13+ entry in September 2015.
Will consider most of South/South East
Generous bursary/scholarship package needed
Day school (don't mind boys or co-ed)
No saturday school
Strengths - science, english, art, music (plays 2 instruments currently grade 2) design & technology, history, geography and re, slightly weaker maths but still above average
Doesn't like rugby, plays reasonable football, strong at hockey.

Just been browsing Ewell Castles website - any personal views on their senior school?

happygardening Mon 14-Oct-13 05:08:08

I suspect your going to have to go for a scholarship with an attached bursary because as far as I am aware stand large alone bursaries are very hard to find out outside of the big names. If I was you I'd get your prep to focus on recommending a school where he stands a good chance of getting a scholarship and start preparing him now.
Thinking about your predicament I remembered a friend's DS is at Bethany's I'm pretty sure it's Monday to Frid day and boarding he's definitely not sporty and he seems happy there. He sat the entrance test and was offered a scholarship because he'd done so well no preparation from his school. He'd applied to a couple of big names and been turned down.

happygardening Mon 14-Oct-13 05:16:08

What about Cranbrook? A selective state school in Kent starts at 13.

mummytime Belgium Mon 14-Oct-13 10:35:04

How old is he now? 2 instruments at Grade 2 isn't very high (I know a lot with several at grade 5+, one 14 year old with 3 grade 8s).

Also even if a school doesn't have Saturday school, there is probably a lot of sport on Saturdays.

meditrina Mon 14-Oct-13 10:58:16

So, am I right in thinking he's in year 7 now?

Is there any forecast for how he'll do at CE, or are you looking for a non-CE entry school?

handcream Mon 14-Oct-13 13:49:48

Are you in a private now? They should be able to guide you as to what is possible. Think you might struggle with no Saturday school. There always lots of matches at private schools on Sat's...

I am also wondering (just being nosey really!). Is it that difficult to get a busary. My son goes to a well known senior boarding school and some of his friends got scholarships (one to Wellington but only 10% reduction on fees which still makes them nearly £30K!!)

Dont you have to be outstanding to get a busary?

mary21 Mon 14-Oct-13 14:11:33

Ardingly, Hurstpierpoint or if you are closer to London I heard someone got full Bursary at I stock Place, what about Halliford

homebythesea Mon 14-Oct-13 14:46:07

If you are in Year 7 now you may well have missed pre testing for entry in 2015 for those schools that do the pre test.

Scholarships in the main are for kudos only - not worth much money wise. You will need to be very top of the class / county standard sports / very musical (grade 2 won't cut it) / gifted artist / excellent at drama or all of the above for an all rounder scholarship. MOst prep schools have a separate stream for scholarship entry

Bursaries are very tightly controlled - if you have an income of c.£30k plus and/or any assets (and I mean ANY) you will be lucky to get anything

Ewell Castle has an OK reputation in the locale but there are better schools in the area

I just worry you have left it too late

78bunion Mon 14-Oct-13 15:23:07

It is going to have to be on his academics then, not sport or music. (Ours with music scholarships (nominal fee discount) had 2 or 3 grade 7s or 8s and grade 5 theory at age 12/13). If he is very clever try the better schools places like Westminster, St Paul's and further out like Haberdashers, Merchant Taylor's.

There is a lot of competition for places in the SE even if the parents do not need any kind of bursary so worth looking around thoroughly now. Also check timing - some schools will have wanted some earlier pre testing but others not.

Labro Mon 14-Oct-13 15:44:53

Thanks. Meeting with his head later in week. Basically, hes failed 2 pre tests, which is why I'm looking around again. CE forecast is 80% plus so either selective or non selective doesn't really matter as long as he passes!

DS was at Alleyns in Dulwich (day, co-ed) and it was brilliant. More academic than Dulwich, less sporty, very kind and gentle, good drama and music, CCF and DofE. Saturdays just sport.

handcream Mon 14-Oct-13 15:51:41

I had a look at Merchant Taylors - nice school but very academic and earnest. Not much in the way of sports - its league tables all the way with them!

LIZS Mon 14-Oct-13 15:54:58

Looked round Ewell Castle for ds several years back and it felt very old fashioned but has since expanded its facilities. A bit second rate compared to likes of Epsom though. Which has he "failed" as CE at 80+ should be fine for many. Is Whitgift logistically possible, that is one based on 13+ only, likewise Reigate Grammar, Box Hill ?

78bunion Mon 14-Oct-13 16:01:20

Merchant Taylors does masses of sport. Even has its own boating lake.

Somethingyesterday Mon 14-Oct-13 16:03:17

OP I can see you might be feeling rather adrift after going through the preparation and anxiety of two pre-tests - and no doubt assuming he would get into one one of those schools. But has he really "failed"? Surely, unless he deliberately did as badly as possible, he was just unlucky enough not to get onto the A or B list of those particular schools?

How much responsibility does the school take? Not for his result so far, but for not having a back-up in place in advance? And - more brutally - was he put in for schools recommended by his prep or ...... not?

Please don't let him feel a failure.

Labro Mon 14-Oct-13 16:04:39

He failed RGS and Reeds pre tests.
Logistically could go anywhere for the right place, Very strong at art & design as well as the core subjects hence why Reeds was seen as such a good fit.
Thanks again. Will wait until spoken to head.

SoupDragon Mon 14-Oct-13 16:08:54

If Whitgift is a possibility, there is also Trinity.Both are Whitgift Foundations schools with the ability to offer generous bursaries/scholarships (although I don't know how many are offered at 13+)

Labro Mon 14-Oct-13 16:10:07

Something - to me ds hasn't failed at all as he was in very unfamiliar territory with the pre tests. I've followed heads recommendation to the letter. It would have been useful to have a conditional offer but I'm sure theres a school out there who would love to have him - just aware with closing dates etc its better to be organised than running wildly around lol.

AuntyEntropy Mon 14-Oct-13 16:17:04

What's your income? For most schools income is the deciding factor in allocating bursaries, rather than academic performance (although he'd still have to be a desirable candidate in addition to you being broke). Stand alone scholarships are granted, but they're normally token amounts of up to 10% of fees.

LIZS Mon 14-Oct-13 16:19:17

But only those who pretest have time running out . There are many schools for whom you can register and test in year 8, some of which are suggested here. Ardingly might be another option could be £££ without bursary. I know you say no Saturday school but most will have extra curricular and sports matches on Saturdays, some of which won't be optional.

homebythesea Mon 14-Oct-13 16:27:13

Have you looked at Cranleigh?

Labro Mon 14-Oct-13 16:33:37

Been thinking about it homeby, couldn't get an idea of what their bursary policy is.

homebythesea Mon 14-Oct-13 16:37:17

Box Hill (a bit Marmite) will pretty much take anyone. King Edwards Witley closer to West Sussex as is Charterhouse (have to board there though I think). St Geirges Weybridge, CLFS, St Johns and Epsom in same kind of catchment as Reeds (quite a schlep from Sussex though) and I think you will have missed the boat for St J and Epsom

I do raise an eyebrow at the 80% thing - that is scholarship class type level- and wonder on what basis they can make such a prediction at this stage. I would be making merry hell at the prep school if they advised on going for particular schools but did not prepare properly- this us what a PREParatory school is FOR. Did other boys get accepted to those schools? If so you need to get some brutal honesty from your prep head (preferably after he has spoken to the senior head and got some real feedback on your son's performance) so that you are more realistic going forward. I hate to say it but Reeds is not that hard to get into compared with most others in the area (I speak from recent experience and live close by)

Labro Mon 14-Oct-13 16:54:34

No, the 4 who sat RGS didn't get in.
They normally send to Wellington, Hurst,Brighton,Lancing, Ardingly etc. St J,epsom and st georges all pretest at roughly same time as RGS. Will be havingmeeting and will go from there.

mummytime Belgium Mon 14-Oct-13 16:57:56

Do you mean Reigate Grammar school? Not Royal Grammar School, Guildford (normally called RGS) because their 11+ is in January?

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