Hello, I have read all the existing threads on this but would appreciate an up to date view. We have a girl in Yr 1 at Oxford High but have now moved to a location that makes the school run pretty miserable (45 mins and counting). Headington Prep would be much easier to get to. We like Oxford High but we are not in love. Some of the things we dislike (packed lunches, cramped space) will go away in Yr 2 but we're also concerned about what we hear about pastoral care and academic pressure going forward. Our daughter is bright, but also has other talents we'd like to develop. We were impressed with the new Headington Prep buildings, and liked the smaller classes and the more inclusive/less academic approach. But when I mentioned this to a few parents at our current school the response was quite extreme, including "I don't know anyone who would consider sending their girl there". And how posh is it exactly? Confused from Oxford.
I've not got a daughter at the prep (though have considered it), but if it's anything like the Senior School, then it's not that posh at all. I suppose you have to look to the future and decide if you want your daughter trekking across Oxford for the next 12 years, or fancy a quicker journey to Headington. I think the senior school is excellent.
A friend of mine's daughter went there, and it doesn't seem too posh at all. Coincidentally, I'm thinking about sending my daughter off to Queen Ethelburga's college up in York, (we live around 25 minutes away) and am wondering if anyone's had any past experience with them?
On the homepage (Queen Ethelburga) all of the comments seem very positive and they even have horses and ponies there, which my daughter will be very excited by!
Thanks for your feedback so far. I was just really taken aback by the Oxford High mums categorically rejecting Headington - I didn't think there was that much between them adademically. I was also wondering what the story was about the head of the prep leaving this summer? We met the lady who is covering while they find a new head.
Your question about Ethelburga school might get more responses if you open a new thread, GeOrgina?
A mixture, I think - Headington apparently takes girls for parents who want a private school with nice grounds, rather than a high achieving academic school. And there are apparently more "normal" parents at OHS who have to work to afford the school fees.
OP I suspect the Oxford high mums were rejecting hso jr out of hand because they have chosen ohs jr and want to think they have made the best choice.
If you start to say that you're thinking of hso prep then suddenly their nice little bubble that they have got the best school is burst and they have to think that maybe that's no longer the case. bit like when a m/mil doesn't want to listen to how you want your dc to be treated because she has already brought up dc and thus knows best, despite things having moved on in the interim.
Ignore them - they are biased. Go and look around again, see if you can find an hso prep parent to see if they are happy with the school and why, what their little niggles are and if you could cope with them.
Disclaimer - I went to hso senior not prep. I didnt really like it (was too sporty/history/Latin and day school orientated for me - I was a maths and science-mad boarder!) despite doing well academically (won prizes etc). It was in the 80s and still pretty much identical to how it had been in the 50s and 60s. These days I think it has dragged itself into the present day and is a much better experience for those that go there! It certainly seems to offer a lot more extra curricula and curriculum stuff than it did when I was there - all the stuff I'd have loved to have done but would have been laughed out of school for suggesting.
Headington prep. My DD loved it. We were impressed. My DD academic/musical and really thrived. Didn't like OHS junior too cramped and v superior attitude. Terrible site and lots anxiety re parents re daughters achievements. I would choose headington prep and look at all options for senior school. Senior schools are quite different from their junior school counterparts. Did headington prep say why their head left in the summer? I liked her v much. Oh and the food at headington is great!
Hmm, I thought Headington was a high achieving acdemic school. Probably not as high achieving as OHS, but then Headington's intake covers a wide ability range - far wider than OHS. What Headington does concentrate on is 'value-added' and is less concerned with academic rankings.
Our DD was offered a place at OHS, but we chose Headington because of the nice grounds we thought it would suit her better. - less pressured and more rounded (less emphasis on results results results).
The 'normal parents' line is frankly laughable.
Headington is a great school IMO - go with your instincts.