New College School Oxford - any knowledge?

(7 Posts)
Portlypenguin Fri 21-Mar-14 10:02:25

Hello
My DS is 2.9 and will be going to an independent pre-prep from sept 2015... unless we don't get a place at any that is (long story behind that decision). We live in Oxford & initially registered for New college, Christchurch, Dragon & Abingdon (Joscas). We didn't even get on the waiting list for the Dragon and have withdrawn from Christchurch after visiting as it wouldn't suit us as a family. DS is on the list for New college & Abingdon subject to the assessment.

Anyway, Abingdon looks an amazing school but would mean moving house. We will need to upsize at some point anyway but are unsure about moving out of our 'safe zone' with friends/activities/work close by etc. New College gets fab academic results but is a much smaller school and appears to have less good facilities.

Does anyone have any experience of New College School? Is the relatively small playground an issue?

I have arranged to meet the headmaster at New College to get a more in dept view in a few weeks but thought it might be nice to hear from some parents/those who know about it.
Thanks in advance!

1805 Fri 21-Mar-14 10:56:36

Commute from Oxford to Joscas is very do-able. smile
Which side of Oxford are you? I know kids from west, east and south and central oxford that drive in. When he's older, there are lots of school mini buses.
Lots of lovely areas to up size to in and around Abingdon/Frillford.
Wouldn't let the commute rule out Ab. And you'd only be 15mins from Oxford anyway.
Afraid I don't know much about New Coll though - sorry!

Portlypenguin Fri 21-Mar-14 19:03:44

Thanks. I just think the logistics of us both getting to work and doing an Oxford-Abingdon commute would be very challenging. Abingdon do pick up from Headington near where we live, but not until boys are in Year 1. Agree Abingdon area nice to live if we decide to move though!

chickpeastew Sat 22-Mar-14 17:59:59

we were considering christchurch. What put you off?

Portlypenguin Sat 22-Mar-14 18:25:29

A few things really:
1. Too religious (we are definitely atheists)
2. We are not especially musical (I play 2 instruments badly!) and the musical emphasis is very great. This wouldn't necessarily be a problem but two parents I know with boys there feel that the non-choristers are slightly second best.
2. Facilities seemed cramped - especially playground space.
3.We live on the other side of the city and crossing the centre in rush hour round the one way system would be an extra challenge.

I have no concern that academically it wouldn't be a great school and if you have a very musical boy I am sure he would thrive there. I have a child who is not genetically likely to be musical, who I don't want bored with religion, and who loves to run about outside!

I would absolutely go and look for yourselves as it might suit your family better.

chickpeastew Sat 22-Mar-14 18:57:15

We have had a look round and I certainly agree on the open space! I was quite impressed by the musicwl standards reached by virtually all the boys but perhaps like you, non musical families don't send their kids there. I will ask around a bit re non choristers being second class citizens. Thanks

Myrtille Mon 24-Mar-14 11:46:21

Our son went to NCS and left about 7 years ago. So...
If the mission of a prep school is to educate your son, get him into a senior school that suits him and have some fun along the way then NCS will do the job.
Our son mananged to dodge music, religion and drama fairly successfully and played an inordinate amount of football in the small playground.
I would say he over-acheived in CE somehow and ended up in a senior school that was perfect for him.
NCS did lack a lot of the comfort and embellishments of schools like Dragon but, other than losing at most spors, I doubt the boys really mind and we were at least £1,500 a term better off.
It's probably MN heresy but if NCS suits you better for travelling than Abingdon then choose it for that reason only.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now