anyone know pennthorpe school, near horsham

(16 Posts)
schoolhunterfor1 Sat 12-Apr-14 16:25:36


Visited on open day, anyone familiarwith this school? Thinking about future place for our dd, seemed nice, wondered about whether all stay til 13, wanted co ed, anyone with experience?

penguindog Tue 29-Apr-14 10:05:11

I sent my dd there and unfortunately it was a big mistake. I too was impressed at the open day (it does have lovely facilities & ethos seemed good), but the reality was very different. The teaching was sub standard and we were getting better teaching in the state system. The majority of the staff were unenthusiastic, bored by their job and did not teach well. Mr King (headmaster) although a very good sales man, and was very good at saying what you wanted to hear, but in term of running a strong educational team and listening to parents he was poor.
Their were many unhappy parents at the school who spent too much time moaning about it.
The girls were mean and bitchy and it was not a happy environment.
The best decision I made was moving dd away away from the school.

schoolrunfiend Thu 01-May-14 00:32:13

Hi Schoolhunter, I suppose everyone looks for different things but I have two children at Pennthorpe and am really happy. Amazingly caring staff and my kids actually want to go to school! They get really good results as well if that's what you're interested in.

Hia3 Thu 12-Jun-14 21:56:50

I also have 3 children at the school.
Very caring supportive school, with excellent teachers.
My children are happy and doing well.
If you are at all concerned , just look at how many scholarships the school gets at the end of year 8- 20 this year, 23 last year !

Hia3 Thu 12-Jun-14 22:10:25

Sorry did not answer your question.
Most do stay till year 8
Year 3-6 normally consists of 2 classes with a max of 20 in each class.

At the end of year 6 typically about 10 leave- normally to go to excellent local state schools e.g Weald, Tanbridge or Millais, the odd 1 or2 girls sometimes go to local Independant girls schools .
Not many girls go to girls schools at the end of year 6 or year 8, majority continue co- ed.

In year 7 , 1 or 2 new children from local schools sometimes join to prepare for Common Entrance Exams to independant Senior Schools.
Year 7 and 8 is normally around 28/30 pupils, so only 14/15 in a class.

RideTheKraken Thu 19-Mar-15 23:20:45

not sure all is well at this school anymore.....
keep hearing lots leaving year 6 - especially this year - its a bit worrying - anyone else heard anything?

Poopo71 Sat 28-Mar-15 08:21:08

I had my son at penthorpe and have removed as well as a lot of others in year 1, as our children and our selves were subjected to terrible bullying by two parents, their children in turn to our childrenn . The intimidation was awful and I was actually aggressively pushed in the classroom by one parent which was seen by the children. The whole year constantly were in to the head to sort this out, Mr King did nothing ! He just allowed this behaviour to be tolerated . In the end one of the bully parents left, but that left one behind , whose son then told my son that his mother hated him and me ! And my son started wetting the bed , I approached the school again , nothing ! I've left my job and had to move my son because of the stress I was put under . We are now pursuing taking Penthorpe to court along with other parents !

sussexparent Thu 16-Apr-15 12:36:57

Wow!! Pennthorpre is the best decision I have ever made for my kids. The place is alive and buzzing with energy. Without fail every day my kids come home happy and so enthused... very different to how I came home each day from school when I was young! Some leave at the end of year 6 but mostly to state school, like this year, so for some parents its a financial decision and wanting to give their kids the best start to their education by starting off in the private sector. It's sad to hear some above were not happy however I assure you this is not an accurate reflection of the school as a whole as all the parents in my kids classes I talk to love the sense of community and are happy with their experience?? We chose Pennthorpe as it is a great school for all rounders, forward thinking and with an enthusiastic Head at the helm. Go with your gut and don't bear to heavily on others opinions I'd say??? smile

Dailylion Fri 17-Apr-15 02:26:47

Warning! To any parent thinking of sending their child to this school.

This school does not meet the needs of individual children.

If your child is bright. Don't bother, save your money and use the state sytem, or choice an academic selective school.

If your child needs alittle help. Don't bother, use the state sytem where well qualified teachers will go the extra mile to give support and it won't cost you a penny.

If your child is bright, but lively. Don't bother, because you the parent will be blamed for your child's behaviour. Use the state system where your child will be managed and engaged to reach their potential.

If your child is average, maybe take a second look. But you need to know the turnover of kids is high. Leaving many parents very unhappy and out of pocket. Although if you challenge them, they will settle out of court to keep it out of the papers!

Save your money, you will be paying for facilites that are not used and poor quality teaching.

inthename Tue 21-Apr-15 18:58:34

dailylion pretty accurate summary there. sussexparent, I take it you've had the letter that explains that the enthusiastic head will not be at the helm much longer as hes moving to the prep school for Framlingham College before his own children start the future schools process

yetanotherchangename Fri 01-May-15 10:11:43


BigBird69 Sat 02-May-15 22:22:25

Wow - have people actually been compensated? Have they actually admitted their standards are poor? When was their last inspection? Is there a joint parental force leading this?

Prepschoolteacher Mon 18-May-15 15:13:04

Sorry, I've posted on the other thread too, but does anyone have any more up to date info about this school? I've seen that they're looking for a new Head.

Chisit Fri 22-May-15 19:57:21

Our son is about to move from Pennthorpe.
The motto is "Putting the Fun in Fundamentals", but far as I can see, it's a school for spoon feeding rather than independent thinking, right from Honeypot, where photocopied shapes to colour in are handed out. It is completely teacher led, and I can't see how children are supposed to learn to think independently.
I've also heard some horrendous stories about cliquiness to the point of parent intimidation. That is not acceptable anywhere, and should not be tolerated.
School plays and any other events involving parents are entirely for the parents' benefit - ie "look what your fees are paying for, isn't it great?" rather than for the children.
Plus, the school is extremely weak for music, as no emphasis is put on learning instruments. It's a great shame, as this helps children learn.
It's not the school for our son, but for a child who is happy to be spoon fed rather than learn to think for themselves, I'm sure it's great.
Prepschoolteacher - are you thinking of applying? If so, it would be a fantastic challenge, but then, perhaps parents like the way it is now and anyone who doesn't leaves?

sussex1 Sun 12-Jul-15 11:30:01

Although our son was at Pennthorpe during the previous headmaster's tenure, the culture of bullying, elitism and exclusion was already endemic. The school cared little for individual pupils preferring instead to focus on Common Entrance exams and Scholarships. The relentless pressure was often overwhelming and pastoral care was non-existent. When our son experienced bullying one teacher told our son "to grow up" and on another occasion a different teacher pressured him into to keeping quiet about the bullying.

Knowing what we know now we would not have sent our son to Pennthorpe.

inthename Tue 14-Jul-15 21:17:11

I would agree. you are told many times that they believe in childhood, which should then have the add on 'until common entrance' There is a culture of bullying and it not being addressed. You will have numerous 'talks' with some lovely caring teachers, who really want to do the best thing. They will then pass the information to the deputy head, who will write it in his book and do absolutely nothing, until your child explodes with frustration and all of a sudden they have 'zero tolerance' to physical contact and you are told that 2 incidences from your child in over 2 years means that they have to remove YOUR child from lessons and request that you take them home. Any teachers who try to help are given the silent treatment by other staff
Meanwhile, the bully who has bullied almost every child in the school will finally be suspended, only to be allowed to visit school at the deputy heads discretion, no parents will be told before the bully shows up, bully walks around like they own the school, and the ostracising by other children and parents ranks up a gear because they are all desperate not to be bullied either and will go to any lengths, including reporting the bullied child to the deputy head for things they do regularly themselves, because mummy is so desperate to be 'in'
If you are not an 'in' parent by the senior years your child will be left to get through CE whilst others receive extensive tutoring.Complain and your childs grades will suddenly slip through the floor for no apparent reason, they will be told that they are not good enough to be a prefect or a senior and their 'effort' grades will suddenly slide to 3 or 4, which will seem mysterious and blamed on 'attitude' whilst they won't be able to fiddle with attainment grades and the reports will have the mystery which is A for attainment and 4 for effort - though as the effort grades influence awards and truthfully only reflect whether the teacher likes your dc on tbe day they wrote the report, read cautiously. The reports are issued every 6 weeks but are actually written in the 3rd week of each half term so they are completely inaccurate. The head of pastoral care is the most invisible person who allows bullying to go on under their nose and will not challenge any in parent. When it gets so bad that the governors can't ignore it any longer, then the bully might be suspended (but only after exams) and will then be publicly applauded for their good deeds, which apparently cancels every other behaviour known to man.
This school had a lot going for it a few years ago, but not now - and please do not be fooled by their 'citizenship' awards - some truly awful children have received it and some genuinely caring, kind hearted youngsters will never have a hope
because all nominations go through the aforementioned deputy and you discover that a child has been nominated hundreds of times; yet these mysteriously disappear if he dislikes your dc.
The biggest problem is the senior part of the school, as the new head is coming from a tiny 1 form entry prep which doesn't go up to 13, so no experience at all of CE, plus major problems over the last few years of the majority of DC not getting in to their first choice (which is then advertised as what a diverse range of schools their leavers move on to!) it will be interesting to see whether the top two years are still available in thw future.
For some youngsters, its a lovely nurturing place, for others in can be awful.

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