Cumnor house or Elmhurst school Croydon anyone?

(16 Posts)
Barker8 Mon 12-Jan-09 00:50:57

Hello, does anyone have any experience with either of these two prep schools in Croydon?

DS has gone for assessment days with both, but I noticed there were much fewer numbers of children present for assessment than I had expected.

Metella Mon 12-Jan-09 13:16:34

Well, I believe that CH is regarded as slightly more academic than Elmhurst.

Elmhurst only goes up to 11 whereas CH goes up to 13 so if you are looking at 13+ senior schools then you'd have to chose CH.

I don't think Elmhurst do Latin by the way (if that matters to you!).

Barker8 Tue 13-Jan-09 08:58:18

Hi, thanks for the info, is there a reason Cumnor house is regarded as more academic?

From the independent schools entrance exam results listed in the prospectus it seems that Elmhurst has a larger number of boys securing places at schools such as Whitgift and Trinity.

I can't find Cumnor House's exam results listed on the Times website for comparison.

Metella Tue 13-Jan-09 12:21:00

Local reputation really. People think of CH as a hothouse locally.

I think Elmhurst is quite focussed on the Sutton grammar schools. Beware the results on their website as they give the number who passed the Sutton exams rather than the number who actually got places.

CH gets a lot of boys into Whitgift and Trinity each year. They do list their results in their prospectus - have they not sent you one? They do seem to send their boys to a wider range of schools than Elmhurst but that's partly because they go up to 13 so there is a wider choice available!

Elmhurst also do SATs (which CH doesn't) in Year 6.

If you are looking at Whitgift and Trinity at 11+ then there may not be a huge amount to choose between the two schools. CH has a longer day at the Prep stage but does have some practical advantages, e.g. they have a swimming pool on site and the playing fields are nearby. Of course Elmhurst is cheaper as a result.

Whitgift and Trinity take 50% of their boys at 10+ and 11+ from state primary schools anyway. What is your local primary like?

Barker8 Tue 13-Jan-09 19:53:27

That's a bit confusing then.

The Cumnor house prospectus lists the Junior entrance examinations for 2007. So I counted 13 for Whitgift and 10 for Trinity. It doesn't state if this means a place given or a pass.

The Elmhurst results for the same year are 17 for Whitgift and 17 for Trinity. These are listed as passes.

So in both cases I dont know for sure if it means a pass or place at either Whitgift or Trinity.

Not too keen on a state primary though. I wouldn't know how to spot a good one. I would like DS to be pushed/challenged academically. Sports is also an important factor, would like a school with resources/results for that.

I got the impression that Cumnor house were pushing the children hard, we wern't allowed to sit in on the assessment. Had to drop off the kids and then come back an hour later to pick them up.

Elmhurst allowed us to hang around while they assessed them. So I am pressuming Cumnor house were giving them a more thorough test.

Metella Wed 14-Jan-09 11:26:16

You need to bear in mind that not all 11-year-olds at CH leave so you need to look at the 13+ destinations too.

I only have detailed info on CH's results.

For 2008, at Junior Entrance level, 18 boys went to Whitgift and 6 went to Trinity from CH. Of the rest, 4 went to Sutton grammar schools and 1 went to Royal Russell. 2 others went elsewhere and the rest stayed at CH.

Also in 2008, at 13+ level, 6 went to Whitgift and 3 went to Trinity. The rest went to all sorts of schools (including Eton, Westminster and Epsom College).

I know a few boys at Elmhurst and I do think CH push them harder. Some boys move to CH from Elmhurst at 11+ (primarily if they don't get into grammar school or Whitgift/Trinity at that stage). By 11 they are pretty much on a par for Maths & English but CH boys seem to be ahead in French. And as I said previously, Elmhurst don't do Latin whereas CH boys start Latin in Year 5.

Sport is quite big at both schools and both teach swimming from an early stage. I would say music at CH is a notch above Elmhurst, though.

Are you absolutely set on one of these two? Have you looked at any of the other preps around Croydon?

Croydon actually has some really nice primary schools (particularly around Sanderstead) but sport can be a bit hit and miss.

It really depends on what you are looking for, in all honesty.

LadyMuck Thu 15-Jan-09 22:26:29

When I looked at the results some years ago I think that Elmhurst seemed to double count (obv many boys get into both Wh & Tr for example).

CH is currently financially secure having been purchased by Cognita, whereas Elmhurst had lost boys (I think that they are down to one form a year at one point, but may have gone up) so it may be worth checking. CH are expecting 3 forms in reception again this year - don't forget that over half of the boys will come up from their nursery, so won't have been at the assessment day.

I wouldn't put too much emphasis on the 13+ aspect of CH though. In practice what has been happening is that all bar a dozen boys leave at 10+ or 11+, and a number of boys from other schools who have failed entrance/11+ come to CH to be prepped for 13+. This isn't really what the school or most of the parents want (esp given some of the behaviour in Year 7 is dire in the first term), and I wouldn't be surprised to see CH eventually go to an 11+ basis.

I know it shouldn't be a key issue, but if you are planning to do the school run by car then I would look carefully at the pick-up arrangements at Elmhurst as basically there is no parking available.

LadyMuck Thu 15-Jan-09 22:35:28

I've just checked the Elmhurst website - it is definitely a double count in terms of Tr & Wh. Looks as if it is only Year 2 that they are down to 1 form, but worth checking the financial position as 2 schools have closed in Purley (unless someone bales out Laleham Lea this term).

Metella Fri 16-Jan-09 08:52:32

Poor old Y7, LadyMuck!! I think that's a little bit harsh! Certainly this year, the Y7 scholarship class has 15 CH boys and 3 new boys and the other Y7 class also has a couple of "original" CH boys. So I think a few extra stayed on this year.

I agree though that CH may well give up on the 13+ bit eventually. Although I think the HT might weep into his coffee over not being able to mention Eton and Westminster anymore.................

Metella Fri 16-Jan-09 12:22:21

Re the parking thing - Elmhurst have a horseshoe bit at the front and parents seem to drive through in procession and collect their boys from behind a crash barrier. I'm not sure how well this works, though!!!

LadyMuck Fri 16-Jan-09 16:24:16

Both schools have different pick-up times depending on year group - not sure how the horseshoe works if you have 2 pickups.

mimsum Tue 20-Jan-09 23:30:26

ds got into both whitgift and trinity from a bog-standard state primary with no tutoring so if you're looking at W & T for secondary definitely have a look at your (free!) state alternatives

Tracey250 Tue 03-Feb-09 20:42:38

Hi, I'm a current Mum at Laleham Lea & am pleased to say it IS NOT closing. The current govenors will finish this term & the new mandate has been issued by the Diocese of Southwark for the new management team to run an Independent Catholic Primary School - with a new purpose built nursery - on the site from April 2009 onwards. We have an excellent ofsted report, excellent KS1 & KS2 SATS results, wonderful music, high achievemenets in competitive sports & a brilliant ethos. The preparation for secondary is good for parents & children.We've been through a rough two months and lost a few pupils but we're still there!We have an open day 5th March 2009, 6pm to 7.30pm. COME AND SEE US and see what we have to offer. We've got a strong bright future and we welcome everyone from all areas and all faiths.

Orlaithkb Sun 15-May-11 01:26:40

I have visited Laleham Lea recently during a vibrant Open Day, and was very touched by the sense of community spirit between the parents and staff. Ofsted is excellent. I also observed very low numbers of pupils, and wondered if anyone could shed any recent light on why this is. Much appreciated!

Ladymuck Sun 15-May-11 09:43:30

Well if you are after a Catholic education, then some of the local state primary options are excellent. And with the private options there is also Oakwood school. The local single sex prep schools tend to have much better facilities.

Essentially the school was on the verge of closing a few years ago (mid year at very short notice), and given that several schools in the area have merged or folded, I suspect that parents will be cautious. I understand that the school now has diocese support, but I don't think that the way things were handled at the time will have have created confidence in the management.

Moominmamma64 Fri 10-Jul-15 20:52:46

Elmhursts ethos is about being a small, family school which tries to create nurturing, atmosphere for the boys to learn and grow in. They build strong relationships with boys and parents and of a 30 boy sixth form, seven got into Whitgift, ten into Trinity, seven into Royal Russel, five Wilsons and one to state school. The boys swim at Whitgift, Trinity and Royal Russell pools and have strong county teams and use the Old Whitgiftians playing fields. Cumnor "hothouses" boys and are very pushy academically.

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