Lambrook vs LVS

(53 Posts)
JD03 Thu 27-Sep-12 13:56:41


Does anyone have views on Lambrook vs LVS? Looking for my DS to start in Yr 3. Your opinions and experiences much appreciated.

Namechangerfornow Thu 27-Sep-12 14:13:37

Hi, I have name changed to give my opinion, I hope that's okay.
I have a child at Lambrook currently. I couldn't be happier.
It is a fantastic school and has really helped my child blossom both academically and socially. The pastoral care is great. The teachers have been approachable and are very mindful of encouraging the child's confidence.
Sport facilities are great and they are building a new performance art centre.

I visited LVS and although I don't have first hand experience, I was not impressed at all. My very personal opinion is that it really doesn't compare to lambrook.
I would recommend that you visit both schools and don't refrain from asking questions.

SkippyYourFriendEverTrue Thu 27-Sep-12 14:44:52

Have you read some of the other threads about LVS on here? (google lvs) They are less than flattering.

EBDTeacher Thu 27-Sep-12 14:48:14

My DS is going to go to Lambrook in 2014.

It's a great place and only getting better from what I can see. DH and I are both senior teachers (me primary, him senior independent) so we have pretty strong opinions about what we want! The Head is very with it (as well as being friendly) and they seem to have had a drive to recruit really high quality staff recently. They are currently undergoing improvements to the facilities which I think will leave it one of the best equipped prep schools in the South East.

It seems to strike the right balance between a focus on each child fully achieving their potential and friendliness and the freedom to be a child. We were also particularly impressed with how supportive they seem to be of children who pursue out of school activities to a high level. This was a real contrast to Caldicott where it was all about 'in school' achievements.

We haven't visited LVS as it is a bit too far out for us but from it's reputation I can't imagine it matches up to Lambrook.

lme30005 Thu 27-Sep-12 22:10:00

Have heard good things about Lambrook and I would consider it if it wasn't so expensive. One of the highest fees for a prep school I've seen out of London so I would expect it to be good

Knowsabitabouteducation Thu 27-Sep-12 22:12:08

Lambrook, but more expensive.

SkippyYourFriendEverTrue Thu 27-Sep-12 22:18:50

Seems from the fee structure that they want people to board.

EBDTeacher Fri 28-Sep-12 07:08:28

I like the ad hoc boarding arrangements at Lambrook. The idea of compulsory boarding (for DS at just turned 10) at Caldicott completely put me off. However, I think a few nights of boarding here and there over years 7&8 could really add to the experience and help DS decide if he wants to board at secondary.

It is eye wateringly expensive though. We couldn't consider it if we had more than one DC.

EBDTeacher Fri 28-Sep-12 07:13:51

I have to say though, I wasn't bowled over by the nursery and DS is at pre-school somewhere else.

Not a worry to you though OP as you are looking for Y3!

mumsneedwine Fri 28-Sep-12 08:13:31

Have worked at both and they are very different schools. Lambrook is very much a 'prep' school, and has the most amazing facilities (golf course on site always made me laugh). LVS is an all through school so doesn't get them ready for 11 or 13 exams, takes a more diverse range of students but has great, relaxed atmosphere. Don't know about fees as was never sending my own, but it does seem Lambrook has the prettiest and best equipped campus. Hope that helps !

JD03 Fri 28-Sep-12 09:51:28

Thanks everyone, must admit from seeing both schools, Lambrook stood out against LVS, but was hoping it wasn't quite so straight forward as LVS is alot cheaper!!!

I suppose you get what you pay for.....
We were originally not planning to do the pre / prep approach but move to private at secondary level (LVS as it was so close).

However, after seeing Lambrook I can really see how a child could flourish there, but if they did go there, I guess we wouldn't then send them to LVS at secondary so would opne up the whole secondary school debate!!

We also have 3 children, <gulp> so fees will be extortinate when all 3 attend!!

Any others that I should consider maybe?

mumsneedwine Fri 28-Sep-12 10:40:02

I know you'll think I'm mad but if you live close I can thoroughly recommend the local free schools !! I have had 3 go through already, and all at Oxbridge, and 2 more on their way through doing very nicely. And hadn't cost me a penny !!! However, know it can be a bit scary so Lambrook then Wellington seems to be a very popular local choice. Good luck.

JD03 Fri 28-Sep-12 10:53:00

Thanks mumsneedwine, yes, Lambrook then Wellington does seem popular, if you don't mind me asking, can you recommend state secondary schools, as this is our biggest concern, we are actually fairly happy with our primary school, but if DC's have to go private for secondary then think they need to go private for Prep aswel, apart from LVS, as they are non selective.

mumsneedwine Fri 28-Sep-12 20:16:35

The best schools in the area are Charters (Sunningdale), Ranelagh (church one in Bracknell) & Edgbarrow (Crowthorne). Can only really speak for Charters as where mine have all been, and it's been great for both academic and extra curricular stuff. Kids good at English do Latin as well as Spanish and French. Triple science is available for most students and they get loads of extra stuff if bright. Also there is the beloved Tirabid, which the school jointly owns, and kids visit lots of times to go caving, gully scrambling and play sports tournaments against the Welsh. All kids are given the chance to reach their potential, whilst being made to be independent. Can you tell I love the place !!!!

Knowsabitabouteducation Sat 29-Sep-12 08:41:50

Have you children been at Charters since Mrs Twelftree left, out of interest?

Knowsabitabouteducation Sat 29-Sep-12 08:47:09

OP, if you are on the north side of Ascot, have you considered Bishopsgate prep school? IMO, it ticks all the boxes.

State secondary schools in the area really, really depend on where you live. There is no point in talking about Charters unless you are in the catchment area.

mumsneedwine Sat 29-Sep-12 09:27:39

Yes, I have 1 there now, 1 who had both heads (well 3 as they are joint ones now), and 2 who just had Mrs T. School hasn't really changed much since she left - the 2 Mr Ps both worked for her a long time and have kept things pretty much the same. Go visit and see what you think - it's open day is tuesday I think, and talk in evening is at 7pm. No harm in having a nosey round ! Lots of people move into catchment in year 5 so you've lots of time to sort that out. Just asked my DD & she thinks there is 1 ex Lambrook, 2 from Hall Grove & a couple from Holme Grange in her tutor group, so lots do prep and then go on to Charters - kids couldn't care less. Go visit and see what you think. It's not Lambrook or Weelington to look at, but where is !!

mumsneedwine Sat 29-Sep-12 09:29:03

Weelington !! That sounds a much more fun place than Wellington.

EBDTeacher Sat 29-Sep-12 09:42:15

I think Hall Grove looks really nice and it's loads cheaper than Lambrook.

mumsneedwine Sat 29-Sep-12 10:56:59

And Hall Grove has its own riding school on site. Marist is a possibility - not all like it but it gets v good results and lots of sport.

EBDTeacher Sat 29-Sep-12 11:19:43

Isn't the Marist all girls? The OP has a DS.

I'm not sure about Bishopsgate, it's leavers' destinations seem a little underwhelming to me.

mumsneedwine Sat 29-Sep-12 13:12:56

Very good point !! Well he'd have lots of fun at the Marist !!!! There's always Papplewick if don't mind boarding in year 6.

EBDTeacher Sat 29-Sep-12 13:29:58


Knowsabitabouteducation Sat 29-Sep-12 13:46:30

Marist is all girls, but I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole.

difficultpickle Mon 01-Oct-12 21:20:39

I've encountered Marist girls when I've taken ds to the local riding stables. The group I met were all really really unpleasant (I had repeated contact with them over several months). They ended up having a lesson by themselves as no one wanted to be in the same group as them.

Ds has just started at St George's and is very happy indeed. Teachers seem strict but caring and they do flexi boarding (which ds loves). Fees are less than Lambrook.

Knowsabitabouteducation Mon 01-Oct-12 21:33:24

I'm not surprised, Bisjo.

Glad DS is enjoying SGWC. How is the new head?

lme30005 Mon 01-Oct-12 21:36:27

Bisjo - are you Catholic? Just wondering how strong the Catholic influence is at St Georges? I know around 40% are Catholic but interested to know how non-catholic children get on there

Knowsabitabouteducation Mon 01-Oct-12 21:45:33

As a boy who can board, Bisjo can only be referring to St George's Windsor Castle - a dyed-in-the-wool Anglican school.

The Catholic St George's (ie Weybridge) is as Catholic or non-Catholic as you want it to be. The majority of students are non-Catholic, but Catholic students can further their faith if they want to. It is a very inclusive school. Families are asked to be sympathetic to the Christian ethos.

difficultpickle Mon 01-Oct-12 21:47:40

No not Catholic. I think you must be thinking of a different St George's. Do you mean the one in Ascot, which I think is girls only? Ds is at the one in Windsor which is definitely CofE.

New head wears three piece suits and has very shiny shoes. I've met him twice. First time he didn't ask my name (I told him I was a new parent) and second time he was 10 minutes late for a 15 minute meeting. He is probably more of a figurehead than the one they had last year and is therefore probably more like the one who retired last year (and therefore preferred by the governors). At the moment he is described as the interim head. He's come from a school that closed down.

I really liked the head that was only there for a year and haven't yet found out why he left. Ds said the old head always spoke to the boys (well at least for the few days ds was there last term) whereas the new one doesn't. The main thing for me is that ds likes his teachers and that way he'll stay out of trouble and avoid meetings with the head grin.

difficultpickle Mon 01-Oct-12 21:49:48

I visited the St George's in Weybridge a few years ago. They have astro turf tennis courts and apartments in the school grounds for teachers. Amazing grounds (and amazing cars in the large car park).

Knowsabitabouteducation Mon 01-Oct-12 21:53:36

Biggest grounds inside the M25, apparently.

difficultpickle Mon 01-Oct-12 21:55:16

That doesn't surprise me. I found it completely intimidating.

Knowsabitabouteducation Mon 01-Oct-12 21:57:08

That's what they want you to think grin

difficultpickle Mon 01-Oct-12 21:59:38

Well it must be less scary for some as it is a very popular school. I just couldn't imagine either myself or ds fitting in with the other parents.

Knowsabitabouteducation Mon 01-Oct-12 22:03:57

It's a popular school because it is the only independent school in a large area for boys, let alone a selective school for both boys and girls.

It's in a dead zone for state schools, so has a very captive audience.

EBDTeacher Mon 01-Oct-12 22:41:02

Agree with that Knowsabit. The area is a black hole for selective boys' or co-ed day schools.

Glad your DS has settled bisjo.

lme30005 Tue 02-Oct-12 07:38:14

Sorry for the St George's confusion! Yes I was asking about the Weybridge one. Haven't been there yet but it's on my short list due to what you all said about a real lack of choice round here

OliveMum Tue 02-Oct-12 14:08:46

Change of name to post but, as current parent with DS at Lambrook, it is what I would consider a archetypal country prep par excellence - see Tatler schools guide this month - facilities are amazing - nearly 50 acres of beautiful grounds, and then there's the squash, the golf, new performing arts centre etc., great teaching, and approachable pro-active HM, very caring support system, and flexi boarding is great too - DS only do it when he wants - no pressure to and has only done it occasionally, academics are very good but the school is aiming to produce very rounded children ...on cost, though, yes you get what you pay for, and it is a little eye watering - and in addition to the fees which rise considerably in year 5 on, you need to consider all the extras ...several hundred pounds a term per child when you take into account after school clubs, trips, music lessons, uniform. They also have compulsory Saturday school (unless you can show some worthwhile activities DCs are doing instead outside school) from Year 5. I don't know LVS very well but it's not comparing apples to apples - I wouldn't put it on a par. But if you feel you can afford Lambrook - have no qualms - go for it. I can afford it as I only have one DS not so sure if i had two!

Surreymumtotwoboys Fri 07-Dec-12 06:14:13

I heard that Lambrook has had quite a few families leave recently, because they weren't happy. That worried me..

Surreymumtotwoboys Fri 07-Dec-12 06:16:47

But you are right. Lvs doesn't compare. Lvs is a fee school, but it's run like a state school. It's not a prep school. Don't understand why people would pay school fees for this kind of private school. It's like a state with smaller classes

Surreymumtotwoboys Fri 07-Dec-12 06:27:11

Have you looked at hall grove. A few people have moved from lambrook to there and they say its fabulous. Ratio boys to girls much more even, nicer parents, still great links to fab school. Still an Eton feeder. Numbers look less impressive on paper to lambrook as lambrook bigger school. Lambrook has far more pupils than most local preps so seems to be 'better' at sports etc... But that's because they have more children to choose from. They send more children to top schools for same reason.. If you calculate properly, many schools better than lambrook.

OliveMum Tue 11-Dec-12 10:44:58

I can only speak for my personal experience as a current parent - I moved DS to Lambrook because of its better reputation on the pastoral aspects and the benefits of flexi boarding - the bigger size is more beneficial means they can be more flexible each year in putting them with peers in a form group that they get along DS is not very sporty, though the school is (and yes, it excels at many sports and even compared with schools of teh same size) , but he loves it and is also very successful is other areas at the school. I have not heard any compliants from other parents and in fact the HM is very popular and hands on ...and all the staff seem very approachable and professional there may be folk leaving because its fees are more than some smaller private schools...but in this case you get what you pay performing arts centre, flexi boarding and excellent sports facilities as well as very good academics for a non selective country prep... more importantly, I expect my DS will think of his halcyon days when looking back at his time at Lambrook

OliveMum Tue 11-Dec-12 11:05:52

You also have to think where you want DCs to go after prep school, and look at where DCs go from LVS - next schools distinations is also a significant factor for me, and while I didn't want a hothouse, I moved DS to Lambrook so he had a better chance that at his previous smaller prep school if he did want to pitch for say Eton, Harrow, Wellington or Charterhouse etc. though there are many other destinations so they seem to cater for all..for a non -selective school they have a good track record. Again, I don't think LVS is on a par but it all depends on what you are aspiring for next for your DC.

I did look at Papplewick, which has great track record for Eton scholarships etc. but decided against it because it was single sex (at prep school I prefer mixed) and because it was compulsory boarding for final two years vs ad hoc boarding of Lambrook which suits me fine as DS can get a taste of it and boards very occasinally, but does not have to do it unless he wants to.

acmum Tue 08-Jan-13 18:09:23


Not sure if you have already made your decision? I have visited both LVS and Lambrook and have to say I agree with the others, I am thoroughly impressed with Lambrook and going to put my DS in from nursery next year.

LVS is good overall, facilities esp IT equipments are abit old, nothing really stands out and it's what you would expect from a private school. Though the fee is more affordable!

While we are on the subject of fees. Does any of your little one currently at nursery and receiving 15 hours per week nursery grant for 3-5 yr old? I have contacted Lambrook regarding this but the info received still not very clear. From my understanding some schools offer 2.5 hours of nursery grant per half a day session, so to attend 6 half a day session you would get the full 15 hours entitlement. I am not sure why Lambrook couldn't give me an idea how much the fee would be per term after the deduction base on the current rate (for 6 sessions), where as other school could? Any help would be greatly received!

Inclusionist Tue 08-Jan-13 18:45:48

Your DS and mine will be in the same year at Lambrook acmum, although mine is not going to start until Reception. Lovely school isn't it? smile

I don't know what they do about nursery grant either, my DS is August born so he will still qualify for all 3 terms of reception.

AFAIK the grant has to be taken over three days (in general, not just Lambrook) but I think as long as you do at least 15hrs over three or more days you can claim the full whack. I don't know how much of a reduction that would work out as though. At Meadowbrook (where my DS will go to nursery) the 3hr morning session still costs £20 after claming grant. hmm

acmum Tue 08-Jan-13 21:37:51

Oh my goodness inclusionist, my DS is starting pre-school at Meadowbrook this April! (He will be 2.5yrold) I am planning to have him there for two terms then switch to Lambrook when he's 3. When is your DS starting?

Yea at Meadowbrook the nursery grant deduction is working out under £3 an hour and I wonder if I could use the same calculation to work out the fee at Lambrook.. hmm

grovel Tue 08-Jan-13 23:35:59

My DS went to Meadowbrook and then to Lambrook!

He's 21!

Inclusionist Wed 09-Jan-13 06:49:52

A well trodden path! smile

acmum my DS is in the parent and toddler group now and TBH will probably be ready to start in April as he is dry now and communicating pretty well. However, he is very happy with his lovely childminder so I plan to leave him with her until September.

acmum Wed 09-Jan-13 08:43:02

Inclusionist - such small world!! we are doing P&T group too, but prosby different ay to you & your DS. It's our 2nd term this term.

grovel - well trodden path indeed! Would be interested to know which school you have chose for his secondary education / further education, I have wellington in mind but of course we have many years to look into this smile

grovel Wed 09-Jan-13 09:23:25

acmum, he went to Eton and is now at Durham. Very happy throughout (thank God!).

grovel Wed 09-Jan-13 09:41:30

Incidentally I think you have got your timing right vis-a-vis Lambrook. When we moved to Winkfield Row 18 years ago it was a lovely, shabby, old-fashioned boys' boarding Prep school with 90 pupils. It was almost certainly unsustainable. Over the 18 years it has become co-ed, merged with Haileybury, opened a pre-Prep and a nursery and become predominantly a day school (with excellent flexible boarding provision). It seems now to have settled down into its new persona and I would guess it could be entering a "golden age".

acmum Wed 09-Jan-13 09:53:20

How fantastic! Well done to you and your boy grovel! Eton will be out of our reach unless our DS is able to get scholarship, well, that would be nice but not getting my hopes up too high!

grovel Wed 09-Jan-13 17:51:12

Eton may be "income blind" by then. Just asking for what parents can afford. Who knows?

Just enjoy the next few years. Apologies for the cliche but they fly by.

And (major excitement for some) Prince Edward is going to open the new Performing Arts Centre at Lambrook.

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