Selective preps for girls South Oxfordshire?

(40 Posts)
plainjayne123 Fri 08-Mar-13 09:37:43

Are there any? Or where are the nearest, any help much appreciated.

soda1234 Fri 08-Mar-13 11:52:29

There are lots of good prep schools in the area, some are single sex, but I can't think of any that would be described as "selective". Is there a particular reason you need a selective school?
Which area in particular are you looking at? Henley and Wantage could both be described as S Oxon, but you wouldn't want to do that trip every day.

plainjayne123 Fri 08-Mar-13 13:35:15

From Didcot area. I was thinking of trying out a bursary route, and thought this would be more likely for a bright child if the school selected academically? maybe this is incorrect?

mistlethrush Fri 08-Mar-13 13:39:16

Cranford House, The Manor, Abingdon are the two that come to mind.

plainjayne123 Fri 08-Mar-13 13:41:56

Thank you, I know of The Manor, I'll have a look at Cranford House

1805 Fri 08-Mar-13 14:39:55

Manor, St Helens from year 5, Headington???

soda1234 Fri 08-Mar-13 21:59:22

Not sure if Faringdon is too far for you, or if you would consider co-ed, but have a look at St. Hugh's, Carswell, Faringdon. It's a lovely school, and I know they have bursaries available. You could also try Chandlings , Our Lady's, Abingdon, and Oxford High.
I think they will all want bright children. How old is your dd? At 7+ you could probably expect some kind of maths and English tests, any younger than that and I doubt they would test formally. They would probably rely on observation and a report from current school.

Talkinpeace Fri 08-Mar-13 22:21:00

DH worked at a prep school today.
He was deeply unimpressed by the kids
"me" "me" "me" - no listening skills, lack of knowledge hidden by bluster, downtrodden teachers who had nothing nice to say about parents out of earshot.
And its a shame that the kids from that school and its ilk will fill the grammars above bright poor kids.
And watching politicians on the telly confirms the long term fear.

Why do you want selective at age 8 : who do you want your child kept away from?

soda1234 Fri 08-Mar-13 22:39:03

Where does OP say what age her dd is Talkinpeace?

There are no Grammar schools in Oxfordshire.

Talkinpeace Fri 08-Mar-13 23:05:20

in the dark past when schools I went to were defined as pre prep, prep and boarding, prep starts at age 8 - has that changed?

Why do you want selective at age 8 : who do you want your child kept away from?

soda1234 Fri 08-Mar-13 23:22:57

Talkinpeace, I don't want to argue, or discourage the op from returning.
Asking about a prep school could mean entry age from 3-13, the op may have a 4 yo or a 10yo.
With most/all schools mentioned having pre-prep and prep on the same site, the schools are generally referred to as "prep schools".
Apart from boys boarding preps like Cothill , I can't think of any "preps" of your description.
OP, feel free to PM me .

KateShrub Fri 08-Mar-13 23:32:22

Some schools that are called 'prep schools' take children from the age of 3.

The OP is a school governor, does volunteer work at the school, and so on. I'm not sure it's necessary to make passive aggressive posts about wanting to keep her child away from someone, nor that your husband's experience at a prep school in another county is a useful contribution to this thread.

OP's daughter is in Y2 I believe.

soda1234 Fri 08-Mar-13 23:47:13


If the op doesn't want to come back to this thread, I would understand.

Lots of excellent "prep" schools have been mentioned, surely it's worth phoning a few schools and discussing their bursary criteria?

Yr 3 is a very natural time to move into a prep school, she wouldn't be the only new girl. Good luck OP, you have nothing to lose, just make some phone calls.

Remember that to retain their " charitable trust" status, most of these schools must offer bursaries.

plainjayne123 Sat 09-Mar-13 07:51:30

Thanks for the replies, there is some useful information there. My dd is yr 2. I think I mentioned above that I thought maybe selective would be better as they would test on ability to award a bursary, but I think they would do that anywhere. What kind of reasons do you give for requesting a bursary, if you have a bright child? I don't want to keep her away from anyone I just want her in a class of less than 30 and in a culture that pushes everyone as much as possible.

1805 Sat 09-Mar-13 14:35:05

op - my dd has a bursary at one of the schools mentioned above. Interestingly, she is not mega bright, but is quite creative. We argued the fact that we were convinced she had more to give academically, and that the private school could offer her far more creative opportunities than her state school. We got the bursary amount we needed and she is thriving academically as well now.
Good luck. Go for it. PM me too if you like.

Talkinpeace - are you on the thread you mean to be??

1805 Sat 09-Mar-13 14:45:46

I worked at a state school yesterday.

*I was deeply unimpressed by the kids
"me" "me" "me" - no listening skills, lack of knowledge hidden by bluster, downtrodden teachers who had nothing nice to say about parents out of earshot*. Also with the kids arrogant disrespect for others and other peoples property.

1805 Sat 09-Mar-13 14:47:23

Why didn't that go bold?

Anyway - see how irrelevant and unnecessary comments like that are Talkinpeace?? Every school is different whether private or state.

Talkinpeace Sat 09-Mar-13 15:08:53

In private school staff rooms teachers often slag off the parents. Almost never in a state school. He goes to over 100 schools of all types every year.

1805 Sat 09-Mar-13 15:17:10

Well I go to lots of state schools and a few private school staff rooms and hear plenty of slagging off of parents in both types of school. You just can't generalise like that.

1805 Sat 09-Mar-13 15:18:17

I take it he has visited the schools we are discussing on this thread.

KateShrub Sat 09-Mar-13 16:28:26

Perhaps the private school teachers have more contact with parents than the state school teachers.

Perhaps the state school's diversity policy means you could be sacked for making comments about parents.

I'm not sure what this is supposed to prove tbh.

To the OP: my children are at a non-selective prep school, this is common at this age, there is streaming, and most of the top stream will go on to highly selective senior schools, so 'non-selective' doesn't imply low ability.

At senior school level private schools tend to be quite stratified by ability, with a concentration of very bright children at the top private schools, and few such children as yo go down the league tables.

At prep level this isn't an issue though.

difficultpickle Sun 10-Mar-13 14:08:33

Talkinpeace is your dh saying out of the 100 schools he visits each year that all the prep schools he visits are like this? How many preps does he visit? I know children at six different preps and none of those fits your dh's description. Maybe we are just exceptionally lucky for the preps we have locally or maybe your dh was just at a very poorly run prep. Money doesn't buy good teaching.

Talkinpeace Sun 10-Mar-13 15:02:16

Unless you are in the staff room when no parents are present you cannot comment.
He's been doing what he does for 15 years
even Prep school teachers accept the difference - especially those who have worked in private and state
Private school parents - because they directly pay the salaries - treat the staff as skivvies.
State school parents may resent them but do not see the maths
Private school parents all think Tarquin is a future Nobel prize winner
many state school parents do not give a shit.
Fact of life.
Be the exception and make everything better

1805 Sun 10-Mar-13 15:19:59

Oh do be quite talkinpeace. Thats rubbish.

1805 Sun 10-Mar-13 15:21:31

OP - please do not take any notice of Talkinpeaces' comments. Honestly, schools in South Oxfordshire are really not like that!!

Good luck with dd. Go for it.

difficultpickle Sun 10-Mar-13 20:47:04

Talkinpeace I was talking about your dh's description of the pupils he met. I have no idea what goes on in a staff room so of course cannot and did not comment. As I said, I know children at six preps and none of those schools fit your description of pupils. I also don't know any private school parents who treat the staff like 'skivvies'. In fact it is the complete opposite. The many private school parents treat the teaching staff with respect.

It sounds to me as if your dh would be happier doing another job. I'd hate to work in an environment that is as poisonous as you describe, it must be utterly soul destroying for him.

Talkinpeace Sun 10-Mar-13 21:37:57


difficultpickle Sun 10-Mar-13 21:42:58

Based on that response maybe it reminds him of home hmm

Tasmania Mon 11-Mar-13 00:56:12

Talkinpeace Why write on this thread when you've got nothing to add? It's obvious you don't like prep schools. Period. To be honest, as someone who is not a teacher, but works in the private sector... my salary gets paid by clients, too. And yes, I feel I have a duty to uphold, and that I'm "serving" those clients. Why should teachers be treated any different? Also, there are loads of threads here about private schools. Are you planning to show up in each to spread your propaganda?

OP - Henley is not too far from Didcot with a car (or bus!). They have Rupert House and St. Mary's Henley. And obviously, up towards Abingdon and Oxford, there are the usual suspects - some of which were mentioned on here - for a girl, this would be: Headington, Dragon, OHS Junior, OLA Junior, The Manor and (if you are willing to go as far as High Wycombe). There are also a few just down the A34 in Newbury, and towards Reading, there's St Andrew's Pangbourne.

Good luck!

Tasmania Mon 11-Mar-13 00:58:24

The one in High Wycombe... Not sure why it has vanished from the post above is Godstowe.

1805 Mon 11-Mar-13 19:06:35

Oh St Andrews in Pangbourne - dh works there and thinks it's great. Don't know about bursaries there though.
There are dc at The Manor who travel up from Newbury every day hmm so maybe Didcot to Pangborne might be do-able??

Tasmania Mon 11-Mar-13 19:40:58

The one thing about the Didcot to Pangbourne route though is that although the route is wonderfully picturesque... it took us forever to get there on small country lanes. That might have just been my Satnav though, which seems to have a penchant for taking me around the prettiest routes anywhere - and not the fastest (it obviously thinks I'm a tourist)! Getting back from Pangbourne, we nearly got stuck in a field! blush

1805 Mon 11-Mar-13 20:00:10

Yes - I think dh goes cross country but not via Didcot. I once went down the A34 then got lost trying to get to St Andrew's. Maybe it's just us Tasmania!!!!

mistlethrush Mon 11-Mar-13 20:56:48

Didcot to Pangbourne.... Take the Hagbourne Road, past East Hagbourne and on towards Blewbury. When you reach the outskirts of Blewbury you come to a main road at a T junction - turn left on the main Wantage road (away from Wantage) towards Goring and Streatley. Lots of ups and downs. T junction as you come into Streatley - right. Straight over at Streatley lights - this is the Pangbourne Road and takes you straight to Pangbourne.

There is, or at least used to be, a bus from Didcot to the Manor.

1805 Mon 11-Mar-13 21:39:59

I think The Manor has an Open Day this wednesday morning. Are you still with us OP?

Tasmania Mon 11-Mar-13 21:59:59

1805 - this must be the reason Pangbourne still looks like a pretty little village despite being very near Reading... nobody can find the place!!! St. Andrews does look fab. Do you send your DCs there, given your DH works there?

1805 Mon 11-Mar-13 22:37:10

No - although we have considered it. We decided it was too far a journey every day for dc. We considered moving closer at one point because dh liked it so much but we are still here and managed to get bursaries for dc at other preps closer to home. DH only works there 2 days a week.

plainjayne123 Mon 11-Mar-13 22:48:37

The Manor looks great and we have some first hand experience of it.

mrsshackleton Tue 12-Mar-13 14:12:08

St Andrew's is an amazing school

withep Wed 10-Apr-13 15:30:13

Please be careful if you are deciding on any of the schools under the Cothill Trust umbrella.
We are a small independent school in Brighton that was aquired by the Cothill Trust, which took over the running of the school in Sept 2012.

They have now decided to close the school and sell off the assets, leaving 150 children to find alternative arrangements and they are not helping in the search for new schools. The reason for this is that the cothill trust is not viable anymore and the schools under the Cothill Trust banner are hanging on by a thread - it looks as though other schools within the trust could be up for closure in the not to distant future.

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