We moved our 8yr old to St Eds in September, from state primary, and have been really impressed with the school. There's lots of individual attention given to the children. We've noticed a marked difference in our DD's approach to school work and her progress. She was at an "outstanding" state school before St Eds, but the small classes have made all the difference. Also there's a daily activity hour from 3.30 to 4.30 with really great clubs available - a nice end to every day. I'd really recommend it.
Most catholic schools in England and Wales follow the same policy based on church guidance from diocese level so sex education is based around marriage and contraception is dealt with on a scientific basis. So I would imagine St Edmunds would follow the same guidelines as the state catholic schools. Many primary schools leave talks on growing up until year 5, and at my DC's secondary school sex education is minimal but in the twenty years we have been involved with the school girls becoming pregnant is almost none existent.
Know quite a few children who went to St Ed's after being at primary school with my DC's, it is not an academic hot house (results not vastly different from catholic comps) but very good for a child who would be overwhelmed in the rough and tumble of a large school. It is a long day as coaches do not leave school till gone 5 to allow for after school clubs but these means that children not at the clubs can do their studying in school it can mean they can relax once they do reach home.
We are considering sending one or both of our twin boys to St Ed's (as day students initially): we liked the environment, the teachers, the open day, the pastoral care, the new head: we have some questions including the suitability for both our DS's, one of whom is academically able in a traditional way (will the school stretch him enough?) and one who learns much more kinaesthetically and has dyscalculia (will their learning support/SEN give him enough help?), and how the Catholic overtone impacts on non-Catholics -
One DS is quite a bright spark, and on the face of it, if academic achievements were the only measuring stick, we could be thinking of Dame Alice Owen, St Albans, Highgate etc, but he is an anxious boy, reacts nervously to pressure. Worries, has a little compulsive obsessive disorder about him. We're thinking his self esteem would be better at a school where academic achievement is important but is not so stressed to the detriment of other elements of school life, and where he might be towards the top of some classes.
Our other DS is a different kettle of fish, mild dyslexia, more concerning maths issues (dyscalculia), attention span short; he's beyond his years in visual/spatial awareness, has great imagination, is a real guns and speed loving boy. We're meeting the SENco but would like to hear from others about their experience of extra support at St Ed's. Again, self-esteem might be better at this school if there are other students not selected on academic ability alone.
What do your children say about the participation in the religious aspects of the school?
How are issues on sex education, sexuality, contraception taught there?