Hello! At the moment my 6 yo DS is at Wetherby Prep, and 3 yo DD will be starting at Pembridge Hall in Sep. We are starting to think about secondary schools for DS, and whether we should choose boarding or day, and co-ed or single sex. My DH went to Eton, and I went to St Paul's Girls, so we have both experiences! We need to decide whether to go for the 11+ or 13+. DS is evidently v academic, and has been playing the piano for 2 years. He adores sports, especially rugby and football At the moment, we have looked at: Latymer Upper St Paul's Eton Winchester Westminster City of London UCS Charterhouse Harrow One of my best friend's sons goes to Latymer, and it seems to be doing very well - it came 20th in this year's league tables and is the top co-ed school in the country, but obviously Westminster etc is 1st! Of course it isn't all about academics, so we'd love to know about these school's facilities and opportunities for sports, drama, music etc, and their atmospheres - DS seems to be rather shy when with friends and peers etc. Thanks so much, and happy new year!
I am an ex-student of Latymer and I agree with what Needmoresleep said. Before it became co-ed, it was a back up for St Paul's etc, whereas now they are thought of as equally desirable to get into - many of the boys in my year had tried to get in to Latymer but had had to settle for St Paul's. Although it was many years ago a grammar school, it now fully feels like a traditional, highly academic public school, however it is more forward-thinking and 'cooler' than places like Eton or Westminster. This public school feel will increase with the new head - he was head of classics at Eton and dep head at Durham. Its playing fields are actually brilliant, contrary to what needmoresleep says - they are only a mile or so away and are just as large as St Paul's.
Socially, Latymer has changed a huge amount. When I was there, the older years were more middle class, pretty normal families who lived in places like Sheen, Kew or Richmond. Nowadays though everyone seems to live in Kensington, Chelsea, Fulham etc, and are more upper middle/upper class (or if you like 'posher'). Instead of having friends from Tiffins or lesser-known private schools, my social circle was exclusively St Pauls, Godolphin, Eton and Westminster. The new students coming to the sixth form when I was there came from places like Harrow, Wycombe Abbey and Cheltenham Ladies, as well as state schools, which really shows the mix of people, which I think is great.
To be honest, all of the schools you listed are very similar to each other, and in many cases Latymer is much better academically - i.e Charterhouse, Harrow and UCS, so it's really just a question of seeing where your DS fits better, Winchester is for more eccentric, less sporty boys, St Paul's for the all-rounder etc. Wherever he is I'm sure he'll do brilliantly!
OP may be real or fake (I dont particularly care) but its good for genuine posters to post continuously as there would be hundreds, if not thousands, of genuine and interested (silent) readers to read the postings and learn from them. After all, this is what MumsNet - Education - is all about.
There is a magazine called Private School Magazine that you might want to google..... lots of info in there... I just wrote a feature for them about nutrition and stress! Beginning to see why they asked me. Good luck with your research.