Private secondary schools in Wokingham area

(40 Posts)
Meatycankles Tue 10-Feb-15 14:38:55

DC is in y5 and we would like a small private secondary, we are looking at Bearwood College (now Reddam House), Luckley House, and Holme Grange as it's now going up to 16 from September. Anybody have any recent experience of these schools?
It is very important to us that we have a small class size, around 15, so state wouldn't be suitable unfortunately.
TIA.

Alotofboys Wed 18-Feb-15 11:33:05

HG is fabulous ( had a few go through) and Reddam House Bearwood is going to be (1 current DS there) and sure classes will stay small for a few years yet until it fills up slowly

Tiredbutstillwithapulse Tue 17-Mar-15 21:23:22

Definitely look at Reddam House Bearwood. Hear a lot of good stuff about Reddam and they are certainly shaking up old Bearwood College.

DragonRojo Tue 17-Mar-15 21:32:59

HG is fabulous for primary age children, but not sure it can compete with the well established secondaries in the area. Having said that, a lot of the children do leave after year 6, so the classes are definitely small. Hardly any girl stays.

DragonRojo Tue 17-Mar-15 21:34:54

If you have a girl, Luckley Oakley seems really nice. I have heard very good feedback from some local families

Mychildrenareindividuals Sat 25-Apr-15 18:09:38

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Tiredbutstillwithapulse Sat 02-May-15 22:23:14

I've heard good things from people who haven't been awarded scholarships at Reddam House Bearwood but did apply for them. I suspect it is at the start of a journey but a google of Reddam House elsewhere seems to suggest it will get there. On the website it says that it's their European Headquarters. Old and beautiful buildings are expensive - Again a Google search links to a Guardian article that said that the new owners are going to spend £20 million on it. Doesn't sound like a short term venture.
Holme Grange has a great reputation but is a bit unproven above 14. Not sure how full their classes will be - they seem to be handing out lots of scholarships to fill them up so might be worth trying for one of those too? The latest Inspection report looks good.
I've heard Luckley are offering very large scholarships to boys in particular. Not every body would thrive in a predominantly female school and I suspect it will take a time for them to understand and truly embrace boys into a school with such a ' girls only' culture. Worth keeping an eye on though. Again, lovely grounds.

Mychildrenareindividuals Tue 23-Jun-15 22:54:03

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colander1 Thu 25-Jun-15 18:58:33

I would be cautious about HG until better established. Unless the numbers are high enough it will be very difficult to offer a wide enough range of GCSE courses to suit everyone.
I know two pupils who were taken out of Bearwood in the last couple of years. Both were very unhappy there and I think discipline wasn't great either. I think they are being big on promises, scholarships, in a drive to boost numbers which have been falling.
Luckley has a good reputation - their numbers are increasing and I heard a recent open evening was v popular with lots of visitors.
Hope that helps

stepitup05 Fri 26-Jun-15 12:04:43

Bearwood College soon to be Reddam House Bearwood is gong to be a fantastic school, I am convinced. The buildings are amazing already but the plans in action will bring it up to date. My daughter just had some lessons there and is full of inspiration. We have signed her up for September 2015 and very confident that she is going to get an all round education. Academically and extra curricular activities also. So far,I am well impressed.!

Tiredbutstillwithapulse Sat 27-Jun-15 21:04:48

None of the above negative posts declare that they have been to the school themselves, instead basing their views on here say, but having a child there I feel that I can talk with some authority of both the 'past Bearwood College' and the first stages of the coming Reddam House. I'm really happy, as is my child, who is doing very well. I wouldn't pay the fees if I wasn't as there are lots of other choices around here. Tell me a school in launch phase that doesn't offer scholarships! I'm frustrated by the negativity above because those posts appear to be judging the school before it has even opened its doors with the new staff, new facilities and new drive that will make it Reddam House! As for the newspaper comments - was interesting to see that they were made by a reader, not by the newspaper themselves and were taken down by the paper when they saw them! Papers tend to want to protect themselves from slander ( or is it libel) by allowing such things to be posted.

notalwaysfunmum Thu 02-Jul-15 20:25:01

My DD is at Reddam House Bearwood and there is a definite buzz about the place at the moment. All her favourite teachers (and ours) are staying next year and there are some really fantastic new teachers joining which is what really matters to me. Obviously you need to look around at lots of schools and choose what you think suits your individual child. Good luck.

Lottiej23 Wed 09-Sep-15 20:40:51

@Meatycankles
I would highly recommend Reddam House due to my past experience. I loved my time at Bearwood and when I was at the school I was indeed a boarder. I loved every minute of my time there. The school has always been incredibly supportive to its students. Bearwood has always encouraged strong morals in young girls also which I know is something Reddam House intends on keeping. I have heard from students who have seen the school go from Bearwood to Reddam House that the school has kept the strong points that Bearwood had to offer and added so many more strengths of its own. All in all it does look as if it is a wonderful place for your child to have a very well rounded education. I would not considered luckley as an option only due to the reputation the girls give themselves whilst I was attending Bearwood. It always seemed as if the bearwood girls were prudish stood next to the luckley girls, however as an adult I can see that we were just behaving as young girls should.

Tiredbutstillwithapulse Fri 16-Oct-15 06:53:09

I agree with the latest posts. Reddam House is half a term into a brand new school and it's going very well. I get lots of information as a parent, see my child's classroom every day/say hello to the teachers and my child skips into school happily every morning. The biggest change is the teaching. It's phenomenal. I see my child's books every week and can see how they are progressing and the level of preparation that goes into a lesson.

happyland26 Wed 09-Dec-15 18:51:44

Hi, A very interesting thread on Reddam House as planning to book a visit for my 2 daughters. I am keen to know though whether they are still supportive of children with learning needs. My number 1 daughter who is in year 2 is dyslexic and I knew that the old Bearwood College was good with additional needs. Any thoughts welcome.

Tiredbutstillwithapulse Sat 19-Dec-15 08:33:12

Hi Happyland, Parents at the school have told me that their child is dyslexic and are very happy with the support. I asked one of my friends at school about her experience for her daughter before I posted this reply and she said that the Study Support team are very good, with specialists in dyslexia support throughout the ages of the school. She was also complimentary of the class teaching team, saying that "they just got the challenges dyslexia brings". She's planning to go all the way through the school with her children as they're doing well and are happy. Hope your visit goes well.

smebruce Thu 24-Dec-15 15:21:20

ds is at reddam house - we moved him from a local prep to start in sep 2015 due to a generous scholarship offer - biggest mistake ever - this is a business first and a school second - the marketing is excellent but the school soulless - reluctant to put ds through the upheaval of another move but currently looking at good state schools

Meatycankles Sun 27-Dec-15 19:30:02

What do you mean by soulless? Have you voiced your concerns to the school?

Tiredbutstillwithapulse Sun 03-Jan-16 12:07:07

I wouldn't agree with you, smebruce, about Reddam House being soulless or a business first. That's not our experience at all. In fact, quite the opposite! Do they know of your concerns?

smebruce Sun 03-Jan-16 13:09:10

Hi Tiredbutstillwithapulse - pleased you're happy with the school - ref 'do they know your concerns' - when ds started at the school I received a staff list with contact details for his form teacher and was advised this was the first point of contact - after 2 unsuccessful attempts to make contact I was advised by the receptionist that this person was no longer at the school (& although irrelevant i didn't quite understand the convoluted explanation given for this) but was given the new form teachers contact details - on contacting this form teacher I had an immediate response to say he wasn't the form teacher anymore but it was now a mr x who would email me to introduce himself shortly - i'm still waiting 2 months later - small issue but one of many

Tiredbutstillwithapulse Sun 03-Jan-16 13:43:04

Oh dear! That does sound frustrating. We have regular contact with the tutor and seem to be communicating fine. Hope it improves for the start of the next term.

smartboysmum Sun 03-Jan-16 17:54:27

DS went to Bearwood for 2 years before it became Reddam House and loved it to bits. Our only concern was the class size. He is academically gifted and was not getting the push needed. So, we moved out to Holme Grange which was a mistake because the school is good overall but cannot cater to academically gifted children and I had to take personal initiative to get things done. Even when it came selecting secondary school, we did not get any proper advises. DS sat for Westminster and Eton exams and was offered conditional places from both the school. We decided to move to a good prep school as HG does not have any history of sending children to good public school which did not go down very well with the school. The school has upgraded to GCSE now but is not proven and trying to fill places. Reading Blue Coat is a good secondary school. Other schools in the areas which are good are Crossfield, Lambrook, St Pirans, Papplewick

BBBassett81 Mon 04-Jan-16 21:50:44

We were really happy with Bearwood and love the changes since Reddam. It was too small but we are glad we stuck with it Dd has more girls friends and is doing really well. I am not sure I would describe it as soulless, butI am a bit surprised at how bare the classrooms are. We have also had some problems with communications but I am sure it hasn't been any worse for us than any other school and dd tutor is brilliant, dd has a great relationship and I think he knows how she ticks. If your ds is happy then maybe you could give them another go? Why not go to see the form tutor? Or the Headmaster? See what they have to say, has to be worth a try.

stepitup05 Tue 09-Feb-16 14:44:10

My dd has been at the school since September 2015 and I have not found it soulless. I am not in there often as she is in the senior school and tends to get on with it by herself but she comes home with happy stories regularly and is getting on very well with most subjects. I went to see the dance show 'The Nutcracker' and if this is an example of the teaching and organisation, then 'soulless' would be the absolutely last descriptive word that I would use. The show was so well organised and unlike any school show that I have seen before. The only criticism my daughter has really had so far has been the school dinners, as they cannot take packed lunch but she is pretty fussy so that does not surprise me at all. I have found communications with the school good but obviously everyone has their own experiences .

Balancedopinion Thu 18-Feb-16 20:45:44

My son went to Bearwood and loved his teacher. However the management of the school changed and Reddam is involved in disputes that are ongoing from H1 2015. I also checked the discussions between individuals with the Independent Schools Inspectorate also (search their website). The internal communication by new management sadly left a number of parents and teachers unimpressed.
I had two other children at Crosfields before Leighton Park and had nothing but positive experiences.
Reddam is a business, Crosfields is a school imho

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