Shrewsbury School

(46 Posts)
difficultpickle Sat 13-Oct-12 17:26:17

Received the glossy brochure for this today. Looks lovely and interestingly is going co-ed from 2014. Haven't seen much comment on MN about this school and the only thing I know about it is it's known for rowing. Possible choice for ds if we choose co-ed as it has a bus that collects and drops off beg/end of term near where we live [lazy parent emoticon].

nokissymum Sat 13-Oct-12 17:40:47

Watching this space with interest!

EvilTwins Sat 13-Oct-12 19:43:41

No help at all other than to say that I was in their choirs and school plays in the early 90s and I have very VERY fond memories of the place. smile

I have a friend with 2 sons there - one very musical and the other very much a rugby boy, both have done fantastically and have has their respective interests more than catered for.

difficultpickle Sat 13-Oct-12 20:16:16

The c

difficultpickle Sat 13-Oct-12 20:18:26

The few comments I have read on MN say it's not academic. I'm looking for a good all round school so I'm wondering if Shrewsbury could be a possibility. I also wonder how it has changed under the new head. What I've read there was resistance to going co-ed.

difficultpickle Sun 14-Oct-12 09:43:38

Bump. Ds is only in yr 4 but some schools encourage visits from this year (eg Winchester). I'm planning to get a short list of schools (probably between 4 and 6) to visit in year 5 with the hope of selecting a first and second choice.

middleclassonbursary Sun 14-Oct-12 12:28:56

We knew the head mark Turner when he was at Abbibgdon very capable and well regarded very pleasant but a complete stuffed shirt. This reflected in the type of boys school Abbibgdon became.

difficultpickle Sun 14-Oct-12 14:02:55

That's interesting. Not sure I want ds to become a stuffed shirt.

If I had to send ds to secondary school tomorrow I think I would choose Bryanston which definitely doesn't have a stuffed shirt reputation.

HandMini Sun 14-Oct-12 14:30:38

I have two good friends who went there and mnow several others. Generally seems to turn out nice, pretty well rounded boys...not so hot-housey as some other publics.

middleclassonbursary Sun 14-Oct-12 16:36:25

We've friends with DC's at Bryanston they seem really happy with it.

difficultpickle Sun 14-Oct-12 16:56:35

I think I need to be a bit patient and see how ds develops, hence the only school I will visit in year 4 is Winchester as it has specific open days for dcs in years 3 and 4. Seems very early to me.

The prep school I chose for ds when he was 3 was not the right school for him by the time he was 8 so I'm wary of planning too far ahead. Having said that I need to balance the fact that lots of schools these days seem to do pre-testing in year 6. That means I need to have made a decision on possible schools by the start of year 6.

grovel Sun 14-Oct-12 17:35:09

You will get much more feedback on schools as your DS moves up his Prep school. Much of it will be nonsense, of course, because parents talk up the schools they have chosen for their DCs - and denigrate the others. They (understandably) can't bear the idea that they might have got the decision wrong so they over-egg the cake.

FWIW, I think Shrewsbury is the best school in its region. What that means is that it attracts high quality teachers and pupils who want to be in that part of the world. There are plenty of teachers and pupils at Shrewsbury who could have shone at Eton, Westminster, Winchester, Harrow etc but chose not to apply.

Unfortunately the biggest variable is one you cannot control. If your DS goes into a house at a public school with a great, supportive cohort of other new boys he will thrive. If he goes in with a less good bunch (it happens at the best schools) his experience will be significantly diminished.

difficultpickle Sun 14-Oct-12 19:44:12

Good point grovel. If I listened to parents at ds's old school he wouldn't be where he is now. Sometimes you have to plough your own furrow and hope for the best. If I manage to get a school that is a good fit for ds I will be happy and just have to cross fingers about the boarding house mix.

sleepdodger Sun 14-Oct-12 19:51:14

evil twin me too do I know you ??!!
It's got a good reputation but interestingly local (state) sixth form is v good too so mix of locals variable as high ish local levels of Oxbridge applicants generally if that's of relevance I don't know!
V good for sport and music- great music facilities particular

sleepdodger Sun 14-Oct-12 19:51:35

Btw what's stuffed shirt?? confused blush

EvilTwins Sun 14-Oct-12 19:53:16

sleepdodger Ooo-dunno. I was in Concert Choir and Chamber Choir and Troy and Guys & Dolls, and also attended that sixth form college you mentioned...

difficultpickle Sun 14-Oct-12 19:59:14

The music facilities are what attracted me, that and the local school bus! At the moment ds seems to be very musical but who knows if he still will be by the time he is 13?

difficultpickle Sun 14-Oct-12 20:00:16

stuffed shirt means (at least to me) someone who is pompous and self important.

mumzy Sun 14-Oct-12 20:53:49

The fact that they are going coed would flag up warning signs for me. Either the school is not financially sound or they need to raise their academic standards or both. I would definitely investigate both possibilities of I were you

difficultpickle Sun 14-Oct-12 21:02:18

mumzy, hadn't thought of that. Not overly concerned about academic standards (more interested about fulfilling potential) but obviously would be concerned about financials.

Colleger Mon 15-Oct-12 07:37:49

I went to look at Shrewsbury because at the time they still offered 50% non-means tested scholarships. Not sure if that's the case. I was not impressed. On the open day all the Head went on about was Darwin, Darwin, Darwin. Darwin is dead, can we discuss the school please! hmm

There was a science lecture run by exceptionally able sixth form boys but two were foreign and all had came in in the sixth form. Two boys should me around the school and I didn't like the house system. Boys do not have a cap on pocket money and some very rich boys would kit out their house with Tv's and xboxes whilst other houses didn't have such things.

Shrewsbury's results have, on the whole been raised by their sixth form intake. When i spoke the Head of Maths about my son's maths ability he was shocked as he'd never come across a child so gifted. The teacher was a typical Cambridge Maths grad so i found it surprising as he would have been surrounded by such students at Cambridge and although gifted there are plenty boys with similar ability. I really don't think it's worth the money, but then I don't think many schools are worth the money.

difficultpickle Mon 15-Oct-12 08:38:30

I wanted it as a back up so slightly easier to get into than our probable first choices. Colleger none of what you experienced sounds very good. Was your visit recent, ie with the new head in place?

It is on the outer reaches of schools I would consider in terms of distance. Our closest is Eton but I don't think ds has any chance of getting in there!

goinggetstough Mon 15-Oct-12 11:05:49

I know 2 families with DSs at Shrewsbury. None have obtained good ASresults and were the type of boys that needed to be encouraged. This didn't seem to happen. I appreciate that in the sixth form DCs should be more independent but even so I felt these DCs should have been more closely encouraged.
colleger Your comment about pocket money and there being no cap I think is slightly a red herring. No schools these days with the advent of bank cards etc can have a cap on pocket money. yes there can be a limit on the amount of moNey in the house bank but notes to how much an individual may have at their disposal.

goinggetstough Mon 15-Oct-12 11:16:18

I know 2 families with DSs at Shrewsbury. None have obtained good AS results and were the type of boys that needed to be encouraged. This didn't seem to happen. I appreciate that in the sixth form DCs should be more independent but even so I felt these DCs should have been more closely encouraged.
colleger Your comment about pocket money and there being no cap I think is possibly a red herring. No schools these days with the advent of bank cards etc can have a cap on pocket money. yes there can be a limit on the amount of money in the house bank but not as to how much an individual may have at their disposal. It did seem strange that these very wealthy boys were allowed to kit out their houses rather than just their own room.

dapplegrey Mon 15-Oct-12 15:12:41

OP - are you sure your ds wouldn't get into Eton? Has his prep school given you any feedback?

happygardening Mon 15-Oct-12 16:13:39

"Eton but I don't think ds has any chance of getting in there!"
OP getting a place at Eton is notoriously difficult but unless you've been advised by your prep school thats hes a poor candidate for it then dont be completely defeatist after all there are about 200 places each year and why should your DS not be one of the ones to get one?

difficultpickle Mon 15-Oct-12 16:14:25

He's only just started at his prep so too early for school to assess what he is capable of.

difficultpickle Mon 15-Oct-12 16:16:20

Ds is a chorister and I've been told in very general terms that choristers don't have sufficient time to prepare to the standard that Eton would require.

grovel Mon 15-Oct-12 16:35:05

bisjo, my DS has recently left Eton. They do a pre-test at 11 which you cannot prepare for. They very seldom fail a boy who passes the pre-test when it comes to Common Entrance. And they love choristers/musicians.

Don't just write off his chances. Two of my son's contemporaries in his house were from choir schools.

difficultpickle Mon 15-Oct-12 19:43:30

grovel that's interesting. Eton would certainly be very handy for visiting as it is only about 15 mins drive. Of course by the time he is 13 ds may think that is a bit too close. smile

bulletpoint Mon 15-Oct-12 20:13:58

Out of interest, what music grades will a child have to be, to be in with a chance at Eton ? Im talking non chorister.

difficultpickle Mon 15-Oct-12 21:12:09

Do you mean for a scholarship? I'm told it is grade 8. I don't think being a chorister counts for much as they can't offer voice for music scholarship.

bulletpoint Mon 15-Oct-12 21:47:56

No not for a scholarship, just ordinary admission, does everyone have to have a musical instrument they play and at what grade ? Thanks.

difficultpickle Mon 15-Oct-12 21:54:12

I assume it is perfectly possible to get in without playing any instrument at all but I'm sure others with more knowledge will confirm that. I'd post on a separate thread as your query could get lost here.

bulletpoint Mon 15-Oct-12 21:57:51

Bisjo - ive just started a new thread about this as i wouldnt want to derail the main topic here. Thanks for your reply though.

difficultpickle Mon 15-Oct-12 22:12:36

Sorry, I didn't mean to come across all protective of my thread! I just thought that those who know about Eton wouldn't necessarily be posting on a thread about Shrewsbury.

Colleger Mon 15-Oct-12 22:13:57

What school has told you they can't prepare a chorister for Eton? It may be that the school (if it's the choir school I think it is) is just not very good at preparing for Eton. Choristers are sought after and their musical educations makes them very strong musicians once their voice breaks.

difficultpickle Mon 15-Oct-12 22:20:25

It was the head who was only there a year and left. It will be interesting to see what the new head says.

Colleger Mon 15-Oct-12 22:25:30

That school has never been that great academically. The boys that tended to go to Eton were the ones who'd been offered junior scholarships in Y5 by Eton and they went to that prep school. Very few get offered places, which is very unusual given its proximity.

difficultpickle Mon 15-Oct-12 22:30:37

I'm not hugely bothered about ds not being prepped for Eton, at least not at the moment. I do know boys who have got into Eton from there in the last couple of years, so it does happen without the junior scholarships. Whilst it may not lead to Eton the prep is a better fit for ds and our life than if we'd accepted the offer from CCC in Oxford. At the moment the only school he is registered for is Radley and there he is on the waiting list!

Colleger Mon 15-Oct-12 23:20:09

Wellington now offer a specialist music scheme and a 30% non-means tested scholarship so that's one to watch and Harrow is a fantastic song school.

dapplegrey Tue 16-Oct-12 08:06:39

Bisjo - it is possible to get into Eton without playing an instrument. My ds went there and he is v unmusical. When he sang during the Carol Service people turned round to see where the racket was coming from!

difficultpickle Tue 16-Oct-12 08:21:15

Dapple you should post that on bulletpoint's thread as she's concerned about applying to Eton without playing an instrument. She will very relieved to read your comments!

Ds is very musical so if we did end up applying I would expect him to go for a musical scholarship. However I'm not sure it's the right school for him. He's only in year 4 so we have a couple of years to think about it.

MrsMcCririck Thu 06-Dec-12 20:01:10

DS is having a great time at Shrewsbury.

We clicked with the school on our very first visit. It is unpretentious (unlike Uppingham) grounded (unlike Radley) and has a good mix of children (unlike Eton and Harrow) The house masters all seem to be excellent. (certainly ours is inspirational)

The music department is superb, concerts are of a near professional standard.
Sport is varied and is played to a high standard. Our DS rows, runs, plays football and fives every week as well as fitting in untold music lessons and rehearsals.

The boys are of varried academic levels (like real life..) and certanly we have met many who have rejected Eton etc. The bus system works well. The exeat system (every 3 weeks) works well.

We are secretly pleased that our DS will be through the lower school before the girls arrive..!

The downsides are..
School hall too small (can not accomodate the whole school..)
Our son wanting to go back to school during the holidays to his pals
and of course the fees!

difficultpickle Fri 07-Dec-12 20:53:51

Mrs McCririck that's good to hear. It is a school we will definitely have to visit.

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