Thoughts/views on this school please?
I have a colleague with a son there who absolutely loves it. Eton schol results this year were fantastic. DS is at Summer Fields so plays the occasional match against Caldicott and the parents seem pleasant
Fab school, one son at senior school now and one still there.
I have put down some bullet points, please forgive the rather abrupt manner but hopefully they will assist you.
1. They are primarily a school that will prepare your sons for Eton, Harrow, Charterhouse, Wellington etc. They will not prepare for the 11+. Because of the long days specially as the boys get older there just isnt the time for you to get some private tutoring if you want to go down the grammar school route
2. They go to school on Saturday morning and as they get older they have home/away matches Sat afternoon
3. Complusory boarding from 11-13. No exceptions even if you live opposite the school!
3. You need to at least have a go at sports and not really dread them. They are an important part of the school, sports are played EVERY afternoon.
4. The Head has an excellent reputation. He knows exactly how to guide you and your son to the right school.
5. The vast majority of boys go onto the top boarding schools (average fees £30k per son per year!!).
6. The school has a stunning reputation for getting into first choice schools, not necessarily your choice, some parents focus on Eton and if the school isnt right for your son the Head will tell you and wont budge. He is known as a miracle worker if he believes your son is suitable for a certain school and it is difficult to get into.
7. Last two years all boys got into their first choice school.
8. They had I think 3 Eton scholars this year, however they take a wide range of abilities.
9. They will bring out the very best in your son whatever it happens to be but I have seen parents try and get around the boarding, stop their sons from playing sport and have more academic lessons, get the Head to agree to put their son forward for a school he doesnt think it right. All I believe have failed......
The school sets out its stall and has strict rules but it has worked for us. Stunning school and as you can tell highly recommended.
I would suggest getting an appointment to look around the school. What ever you see there is very much how the school is.
Thanks Rocky12 and Pontissima
A couple of questions:
1) If we were aiming to send our son to Merchant Taylors, do you think this would still be a good choice?
2) We are just ordinary middleclass people with reasonably good jobs - but we are not in the ranks of the super-rich. Would this matter? What is the "typical" (if there is such a thing) parent like?
We are going to have a look around Caldicott in October, have heard lots of positive things about the school so I'm really looking forward to it (DH isn't as excited, apparently all the old Caldicottians at his old senior school were horrible this was many many years ago though!)
Sorry not very helpful!
We are just ordinary middle class people too but we had our children late, consequently we are able to afford more I feel. We both work full time in good roles, of course there are the super-rich, however there are at least 50% of women working in some capacity as well as the wives of investment bankers at Caldicott. You will be absolutely fine. However, one word of caution. The senior boarding schools will suck you in in a nice way I think, but everyone will talk about Charterhouse, Harrow, Eton and you will find yourself thinking about them as well!
Merchants Taylors I believe is getting very academic and what would happen if your son didnt make it through the test. Would the fallback be a boarding school, would you want to pay all that money, would your son be suitable for a boarding school? Around South Bucks we dont have any day private senior schools apart from Merchants Taylor so you might find yourself in a catch 22, do you move house to increase your choice of day schools (hughly expensive with stamp duty etc) or do you go for a boarding school which will give you lots of choice in the South East.
Also, a parent wanted to move their son from Caldicott to MT's a couple of years ago at 11. There is an unwritten rule that MT dont poach boys from another fee paying school and suggested 13 might be the best age to start. Not impossible of course but just so that you are aware.
Additionally when your son has reached the senior part of Caldicott and starts boarding with all his friends at 11 do you really want to take that option away from him. Boarding is done very gently, and in a safe environment, boys are allowed to be homesick and to not be afraid to cry or show some emotion. My older son who has just started at senior boarding is streets adhead in terms of confidence and attitude and Caldicott taught him that.
When you have the tour dont be nervous about asking ANY questions and be prepared for a very charming Head...
Thanks Rocky 12. Food for thought particularly regarding the senior boarding schools!
One final question - which pre-prep schools generally feed Caldicott? Is it a mixture, or are there two or three clear feeders?
Jennyee we are visiting in October as well. I would be interested in your impressions after..
May I just advise on dress for the open day? I went a couple of years ago and failed miserably. Women were head to toe in Boden. Men, almost without exception, were in chinos or grey trousers with navy double breasted blazers. Looked like grown men wearing school uniform!
School has good reputation especially for common entrance. They seem to have a lot of overseas pupils. I considered it for ds but since we visited his musical abilities have come to the fore and he will probably go to St George's instead.
There are plenty of private senior schools in East Berks (which borders South Bucks) - Claires Court, The Oratory, Reading Bluecoats, Leighton Park, Bearwood College, Wellington College are the ones that immediately spring to mind.
Your post has made me smile MollieO - will dress accordingly!
Rocky 12 - just wanted to say that I have now been to see Caldicott and was extremely impressed. The boys were incredibly polite. The school had a very nice feel to it.
Just picking up this thread a bit late. We've recently had the school recommended to us because we're told it has a good academic record (without being a scary hothouse) as well as a good learning support team. Our DS (age 10) is dyslexic and we've been advised that he needs a school that doesn't dumb down (his current one does a bit) but that also copes with a range of abilities and can provide him with support when he needs it. I
Can anyone comment on this?
Any advice MUCH appreciated
The official line from the school.
Worth a quick read
Oh look now no posting on the school site? Funny that huh, can take time post it and remove it but still no apology!
Shocking that parents would even consider this school in view of all we know now.
A cautionary tale.
What an incredibly brave trio of men in that documentary. Horrific abuse and so callously exercised.
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