Cokethorpe school(29 Posts)
Reading through the crazy thread about accents, i noted one poster saying to 'avoid Cokethorpe school' in Oxfordshire.
She didn't say why but I am considering sending my DS there in year 7 (he is currently in Year 5) and have been to look around on an open day and was actually really impressed.
Has anyone got a child there, or had experience of this school? And if you have heard to 'avoid Cokethorpe' could you tell me why.
Comments gratefully received.
Here's the Oxfordshire A level league table for 2010:
...not overly impressive.
We discounted it based on the leavers destinations from 2010 www.cokethorpe.org.uk/index.cfm?page=sixthform.con tent&cmid=391 for DS who is fairly academic. The "avoid Cokethorpe" reasons we've heard are all about it not catering to the needs of academic kids.
Though, like you, we liked the "feel" of the school. We have 2 sets of friends with DC there who are very happy. One family have dyslexic DC, and another have DC whose talents are much more sporty than academic. If one of my children fell into a category like that then I would probably send them to Cokethorpe.
So like a lot of schools, its great for the kind of children that it suits
My niece and nephew loved it. They were moved because my nephew was bored and beginning to be disruptive in a state school which didn't suit active boys. He was won over by the cupboard full of maths manipulatives! His sister found it appealing too and asked to join him. She had visited some private schools in Oxford and felt the other girls seemed unwelcoming to people from different backgrounds.
What they liked best about Cokethorpe was that they could do lots of activities during the school day: it wasn't sit-down-and-listen for six hours straight. What they disliked was that as a result of all the activities peppered through the school day, it was quite a long day especially as they travelled an hour each way. I think they were away from home 8-6.
Both did A-levels elsewhere: Cokethorpe would have required them to spend the full day on site which they felt was too restrictive at that age.
BTW niece is fairly academic, nephew very sporty.
thanks for all your comments.
I can see that it my suit my son because he is really sporty, bright and could do well but not that bothered about learning and so not highly academic.
It is a long day though.
Have you been to see any other independent schools? I find that when we find the "right" one, I get a gut feel about it. So do shop around as much as you can.
Have you looked at the Dragon school, or are you looking for schools further west than that?
Take a look at St Edwards in Oxford, which has a sporty reputation, but not overly academic.
Cokethorpe school is amazing. I felt I ought to add some comments to this discussion. My own experience relates to moving my son from state school mid way through his senior years. He has thrived, and is very happy and doing much better than before academically. They have been just brilliant, I would say he is lazy, but the class sizes are small enough that he has nowhere to hide. Don't just look at school results and league tables, there is so much more to a school, and those at the top of the league tables tend to be very selective in the first place, and so I have found them altogether quite misleading. If you want happy children, and a school that will get the best it can from them, then this is a great school.
Why not Abingdon? Fantastic for bright sporty boys.
Cokethorpe is a funny one, it has a reputation for being for less academic more sporty children and very good for those with dyslexia however in the last 5 years or so it has made an effort to attract more high acheivers and is becoming much stronger in regard to academics while still being very inclusive and nurturing.
It is a very long day as sport and other treditionally extra curricular activities are built into the normal school day.
There are so many highly regarded independent schools in the area that cokethorpe can struggle to find it's place but it does have a place for the many children that are very happy there. A friend of mine surprised everyone when her dc1 went on to cokethorpe from a very well regarded academic prep but the child is doing very well and is very happy and for that family it is the only fee paying school that is willing to take their physically disabled younger child when the time comes, that men's a huge amount to them.
If you liked it on visiting and think it would suit your child then I would ignore the slightly snobbish attitude that can surround the school. If it where in an area that didn't have such a wide range of 'top' schools I am sure it wouldn't have the same reputation.
I say this as quite possibly being one of the 'avoid' posters from the other thread however since then I have learned far more about what the school is like and offering these days and have had the testimonial from the friend I talked about up post.
I know of four or five families local to me who are very happy with it, more with not-so-academic children, esp. those who love the arts or sport.
Doesn't matter: we are posting updates, which will save people having to start new threads.
Have to comment. 'No good for the more academic?' Nonsense. It's a no selective school so the overall results will not match those of selective schools like Teddy's or Abingdon. My children were there. Son got 10a and a* GCsE and aab at A Level, won the county rugby cup, went to India on world challenge expedition, played in a band, sang madrigals...now at Brunel studying design. Daughter got same GCSEs and a* a* a at A level, played county hockey, sang, did amazing art, went on biology expedition to Kenya...about to join Loughborough for art foundation. More importantly the school supported her through ME and CFS. We could not have asked for more. Cokethorpe is exceptional. I used to work there but kept the children there when I left, I would not have them anywhere else.
The GCSE results certainly also look ok - the % of kids getting passes at the level of an old O-level is in the mid 90s again. But at 6th form level? This year no-one seems to have got into the UK's top four Unis, Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial, UCL, or to do med or vet anywhere. There are no A* grades in any Russell Group recommended A-levels, apart from maths. So no top grades in English, French, History, Geography, Physics, Chemistry, Biology. At A*A cut-off the school achieved 27%, down around the national average for all schools. I'd been quite keen on this school, having heard good things about the environment, but am now deeply worried by the 6th form academic performance. I know averages can be dragged down by keeping on a wider profile of kids through 6th form, and I heard 2012 was a little better, but has anybody got any insight into why the latest results lack any top-end showing, despite the good GCSE profile?
Yes - it's a non-selective school. Ask about individual successes rather than statistics.
State VI forms can (have to be) more selective than non-selective independents.
We were very happy with Cokethorpe, my daughter gained 2A* and A at A level and was well prepared to study at Bristol Uni., many of her friends went to top unis. some for medicine and vets (for those who think this marks them out as successful). It was a wonderful experience, very supportive and it brought out the best in her by encouraging her in her ambitions and giving her the confidence to aim high unlike her previous school. This was within the last 5 years, the teachers were amazing, the facilities were too - we couldn't have been happier.
My nephew got A*AAB at A Levels, got UCL offer but went to Bristol instead. He is now a second year student at Bristol and got an internship, we credit his achievement to his days in Cokethorpe.
My Niece is now also in Cokethorpe, very happy and motivated.
Cokethorpe has dramatically changed in the last 7 years. My son & daughter both went through the junior school and now in the senior. They are very different but both thriving. My son is a music scholar - presently doing grade 7 on the piano at 13. My daughter very sporty and growing in confidence . Music and drama exceptionally good. The school has a very lovely caring, family atmosphere and the teachers are brilliant. If you want a rounded happy child this is the place to be!
I have friends who have moved their kids from Headington high and The Dragon and they are much happier.
Headmaster is a real character!
My Daughter just left year 10 at Cokethorpe, she was bullied harassed and was poorly judged. the lessons are a laughing stock for the amount of money you pay i really wouldn't recommend it, she now has daily counselling as the pressures have given her immense anxiety you can see were the money goes. straight into the grounds and not enough into the education. it was pretty to look at but trust me you can do a lot better for your moneys worth. from one mother to another its not a good place and environment, my daughters grades have dropped since being their, her confidence is terrible, she finds it cool to go hang out with boys with a enormous age gap smoke drink etc and the peer pressure is VERY strong. Very different to the happy little girl i had 1 year ago, i advise to stay away!!...
one parent told me that "bullying doesn't exist at Cokethorpe". Make of that statement what you will!
I'm not sure what you get at C that you can't get at a state school. Other than grounds and a mansion of course, but that is hardly relevant.
This is an interesting conversation. As with all schools and indeed everything, one size does not fit all. I went to Oxford High School and on to Oxford University to read French and Russian. However, I can honestly say I never felt good in my skin and did not emerge feeling like a confident and rounded person. Success is subjective!? I think we take too much notice of league tables and results. However, the GCSE results are good for a "gently" selective school. Both my children are thriving at Cokethorpe and getting on with their lives, forming their identities in a space that has both easy and tricky dynamics. Just like life. I see them flourish, grow and become confident and enthusiastic every day. They always "want to go to school" even if or perhaps the day is long and packed with activities. Nothing is perfect in life. I would rather that, than they were "monging" on their tech!
I suggest before you start to criticise a school, it's ethos and results you check your own spelling! I am a down to earth and fair person who is paying a fee for my children to be educated with "carrot not stick". There will be bullying and problems in all schools. I can assure you I experienced it in buckets at the High School. I would suggest you go and visit the school, talk to the teachers and children, feel the space and appreciate the energy and passion of the headmaster of the senior school and headmistress of the junior school. Don't be a sheep!
By the way - my son has a IQ of over 130 - so perhaps Cokethrope does cater for the academic child! Check it out. ....
just wondering what the OP did in the end? Where did DS go? I hope they are happy wherever they went.
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