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Independent schools in Herts

(14 Posts)
cazinski Tue 22-Mar-11 21:57:43

Hi all

We are considering moving to Herts (or maybe Bucks) this year and would like to enrol the kids into independent schools. They are both under 2 so hopefully we have still got time!

How competitive and difficult is it to get them in? We don't want to buy somewhere to find out we have no chance!

We like the look of St Albans, Berkhamsted, Bishop's Stortford schools and still researching, any advice would be great!


Anonymousbird Wed 23-Mar-11 09:44:12

Stortford College we looked at though we are now more Essex way so didn't take up the places. Excellent school though very pushy (too pushy in my view) from the very start. I know people who have taken their children out at say, 8 or 9 because the school have made it clear that you either allow your child to be pushed hard or you reconsider their place in the school shock. One of our friends DS was totally stressed about it (aged 8, I was so sad for him!). He is now at the same school as our DC and is very very happy.

Depends on the child. I don't think DS would have liked that, though DD would probably have thrived.

Don't know in the current climate how easy to get in to the infants part - 3/4 years ago it was quite heavily subscribed.

We didn't look at anywhere else in your catchment.

Heath Mount (near Hertford) is very famous (lots of rich bankers, lawyers, slebs etc!) and pretty good I think. I know quite a few children who are there.

pawsnclaws Wed 23-Mar-11 10:10:24

Our boys are at Beechwood Park near St. Albans and are very happy there. Heath Mount is also meant to be lovely.

cazinski Tue 29-Mar-11 20:39:40

Hi all

Thanks for your help, fingers crossed we will find something, I think we will go for St Albans area and see where we end up!

nokissymum Wed 30-Mar-11 13:54:33

Heath Mount ararrrgh!

sore point for hubby and i at mo. just been throught the process of getting our 2 boys 6 and 9yrs transferred into HM, met the registrar who is absolutely lovely and the school and its facilities awesome, then we met the headmaster! this is where it all went pear shaped, we told the HM that we were considering harrow school and haileybury to which he spent the rest of the meeting trying to get us to look at "Oundle" why i dont know but he seemed to have made up his mind about us and our children even b4 meeting them.....

DS's did assessment at Heathm. and they did well, but HM told us frankly not to bother about Harrow school as they only take the "brightest" we explained that we have a second choice as well, and not putting all our eggs in one basket but would just like to try, also reason why we are transferring DS no 1 into yr 6 to so he has a few yrs to catch up (he is currently in top groups at his state school) so we're not talking about a struggling child but obviously there will be some gaps, HM then offered both children places but then put into their admission letters again that Harrow is a no go area for both children, i couldnt understand this as second child is only 6yrs old!! and will be joining in yr 3 (at the moment he is performing above national targets for his yr) DH in annoyance rang up the school to speak to HM again to clarify what he means....he never actually properly welcomed us to heath mount or explained what heath mount would do for to get our children into their schools of choice hm went on about how only the most "gifted" get into harrow, At this point i started to really go off the school.

HM also talked a lot about grades for various musical instruments, our DS has been playing the piano but no exams yet....HM said most of his peers are at grade 7 or 8! he was very condescending and patronising DH and i just sat in his office completely lost for words, there were moments of long silence where HM just sat staring at us both and didnt seem to realise we were there to be told about the school, all i could think of was "what are we doing here ?" i have since visited another prep school, Edgegrove in Aldenham infact and HM is fantastic! very supportive and warm much more relaxed and not so in awe of "gifted children" although the school is not all singing and dancing in terms of premises etcb like HM, but the results speak for itself they have sent over 100 children to harrow, in the last 5 yrs whereas HM has only manged 1! i felt really welcome. Sorry this is soo long!!

watfordmummy Wed 30-Mar-11 13:58:25

Our boys are at York House, and are both very happy there

Sportsmum Thu 31-Mar-11 09:46:25

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

ajmama Thu 31-Mar-11 20:34:14

I was surprised to read your post Nokissymum as we found the Headmaster at Heathmount lovely and was very proud of the schools record for entry to Public Schools . I know a few families there and the children adore their headmaster.

As Sportsmum says different schools suit different kids.

After seeing all the schools in the area such as Stortford College, Heathmount etc we went for St Nicholas in Churchgate Street in Essex as we did not want a hothouse for the DC just a nice day school with great pastoral care and good GCSE results.

St Edmunds in Ware is lovely as well.

Although I know a lot of families in Stortford College who are delighted I hated the place but like I say horses for courses

avidskier Mon 04-Apr-11 18:07:40

We live in Hemel Hempstead and have used both state and private schools in our area. My overriding advice would be to make sure you are happy with the private provision in terms of the spectrum of academic ability accepted into the school before making a final choice of area.
If you move to Bucks there are only limited private school choices that are very academic (as there are perfectly good state grammars available). In Hertfordshire there are some highly selective private schools (Habs, St Albans Boys or the High) and then several schools taking a wide spectrum of children.
St Albans might be a good choice to live (lovely restaurants etc!) but if you have girls and they are not very academic then the senior school choices are fairly limited - they would have to travel on a coach.
Berkhamsted is quite good as it accepts a wide variety of children of all abilities - as a result however they are not necessarily very academically focused.
Abbot's Hill is great for girls who need a lot of pastural care - they get great results but are not necessarily that good at stretching the very able.
I have heard only good things about Lockers Park (if you have boys!) and would definitely send them there over Beechwood Park (they also have a history of ignoring bullying!).
It will all depend on how academic your children turn out to be and what you want.. but if you have definitely settled on going private I wouldn't move to Bucks as your choices will be limited!

besos123 Tue 20-Dec-11 00:21:05

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

WinkyWinkola Tue 20-Dec-11 06:50:26

Westbrook Hay in Hemel is a brilliant school.

sittinginthesun Tue 20-Dec-11 14:37:44

Friends have children at Westbrook Hay and are very happy. I also know children at York House - mixed opinions. Locally, it is considered to produce quite arrogant children, so I hear.

State provision in Herts is very good, so many parents do chose state.

SK52 Sat 21-Oct-17 18:34:53

Hi, I know this is a very old thread but would love to hear opinions on prep schools in Herts that are good for SEN inclusion. I don't live in UK at the moment so trying to sort schools out at a distance. One of my children has some additional needs but want him to be with his brother and sister in a nice, rounded non selective prep school. I have visited Westbrook Hay/Edge Grove and York House. Would love to hear from parents with direct experience of prep schools in Herts.

ricecakeseverywhere Thu 26-Oct-17 20:45:08

St Chris letchworth is good for typically developing kids and sn - caters 3-18

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