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HELP! Choosing b/w quainton Hall,Reddiford,St martins and b/w N harrow,Pinner for residence

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tumpa Wed 11-May-11 07:48:01

I have shortlisted down to these 3 schools (Quainton Hall,Reddiford,St Martins) and now confused. I have 2 ds , one in Yr 1 and one in Yr 4. we hope them to get into Merchant Taylors /Habs for senior school,hence hunt for the right prep
1. St martins is top feeder to MT as per reviews but most expensive too
2. QH seems balanced and it goes up to13+
3. Reddiford is also in same range as QH , good review but only goes up to 11+ and also I saw in forum that they really don't prepare for 11+?
4. Also, is it better to prepare for 11+ or 13+ exams for senior school?
5. Lastly, overall how better is Pinner area than N Harrow for living stds?
Hence, if I have a choice of QH/Reddiford ,

tumpa Thu 07-Jul-11 07:36:36

@stikmatix: have now completed assessments at both school and both have them got places in both Reddiford and QH. They went to Reddiford on 27th June, Monday. They were there for whole day while we were looking for rentals. My older DS did very well apparently, while younger one struggled slightly but was given a place. My younger DS could have been easily spotted with a different school uniform when he was at reddiford.
I have checked on West Lodge with harrow council, the no 1 in waitlinst is .5 miles away. So i am good (for now) taking rentals around .22 - .27 miles away for a no 1 waitlist slot. But not sure if it really means anything. Also if places for Yr 2 are not available there is no point shifting my younger DS just for a year or two (since i want him to be back in a proper independent school from at least yr 4)

stikmatix Thu 14-Jul-11 14:20:18

tumpa - that's a great update. Did you make a decision yet between the two schools? If it's any consolation, my DS totally struggled on the assessment day because he hadn't covered the work (maths and writing, his reading was fine) due to being abroad in a different school system. They finished the school year yesterday and he brought home a good report, positive, making lots of progress and putting in the effort. I looked at his books and the difference between when he joined in Feb and now is amazing. There are a couple of ex-QH parents at Reddiford, but at the end of the day you have to go with which one you think best for your kids, no school is ever perfect!

The state schools situation in Pinner looks crazy - when I'm taking DS to school I see kids who obviously live near Pinnerwood going to West Lodge and kids who live near West Lodge going to Pinnerwood.....

Are you looking forward to moving?

tumpa Thu 22-Sep-11 00:25:57 DS has now started in Reddiford Year 2. Maybe we can catch up? Please pm

stikmatix Thu 22-Sep-11 09:27:48

PM sent. Looking forward to meeting you!

happyandworried Mon 05-Dec-11 17:10:02

we saw reddiford, NP, St Martins and StJohns last year as we were looking to move into the area. for me NP and Reddiford stood out the best as the kids looked happy. Although it has many asians, i think the overall grades were fantastic and the number of scholarships awarded were much higher than others. Habs, QE, MTs has a larger numbers of asians in anycase now.Not too happy with St Martin as they were more interested to interview me and my hubby rather than our son! My son managed to get into Habs nursery and we moved into the area.

DRMSA Thu 08-Dec-11 21:33:43

My son has an interview at habs in a few months. Any ideas of what they are looking for in the Year 1 entrance?

Any help would be appreciated!


swaaati Sun 15-Jan-12 16:34:21

Hi Tumpa,

I found your research very useful. I am considering Reddiford, QH, Alpha, Buxlow, OF. I was under the impression that Reddiford prepared for 11+ by looking at the grammer school entries. From your post it appears that they dont. I am wondering whether all the parents prepare the children privately for the 11+.

Also wondering whether you got any feedback on Alpha or Buxlow.

tumpa Sun 15-Jan-12 23:00:47

HI Swaati
Glad to be of help. They don't prepare specifically for 11+ at Reddiford, but I am very pleased with the school. They do prepare for all the usual schools entrance though i.e. hab, MT etc. They have given a big list of schools including the grammars and will give us a first view in a parent meet in Feb before starting focussed preparation

swaaati Fri 20-Jan-12 10:31:12

That is very reassuring. I am wondering about the extra curricular activities at Yr 5 and what is included in curriculum and what is at additional cost. Also does Reddiford use mock test and interview etc to prepare children at 11+.

What happens to those children who dont get placed. I could not find any info on % passes.

My DS is at Quainton hall nursery currently. He is very happy there. For the benefit of other parents it is perhaps true that some parents took their children away. The ones I know of complained about lack of structured teaching in the early years. Quainton follows the EYFS which prescribes learning through play. They focus on creating in interest in learning. At one point I was a bit worried as well and tried to teach at home. He was simply not interested which was exactly what the head had told me. Few months later though he wanted to write words and alphabets. Within 2 weeks of that he learnt to write all the alphabets and is now wanting to read. I think Quainton was successful with my DS and if they were 11+, they would have been our first choice.

after8itsbliss Sat 21-Jan-12 12:51:31

Hi swaaati - I would just go for the school that feels right for your child.
The fact of the matter is that none of the schools you mentioned prepare for the 11+. How they differ from state schools is that there will be more testing during the school year(tests throughout the year and exams at the end of the year) and some work on verbal and non-verbal reasoning.
However, in terms of teaching it is then up to you(or a tutor) to work with your child to get them to the required level for entry, particularly for grammar schools in the London area.
If you are happy with QH, my opinion is to stick with that. Or else looks at things like whether the school provides meals, class size, extra-curricular activites, leadership of the head and pastoral care, everything else will be much the same in these schools.

swaaati Sun 22-Jan-12 11:24:57

Hi after8itsbliss,

Thank you so much for your post. It would make a lot of sense to get my ds to continue with Quainton. Apart from my ds being very happy there and us agreeing with their ethos and methods, the Quainton nursery was very good to us. I have been late number of times to pick DS up due to unavoidable work reasons and have never had a complaint. In fact the head has always reassured me that ds will be fine. On couple of occassions I forgot his lunch bag at home, the head prepared sandwich for him on these occasions, also offered snacks during breaks. She also prepared sandwiches for ds when he refused to have the soup that I gave on few occassions.

So there is a lot of emotional attachment for us with the school. I am sure many other parents have similar experiences as well.

But here is my dilemma. One of my neighbours chose a 13+ independent and by the time the child was in Year 6, she was a lot unsure whether she had made the right decision in chosing 13+ school for her son. Her feedback when her DS was in Year 4 was totally different. Schools like Buxlow finish their year 6 syllabus in Year 5 so they can focus on preparation and tests. During the first term of year 6, they only prepare for the test and any new topics or catch up with the curriculum happens in the latter half of the year. A 13+ prep school will not do that so a child taking 11+ will need to keep up with the new topics taught in first term and prepare at home for 11+ exam in addition to it. Also a lack of competition while preparing is lack of motivation.

While there are many reasons for us to continue with Quainton, I cant but take into consideration my neighbours experience. We need to give him the option of Grammer as it could his best chance in getting a really good education.

after8itsbliss Sun 22-Jan-12 12:04:41

Hi swaaati - Didn't realise QH went up to 13. I agree if you want your son to do the 11+, then a 13+ school isn't good. Mainly I think this is because the school will not want your son to leave at year 6 and you are working against the school in that case, which just adds to the stress.
I don't know anything about Buxlow. Buckingham prep is good in that the discipline is good and they have things like an orchestra, which Reddiford doesn't have. It also has hot meals and swimming right up to year 6. However, it is only a boys school and has just one class per year(don't know if this is a plus or not).
With Reddiford, it is mixed and I think a slightly bigger school than Alpha Prep. No hot meals and swimming only in year 1 and 2. Extra-curricular activities are not great, but it has a strong football team for the boys, so if your son is into that it's good.
Like I said, you will have to work with your child to prepare them for the 11+ whether they go to Buckingham, Reddiford or Alpha, so in that case just go with what suits you best - location, late club facilities etc.

swaaati Sun 22-Jan-12 13:31:12

Hi after8itsbliss,

I have had some negative feedback about BCP about academic standards and history of bullying. But this might have been in the past. Too much discipline worries me a bit though as it often has a reverse effect.

It will be great to hear from parents of current students or ex students to verify the feedback. It is only for this reason we have not considered BCP as real option.

tumpa Sun 22-Jan-12 23:30:22

I did similar evaluation when I put my DS in reddiford. My DS came from a state primary up north and got thru both QH and Reddiford exams. finally chose RF, as wasn't sure if I will go private only roue with 13+ transfer. besides, if DS doesn't get 11+ choice of school, he can always go to QH till 13+.
However now my views are changing and I am wondering if it might be worth going to indy route even if DS gets into grammar even if it is Challoners as an example! I have another post on this and you can see how opinions can vary.
If that is the case with you, you may just stick to QH which does a decent job of 13+ transfer to good indies. Besides kids are slightly more mature at 13+ to understand and it is less stressful as parents than in 11+, trust me!!!

AnuRai Tue 31-Jan-12 23:48:28

My DS has just been offered a reception (4+ entry) place at St. Martin's, Northwood and Northwood Prep and I am really struggling picking one of the two. I would highly appreciate if anyone has any views or suggestions for me to help me make this decision.

moonbells Thu 02-Feb-12 06:25:57

Anu please check your inbox!

rasb123 Tue 05-Mar-13 10:01:32

My Ds has been offered a place in Reddiford and St martins, and i really need to decide,,,on 2..ASAP..Reddiford seems to be very academic ,,but lack of space....very conjusted,,,,St martin seems to be Perfect school -Playgrounds, auditoriums Music,,,infrastructure,,,,but it goes till 13 + and i am not sure how academic kids are.....Is it worth spending more money there???Please suggest if somebody has any experience of both the schools...........We have recently moved to Pinner area so dont know much about these schools......Please if you will share any suggestions/expereinces it will be very helpful.

Loveulots Wed 04-Sep-13 15:01:33

Hi swaaati/ rasb123,
where did you finally end up?
i have started a thread for Reddiford and is after any views about this school. any opinion is highly appreciated.
Moonbells, Tumpa , stikmatix - please can i have your opinions about Reddiford please? TIA.

IsabellaMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 12-Dec-13 11:00:08

Talk to Local parents about schools in Harrow by visiting our Local site for Harrow, here:

shockingout Tue 16-Sep-14 14:38:28

My son has started reception at QHS and I now have to accept the fact that it was the biggest mistake of my life. Avoid this school at all costs. The fees are reasonable but there is a reason behind it. For a private school the standards are appalling. They are struggling to fill up places in all years and there is no diversity at all. I myself am asian, but the school seems to have adopted an only asian entry policy. Surely there must be some diversity. There is a swimming pool at the school and after speaking to a few other parents, they said the lessons are a complete farce. They spend about 10 minutes in the pool and they are not productive. My son will be out of this school as soon as I get him into another. That I certainly WILL DO

Veena78 Sat 20-Sep-14 22:48:52

Which private prep school to send my son, NP, QH, St Martins or reddiford ? For Sept 2015 . Please help, TIA

Izzie74 Sat 27-Sep-14 20:24:00

Shocking out try Buckingham college prep school in rayners lane. A great small school with excellent pastoral care and great 11+ results. Small and friendly and just received outstanding in their latest inspection.

JollyOne Fri 10-Oct-14 16:59:32

Shockingout, it’s a shame you feel this way.

My child also attends Quainton Hall. I have found the pastoral care to be excellent, communication with parents is consistent and the new head Simon Ford has his finger on the pulse. I understand your point about cultural balance and this is a reflection of the demographic in Harrow now, according to Wikipedia Harrow's population is now 60%+ Asian, so you would expect a similar balance in the schools. Quainton does not select on race, it selects on ability from the local and surrounding areas. I would agree a few more kids from other backgrounds would be most welcome and hopefully the new head will address this, however places can only be awarded to those that apply.

I believe the reception class currently has 16 children, so yes there are four places to fill, however the smaller the class size, the better attention ratio they receive. This issue of filling places is not limited to Quainton Hall, private schools are an expense that many families simply cannot afford, particularly in the current economic climate. I am sure many parents would love the opportunity to give their children the best start possible and are unable to do so. Other local schools like Pinner Park or Marlbourough have class sizes of 30+.

When reviewing leavers from Quainton Hall versus other local private schools such as; Alpha, Reddiford, Orley Farm etc, you will see that Quainton is awarded more places to the top secondary schools, so if it is a good quality, balanced educating you are looking for, your child is in the right place.

I would encourage all backgrounds to consider Quainton. It definitely has some of the best facilities out of the schools we visited in Harrow and is very traditional in it’s approach. Just love the way the kids line up before going into school and say good morning to the teachers -they don’t just educate the children, they teach them good manners and politeness

shockingout Tue 14-Oct-14 13:23:22

I apologise for my rant. I was extremely frustrated at the time. I still have my concerns regarding QHS, but I must admit I do like Mrs Scanlon (PPR teacher). My son seems to have made some nice friends and is enjoying school. Academically, I cant really complain. I think he is being taught well. Some of the mum's in the morning are not very friendly which is annoying

sjani Tue 14-Oct-14 14:33:01

any one here moved their child from in year? my son is currently in Year 1 and we moved house so am expecting to get admission in cannons lane or west lodge. From the above posts i think there will be long waiting list.

my son currently is in private school and am concerned about moving him to state school. has anyone experience this? any advise will be helpful.

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