Port Regis & Windlesham House(14 Posts)
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Sorry not to have replied earlier; won't bore you with reasons why. Firstly, thank you so much for your helpful and detailed replies and to goinggetstough's offer. After a cold (reception/atmosphere; not weather) tour of PR, DS refused point-blank to try a taster visit. Could elaborate but don't like to. But as an example, DS could not get his head around why the climbing frame had a sign on it telling the children to keep off it. By contrast at the WH open day we found everyone (pupils, HM, HMW, staff, prospective parents) warm, friendly and engaging and a taster visit promptly followed. After trial night & day I picked up a chatty and enthusiastic DS who told me that the two best things had been 1) how friendly everyone was (with a lovely example of walking into a room where a boy and a girl were playing cards "and they looked up and straight away asked me if I wanted to join in and even though I didn't know the game they taught me it" and 2) how he felt there was a lovely atmosphere. So WH it is and it is all very exciting. Thank you all so much.
Not difficult to remember now then! Anyway, we liked it but weren't sure about the senior school and it was too far away even for boarding.
I do know people who have been very happy with Port Regis, they have all gone on to Bryanston. But I believe it is a bit 'showy' compared to Windlesham.
Lazy mum Millfield Prep was previously called Edgarley Hall. Now is known as Millfield Preparatory School or MPS.
Went to see Windlesham with a very anti boarding DH and was astounded at how much he liked it. There was a warmth, the boarding facilities were homely with enough privacy but not on your own. The SEN (which we needed) facilities were also good. Did not go there in the end because found a school which went all the way to 18. It was informal but not unstructured.
Also liked the prep school of Millfield (can't remember its name).
My nephews were both at Windlesham and loved it - my sister was very happy with it too. I had quite a lot of contact with the school as my BIL was a diplomat & we used to have the boys for half term when he & my sister were abroad - we visited quite a lot to pick them up and go to open days & plays etc. I always found them very helpful and caring; it had a very 'family' atmosphere. It's a good few years ago now, but it sounds like it still has the same caring ethos.
Totally agree with all spaggsuk had to say. As I mentioned above we were there for a total of 7 years (5 years per DC) and we all loved it and were vey sad to leave.
I too had heard that there were lots of weekly boarders at Port Regis.
OK.. I was in your situation last year. Took both my DS with me. Port Regis certainly had the wow factor and their facilities were top notch. HOWEVER, I found the children rude (bumped into me on the tour and never apologised - pushed past me in the corridors) and the Head didn't seem to care. He was a new head and I didn't really warm to him....
Windlesham House was just perfect. The Head was friendly and genuinely seemed interested in my DS, and what I wanted from a prep school. It was obvious that both he and his wife really cared about the school and every child we passed greeted them with a warm smile - The children were happy to have a chat with him. If you are going on to the OD on Saturday you will know what I am saying - it just has the right feel.
I did not like the Port Regis boarding House called Pritchard. All the boys had single rooms and it did not feel homely. Also, when I questioned some of the boys they told me everyone goes home at the weekend -so there are very few boarders around.
The Windlesham boarding house has a terrific atmosphere. There were lots of children around at weekends and the school provides them with some really great activities to keep them busy. Staff were very friendly and cared about the children.
Well, I am sure you can guess that both my DS chose Windlesham House. They did not warm to Port Regis, but you will have to make your own mind up - each to their own...
One year on - They still LOVE it . I really miss them, BUT they really are happy, have made lots of friends and academically are making very good progress. What more could a parent want?
I hope this helps....
Hope your visit goes well? Do let us know.....
Thank you so much for the prompt feedback and offer of further info. We're off to the WH Open Morning on Saturday and looking forward to meeting the HM afterwards.
Windlesham House: Both DCs were here as full boarders for 5 years and were very happy there. Boarding was excellent, there were enough full boarders so that the weekend programme was busy. The school has Saturday school until lunchtime and then matches or activities in the afternoon. Good scholarship record to a variety of schools. Wide ability range but all catered for including excellent SEN provision. Close to Gatwick for overseas families. No uniform but a strict dress code. We found it an excellent school and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it. Please pm me if you would like to know any specific details.
Would very much welcome feedback on the above (for prep school rather than pre-prep years). Comments on boarding experience, atmosphere and pros and cons particularly welcome.
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