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please help to choose prep school -Devonshire House or North Bridge House?

(37 Posts)
mikulkin Mon 27-Jun-11 10:29:03

My 10 year old one got a place in Devonshire House and North Bridge House school - which one to choose? We are not from UK, moved here from Norway. I liked both schools.
Devonshire House seems to be quite academic, but I didn't like the fact that they hardly have any trips during the school year like going to PGL camps or France- I strongly believe in developing independence as part of curriculum. Also a little bit worried about it being too local - would my international child fit in?
North Bridge house seems to have trips during the year and seems to be more international. Is it a strong school? Also no playground facilities - what do they do during breaks?
I am running out of time and can't make up my mind! Thanks in advance for your help!

horsemadmom Mon 27-Jun-11 10:59:55

I vote for NBH. Really nice families and the kids do well without being driven with whips.

hampsteadmum Mon 27-Jun-11 11:21:29

Hi there. You can check both school's websites for their destination schools. You can also check out the ISI / Ofsted reports on their websites. They are broadly similar academically. Is your DC a girl or a boy? Both schools are very international. I know Devonshire better and I can tell you that children of at least 10 nationalities are represented in each class (of 18 or less children). A lot of children of a Continental, American (North and South) and Japanese background. Quite a few of mixed British + other nationality too. Your DC will have no trouble whatsoever fitting in, if that's a concern. They do have trips abroad in upper school. Ski trip/leaver's trips etc. Not sure how many. Devonshire is a little pricier than North Bridge though and a little more traditional. That said there is a new Head from King's House School joining this September so there may be some changes in style (but I doubt they will be many of substance as this is a school privately owned by an individual). Hope this helps.

mikulkin Mon 27-Jun-11 11:44:14

Thank you! It is very helpful. My DC is a boy. I have read all the reports and studied thoroughly their websites but it is always nice to hear opinions of people with experience. Price is not a problem for me - my company pays for it.
My DS went for assessment days to both schools and liked them equally. He said that the only negative issue with Devonshire house is it seems to be quite academic (! - not sure that is negative for me smile) and negative thing about North Bridge House is lack of playground otherwise they are equally welcoming and nice.

hampsteadmum Mon 27-Jun-11 13:10:58

Pleasure. I would not say that North Bridge is less academic. If DS chooses NBH on that basis he will be in for a shock on arrival...

horsemadmom Mon 27-Jun-11 13:35:56

NB makes use of Regents Park next door. Do be prepared for the CE push at both.

redoctobermum Sun 11-Dec-11 21:58:22

Dear Mikulkin,
Please can you tell me what you chose in the end? I am in the same dilemna!

mikulkin Wed 01-Feb-12 14:10:52

I chose Devonshire house and I am so happy I did! Wonderfull school, very good education, nice teachers and children. My DS is very happy there. Highly recommended smile Good luck!

hampsteadmom Sun 19-Feb-12 18:45:35

How was the assessment? We are about to go through it this week and want to make sure we are ready. My DD is going into pre reception so mine would be different from yours but anyone who has gone through this please help.

emanuela Tue 21-Feb-12 22:06:04

Hi hampsteadmum, the assessment at Devonshire House was I think very relaxed compared to the various girls and prep schools in Hampstead. I think my daughter told me that they played with sand and did some shape sorting exercise. The parents were sitting outside the room with a teacher asking questions. I did not send her there at the end, there was something that did not convince me.

bunny606 Tue 29-May-12 10:24:29

hi emanuela, can you let me know your thoughts on north bridge v the village school? having to decide between the two at the moment.many thanks

emanuela Tue 29-May-12 21:25:46

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

bunny606 Wed 11-Jul-12 17:35:20

thank you Emanuela for yr reply. I have mixed feelings about nb although we are down to go. It feels slightly austere, and the number of children now in each year group makes me feel like its a cattle farm to put it harshly. Im not convinced we are going to be happy. Did you decide to go for nb?

emanuela Thu 12-Jul-12 14:25:19

Hi bunny my children don't go there (one might go at a later stage). All schools these days have lots of pupils in each class (20-24). Why don't you try hampstead hill? They are brilliant! Otherwise north bridge is fine. Maybe you can try to move your dd at 7+, I know of a very good tutor in nwlondon. (yes, the same one that the other mums "in the know" know).

leaz Mon 16-Jul-12 16:52:17

My son is at Devonshire House and we couldnt be happier with the school. Cant comment yet on the academic level ( he was only in nursery last year) but I can say I dont know a single parent NOT happy with the school. THe teachers are loving, supportive and kind ( to both children and parents smile ) and the children of all ages seem well spoken, respectful and polite. My son is leaps and bounds happier there than he was at the other two pre-preps he's attended prior. Agreed also on the point about international class mix. Our class had north and south american, english, french, japanese, spanish, romanian, german, australian and russian kids ( i may be forgetting a few ).
Lovely mums too ( if i may say so smile)

Budj Wed 31-Oct-12 13:45:41


I was wondering if anyone could tell me what the assessments are like for Devonshire House, The Hall, Arnold House and Mulberry House. I have a 3 year old who will be sitting for these schools next year and I wanted to get an idea of what they will ask him to do.

Budj Wed 31-Oct-12 13:46:28


I was wondering if anyone could tell me what the assessments are like for Devonshire House, The Hall, Arnold House and Mulberry House. I have a 3 year old who will be sitting for these schools next year and I wanted to get an idea of what they will ask him to do.

CityGirl2012 Mon 03-Dec-12 23:29:26

I would be interested in the America as budj...

albi1 Tue 30-Apr-13 16:02:42

Hi - we have to choose between Channing and Northbridge for our 4 year old daughter. I went to Channing, my husband went to NBH. Channing seems smaller and more intimate but more serious. NHB a bit more chaotic but more fun. Academics about equal, except of course at Channing you're sorted till 18. HELP!!

mumteacher Tue 30-Apr-13 23:08:49

Tough call albi1 both great schools. I would say look at your daughter and where she would be the happiest and maybe not place too much on where you and DH went. I would go with NHB and change in later when the 'serious' study years begin.

rachel333111 Mon 17-Jun-13 22:50:40

Hi my daughter will be sitting for Devonshire House and NBH for her 7+ does she need a tutor? She is at a good school already, but they do prepare them for 7+

Did you children find the test quite hard, and did you prepare them for it with tutors?

horsemadmom Tue 18-Jun-13 15:32:08

NBH is mixed ability. They are just trying to see where your DC is academically and if they'll fit in. Don't stress.

LensPens Wed 03-Jul-13 12:39:43

hi. Jumping on old thread as we will soon need to decide where to put our twin girls for pre-reception with a view to them staying on til 11 - choice almost certainly will be between NBH and Devonshire as we'd like co-ed. Any updates on views of these schools through range of 4-11?

damo2525 Tue 16-Jul-13 09:29:02

Bumping and wondering about Devonshire House too.
Loved the school but wondering how diverse the mix is both of children and parents. Does anyone have any experience of this?
Nothing against bankers but it would be nice if the whole class was not bankers children!

mikulkin Mon 22-Jul-13 11:09:13


My DS is at Devonshire. The mix is quite diverse. You have anybody starting from bankers, doctors, marketing business and even writers. It is quite international as well.
LensPens, we were choosing between NBH and Devonshire and went for Devonshire in the end. Though my DS is elder, a couple of things which i observed relevant for all ages. NBH has larger classes, 18 is max at Devonshire where NBH has 24-25 children per class. I also didn't like absence of playground in NBH for 7+. I know they said they are using regents park all the time to go out to but my DS was there for tester day and then they had no time to go to regents park - I assume that happens quite often then...
One thing which I also found a little but off putting about NBH is that though all the mumsnetters here say it is such a friendly school, wonderful and accommodating etc. when I got a phone call from them after tests they mentioned that math level of my DS is well above average and then went on and on how he pushes pen too much onto the paper when writing. I have never heard this being a problem and also found it strange that they concentrated on this so much. We got offers from both schools but opted for Devonshire where they just said his math is really strong, his english is average, he seemed to be happy and easygoing with children and they would love to have him. He is very happy at the school, doing much better at all subjects and enjoys every day there (even at pre-teen age...)

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