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St Edmund's College (ware) and Bishops Stortford College

(4 Posts)
Lucyloo1313 Mon 04-Jul-11 19:14:01

we are considering moving our two children to an independent school (possibly St Edmunds or Bishops Stortford College) but struggling to work out which one is most worth the money + distance! We live in Epping, children are aged 5 and 8, and one more academic than the other. Any suggestions? Also, has anyone heard of St John's School in Potters Bar and what comments do they have about this one as well? first ever post on mumsnet! thanks!

ukdeebee Wed 06-Jul-11 13:12:49

My children have attended both Bishops Stortford College and St Edmunds. My eldest, the more academic and sporty of the two has only been to BSC but initially my youngest was not offered a place so we sent her to St Edmunds for just over two years . Both are good schools and my daughter settled into St Eds and was happy enough but I'm so glad we had one last try at the BSC entrance exam, the difference is dramatic. I was worried that its reputation as a very academic school would mean that she would struggle but instead i have found the complete opposite, she gets so much more help and individual support from the teachers that she is a different child, much less stressed and worried and much keener to have a go and put the effort in. She is one of those children who can spend two hours producing less than a page of written work when my other daughter would have produced a six page essay, but the teachers understand this and she's not made to feel stupid and as a result her confidence has grown and instead of a rather defeatist attitude and constantly moaning that "i cant do it" or "i dont understand it" she really has a go and tries her very best without me having to nag! I cant really put my finger on how the school achieve this but its certainly encourages an environment where its 'cool' to learn and be academic. The other thing i like about the BSC are its traditional values, my eldest summed this up quite nicely when she came to an open day at St Edmunds and a group of St Eds pupils walked through a door in front of us and let the door slam shut in our faces, she was horrified and said, "that would never happen at my school" and i think she's right, the pupils do have a lot of respect for the staff, the parents and each other. If you ask around you will always get horror stories about all the different schools but all i can say is i have two very different children and both of them have had a very good experience at the Bishops Stortford college.

Lucyloo1313 Thu 07-Jul-11 14:42:54

thank you so much for this - my daughter sounds exactly like your younger and I am really worried about whether or not she would cope with a more rigorous academic environment. At what age did your younger daughter move? my daughter is going into year 4 next year at our state primary and I don't think I can bear to leave her there anymore as she is not making any progress. do you know if BSC accept children other than at 7+ and 11+? Is there any point in my even trying? I have other options locally which are fine to 11 but it would mean moving her for the last two years of primary and then again. i don't know whether this would be too disruptive - was your daughter ok with the move? My younger child, a boy, is only starting year one next year but is bright as a button at the moment, so I think he may be a different kettle of fish for 7+ or 11+, but I need them to both be in the same place if possible. Can I ask whether your daughter was in the prep at St Edmunds or seniors? I was very impressed by the prep when we visited and the children were all beautifuly behaved and the Head knew almost everyone's name.
i really appreciate all the assistance!

ukdeebee Mon 08-Aug-11 09:10:06

Sorry ive been away and hadn't realised that you had asked me more questions!
My daughter was in the senior school at St Edmunds and prior to that she had attended first our local school and then in Year 3 she went to Howe Green School in Great Hallingbury which was a wonderful school. Like you ideally i wanted both children at the same school so i did try to get her in BSC much earlier but unfortunately she wasn't accepted for a place. It is possible to join BSC in other year groups but this depends if there are places available. I dealt with a lovely lady in the school office called Marie-Louise Gough and she was very helpful, i found out that there were places available in Year eight and she arranged for my daughter to meet the head teacher and sit the entrance exam. Incidentally this turned out to be far less daunting than the tests at 7 and 11 because instead of being in a huge examination hall with lots of other children she did the tests in the Head Masters office and i dont think she felt quite as terrified as she had done sitting in the examination hall.
I wish you well with your search, i know how upsetting it is to watch your child struggle at school and it makes such a huge difference when you find somewhere that surrounds them with care and support, no one can wave a magic wand and turn your child into Einstein but it does make a huge difference to their confidence and self esteem when they are supported by their teachers and not made to feel stupid.
Just to assure you about moving schools, it really isn't a problem. When my daughter moved schools i think i was the one that found it the hardest, having to meet new mums and cope with all the change but my daughter would always leave school on the first day surrounded by a gaggle of "new friends" and as a result she has a wide range of friends from different schools that she keeps in touch with. I would say from her point of view its been a very positive thing.
Good luck i really hope you find what you are looking for.

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