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Culford School, Suffolk

(41 Posts)
diabolo Fri 24-Feb-12 17:54:20

Any recent or current parents opinions on this school would be much appreciated, good or bad.

Thanks in anticipation.

VickityBoo Fri 24-Feb-12 18:10:48

I don't have personal experience but I live in Suffolk and the general consensus is that it's very good. That probably doesn't help that much.

OnlyWantsOne Fri 24-Feb-12 18:11:28

Yes same as above. Have heard good things

VickityBoo Fri 24-Feb-12 20:09:31

Actually I remember now doing a 5k in the grounds. It's stunning, beautiful, vast grounds. They have a fantastic sport facility and indoor tennis courts. I got talking to the head of PE who was very proud to be working at the school and couldn't praise it enough. grin

diabolo Sat 25-Feb-12 08:53:02

The school / grounds and sporting facilities are amazing, it is fairly nearby home and for a "not overly academically selective" school, gets fantastic GCSE / A Level results. (96% A*-C for last year). I get the feeling DS would get a much more all-round education there, without too much of the constant, tireless academic pressure I hear about from parents who have DC's at the highly selective schools around Suffolk.

Hardly anyone at DS's current school considers it for Seniors, but the reasons they give are from its reputation and things that happened 15 or even 20+ years ago, which seems ridiculous to me, which is why I want the views of current or recent parents ideally.

mrswoodentop Sun 26-Feb-12 20:28:07

I am relatively local ,my dses play matches there etc,are you thinking of boarding or day?It has a reputation for being rather overpriced but always seems a nice school ,good for all rounders,not many full boarders I think but more than most of the competitors in Suffolk bar maybe RHS and Fram

diabolo Mon 27-Feb-12 07:49:02

Day - (we only live 20 mins away), and yes, the one downside is the cost is more than Ipswich etc.

I just don't want DS having a 3 hour commute just to go to school and back each day - and the bus fees for Ipswich would probably bump up the annual cost to near Culford level anyway.

Also, he loves his extra-curricular activities and if he went to Ipswich, this would mean he would miss the bus home. As working parents, we can't drive over there willy-nilly to pick him up - so Culford really becomes the only viable option.

We are not Catholic, otherwise I would seriously consider St Benedicts, but we are bottom of the admissions criteria.

mrswoodentop Mon 27-Feb-12 07:56:10

Sounds like an excellent option then ,certainly don't think that you would make a big mistake with it.I have never heard any negative feedback.If you are west of Bury you could consider the Cambridge schools ,I know some people train it in but to be honest if you are only 20mins from Culford I would do that.What about King Edwards,are you out of catchment?

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Mon 27-Feb-12 08:49:50

I know some Culford teachers (past and present) who also send their children to the school. So I would say that that is a good sign. I know their children get discounted fees, but still you wouldn't educate your child there if you thought it wasn't very good would you?

diabolo Mon 27-Feb-12 17:20:07

Thanks everyone. Good points.

I am visiting formally in the next couple of weeks, but from what I already know, imagine I will like it. DS already has friends from out of school who attend and I will make my own mind up rather than relying on someone's opinion based on something that happened in 1998! Cheers.

pickledsiblings Mon 27-Feb-12 21:47:28

Culford is nothing special and the fees are indeed very high. The grounds are lovely and I suppose the intake is fairly comprehensive.

King Edwards has all of the problems associated with a State comprehensive school.

Ipswich School - have heard good things about, academic but not super-academic like the Perse.

diabolo Tue 28-Feb-12 07:47:36

Why do you think it is nothing special pickled, do you / have you had children there? Tell me more?

As I said up the thread, I can't consider Ipswich as I don't want DS having a 3 hour commute on the school bus each day, no nearby friends, and no chance of taking part in extra-curricular activities. I do like the school though.

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Tue 28-Feb-12 08:36:27

Have you looked into Thetford Grammar or Finborough School? I don't have any experience or knowledge of these, just thought I would mention them.

mrswoodentop Tue 28-Feb-12 08:41:01

Thetford and Finborough not in the same league really as Culford and Ipswich.

pretorius Thu 01-Mar-12 14:54:42

I have had 3 children at Culford - one left and now at uni, two still there. Culford has been an absolutely fantastic school in every respect - most importantly my children have been so happy at school from day one but they have all achieved results above our expectations. The sport is great, teaching and communication good and the pastoral care excellent. Culford in our experience gives a good all round education. They have been happy as day pupils and now absolutely love the boarding experience too.

diabolo Thu 01-Mar-12 17:58:27

pretorius thank you.

I'm visiting on 10th March Open Morning but I am certain that will confirm what I already think.

pretorius Thu 01-Mar-12 18:59:36

I hope that you have a good day on the 10th. Just watch out for all the upheaval in the grounds. They are busy digging trenches and laying pipes to install some sort of eco boiler for the entire school that will run off wood chippings. The work should be finished by the end of March but it all looks pretty terrible at the moment.

diabolo Thu 01-Mar-12 19:09:41

DS attends U14's hockey training there, so we've seen that over the past few weeks. grin It's not a problem.

diabolo Thu 01-Mar-12 19:17:13

pretorius I should add that from a sporting point of view I know the school well, but many parents at DS's prep are less than complimentary at the thought of sending their children to be educated there, but they don't seem to have any valid reasons for their opinion.

I really don't know why. One harks back to their own days boarding there (some 25 years ago in that case), and cite the rather tame cannabis story from 1999. Almost as though they think that every other school, state or independent is immune from such a thing. Bizarre!

pickledsiblings Thu 01-Mar-12 19:34:58

Culford doesn't really seem to have an 'ethos'. It has fabulous grounds as you know but with the Pre Prep, Prep and Senior School all on the same site I would expect more. It is almost as if they are three separate schools which may suit you very well Diabolo if you are coming in at Senior School level.

I attended a function hosted by sixth form girls a year or so ago and I did not thing 'ah that's what I want my DD to end up like'. On the whole the girls were not very articulate or confident.

The Prep school has had quite a big turnover of staff in the past few years and I have friends with DC there who are less than happy with the Head.

All that being said, I would definitely send my DC there over King Edwards.

Good luck with it all smile.

diabolo Thu 01-Mar-12 19:41:04

pickled thankyou - yes the separate schools thing is not a problem for me.

Interesting comments about the 6th form girls. One of the things that most impressed me about Ipswich, St Benedicts and County Upper was the confidence of the girls who showed us around.

I just didn't like KEGS, for all it's shiny facilities - it looked like it had never been used.

I will see what I think next week - we are getting a tour from a 6th Former.

pickledsiblings Thu 01-Mar-12 19:49:41

Do you meet the criteria for St Benedicts then? It comes out well in league tables and someone I know who did a teaching practice there really rated it (and didn't rate King Eds). Another teacher friend left County Upper because of the discipline probs.

mrswoodentop Thu 01-Mar-12 19:52:03

Ipswich is known for it's bolshy girls though,winkto be frank to survive there as a girl you have to be pretty confident and they certainly give as good as they get.It is after all still only a third girls and they get away with a lot because until recently a lot of the old timers were slightly scared of them .Less so now I think as they have had a wave of retirements.

Out of interest where do most head for from your prep?

diabolo Thu 01-Mar-12 19:54:28

We are bottom of the admission criteria for St Benedicts (my DH loved it), so a very long shot, but it will be Number 1 when we make our state school applications.

KEGS is our catchment school.

diabolo Thu 01-Mar-12 19:56:09

mrs it splits between Ipswich and Perse/Leys, with an equal number going back into State, and then the odd one or two to Culford, Fram, Oundle, RHS, or even further afield.

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