Prep schools around Guildford(19 Posts)
Hi, I am interested in any first-hand views of the following:
King Edward's Witley
I don't have strong views on single-sex/co-ed, nor faith (though we are not Catholic). Just want to find the best school for my bright (but not rocket-powered), sociable DS.
KEW is not a prep school. How old is your son? Have you thought about senior schools at all?
No personal experience but know friends with DS there and this is what I've heard...
Cranmore- big prep, real mix of boys, go on to a big range of seniors, catholic but know lots of parents aren't catholic there, the more confident boys fit in better I believe. Know a few who have pulled their boys out but probably same story in any prep school of that size and think it is a bit 'love' or 'hate'May be pressure to stay on after Year 6 so if you are thinking of RGS can be tricky- but lots do go on to RGS! Lots of guildford families. Good facilities.
If you like cranmore then you might want to also look at Lanesborough- my DS went there ( a long time ago! ) and thrived. Great new(ish) head I've heard. Academic. Lots of fun. RGS' prep school.
Barrow Hills- catholic, nurturing, co-ed, rural, probably more traditional prep than cranmore and perhaps 'posher' clientele. Check boy-girl ratio. More go on to Churchers and schools in that area, know a boy who went onto charterhouse. Heard good things overall.
Hoe Bridge- think its fairly mixed academically, quite big (?), not catholic, co-ed, not sure about much else!
KEW- a senior school
Thanks both. He is 11. We want to go for a couple of years in a prep first, because we didn't get organised in time to have him do the 11+ exams.
How about the prep at Cranleigh school? Are you near enough? Lovely school and setting.
I would also consider the Royal School, Duke of Kent and St Edwards in Haslemere, as they are all new to boys or new to through to 16, so may have space. It is worth phoning schools even if you are late incase space becomes available. (Eg. I know someone who got into Reigate Grammar having only applied after failing to get a place at RGS.)
Have you applied to State? It can be worth appealing or asking to go on the waiting list of the better/your preferred schools, even after the offer date. Especially this year which is the last of the ones before the birth rate rose.
I think you mean St. Edmunds in Hindhead. We are a co-ed prep about to go through to 16, our current yr 7s will be the first to be able to go through to 16.
Cranmore, very similar to Danes hill, they are trying to achieve 3 classes per year group meaning 60 boys in a year group. This means less opportunities to learn instruments, not all get to perform in plays or represent the school in sports ( it's all about winning but not having fun). It really depends on your child but its extremely competitive, especially parents who have high expectations for their children ( a mixed of backgrounds).The pastoral care is very poor even though its a catholic school.
Barrow hills is fantastic ( current head from Cranmore was head at BH before joining Cranmore). Small but very friendly and with great values.
Hoe bridge, have nephew there and he is very happy.parents are happy with the school
King Edwards is not a prep but a senior school
Of the schools and parents I know, I dislike everything I've heard about Cranmore. The most recent was that there were a lot of boys pulled out because they hadn't been adequately prepared for senior school exams.
I have heard nothing but good things about Barrow Hills. The children there are very happy and their parents are very pleased with the school.
I don't know Hoe Bridge.
I think you may not be too impressed with KES, given your reasons for wanting a prep. It is a senior school and the expectation would be that your child stayed on there rather than being prepared for CE.
I would highly recommend Aldro, near Godalming. Lovely grounds and excellent scholarship and CE results.
Thanks Tanith. We have seen Hoe Bridge now and liked it a lot. Unfortunately there is a bit of a question mark over where DS would go next if he went there in September - they wouldn't have very long with him before 12+ assessments in Jan and I am not sure what we'd do if it wasn't long enough to get him up to standard (he's currently in a state primary which we realised - too late - was giving us very over-positive reports of his ability to perform in unaided assessments). We've been thinking of a school like St George's Weybridge next but if he were to fail to get a place there I'm really not sure where else there is. Hampton is obviously way more academic so out.
On the one hand I sort of think that moving into a school like Hoe Bridge would mean DS would be forced to work harder (in his current school all they care about is making sure the weakest ones do OK in SATS) and so perhaps I'm worrying too much about entrance exams to next school. On the other hand I'm aware that even a good prep like Hoe Bridge will have limits to what it can achieve in a limited time.
Would extra tuition be a good idea? Do you think the school would be able to help with this, or is it something you just arrange externally? At this stage I am just desperate to ensure DS gets into a good school...
My son joined a prep in year 7 and just under a quarter of his class were new to the school. Only one of the other boys had been privately educate with the others all from primary schools. ALL passed their Common Entrance papers, with all bar one gaining scholarships.
If your son is bright I wouldn't be too concernd about where he would get in next. Preps are used to blending new pupils in year 7.
Before I forget, we only decided on private in February when our son was in year 6. He was offered places at both prep schools we applied to so in our case it was never too late to apply.
Go look around those schools which are convenient for you/ones you like the look of. Ask lots of questions and find the right environment for your child. Good luck!
Forgive me for stating the obvious but, er, Lanesborough!
I don't really understand your geography. - you mention KE ( senior) and Cranmore - they are 20 mikes apart. If you're casting your net that wide, have you ruled out Edgeborough,Barfield and Danes hill ?
Thanks beckandcall. Lanesborough don't have any places.
Geographically, we are moving house anyway and so could go south or north of G'frd.
I don't like the sound of Danes Hill from what I've heard. Also I work f/t and would prefer a school where other mums also work. I understand Cranmore and Danes Hill are SAHM territory.
The other two that you mention, I haven't heard about. Are they far from G'frd?
They're both in Farnham, mendi. Both co-ed, Edgeborough is part boarding but with lots of day pupils, Barfield is a day school. Worth a look if you're thinking of this side of Guildford.
But, I would say (and do, often on here) if you have the chance to move anywhere, and you're thinking of Guidlford for senior schools, the line down to Guidlford from Esher/Claygate /Horsely/Clandon is much more sensible than the journey we do from Farnham or friends do from Camberley direction. So location is everything......
Mendi assuming you would consider state as well, have you seen SCCs published offers info it is now up.
Guildford - here
Dorking - here
As Mummytime said previously year 6 is a low birth rate year. So the cut off points for schools are much further out than previous years and non catholic DC have got into catholic schools etc. The larger schools will generally have 10 to 20 places declined due to parents holding private places. Because it is a low birth year, the wait lists at the schools will be much shorter than normal so athough schools look full now they may not be when places are turned down. Even if you live some way out at the moment there is still a good chance of a place. So it is well worth asking to go on wait lists for any of the schools that you like the look of.
From the figures the Priory in Dorking or St Peters in Guildford (for St Peters assuming you child is christened, for the Priory this was not nec this year) would have good chances of places post the deadline for accepting offers as they offered out a very long distance from the school for these categories. George Abbot also offered out to 5km away, compared to 2.7km last year. The Howard offered to DC well outside its catchment area as well this year which is unusual.
Thanks Springrain, this is interesting. If DS could get into GA I think that would be good, though currently we are nowhere near it. The other thing is that DD will be at GHS and I have real misgivings about putting one child state and the other private (based on observations of my adult friends who were the 'state' child in that equation).
Quite a few children at GA come from private schools. I even know some who have transferred at 13.
Ripley Court will have spaces, not as visually appealing as others but if you're after small class sizes concentrating on 13+.... Feltonfleet, Downsend - less likely to have spaces but you never know. Or St Andrews Woking?
Also lots of schools eg St John's pretest at 11. You may want to check how it works if he's missed these and how many unallocated spaces are going to be available at 13.
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