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Schools between Guildford and Leatherhead:Up-to-date info on St Bede's, Send, Ripley Primary and The Dawnay, Bookham

(29 Posts)
ConfusedofHerneHill Wed 26-Jun-13 21:03:06

Hi all
We are moving to Surrey in the summer holidays, and looking for a year three place for my son from September, and a year six place for my daughter.
We are renting in East Horsley from end July/ early August (so originally heading the Howard of Effingham route for secondary school application for my daughter in October), though this has been complicated by the fact that we have also put in an offer to buy a house in West Clandon (and therefore may end up going the George Abbot route).
Today we heard from Surrey CC re the schools that they can offer places at:
The Raleigh school in Horsley has no current spaces, though we have been put on the waiting list. Eastwick in Bookham has a space for my daughter in next year's year 6, but not my son. St Bede's in Send, Ripley Primary, and the Dawnay in Bookham have spaces for both children, but all three have "requires improvement Ofsted reports", the latter two in the past few months. I know Ofsted is not the be all and end all, but when you have little local knowledge, the Ofsted reports tend to loom large.
I had a quick tour of St Bede's (two lovely year six boys showed me round, then a chat with the newish headmistress who seemed pretty on the ball) then Ripley Primary (probably liked it slightly less, though can't put my finger on why.) Have yet to make it to the Dawnay.
It would be really helpful to have some detail on these schools from anyone who knows some up-to-date info.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I should say that my son has been for an assessment at Cranmore today, and my daughter for a taster day at St Teresa's (yet to hear back from them, but she has been offered a place at Manor House). It would be a stretch for us, but we could just about manage private school fees, with some fairly swingeing lifestyle cuts.
AAAARGH!, just aaaargh....

titchy Wed 26-Jun-13 21:47:26

If you're looking at Howard your yr 6 dc needs to be at a feeder school so she needs to be in Eastwick if they have a place. You could then appeal of your yr 3 dc.

RandomMess Wed 26-Jun-13 21:49:07

Not Ripley in as much as I've heard only bad things from people I know that live locally and have had to move their children.

springrain Wed 26-Jun-13 22:38:04

Hi. Welcome to the area. I would not go private if it is a huge pressure, as in this area you have really good state schools, especially at secondary, so you have great options.

In your shoes I would be thinking most about where DD is likely to go for secondary– she is going to be new in Y6 and so would be better for her to make friends with children she is likely to move up to secondary with.

I know parents at St Bedes who are very happy there. I would not worry about the OFSTED that much at all. If you are likely to go the GA route I would go with this as more children will go on there so DD would move up with friends. I don’t know anyone at Ripley so can’t comment either way, but Ripley is not in GA catchment so there are likely to be fewer children going from there to GA.

If you are more likely to go to Howard then pick a Howard feeder school (Raleigh, St Lawrence in Effingham, Dawnay, Eastwick are the nearest to Horsley in that order). Children do well at Howard regardless of which school they come from so I would not stress too much about the rating of Dawnay unless you do not like it when you look round. Try also talking direct to St Lawrence (same RI rating which I would also ignore – it is a good school) given they are by far the nearest to you after the Raleigh. They will know how many are on waitlist (if any) in both year groups and whether there might be scope to go one over. You could try doing this with Raleigh too but I doubt this would be successful as they have a very large Y5 currently.

BeadyBagsaTella Thu 27-Jun-13 09:23:17

Hi, yes as spring rain says, you need to look at DDs secondary choices, since you will be applying next term.

I don't know the details for next year, but in the past GA has been based on distance and Clandon children offered places. East Horsley may be too far, depending on numbers applying and distance to other schools, so this may depend on you being in Clandon in time to apply.

Lots in Clandon and Horsley go to the Guildford independent schools as well, not sure how fees/bursaries compare with Manor House or St Teresas.

Good luck with the move.

ConfusedofHerneHill Thu 27-Jun-13 09:40:34

Thanks everyone.
I know about the feeder schools for the Howard, and we were all set to commit to that area and that secondary. The West Clandon house has just thrown things up in the air, because we've fallen in love with it (it has the high ceilings that we love, and that are pretty rare in that neck of the woods) If we get the house in West Clandon,we would be going the GA route, and from what you have said so far it sounds like St Bedes rather than Ripley Primary would be the best bet. If we don't (and the problem is that we may not know for a week or two, as the vendor is twitchy about our chain) we would switch our attention back to looking around West and East Horsley, and would probably go for Eastwick or Dawnay. So - much confusion!

holidaysrcoming Thu 27-Jun-13 12:03:40

Hi, I think I have msged you before about your move so best of luck with everything.

I do not know if historically west clandon children have always got in to GA, but as another poster has said, the current year 5 is very large and i know one family in clandon that are not taking their chances and have moved. Maybe speak to their admissions officer, they may well know.

Personally even if you can afford private I would think about what would happen if circumstances change and it would be a shame to be sandwiched between two great secondaries and not be able to access either of them. Boys secondary fees round here are eye watering as well !

In terms of Bookham schools I would agree with poster who suggested trying St Lawrence in Effingham. Ofsted framework changed post Sept 12 and universally thought judgements have been worse than expected so you may not be comparing like with like if report pre Sep.

Best of luck

ConfusedofHerneHill Thu 27-Jun-13 12:34:22

We went to see St Lawrence a few weeks ago (the two kids and I) and none of us got a great feeling about it. It may have been an off day, but all the classrooms seemed very chaotic and cramped. Liked Raleigh (though headteacher was very offputting - I guess she is fed up with losing appeals and having 34 in a class). Also quite liked Eastwick.
The main problem has been that the children, having seen the facilities of the private schools, unsurprisingly prefer them to the state schools and are unwilling to see any redeeming characteristics in the state schools at all!
But then they (especially daughter) don't want to move at all...

holidaysrcoming Thu 27-Jun-13 13:05:07

hmm yes, I have just made that mistake looking at my dds case she goes around comparing cafes....but think about personalities too - eg cranmore facilities are fab, and undoubtedly boys thrive there but it wouldnt suit my ds. M House is about as polar opp to the howard as you can get despite being next door!

homebythesea Thu 27-Jun-13 13:11:29

Loads of hoo-haa locally re Dawnay OFSTED- parents don't recognise the school described in the recent report. Do go and see it and make your own mind up! Should say that Manor House is beyond fab and better results than St Teresa's at GCSE so if you are going down that route bear that in mind!

springrain Thu 27-Jun-13 19:59:20

Try showing them around the other facilities in the area - Horsley tennis & football clubs, Horsley & Send cricket club, Guildford Spectrum, Chelsea FC for holiday football courses etc. You can also sign up for swimming lessons at Cranmore and most of the other private schools without being a pupil. You do not need to be at a private school to access great facilities and will have far more money for these extras if not paying fees. Plus this would help them access a much wider circle of potential friends.

mummytime Fri 28-Jun-13 09:30:34

The new Ofsted criteria is pretty inflexible, so very good schools have been down graded to "Needs Improving". It is especially hard in Surrey as most pupils do very well at KS1 so are then expected to make exceptional progress to KS2, with no room for slippage (or SENs becoming obvious). There is also no allowance made for the fact that the children a school has at the end of KS2 maybe very different from those at the end of KS1 (as families move).
For convenience I would look at St Bede's for the W. Clandon house, lots of students from Clandon go to GA. Due to Surrey's wording, Clandon pupils will also get preference over a lot of Guildford students for GA. It is also likely that one or more Guildford school will have to expand in the future.

ConfusedofHerneHill Sun 30-Jun-13 22:22:31

Thanks everyone. Off to see St Bede's (again for me) with the children tomorrow, and also the Dawnay. Hopefully we'll know in the next few days whether we have the West Clandon house or not, and can make a decision!

springrain Thu 04-Jul-13 19:56:33

Hi Confused. How did you get on? Worth also checking back in with the other schools you wanted as well now as they will be hearing around about now if any children are leaving at the end of term.

SizzleSazz Thu 04-Jul-13 20:01:58

My info is 35 years out of date grin, but I went to dawnay, eastwick middle and Howard. I LOVED dawnay - the setting is lovely and the woods/orchard fab and that hasn't really changed from what I have seen - took my DC to see it last year <nostalgic, sniff>

funkyenya Fri 05-Jul-13 23:22:50

Manor House is pretty unbeatable if you can stretch your budget.

Fayerfield Mon 08-Jul-13 14:39:39

Have a look at Bushy Hill Junior School in Merrow. Most clandon cof e infant school go onto Bushy hill and 99% go onto GA. West Clandon u get into GA and there is a school bus which picks up in The Street West Clandon and drops them back. Bushy hill has an after school club and breakfast club. West Clandon has kids both at state and independant 50-50. Ps would not waste money at Manor house or St T. If going private only Tormead, GHS, RGS and Reeds close by are worth it in my opinion. U can get into St Peters only if Catholic but no chance re Howard from Clandon.

homebythesea Mon 08-Jul-13 15:36:47

Fayer I must take issue with your comments on Manor House in particular- "worth" comes in many guises and all of the schools you mention have their own strengths- they are not necessarily comparable and some are highly selective which isn't for everyone

bestparent Wed 17-Jul-13 20:51:18

Fayerfield, how can st teresa with outstanding ISI report be worse or same level as state primaries? I am personally on a very very miserable budget but going to send my DD into St Teresa prep with class sizes of around 10 not to any Merrow or Burpham primary with up to 30 pupils in the class including some hyperactive boys and foreign kids with poor or no English not conductive to learning by a gentle girl.

mummytime Thu 18-Jul-13 06:46:17

bestparent - sorry just because you pay school fees does not make a school better either for a specific child or for children in general.

There are plenty of parents I know who could have sent their child to private schools, but actually choose to send them to a state school. In fact some had a chance of subsidised fees, and in one case they had bought the uniform for GHS but then were offered a place at their chosen state school and took it, losing a term's fees.

On the other hand St Theresa's, Manor House, Hoe Bridge, Ripley (and places like Priorsfield, The Royal School etc.) are all good schools, and could be the best school for your child.

Oh BTW the foreign kids actually are some of the brightest kids around and you do get some at St Theresa's.

bestparent Thu 18-Jul-13 15:54:08

Well, as proverb goes "tastes differ" but IMHO those choosing state school over GHS must be crazy. We are are going to try for Guildford High as well soon and if they accept then it is probably 90 percent probability that it is the correct school for the concerned so we are not crazy to object to that.

As to foreign kids, I meant those with little or no English who inhibit progress of others or take too much time which could be spent on the others. And, TBH we are a mixed family ourselves.

titchy Thu 18-Jul-13 16:31:35

Someone who chooses GA over GHS is crazy?!!!!!

Errr let's think about that, my kid leaves GA with 10 x A*s. yours leaves GHS with 10 x A*s. Financial cost to me - zero. Financial cost to you - £75k. And you think I'm crazy?!!!!

bestparent Sun 21-Jul-13 15:33:41

yes, IMHO choosing GA over GHS is something next to crazy. If I was to choose between school say no.10 in the UK and something in 500th place I would not be as crazy as to choose the latter. Costs should not be mixed into issue as this is not a discussion of state v independent schooling. When I see children coming home from GA and GHS they very different in their speak, gestures and behaviour. When I pop into local shops such as fishmongers I hear that the shopping assistant says they finished GA. Surely, I would want to see my child amongst them.

bestparent Sun 21-Jul-13 15:36:15

I meant I would not want to see my child amongst them. And I would work my socks to keep them in any other good independent school instead of GA (For example St Teresa's is 200 places up in FT 2012 ranking as compared to GA).

titchy Sun 21-Jul-13 16:55:45

Oh yeah I forgot, working class disease is soooo easy to catch wink

Did it not occur that the kids working in the supermarkets are just normal non-academic kids, and that academic kids from supportive middle class background are very unlike to suddenly turn into dim chavs, simply because they are at school with some.

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