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Help advice re Schools in Surrey for 7 & 11 year old boys from Middle East

(32 Posts)
Dzi Tue 08-Oct-13 09:56:31

My husband and I have lived in Bahrain for the past 20 years. We anticipate returning to the UK next year. Our older son will be going into Year 7 and Year 3. Any suggestions on friendly Private / co-ed schools for our children. They are both rather reserved in nature and not very out going. Average academically although I feel it could be the average schooling we have received here. Sporty and would love to sing / dance if they were encouraged. One of my my major concerns is us adapting back to the UK lifestyle and making friends at school with other parents. Looking at Weybridge, Chobham, Cobham, or any other schools within Surrey area. Help!

grovel Tue 08-Oct-13 10:37:00

You might want to look at Lambrook. Lovely school. Just in Berkshire.

mummytime Tue 08-Oct-13 10:48:27

ACS? In Cobham.

Or you might want to look at Cobham free school.
Maybe St George's if you don't mind Catholic.

holidaysrcoming Tue 08-Oct-13 11:06:36

You may be aware but that for your ds going into year 7 you need to register before the end of this month for schools with an intake at 11, if you do not think you will be able to choose in this short time I would suggest finding a prep school that is likely to have spaces for years 7&8.

co ed preps - St Andrews Woking; Ripley Court; Downsend; Feltonfleet; Daneshill, Milbourne Lodge. All of these schools are to age 13.

Less choice of co-ed 4 thru 18 schools - St George's Weybridge - good sports/music; City of London Freemens (Ashtead) selective and competitive entry; Claremont Fan (Esher); LVS (ascot). I am sure there are others N Surrey that I don't know.

At secondary school it is harder to meet/see other parents so I think a smaller prep school would prob be your best bet for a supportive new start. good luck

homebythesea Tue 08-Oct-13 12:16:19

Totally agree you should go for a prep school - it means both boys will be together, there will be a much more active parents' scene for you and it will give a bit of breathing space for you all before you need to choose a senior (ie 13+) school for your elder boy. A word of caution though - some Surrey senior school do pre tests for Year 9 entry during Year 6 - if this impacts you then I would advise speaking to schools and explaining the situation and seeing whether they can wiggle you in on their lists. Some schools (usually the less academically selective) don't do this pre testing so you really need to get yopur nose in the Good Schools Guide etc, search fro threads discussing particular schools on here, and even maybe consider hiring a schools searchcompany like Gabitas to help you?

CanucksoontobeinLondon Tue 08-Oct-13 21:55:08

I’m not much help, being in Canada, but my in-laws have lived in Cobham for many years, and are very contented there. My MIL says their neighbours’ children are at Reed’s School, also in Cobham, and happy there, apparently.

Magrug Tue 08-Oct-13 23:21:14

Hall Grove in Bagshot (close to Chobham) has been super for two of my DCs, but also have a friend with sons at Parkside in Cobham and heard great things. Both have quite a span of children academically but do their best for them, lots of Scholarships to show for it. HG strong on Music and Daram, but don't know about Parkside as I don't have personal experience.

To be honest, you are moving to a good place as most schools in Surrey are super and it's hard to go wrong.

Dzi Thu 10-Oct-13 11:26:54

Thank you for all your comments. We were considering Cranleigh Prep for both the boys. Any suggestions, is it a friendly school / children and parents? Very posh or normal.

Any comments on Heathside state school?

Have not heard of the pre test for Year 9 in Year 6 - where did that come from, perhaps we are just so far away and out of the loop?
More confusion.

mummytime Thu 10-Oct-13 11:34:38

Cranleigh is quite a long way from Cobham area, are you planning that they board? This would be a difficult commute, especially in winter. Cranleigh is not on the A3, and I wouldn't want to travel through Guildford just to get to it on a daily basis.
It wouldn't be my first choice of school, but I don't know anything first or even second hand.

homebythesea Thu 10-Oct-13 13:02:46

Cranleigh is a very well thought of school (prep and senior) for all rounders. Unless you live fairly locally boarding is the only realistic option- no train nearby etc. they do Saturday school too if that is important.

Pre testing as come about largely due to massively oversubscribed lists for entry (what recession wink). Therefore the schools need to weed out those not likely to get the required CE score and/or fit in generally at an earlier stage. If you get past the Pre test it means you are very likely to get your place in year 9 unless you wildly muck up (I have never heard of this happening). However this system means that applicants like you who have missed the boat may find t more difficult to secure a place because they have all been allocated already

homebythesea Thu 10-Oct-13 13:04:33

Oh and I would say that Cranleigh is at the posher end of normal if that makes sense. It is an old pukka public school with all that entails - only difference being the existence of girls these days!

Dzi Fri 11-Oct-13 15:47:30

Thank you, think I will cross it off the list. Not easy, living abroad and not having any family or friends in UK with children of school going age. I am lost. We have registered our sons to sit the 11+ exams in January at St. George - Weybridge but I think it may be such a huge, large school with huge academic requirements and it might all be rather over-whelming for the kids, including me. Looking for a friendly school with normal all-rounders! Any ideas regarding Clarement Fan Court School in Esher?

homebythesea Fri 11-Oct-13 15:53:24

Claremont Fan is quite Marmite- you will find some who wax lyrical but personally I wasn't impressed when we looked some time ago. It certainly is not considered an academic powerhouse so may suit on that basis

LIZS Fri 11-Oct-13 17:53:36

Ewell Castle or one the many prep schools that go up to 13 - the Priory School Banstead, Aberdour, Homefield, Daneshill, Downsend, Feltonfleet ?

Dzi Sat 12-Oct-13 15:00:20

Any ideas or comments about Parkside School?

homebythesea Sat 12-Oct-13 17:54:28

Parkside quite academic. Know lots if people whose boys are there and thriving

holidaysrcoming Sat 12-Oct-13 18:27:12

from what I hear from parents with children there - quite academic, more homework than their dcs are getting at other schools. Sporty and quite competitive ethos all round. Parents fairly affluent bunch - BUT this could just be those particular year groups. I would say it is similar to Cranmore.

Hopefully someone with dc there will come along for a first hand view. I would be surprised if they had vacancies in year 7. Also year 3 might be an issue as the 7+ exams are generally held in Nov I think and you'd have to register pretty soon. Quite a few boys move from state to private for year 3 so there is a pressure on places.

Dzi Sun 13-Oct-13 16:22:29

Oh joy. More pressure. Excuse the ignorance - what does dc mean?

grovel Sun 13-Oct-13 16:26:10

Dear children.

grovel Sun 13-Oct-13 16:26:20


grovel Sun 13-Oct-13 16:26:45

Hope that helps. smile

antimatter Sun 13-Oct-13 18:47:16

boys from my son's school are happy in both Ewell Castle and Priory in Banstead

Ewell would I guess be better as it is 3-18, and now is mixed 3-11.

homebythesea Sun 13-Oct-13 19:25:58

Dzi, you will not find a private school in this area that is not "pressured" in some way. They are all selective, just some more than others. It's how it is I'm afraid, and why you will be better off in a prep school to prepare properly for senior school

Dzi Wed 16-Oct-13 13:48:44

Yes I agree Prep school is the way to go. Unfortunately, my husband does not see this way of thinking at the moment. I think the larger schools would be such a huge change for the boys and a prep school would be a gentler introduction to life in the UK. Thanks for all the advice. Still working on all the options. !!!!

LIZS Wed 16-Oct-13 15:16:13

Some prep schools are large though and year groups in standalones can be bigger than for those which feed a senior school. You could register your ds1 for 11+ assessments now but need to be quick as some will be closing shortly with tests early in the new Year. Often there are different arrangements for those coming form overseas. Academically year 7 and 8 in a prep school is quite a hothouse in preparation for 13+ and/or Common Entrance exams for senior schools so that may not necessarily do him any favours whereas at least those joining a senior school at 11 are all new.

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