Cothill or Summer Fields(10 Posts)
For a sporty but bright DS, we are toying between these two schools. Our onward choices are Radley or Eton... We are a SW London family. Any opinions on either especially the academic/facilities at Cothill and the pastoral/type of pupil at SF would be appreciated.
Two good schools. I occasionally hear low-level negative murmurings about the Cothill Educational Trust (St Aubyn's?). You might want to check it out.
I've met a lot of very, very pleasant boys from Summer Fields at Eton. Well spoken and courteous. A lot at Eton because Summer Fields sends load there each year - King's Scholars and all . . .
Thank you for your feedback. All much appreciated. We didn't get to meet any of the boys at SF, so it was hard to get a vibe on what they were like.
My boy is in his last year at SF and ridiculously happy.
He started at 8 and was very homesick to start with but the support was fantastic: just the right balance of bracing and sympathetic- lavender oil on his pillow and even the fifth years have teddies. He has also had a few difficult patches while he was there (failing both Winchester and Eton pre-tests) and again his tutor, the HM and everyone else were absolutely wonderful. I was terrified that he would just give up but because they have been so kind and jollied him along so well he kept working and has now been moved up to the scholarship class. It is a very kind environment; and academically challenging in a good way. There isn't a "prizes for all" culture; but the range of opportunities is so huge that every boy seems to shine at something
The boys, by and large, are delightful. They're quirky, funny and just naughty enough. They have charming manners, shake hands, open doors, engage in suitable small talk. They have a slightly old fashioned formality about them which charms the socks off strangers. The Ofsted boarding and pastoral report gives the school marks for diversity, which always makes me giggle a bit; but, there is a much wider range of "types" of family than I had envisaged: some old money, some London/city, some no money at all (good bursaries), some Nigerians, Chinese, Japanese, Europeans. Likewise, the cleverest are very clever and the least clever really not clever at all. There's the same range of ability in art, sport, music etc.; but one of the nice things is that all the boys rejoice in one another's achievements. Great team spirit.
There are a few unpleasant children (with unpleasant parents) but that is likely to be the case anywhere. The few instances of bullying have been clamped down on quickly and hard. The boys seem to circle the wagons to protect anyone who is having a hard time, whether at home or at school.
My son thinks the food terrible; but it looks ok to me. The HM is a genuinely nice man.
Mothers of stars always think the school wonderful. My son isn't a star; but he has thrived and grown, has lovely friends and is happy. One couldn't ask for much more
Replied to your message on primary education. Not sure there's a type. We fit into the no money at call category as mentioned above. We're in NW Oxfordshire, DS a day boy. He is quiet, sensitive, loves sport (but not v good at it) and now, thanks to Summer Fields, also enjoys music. Its a very lively place, and although quite traditional its appears to be modernising and adapting. If you'd like to know anything else you can pm me.
Both schools have a reputation for being traditional but have heard of some boys 'turned around' academically by Cothill after less positive experiences at other schools. Boys from SF seem very well drilled academically but I have heard of a few high achievers with scholarships from SFs who seem to have less enthusiasm for learning after and perhaps underachieved in their senior schools Not sure how true that is and probably not relevant to most boys.
Ask searching questions about Cothill's French chateau. It all sounds wonderful but yOu may have chosen a Cothill school for it's caring ethos etc but there they may be sharing with schools who have a very different ethos. friend's son affected when the Cothill values were compromised when the pupils from another school indulged in some horrific bullying and it was not dealt with appropriately because of the amount of proof needed by Cothill to confront a (customer) school. You don't expect Tom Brown's schooldays when you select a Cothill school
Thank you all. I think this is exactly what I wanted to hear. So all good!
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