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Schools in newton abbot v Bude

(124 Posts)
Jem1709 Thu 27-Feb-14 13:02:50

We currently live in newton abbot but also have a place in Bude where we spend weekends. Thinking about moving to Bude permanently and looking at St Petrocs. Bude primary hasn't fared well in ofsted and out of catchment for Stratton. Does anybody have any views on St Petrocs? If we decide to stay in newton abbot we are looking at stover (if we can't get DS into either canada hill or st michaels - both of which have outstanding ofsted, although we may decide not to apply if we visit and don't like them). So thinking about stover as a backup or possibly as a first choice. We have visited and it seems nice.
Any constructive thoughts on either? I don't want to hear how great blundells, exeter school etc or any of the other prep schools are that aren't local to me. I don't have time in the day to spend hours on the school run so can only consider the schools in close proximity to us.

hermitcrab Thu 27-Feb-14 17:49:34

Friends with a few St Mikes families, all happy at KS1 but all 5 families have struggled with the approach to KS2, lots of pressure re Sats. Canada Hill friends seem happy. We're at Bradley Barton Primary, Y3, joined this year, all great so far academically, lovely Head. DD has struggled to break in to established friendship groups though.

averyyoungkitten Thu 27-Feb-14 18:00:31

Firstly, I would not write off Stover so quickly in favour of those with recent Ofsteds, because its Ofsted isnt out yet. They were inspected about two weeks ago on the five year cycle. I am told it is likely to be first rate. They have an excellent prep anyway.

I dont know St. Petrocs, but I am told it has an excellent reputation. Bude is more difficult. Maybe Kingsley School in Biddeford? I dont know of many schools around Bude.

My personal view would be that you could do far worse than Stover in Newton Abbott.

averyyoungkitten Thu 27-Feb-14 18:28:33

There is St. Josephs Launceston. That is just in striking distance for Bude. They run a bus. I looked at it and it does seem a goodschool but I am not convinced about it being only a prep + 11 - 16 school. My DD wanted to go there but I do not like the fact she will be forced to move at 16.

Jem1709 Thu 27-Feb-14 21:16:56

Thanks for your views. I'll take a look at Bradley Barton. To be honest I think there's something really drawing me to prep school at the moment because of the small classes. DS is, in my humble opinion, exceptionally bright (guess every mummy thinks the same!!) and I wouldn't want him to get lost in a big class.

Good point about ofsted, I'd forgotten stover have just had their inspection. I like the school and obviously it feeds into the local grammar and also has it's own senior school. Bude worries me on that front as I'm not sure budehaven community is any good and any other secondaries are really quite a way away. Such a shame st petrocs is only prep.

I know what you mean about cutting off at 16. I went to independent senior which cut off at 16 so was forced to go elsewhere for 6th form, which was unsettling. But I suppose it prepares you for changes and new beginnings at uni / working life etc?

Retropear Thu 27-Feb-14 21:21:10

Erm feeds into local grammar.Which one would that be?

I wouldn't pay money for Stover's GCSE results,many state schools are better.

Jem1709 Thu 27-Feb-14 21:25:42

Torquay boys.

Will take a look at gcse results. I'm more concerned with prep school at the moment. Not sure he would stay there for the whole of his education. I know there are many state schools which are outstanding - and particularly in newton abbot - but there are so many that the catchments are so small. And classes of more than 25 or so bothers me slightly. Just my opinion. May change when I visit canada hill or st michaels of course.

Retropear Thu 27-Feb-14 21:28:13

Erm I doubt they'd "feed" Torquay boys.

rupert1 Thu 27-Feb-14 21:32:03

Dont try to think to hard just go to Bude, if your unsure take a stroll round Asda Newton Abbot then on to Trago mills.That will be the best lesson on life in Newton Abbot you could ever get,best of luck.

Retropear Thu 27-Feb-14 21:34:05


Bude can get windy and desolate though.

I'd choose Canada Hill or St Michaels over Stover in a heart beat.Small classes aren't everything.

Jem1709 Thu 27-Feb-14 21:36:29

Apologies, I'll re-phrase. There is a local grammar school (Torquay boys) which a stover pupil could attend if successful at 11+. I was merely commenting that there is a local grammar school in Devon, as opposed to Bude / Cornwall, which no longer have grammar schools.

Retropear Thu 27-Feb-14 21:38:46

Hmmm without being rude I think your son would have more chance getting into the grammar from the other options than Stover.

Jem1709 Fri 28-Feb-14 08:47:17

Bude is absolutely more scenic than newton! But there are obviously lots of factors to consider....
Retropear - can you explain why you consider stover to be such a poor school? Other than the gcse success rates (I'm not sure where you have seen their stats?) you've not explained your views. I'm curious....

mary21 Fri 28-Feb-14 09:38:52

For some reason there often seems to be some very anti stover opinions on mums net but if you do a search you will find people using it. It may be worth pm king some to see if you get a response from people with kids/at these schools. Always worth bearin in mind that in the SW there isn't loads of peopled who can afford private fees so the schools are often less selective if at all which is reflected in their results. This is demonstrated by the number that have gone to the wall over the years.
Visit it the schools and listen to your instincts.
One of my reels in N Devon said Bude had quite a lot of teenage problems. Not sure how true. You probibly know better if you spend time there. + lots of isolated spots have teenage problems so if they have they are not unique.

HercShipwright Fri 28-Feb-14 10:53:03

I don't think it's anti Stover feeling per se, it's pointing out the facts which are that Stover gets pretty terrible results for a private school. In the OPs case, she is in Newton Abbot, Newton Abbot college gets significantly better results than Stover. The headline results from last year (and with comparatives from previous years) are here:

It may be ok at primary level though. If you have a bright child they will likely pass the 11+ round here no matter what primary school they go to (my DD2 was in the top category for TGGS and her primary school is terrible) (I know that the 11+ is more competitive in other parts of the country).

Retropear Fri 28-Feb-14 11:18:10

What last poster said.I would never waste my money when you can get the same/better down the road in several other schools albeit in less leafy buildings.Depends I guess.If a natty uniform and pituresque surroundings are your priority then all power to you.

We also we have a couple of friends whose dc went to the prep that were less impressed.

I will PM you though.

propatria Fri 28-Feb-14 12:30:07

If you would be happy to pay for Stover then Im sure you will be happy with St Petrocs

averyyoungkitten Fri 28-Feb-14 13:01:37

Without putting too fine a point on it, nearly every year 6 child in Stover prep passes the 11+. Most of them do in go to the grammar schools
(boys and girls).

Rather fewer stay into the senior school at Stover .I think many parents use Stover prep as a way of getting into grammar school and this get free state education from 11 - 18. Since prep school fees are less that senior school it makes sense.

Mostof those coming into Stover senior are the ones from state schools who didnt pass the 11+. You have to consider that when looking at the GCSE results (which in fact are good but not well publicised).

My eldest went to Stover, took A levels ( A*AAA) and went on to a top university. Stover has good pass ratesat A level and good university destinations. My middle one is still in Stover ( and did pass the 11+). I decided to keep DC at Stover because middle one likes familiarity and routine (not SEN, just the way he is). It also means I am not running around like a blue a****d fly taking them to different schools. Its convenient.

My youngest is in prep. I worked many years ago at Bude Community School. Like Newton Abbot College, its a hell hole school to teach in. Its dire to be a student there unless you are top sets only and then, as you can see, I didnt put my DC there.

Be careful about the GCSE results these schools show you. They are well manipulated.

So I speak as a mum of course and I could be considered biased as I have my DC there. However, what bias do other posters have? Or maybe you could ask what they really know if their DC (or they themselves) are not in the schools? Of course there are always some parents who dislike a school. Most of those I know do like Stover ( well we would, we send our DC there) Most who leave seem to do so for financial reasons.

There are many things I could suggest are not good about Stover, just like any other school but on balance, the education standards and care are very high.

Btw, BOTH my children HATE the Stover uniform. It is not "natty" In fact, even I dislike it. Its an awful green colour and really looks quite scruffy really. If you are looking for a "posh uniform and thats the be and end of important, then I would suggest Exeter School or Cathedral School or Trinity.

HercShipwright Fri 28-Feb-14 13:04:19

I would ban private schools if I ruled the world. But I can understand paying for a better education if you feel that that's on offer. I cannot understand paying for a worse education than is available for free. I cannot understand the level of social snobbery that someone must have to shell out loads of money for a school that gets very very poor results just so that they can avoid their child attending one of the better performing comps in the general area. I also can't understand anyone prioritising social snobbery over educational outcomes. It doesn't sound like OP is like this though since she has stated that her thing is that her child is seriously bright. But there have been many threads where people have extolled the values of stover as though it's the best school in the county when what they really like about it is that it keeps their kids away from, basically, my kids.

averyyoungkitten Fri 28-Feb-14 13:04:59

I would also be interested in why retropear dislikes Stover. Thatks.

HercShipwright Fri 28-Feb-14 13:05:14

averyyoungkitten They are not good. They are terrible!

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Fri 28-Feb-14 13:07:53

Is Bude too far away from Plymouth to be eligible to apply for their Grammar schools?

Retropear Fri 28-Feb-14 13:11:43

Sorry the GCSE results are not good and are actually shocking when you consider the fee paying privileged demographic involved.Children who have parents that can throw whatever money they like at their kid's education.

The other local schools in that link score higher and involve a far harder demographic to teach.There will be kids on fsm and those struggling just above.They too will lose kids to the grammar and other schools.

Fine you love it but pretending mediocre results are good when they're not is not helping the op.

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Fri 28-Feb-14 13:12:02

Sorry, I don't live in Devon myself (have a holiday home in Exmouth but don't live there) - but have a friend who lives just across the bridge in Cornwall, and her DD is at a grammar in Plymouth. Which is why I suggested it - don't actually know the schools myself smile.

HercShipwright Fri 28-Feb-14 13:16:59

Be careful about the GCSE results these schools show you. They are well manipulated.

This is what people always say when they want to dissemble. The official results are not well manipulated except in the sense that all GCSEs are manipulated at national level through fiddling with marking schemes and curriculum contents.

And, to be honest, this is why people in Devon have a downer on Stover. Because of the sheer ridiculousness of the things Stover parents say!

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