Holy Trinity Pewley Down School Guildford - any recent experiences please?(17 Posts)
My dd has just been allocated a place, to my utter amazement. Put it third choice on my application and didn't think we had a chance.
I've never even been there! We will go there now, obviously, but I would really like to hear what current parents think. I've just seen the ofsted report and it is not as good as I was expecting - is that a fair assessment or did they get it on a bad day?
The OFSTED (just for the Holy Trinity bit) was based solely on SATs results - oh and one very experienced teacher not having a polished Lesson plan for her lesson. The SATs results hadn't been as glowing as was expected for a couple of years, the school had already spotted this and changed strategies to conquer it, and the following summer got glowing SATs results again.
The teacher I am sure delivered a good lesson but I was amazed she didn't have a series of Ofsted lessons complete with plans just waiting to be wheeled out. They fully expect to go up to at least a Good when re-inspected and Ofsted have been happy with progress so far.
Ofsted also didn't like their no homework policy, so homework has had to be reintroduced - -which probably about 50% of parents are disappointed in.
The Pewley Down bit got Outstanding in their last Ofsted, and is a really lovely place. Lots of outside learning, including an outside classroom up at the downs (both schools really use the downs as an extension of the classroom). My favourite Pewley topic at present is in year 2, when they study the Great Fire of London, which includes constructing London out of cardboard boxes. They do lots of learning with their London model and then at the end burn it down; with the Fire Brigade in attendance, followed by a fire safety talk.
Go and have a look. I still love Pewley, Holy Trinity has always been a bit Marmite - but full of lovely creative, caring teachers, and the children have no idea how lucky they are to go there.
I do have a few reservations with the school. One of my DC can be very negative about it, but it is nothing like as bad as its OFSTED rating and is a good school. Pewley I think my whole family agree is lovely and has only improved since my first one started there (and it was Outstanding or was it Very Good, then).
As for facilities - well it is a rival for a lot of the local Prep schools.
Hi TuttiFrutti. my DD has been accepted to Pewley Down as well. I'm just curious to know which two schools you had before Pewley Down and your DD was accepted at Pewley. Where they religious schools? Or just further away from where you live? I still haven't figured out how this works!
I have had two kids through Holy Trinity Pewley Down
The eldest had a tricky time, they were not particularly supportive till Yr 5 and Yr 6. The youngest sailed through.
They were resting on their laurels a bit before the bad Ofsted report, remember that a lot of kids in Yr 7 go to private schools so A LOT of kids had outside tuition during year 5 and 6, this obviously impacts on their SATs results. Some of the teaching in yr ¾ was a bit patchy and not enough emphasis on the the essentials.
They have upped their game since the OFSTED report, there are some very good teachers and obviously some not so good. Not convinced by the leadership to be honest. In their favour thy do sport really well, they do lots of stuff outdoors. They do wrap around care 8am - 6pm, the care at Pewley Down in particular was really good!!
Thanks everyone for your comments. I'm not going to reveal the other two schools I applied for as I don't want to out myself!
Moid, why are you not convinced by the leadership?
I personally don't think much of the headmaster, he is more interested in his ego than anything else. Historcally a lot of things slipped through the cracks of his leadership. If there are any 'issues' with your kids then they are not good, fine if your kid sails through like my youngest.
PM if you'd like to know more.
Thanks Moid, that is helpful to know. Going to arrange to see the school next week and will keep an open mind.
I would add, the Deputies on the whole have grown into their roles. The Headmaster was ill for a while, and you could tell, he is also not quite the same now as before.
Some pupils with issues they can be great with. Some they don't do so well. Sometimes they seem a bit reluctant to buy in LA help.
However Pewley is great, and some will change school at the end - to the privates or even sometimes to alternative States.
About 15 years ago (I think) the current head arrived at Holy Trinity and changed it into a very innovative, creative school where children could be children and learning was fun. That of course suited some parents more than others but on the whole it made the school have a very sparky reputation and their results were brilliant. It has a middle class catchment being located in an affluent area. The children all loved the school and there was a huge amount of positivity around it for years after the head arrived and put changes in place.
I think over time it has lost the spark and children began slipping through the cracks and the relaxed atmosphere meant SATs slipped in recent years. I heard a story of a friends DD who is very quiet and found the atmosphere was very high energy and noisy a lot of the time which she really struggled with. If your DC needs routine and structure and strong boundaries then it isn't the right place for them!
The buildings are great and the children's enthusiasm is wonderful and I believe, as others have said, the recent Ofsted will kick a bit of energy back into it all and make them up their teaching standards.
Pewley is meant to be fantastic, always has been.
Lots move at 7 or 11 to private and so there is quite a bit of tutoring going on.
Think that's a pretty good summary of Holy Trinity, what they do well they do very well. My youngest enjoyed his time at HT, for my eldest it was a torment.
Thanks BourbonBaby and Moid.
I went to see the school for the first time on Wednesday and really liked it. It's Holy Trinity, not Pewley, that my dd will be going to. Some of it was a bit "left field" but I liked the fact they clearly have a vision. I was shown into lots of lessons which seemed to be well taught and engaging.
My dd is mildly dyslexic and it will be interesting to see how they deal with that.
Dyslexia is dealt with pretty well. Especially if she needs extra input. They do employ specialist teachers.
However I would push for an IEP and proper reviews if she needs them.
TuttiFrutti, I've had two children through HTPD, feel free to email me.
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