Millfield, Bruton or somewhere else?(29 Posts)
We are considering a move to Somerset and are looking for a school for our daughter (just going into Yr 4).
She had a really unhappy time at a local school in Yr 2, lots of different issues at school which meant that we pulled her out and she has had a year at home with lots of private tuition, both in groups and on her own.
Progress has been great and she has been assessed as at least a year ahead by her subject tutors (except maths where she is where she should be but she is maths phobic (remnants from Yr 2)).
Even though she is quite capable her confidence is very easily dented, she is a sensitive sort.
We want a nice school with a broad curriculum, she excels at English, History, Music, Art, Drama, loves being outside, not hugely sporty.
We want a happy child who loves going to school rather than an academic whizz.
Does anyone know Millfield or Bruton (or anywhere else nearby), what is the selection process like, are they academically pushy?
All views gratefully received. Thanks in advance.
Just to clarify I meant the girls school at Bruton - I gather there are a few schools there.
Milfield gets very mixed reviews on here but a couple of mums I know with children who are actually at the school or have been at the school talk highly of it.
I understand the curriculum is very broad lots of everything, it's not bustingly academic but a work colleagues daughter surprised her parents and did exceedingly well. It is a very big school but don't let that put you off the house system will make it feel much smaller for the individual child.
Thanks, I think that the size of Millfield means that I automatically favour Bruton (without having visited either yet) so I appreciate your words about the house system.
Not Millfield IMO, Bruton School for Girls would be better - or Leweston. Kings Bruton would be my choice at the moment though - and their prep feeder Hazelgrove.
Daisy - can you expand a bit? What are your choices based on?
Bruton Girls is my first choice without knowing very much, somewhat based on small size and the single sex.
We are focusing on getting Primary right at the minute and will look beyond that when we need to.
I am pretty local to the schools you're looking at, and while I don't have children, I have many friends that do, and many of their children have gone to Hazelgrove and been very happy.
Millfield is uber sporty and I have a number of friends whose children have not excelled, so on that basis I wouldn't recommend it. Leweston is a lovely all girls school and so is St Mary's Shaftesbury. Leweston music is fabulous. I don't know a great deal about Bruton Girls, it doesn't shout one way or another tbh, nor do I know anyone who has gone there.
Thanks very much Daisy. We don't do Catholicism so wouldn't consider Leweston (am interested in Primary only right now), so it looks like I am back at Bruton as favourite consideration.
I'd visit them all, tbh. It's only by visiting that you will find which suits you best. Hazelgrove is also really worth including.
Thanks, I had missed Hazelgrove, I will add that to the list. Definitely not the Catholic schools for us but now I have three to look at so that is an improvement. I don't fancy Millfield for some reason, probably because of the size, but bearing HappyG's comments in mind will look anyway.
My friend teaches at hazelgrove and after starting her daughters in state school has just moved them there. I'd probably choose it too if finances allowed. Unless your Dd is super sporty I wouldn't choose millfield. Bruton also gets great reviews locally. I would go and look and trust your instinct.
Thank you, that is helpful, Hazelgrove does look lovely. Daughter definitely not sporty - very very outdoorsy but not at all into team sports.
I will arrange to visit as soon as I can after the holidays.
Can highly recommend All Hallows School nr Shepton Mallet, perfect if your DD is a bit sensitive. Hazelgrove is good too. You could always move her to Bruton after a prep school. Personally, I wouldn't send her to an all girls school all the way.
Just saw that you don't do Catholicism, but don't get put off All Hallows as the majority are not Catholic and you wouldn't know the school is tbh. I found the school extremely caring, small, sport if you want it or not, academic, loads of extra curricular subjects.
Thanks Breeze but we don't want a Catholic school.
I don't have a problem with all girls for now, we are thinking that the very small year group at Bruton could be good for her confidence.
Our jobs involve 3 or 4 year posts so we would probably be moving around the time she would start secondary. If she was thriving and happy somewhere we would consider letting her board at that time if she wanted to stay on but we will cross that bridge in 2017.
I went to Bruton but it was back in the 90s. I absolutely loved it there. I still get all there newsletters etc and it still looks fab. However having boys and living many miles away now I haven't been back for a few years.
Thanks LittleMG - that is lovely to hear. We haven't visited yet due to hols but we all feel like it is going to be the place for her - will report back.
Would love to hear what you decided. I have three daughters and we are looking for a school for them for next year - considering BSG (particularly for my eldest Y8) but wondering whether our younger two (year 4 and year 1) should go co-ed at least for prep. I loved BSG when I looked around, although it's very small, but didn't have time to see All Hallows' or Hazlegrove. Any thoughts gratefully received. Eldest is v shy loves science not at all sporty but the other two v much all rounders academically, sporty, love drama too. We're in Perth Australia so v hard to keep visiting to decide! Oh they are currently at a girls private school because that's much more common over here than in the UK.
Hi ReturnfromOz - have you looked at Perrott Hill? Just on the border of Somerset and Dorset, very much a 'hidden gem' prep school (I live nearby and didn't know about it until last year!) - my two now go there and love it. Amazing atmosphere and ethos and they do really well across the board. New music school, new science labs and the boarding space is pretty cool. Apparently the leavers go onto a range of schools like Canford, Bryanston, Kings Bruton, Sherborne, the Taunton schools and Colyton (which is where I'd like mine to go!). Might be worth checking out. I know from a recent email that they're about to relaunch the website so that should show you more than the current one does.
Thank you. I hadn't heard of Perrott Hill so will do some more research. It's so difficult whilst being based in Oz, there are only so many trips back I can make! My hubbie tied in a work trip to the UK and looked at All Hallows' and Hazlegrove and was most impressed with Hazlegrove. Do you know what sort of reputation it has? He said the facilities were fabulous but I didn't know if it would be too pushy. Decisions decisions! But yes will look at PH. Thanks again.
Hi Returnfromoz - from what I gather from other parents I know (we didn't look at Hazlegrove as we really liked Perrott Hill and it's much closer to us), you'd either be a Hazlegrove person or a Perrott Hill person. I think they're quite different in that Hazlegrove has more of a work-house feel and is quite academic and would really push children, and PH has more of a buzzy, family feel to it and it's much smaller (only 200 children). There's a copy of the latest Tatler Schools Guide 2018 on the PH Facebook page and it has both schools on the page they put up - I'll see if I can copy and paste it.
I wouldn't go for millfield if not sporty. Have heard good things about Perrott Hill recently. Wells also one to consider for good all round ability (although obviously excellent for music).
Not sure if that worked... if not, go onto their Facebook page (it's public) and it was posted on September 7. Has Perrott Hill, Hazlegrove and a few others on the page.
Perrot Hill does seem lovely if you want the country prep idyl. Sherborne Prep is also well worth a look, we are really happy with it and DS is thriving. There is a lot of investment and curriculum reform going on giving it a much sharper feel now. They benefit from being able to use the Senior schools' facilities (swimming pools, theatre, recital space etc). It has a really great atmosphere- very nurturing alongside the rising expectations of attainment.
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