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Colet Court versus Summerfields (Day)

(26 Posts)
Wwhatyouget Sat 31-Jan-15 19:17:28

Hi all. I would like your opinion on the two schools in the subject - pros and cons. It would be great to hear from past and current parents of boys in the schools. Why would you choose one over the other?

Also, I would love to hear from anyone who has started their darling son in a london day prep and moved him in year 6/7 to a boarding prep. In retrospect was it a good move or would it have been better to start and finish in the same school?


SpecialistSubject Sun 01-Feb-15 09:25:18

Interesting question.

What sort of boy do you have?

What are you plans for senior school?

Wwhatyouget Sun 01-Feb-15 09:54:38

Happy. Smart and sporty.

Loves maths, loves to read. Loves football and swimming.

Wwhatyouget Sun 01-Feb-15 09:55:21

Senior schools: Eton, Harrow, Winchester

Eastpoint Sun 01-Feb-15 10:02:00

What about Caldicott or Papplewick? They both run buses from London each day & pupils board in years 7 & 8. Your son will make friends with other boys whose parents have the same plans and he will be eased into boarding. Caldicott has coaches from Brook Green, I don't know if they have a more central coach.

Eastpoint Sun 01-Feb-15 10:11:32

Westminster Under School sends more boys to Eton etc than Colet.

celestialsquirrels Sun 01-Feb-15 10:21:37

Colet makes you sign up for st Pauls in blood. They will not assist you with entrance to E, W, H.
Given Colet/St Paul's appalling and seemingly continuing history of institutionalised child abuse, and the really awful levels of pressure they impose on kids, I wonder why anyone would choose it as a first choice.
But there you go.
Move to N oxford and look at dragon and summerfields

SpecialistSubject Sun 01-Feb-15 10:22:55

OP You haven't really given enough information to enable a specifically helpful response.

In your first paragraph you're asking about being a day pupil at either of the schools? Should we assume you are currently in London? Would you be planning to move closer to Oxford if you decided on SF as a day option? As far as I understand it is not a "commuting" school. And the very few day boys generally clamour to board as soon as possible.

I've known people to move to an out of London boarding prep as you suggest. If the child is going to be working hard for high CE marks or scholarship a move into yr 6 is preferable to yr 7 - where the pace picks up considerably.

Wwhatyouget Sun 01-Feb-15 12:34:01

Thank you all.

Indeed, we will move closest to the school we choose. The idea of switching to a boarding prep in year 6 is to enable DS receive adequate prepping for our target senior schools. We were just wondering if anyone who has made such a switch regretted the move for whatever reason.

Wwhatyouget Sun 01-Feb-15 14:03:30

Celestial kindly elaborate on your mention abuse and there something that I am missing? Or have missed?

granolamuncher Sun 01-Feb-15 14:45:51

OP Surely you are aware of the reports of child abuse and alleged cover ups at Colet Court which emerged last year? If not, just Google "Colet Court abuse". Here's one of the newspaper articles:

The reports can't just be swept away as "history". The Charity Commission was dissatisfied with answers it got from governors and opened an investigation last summer:

You may also wish to bear in mind, during your research, that the owner and editor of The Good Schools Guide, Lord Lucas of Dingwall, is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Mercers, which runs a whole "portfolio" of schools, including Colet Court, SPS and St Paul's Girls' School, of which his brother, the Hon Timothy Palmer, is Chairman of Governors. Lord Lucas has declared both his interests to the House of Lords but I don't believe he's mentioned his connections to the St Paul's schools in his Guide.

Mominatrix Sun 01-Feb-15 16:05:22

Wwhatyouget - I would do your own research into the topic. There has been a history of a poster under several names attempting to smear the school. Funnily enough, the timing of the starting of these posts coincides with the expulsion of a boy from the school, after many warnings, with parents who have threatened in the past to use their various media connections. I am not saying that granola is definitely one of the guises, but I would do your own investigations.

granolamuncher Sun 01-Feb-15 16:56:17

No, I'm no such poster, Wwhatyouget. I have only ever posted under this name and I have done so on a variety of topics, including this week on free schools.

Here I was responding to OP who was asking another poster above about the child abuse mentioned in her post. I was just trying to help by providing that information.

I was appalled, as any parent would be, when the news reports came out last year. I then did my own research into the Mercers' Company, which runs these schools, and that is how I discovered the link between it (basically a small group of landed families) and the Good Schools Guide. MN is surely the right place to bring such matters to parents' attention.

These aren't smears. I'm not into that sort of game. Quite the opposite. I'm interested in the truth, just as the Charity Commission is in its current investigation.

granolamuncher Sun 01-Feb-15 17:02:00

Sorry, my last post was intended to be addressed to Mominatrix.

Anyway, yes, do your own research, OP. I'm just giving pointers.

Wafflesandhoney Sun 01-Feb-15 17:59:27

Caldicott as an earlier poster said is a good option

grovel Sun 01-Feb-15 18:51:47

Well Caldicott is hardly free of abuse scandals, albeit historical. And Clegg went there.

Wwhatyouget Sun 01-Feb-15 19:04:35

Thank you all I really appreciate your feedback and yes, I will investigate. Mumsnet is great!

summerends Sun 01-Feb-15 22:37:11

What are your targeted senior schools? Are they boarding or would you consider day schools in London or Oxford such as MCS. If you are going to move and want him to be a day child but keep future options possible then the Dragon would be preferable but would suggest year 5 or 6 to get the most benefit.

summerends Sun 01-Feb-15 22:39:14

Sorry, just saw your senior school options. Dragon better option for a day boy aiming for those boarding schools.

MoreBeta Sun 01-Feb-15 22:41:35

I know Summerfields quite well. Have friends with children there - very nearly sent our sons. Never heard a bad word about it. It seems a lovely school and suits every child. They really do treat every child as an individual and carefully guide children to senior schools that will be right for them.

Have friends with children in London Preps. Very hothouse and intense.

I would choose Summerfields every time either day school or for boarding.

AlphaBravoHenryFoxtons Sun 01-Feb-15 22:49:37

Is he quirky, bright and sporty?

vixsatis Mon 02-Feb-15 12:04:52

We moved my son from a London prep (the Hall) to SF; but at an earlier stage- he started boarding at 8. The Hall is a great school and quite like CC-huge nos. to St Pauls- but it was all very pushy and intense: he was miserable. He adored SF, which is academically stretching for the top end but much broader in approach- arts and sport also taken seriously and a niche is found for everyone, no matter how near the bottom. NB whereas the London schools are very selective on entry, SF is not, so being there is not a guaranteed route into Eton or Wincoll- my bright (schol class) boy failed the pre-tests for both. If your boy has already passed the pre-test before arrival SF will get him through CE/Schol/Winchester exam.

Day boys seemed to be well-integrated with the boarders. Boys arriving in year 6 integrated well but I don't think formed the depth of friendships that the others have. Being there from earlier also gives the staff longer really to get to know them.

It's an absolutely charming and very caring place: paradise for little boys, all of whom turn out with impeccable and slightly old-fashioned manners. One or two teaching weak spots; but I think these are gradually being eliminated. The best of the teaching is inspired, effective and ambitious- lots of Greek, Latin poetry, Shakespeare, serious maths. At the other end, learning support is pretty great too. Even for day boys all activities are effectively on site, so no need to spend hours in the car in London traffic- 70 acres of pitches/golf course. Music impressive. Clay pigeons/gardening/sailing and other "non London" things a plus. Head is charming and the boys love him- you should go and have a chat

MN164 Mon 02-Feb-15 12:07:48

Due diligence is very important. Make sure it includes discussions with the heads and parents. By all means read the Daily Mail and Times too.

Can't help feeling the safest time to fly was after 9/11, the safest time to get on a cruise boat was after the Concordia .... etc

Michaelahpurple Tue 03-Feb-15 08:55:33

Tricky when to do it. I can see the argument for moving at 6 because some of the CE syllabus creeps in then and it gives time to settle before the ramp up in year 7, but it could mean sitting eton pre test in his first term (is he a winter or summer sitting - I think match is the cut off) with a heads letter written by someone who has known him for a fortnight. And you would miss out on the guidance SF presumably would give their boys in year 5 through the intricacies of Winco house selection.

Colet expect boys to go to Paul's, down to their own exams but oddly when we were being entertained by year 8s during the 8+ process last year, 2 of the 10 who appeared were heading to Eton , so clearly some still escape.

If you are set on E, W and H it would in many ways make more sense to go to a prep that heads that way from the start, given how depressingly soon the process starts, but the academic standards at Colet are appealing.

I know that there are many happy parents of Colet on MN but will note that I know a number who wouldn't count themselves in that group - it can be quite a tough gig.

SpecialistSubject Tue 03-Feb-15 09:59:16

but it could mean sitting eton pre test in his first term (is he a winter or summer sitting - I think march is the cut off) with a heads letter written by someone who has known him for a fortnight.

Straight from the horse's mouth, E at least would ask for a Head's report from both the old and the new school.

Yes, joining in year 6 with a winter birthday would mean being plunged straight into October pre-test, but he might have a month's gap. And (a small horse's mouth) amidst all the upheaval it can be good to get it all out of the way at once.

From what I understand a yr 6 move is much more likely to be successful. Yr 7 is terrifying strenuous.

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