Moving back to the UK.Barrow Hills vs Edgeborough or are there others?(8 Posts)
After spending 5 years away we have decided to return to the UK in June next year. Surrey seems to be the most sensible option for us.
We have 2 children, our son who has just turned 10 (I think that would be yr 5 in the UK) & a daughter who has just turned 7 ( Yr 2 in th UK education system).
We have been informed we cannot apply for state schooling until we have a fixed abode in the UK and there is no guarentee of getting a place the school of your choice. Therefore we have decided to continue with private schooling. Our son is a bright & bookish type and detests sports such a rugby or football. He gets easily distracted and he needs a school which will keep him focused & engaged. Our daughter is an all rounder and very dilligent. So far she is a consistent high performer & thrives from it.
We are would like to either move to around Guildford/ Godalming or around South Farnham. Co-ed or single sex is fine but I do think my daughter may be better in a girls only environment.
We have looked at Edgeborough and Barrow Hills but it is difficult to know if these schools are genuinely of a decent calibre. Any feedback on these schools would be highly appreciated.
If your son turned 10 since 1st September that is year 5.
If you are looking in that area, then Waverly Abbey (state school) might have space. For South Farnham you would have to be very lucky.
There are a lot of Prep schools.
Guildford: Lanesborough (boys), Cranmore (going mixed), St Theresa's (Girls, GHS (girls) Tormead (girls).
Nearer Godalming is Aldro (boys) or St Hilary's (girls)
Between Guildford and Farnham is Barfield.
Then there are all the Hindhead ones: Royal, St Edmund's, Haslemere, Amesbury.
And there is Frensham Heights.
Oh and Duke of Kent.
Barrow Hills is Catholic. And Edgeborough I get the feeling is more a traditional prep.
I haven't mentioned the Woking ones.
But you could well get your son into the school of your choice (state) on appeal. And there are some less popular state primaries that are very good. You really need to think more about what you want for secondary and what you can afford.
Thankyou mummytime for your input . Greatly appreciated!!
I will explore both routes.
Out of the prep schools you have listed, which ones are thought to be accepting of 'less sporty' boys. Also do you know of anyone whose daughter goes to Tormead ??
Ooops I didn't mean St Theresa's (thats further east) but Rydes Hill (Also Catholic).
I know lots of people at Tormead/wear at Tormead. The Prep bit is quite small. The new Head comes from St Catherine's and is making it a bit more pushy (?). There is also a new school day, which I think goes later.
Lanesborough does Sport but isn't as Sporty as Cranmore. I don't really know the others that much.
Frensham Heights is not particularly sporty, A bit alternative, no uniform, first name for teachers. Lots of drama, music, art, dance. Quirky kids have space to grow. Limited homework.
It is not an academic hothouse but WE LOVE it. I have two boys there in the senior school.
I also liked Duke of Kent, but that is close to Cranleigh, so a lot further out.
Lanesborough, more traditional prep. If are you looking to go the RGS for senior school, probably the best route.
Friends son, same age is at Cranmore. Kids are smart and there is a lot of homework. My friend who is a teacher finds it a bit much.
Consider a visit to Aldro - it provides the boys with opportunity to remain boys whilst preparing them for a transition to top senior schools. The school engages and welcomes parents to all aspects of school life. Sport is an integral part of curriculum but it is all about participation and trying your best. Boys thrive academically, socially, emotionally and also are provided with excellent opportunities to participate in music, drama and art
The royal school hind head is an excellent school and all three of my children go there. Even though the two genders are taught separately because it is believed they learn differently they still spend time socialising during lunch break and extra curricular activities. Because boys are more fidgety and have less focus they get taught separately to the more focused and diligent girl. They are good for both ability so. They help and improve less achieving kids with one on one support and push clever high performers to the best of there abilities. I really recommend this school because it is exactly what I think your looking for.
Good luck with the move back to Blighty!
I have two girls at Tormead (one in the senior school and another in the junior school) plus a son starting in Yr 3 at Lanesborough in September.
We have been very impressed by Mrs Foord’s changes to Tormead since 2010 when she took over the headship. She reduced the number of places in each year to ensure that the school’s USP is as a more nurturing environment, whilst also maintaining a reasonable, yet undeniably more diverse range of academic ability than at Guildford High School. Whilst the first cohort of girls selected under her headship have yet to take their A Levels (2017), this year's Oxbridge offers augur well.
Tormead fosters a "give it a go" attitude in its girls without them feeling that they need to "ace" something from the off - which, I think, helps them develop perseverance and resilience for the future. There is a tendency for some other Guildford girls' schools to micro-manage the examination process in an attempt to eradicate all risk, which I do not believe best prepares their girls for adult life.
We also prefer the school's central Guildford location which allows the older girls to develop a greater sense of independence with many girls (yr 7 and above) travelling to school by train. Whilst St Cats's Bramley location and rolling fields are idyllic, IMO the school feels like a throwback to a Malory-Towers like era. Girls are ferried to the door by parents or coaches and, during the school day, have little opportunity to experience anything much beyond the school gates independently.
We sat DS for Lanesborough, Cranmore (now mixed) and Aldro. DH and I both liked Aldro's new headmaster and the school itself. However it remains very much geared towards sending boys to the traditional public boarding schools at 13 whilst our preference is for DS to go to the Royal Grammar School (RGS, Guildford) at 11. Lanesborough is the prep department for RGS but a place in the senior school is by no means guaranteed.
Cranmore was our backup for Lanesborough but, had DS not got the offer from Lanesborough, we were also considering leaving DS in the state sector a little longer. Cranmore is a very sporty school and DS is not. Our feeling is that Lanesborough will nurture him with its lego and astronomy clubs and he might even get into a C or D football team, whilst at Cranmore he might just get pigeonholed as a nerd! You may, however, struggle to get your son into Yr 5/6 at Lanesborough as occasional places are rare. Cranmore or Aldro may therefore be better able to accommodate him and prepare him for either 11+ or 13+.
You can really only judge whether a school is right for your child by visiting it yourself, looking its headmaster/mistress in the eye and considering whether you would like your offspring to turn out like those pupils giving you the guided tour!
I hope that this is helpful and good luck!
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