Independent schools in Shropshire. Opinions please..(14 Posts)
We have 2 DCs (one girl, one boy) currently at village primary. Our plan is to pay for school from 11+/13+.
Does anyone have experience / opinions on;
Shrewsbury high School
We are looking for somewhere academic. We prefer single sex for DD and hence we don't mind them going to different schools.
I saw a recent link saying that SHS was struggling (academically and management wise) and that Moreton Hall was now doing better than SHS. Has anyone sent their son to SHS for the prep?
Is Shrewsbury School worth the ££?? I am not keen to spend ££ just for DS to become a chinless wonder.. I would want to see a good academic outcome ;-).
Anyone tried Concord College? The results look fantastic but I'm a bit concerned about the social experience with the vast majority being STEM students from SE Asia. Any thoughts?
Uhoh look at the Shropshire League tables.Moreton Hall and Shs had exactly the same success rate in the gcse league tables- 92%.
Shrewsbury School now take girls as well as boys.Their exam results have really improved,as they are now 105th in the top 200.private schools In the UK.Shs were not in the top 200 this year but were last year.Exam results are pretty much dependent on the particular cohort that year and will go up and down.Disregard what you read on Mumsnet about certain schools.
The only way you can.assess schools is by visiting them on a normal school day.So go visit Concord.True - science does predominate but there are a lot of Medics/Dentists/Vets not just Stem students.
Chinless wonder = vapid guffawing sloan.
We have visited SHS and were impressed. My cynical feeling is Shrewsbury school will have improved now that they have taken in girls? We have not been to visit it nor Moreton nor Concord College. We should tour them all. Just wondered if anyone had 1st hand experience of any of them?
I don't know Concord but do know a couple of girls who went there. One an outgoing girl from Hong Kong, the other from an affluent background in mainland China. Both hard working, who went on to top Universities to read maths based subjects, and both lovely.
The second, despite six years in the UK (she was doing a Masters) had barely touched the sides culturally. Relatively poor English, a limited understanding of British society, and an exclusively Chinese friendship group. The first had a good mix of friends.
You might consider what you want for your child. Concord seems to offer an almost unique opportunity for a top flight international education in Shropshire, with a n umber of good bursaries on offer. However to take full advantage your child will probably needs to make an effort. There will be both Asian and English students who stick to their own groups. But equally there will be Asian and English students willing to mix. I feel my DCs education and indeed their general preparedness for a world of employment, has been enhanced by friends from Asia, both at school and at University.
It helps that both have opted for science/maths type subjects so they have had more opportunity to allow friendships to grow naturally, via shared assignments, homework etc. They have certainly gained from having some of the high work ethic and ultra-high aspirations rub off on them, but also appreciate the different priority English parents place on non academic achievement such as sport.
DS just started at Shrewsbury. He is highly academic and it seems he is being stretched, though it's early days. Lots of sports and other activities for both sexes. Pastoral support seems to be strong. DS loves it. Do you want day schools or boarding? Think local pupils not offered boarding at Concorde. Also smallish intake in year 9. Most overseas pupils join in year 10. Also have you thought of Wrekin?
My niece went to Moreton. Lovely school, lots of nice normal girls (and some with parents who own islands). She went from a state primary, settled in quickly and did very well in her A levels and her GCSEs. Lots of extra curricular opportunities. I am an academic and I helped her with her Uni applications. I thought Moreton was okay on that front, and not as helpful as I would have imagined them to have been. My niece is more scientifically minded and in the end while she had a fab time at Moreton I am not sure it was always the right academic fit for her.
My experience of Shrewsbury High School and Prep School is pretty good.Its not perfect by any means but the academic side is much stronger than our equivalent experience in state schools .Pm me if you would like more detailed information.
Concord School really is one of those schools you need to look round to get a feel for it.Dd1 has friends attending and they love it.We looked round it several years ago and whilst the grounds are beautiful I just saw everyone working - not interacting.Saying that I may well send ds2 there at some stage as he is bright enough to be offered a scholarship .
Wrekin College is meant to be non-selective.The facilities are brilliant and the school appears very nurturing.The house system means that the boys help each other and there is masses of space in the grounds and common rooms.There's even a matron in the day houses.The results are pretty good but not quite as good as Shrewsbury High/School which are both selective.I loved it when I looked round but would question whether it would be the right school for someone who was very academic.
Glad you liked SHS I think you should definitely send your children there
Someone in the thread mentioned not to listen to what is said about 'certain schools'. I just thought that rather amusing as surely hearing about 'certain schools' is what mumsnet is all about. I hope the thread will give a balanced impression and following visits you will be far more informed in your choice of school which is critically important. To find that a school is not what you expected can be very traumatic, especially so if you end up having to move your DC.
On that note I found it interesting that you were impressed by your visit to SHS, all I would say is to be careful that what you are promised is actually what you get! I see that someone else in the thread has mentioned that 2015 results at GCSE between SHS and Moreton were comparable. Look at last years figures to see how SHS has fallen and Moreton dramatically risen to reach that point! If you also look at SHS results at A level you may be shocked by its fall since last year, so it is not about cohorts.
And before anyone mentions it I do agree with a more rounded education but not to the detriment of standards! It just frustrates me when I see what was until recently the best performing school in Shropshire going backwards.
Much of this fall has been caused by the schools move away from academic subjects towards sport in an effort to gain publicity and attract more pupils. The marketing effort has been immense culminating with the slogan 'Award winning education'. I feel that awards are the reserve of pork pies and the like and rather cheapens the school, why not a return to academic rigour, but what do I know about marketing? Such short sighted management makes me despair.
Enough of SHS, you have also mentioned some other Shropshire schools, and as counties go Shropshire has a lot to offer.
With a DD and a DS it does make matters a little interesting but had you also considered Packward Haugh which is mixed sex and a great prep school. I know you would prefer single sex for your daughter but from experience I know how daunting it is to go from an all girl enviroment into university life where you are suddenly thrown into the mix, just something you might consider. Packward has great links with Shrewsbury School, yes there may be one or two odd sorts at Shrewsbury but if academic is what you want then it is getting better by the year, largely helped it has to be said by the increasing number of girls. Remember that if your DC go to the same school you will have access to sibling discounts and all manner of bursaries, something else to consider!
Concord is a very academic school, regularly in the top ten nationally which is quite something. Some people find it to be 'too academic' and weighted towards foreign students. Go and visit and see what you think, it is a wonderful school.
Adcote is a little jewel, but not little in what it offers. Student numbers are small but your DD would get a very personalised education.
Moreton is making great advances academically, it offers a very rounded education with great facilities, even a golf course! Mr Forster has been head for many years and consequently there is a harmony of purpose.
Also consider Wrekin College and Ellesmere. Both mixed and both with prep schools. Great schools if you would like continuity of education, which can be important for some children.
But I will always say, visit them all, make sure your DC get to have a taster day, go with your gut instinct and be ambitious for your children. Also be ambitious when it comes to 'striking a deal' with admissions, I am always surprised by the discounts on offer, especially when considering two children.
Good luck! C
Almost forgot to mention Prestfelde which you also might wish to consider as a prep for your DC. Very good facilities and just on the outskirts of town. Definately worth a look!
My DC were at Wrekin, and overall we were very happy with the school. There is a change of headmaster this year, will may alter things? Didn't push academically though.
Thank you everyone for your generous contributions - very useful. We are looking at day schools and live in SW Shropshire. We had not heard of Wrekin College so thanks for that tip. As everyone says best to go and look in person and get a 'feel' for the schools. Our plan is to stick with the village primary til 11 and then switch to fee paying.
Many thanks again.
Please make sure you look into the results at SHS before making a decision. Be very careful not to refer to Shropshire Star rankings as they do not include the more academic exams that other independent schools do in the area - in effect therefore SHS are only comparing themselves to state schools and not other fee paying schools. You will see that the results at SHS have taken quite a dive since the new headmaster took over. Also make sure you consult the Independent Schools Inspectorate report which should have been published some time ago. Hopefully this will be published soon????
You need to be aware that SHS is increasingly becoming a 'marketing brocure' - it all looks very shiny on the outside, but unfortunately it lacks substance. I have a daughter who is there and I'm afraid she isn't being pushed at all - I feel that I had a better education at state school than she is getting. I would like her to change schools but now she has been in the senior school for a while she thinks she would find it tricky to move away from her friends. It has been a disappointment to us. Sorry to break the bad news.
I would say it's definitely worth looking at Wrekin, Concorde and others in the area before making a decision.
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