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Best boarding prep school for Winchester College

(23 Posts)
Londonmum07 Mon 28-Dec-15 11:27:24

We are looking for a boarding prep school for our 9 year old son.He is very bright and have been moved up a year in his current day prep school.He has s summer birthday and is small for his age,so we need somewhere with no bullying where he will thrive.He loves music and drama, not great at sport but is always happy to join in.We hope to sent him to Winchester Colll so a school which sends boys there would be helpful.Thanks

eatyourveg Mon 28-Dec-15 13:31:07

Pilgrims is the most obvious answer

Londonmum07 Mon 28-Dec-15 13:46:05

Thank you, I did hear that Horris Hill was good for Winchester but will also look at Pilgrims.Does anyone have experience of these two schools?

earsarehurting Mon 28-Dec-15 14:38:17

Where are yoi based? What are you looking for in a school? Reading btw the lines it sounds like a more nurturing school would suit. Are you looking for boarding or flex or day? Why do you want to leave your currnt school?

Ta1kinPeece Mon 28-Dec-15 14:43:01

duplicate thread smile

SirMister Mon 28-Dec-15 14:43:17

We were in the exact same position as you 3 years ago.

We looked at both schools on 2 separate occasions (including the open day).
Our son also spent a day with each school and was assessed during the visit.
There was nothing in it as both are excellent schools.

Pilgrims seemed to have a real passion for music demonstrated by the number of scholarships achieved (1 in 3 kids from what I remember) and also their enthusiastic music teacher. Although it is close to Winchester College, the intake was approx the same as Horris Hill. Long list of clubs/activities for kids to get stuck in to.

In the end we chose HH as in our own opinion it was right for us and our son.
Naturally, this might differ for your own child but it was right for our case.
As I said earlier, there was nothing in it as both are excellent schools. We liked the smaller community feel to HH and although an equal number of kids go on to Winchester, the ones that don't chose other schools like Eton & Radley in good numbers. HH is still affiliated with Winchester - see the list of governors.

Pilgrims did say that if for whatever reason we changed our minds then they would welcome us at anytime - that went a long way in my mind but our mind was already set by that time.

I really hope that this helps.

For all those that have nothing else but to distract from your question:
I am only trying to help another parent with their concerns/choices so I will totally ignore all the haters out there - I have heard all the negative comments before therefore, please direct any negativity towards someone that cares.

Londonmum07 Mon 28-Dec-15 14:52:27

We live in London and my sons school only goes up to year 6 which he is in now.We would like him to go to one of the boys boarding schools at 13 and want him to board to get used to it and make friends to go on with.He is very able and his sats at the end of last year were all 5's.(he was 8 then)We thought a boarding prep that is used to sending boys to Winchester or possibly Eton would be able to meet his needs.

Londonmum07 Mon 28-Dec-15 15:03:07

Thank you,that is very helpful.Is your son stil at HH and did he settle in well?

innocuoussocks Tue 29-Dec-15 17:20:06

Just a word of caution. DH went to Win Coll and adored it but his parents did what you are suggesting thinking it would make the transition easier for him and he had a miserable time. Most of the boys starting WC won't have boarded before and come from a huge range of places. The transition to boarding is a lot easier to make at 13 than it is at 9 or 10.

As a mid-way point have you thought of looking for a London prep with boarding facilities and a track record of getting boys into WC. That way you can ease him into it gradually with some flexi boarding as he finds his feet?

SisterViktorine Wed 30-Dec-15 17:58:20

Have you considered Caldicott as it would be much closer to home for exeats etc?

Is your DS in Y6 but chronologically a Y5? If so I personally would put him into Y6 in his new prep. He may be cognitively able to be in the year above, but in terms of boarding I think the extra year's maturity would benefit him.

My DS is August born and if he goes to board at 13 I am going to try to put him down a year- I definitely would not send him to a 13-18 a year ahead of himself and therefore just turned 12 (DH works in them so I have lived in a few- boys need to be really emotionally ready for it).

Londonmum07 Wed 30-Dec-15 18:30:00

Thank you,I will look at Caldicott,I have heard very positive things about the school,Yes my son is 9,he will be 10 in August so he should be in year 5.I agree with you we wouldn't want him to go to senior school early.It's a big step at 13.

nanodragon Fri 01-Jan-16 18:53:35

I have friends with children at Caldicott. Good school v sporty though and doesn't feed many at all to Winchester

Londonmum07 Fri 01-Jan-16 20:23:45

Thank you,it's properly not the school for my son then.He has really got his heart set on Winchester.

AnotherNewt Fri 01-Jan-16 20:30:27

Would the Oxford area suit you?

Because both the Dragon and Summer Fields send boys to Winchester in some numbers every year.

Londonmum07 Fri 01-Jan-16 20:37:35

Yes ,my son would be boarding so Oxford would be fine.Are those schools mainly boarding and do you know if they take boys at 9?

sendsummer Fri 01-Jan-16 21:41:54

From second hand information I agree with nanodragon that a non sporty boy may not get the best out of Caldicott although it has the advantage that your DS could come home for night Saturday and Sunday even if he did board. Those Oxford preps like Horris Hill and Pilgrim's are very experienced in preparing for Winchester, Eton and other boarding schools and are excellent for a range of academic abilities including very bright boys. They both start full boarding in year 4. Dragon is co-ed and mixed day and full boarding. In years 4 and 5 there are usually 35 or more boys boarding. At Summer Fields almost all boys full board. The Dragon has traditionally been more relaxed about rules and dress-codes and encouraged more free-thinkers than the standard prep schools.
If your DS is very musical then I would suggest Pilgrim's as a DC has to be very motivated to fit in serious daily practice routine at most of these boarding preps.

sendsummer Fri 01-Jan-16 21:46:14

I meant 'come home Saturday night' for Caldicott.

SirMister Sun 03-Jan-16 18:51:09

I liked the idea of Summerfields as equally as good as HH to get kids in to their choice schools but especially, as Summerfields has a strong focus on sport. If you read the detail about the school, sport is a strong theme right from the inception as the belief is (quite simply put) healthy body healthy mind.
I agree with this and would have preferred DS to go to Summerfields for this reason but it was not the right location for us personally so we went with HH.

Hope that helps?

Londonmum07 Sun 03-Jan-16 19:01:48

Summerfields does seem like a great school.I read some comments on here and it seems like the boys at HH are lovely.They are a few years old though and I also like the size of HH.How did your son enjoy it there and it the school get the best out of him?

Londonmum07 Sun 03-Jan-16 23:35:52

A friend of mine suggested Sunningdale. Does anyone have knowledge of this school?

stealthsquiggle Wed 06-Jan-16 16:31:27

Depends where you are based. If you are looking for a full boarding prep rather than weekly boarding, have you considered Abberley Hall - it's not a recognised feeder to Winchester but certainly does send boys there - and the head is an Old Wykehamist. Music and sport equally important and a very friendly school.

stealthsquiggle Wed 06-Jan-16 16:33:16

(Oh, and Abberley will definitely accommodate flexibility around year groups vs ages - PM me if you want detail as it would definitely make me identifiable)

loopygoose Tue 14-Jun-16 17:52:29

Cottesmore. Superb academics, small, nurturing environment. Great Headmaster who takes a personal interest in every child and feeds to Winchester. He's very hot on bullying. Also excellent music and offers LAMDA.

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