Coed private schools Oxfordshire / Gloucestershire(12 Posts)
I am posting for some advice!
We are looking to relocate our family to Oxfordshire / Gloucestershire (we will move nr the school) by 2018 and am looking for a school for our boys. They are currently aged 2, 3 & 8.
We are quite specific on what we are looking for and it proving to be tricky can anyone help?
- It needs to be a coed private school that goes from pre-prep to senior (happy to look at separate schools if they are very near each other due to logistics of drop off).
- We are looking for one in the countryside that has good outside space. The boys are 'outdoor kids'.
- I don't want a school with a hot house reputation or Saturday school but do want good academics.
- Ideally non denominational (or easy going about the whole thing).
I liked the look of Cokethorpe as it ticked most of the boxes but it seems to have been universally panned by Mumsnet!
Does anyone have any suggestions?
Rendcomb College springs to mind. Not sure about Saturday School, but most Independent schools will expect Saturday sport as a minimum at secondary level. No personal experience other than visiting for matches on a few occasions.
Just thinking about schools in the countryside though - they tend to be boarding due to location which would more than likely mean Saturday School at least from Prep upwards.
Dean Close. Not in the countryside but has lots of outdoor space, and Cheltenham is a lovely town.
Oxfordshire is very short on co-ed independent schools, especially if you want day rather than boarding and a country setting. If you like the look of Cokethorpe then you should visit it yourself and not be influenced by what others say. It's not the most academic school but if you genuinely don't want a hot-house (lots of parents say this but secretly they kind of do) then it has lots of offer. You need to be confident that the facilities and staff are good enough to enable a bright child to achieve their very best and that there is a cohort of children of a similar ability to yours. A quick way of doing this is to check university destinations, I know that seems like a long way off but if the senior school regularly gets pupils into Russell Group or Oxbridge - even in small numbers - then you know the teaching is up to scratch. The Cheltenham co ed schools (Dean Close, Cheltenham College) are all-through but both are majority boarding in the senior school, hence Saturday school. Rendcomb is v small (260) with just under half boarding, it has a nice, non-competitive vibe. If you don't have to have an all through school then your choice of co-ed preps in both counties is better - look at Beaudesert (Gloucestershire) or Chandlings or St Hugh's (Oxfordshire), both of which send to a wide range of senior boarding and day schools. There are some great boys only preps too. Good luck.
yeah Rendcomb college. My friend has 3 kids there. They love it and she loves it. probably has Saturday school though. I think that is pretty much par for the course. If we lived nearer I would have gone to look at it too. It's a mix of day and boarding and has flexi boarding. Very convenient.
Rendcomb is definitely not academic.
We considered moving to Cirencester last year so I investigated schools thoroughly. I absolutely LOVED Dean Close. Fabulous school. We spent over two hours looking at it and it struck me as a place where each child really was nurtured according to their individual needs. Great facilities and pastoral care system - I couldn't fault it.
Hatherop Castle? It's a nursery pre prep and prep. It has boarders so you'd need to check out if it has Saturday scool. I'd guess probably not as it only has few boarders I believe.
beg to differ re Rendcomb college. The daughter just nailed GCSE's and really does not come from academic family. All A stars and As, one B. It seems a lovely school.
Subscribe to www.goodschoolsguide.co.uk for a look.
Have you looked at Our Lady's in Abingdon? I must admit to having always thought of it as a comp without the rough kids but it is co-ed and the kids I know there seem very happy. The comps in Abingdon are not really outstanding at the moment so its found a market there.
Cokethorpe always had a reputation as being a school for those with special needs but I think those days are long gone. The comps in Witney are very good so it doesn't really have a ready-made market in Witney itself, but I think the school has now expanded its geographical range so to speak. If you feel in your heart its the right place for your children it probably is.
Our Lady's is still majority girls and it's also a town site so lacks the outdoor space of country schools. It's also Roman Catholic which may not suit if you're looking for 'easy going' on the religious front.
Wycliffe college in Stonehouse just outside Stroud is another coed. Have friends with children in the prep and are very happy with it so far.
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