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Willington or donhead prep?

(20 Posts)
Nbk123 Fri 14-Oct-16 11:18:58


I was hoping for some advice from any mums with boys at Donhead Prep or Willington Prep. We have decided upon one of these 2 schools for our son who is currently at a good state primary.

We are looking for which school would bring out the best in our child overall. (He can be a little more observant and is quite arty although boisterous with boys his own age). We would like to see an improvement in academics as well as confidence.

We do like both schools however were concerned about:

Donhead - my son is quite quiet at first and not particularly sporty. Would he be overlooked at this school due to his nature? We were inpressed by the facilities, ethics, academic nature and the fact it is a part of the independent association of prep schools (how much weight should be given to this?)

Willington - had a lovely family feel however we were concerned about the independent report where it did not do as well....also as it goes to age 13 do they prepare boys for the 11plus?

Any tips on both schools would be appreciated!

DrE678 Fri 14-Oct-16 12:16:00

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DrE678 Fri 14-Oct-16 12:17:18

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Nbk123 Fri 14-Oct-16 13:24:36

Thank you DrE678. That is very helpful! It did have a very lovely feel and the personal approach is what we are after. I suppose I couldn't understand the report and the fact that Donhead has a waiting list and Willington doesn't. Nonetheless I guess you have to choose what is best for your child.

DrE678 Fri 14-Oct-16 14:00:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Nbk123 Fri 14-Oct-16 21:19:53

Thank you! It has been very helpful to get some info smile Will now start thinking about logistics etc!

msupa Tue 13-Dec-16 14:51:54

My DS1, who is not at all sporty and rather shy is at Donhead. He loves it and I love it. He's been there for 4.5 years and I never had a day when he didn't want to go to school! The school's pastoral care is amazing. It is a very caring school.
So I wouldn't worry about sport. The school gives plenty of opportunity for the boys to express their interests: art, drama and especially music are very strong. It has great SENCO support too.
They do give a lot of homework, especially starting from year 3. So be warned.
My non-sporty older son does photograpy and ICT clubs, he did lots of art. In short - it's fab.
My DS2 is also at Donhead in year 1 and thrives.

Nbk123 Sat 07-Jan-17 22:48:37

Thank you msupa that is helpful and are now on waiting lists smile

Jody867 Sun 05-Feb-17 15:20:08

Did you decide on Donhead in the end? What was your final reasoning out of interest because we are in the same predicament for our DGS.

user1479740348 Mon 06-Feb-17 14:44:35

hi Jody867,
we have just accepted an offer from Donhead for 2018 Entry.
we have visited five schools so far, and this school makes me feel that my son will be in a good care.

it is considered as a all-round school, very muscal and sporty, but it does prepare for 11+ too.

Jody867 Mon 06-Feb-17 15:06:08

How many boys in a reception class at Donhead and how many classes per year group. They look like they have more outside space than Willington, Squirrels and the Rowans, but as we are not catholic we haven't put it on our list yet.

Wimbles101 Sat 11-Feb-17 21:36:25

Sorry just wanting to jump on this thread out of interest too.
Msupa - interested to hear re hw from yr 3 - a lot of boys last year went to Wimbledon College last year - don't know how much to read into that - I believe the others went to other indies. Don't know how much to read into that as the preceding year had better results?
We're primarily looking at Grammars for DS2 who is currently at a nearby prep which goes to 13 and doesn't prepare for 11plus - any thoughts welcome!

tourbillon Sun 12-Feb-17 12:48:28

It's not worth comparing Rowans and Squirrels with the facilities of Donhead, Willington etc because children leave at different age points. You may as well compare them with Kings and other senior schools. The prepreps both have ample grounds for the age of the boys they have. When they are growing out of them they move to preps or junior schools and many have excellent facilities and lots of space.

tourbillon Sun 12-Feb-17 12:49:46

Don't all preps effective have to prepare for 11+ given a lot of boys' places are allocated via pretest these days anyway?

DrE678 Sun 12-Feb-17 13:15:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ay2018 Fri 08-Jun-18 21:31:42

Hi user1479740348, just following this thread re: Donhead.
My son is on waiting list for 2019. We quite like the school atmosphere and facilities. Just wanted to know if anybody has recent views or experience with the school and how inclusive it is for non catholic pupils.

Bl7589 Sun 10-Jun-18 01:42:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bathildab Sun 10-Jun-18 08:01:47

Which other local preps are struggling for numbers? Really surprised to hear this.

User19992018 Mon 18-Jun-18 19:40:11

Would anyone have any updates on Willington? Is there going to be a new headmaster? Are the rumours true that both Willington and Donhead are struggling for numbers?

User111888 Mon 18-Jun-18 20:58:25

Willington appointed new headmaster who is due to start in September, his details are on their website. Regarding numbers, it does look like both schools have been under full capacity for the last couple of years. The numbers pick up after year 2 when the pre-preps finish.

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