Talk to me about Oxford school drop off logistics!

(7 Posts)
Misby007 Sat 15-Oct-16 07:47:12

We are likely to be moving north of Oxford and my eldest son will sit 7+ exams for MCS and NCS this coming January. I am trying to work out where my younger two children can go where it is going to be possible to drop off and pick up. My eldest will be Year 3 and I have a son who will be Year 1 and a daughter who will be Reception year. Can I ask for those with boys in MCS and or NCS, where do your younger DC go and how do you manage drop offs across multiple locations? Thank you!

1805 Sun 16-Oct-16 21:47:22

do you want your younger two in state or private schools?

dairymilkmonster Mon 17-Oct-16 21:12:28

I have ds1 at new college school and ds2 at nursery in headington - we live that side of the city. I know people who successfully do the following:
- mcs + ncs
- mcs + headington
- ncs + headington
- ncs + oxford high
- mcs + st phillips and st james
- ncs/mcs + headington + nursery (2 diff ones, both east side of city)
Both ncs/mcs have quite flexible drop off, so drop off is not hideous. getting into the city from the north can be tricky though - i would choose other schools en route from home to city centre school if poss!
Highly recommend ncs.

Misby007 Thu 20-Oct-16 10:51:03

Thank you so much! This is great and really helpful. In terms of state or private for the younger ones, I think private as we are about 20 mins away from the city centre and I think I need to have a school on the way to mcs/ncs. State in my catchment I don't think will work. Unless I can apply out of catchment for Phil and Jim's but j know how oversubscribed it is so doubt that will work?

My little girl has been offered a place at Oxford High, so I am super pleased to see that can work in a combo with mcs/ncs.

Really useful to hear your experience of ncs- thank you. Did you consider mcs too and can I ask why you went for ncs/what is good about it? Also is it very focused on choristers or more balanced? I have had mixed reviews. Thank you very much smile

Pythonesque Thu 27-Oct-16 21:07:41

I agree that NCS is very understanding of the difficulties of coordinating drop-off and pickup; when my youngest started reception there he had to be second pickup as his sister's school at the time was more rigid. You might like to have a look at their pre-prep; though the hours are shorter than prep they routinely have siblings and are very flexible about before and after school timings. Plenty of sisters at Oxford High and I would expect you may be able to negotiate lift shares. Agree traffic is an issue ++ sadly.

What NCS offers for the choristers is tremendous, but actually what it offers and achieves musically across the board is impressive. I would estimate at least half the non-choristers end up really confident singers for example. There are a number of activities on offer that the choristers mostly have to miss out on (though they try to rotate some of them around the one day they have free!). The numbers are generally 4-5 choristers in a class of 18. My son's year has had movement both to and from bigger schools - different boys suit different size schools. I did just remember how full pre-prep has got; but do check if you haven't already. Reception filled up the year after my son started and they've had waiting lists ever since but a lot of families move in and out of Oxford!

Good luck to your eldest in his assessments and I hope you can get a feel for schools and places you are happy with for all of them.

dairymilkmonster Fri 04-Nov-16 21:19:58

Sorry - somehow didn't come back to this.
Magdalen college doesn't have a preprep, so we didn't think about it much as we realised that it was a reception entry we needed. Our catchment area school is far from desirable, and it is very unusual to get out of catchment places at schools with a better reputation. If we are still in oxford, and the school thinks ds1. has a shot, we wil try for mcs for secondary.
There are always waiting lists at ncs for all ages, but as op said, there is a lot of movement amongst professionals/academics who make up most of the parents, so spots come up. I would put ds on any lists for schools you are considering - most families out their sons on all the schools lists, so they are not as bad as it seems!
Ds1 is loving ncs, they are so nuturing and really try to suit the boys individual needs. The music is amazing, my ds doesn't appear to have any natural musical talent particularly, but loves the weekly singing lesson and has amazed me by starting piano and being enthusiastic. Whether this will last long term i don't know!
Another thing is that at least at present, many of the pre prep parents share pick ups with one another. one parent gets the girls, the other the boys and then meet in hte middle. Or bring the girls to ncs and then all are picked up from there at about 4. It seems to work out somehow. Good luck.

dairymilkmonster Fri 04-Nov-16 21:28:34

Oh, I didn't say anything about non musical aspects. Academically it seems fine to me so far, they are very good at catering for each byos needs. ds is not at the level many others are in maths, and he got rather het up about it, but they had hte TA sit with him and provide support and he got over it. The school seems to get most boys into well respected schools later on, mostly local independent day schools, but a few to public boarding schools or other random places. I am not terribly knowledgeable about exactly what kids are exoected to know when within the national curriculum But this suggests to me they know what they are doing.
The only negative comment I have heard about mcs junior is that they frequently suggest boys are not suitable for transfer to their senior, or they dont get a place after the entrance tests. Of course not everyone will go on from a linked junior school, but they should be able to get their own boys through the exam! I may have just heard from hte disgruntled few though - certainly those with boys in hte senior school always recommend it.

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