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Private schools Herts/N london ?

(9 Posts)
charbw Sun 12-Mar-17 14:52:30

Hi, we are trying to compile a list of prep / & senior schools in south Herts and north london. (We are currently in St Albans, but could move to similar like radlett or harpenden). We know to look at assessments entries all the way thru to a 'back up' options ie non assembly. We are looking for a Girls or co-ed, Med to large, great facilities, modern approach, great extra curricular options with high levels of things like sport. We don't want simply academic alone philosophies.
Also then what great girls independent schools they may go on to from there too?
We have just moved back from Nyc so trying to catch up, so hoping to get some insights to our options pls?

Zodlebud Sun 12-Mar-17 15:11:12

I live just west of you and preps / all through schools we looked at are:

Berkhamsted
St Albans High School
Abbots Hill
Westbrook Hay
Beechwood Park
Edge Grove
York House

Most kids from these preps (excluding the all through ones) go to local day schools at 11 - Berkhamsted, St Albans, Habs Girls, Royal Masonic, Aldenham etc. Some go into the grammars and some go to boarding school.

We also looked at Chesham Prep, Royal Masonic, Godstowe and Pipers Corner but they are undoubtedly too far out of your search area. If you would consider moving to Beaconsfield then you have the amazing Beaconsfield High as an option (grammar school which is just like a private school, although not for feint hearted!!!!), and move to Amersham and you have Dr Challoners in the mix.

Mary21 Sun 12-Mar-17 17:25:31

Aldenham
St Margaret's bushy
Mill Hill and its prep Belmont
Queens wood
How bright do you think they are?
Once they have moved over to the uk syllabus do you think they will fly or are they more middle of the road.
That will determine whether you should look at a prep then academic senior school such as Habs girls St Albans high,or north London collegiate or a more middle of the pack type place such as Mill Hill. St Margaret's etc

bojorojo Mon 13-Mar-17 20:48:35

Queenswood at Potters Bar really fits the bill. Any prep can get your child well prepared. It isn't the cheapest but offers more for an enthusiastic child. You could try and negotiate being down a year if that might help.

charbw Thu 16-Mar-17 18:59:03

Thanks all.... my girls are only little still (sorry prob should of added that) so we are trying to pick prep and use their nursery potentially too, if can get them in. But we are concerned about having a few goood options of secondary to lead on to, from the area we now buy a house in.

We are struggling to find good all round schools from harpenden where we would like to live. But a couple in st.albans,so also cobsudering moving areas slightly so have more options.

charbw Thu 16-Mar-17 19:02:15

I've seen most of this list, which is good to know I'm on top of things some what. So thanks! smile
We liked beech wood. As not a completely acedemic option but still good.

Which ones did you like compared to what you were looking for?

charbw Thu 16-Mar-17 19:06:01

Girls are too young to know if they are acedemic or not yet.
But we are a soaring family so I do predict that will be an interest.
I'm wary of acedemic first at prep age but open to it a senior school as you should know by then.
But what prep we choose and then where we live will also effect our secondary options so trying to see what option we would have later too. What secondary would you say if great in that are?

Zodlebud Thu 16-Mar-17 22:16:16

I knew instantly which school was right for my daughters the moment I walked in the front door. I have actually really surprised myself with my choice - I am far more liberal than I thought I was!!!!! Both husband and I went to Cambridge and I thought I was going to be all over the academic side of things. Something just didn't click with me and the more academic schools. You can look at the inspection reports, reviews, results and leavers destinations until the cows come home but ultimately it has to just feel right.

In reality I love that my kids are being taught to appreciate the other things in life - dance, drama, music, sport, building dens and climbing trees. The school she goes to is most definitely not a hot house but she is being stretched academically - far more than I ever thought - and is doing extremely well. More importantly she LOVES school. Her younger sister has only just started and I am just as pleased with her experiences.

I see friends with children at another school on my list and whilst they are doing unbelievably well, they just seem a bit stressed out about school. Happy, but just lacking in fun.

I can't move at present but if I could I would probably move to Beaconsfield. Choice of excellent preps - in particular Godstowe (if you are thinking of "top flight", usually boarding at 11) and Maltman's Green. There are two excellent all through schools in St Mary's in Gerard's Cross and Pipers Corner. At 11 you then have the choice of Beaconsfield High, the two all through schools and for the super intelligent, Wycombe Abbey. Definitely worth a look if you can consider moving there - great train into London and a lovely old town.

My best advice is go for the school that best fits your family ethos right now. A lot can change in the seven years they spend at prep and you have no idea what sort of school they would need at 11. I agree about wanting to be in an area which will be future proof but we tried that and ended up being stranded at the first hurdle when my daughter didn't get any of our state school choices even though they were our four closest schools!!!!!

In order to answer your question about the "best" secondaries then that would be St Albans High School and Habs Girls in your current area but that is purely based on academic results. Wycombe Abbey is the school that frequently tops the academic charts and admits a handful of day girls.

The three girls grammars in Bucks - Aylesbury High, Dr Challoners High and Beaconsfield High get results on a par and usually better than the other day schools in the area. But then again they are selective!!!!!!

bojorojo Sat 18-Mar-17 10:20:42

Pipers Corner is selective at 11 too and does not guarantee their prep school girls a place. Godstowe has a few leave at 11, mostly to the grammar schools, and my DD loved it. So much going on!

I know girls who have been to the preps in Harpenden and they were happy there (St Hilda's) and there is Stormont near Brookmans Park. I also think the Bucks villages near Berkhamsted are worth a look. Grammar school catchment and close enough to Berkhamsted if you prefer that. Depends if you need to commute to a particular area of London.

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