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Dragon School vs Windlesham house school

(13 Posts)
Luckymum007 Fri 04-Oct-19 20:00:35

Hello Everyone. I am trying to pick one of these two schools for my son to start Year 7. DS is bright, sporty, musical and competitive. Please shed some light on these schools if you have recent information as he will be a boarder.

Thank you.

Cadisainmduit Sun 06-Oct-19 10:42:57

We have had friends with children at both. Both are great schools which prepare for the full range of senior schools. Both have great sport, music and arts offerings so in that sense you cannot really go wrong. I think the things that distinguish them are the size of the schools (Dragon is massive) and the proportion of boarders (Windlesham has proportionately more boarders even if the absolute numbers at Dragon are higher)

IME the thing that will make the biggest difference to the happiness (or otherwise) of a full boarder at this age is the proportion of his friends who stay at school over the weekend. If most of his mates go home after games on Saturday he will not like it. The proportion of boarders grows in y7 and y8 but boarding at prep level is on the wane and even where schools say that they are full boarding they can be economical with the truth when it comes to Saturday night numbers. I believe there will be proportionately more at WH than at the Dragon. But you need to pin the schools down on the current situation as numbers have dropped a lot even over the last year or so.

The other aspect I would consider is holiday friendships. If you are overseas boarders it is great if your DC have friends from the same home city that they can hang out with in the holidays and with whom they can travel back and forth.

All of this is less important if your DS will be a weekly boarder. For what it is worth, my preference would be Windlesham. I found Dragon too big for a prep.

Whattimedidyouseeherleave Sun 06-Oct-19 10:56:53

Just of interest @Luckymum007 what draws you to these.two schools in particular ? They are quite different in my opinion. Do you have a senior particular senior school in mind ?

Luckymum007 Sun 06-Oct-19 21:56:50

@Cadisainmduit. I cannot thank you enough for your advice. Honestly I preferred the warm feel of Windlesham house then I visited, however I just feel that Dragon is a bit more competitive. You are right about the numbers of boarders, will certainly have to take that into consideration.

Luckymum007 Sun 06-Oct-19 22:00:40

@Whattimedidyouseeherleave. The schools I have in mind are Eton and Winchester College. I chose these schools because I would like for DS to go to a co-ed school until 13+.

Both of them seem to be really great prep schools, so I guess I am a bit confused as to which I prefer.

PlatinumBrunette Sun 06-Oct-19 22:16:09

DD went to Windlesham. It’s an amazing school, loads of opportunities and a sizeable consort go onto Eton and Wincoll, many with scholarships. They’re breaking in a new head, I believe, but no reason to think that will affect much. Fabulous grounds and a caring ethos.

Luckymum007 Sun 06-Oct-19 22:22:03

@PlatinumBrunette Thank you for your feedback, happy to hear that. Were there a lot of boarders during weekends? Were they academic and was sports strong?

PlatinumBrunette Sun 06-Oct-19 22:26:12

Sports, music, academics - all strong. And all levels, so if you aren’t sporty/musical/academic it’s fine, there’s plenty to do. Good drama too. Great art. Loads of boarders in over weekend (when we were there several years ago). Lots of nationalities. Very inclusive. School have matches most Saturdays.

Luckymum007 Sun 06-Oct-19 22:34:33

@Platinumbrunette thank you very much.

Whattimedidyouseeherleave Mon 07-Oct-19 00:46:29

Good luck @Luckymum007 , my DS is at one of your senior schools and is having a wonderful time. Will your ds be full boarding? If so you really need to check the numbers of boarders that stay in on Saturday night as many prep schools are very economical with the truth when it comes to this .

The prep school which my DS attended was sold to us as one l where the majority full bordered ,which as not the case. The boys whose parents lived nearby received special treatment and my ds had a very unhappy time there.

Windlesham House does have a warm atmosphere , I know it only from attending matches there. If you were to consider a boys
prep Ludgrove or Cothill would be my choices in hindsight. Boys (and their parents at my ds"s) senior school speak so highly of them both.
The pastoral care they received was exceptional, which is not always the case.

Luckymum007 Mon 07-Oct-19 06:29:56


Thank you so much for your reply, will surely look into these two.

Although Ludgrove does not have any availability for year 7, I checked.

NellyBarney Mon 07-Oct-19 19:51:44

It's not co-ed but have you had a look at Sunningdale? Lots of full boarders and such a lovely family school.

Luckymum007 Mon 07-Oct-19 21:33:35


Thank you for your suggestion, I have heard that is really nice and small. Seems they had a TV series at some point, or maybe I am mistaken.

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