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South Bucks - Pre -prep/prep schools

(26 Posts)
spottedandstriped Thu 09-Oct-08 21:20:15

Does anyone have any views on the following:

Kingscote and Thorpe House


MollieO Thu 09-Oct-08 22:26:14

I went to an open day at Caldicott. Really liked it and will consider sending ds to board there when he is older. It has a reputation as being very academic but interestingly the head made a point of saying that no boy has homework to do in the evenings (boarding or day). Don't know anything about the other schools (the only other one I've heard of is Davenies in Beaconsfield!).

My ds is currently at Ridgeway (Maidenhead). Really lovely school.

spottedandstriped Fri 10-Oct-08 19:52:33


frogs Fri 10-Oct-08 19:56:36

Wrt Caldicott, You might wish to consider this incident which took place under the current head.

Not to mention this story which obviously took place a while ago, though one of the staff accused was head until 1992, and still lives near the school.

spottedandstriped Fri 10-Oct-08 20:12:41

Thanks Frogs - hadn't seen this!

spottedandstriped Fri 10-Oct-08 21:20:48


MollieO Fri 10-Oct-08 21:47:02

Visited before this programme and completely unaware of it. I am surprised at how badly this case was handled by the current head. That sort of happening is always my worst nightmare when I contemplate boarding school for my ds. Actually this makes me feel really sick.

Rocky12 Thu 06-Nov-08 10:50:17

Thought I would reply as I had a son at Davenies for three years and now a son at Caldicott. I didnt particularly like Davenies. All of the boys (even at age 5) tell you that I are going to the Royal Grammar School after they pass the 11+. Parents have obviously coached them. The 11+ in Bucks is very difficult to pass and is likely to be even more difficult as some parents opt out of private education due to the credit crunch. You can really only pass with private tutition. Davenies is glitzy but it makes simple mistakes like sending another boys report card to me and the headmaster never recognised my son around the town even though he was there for 3 years.

Dont believe everything you hear in the newspapers regarding Caldicott. Yes, the previous head lives in the area but he doesnt creep around the school at night looking for victims. Of course boarding is very different nowadays, children are aware of their rights and what is right and wrong. As far as I am aware not one boy has been removed from the school after this incident. The boy concerned didnt want to take things any further and make a formal complaint. Ironically 4 years later he then decided he wanted to tell his story to the Guardian. It was difficult to see what the head could have done when the boy didnt want to report the incident.

MollieO Thu 06-Nov-08 20:16:00

Rocky12 does your son board or is he a day boy? I was thinking of Caldicott for boarding only assuming my ds is bright enough to go on to a good public school.

spottedandstriped Sat 08-Nov-08 19:54:57

Rocky 12 - would you say that Caldicott is much more geared towards private all the way through (ie on to another public school after Caldicott) or does it also cater well if a child is going to go to say the grammar school?

MollieO Sat 08-Nov-08 20:38:46

When I looked round it seemed that a few went to local grammar schools but the majority went on to public school. I'd send my ds there if he had the potential to get a scholarship to a good public school. If he is not that bright but bright enough to pass the 11+ then he will go to a local grammar school. If doesn't pass 11+ then he will go to a non-selective private school near us. From what I could gather Caldicott do have a reasonable intake at 11 with the intention to go on to public school. They have to board at that age, although they can board earlier

Rocky12 Mon 10-Nov-08 12:03:55

Caldicott is really geared towards private all the way through. The boys are day until 11 then last two years they need to board. No exceptions (I like a school that sets out its stall.) A few do take the 11+ but no special tutition You really need to use a private tutor if you want to pass it. Actually it is great that the boys are day pupils and then become the senior boys of the school once they board. My son boards but has been there since he was 7. They become the prefects, monitors and really help around the school which I think helps their confidence.

Fab school and has been the making of my son.

Have you looked at the price of senior boarding schools (£26-29K per year per child!.) Scholarships help realistically only with 15-20% of the fees and the pressure is really on to get a scholarship so only do it if you are really really confident he is up for it. Caldicott is a competitive school with lists up on the noticeboards saying who is first and who is last. Not for everyone....

MollieO Mon 10-Nov-08 23:14:42

Sensible advice Rocky. I would only consider the scholarship route if he is very bright. Will probably still consider boarding school (yes I know the cost!) as it is also pretty unlikely I'll be around to do the school run to the local grammar school. I'd also only do boarding if I thought he'd enjoy it as I know plenty of my peers who didn't.

JaneH99 Wed 24-Dec-08 18:59:10

It is interesting how many times the words "I've not heard" or "have you heard" are used. When considering any school you have only two independent documents which claim to be reliable. The ISI report and Ofsted's report. Do you know what these two Inspectorates inspect for? Are you aware of their respective areas of responsibility? Well everyone better start checking. On the subject of welfare it is claimed and demonstrated that neither is fulfilling their statutory responsibility. This can more easily be seen by reading a very interesting site I found - this links to the specific page for parents - questions to ask any and all schools on their welfare / child protection policy -

Worst of all it is demonstrated pretty clearly here that unless the school undertakes in writing, within the schools CP policy, to report events of alleged abuse to the LADO (the site explains who this is) then no school (maintained or independent) is under any statutory obligation to report allegations to the authorities and there is no sanction for not doing so. All the evidence is provided. Reporting events to the authorities means the child involved in the alleged events will be seen by Social Services and assessed, which can only have positive benefits for an allegedly abused child.

The awful demonstration of Ofsted's failure to report against actual criminal events in a school in demonstrated on the webpage I've provided. The Head of Care of a school is now serving 10 years for sexually abusing and raping boys - the latest Ofsted Report which covers the period in which the events occurred states "Child care is exemplary" and mentions nothing of the events or the failures that occurred which resulted in so many pupils being sexually abused. Inspectors reports reliable - think again - on welfare they are clearly not worth the paper they are written on.

Neither was Ofsteds report on Social Services in Haringey as we have now discovered.

So let's start with first questions first - how many of us have asked for, read and understood the CP policy of our child's school? I did only recently - and I'm alarmed by the content as they will discover next term.

SusieSan Wed 16-Sep-09 11:59:38

Anymore views, opinions and feedback on Davenies School in Beacosnfield? I've got a DS whom I'm considering sending to Davenies in Sept 2010. Is it a good private school?

NatLex Tue 22-Sep-09 09:52:53

I am also interested in views on Gayhurst school in Gerrards Cross.
I know this is silly and it doesn't bother me in the slightest, but some people are funny about the name when mentioned. Hmmm What does everyone think?
Thank you

spottedandstriped Fri 02-Oct-09 21:39:30

I've heard good things about Gayhurst - but wonder how it compares to Davenies/Caldicott. Would be interested in others views.

trickerg Fri 02-Oct-09 23:22:39

''You can really only pass with private tutition.''

says teacher from state school, which is only allowed 3 familiarisation tests before the 11+. Grammar school for rich kids, I belive. Why aren't there any boys' private secondary schools in S Bucks? Ummmm.....

smudge01 Thu 05-May-11 12:31:30

Just moved to bourne end and need to find a primary school for 7 yr old. Help! I dont know where to start in terms of choosing a school.

eggsit Thu 05-May-11 19:58:19

The LEA sorts it. Tell them you're there and waiting for a place.
Schools are not involved in the admissions anymore.

eggsit Thu 05-May-11 19:59:06

Take it you meant state?

manicinsomniac Sun 08-May-11 02:32:22


Good Buckinghamshire Preps (only imo of course!)
Winchester House
Swanbourne House

eggsit Sun 08-May-11 16:36:48

manic - they're MILES away from Bourne End! If you want independent, your best bet would be Maidenhead (Herries very close at Cookham Dean), Henley or Wycombe.

manicinsomniac Sun 08-May-11 16:45:08

oh sorry! I just saw the Bucks bit, I don't actually know where Bourne End is!

eggsit Sun 08-May-11 16:48:33


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