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Dumpton or Castle Court??

(48 Posts)
shibumimonkey Sun 07-Jun-09 18:31:45

We are in the process of making a decision which of these two private schools to send our sons to. Does anyone have any experience of them? Have visited both and finding it hard to make decision. Many thanks

poshtottie Mon 08-Jun-09 08:22:33

If we hadn't moved I would have sent ds to Castle Court as I looked after children who went there and it seemed to be a lovely school. Their parents were very happy with it. It was seemed a long trek though in the traffic through Poole though they took the bus when they were old enough.

DH was at Dumpton but many years ago when it was Gaunts House. He has happy memories of scaling the roof. hmm

We are further west now and have only looked at one school which I just loved straight away. Ds starts in the nursery in Sept.

doggus Sun 26-Jul-09 21:22:04

Hi there - we are going through exactly the same dilemma as you (we live in Poole and our son is two). All I can get out of people is that Castle Court is 'blingy' while Dumpton is more traditional. I must say it didn't seem like that to me.

I know the head of CC is leaving and there will be a new head in September 2010.

What were your impressions? I thought they were both great.

shibumimonkey Sat 29-Aug-09 16:15:13

There are waiting lists for most years at Dumpton whereas Castle court is suffering reduced numbers due to number of reasons (bankruptcy, childrens behaviour issues, staff sackings to name a few!)
I think the headmaster at Dumpton is inspirational, the school is not so austere but the enthusiasm there is great.
We are swayed toward Dumpton at the mo

doggus Sat 12-Sep-09 20:52:03

Shibu - we paid a deposit of £300 for CC ages ago. Bankruptcy at CC sounds very ominous! When we went round I really liked the staff and the pupils were lovely and made a fuss of my little boy.

Does the fact that the head of CC is leaving make any difference do you think?

mythoughtscount Tue 15-Sep-09 10:35:01

Choosing schools! Nightmare! We moved down a few years ago and had the same decision to make. I found that both Dumpton and CC had pros and cons. Both could be described as bling, and people would tell me good and bad about both. I took the Dumpton has waiting lists with a pinch of salt - I had worked in a prep school and we always used this line - and anyway my child seemed to get in without any difficulty despite his year being "full"! If you are worried about CC and their financial strength go to the charities commission and they will give you the report and accounts - then you will have the true story! In the end we went with where my child seemed happiest after we had spent time at various schools on Open Days etc. Good luck!

shibumimonkey Thu 17-Sep-09 22:32:39

From what I here a new headmaster at CC is well overdue. Have since heard that bullying is not being stamped out at CC. Religion is a major part of CC, some teachers overly so. As previous post pointed out its where your child best fits in (and you as a parent feel most comfortable). Good luck its a tough decision

pspmum Tue 22-Sep-09 18:27:12

This is an interesting discussion. Where do the rumours come from I wonder? I was curious enough to check out CC's financial position on the Charities Commission website and it appears they have almost £2m cash reserves. That doesn't sound like a school about to go bankrupt?! From all the media coverage I read they appear to be doing very well. I've been to look at both schools and am still open minded. I agree with the advice of going with your gut instinct where you feel is right for your child...

shibumimonkey Wed 23-Sep-09 13:41:32

My comment on bankruptcy referred to the parents of the some of the children being sent to Castle court. A fair few of these are local property developers that have fallen upon hard times, some even becoming bankrupt.
From what I hear Dumpton tend to attract more 'recession' proof professions eg doctors, lawyers.

sylvielt Sat 30-Jan-10 09:28:45

I met the proposed new Head of Castle Court the other day. He will be inspirational - young, energetic and with a really wholesome vision of childhood, parenthood and education. I thought the Dumpton Head was completely lacklustre and devoid of original vision. No contest.

chocices Sat 30-Jan-10 15:53:14

Doggus
Re does new head make a difference?

In my experience the head makes a huge difference. I know of a number of schools in this area, where with new heads, the school's have had a complete 180 degree turn around. Both for the better and unfortunately for the worse.

Therefore who the head is makes a huge difference.

It's always interesting to give a new head a couple of years (of course if timings permit) to see what they bring to the school, and if its the philosophy (sp.) you agree with.

doggus Sun 28-Feb-10 17:01:38

Just come back to this discussion. We can't get to the Open Day at Dumpton in March so are going to ask for a separate visit. Really interested [sylvielt] in your opinion o the new head, I suppose to do my due diligence I should go and meet him! Can I ask - is he a bit less 'evangelical'?

And [chocices] thank you very much for that, it's good to know a head can bring in a new broom.

What worries me most at CC is the religiosity and what worries me at Dumpton is I've heard it's more for posh, country folk who go huntin', shootin' and fishin'. Probably all total nonsense but as a liberal non-hunting atheist I'm in a quandary!

[Sylvielt] - are you sending your dc to Castle Court now - did meeting the head make up your mind?

I am sorry to be so nosey and bombarding you all with questions but to be honest none of my friends down here are sending their kids to private schools so have no-one to discuss it with!

elastamum Sun 28-Feb-10 17:08:29

Have been to both and I would go for Dumpton anyday. I thought the head was very sensible and had a great attitude. Have not met the new head at cc but i found the old one a bit creepy and lacking in fun. Also cc did seem very religous whereas Dumpton had a more family feel. The parents seemed pretty normal to me. My kids didnt go there in the end as my house sale fell through sad

elastamum Sun 28-Feb-10 17:09:30

My neice is starting there in september and her mum is a working single parent - no posh wellies there!

doggus Sun 28-Feb-10 20:29:02

Hi elastomum. Thank you for that. My biggest concern about Castle Court is the religion thing and I only hope the new head is not as holy as the old!

21stcenturymum Wed 03-Mar-10 11:30:38

Hi, I have read the comments with interest knowing that our Headmaster is moving up to Castle Court in September. He will be really missed here; he has made a massive difference to Kelly and know that Castle Court are very lucky. If any parent is thinking which school to send their child to, now our head is moving to Castle Court the choice will be very clearly - Castle Court. Your gain our loss

support1 Wed 03-Mar-10 15:33:58

Yes, our son went to Castle Court for a numbrer of years and he thrived. He passed the 11 plus and went to Poole Grammar School where he also thrived. He is now a Doctor/Surgeon

kidstimesx4 Wed 03-Mar-10 18:04:53

Hi, feel the need to join this discussion. Our Headmaster will be joining Castle Court and I Know we will be sorry to see him go. Castle Court here we come only the distance will prevent. I am sure Castle Court will soon see the positives and the benefits that we have seen.

chocices Wed 03-Mar-10 19:16:33

Who's the new head of CC? Is he from local school?

chocices Wed 03-Mar-10 19:19:24

Ok found it on the website. As an aside - I personally don't agree with heads being at the same school as their children.

Either the children are treated favourably by the other teachers, or the other way, they are purposlly not chosen for stuff so they can't be accused of favourtism.

Never in children's favour in my opinion.

sylvielt Wed 03-Mar-10 19:51:36

Doggus - To answer your question, my DC's are past prep school but I have happy memories of CC, hence my interest in this thread. My experience of both heads is outside school and, for me, I felt the Dumpton one was a triumph of style over substance while the new CC one is the real deal - look at his introduction and the rest of the Kelly website (where he will obviously be missed, judging from other threads here), which gives his vision of childhood and education He is relatively young for this to be his second Headship, which must say something. There will be changes at CC and they will be really positive ones is my prediction - but do go and meet him and see for yourself - only you can really have the feel for where is best for your child and you can't make your decision based on the old guard.

doggus Wed 03-Mar-10 20:30:00

Thank you all so much, I feel so confident now that we are going to send ds to CC and it is the right decision. kidstimesx4 and 21stcenturymum, thank you - and I am sorry you have lost your headmaster but hopefully you will gain a great new one. sylvie - you made a great point that he is young for a second headship.

We are going to go and meet the new head ourselves in a couple of weeks. I know of four families that have recently moved from CC to Dumpton and I think that was unduly influencing me. They cited bullying at CC as a cause so am going to quiz him about pastoral care.

boohoobumbles Thu 04-Mar-10 20:00:22

Just popping in to say as a parent from Kelly how fantastic a headmaster you are gaining at Castle Court. You are very lucky - he is kind, enthusiastic and totally dedicated. His family are also lovely. We will all miss them all hugely.

lovecheese Thu 04-Mar-10 20:12:46

Id go for Dumpton anyday as it reminded me of Trumpton (sorry, dont want to antagonise any private school MNetters, I'll just scuttle back to the poor old state system....)

doggus Thu 04-Mar-10 23:06:45

boohoo - what an endorsement, thank you loads for your opinion.

And lovecheese - you got me singing 'Hugh, Pugh, Barney' etc etc. Dumpton not the most inspirational name for a school.

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