St Francis Pewsey - opinions?(9 Posts)
Anyone got children there - we are thinking of this school for ds, and would love to hear views. We have been on a visit, and ds is booked in for a taster session, but wanted a bit of an inside knowledge if poss. Thanks.
Locally it has a reasonable reputation. It is a fairly cheap private, so no snob value. The head has just changed not met the new head yet. We thought about it but it did not seem that much better than lots of the lovely state primaries in the area.
Pinewood worth a look and St Margarets, Calne - all considered a bit more academic and more sporty.
I have lots of friends with kids there. Mixed opinions some love. Sounds awful but it is quite good for non- academic kids as not too competitive. It has a cosy atomosphere.
Thanks Flum - only just come back to this.
Have had a look at St M's and Pinewood. St M seemed a bit girly for my ds, and Pinewood just didn't do it for me. Wasn't convinced how academic that was either. Just loved the cosy atmosphere at St F. New head- I didn't like him at first, but he grew on me during our visit.
not sure if you're still interested in St Francis but my ds has been there for two years (we moved him out of the state system and for us there is a very significant difference between it and the state primaries in the area). It's a lovely school in a beautiful location, good sense of community, very active PTA, lots of playing outside and getting muddy (v. important for my ds!), small classes and mostly great teachers. Very strong anti-bullying policy, which the new headmaster has reinforced since he arrived. I know some parents are concerned about the performance of the individual needs department and the cost of IN lessons, but I don't have personal experience of this.
The new headmaster hasn't settled in well and has caused a lot of ructions in the past year. Many of the parents reacted very strongly to this (all came to a head at Easter), the governors stepped in, and he seems to have calmed down a bit now and is hopefully getting the measure of the school and what it needs. We're all hoping that any new initiatives will be more carefully thought out in future, but only time will tell.
If you have any specific questions I'm very happy to answer them.
Oh, re the academic side and in response to Flum's message, there are lots of v. academic kids in ds's class and I'm sure throughout the school. DS is gifted at maths and is working at 2-3 years above his chronological age and the school have been great about supporting this need with extra work to stop him from getting bored. The G&T department is in its infancy and the teacher who is the driving force behind it is currently on maternity leave, but despite a few hiccups the school is definitely committed to supporting the brighter children. It's funny, before DS went to St F we'd always heard that Pinewood was the sporty school and St F more academic, so I guess it depends who you talk to!
DS and his friends strike me as very competitive , and the new headmaster is desperately keen to improve the school's performance in sport (though in my opinion he's going a bit overboard).
Thank you so much - I was hoping that there would be a St F mum on Mn.
As long as the taster days go ok, then ds will be going there.
If you can think of anything relevant that I should know, my email is mnmilge at yahoo dot co dot uk.
Glad I could help. I hope he enjoys his taster days. DS was sold on the school by the lunches - he came home from his taster day and said he definitely wanted to go to St F because they'd had chocolate sponge pudding for lunch . Parents in the lower school get to go in for lunch with their child once a term if they want to, and the food is much better than school food was when I was a child!
If I think of anything else I think would be useful for you to know I'll drop you a line. Did they tell you to take wellies for him to wear at playtime on his taster days? That's the sort of thing they sometimes forget to mention but they're very handy to have at this time of year as they play on the playing fields for as much of the year as possible so all the children have a pair of wellies they keep at school.
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