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Prep schools reachable from Virginia Water

(29 Posts)
dangirl Thu 27-May-10 11:42:29

Hi there,
Having been house hunting in West London for nearly two years now, we are getting rather depressed at just how little the money will get us. So now we are in the early stages of considering the big move OUT. Scary thought!;.)
We have had a look at some houses in Virginia Water, an area which we thought was lovely.
Schools are of course very important and must be sorted before making any kind of move. We have a boy starting in Rec in Sep and a girl currently in year 3. They are at a fantastic prep school here and I will hate to take them out:-(

Could I ask if anyone has any advise on the local schools?
I am only looking for co-ed, as two trips would just kill me.
Have looked at and spoken to Lambrook-Haileybury plus St. George's School in Windsor. They both look nice on paper and may well both have the availability that we need in Sep.
Anyone know about Bishopsgate, as that is a bit nearer?


dangirl Thu 27-May-10 18:39:17

No one?

MmeTrueBlueberry Thu 27-May-10 19:59:12

The main one is Bishopsgate. It is very good - traditional values but modern curriculum. Very happy, active children. They also have a very good record of getting their pupils into first choice senior schools. My own boys have been through Bishopsgate.

About 20 minutes away is Hall Grove in Bagshot that is co-ed, as well as St George's Windsor Castle.

Other than that, the schools are single sex. There are Windsor girls' schools that take boys in foundation stage - Brigidine and Upton House, with a few boys' schools taking over in Year 3, such as St John's Beaumont.

Further afield, there is Staines Prep, and St George's Junior School in Weybridge - both fine, with St George's feeding into its own senior school in Addlestone. There is also Licensed Victuallers' School in Ascot - all through, coed with boarding - but has quite mixed reviews. If you are interested in the IB program, there is ACS Egham, right on the edge of VW, that offers IB from early years.

You have to think about what you want to do for senior schools when choosing the prep school. It is very easy to place girls in the area, but choices for boys are more limited.

charlieandlola Thu 27-May-10 20:02:03

Also papplewick in ascot for boys plus Marist in ascot for girls.

dangirl Thu 27-May-10 20:44:22

Thank you ladies,
No international school for us (despite myself being one ;-) ) and I am very set on the idea of co-ed, so I guess that narrows my search somewhat.

Nice to hear good things about Bishopsgate. I heard from another local mother, who's boy goes there, that there are a few issues in upper school due to new headmaster, and she was not entirely happy with it. Does that ring a bell?

So difficult to think about secondry schools for my boy already, as he is only turning 4 in July - my baby ;-) who knows what can happen in 10 years.

Thank you again

dangirl Thu 27-May-10 20:46:24

secondary... I did mention I am not english didn't I? ;-)

MmeTrueBlueberry Thu 27-May-10 20:51:12

We had one year of the new headmaster, but I think he is sound. I really liked the old one who was very affable. The new one didn't click with us too much, but I put that down to us being in the final year and his not needing to 'invest' in us as such. He is much more focussed on sending children on to day schools in the area, rather than so many boarding schools.

I would urge you to have a thought towards senior schools, however alien that might sound at this time, and see if that impacts on your choices. Other than that, you really can't go wrong with Bishopsgate if you live in VW. It is the closest prep school and ticks all the boxes. The only good reason for going elsewhere is if you want single sex, and all-through school, or a catholic school.

Visit the school - you will love it.

MmeTrueBlueberry Thu 27-May-10 20:52:42

BTW, the 'new' headmaster is finishing up his fourth year there, so not so new anymore (unless I have missed some news).

iloveasylumseekers Thu 27-May-10 20:59:04

We're just down the road. My boy is in state primary but we'll be going independent for senior.

When we were deciding we looked at Staines Prep (only goes up to 11 no no good if you want boarding) but lovely (and cheap!) and Hall Grove. Bishopsgate didn't work for us location wise (we both work).

The big big problem in VW is the sheer distance to all of the good boys' senior schools. Unless you're Catholic in which case St George's Senior is reasonably close. I don't really want a Catholic education for mine, even though there are lots of non RC children there. DS1 appears to be quite academic so I don't think Licences Victuallers in Ascot will be very good for him, I don't fancy the cult-ish aspect of St James' in Ashford, and Halliford is prob not academic enough. It looks like the poor mites will be stuck on a coach to get to RGS Guildford or Hampton if they do turn out to be bright.

It's such a hard decision.

iloveasylumseekers Thu 27-May-10 21:02:28

btw I know you're probably v happy with your prep school, but St Judes in Englefield Green is an outstanding state junior school, one of the top in the country, and the local state infant schools are also good. Lots of St Judes children go onto independent school.

MmeTrueBlueberry Thu 27-May-10 21:16:59

It is a hard area for boys.

We are not Catholic but decided on St George's Weybridge for our boys. I liked the facilities of Licensed Victuallers, but given that the boys were bright enough, opted for the selective school.

We don't find SGC to be OTT Catholic. They have regular masses, but non-catholics are still involved. We are active Anglicans and our boys are able to cope fine.

We missed the application dates for Hampton (DS1 would have managed the entrance exam), but overall are happy that he is at a fairly local school where he can travel independently. He has done incredibly well there.

I would not say that St Jude's is outstanding, even if Ofsted do. The best primary school in the area is St Cuthbert's (next door to St Judes). A lot of discerning parents bypass St Judes and send their children to St Ann's. The HM of St Ann's is very good.

iloveasylumseekers Thu 27-May-10 21:22:29

Is St Cuthbert's RC? I haven't heard of it but don't really know much about the state RC schools (as we wouldn't get in anyway). I only know about St Jude's as it's the school du choix for the pushy mums at DS1's infant school. wink

It's good to hear you're so happy with St George's - we'll definitely look at it when the times comes - we're not dogmatic about the religion thing - but given how freaked out I've been about the amount of God DS1 is getting at his CoE primary, a RC school might just be too much for me. smile

iloveasylumseekers Thu 27-May-10 21:25:23

Do you mean St Ann's Heath? Or is there another one? St Ann's is closer to us than St Jude's and we'd be much more likely to get in.

<sorry for crashing your thread Dangirl>

MmeTrueBlueberry Thu 27-May-10 21:30:14

St Cuthbert's is Catholic.

In a Catholic school, the catholic element is limited to assemblies, some form time and saying grace at lunch. It is nothing to get worked up about.

At SGC, there are fewer than 25% catholics. If you are in Windsor & Maidenhead, the independent catholic schools are probably in the region of 5 - 10% catholic. These schools will not force catholicism down a child's throat. The catholic ethos of kindness, charity, etc, is what you will notice.

ILAS, I think you perhaps live in a quirky area where pushy parents will do anything but send their children to their nearest school. It is the easiest way to show how 'caring' they are.

MmeTrueBlueberry Thu 27-May-10 21:31:41

St Ann's Heath in VW - just past the Trumps Green traffic lights on the road to Thorpe. I know a lot of Englefield Green parents who choose this school over St Judes.

iloveasylumseekers Thu 27-May-10 21:37:02

Thanks MmeBlueberry, that's really interesting. I thought it was more like 50%. My H says thanks too. smile

(I think you're right about the "quirky" area, btw. I know exactly what you mean)

MmeTrueBlueberry Thu 27-May-10 21:42:46

It is a weird area. I used to send my children to the nearest primary school (I had to go along with my childminder who didn't drive). My friends were shocked because obviously I hadn't actively chosen their school. They all chose the most awkward school to get to and so could prove how involved they were in their children's education.

I have trumped them all by sending my six to independent schools No one discusses education with me any more

Apart from paying the fees, I am no more involved than I ever was - probably less involved, tbh.

iloveasylumseekers Thu 27-May-10 21:48:01

Yes, there are only three permitted topics of conversation in Runnymedewink:
a) getting an extension/planning permission;
b) choosing (state) schools*;
c) the "travellers"...

MmeTrueBlueberry Thu 27-May-10 21:51:23

Haven't come across the travellers. Is it a problem? I can't even picture their allocated site.

LOL about planning permission

We also talk about Airtrack - probably the biggest issue but likely to fizzle out due to lack of funds.

iloveasylumseekers Thu 27-May-10 21:59:11

There was a very funny story about a large field in VW where some travellers set up camp after buying the land, and the VW villagers were so horrified that they clubbed together to buy the field ; the travellers made an absolute fortune as they could basically ask for any amount knowing the that the VWites could afford it...

There is a big traveller site in my village. (L&L school?) Going back to the "weird area" theme, my friend who has children at M eadowcroft said that there are some traveller parents at that school who chose not to send their children to L&L as there were too many of the wrong type of travellers... Madness.

mozermoze Thu 23-Sep-10 21:48:48

I only know about Sunningdale. All boys, extremely happy, old fashioned values, great mix of families, a very special place that is somehow right for all boys. My third one there at the moment and each child has been very different but all have thrived and flourished there. Great preparation for the next school. Definately worth a look although not co-ed! Head and all staff brilliant - its on a roll.

Knowhere Sun 09-Dec-12 00:13:42

Briefly: 1.LVS Ascot: bullying problems recently, 'not too academic' one.
2. St George's Weybridge selection after 7 or 11 exams, the school discipline.
Would anybody add some more about it?

Inclusionist Sun 09-Dec-12 09:57:30

This is a zombie thread.

What sort of school is it you are looking for? There are a few people on here who know the schools in the area- there was a thread running recently on LVS vs Lambrook.

jongemini Fri 05-Jul-13 22:40:33

Anyone have experience of their kids being at St. George's Prep School Windsor? We are also looking at Felton Fleet a little further away.
Any comments on either school apreciated.

bico Fri 05-Jul-13 23:27:20

jongemini you would be better off starting a new thread with the schools you are interested in in the title.

What age dcs do you have and which year are you looking at for St George's?

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