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(26 Posts)
Threewindmills Sat 08-Jun-13 20:26:20

was anyone at the open day today? What did you think?

bico Sun 09-Jun-13 11:26:57

I went a 4 or 5 years ago and really liked the school and the pupils who showed us round. What put me off somewhat were the parent clones. All the men were wearing blazers with gold buttons, chinos, shirts and stripey ties (it looked like some sort of adult uniform) and the women were wearing Boden. I wore jeans so felt very under dressed.

Their grounds are lovely, I liked the boarding dorms and I liked the head. I particularly liked the fact that the boys have no homework to bring home.

What didn't work for us was the short school day and no wraparound care (maybe that has changed now) and the compulsory boarding in the final two years. Having said that ds is in year 4 at another local prep and does board 2 or 3 nights a week and by the end of year 5 will be boarding 5 nights a week. That wasn't what I expected him to do when we visited Caldicott.

It has a very good reputation for getting boys to the senior schools of their choice.

Threewindmills Sun 09-Jun-13 21:21:33

That makes me smile :-) there were those same men with blazers! I didn't wear Boden!

Inclusionist Mon 10-Jun-13 19:34:49

Haha- the same parents were there when we looked round!!

I thought exactly the same as bico.

My other worry was that they wouldn't be very supportive of a child who wanted to pursue an activity to a high level outside of school.

Where else are you considering windmills?

Threewindmills Mon 10-Jun-13 20:58:19

What did you think about it Inclusionist? - I am a bit torn between thinking it was a great school and also thinking I might be a lot poorer than everyone else!

We are looking quite widely and have only just started looking - live about 15 mins from Caldicott - any suggestions would be appreciated

handcream Mon 10-Jun-13 21:09:16

I have two DS' one still at Caldicott and the other left 3 yrs ago and did go to the senior school of our choice. Don't know about the clothes situation tbh! My DH definitely doesn't dress like that!

Head IMHO is one of the best in the country,really knows his stuff. PM me if you want any specifics.

Inclusionist Tue 11-Jun-13 07:02:04

I thought it was fantastic windmills. Seems to offer an excellent, rounded education and a really happy experience. Until recently DH was working at Merchant Taylors' and taught a few boys from Caldicott. He said they had clearly recieved an excellent education. I would have been very happy for DS to go there (we currently live pretty close) but eventually the compulsory boarding broke it for me. I think DS might do a little bit of boarding in Y7&8 but I don't want him to HAVE to.

We have chosen Lambrook. It fits in with our plan to move south of the M4 although they do have buses from all corners. Things that put it above Caldicott were: pre-prep, better wrap-around, ad-hoc boarding available, clear support for children who achieve outside school (children regularly in West End plays etc), indoor swimming pool blush .

I have to say there also seemed to be a more vibrant, forward moving atmosphere at Lambrook. There was an air of genuine enthusiasm at the Lambrook open day which was not quite so evident at Caldicott. It was perhaps a little less 'stuffy'.

Have you considered the Beacon? We would have gone for that if we had been planning to move north instead of south.

Inclusionist Tue 11-Jun-13 07:05:29

Oh, and DH and I are just teachers. I really would let not being loaded put you off. Anybody you actually want to know won't care how much money you have!

burberryqueen Tue 11-Jun-13 07:21:33

i just cannot imagine why anyone would want to send their children away to a school whose wiki entry is 50 per cent about sex abuse cases that occurred there.

Threewindmills Tue 11-Jun-13 09:03:35

Thanks Inclusionist/Handcream - very helpful

handcream Tue 11-Jun-13 21:27:18

All parents are aware of what happened nearly 50 yrs ago. Its not a reason to avoid the school! They aren't still there!

burberryqueen Wed 12-Jun-13 07:53:38

yes well it was a bit more recent than that infact

Iloveshowandtell Wed 12-Jun-13 08:07:36

Very odd comment - surely this would mean that much better procedures etc would be put in place to ensure this never happens again? I would be more worried about schools where this has never been considered.

bico Wed 12-Jun-13 08:11:21

I can't remember the details (if you do a search on here you'll find it) but there was something that happened during the current head's rule.

bico Wed 12-Jun-13 08:16:52


bico Wed 12-Jun-13 08:22:37

The article confirms that whilst procedures are in place at the school it appears that for reasons that aren't clear the head chose not to follow them in this case.

Iloveshowandtell Wed 12-Jun-13 08:39:40

Hmm... as my friend who is a journalist says - you have to make the story interesting - a lot of what people write is not correct!

bico Wed 12-Jun-13 08:55:16

True but it seems a very odd story to make up.

burberryqueen Wed 12-Jun-13 10:09:33

hardly made up - sounds like a culture that has permeated the school for decades.

Threewindmills Wed 12-Jun-13 13:15:14

Hopefully reverting back to my original question - anyone out there who was at the open day (or who has children at Caldicott?) smile

09870987 Wed 12-Jun-13 13:34:41

I have a friend who commented on it. She felt it was full of London parents and that the atmosphere of the school was changing as the clientele changes geographically (what with the bus service etc). She also commented that the day is very long especially for little ones, and that because DC come from far and wide and there is no compulsory boarding until yr7-8, friendship groups are quite dispersed.

My advice would be to go and look at lots of schools, and like buying a house, follow your gut instinct. You know your DC best and what suits one person may not suit another.

The issues raised by Bico would make me question the culture and judgement of the senior management team and governors. This should be basic stuff that all schools, state or private, have to follow to protect children. Most schools publish their child protection policies on their website, so should be quite easy to research if you wanted to.

Good luck.

Inclusionist Wed 12-Jun-13 13:53:03

Very recently a teacher from Wellington College was jailed for abusing children at the school. You never hear anyone saying 'Ooh, how could anyone send a child there?'. In fact, I would suggest that Wellington is very much the 'trendy' choice right now.

burberryqueen Wed 12-Jun-13 13:59:23

well at least the Wellington head said
""The very day a former pupil of the college came forward with his accusations, we immediately suspended Roth and reported our concerns to the police and social services."

handcream Wed 12-Jun-13 21:31:59

The boy concerned a number of yrs ago didn't want to report it and his parents didn't want it taken any further. A few yrs later they told their story to one of the papers which is why it appeared in the media.

bico Wed 12-Jun-13 21:44:10

From the article it appears that the school did not explain that the boy's anonimity would be preserved even if the matter was reported to the police.

Even if that is not a true account of what happened I do find it odd that the bursar was one the school's trained child protection personnel. Is that normal in schools? Or did the school not follow its child protection policy? Or maybe this is another lie by the parents?

Ime (not in this type of event thank heavens) it is of utmost importance that not only must schools have proper policies and procedures in place but that they must follow them too.

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