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Old Vicarage School(15 Posts)
My daughters name has come up on the waiting list for reception 2014 at Old Vicarage School. She is currently attending nursery at Ibstock Place and so has a place in reception there next year. She is happy and I am happy with Ibstock. Should I consider taking her out and sending her to Old Vicarage?
The class size at Ibstock is 24 where it is only 14 at old Vicarage. Ibstock is co-ed, which I like, but OV is girls only. I have heard rumours that OV is a bit of a "princess factory" .
Can anybody tell me anything about the Old Vicarage School?
I have only visited the school and my only concern was that the whole time I was there (albeit only several hours) was that I didn't see a single man. I was planning on researching single sex schools a bit more as it did seem slightly surreal, but I have not come to any conclusions yet.
There are male members of staff at OVS, the music teacher in particular is lovely and much loved. Good sensible Head but you are comparing chalk and cheese. I would visit and see which feels right for your daughter and family. In particular OVS streamed at 10 (may not do now but you get the end game) based on who was slow / quick (no predictor of outcome, not only did some of the slower get into more selective schools but now they are the ones applying to Oxbridge.) but with an impact on confidence. Lots of worrying stories on Ibstock's handling of Learning Difficulties, in contrast to more selective schools (learning difficulties affect 10% of the population regardless of ability and able pupils can cope up until later in their career, never assume it won't be an issue.) Ibstock used to have a reputation as the school that filled the niche for those who wanted a lovely supportive school but Head wants it to compete with the more academic schools,.
Sorry, I've heard a few worrying stories about bullying and pressure at Old Vic which certainly convinced me I wouldn't want to send my (very academic and self-driven) DD there. Not my direct experience so I appreciate others may come along with different perspectives for you.
My very academic and self driven daughter thrived there, I think those are the exact qualities that would enable a girl to thrive there! I would worry more about the impact on the confidence of the less academic, given the schools focus on getting them into the most selective schools. But then the Heads focus is now no different at Ibstock, it has moved away from it's original Froebal ethos about as far as it could go! However go and see, your instinct about what feels right is often the best indicator, rather than the stories you hear from others.
On bullying I am afraid that can happen anywhere, no school can control the characters that come into a school.
Thanks to everyone for your comments. Some really good points to consider. I have an appointment to visit the school soon.
We have been considering OVS for year-4 (2017/8) but entry appears very selective as my daughter has been at International schools abroard. Any comments appreciated..
I would imagine the drop-out rate to be very low and that's why you haven't even able to get a place to start in year 4. They have two classes of 15 in each year so it's quite small. Everyone joins in Reception barring very occasional places that may come up.
The Head previously taught at Tanglin in Singapore, I doubt very much that having been taught in International Schools is the issue. However the cohort are more mobile than the previous poster understands and places do come up, especially in Year 4.
My DD goes to the OVS and she is extremely happy there, she loves that its an all girls school and how much attention she gets from her teachers being in small class of 15 girls. Every morning she is running to the school with a big smile and thriving in her study and when I picked her up for the 3 weeks Christmas break she was sad saying she will miss her teacher that just shows how happy my child there.
I cannot recommend strongly enough that you do NOT send your daughter to The Old Vicarage. I am not actually a parent- I went there myself, twelve years ago. OVS cares more about its flawless school uniform (complete with "summer boaters swinging through the park") and "castle on a hill" image than the happiness, or even the success, of its girls.
As has already been mentioned, the school suppresses individuality, encouraging all of its students to follow the exact same paths. One of my teachers once laughed at the idea that any one of us might not go to university. That, of course, does not take into account those girls for whom university might not be the right course to take; who might have other strengths or passions in other areas.
The school is very academic, and usually gets good secondary school placements for its students. Part of this is because of the absurdly high workload, the public humiliation which terrifies the girls into working all hours rather than falling behind and the prioritisation of those subjects needed for 11+ at the expense of anything else. This is also partly because, although OVS is not selective, the girls who go there tend to be the daughters of wealthy parents who can afford the necessary tutoring.
For me, although negative, it was not a hugely destructive environment. However, I am still in touch with many of my ex-classmates, and, unfortunately, for some of them, it was. In my year alone the school turned a blind eye to a lot of emotional and physical bullying. I would even argue that the treatment of some of the teachers towards the students could err on bullying. As far as I know, there is no form of pastoral care.
I know the headteacher, Mrs Linthwaite, personally- she taught me Geography from a young age and was the headteacher for my final years. My younger cousin stayed at the school two years after me, so I kept up with her policies.
One of her new policies apparently involves confiscating snacks off girls (and showcasing this in front of others) if they are deemed to not be healthy enough. The example I was given was chocolate digestive biscuits. Publicly shaming young girls about what they are eating surely only serves to encourage fear of food and body hate from a young age. Considering society's increased awareness about food-related mental-health issues, it honestly shocked me that anyone could think this a good idea.
It is worth mentioning that the school is under a huge amount of pressure from its catchment parents and much of its problems stem from trying to live up to the absurd demands and priorities of Richmond Hill parents. Of course, if you fit into that category, and this is what you are looking for, then you may be perfectly suited for OVS. Your daughter probably won't be, but she's too young to have a say.
Thanks for giving this your time.
@sammi12345 - You post on two threads related to OVS - both a bit old - around 10/12 months... about your experience with a school 12 years ago. Firstly, I would expect schools to change over time and more importantly why did you feel the sudden urge to post about OVS based on dated experience?
I'm not a mum but was a student at OVS and left in 2017. I was Head Girl and adored it there. If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask.
This sounds up my experience there I experienced physically and mentle bullying which took no care to sort out they could of easily. The teacher were verbally and MENTLY abusive. I agree completely I left in 2019.i have trauma from it . DO NOT SEND YOUR KID HERE
ITS NOT DATED. If they like you and have no mentle health problems or r not perfect they treat to terribly