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Our Lady's prep school in Crowthorne

(10 Posts)
emb103 Tue 01-Jul-14 15:11:32


Does anyone have children who currently attend or who have attended Our Lady's school?

We are indecisive as to whether to send our son there to start in reception.

Our concerns would be the religious aspect as we are not and whether they are still allowed to have fun as well as learn. I worry that a 4 year old is perhaps to young for a formal learning environment. And finally, although we could afford the fees, we are only sending him as our local primaries are dreadful. We don't go on fancy holidays or drive huge cars! would this be something that could affect our son / cause friendship problems?

Thanks for any help

emb103 Tue 01-Jul-14 15:12:22

* too young*

MichelleField Thu 03-Jul-14 14:28:34

I have - and I can't recommend Our Lady's highly enough. It is not a problem not being religious - all faiths are welcomed. It offers a very traditional education with importance on manners and behaviour - you only have to meet the children there to see this. I don't know if you have seen the recent inspection report but it is on their website and would reassure you regarding the wonderful care of the children. The extra curriculum activities that the children are great and there is lots of fun have in addition to the more formal learning. They run a Forest School programme as well which the children love. The small class sizes is a definite bonus too! I also wouldn't worry about the fancy holidays etc as at this school, parents are worried about this! There is an active PTA and social activities arranged for parents to get to know each other better. It's a real family school and everyone is really friendly. I don't know if you have already visited the school - but if not, it would definitely be worthwhile to see all of this first hand. Good luck in your decision smile

amm77 Thu 03-Jul-14 14:29:57

I have a child at the school and another registered to join in a few years. I can only give you positive feedback on the high level of care and attention that my child receives.

At Reception age there is a lot of learning through play and they have an enriched curriculum that includes an afternoon at forest school, swimming, pottery, languages, pottery and music which all the children appear to love.

Every child is treated as an individual and nurtured according to their needs. There's obviously a formal structure around their education, but the manner in which it is delivered (and the small class sizes) ensures that they have fun too.

In terms of the religious aspect,I wouldn't be too concerned by this. They obviously uphold catholic values and beliefs and celebrate Christian events, but that has never been a cause for concern for us. The children also get to learn about other faiths too and not every child in the school is catholic.

I would highly recommend a visit and speaking with the staff there. I know that a number of the upcoming year groups are very busy already (some with waiting lists).

The school and parents within it aren't at all elitist - many are your average working parents. Please don't worry about that either!

Good luck with your search!

wishiwinthelottery Thu 03-Jul-14 14:55:29

I have children at Our Ladys and would echo what other posters have said above. Its a lovely school, welcoming to all children of all backgrounds and faiths and while it clearly has strong Catholic traditions, is not an overtly religious faith school so do not let that put you off. The children undertake RE lessons learning about all faiths, and many of the children are non-Catholic.
It has excellent wrap around care and activities which many parents make use of, as the school does have a high proportion of 2 parent working families. This takes away much stress around holiday care and pre/after school care for those that need it. Most of the children don't want to leave in the evening which is testament to the amount of fun they are having.
The school really does treat each child as an individual and due to its small class sizes can ensure that each child is learning at a pace suited to them.
I don't find it elitist in any way and your financial situation will not in any way impact on your child settling in and making friends.
If you have not visited the school I would urge you to do so. As much as recommendations are great, it will come down to how you 'feel' about the school.
Good luck in your search whatever you decide

0akleycat Thu 03-Jul-14 15:01:23

Hello there - we have a child in the nursery and the school there, and weighed up our local school before deciding for our child to attend. I think each family has their own concerns about different elements with all schools, so you are just the same as us.

Regards the religious element, the children do learn about all faiths and have a number of children then from many different religions and even some different countries - as a result they seem to learn a lot about about many different cultures and from what I see the children are actually learning about respect ( for themselves, their friends and people around them) and to be caring and thoughtful.

They follow the national curriculum too, so learn the same things that other reception children learn too along with singing songs in different languages, pottery, cooking, trips to the woods etc, so a very varied education - if anything I see it a bit like a Montessori style school, if you are familiar with that? So it is not formal old school style, but very much modern and seems to look to adopt new teaching methods where possible.

From the parents I know we are a mix of some working parents and some stay at home, some that like a nice holiday and some that like to camp. So, genuinely a nice bunch of people who are happy for their children to be happy - and the new child always seems to be the most popular in class! grin) so I would not think there would be friendship issues - its always good to attend any school events if you can and arrange play dates - thats the best way! ( I need to get better at fitting this around my work...)

Hope this helps grin)

MummyYan Thu 03-Jul-14 15:43:37

Not sure which schools you are referring to as 'Dreadful' ?
Crowthorne primary schools are considered to be very good, CofE has an Outstanding Ofsted, Oaklands and Hatch Ride have both Good Ofsted.
My experience of Our Lady's is only of their Nursery which was good.

Tipster33 Thu 03-Jul-14 15:44:30

I echo all the above comments!
I have 2 children in the nursery, one of which moves to Reception this year.and am very happy with the care & learning they recieve.
They follow the EYFS just like other schools which is primarily based on learning thro play at this stage.
We are not religous but like the values & behaviour that are taught and they learn about all faiths as part of RE.
The parents are very friendly and I've never even thought about it being elitist in any way. Many are working parents which is why the after school & holiday clubs make it such good value. And the 4 terms allows holidays out of peak time so we can all save money!
Definately recommend going for a visit to see how you feel about it & if interested get in quick as its very popular and next couple of years already have waiting list.
Good luck with your choice.

emb103 Thu 03-Jul-14 17:48:37

Thank you all for the helpful comments. We had a look around last week and my husband loved it, I was not so sure. But will take another look now.

MummyYan - I unfortunately do not live in Crowthorne. If I could choose I would send him to C of E or Hatch Ride, but we live in an area where our catchment schools have been in special measures or requiring improvement for years. And no, for now we can not move unfortunately.

Thanks again

susannah32 Tue 27-Jan-15 16:11:29

Hi there,

My little boy is starting in the nursery in Jan 2016 when he will be 3 and then in September 2017 when he will be 4. Would love to hear from other mums whose little ones are also going to be at the school or who are already there...

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