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Independent schools

(5 Posts)
LetusRise Tue 21-Apr-15 17:29:03

Hello every one, I am hoping to get some advice on independent schools in Cardiff. Cathderal (Landaff ) & St. John's ( st. Melons) in particular. DS is 4+ , attends nursery in a local primary rated good by estyn. We recently attended a parent teacher meeting and were told that DS is really doing well. That he is amongst the top 5 kids in the class. Which we were really glad to hear. Teacher who is an absolute angel & very good at her job informed us that he needs to work on few letters, as he keeps making a mistake in writing. It came as a bit of a shock to me as I am sure he needs help with other letters & not the ones mentioned ( I teach him at home, so I know what he knows & what's he needs to work on ).She mentioned few other things that I was sure were not right. Next day I tested him & he had problem with more complicated letter but not the ones mentioned at the meeting. Besides this there are many other factors like for a school with 400 + pupil, only a handful & I mean it only 6-9 parents attend PTA or other meetings.When ever there is an activity or project ( for kids which we know the parent has to participate in) there is hardly any effort.

I think because of the budget cuts the situation in public schools is not getting any better. It's going to be a constant fight against time & resources. For these reasons I am thinking of sending DS to an independent school.

We are not in a high earning bracket but can just about afford to pay the fee & basics for an independent school ( not the trips and the other extra curricular activities) I don't want to take a decision of pulling DS out of his current school and realise that he is feeling left out because of his peers, as we can't afford the super glam high life. Please if any one of you other there has got a kid in the above mentioned school, PLEASE PLEASE advise.

anansiboy Tue 28-Apr-15 11:40:09

Hi, I have a child in the Cathedral School. I'm not sure exactly what you want to know?

I am very happy with the school, and do recommend it highly. But if it going to be a struggle financially, then I'd advice you to think very hard before committing. In CSL (Cathedral School, Llandaff), the fees include lunch, snacks, trips and some extra-curricular activities. But the fees go up regularly, and there is an eye-watering jump when the child moves to senior school. Are you prepared for that?

On the other hand, the children have access to some amazing facilities and the teachers are brilliant. My older child was quite shy, but the teachers have brought her out of her shell and she now has a confidence that I am envious of. The school places a strong emphasis on academics, but sports and music are equally important and children are pushed to try at least one instrument.

Happy to answer any other questions you may have.

anansiboy Tue 28-Apr-15 11:41:57

Oh, and the school is over-subscribed. Waiting lists extend to years! My friend is still waiting for a place for a child and he is already in Year 4 sad

I'd look to see if places are available as soon as I could. All the discussion and angst will be for nothing if there is no possibility of getting into the school (sorry, I mean that in the nicest possible way)

ShiningStarsCanton Thu 30-Apr-15 00:36:41

I've had children in both state and independent schools. I'll be at Shining Stars Toddler Group on Thursdays 9.30 - 11.20am 74 Llandaff Road, Canton. CF11 9NL

LetusRise Thu 30-Apr-15 22:31:54

Anansiboy- thank you very much for your in depth response. We are stable financially to support the fee and other activities.

I am more interested in the social side of the school. A friend of mine had her son there and even though she was happy with the school, it's the cliquey parents who got to her. She described her experience as not good at all socially( if you don't drive a luxury car,parents don't even respond to general pleasantries) that what she felt.

Would a birthday party at a leisure center be unacceptable? What other pressures are there? Like brand consciousness ? Not talking NIKE but other designer stuff. In your experience how much money per month excluding fee & other school activities would you say would be need to set aside to make ward fit in.

Thank you.

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