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Pre-prep / Primary school reviews in Cambridge

(8 Posts)
nixsie Tue 29-Sep-15 17:37:43

My son will be starting reception next September and we are completely confused as to whether to send him privately to my husband's old school St Johns College School or St Faiths or just locally to Shelford primary if he can get in. Have heard some excellent reviews about St Johns but also a very scathing one written on Google last week that confirmed my concerns about the pressures on kids nowadays in the modern day independent schools. Any thoughts would be most greatly appreciated!

Bikemammy Tue 13-Oct-15 10:35:05

Hello. My child loves St. John's. It's great for pastoral care, anti-bullying, kindness etc. The academic standard is quite high but we haven't found the school pushes this. No homework until form 2 ( year 4) which is lighter than other preps. The hours are long relative to the state, we find that Has a big impact on their remaining spare time, esp as its less local. Still very happy with it tho.

Fedvell Tue 13-Oct-15 14:13:56

Hi. I also have children at St. John's College, though since they just started in September, I can't give you much insight other than so far, so good. It's a lovely environment. Regarding the "scathing" review of the school on Google, I have trouble taking that parent's comments seriously. Some of the remarks are ridiculous, especially the complaint that the school doesn't "appreciate parents' involvement in their decisions." How can a school that has over 400 students involve parents in its decision-making processes? It would be chaos, and I would run swiftly away from a school that did so. A school needs to define itself and its principles, aims, and practices and be transparent about them, and the parents need to choose whether said school is right for their children. So far, I find St. John's does a pretty good job of that. We'll see. As for the parent's complaint about the academic pressure, St. John's states plainly in its prospectus that it moves at a brisk academic pace. Our hope is that its Emotions for Learning program and its focus on happiness and creativity offset this pressure. Though it's still early days for us, we're happy with the school.

howdymum Tue 13-Oct-15 14:40:00

My two are St Faiths and really enjoy it and seem to be doing really well. They do have homework from reception but it usually just reading during the week and a fun project at the weekend. I assume you are going to the various open days? If not I would definitely encourage a tour to get a proper feel.

nixsie Thu 22-Oct-15 14:41:28

Hi, thanks for all the responses. We have to make a decision tomorrow between st Faiths and St Johns and they currently seem to have almost the same number of pros and cons (not many apart from cost and commute times - both rubbish!) both appear to place great emphasis on pastoral care which is the most important thing for us. Both my husband and I were academic at school but have no idea if kids will be and don't want to push them so hard if it's just not their thing. Very difficult to tell at this age. I guess either school will be a great start for them. St Johns probably just in front as my husband's old school but slightly concerned as just found out Head is retiring this year! Just our luck!

thegrowlygus Fri 30-Oct-15 10:58:23

Did you decide? Another happy John's parent here. Not read the google review of John's but chatting to mum's from other prep schools, I don't think John's is pressurised at all.

nixsie Thu 05-Nov-15 14:42:15

Yes we went for St Johns in the end. I thought st Faiths looked great in many areas and hadn't heard anything negative but just had far more positive comments about St. John's. I'm just hoping with a change of Head next year things won't change negatively. Have they made any reassurances to parents given Mr. Jones is so highly regarded? Thx, N

thegrowlygus Mon 16-Nov-15 22:26:12

Not really. :-(

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