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King's College School in Cambridge

(18 Posts)
xuannao Thu 03-Nov-16 08:46:41

We are thinking to move to the independent schools in Cambridge. DD Yr5 and DS Yr3 next year. After school visit of the Perse, Stephen Perse and Kings College School, our preference school is King's College School in west road Cambridge. Talking to the headmaster it sounds quite positive both kids can get through the entrance exams. However a few questions that I am hoping I can get some opinions here

1. I recently heard kids in KCS normally come from rich family compare to the Perse or Stephen Perse. Is that true? We are scrimping and saving to send both kids to private and we wont have much to spare if they both start the private, would our kids fit in KCS just fine?
2. DH and I both working, I am working PT so there are two days of the week we are struggle to do the school run. We are thinking to relocate to the village in south Cambridge. What's the best area to move that are convenient for school mini bus or car sharing?

HereIAm20 Sun 06-Nov-16 17:06:20

What is your plan post year 8 as King's only goes to year 8. If it is then to go on to The Perse or SP it might be just as well to go there immediately but do be aware that The Perse will let you know if your child is unlikely to be able to stay on in the Upper.

xuannao Sun 06-Nov-16 21:11:37

Plan is daughter to perse and son to Eton if possible. I do like to put both kids into perse this year but no space at all for yr 5. SP the facility is really poor.

PippaFawcett Mon 07-Nov-16 01:10:31

My colleague's son is there and he is very happy. That's all I know really!

HereIAm20 Mon 07-Nov-16 13:26:51

Kings College has a good reputation but they would usually frown if you try the Perse entry for year 7 and would expect your daughter to go for entry at year 9.

xuannao Thu 10-Nov-16 18:09:10


thanks for the info,


Yes, we were told Perse is not taking kids from them at yr7 only at yr9, is that true, no idea.

But to me it makes sense for both kids go up to yr9 with them as their final two years' fee quite competitive comparing to other upper schools.


HereIAm20 Thu 10-Nov-16 20:29:44

Yes Perse fees very competitive compared to say Leys or King's Ely - probably because there is no boarding at all.

JanLady Sat 12-Nov-16 19:20:26

Is there transportation to King's from other parts of Cambridge?

xuannao Fri 02-Dec-16 09:31:23

Thanks HerelAm20.
JanLady there are no mini bus from other part, one from Trumpington Park and Ride and one from a village from the south. We are thinking to move to Trumpington area at the moment.
After a few chat with the headmaster and some parents, I noticed Kings is going to change headmaster (current headmaster retire next Sept). Will that be lots changes to the school? Dont know who's going to be the next headmaster they dont even start to recruit yet.

HereIAm20 Fri 02-Dec-16 21:13:23

I think Perse will take them at yr7 subject to passing exams but I don't think Kings like it

HereIAm20 Fri 02-Dec-16 21:14:50

Yes a friend who has kids there said about Head leaving. Maybe they are going to recruit after Christmas or promote internally but don't sant to announce yet.

SeniorWranglered Sat 03-Dec-16 09:50:05

We looked around Kings and quite liked it (it reminded me of my own prep school, which probably helped). but the lack of transport put us off, as did the current head (he was nice enough but a bit 1950s, and for some reason I always got the feeling there were things he wasn't telling us, perhaps that's just me). We also visited St John's and St Faith's, but we weren't overly taken with the setup in either. In the end we put the kids in local state primary schools and it's worked out surprisingly well.

Most of our neighbours seem to use local private schools but in terms of outcomes for all our kids they seem fairly comparable. I think a lot comes down to the affluence and education of the parents rather than where you send them to school, so I would say around here if finding the fees is going to be a stretch don't feel you absolutely have to. The vast majority of the state primary schools are just fine. What you do seem to get in the private sector is more of a ready made friendship base for professional parents, which I would kind of like, but there you are. Nothing is perfect. ;.)

I think the demographic using Perse/Kings/John's is pretty much identical to all intents and purposes and I wouldn't worry about that, by the way. Press is probably more academic/professional parents, Kings and Johns perhaps slightly more old money but the groups definitely overlap.

For an easier commute the answer is bicycle and if you consider Trumpington I think it might be just about manageable. I think I have seen kids doing this with their parents.

Tweetinat Wed 07-Dec-16 12:20:12

DO is in Year 2 at King's and absolutely loves it. It was by far the best choice for us and we really love the school.

Tweetinat Wed 07-Dec-16 12:30:12

Ah FFS. That posted before I was ready! To answer your questions though:

1) absolutely not at all, in fact the opposite is true. Most children at King's (at lest in our year) have parents that work and come fron relatively 'normal' backgrounds. This was precisely why we liked the school so much. Many parents are either academics or work at Addenbrookes. Yes there are a few super rich families in each year, but for the most part we're all just regular people. I know lots of parents at St John's / The Perse and the ratio of rich parents is way higher. We felt very uncomfortable at both schools when viewing as we didn't feel like we fit at all. And in fact the head of St John's tried his hardest to put us off applying for a place as he clearly felt we didnt fit the mould/have enough money!

2) best place to live would be south Cambridge with quick access to park and ride busses. We live in Duxford and it's absolutely perfect. There's a bus that collects from the village at 7.50 but it only takes us 25 minutes at peak rush hour tor get to school in the morning and 12 minutes in the afternoon for collection.

Feel free to PM if you have any specific questions I could help with.

yawningdad Fri 09-Dec-16 15:16:25

It is hard to compare schools, since people tend to pick ones which suit them; however at school matches the parents from Johns and the Perse certainly seem to have a higher proportion of expensive cars, smart clothes, and look much posher. I don't know about SP. Most Kings parents think it is best; but for exactly the same reasons (the Kings children look relaxed and don't pull their socks up) parents at the other schools tend to think it isn't. Kings is very friendly, others feel military by comparison. So, go and look round again and imagine your child there. In the end, it depends on them.

BikeRider33 Mon 12-Dec-16 09:11:44

I think the wealth and poshness or otherwise of the parents at the different schools will depend on who you talk to / know. I would rank St Johns as the wealthiest , then Kings, then Perse for example, but there is a huge overlap. The first 2 seem to be more children going to the same school as their fathers (& I would put the scruffy cars seen by yawningdad as due to very posh old money) but all anyone can give you is a snapshot.

TBH if your aim for your ds is Eton, I think you are just going to have to get comfortable with wealthy parents and look at which school gives him the best chance of getting in. This is more likely to be St John's or Kings than the Perse as they go up to 13 and will teach to common entrance I assume. Look at leavers destinations - I suspect quite a few St Johns and Kings kids must end up at SP/Perse/St Mary's at year 9.

Perilla Mon 12-Dec-16 16:04:52

TBH if your aim for your ds is Eton, I think you are just going to have to get comfortable with wealthy parents and look at which school gives him the best chance of getting in. This is more likely to be St John's or Kings than the Perse as they go up to 13 and will teach to common entrance I assume. Look at leavers destinations - I suspect quite a few St Johns and Kings kids must end up at SP/Perse/St Mary's at year 9.

This is good advice, the Perse and SPF are very much 'all the way through' schools - I don't think they do any preparation for Common Entrance etc; that would be much more the preserve of the prep schools that take them up to the end of Yr 8.

I've no direct experience of Eton but know people who have taught at other fairly major public schools and if you're worrying about the wealth/poshness of parents at the Cambridge private schools then that will be magnified 10 times over at somewhere like Eton I would imagine. Although all the public schools offer scholarships and bursaries they will by their very nature have some extremely wealthy parents there both old and new money.

Most of the Cambridge schools come in around £16,000 to £20,000 a year in fees for secondary, Eton is around £36,000 and then between £1,500 and £3,000 a year 'extras' on top of that (the Cambridge figures are excluding extras). If you're worrying about fees for Cambridge private schools then Eton, even for 1 child, is a huge jump in expense.

Zachal Mon 20-Nov-17 13:59:04

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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