Chandlings School(8 Posts)
We are moving to Oxford and I would appreciate updated information on Chandlings. My children are currently in Y2 and Y4.Thank you.
I'm not sure how useful this will be as a reply as we aren't parents there but we considered the school (twice - different stages for different children) and we know lots of people who have been parents there. As no-one has replied I thought our impressions might be better than nothing! I assume that you have seen the older thread on the school somewhere on this forum.
Have you been to see it yet? It has wonderful grounds and is in a beautiful setting. It looks absolutely idyllic for a prep school. It has very good destinations for pupils and the teachers have always been very pleasant when we have been around. The ISI report is good, though given their reports always seem to be very positive I'm not sure it is a stunning report! So all in all it looked like a very good school and pretty much exactly what we wanted.
All of that looks great but we also had worries about it and so ultimately decided against it both times. Our main concerns were:
1.There seems to have been quite a turnover of leadership. So when we first went to look round 4 years ago (ish) the head was Mrs Ashworth Jones, then they had a temporary head for a while, then it was Mrs Bufton-Green and now it is a temporary head again. I don't know why there have been these changes but I would want to know more before signing up. Even if there have been perfectly sensible reasons, I would wonder how the school has been affected by so many changes in leadership in quite a short time.
2.We know quite a few people who have pulled their children out of the school. Some of them are people that I only know because they’ve moved to our children’s schools from Chandlings so I suppose that gives a skewed picture. However, of all the families I’ve known (about 9?) who’ve gone there only one is still there. To be fair that family is very happy. Those who left gave reasons around bullying, not accommodating SEN and children feeling that only the sporty fitted in.
3.When my DC went for an assessment day a whole group of them came out saying that they wouldn’t go to the school as some of the pupils had been nasty to them and when they told a teacher he made fun of them in front of existing pupils! Now clearly I wasn’t there and I didn’t follow it up with the school so there may have been a very different story had I done so. However, they were all pretty adamant they wouldn’t go and they were fine at the other schools they went to. Given that you’d expect them to be doing all that they could to make visiting children happy I was concerned by that.
So, for those reasons we thought it was a bit of a risk despite the good first impressions and facilities. Most of that is second hand opinion so I wouldn’t want to put you off but I would look at it carefully and not be too swung by the acres of woodland and the ponies!
Friends have children there who absolutely love it. The children are doing very well. In one case, they moved from a single sex school in Oxford due to bullying and were very pleased with the move.
The academic results are good. My friend's son is very dyslexic and the school seem able to manage this and push his very academic sister. It seems to be particularly good for sporty children, but every child gets to play matches and in house teams etc which is certainly not the case at other similar schools where they select the team in Y3 and it never changes!
Apparently there is a temporary head to fill the gap between Mrs Bufton-Green leaving and the new head coming from Cokethorpe Junior Schoo who starts in January.
Thank you user 237. I have been to an open day but everything seemed staged. No one could answer why student numbers have fallen from over 600 to 401.We have decided that The Manor Prep is a better option.
I am a parent of 3 children at Chandlings and have had a really great experience with all of my children, even with the change in leadership. The new Head, Mrs Cook, has been excellent so far and the children seem to have gone through the last few Heads with no problems. My boy is really sporty and has been given many opportunities to play for his school. One of the girls is not sporty but has also been given lots of chances to play. The academic side of things is excellent - the teachers seem to know every child and work hard to get the best out of them. It might be worth another visit - I think you can just call up and visit not on an Open Day - that way you can get a feel for the school during a normal day.
Hope this helps!
Not sure where you are getting your figures from countrylife3. Chandlings have never had any where near 600 children! No wonder staff couldn’t explain the drop in numbers.
Have a look at Cokethorpe. A much better school with well developed pastoral approach, unlike Chandlings.
Jon66, may I ask please, what gives you the impression that Chandlings' pastoral approach is not well developed?
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