Redmaids or Badminton

(18 Posts)
gforce21 Wed 17-Apr-13 15:21:44

Moving to Bristol August time and would really appreciate any relevant information -

DH workplace will be at Emerson's Green. Mine will (hopefully) be central Bristol.

Should we:

1. buy a house in Winterbourne
- DH will be near his work place
- DD (she's 9 years old) will get the opportunity to get a place at Winterbourne International Academy (if she wants to later on)
- will get more for our money (would prefer a house with a big garden).
- only negative aspect of this is I will have to travel to ventral Bristol everyday

Need info please on good primary schools in Winterbourne (DD will be YR 6 in September) and any travel stories/info (to Bristol central)....

2. buy a house in Westbury on Trym
- I will be nearer work
- can still get a bit of garden for our money
- DD can either attend Redmaids or Badminton

Any info re: comparison between Redmaids and Badminton will be really really helpful. There are a few information re: their academic standings but would like more on how they deal with the social aspect/s of a growing child who will be uprooted, lose all her schoolfriends (she's known since pre-Nursery) and deal with a totally different place to live in and school (currently attending a co-ed school). Anybody out there with the same experience or know of somebody who has gone through what we are supposed to go through?

3. Frencham - area
Quite pretty (the Frencham common bit) and will be centrally located between Emerson's Green and Bristol.

Need info please on good primary schools, secondary schools and commute to central Bristol...

4. Take the plunge and buy a house inside Bristol (walking distance to either Clifton Highschool or Bristol Grammar and University)
- let go of the wishful thinking of having a garden
- smaller house
- will be nearer work
- DD to attend either Clifton Highschool or Bristol Grammar and I can walk with her to school everyday
- DH to suffer the drive to Emerson's Green everyday

A lot to ask I know but I am desperate for any info. Drove to Bristol last weekend and got an idea of where we would like to buy a house (hence the 4 items above)....

lovinglapland Wed 17-Apr-13 20:53:40

I think you have some quite nice options to choose from to be honest!
Badminton is highly academic - the most academic in Bristol, it is boarding and so has quite a high proportion of overseas students. There isn't any Saturday school, but I believe they have a lot of activities/sports fixtures on Saturday's which would be fairly compulsory if selected. Friends could be fairly widespread due to boarding element, but pastoral care I believe to be very good.
Red Maids is a day school and so although pupils come from a reasonably widespread area they will all be quite local to Bristol. They are not so academically selective and do not get such high results - however they are still very good. The school I work for has fixtures with Red Maids and often sends pupils there for secondary, all the girls I have encountered are well mannered, and seem happy. The school have just had an Independent School Inspection, which is on the school website - they came out as 'excellent in all areas'. Both schools have a lovely setting and good facilities. Red Maids quite a lot cheaper than Badminton!
Winterbourne International Academy is one of Bristol/South Gloucestershire's best state schools. It has always had a good reputation locally and consistently gets great results. The data suggests that the school's 'high achievers' (level 5's on school entry), achieve results not far off those at Red Maid's - although I am not too impressed with the % achieving their potential in English! The school is currently getting a complete rebuild, although it already has some good facilities such as swimming pool/astro turf/sports hall etc.
Traffic in Bristol is pretty awful - but not impossible. Winterbourne to Emersons wouldn't be too bad, and coming from the centre out to Emerson's probably wouldn't be that bad as most traffic will be heading into the city. However I have never tried the journey myself! I have lived on the northern outskirts of Bristol (near Winterbourne) and travelled into the centre - if you can leave fairly early (7.30/8am) then it is less painful (25/30 mins). There is a mainline station at Bristol Parkway in Stoke Gifford which also goes directly into the city which may be an option?
The primary schools in Winterbourne I believe to be quite good, there is also a private junior school in Winterbourne called Silverhill school which if you private message me I could give you more information on.
Frenchay would not be in catchment for Winterbourne International so you would probably be looking at the Independents from there.
All the Independent's you have mentioned are excellent and WIA is an excellent state school (much bigger than the Independents). I think you need to think about where you would prefer to live! City centre with all the amenities/ entertainment/ shops on the doorstep but with a smaller house/flat, less/no garden/parking, or Winterbourne/Frampton which are more 'villagey', cheaper to buy property, bigger house/garden/off street parking etc. but have to drive for city amenities?! I prefer the latter, but its a personal choice!
I think there are school buses that take children to the Independent's if you chose Winterbourne area to live but decide against the state school- maybe the best of both worlds?

gforce21 Wed 17-Apr-13 21:44:02

Wowza... I thought mumsnet was good....I was clearly wrong... It's pretty amazing!!! Thank you for all the info...
We would like to be in a "villagey"area. Quite tired of the hustle and bustle of London and would prefer a bigger garden to potter around in during the weekend and so was leaning towards Winterbourne or Westbury On Trym.
Will message you privately re: Silverhill. Will also now query about school buses from Winterbourne to Redmaids etc.

Thank thank thank you again!!!!

Runoutofideas Thu 18-Apr-13 07:30:50

Hi Gforce21,

I would also consider that most of the independent schools you mention have junior schools, so you could start your dd there straight away rather than search for a yr 6 state school place for 1 year then disrupt her again so quickly.

I would live in Westbury rather than Winterbourne because of your commutes. Winterbourne into town in the morning can be a nightmare, but it is much quieter going out of the city. I used to work near Winterbourne and found my commute was generally going the opposite direction to the queues of traffic.

Regarding Badminton and Red Maids - if she's going as a day pupil I would go for Red maids. Badminton has a high proportion of very high achieving overseas students and other boarders and I suspect day pupils may feel left out of a lot of things. Badminton also has some hugely wealthy families with houses all over the world, where as Red Maid's seems to have more standard families who just want the best for their children. I went on the Red Maids open day and was very impressed. The ex-pupils I know from there have done well and are very nice people.

Bristolbabe Thu 18-Apr-13 14:04:08

I have friends who dc attend redmaids and they all seem very happy with it. Westbury on trym is a good place to live (I'm in stoke bishop) as it's close to the city centre but you also have the Downs on your doorstep. Are you buying straight away or renting? We moved from London and rented for 6 months before committing to buying.

gforce21 Thu 18-Apr-13 17:41:30

Hi Bristolbabe

DH would like to rent first then buy later. I can undertand the logic behind this but operationally, this will mean two moves for us (= more work for Moomy), unless we temporarily "hide" most of our "stuff" in one of those storage buildings and just keep the necessary ones with us while renting.

I have experienced varying feelings about this impending move from the Day 1 - surprised when DH broke the news, happy for him as he has found an exit from the stressful everyday travel experience in London, sad when I realised that I will be leaving what is familiar and comfortable in London, trepidation re: applying for a new job (and wishing hard that I get one) and afraid for my little one on how she will cope with all these changes...

I am currently running high on the "very frightened and stressed" feelings as July/August draw nearer.

How did you manage your move? Did you rent in the same area?
I have also been looking at houses at Stoke Bishop. There's two that DH and DD might be cajoled to look at.

AshleighDown Tue 23-Apr-13 13:53:38

Redmaids is my alma mater and Badminton girls were always our mortal enemies grinwink

Seriously though, Runoutofideas makes some very good points about the boarding/day girl thing. In my day Redmaids was still a boarding school, but day girls always outnumbered boarders so it was never really a problem. I know that this can be an issue at other schools that have a higher boarder:day pupil ratio though, and that in particular day pupils can be a bit 'looked down on' and not really considered part of the team. This was definitely the case for people I knew at Badminton, and also Clifton College. Quite often, pupils who lived locally ended up boarding anyway, just to be fully involved.

They are very different schools and would not normally be bracketed together, other than by location. As others have pointed out, Redmaids would offer a much more 'normal' (but still very good) education and experience, whereas Badminton is much more high-achieving and does have a lot of wealthy foreign pupils (eg Princess Hussein of Jordan was there at the same time as I was at RM). Obviously it all boils down to what your priorities are for your DD, and where you think she would fit in best.

Interesting fact - Indira Gandhi went to Badminton.

slippersandcocoa Thu 27-Jun-13 11:51:56

Hi there. Our daughter goes to Badminton - we've been totally thrilled by how they've nurtured her holistically and challenged her academically. She's a day girl but has boarded occasionally for one or two nights and has lots of local friends.
Badminton is bit like an international school, lots of languages and good diverse cultural mix, which with the internet, will be useful for girls later on. So would highly recommend it - all extras included in the fees which counteracts the high initial price when you add it up.
If you are still looking - consider buying in Westbury-on-Trym/Stoke bishop - some big gardens - if you can afford it. Lovely leafy area and not that far from the M32.

slippersandcocoa Thu 27-Jun-13 23:53:05

Will also add that there are lots of nice normal parents (like us smile)at Badminton too - nurses, teachers, GP's, business people (some on scholarships/bursaries).

It may be a bit MIC at times but definitely not ostentatious with it and its the education that really matters - my dc doesn't ride and couldn't care less how many ponies her friends have so long as they're good friends (useful lesson to learn when young) and that attitude is supported by the general ethos as far as we can tell.

Brizzleindrizzle Fri 28-Jun-13 21:01:57

Have you got a parking space at your work? Bristol has issues with parking- the Mayor is bringing in parking zones in the central areas so if you commute by car and do not have a work place space then you may find it difficult to park. Public transport is pretty rubbish- do you cycle? That is being heavily pushed as a solution to the parking problems.

slippersandcocoa Sun 30-Jun-13 23:12:54

Parking is a nightmare at some schools too. Meters everywhere now :O

scottishmum22 Tue 21-Jul-15 23:48:11

Hi everyone, I know this is an old thread, but we are moving to Bristol very soon and need to decide between Red Maids and Badminton we have visited them both. Please can you tell me your current experience of both? How do people perceive Badminton- is it dominated by Chinese? Any insight would help greatly.

pinkshopaholic Tue 21-Jul-15 23:54:18

I would be interested in this too. We are trying to decide on an either RM or Badminton for a daughter of 7 and one of 13. DH is relocating with work and I know nothing about Bristol!

lovinglapland Wed 22-Jul-15 11:59:02

I live and teach near to Bristol and I would say that Badminton is still perceived to be the more academically pressured school of the two. Redmaids has had the reputation of being good academically but probably more diverse both socially and academically with it's intake. I prefer the feeling I get when at RedMaids, and it would be my preference for my girls, but you may prefer the cultural diversity Badminton can offer and the higher results it usually obtains. Plus if you ever need flexiboarding Badminton would of course be more suitable. Children seem to do very well at both and so I'd be inclined to go with my gut feeling about where I thought my daughters would flourish. Both have good local reputations and as they are practically opposite one another you could decide individually for your daughters which school suited them.

pinkshopaholic Sun 26-Jul-15 13:18:52

Thank you for your response- we have visited both, I think we are leaning towards Red Maids.

Nenita2012 Fri 05-Feb-16 22:38:53

I know this is an old post but i was wondering where did you end up living and taking your children to school as im in a similar situation. We are living in North of Bristol but wondering whether to go to the city centre for the schools we are considering.
We are open to Silverhill in Winterbourne but also considering Bristol Grammar and Red Maids.
By the way lovinglapland, is there any information on Silverhill you could share with me?
Thanks, this decisions are so difficult

poppy54321 Tue 01-Mar-16 15:05:49

Just wanted to thank slippersandcocoa. My daughter is going to Badminton in Sept and you make it sound perfect for her.

iamtaximum Fri 22-Apr-16 15:58:17

I am quite surprised by the perception of Badminton on here. My daughters are in the senior school having been through juniors as well. My husband is in the military. Most parents of day and boarding girls both work - plenty of lawyers, medical, financial, etc, which is pretty much the same as RedMaids! There are only a few families of the "large estate with horses" category - but you'd get more of those at Clifton College than at Badminton.
There are only a handful of international boarders in each of years 5-8. From year 9 upwards there are similar numbers of day and boarding, and there is not a feeling of one group being superior to another. A number of boarders are Chinese, but there are also Korean, Thai, Nigerian, Russian, German, Spanish, Mexican and others! We value the international, cultural, religious mix, as that's the world our children will be working in. Each girl at Badminton is valued and nurtured for her own abilities - and they are many and varied. There is a much wider range of (academic) abilities than is generally known!

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