Stephen Peres / Peres Upper

(11 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

Chooseyourhard Mon 10-Apr-17 08:30:12

Hi, does anybody have recent experience of these schools? Would appreciate finding out a bit more about the culture and all the informal bits the brochures don't tell you.

Also, how wide is the general catchment area the children come from? Is it mainly Cambridge or wider than that?

DadDadDad Mon 10-Apr-17 13:46:46

I have current experience, but where do you want to start? You might want to go on the Mumsnet Local board for Cambridge as you'll find some existing threads or could start a new one.

Pupils travel from well outside Cambridge, including the surrounding villages but further afield, eg Newmarket and Huntingdon.

DadDadDad Mon 10-Apr-17 13:51:34

By the way, the spelling is Perse.

SPF will start taking boys at secondary soon, so it will change a bit. It's smaller than the Perse, and possibly a bit more "nurturing".

Perse Upper will tell you it's not an exam factory, I'd say it's an exam factory with lots of add-ons as well, loads of fantastic extra-curricular stuff, but you need to be academic and able to cope with a fast-paced, tending-towards-traditional curriculum.

RockNRollNerd Mon 10-Apr-17 19:09:09

Very different styles of heads in my experience. SPF felt very much like a huge publicity machine at times and Tricia Kelleher adores her media profile and all the awards - my experience was she was v quick off the mark to present the good news in person, and just as quick to hand off any issues to her SMT/local management even when they had reached the stage where she really should have rocked up and been seen to deal with it/communicated directly with parents. The standing joke in our house was always if emails came from her they were good news, anything bad came from the local heads. SPF as a whole is very progressive, at the cutting edge of educational trends etc - extremely quick to embrace iPads and digital learning for example.

The head at the Perse feels more 'hands on', have seen him far more times thank we ever saw the SPF head. Perse is extremely academic and pushes the kids hard but we haven't personally experienced any hot housing. The extra curricular is fab and they're keen on things like holidays not having homework and emphasising it's time off. Their more progressive stuff is more subtle (eg Global Studies) and they tend to shout less about it in my experience. They still teach IT as a traditional subject with a strong emphasis on programming etc, don't think DS has touched an iPad since he's been there.

Catchment area for both is huge - go to Cambridge station in a morning and it's like Hogwarts at the start of term - 100s of kids getting off the trains from as far afield as Kings Lynn, Hitchin, Bishops Stortford etc.

SPF senior school is going to go through a period of change now as the first cohort of boys start in September. Perse has been mixed for a good few years now.

DadDadDad Mon 10-Apr-17 20:39:29

RockNRollNerd's description chimes with what I've seen.

The other point to bear in mind, but hopefully you are already aware, is that there are between 2 and 3 applicants per place at Perse Upper, so it's no breeze getting in (assuming your child is not a prodigy!) - I'm less sure on SPF, but my impression is that it is a bit easier to get in.

Chooseyourhard Tue 11-Apr-17 06:21:37

Thanks for your help. Yes, sorry typo re Peres. My child is at a Stephen Peres Junior school and I agree with the iPad / tech comments wholeheartedly. I find the whole nurturing ethos of the school wonderful and they really do bring out the best in all children. I hope this carries through to the senior school.

Good to hear other children do commute in. I am concerned about the social side of things though i.e. All his school mates being a fair distance away for after school / holiday socialising.

Chooseyourhard Tue 11-Apr-17 06:22:11

And it did it again. Perse!

Allthebestnamesareused Tue 11-Apr-17 10:25:21

I agree with RocknRoll's assessment of The Perse Upper. Yes they are academic kids but it doesn't feel pressurised or hot housed. As regards entrance this year it was 3-4 applicants per place at year 9. It is getting even more popular than ever especially with more and more families moving to the area due to AstraZeneca, Microsoft etc coming to town.

Chooseyourhard Wed 12-Apr-17 13:48:28

That's a lot of applicants per place.

We would get automated early entrance at Stephen Perse (coming from its feeder school) so it would be a risk then to wait and try for The Perse.

I'm going to report this thread, hoping that admin will move it and maybe we will get some more replies.

FlissMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 12-Apr-17 14:44:25

Hi There Chooseyourhard,

We've now moved your thread across to Cambridgeshire Discussions board. Hope you find lots of advice there. smile


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