Bede's v St Andrew's Preps - Eastbourne (also posted in Education)(13 Posts)
Has anyone got any experience of sending their children to Bede's or St Andrew's Preps in Eastbourne. We'll obviously visit etc, but would like to hear some personal experiences to help with the decision making process.
PS have also posted this in Education
I have just posted a similar question in Primary Ed! Hopefully someone passionate about one of them will come along soon!
I have children at St Andrew's. I really like the school, really happy with our choice. Do you have any specific questions?
I do, if that is ok - have there been many changes since the change of head?
Yes, I have had one child or another at Bede's Prep for the last 18 years. The two schools are fairly different. I think St Andrew's is probably the more traditional school of the two. Bede's has changed over the last few years, and is far more academic than it was a few years ago - I have really noticed the change. Please feel free to ask any specific questions. By the way, my two elder children did not go on to the Bede's senior school, they went to Eastbourne College at 13 (which is affiliated to St. Andrews.
Thanks for your posts. Sorry it's taken a while to reply; there had been no response for quite a while so I'd sort of forgotten about my OP!
I got that impression, that St Andrew's is more traditional. I think they've both had new heads fairly recently?
I suppose one thing that I wonder about St Andrew's is the religious aspect. We are agnostics/atheists and while, of course, we support education about all the religions and being tolerant and respectful towards other people's beliefs, I suppose I'm a bit concerned about how much Christian teaching is part of daily life there - e.g. prayers, teaching the bible rather than in a "some people believe this...." type way.
We are not religious at all and I don't find it intrusive or over the top but there is a fair amount of traditional religion carol service, remembrance service, harvest festival etc. That said they teach all religion as per the common entrance curriculum. My dc don't really mention the prayers or any daily worship so I suppose it's not something I really think about (their old school was a village church primary and was MUCH more religious)
I have to say that at Bede's too, there is still quite a lot of emphasis on chapel and traditional church services etc. I think the private schools still draw quite heavily on these servicess to bring a sense of community and togetherness within the school - the Christmas and Easter church services are perhaps one of the few times in the year when the whole schools unite together as one
Hi there my children both moved to St Andrew's a year ago when we moved to the area. I was in the same position as you and wanted to know the difference between the two schools but couldn't find any discussion on here that was recent. I am so happy that we chose St Andrew's. I have a boy in year 5 and girl year 4. They weren't keen on moving at all but both setttled so quickly. We have been delighted with every aspect of the school but particularly its open friendly welcoming atmosphere and the attitude and approach of the new head who is fantastic. He is really motivated to bring about positive change and is very friendly and approachable. Most importantly to me he focuses on the overall wellbeing of the child over and above anything else. The academic side is strong but is not the main focus which is on producing happy rounded children. Religious studies has recently been renamed TPR, Theology, philosophy and religion, I'm not sure why. Yes they celebrate harvest, Christmas etc but I have not found the school to focus on these aspects heavily, it's more part of the tradition. Do feel free to ask anymore questions as I know how hard it can be making these decisions!
Thanks for your replies, they've been really helpful. I think I've been overthinking the whole religion thing. As DH pointed out to me, we both went to church school and they clearly didn't have much impact on us!
Our DC is a quirky little thing; strong willed but also very sensitive so it's good to hear about the nurturing and wellbeing side of things.
I have 3 children at St Andrew's Prep and couldn't be more happy.
They are all very settled and happy and I feel receiving an extremely rounded education. I looked around all the schools locally before choosing and have also looked at Bedes and Moira again for my 3rd Child before she started just to check I was still choosing the right place for us, and we are!
The new head, is a very family man, very forward thinking, kind and always putting the children's wellbeing first.
Yes, the school is christian based, but it is by no means rammed down your throat - it celebrates the usual festivals (Easter, Christmas and Harvest) but also Diwali and Chinese New year. The curriculum and PSHE programme fully educate the children on all religions and beliefs and ceremonies, to give them a rounded view of the world and of others, definitely a good mix!
The space around St Andrew's is great, with the playing fields and all the play grounds right there on site, forest school over the road and the beach just a couple of minutes away - just great for an in the classroom and out the classroom education!
I have a "sporty" eldest child and she loves all the different sports on offer and the support for her continued development is brilliant, just as it is for those who lean more towards art or academic or music excellence.
There is a Friends (PTA) group who are active in bringing the school, parents and the wider community together - they arrange many events throughout the year - some for just the children, others just for the parents and some for both! So Parents feel involved in the school too - not just a drop at the school gates feel!
I would say that it is a lovely family orientated, school which gives a rounded education for everyone and will push those that need more.
I would very happily recommend it.
I hope this helps your decision - please do feel free to PM if you want any more info!
Thanks Cath for your reply; it was really helpful to read. I think I'm leaning towards St Andrew's. I went to an open day a while back and the thing that impressed me most was the children. They were the most genuinely lovely, eager and articulate young people I'd probably ever met!
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