Edinburgh private schools - confused!

(9 Posts)
MamaVikki Mon 10-Nov-14 12:22:07

Hope someone can help! Our eldest is in P7 and we are thinking about a private school for secondary education. We had a look round Clifton Hall as it is a small school and also we live in West Lothian and so the location suits us. We absolutely loved the school and got a really good feeling from it. The only thing is that friends of ours who send their girls to a private school in Edinburgh have now been warning us that Clifton Hall isn't so great academically. Now I don't know what to think! I don't know if this is a bit of 'school rivalry' or if there is something in it. They are suggesting we view a few schools and compare. I just don't want my son to have a long commute to school. We've had a look online and quite like the look of the Edinburgh Academy and George Watsons but have no idea of transport links or what they are like. We liked the idea of a small school with individual attention but there again it has been pointed out to us that you can still get this within a large school. Also, we will be applying for a bursary.
Does anyone have any advice to give? I'd really appreciate it as I'm getting quite stressed about it now!
Thanks x

Taz1212 Mon 10-Nov-14 20:26:33

We are also in West Lothian and DS started at Watson's last year (P7). Watson's run a bus through West Lothian which is very convenient for us and DS frequently gets the train as well when he has before/after school activities.

We looked at Clifton Hall when he was starting primary school and whilst I loved the grounds and thought the Head Teacher was excellent, the school is very small in the senior years and doesn't offer the breadth of curriculum that we were looking for.

DS loves Watsons. He was also accepted at Heriots but was adament he wanted to attend Watsons.

tribal Mon 10-Nov-14 21:56:44

I agree with Taz regarding the breadth of curriculum at Clifton Hall. They just can't offer a full range of subjects like some of the other schools. As well as Watsons running a bus I know that Stewarts Melville also run buses from various parts of East Scotland.

You will have missed the open days for this year and you really need to get your application(s) in soon as entrance tests are early January. However I suggest you contact any schools that you are interested in and visit them so you get a feel of the school. Some schools just feel right and others just don't! You can also ask the school about bursaries. Some are more generous than others (I have personal experience here).

Eman83 Tue 11-Nov-14 10:43:39

I agree with what the others are saying regarding Clifton hall. Transport wise I know Stuart Melville, Watsons and EA have buses getting children in from outer areas.
It's worth looking at all of the schools to compare

MamaVikki Tue 11-Nov-14 21:04:40

Thank you so much for your replies. I've now made appointments to view Edinburgh Academy, George Watsons & George Heriots. Do you mind if I ask though what types of subjects might be offered at the other schools and not Clifton Hall? Sorry, I am just really out of touch regarding secondary education (it's been such a long time, I barely remember my school days!!! yikes!).
Thanks so much x

Eman83 Tue 11-Nov-14 23:11:19

George watsons facilities will blow you away. My children were at ea and then we moved to GH mainly due to location as we did like ea but are loving GH.
Gw and GH offer more subject choices compared to ea such as photography, home technology, classics etc
When you have a look around you will see for yourself and you will know which school feels right for your child.

Sarahlou456 Sun 16-Nov-14 17:46:50

I know a few kids who are at Clifton Hall (primary and secondary) and their parents are very happy with the school. The school is not academically selective which is why their exam results are not quite as good as the other independents (there still good) my fiends daughter is very bright and her mum feels she gets pushed academically. I'd defiantly look at it if we lived closer.

MamaVikki Mon 12-Jan-15 20:22:37

I just wanted to share an update and thank everyone for their advice. You were right that we needed to actually go and view the schools to get a feel for each school. I also understand now what was meant re Clifton Hall, however we still love the school! We were really impressed by Clifton, Heriots & Watsons, with Clifton and Heriots being our top 2 choices. Assessment days happen this week and next so we will see...!
Thanks for your help

ANC1 Fri 31-Mar-17 11:59:21

Hi MamaVikki - I know it's some time ago that you posted this. We have a similar dilemma. What did you decide and what were the visits/entrance assessments like? We are interested in Heriots and Watsons.

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