Upper junior schools - ESMS, Heriots and Watson's

(9 Posts)
stenna Tue 09-May-17 12:55:01

We've looked around a couple of senior schools and two of the juniors but it's proving difficult to see which one would suit the DC, e.g. ESMS junior looks great but I'm not sure if the single sex environment would be good for one of my DC and Heriots sounds great from friends with older children in the school but they don't have experience of the junior school, another friend loved Watson's years ago... Added to this is that different years are full at different schools.

Any reviews on these junior schools from current parents would be much appreciated.

Starfish347 Tue 09-May-17 13:20:20

I have a DS in P3 at GWC, and another about to start P1 this year. We were brand new to GWC. We looked at Heriots and ESMS too, and to be honest, there really wasn't that much between them, they were all lovely, but our gut went for GWC as it just felt the better fit. We did also factor in that GWC is a one campus school which Heriots and ESMS aren't, and we didn't fancy having different drops offs and picks up from school/school pitches. Appreciate this might not be an issue for others.
GWC is big, not going to lie and I was initially worried about this, but the Lower primary (nursery - p3) is in a self contained school within the school, same with Upper primary (p4-p7) before they go to the senior school. There is a very inclusive and family feel to the school, it doesn't feel large, and our experience is that each child is treated as an individual.

We've been very happy with the 3 years we've been there, and our youngest cannot wait to start. We've found the staff and other kids/parents really lovely, and really cannot find any negatives about the school.

stenna Tue 09-May-17 22:00:50

That's great to hear, thanks Starfish.

Are you able to mix with the parents or is it a bit 'drop and run'?

Starfish347 Thu 11-May-17 11:22:45

i think it can vary from class to class - depends if you have one or two parents (usually the mums) who are happy to organise get togethers in the early days! Our class all mixed fairly well, there are a couple of groups that tend to socialise more, and that's often down to mums getting on particularly well, or being thrown together because their kids have formed a friendship, or because the kids attend the same afterschool classes (dancing, swimming, rugby etc). There is a lot of mingling at pick up, not so much at drop off.

Your child stays in the same class from P1-P4, then they mix everyone up in P5, so the parents get to know each other fairly well in the early years. Not sure what happens from p5, I imagine well established friendships amongst parents remain and some new ones spring up.

I've met a good 3/4 mums who I count as close friends now. I'm curious to see what happens when my youngest starts P1 this year....if the same dynamic will exist amongst the parents in that class. Of course, there are soother siblings who are also starting P1 too, so I may end up knowing some of the parents already!

EdinburghPS Thu 11-May-17 20:34:47

I am a GH mum and we absolutely love it!
Junior school has been absolutely fantastic and my little ones couldn't be happier.
I have friends with children at GW and also ESMS and both are also happy. It's down to personal opinion at the end of the day.
Good luck

stenna Fri 12-May-17 20:30:57

Thank you both for your replies.

Good to hear that the GW parents are sociable and helpful to know the children are mixed into different classes at P5.

The personal opinion is so hard as I don't really want my DC at different schools and you don't really know what schools are like until you are there and then one teacher or child can make or break a class or a year.

I will continue to look at them and see who has space for which child...

sleepyfergus Sat 13-May-17 19:07:05

In case it helps, GWC also create a whole new class in P7. A lot of kids apply to private in P7 (not just at GWC, other private schools may do similar). I guess so they have a chance to settle in before moving up to senior school. The new class is made up of all the new pupils which at first I thought was a bit odd, but it must be easier if you're all new together and you're mixed for certain classes like English, maths etc anyway so it's not as if they're not excluded from the existing year.


stenna Tue 16-May-17 19:16:36

Thanks sleepyfergus. Good to know about the new class in GWC. I like the idea of that as when my DC have previously started a new school they have been separated from other new children and then the class teacher doesn't necessarily remember that they are new to the workings of the school - hard when you have a slightly forgetful child who hasn't realised there are stricter rules about homework deadlines and games kit...! I knew that GH did this but didn't realise GWC did too.

Noofly Tue 16-May-17 21:23:43

Both my DC started at GWC in P7 and we found having the "new" class works really well, although by the October break it can be hard to tell who is new and who has been there since nursery. grin My DC found the other P7 pupils really welcoming and made friends both within and outwith their class.

They really mix them up when starting S1 so even if a child hasn't really gelled with the P7 class, they'll be with brand new children in S1.

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