Donhead, Willington or Squirrels?

(15 Posts)
gefjun Wed 05-Jun-13 11:07:46

My DS is signed up for all three schools for a September 2014 start in Reception, but I am really confused about which school to choose for him.

Do any of you have any experiences with any of these schools?

I like very much like the facilities and caring ethos at Donhead, but I worry whether it might be for more "sporty" kids and that it is a feeder school of Wimbledon College. Willington also seems to be a nice school with small class sizes and good specialized teaching, but the facilities are not great, and I don't know whether the school is very academic. Squirrels is obviously a feeder school for King's, but what about the boys who do not get into King's at 8?

As I said, any advice or experiences with any of the schools that you are willing to share would be gratefully received.

OffallyGOod Fri 07-Jun-13 00:40:38

What is your Ds like? Will they like being in a pushy environment and being taught to the goal of getting into Kings? If less likely to respond to that environment then maybe Donhead which I know is more relaxed.

What do you want for him? If you want Kings you will not get help for 7 plus exams at donhead or Willington. Willington quite against training for a test at young age but very broad curriculum, not very competitive or sports front.

gefjun Fri 07-Jun-13 09:44:03

Thank you so much OffallyGOod.

My DS is quite shy and will also be one of the youngest in class (August baby). I think it is quite difficult to know at 3 years old how "academic" your child is.
Do you have experience with any of the Schools? Do you think it is problem that Donhead only goes to 11, or should that not be a consideration?

OffallyGOod Mon 10-Jun-13 23:34:12

We are at Willington , a very all rounder school. If you want you Ds to be exposed to a lot of things to see what sticks then Willington is good. Very good cross curriculum teaching in my opinion. Good range of after school clubs, Ds loves Spanish, lots of boys in the choir. But if you want you Ds pushed before 11-13 that is not willington. They be
I'd've is stretching horizontally , so if Ds is bright they encourage chess club, music etc rather than more maths.

OffallyGOod Mon 10-Jun-13 23:35:01

Sorry that should be They believe is stretching horizontally

SapnaAbhu Thu 20-Jun-13 15:18:47

Btween Willington and Hall, which should be proper for reception?
Considering, at reception age, academic is not so important.

OffallyGOod Thu 20-Jun-13 22:13:52

You can't just be concerned only about reception can you? Not sure that academic side not important in reception, a good start without pushiness is what I was looking for.

Tiffjak Wed 04-Sep-13 12:31:51

My son goes to Donhead and is very happy. It is perceived as a sporty school but is no more than others. They do pe and games once a week. They are a very musical school as well. I think it is a caring school and the reception teachers are both wonderful and they do help the younger ones. Unless you want your son to go to Kings I don't see the point to put a young child through all that stress. My daily dealings with the squirrel parents and nannys is not great. They would run you over if it meant they got a car spot outside the school. My friends son goes to Willington and they are happy. Go along to the open days and Donhead have a Christmas service that you will be invited to go along to. You have to go with your gut and not worry about when they are 11 there are a lot of school days between now and then and all you want is for your child to be happy.

Lucylou77 Thu 19-Sep-13 21:48:37

Hey OP, very interested in the responses here as I too have a little one with a place at squirrels but now worried all very academic and he is also quiet and young etc although when I saw the school I liked it and all the new head had done etc. going to see wilmington next week as heard lots of good and bad things about it and want to see for myself. Never thought all this school decision stuff could be so hard ...

OffallyGOod Thu 03-Oct-13 20:18:41

What bad things have you heard about Willington? I have a son there but I am frank about the pros and cons

gefjun Wed 16-Oct-13 03:30:13

Thank you to everyone for their advice. In the end, we have decided to send our son to Donhead which seems like a lovely school.

fondofuk Fri 25-Oct-13 07:21:09

For boys Wimbledon lacks very good school choices. Kings is there but not for any boy and state schools vary significantly in quality. DS went to Willington and school is generally ok with small classes and it has very international feel with lots of foreign professional expat famillies with us one of them. But they do send boys to good senior indies. A caveat is they do 13+ which would work well for bright but slow starters (school incubating boys in year 7 and 8 for 13+)

Doubledynamite Sat 26-Oct-13 20:20:41

Tiffjak, your parking comment made me laugh, it is so true!!!
gefjun, we were in the same situation and my gut said Donhead all the way along. The reception teachers are just wonderful and my DS loves the school. I wish I had another boy to send to them!

HaydonWomble Wed 27-Nov-13 13:01:01

We've got friends with sons at Willington and they are very happy with it and the mix of boys.

TSOne Tue 17-Mar-15 16:04:09

Hi Mums, would really like some advise on pros and cons of Willington school. We have visisted the school recently for admission for my DS who will start reception in '16. Though we have liked the feel of Willington and it generally gave a good vibe (also found the headmaster to be quite personable) I have reservations against the school due to the fact that they dont prepare boys for entrance at 11+. Given that the best independent schools in London have maximum intake at 11+ does it not leave boys from Willington at a disadvantage ? On that one hand I really like to idea of the child being able to spend 9 years in one school , on the other hand I dont want him to be at a backfoot for entrance exams later in life. Any advise based on experience would be very very helpful.

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