Oxfordshire Prep Schools

(15 Posts)
RebeccaandOllie Thu 20-Jan-11 21:13:46

We are relocating to Oxford in a few months and have just spent the past week visiting some schools in the area namely Abingdon Prep, Chandlings and St Hughs, all of which seem fantastic. Does anyone have any experience of these schools that they could share with us? Our son is 4 and our daughter is 2. Would love to hear from someone who knows these schools. Thanks

OP’s posts: |
Diddee Thu 20-Jan-11 21:56:00

Do you want them to be at the same school? The Manor Prep take boys until 7 and girls until 11 and I would say a wonderful wonderful place. Would be my first choice every time. They are all good schools, though I don't know them all well. At Abingdon prep they call their teachers by their first name, which I think is a bit odd, but sure it is not a deciding factor!

soda1234 Fri 21-Jan-11 08:20:30

I have had a son and daughter go through St Hugh's,dd to 11 and ds to 13. They, and we, loved it. What do you want to know?

2Eliza2 Fri 21-Jan-11 08:29:21

I had a nephew at Abingdon Prep until this year. The first name business made no difference at all to the standards of discipline. His parents said he'd been very well prepared for his next stage school and all his year did well in common entrance.

The name business is a legacy from the school's origins as a North Oxford dons' offspring prep school.

They are all very good--we know lots of people with children at all schools.

Abingdon Prep is about to have a new head.

RebeccaandOllie Fri 21-Jan-11 10:46:56

Thanks for all your comments. Really helpful. Its a hard decision as we liked them all equally and not knowing the area/any parents at the schools its pretty hard to know which to go for. All had equal advantages/disadvantages. Good facilities, caring staff, individualised teaching etc etc. Specific worries would be that at Abingdon Prep they told us that 90% go on to the main school - was wondering if that somehow limited our choices as some other fantastic secondary schools in the area and at Chandlings they finished at 11 so what to do for my son between 11 and 13? We loved the Manor for my daughter but not sure whether single sex or co-ed would suit her better and if we opted for the Manor it would seem sensible to send my son to Abingdon thus ruling out the other two. Very hard to make a decision

OP’s posts: |
soda1234 Fri 21-Jan-11 11:02:58

A few children each year from Chandlings go to St.Hugh's for yr 7 & 8.
Do you have any idea where you want to live, or will the school choice dictate that? Where will your workplace be? Traffic around Abingdon / Oxford is dreadful at rush hour, if you have to drop-off at school before travelling to work, this may be a consideration.
I'm not sure I'd agree with the 90% figure quoted, the senior school is increasingly selective academically.

soda1234 Fri 21-Jan-11 12:11:50

Forgot to add that St.Hugh's also has the flexi/weekly boarding option which can be useful if you are considering boarding for senior school (Saturday morning school from yr5 though!)


RebeccaandOllie Fri 21-Jan-11 12:35:22

Thanks Soda1234. Yes I thought the 90% was too a high a % but thats what they told us when we visited. School choice is going to dictate where we live but would much prefer to be in the country as opposed to in town as have dogs. Have heard the morning traffic is horrific - so thats something to look forward to! Whats your opinion of changing school at 11? Did the Chandlings children fit in OK at St Hughs? Would have thought it a little unsettling for just 2 years? Thanks for all your help! Out of interest what made you opt for St Hughs over other schools in the area? Rebecca

OP’s posts: |
soda1234 Fri 21-Jan-11 13:25:40

Hi Rebecca, we opted for St. Hugh's as we have boy/girl twins and wanted them to be at the same school,for ease of logistics as much as anything, taking and collecting from 2 different schools didn't appeal.It was also our nearest prep school!
In my son's year some of the year 7 arrivals slotted right in, and some found it harder (I think it's easier for sporty boys, as they soon find like-minded mates, there is a LOT of sport at the school).
There are loads of lovely villages around, we live in a Hamlet near Wantage (15 mins drive to St.Hugh's) and my children now get the school bus from Wantage to their Abingdon senior schools.
All the schools you have mentioned are great, but I obviously have a soft spot for St.Hugh's.
I know your dcs are still very young, but do give some consideration to the sort of senior schooling you'd like.St. Hugh's is very geared toward's CE and the majority of the Children go on to boarding schools (with most boarding for at least a couple of nights in yrs 7 & 8). Some of the girls leave at 11 to go to local day schools or boarding schools.
Feel free to ask if you need to know more.

abittoofat Sat 22-Jan-11 19:09:09

Abingdon prep here. DD yr1 still at local state primary.
DS settled in quickly. Whole year group seems friendly and inclusive. Parents too.
Long term idea is to have dd at St Katherines and ds at Abingdon Senior which are virtually opposite each other and work together on drama productions etc.

RebeccaandOllie Mon 24-Jan-11 18:31:57

Thanks soda1234, I really liked that about St Hughs that they offered the flexible boarding scheme. The headmaster was fantastic too and it seemed like they had a lot of development going on with lots of new buildings - time of change I guess. Changes at Abingdon too - heard they have a new head starting. Thanks for your post abitoofat. Glad to hear your son is happy. Have you met the new head at Abingdon? Is your son enjoying it? We are currently in Barcelona so its hard to really get a feel for things. Hope the parents are nice and friendly too as we dont know anyone in the area! Rebecca

OP’s posts: |
soda1234 Thu 27-Jan-11 09:24:37

Hi Rebecca, yes the HM is really lovely, has done an awful lot since his arrival in 2006,new nursery dept last yr etc(has 5 dcs, 2 currently at the school)he really understands the children, and was fantastic when ds went through a difficult time in yr7, the children really like/respect him.
Have you made a decision yet?

keepingcalmandcarryingon1 Thu 07-Feb-19 13:01:12

Thinking about Manor Prep in Abingdon - anyone got any insights?

WhyAmIPayingFees Fri 08-Feb-19 11:44:04

Chandlings (or indeed any other school) finishing at 11 is not a problem as several local day schools have intake at 11 - notably Abingdon Senior (which takes kids from many local primaries at 11 despite it having a CE intake at 13 - it has got a lovely 11-13 lower school) and SHSK (which also takes girls at 9). They also send kids at 11 to MCS, Headington, Cokethorpe, OHS, Oratory and so on.

WhyAmIPayingFees Mon 11-Feb-19 09:00:47

Oops. Did not notice original date on thread again! @keepingcalmandcarryingon1 Manor Prep has solid academic reputation and we know several people who have been happy with it. I guess there is now some uncertainty created by the recent change of head and going fully co-ed. What all that means might take time to find out and a comment from someone who is a current parent. BTW - I hold the new head at Chandlings in high regard having dealt with her for many years at Cokethorpe.

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