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Exeter schools

(32 Posts)
Serenity1 Sun 30-Jan-11 09:34:58

We are in the process of looking for schools for our dd. Can anyone recommend and good private/independent schools in central Exeter ?Also,if your children attended these schools, what were their experiences/ opinions ?
Thanks!

Feegle Sun 30-Jan-11 09:36:09

Primary or Secondary ?

Serenity1 Sun 30-Jan-11 09:41:41

Preschool/nursery going on into primary. We thought the continuity of staying at the same school would be good if dd was settled there

Feegle Sun 30-Jan-11 09:44:34

I don't live in Exeter but have lived on the outskirts for years. St Margarets is lovely. The Maynard is thought of as more academic though, if you would like her to go there you can switch at 7 or you could send her to the Montessori until that age.

Feegle Sun 30-Jan-11 09:55:02

Where abouts are you is distance an issue ?

Serenity1 Sun 30-Jan-11 09:59:59

Thanks Feegle We looked into St Margarets, but heard it had very small class sizes with only 2 pupils in some of the younger classes hmm although the teaching was good.
Ofsted report about the nursery also described it as cramped which put us off a bit.
There don't seem to be many private schools with nursery facilities. Another we've come across online is Bramdean. Does anyone known any good/ bad info about that school ?

Feegle, Maynard would have been our 1st choice if they had a nursery We've heard good things about it in the past.

Serenity1 Sun 30-Jan-11 10:05:19

We are in on outskirts of Exeter, but work more centrally, so would prefer school there too.

Feegle Sun 30-Jan-11 10:08:46

I would go and actually have a look at St Margarets. The nursery is lovely I would have loved to send mine there. I think small class sizes are a good thing at that age. I think the class sizes have gone up recently as well.

The Montessori is great as well. The building is a little scruffy but everyone I know who has had a child there has adored it. They say it is like them being with a family all day. They always get children into The Maynard and achieve a very high academic standard.

Bramdean is thought of as a little mediocre by most people I know. Maybe someone can come on here and contradict me smile. They Maynard is excellent provided your dd is a real all rounder. I know some people who have found it a little competative over the years. Others have told me that they find it very nurturing.

Most of my friends have a child at one of these schools. You could ring the Maynard and ask what they would recommend.

I do think it is important to go and have a look.

Serenity1 Sun 30-Jan-11 10:15:30

Thanks Feegle - that's been a big help I'll have to arrange to see al the schools - ringing the Maynard is a good idea too.

Just out of interest, why is Bramdean thought of as mediocre?

Feegle Sun 30-Jan-11 10:18:54

I have no idea but it doesn't even seem to get on the list of most people I know. Is it non selective ?

Serenity1 Sun 30-Jan-11 10:20:40

What do you mean by non-selective? Sorry- new to all this blush

Serenity1 Sun 30-Jan-11 10:24:53

Are you referring to entrance exams/ academic level etc being looked at prior to admission ?
Not 100% sure but If this is what you mean, I think it is non selective for preschool/nursery,possibly primary & then selective at secondary-I would have o double check that

Serenity1 Sun 30-Jan-11 10:31:25

Googled & it is non- selective. Is this a bad thing at such a young age? Considering we hope to send her to Maynard at 7.
Aren't all nurseries non- selective? Anyone ?

Feegle Sun 30-Jan-11 10:34:44

Yes, I mean academically selective. This would mean that many of the children that go there did not get into the selectives at seven or eleven. They all seem to have amazing end results so it doesn't matter IMO. Some people seem to think it is important though smile

If you enter her for the Maynard at seven/eleven she will need to pass a test. For this reason I would look at where the children that get in are coming from. I have just remembered The New School gets a lot of girls into the Maynard. www.thenewschoolexeter.co.uk/location.html

Feegle Sun 30-Jan-11 10:37:41

I think they are all non selective around here but they are not always non selective. Some schools will let you continue all the way up through the school, without testing, others will not. It would be easier to get into the Maynard at seven because they let you stay and do not test again.

Serenity1 Sun 30-Jan-11 10:39:38

Thanks Feegle ! I hadn't even considered where the Maynard girls attended prior to going there. So much to think about so early on in your childs life !

Serenity1 Sun 30-Jan-11 10:40:59

Good to hear you are not tested again if you get into the Maynard at 7 as well

Feegle Sun 30-Jan-11 10:43:03

Hmmm I know. I am at the other end of all this now, thank goodness. It if was me and I was looking at the long term. I would go for The New School or The Montessori and then The Maynard from 7 she will have lots of friends following the same route then.

Serenity1 Sun 30-Jan-11 10:51:26

I'll look into them & go& look around. Would like somewhere which feeds dd's natural curiosity to learn, but also provides a family environment& has a fun approach to learning. I'll also ring Maynard to enquire about entrance at 7.
For now, potty training awaits!
Many thanks for your help Feegle

If anyone else could add to the thread as well it would be great to hear your views too.

Feegle Sun 30-Jan-11 10:55:24

Good luck with potty training and schools smile duchesse is local I expect she will be along at some point.

Serenity1 Sun 30-Jan-11 11:13:18

Thanks Feegle. Are your children already in school/ finished school ? As you mentioned being on the other side of all this now? Has Duchesse children in school at the moment?
Duchesse - it would be great to hear from you too

thetasigmamum Sun 30-Jan-11 11:44:23

Although they don't test the children again at the Maynard empirical evidence suggests if you can't keep up you don't stay. Empirical evidence also suggests that more than a few Maynard gils take the Colyton exam at 10/11 and if they get in, they leave the Maynard and switch to Colyton.

Having said that the children I know at the Maynard (in both the junior and senior bits) are lovely, happy, confident girls, and the same can be said for pupils of Exeter School and St Margarets too.

Feegle Sun 30-Jan-11 12:01:13

Yes, I would agree with that. There is a lot of movement between the schools. The advantage of the pre prep route is that they will let you know if they think your child would be better off in a "more gentle environment" grin Some people don't listen though, some then scrape in and regret it later.

Serenity1, mine are in school but decisions made and paths mapped out, thank goodness. We went the state route though, there are some very good schools around here as thetasigmamum points out. smile

duchesse Tue 01-Feb-11 16:25:49

<rides in a week late>

My children only have experience of independent schools.

My fave school of all time is Bendarroch School about ten miles outside Exeter. My three academic yet outdoorsy spirited manky children loved every moment there. Got to go and see to get an idea. I don't many children it hasn't or wouldn't have suited. If you're on facebook, do a search on the school's name and you'll see a lot of spontaneous declarations of love for the school (ie not prompted by parents or teachers) from past pupils.

My two older children now go to Exeter School and are happy there as well. It has a huge range of extra-curricular things going on and the school gets better value as you progress through it imo. The 6th formers are truly spoiled in the things they have access to. DD2 is at the Maynard and loves it thoroughly. She is a spirited lively girl and has never found the all-girls' environment a problem. The school seems to turn out extremely confident, able young women and they also offer a lot of extra-curricular activities although not as outdoorsy or boisterous as ES.

I know of children who have gone to St Margarets, Bramdean, Magdalene Court, the Montessori (if you have littlies), St Peter's, Kings in Ottery, Clyst Vale, Colyton G S, Drake's, Woodbury School, Broadclyst PS, Blundell's, Queen's in Taunton, so feel free to ask anything about any of these too- obviously this will be 2nd hand information though!

Serenity1 Thu 03-Feb-11 13:08:02

Thanks for all your replies. Apologies for the delay in replying- we've got family staying at the moment and I haven't had much time to get on the internet.

I will reply properly to you all soon !

Duchesse, lovely to hear from you. We have narrowed down schools to Magdalen Court or Bramdean (our lo will have just turned 3 when starting at school).

If you could send me any information about both the schools themselves in general,along with any information you may have about the nursery/kindergarton fascilties at both schools, I would be very grateful !

Look forward to hearing from you

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