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Gayhurst, Gerrards Cross?(46 Posts)
I hope this will be my last 'any opinions about this school' question as I think I'm nearing a decision!
However, does anybody have any recent personal experience of Gayhurst in Gerrards Cross? Is it a bit 'traditional' (read: stuck in the mud)?
It's coming down to Caldicott or Gayhurst based on logistics but I'm very worried about committing to compulsory boarding. Going to see Caldicott this weekend but there isn't an open day at Gayhurst for ages.
Any info appreciated!
My friend's DS is there in Yr6 and is very happy. They are Americans and only here for a limited time period. He joined in Sept 10 and is very happy there, integrated quickly lots of friends etc. They are happy with the ethnic/cultural/nationality mix and the school does sound welcoming.
That said, it also sounds VERY traditional. Before the term began in Sept, the boys had 5 hour rugby practices over a couple of days. I saw the boy and he was exhausted, muscles aching etc (he is not a lazy child) - it was simply too much, they aren't pro sportsmen after all! I know for a fact there are exams every term.
Anyway, not my cup of tea for a school, but I think calling up and requesting a personal tour, and then asking a lot of pertinent questions would be the way forward.
I have got a couple of friends with boys at Gayhurst and they all are very happy with the school. I think their boys are very sporty though not sure if your son is?
I know you said its down to Logistics but there is another school in GX called Kingscote/Thorpe House that is also supposed to be very good, it might be worth a look. HTH
Caldicott is known to be an excellent school whom acheive fantastic results. don't know much about Gayhurst but def Caldi sounds fab
You are right 100lilgreen Caldicott does sound fab. I'm just not sure I want my son to board in Y7 & 8 and it is absolutely compulsory, no exceptions.
Thanks NotEnoughTime, I have considered Kingscote/ Thorpe House. I too have heard good things, particularly about Kingscote. However, I have to be at my own school in Bourne End at 8.30 (latest) and that extra bit of travel accross Gerrards Cross puts them out.
My other option is The Beacon but I would be absolutely reliant on the school bus from GX and if they ever stopped running the bus I'd have to move DS. That seems too precarious to me!
Thanks for all opinions!
Actually, strike that, NotEnoughTime, because I've just re-looked at the map and they're actually really close- and Kingscote's breakfast club starts earlier.
I actually think I have too many schools to choose from and wish someone would just pick one for me!!
Decisions, decisions! I always think its harder when you have too much choice.
I have heard great reports of the Beacon.
Also, just to add to the mix Davenies in Beaconsfield has a good rep too.
Best of luck with whatever you decide.
A few thoughts:
You need to think about where you would like your child to go to after prep - Caldicott generally prepares children for public schools, whereas I think quite a lot of children at Gayhurst go to the Grammar schools.
I have heard mixed things about Davenies
I have heard enough about Davenies to have ruled it out despite it being the best placed in terms of location.
At this moment in time we expect that DS will go to boarding at 13 (although not if he doesn't want to/ isn't the type/ any other reason that might come up between now and then). However, I think 11 is a little soon to board.
Thank all- all view points appreciated.
I agree that you might not want him to board at 11 as it is quite young and it is a risk to take if he does not feel so independent yet. The Beacon looks great because they get the boys into all the good boarding schools and that fits your criteria. Also have you thought about Berkhamstead or is that too far? Not too good on my geography! IMO, you should go for Caldicott because it seems to have an excellent reputation and although your worry is the boarding at 11, cross that bridge when it comes to it because he might be the type who loves to be away from home or totally the opposite in which case he could always do the 11 plus and even transfer to a school that goes up to 18 or to another prep such as Gayhurst or Thorpe House. You do realise Caldicott only starts at 7?!
Yes- so Caldicott also presents me with a pre-prep problem which just adds to the complexity!
We're literally 5 minutes from Dair House though and although I wasn't blown out of the water when I went to see it their recent report was glowing. It sounds like their FS provision is really on the up so I think he would go there.
OR... maybe Gayhurst in FS/KS1 and then a move to Caldicott if Gayhurst turns out not to be exactly right and/or he seems like he'd cope with boarding.
Or maybe the Beacon and risk relying on the school bus... haha- I'm no further on am I?? I'm going to end up paying £2k to register him at every school in South Bucks/ Berks at this rate!!
Kingscote for preprep is lovely and I think quite a lot of boys go onto Caldicott
Yes i agree with philadelphiacheesecake.
go for kingscote and then caldicott for prep. if when her gets to 11, and he REALLY does not want to board then one could always transfer to the Beacon or Gayhurst. Dair house does sound good but doesn't have the 'same' reputation as kingscote.
Thanks everybody- all your thoughts have helped me crystalise my thinking.
(More) School visits here I come!
Have boys at the Beacon and friends with boys at all the others mentioned.
Beacon bus is brill, my boys take it. Makes life a lot easier. New head is not the most charismatic but is sharpening the place up no end, some really exciting curriculum stuff. It's sporty but every boy gets into a team, no matter what their standard. V caring ethos. My two thoroughly enjoy it and I can't speak highly enough of it. Of all the local schools it was the best fit for their very different personalities.
Thorpe is viewed as much quieter, it's certainly smaller than the Beacon.
Gayhurst traditional as mentioned earlier, do know of some serious bullying which wasn't dealt with well but that seems to have died down. Other parents happy. They're always willing to show parents round so why not just call them.
Davenies - no bad reports but then again, none massively positive
If you are in Bourne End then another school to consider is Ridgeway which is at the top end of Maidenhead just off the 404.
I have seen that you are really happy with Ridgeway and it would actually be pretty good for me (or at least doable) in terms of school/ work run. However, I need somewhere that will do (a good job of) Common Entrance preparation and I assume Claires Court have a vested interest in encouraging boys to stay on? I've heard quite a lot of boys go into the Grammar schools from Ridgeway, do you happen to know how many filter out of Claires Court (if any) at 13?
Thanks for your comments about Beacon's bus weblette. Feels a bit wrong being so dependent on an ancillary service. However, I know my parents almost didn't send me to the school I went to for the same reason and I am so, so glad they trusted in the bus and went for it! Maybe I shouldn't feel so wary of it.
Just found these messages and I know you've been bombarded with advice but just want to go back to the original question and say that my boy is just leaving this year and he has been really happy at Gayhurst. It's a really relaxed, happy, caring school and not formal at all. Also it's now co-ed and I think that's a huge plus. I'd really urge you to make an appt and go and look round the school for yourself.
I look on it as keeping the numbers on the school run down!
I was thnking it could solve your pre-prep problem. No prep for 11+ nor CE at Ridgeway or CC. If Ds is heading that way I'll move him at 11 (although may move him for year 4 to St Georges if he wants to be a chorister).
St Pirans does CE prep but I think it is quite like Davenies, which is not my preference.
Ooh, thank you LadyAllotment, that is exactly what I wanted to hear about Gayhurst. I am definitely going to go for a visit and see for myself. I have a lot of years of work in schools under my belt though and I know it's hard very to see below the surface on a visit, hence my interest in news from the inside!
I think I have too many concerns about Caldicott taking over my son's life too early. I am quite sure it's a fantastic school. However, Saturday lessons from the start and no option boarding at 11 might, in the end, be a little more than I can stomach. Maybe I will feel different after the open day this weekend. We shall see!
Thanks to all for opinions.
One comment I have heard about Gayhurst is that a significant number of boys leave at 11. More so than some of the other preps. This comment was from an ex teacher there.
well it's important you make up your own mind but my experience and that of my chums is that its a great school producing happy children. I liked it so much Ive done some part time work over the years to help them. I am sure that has not swayed my views though and I wouldn't work for a school I didn't 100% believe in!