Prep schools in Wokingham/Reading area(27 Posts)
We are moving to this area and I am trying to find a suitable school for DS; would really appreciate any views on the following schools and know if my perceptions are way off mark.
The schools I think would best suit DS are:
The Waverly School - limited facilities?
Bearwood College - a bit posh?
The Dolphin School - too unconventional?
Crosfields - too polished?
Think Bearwood might be in a little bit of a precarious situation over it's finances. I knew someone who was involved at some level in their accounting who said they'd had to sell of all their staff housing to bail the school out which leaves them with no back-up plan.
This was several years ago though so it might have been shored up since then.
I always fancied the Dolphin be we've moved since then (hence my thread about Bucks preps!).
Have you thought about Eagle House? Seems to be in the same sort of area as your other options and certainly has lovely facilities.
The Waverley has been having financial problems and has now been taken over by the parents in order to stop it being turned into a free school.
There's also Holme Grange and the White House school in Wokingham, don't know if you've looked at those?
EBDteacher, this looks like a lovely school, but have seen a house in Reading so it may be a bit far to travel.
RustyBear, I have looked at White House, but a little uncertain about it being such a small school. I did like the look of Holme Grange.
May stay away from Waverley then as I don't want DS to have further disruption later down the line.
There is also Eagle House - the prep part of Wellington
Oh - Dolphin too unconventional ?
'tis unconventional, true, but nothing on what it was in the 70's/80's and we all survived (and, on the whole, thrived - there are some fairly well known alumni (I am not one of them - I am an old Delphinian, but not well known)) and I know some people with DC there now/recently who also rave....
Go and look. They may be nuts, but they do honestly succeed in getting DC into very good secondary schools as well as imbuing them with an attitude of learning because you want to.
stealthsquiggle - I really like this school and can't find anything negative to say about it - so I thought that this may be an issue with some parents, not many prep schools have a non-uniform policy.
I like the fact that it is unconventional, and the approach to learning would fit my DS to a T.
Just wanted a bit of a reality check as I have fallen for this school!!
Well you won't get a "reality check" from me - you will get a "go for it" . My DC are at a fairly conventional prep school (with added outdoorness and mud), but if we lived anywhere close they would definitely be at Dolphin. If you can already see DS there, then I am sure you will really love it.
(there were about 40 children in the school when DB and I went there - and my DM taught there as well)
My DS has been at Crosfields for some time now. I'm not sure what you mean by 'too polished'? He has been broadly happy there; the teaching and facilities are excellent. There is an over-strong emphasis on sport, but it is balanced by a very good music department, drama and art also good. Parents a bit of a mixed bag!
stealthsquiggle - thank you for the recommendation. Yes I can see DS there. I think the school would be a good fit for him; lets hope they have space in his year group!
hi there - I currently have two girls at the White House School (Y2 and Y4) and they absolutely love it. True, it is a small school but it really helps each child fulfil their potential. We have an excellent sports teacher who makes full use of the facilities at school, and across the road at Luckley. There is also a strong emphasis on music and drama (in addition to the academic side of things). The girls are very well behaved and come from 'normal' backgrounds rather than being 'posh'.
We also looked at Holme Grange, but the headteacher didn't want to show us around or even speak to us. we had to really push to see her and we were made to think that we were being a great inconvenience. I know of other parents at the White House who have had similar experiences.
We really like Crosfields and my girls probably would have gone there, but there were no places ( we returned to the UK two years ago) and I didn't want to put them into one school to take them out a year later if a space came up.
Waverley is just down the road from where I live. I know a few parents there and they really like it. (one moved her son from Crosfields as the class sizes were too big). I'm not sure I'd want to move there though as its future looks a little uncertain. Hope this helps, but email me if you want more info.
Hi, don't know if you're still looking, I have just been through a similar search due to lack of state school places for my dc's, and these were my thoughts.
Crosfields was ok but we had been warned that some years had had trouble with integrating the girls, and some girls had left to go to the Abbey as the lessons were just too dominated by the boys. This was evident on a visit that some classes were very boisterous. Not for us personally.
White House, lovely but far too small, numbers not sustainable, and their accounts are worrying. Small grounds for sport. Swimming is only for summer term, for Y3 upwards.
Bearwood in a similar financial position to White House.
Dolphin was lovely but no school uniform and they have to bring packed lunches, I really prefer the dc's to have a hot meal.
Holme Grange, couldn't be bothered to sell the school to us at all! Very off-putting.
Eagle House felt too posh, did not suit us personally, more in relation to other parents. other than that, great facilities.
Waverley, has turned round finances after parting company with CFBT, and is now breaking even and the numbers are rising. Had a great small school feel, but offered plenty of sport and swimming year round.
We went for Waverley in the end, and are very happy.
There seems to be some very negative press above about Holme Grange and I message to put that right! I have three children there and we are delighted with it. My children are very different and they cater for each child as an individual. The varied curriculum allows the children so many opportunities to become well rounded, intelligent and open minded with a very strong moral code. Both children and parents find the staff warm, encouraging and diligent. In our experience we couldn't find a more hard working and hugely supportive headteacher whose door seems permanently open and I cannot believe she opted not to see perspective new parents. The school goes from strength to strength under her leadership and I spaces are at a premium, some with waiting lists.
My advice to you would be to go with your instinct, Holme Grange is fantastic!
Crosfields OK academically but nothing startling. Don't feel it develops brighter ones to their full potential. Great if you're very sporty. Quite good musically. Impressive facilities
This thread is 2 years old, so the OP has probably found somewhere by now.
But if anyone else is looking at it for info, the White House school has now closed, the buildings are probably going to be taken over by a group setting up a free school.
Hi all, please could you give more on what you know about Crosfields. My son is very bright and I feel he is not being challenged in the primary school. He is very good academically. But I want him to grow more independent and confident. Just looked around at the private schools and found Crosfields to be one possibility. We are not sure if it is worth joining there. Please could someone give their opinion/experiences with Crosfields. Do you know anyone who got into Reading school from Crosfields? Please could you respond soon as we need to decide with in 2 weeks.
I think you would be best off starting a new thread with Crosfields in the title. Try 'Education' rather than 'Primary Education' it is slightly busier.
Which compass point of Reading do you live on by the way?
Will do Inclusionist. I live in East Reading.Thanks
Bearwood College; If your child has any special educational needs, DON'T considder Bearwood. "We are a selective school and we do not support any special educational needs - except dyslexia". Communications are erratic and you are kept away from your child class teacher - just 15 mins in nearly a term for target setting.
Waverley School in Wokingham is a hidden gem! It has been wonderful for our child who has been there since nursery and is now in the upper part of the school. They are now ranked no. 9 out of all UK primary and prep schools based on their academic results. Not bad considering they are non-selective! Highly recommended! The kids go on to excellent secondary schools and many of the Yr 6's get scholarships or pass entrance exams. But Waverley School also has a lovely family feel with small classes so no child can hide!
Another vote for Dolphin. It is streets ahead of the competition as far as I am concerned. I also went there as a child and the number of my cohort who went on to great things is extraordinary.
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My DS went to Holme Grange many years ago. It was great then, I hope it still is.
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