The Grove Primary School, Totnes. Any experiences?

(29 Posts)
nevergoogle Mon 04-Jul-11 22:58:14

Tell me everything.

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nevergoogle Mon 04-Jul-11 23:34:12

alternatively, you could just ignore this thread. everyone else is.

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nevergoogle Tue 05-Jul-11 19:52:54


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nevergoogle Tue 05-Jul-11 22:04:37

bumpity bump

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evolucy7 Tue 05-Jul-11 22:06:47

I guess no-one has come along yet with any experiences, sorry I haven't either, but bumping again smile

nevergoogle Tue 05-Jul-11 22:08:07

thanks smile

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Asparaguses Tue 05-Jul-11 22:31:02

I feel like I should help you out as I grew up in Totnes but as I have not lived there for 15 years I m not sure I have much to say. When I was growing-up the Grove was OK but everyone tried to go to Dartington Primary. I think that Dartington Primary has recently acquired a state-of-the-art eco-site - when I drove passed last summer it looked pretty amazing.


nevergoogle Wed 06-Jul-11 18:39:45

yes, the new school at dartington looks great and has the forest school thing too. but it's CofE and that concerns us as we don't like the idea of faith schools.

Did you enjoy growing up in Totnes?

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melezka Wed 06-Jul-11 18:45:59

I know people who removed their children from the Grove - it was quite a long stand-off - over religious references and shared worship etc - this was about 3-4 years ago. I think you should check the head teacher's attitude towards this aspect of school before you commit if religious references are unacceptable for you.

nevergoogle Wed 06-Jul-11 18:49:43

oh, this is good information.
all schools have collective worship and we've come to accept that all schools in this country push christianity. it's a bummer for us, but fact.
are you talking about more than this?
i notice they have an 'acting' headteacher not a headteacher.
where did they remove their children to?

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melezka Wed 06-Jul-11 18:53:36

They just took them out of school, thereby precipitating the stand-off. It went for maybe about a month?

I don't think there was more to it than the collective worship, but they had made their views perfectly clear.

Maybe that headteacher has gone now (don't live there any more, sorry!)

nevergoogle Wed 06-Jul-11 18:55:40

all good information melezka. thank you.

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melezka Wed 06-Jul-11 19:00:09

It seems to go in waves that sometimes the Grove is popular, then Dartington, sometimes St Johns. For no known reason really, though the new eco school is probably popular at the mo.

Asparaguses Wed 06-Jul-11 21:39:02

Nevergoogle - would you ever consider private? Park School in Dartington is a small progressive private primary with a sliding scale for fees. There is no worship at all. The grounds are amazing. There's a lot of hands on learning: building gardens, ponds, models, machines. Cooking pizza in the outdoor pizza oven etc etc. Teachers are referred to by their first names, the children are treated as equals and help set the rules and class sizes are tiny.

Asparaguses Wed 06-Jul-11 21:40:36

Park School

Asparaguses Wed 06-Jul-11 21:44:13

And to answer your earlier question, yes, I loved growing up in Totnes. It's a very friendly, creative and accepting town. It's got a lot more going on than most equivalent sized country towns. It's near Dartmoor and the coast and on the mainline from London. Where do you live at the mo?

nevergoogle Wed 06-Jul-11 23:00:44

we used to live in the south hams, but we've been in scotland for the past two years.
i've read about park school, but have not had good feedback from people who i trust who are in the know.

friendly, creative and accepting sounds great.

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nevergoogle Fri 08-Jul-11 17:56:35

well, turns out there's no spaces at the grove.
dartington it is.
we're going in a couple of weeks to check it out.

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absolutelyflawed Tue 19-Mar-13 18:27:56

I know the above is really old but wondered if anyone has any current experience or knowledge of dartington primary, thanks.

absolutelyflawed Fri 22-Mar-13 10:59:32

Anyone please..have experience or knowledge of The Grove or Dartington? many thanks

firstfootforward Fri 22-Mar-13 16:56:55

We've just moved away from Totnes but have friends with children at The Grove and they all speak very, very highly of it. Great teaching and strong sense of community. It's also rated Ofsted 'Outstanding'. The building is very shabby, but due for a major refurb some time soon. It would have been the school our DCs attended if we'd stayed which was one of the reasons it was hard to move away! Don't know much about Dartington, though got the impression from chit chat it was also pretty desirable. Both great options I think.

absolutelyflawed Fri 22-Mar-13 20:02:24

Thanks so much - looks like the Grove has a waiting list so any more views of dartington would be great- in particular if would be welcoming for newcomers and if any children go on to the Torquay grammars..many thanks.

starsmum Wed 26-Jun-13 06:31:39

My DD1 goes to The Grove and we love it. I don't know what the religious references other people were talking about from 2011 but we have never experienced much religious stuff at school. They don't even do harvest festival which I think is a shame. Their assemblies aren't religious as far as I know.

I think the big thing between the three schos is personal preference. The Grove is very popular at the moment and it has a small intake, only one class for each year, a small site and a strong sense of community. Yes, building work is taking place next academic year for 1 year which should improve the buildings but we won't get more space as its limited by location ( in the heart of Totnes).

I haven't heard great things about Dartington to be honest. Again, this could be due to only hearing bad news rather than the positive but what I have heard put me off sending my daughter there. Yes, it's a beautiful school and I am deeply envious of the Forest school stuff and the outdoor pizza oven etc but school is more than just buildings. Academically I've had friends have real problems, they say its chaotic and it's a BIG school.

It would never have worked for us to go to dartington as we live in the centre so The Grove is within walking distance but I didn't get a good feel for my child there.

I have heard great things about St John's in Bridgetown, their head is meant to be fab, they have forest school etc too. I think the most important thing is to visit each school and meet with the Head, get a sense of what each day involves for the children. My DD1 is so happy there, she says she never wants to leave and has loved every single teacher she's had - she gets upset each year at the thought of leaving her current class teacher!

Also, The Grove are keen on supporting yr 6 kids do the 11+ exam for the grammar schools and I think about 6-8 of the 30 kids in yr 6 are going to one of them this year.

I know people who have taken their kids out of Park as their child struggled in such a free, child-led environment, someone who took their child out of The Grove as they struggled in the more structured, goal driven environment and people who want to move their kids from Dartington as they think there isn't enough academic rigour and that its too chaotic.

Ok, I've rambled! Let me know if there's anything else you want to know! smile

gymgirl1 Wed 26-Jun-13 14:29:44

1st time poster but feel I have something to add here. 10mins from Dartington is Broadhempston village primary. Is really strong academically and have strong sport and music. Ofsted report from a couple of weeks ago is outstanding in every area. My children have been really happy there and lots go on to the grammar schools.

starsmum Thu 27-Jun-13 09:37:44

Yes, I hear loads of great things about broadhempston, and Landscove schools. If travelling isn't an issue then those are fantastic. I couldn't really justify it as I can see The Grove from my kitchen window!

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