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St Swithuns school in Winchester or Abbey School in Reading

(13 Posts)
Shandeepa Fri 10-Aug-12 23:46:46

Dear Mums, Please can you give me some advice on these schools? I know Swithuns has boarding/Day . while Abbey is Day school.

I am considering to have my DD to Private school not for boarding though. She is 3 years old and I live in basingstoke. Please can you throw some light on these schools? How is their primary schools? Are these schools successful for getting kids into Grammar schools? Any advice will be helpful please..

Auntyarms Sat 11-Aug-12 22:13:41

Hello there

Well, am not sure about private schools as am not in that boat (for now) but...I grew up in Winchester and St Swithuns does have a fab reputation. The commute from B to Winchester twice a day could be grinding - have you also looked at some of the schools in Newbury? St Gabs is meant to be great..

Sorry to confuse you even more but...Oh one last thought....Princes Mead is a lovely school and the right side of Winch to do an easy run from Basingstoke - down the roman road that goes into Kingsworthy from the same road that runs past the big Hatch Warren Sainsbury's - you know the one A31?

Good luck with it!

goGBTeacher Sun 12-Aug-12 17:24:36

I think either of those commutes with a reception age child would be a bit much (and I am planning to do 20mins each way for my DS, so not one of the 'walk to school' brigade). The traffic around the Abbey will not be great in the mornings.

Have you considered St Andrew's in Pangbourne (I seem to be recommending it to everyone o here!). It is a lovely, lovely school and would be a much easier school run for a little one. You could use it as a precursor to Downe House.

Shandeepa Mon 13-Aug-12 13:19:22

Hello, thanks for taking time to post this. The reason for St Swithuns is because it is showing 3 on league tables. Will definetly look in to St Andrews.. Can you let me know why parents choose Pre-prep only private schools Vs Private school including Senior schools? Is there any reason? Are focussed prepeps specialised in driving entrance in to Grammar schools etc?

Chandon Mon 13-Aug-12 17:59:29

as far as I know, Hampshire has no grammar schools, so not sure there is lots of coaching for grammar entry.

St Swithun's is a very academic girls only school. Quite a lot of pressure, in the higher years (secondary) known for having quite a lot of anorexia problems. I have never thought it a very happy school, even though it is outstanding, if that makes sense. It suits very confident academic and/or talented girls, and I know some friends who just love the school.

Princes Mead is lovely and small scale, and maybe better suited to a more sensitive child?

You will just have to go and visit, with a list of questions.

goGBTeacher Mon 13-Aug-12 19:31:34

The main reason for choosing a stand alone prep school is that by the age of 13 they know your child really well and can advise you as to which senior school would be a good fit for your child. They have no axe to grind.

At 3 it's impossible to know what will suit a child in the 6th form!

There are counter arguments for 3-18 schools. I went to one myself and it served me very well. I have, however, chosen a 3-13 Prep for my DS as I really can't predict what he will need or want later.

Shandeepa Tue 14-Aug-12 14:38:15

Hi Chandhon, Thanks for your valuable advice. I will book an appointment with Princess Mead and go with a list of questions.. and I will compare this with Swithuns are both are equal distance from me - about 20 miles. Many thanks again

Shandeepa Tue 14-Aug-12 14:39:43

Hi Go GB Teacher, How do I measure performance of a Junior school.. I am sure you have done all the research? Can you please throw some ideas on what I need to look for as they dont have any entrance etc? Thanks in advance

goGBTeacher Tue 14-Aug-12 17:18:30

With a prep school you have to look at their leavers destinations. For example how many of their children get into selective/ good schools and how many scholarships/ exhibitions etc do they get to good schools.

Looking at a map, I think Daneshill would be worth a look for you. They have recently got academic scholarships to both Swithuns and Abbey so they would be able to tell you, at 12, which your DD was most suited to.

Daneshill

Shandeepa Tue 14-Aug-12 22:42:01

Thanks GoGB Teacher for a great insight. I will further my investigations and will let you posted

acebaby Wed 15-Aug-12 09:21:07

A friend has her children at Daneshill - and says it is lovely. It is academically good and very caring. I have heard mixed reports about St Andrews. Some people find it excessively 'social' and say that the class sizes are too small. In the past it did not feed to the 11+ grammars (mainly to boarding schools), but with the economic situation, this may have changed. On the other hand, other people I know love it (sorry, not very helpful there)

A commute into Reading from Basingstoke with a reception age child is very difficult (I speak from experience!). If you are considering Reading though... The Abbey is a very good school academically, but some people find it too intense. It depends on your DD's personality. Crosfields is an alternative. They have a good record with Reading School, but have not taken girls long enough for reliable data on Kendrick. Their pre-prep is very good and less academically pressured than the Abbey (but massive!)

In your position, I would consider a local school for now (decent primary or pre-prep), and then re-think at 7. The school day is so short for little ones that the commuting takes over your life. They also benefit from nearby friends and play dates. We started off with a commute, very similar to yours and then moved DS1 to a more local prep after a year, because we were all so exhausted by the commuting. PM me if you want more details or information.

I hope that helps.

Wink1e Wed 01-Nov-17 23:45:39

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

BubblesBuddy Thu 02-Nov-17 11:38:34

Yet another post from Wink rubishing St S, (this is the third) and all have said exactly the same thing. Now this in the primary section which is utterly irrelevant! Also reviving another dead thread so Wink appears to be out for revenge!

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