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Woodford Green Prep v St Aubyns, Woodford

(26 Posts)
VL12344 Thu 04-Apr-13 09:47:26


I have an offer for nurseryplaces for my little oneat both these schools,and wanted to ask for any advice as to which was the better school. I have been to both, both seem good, but would be great to getmore of aninsider view.


blueberryupsidedown Thu 04-Apr-13 11:49:03

I've heard good things about both, I would go for the most convenient one for you - if you drive, how long it will take you to get there, and which one offers morning/afterschool clubs, sports facilities, etc. My kids don't go there though, so it's not an insider view!

squiby2004 Thu 04-Apr-13 21:47:53

Personally I would go for Woodford Prep over St. Aubyns. Smaller school, more niche and better results. Over all a better reputation. We turned down a place at St Aubyns nursery, our DD is at Oaklands instead.

MrsMargoLeadbetter Thu 04-Apr-13 22:17:00

Know people with children at both and they are happy. Traffic is a 'mare around both in the mornings if that affects you.

Not much help!

reninlondon Wed 10-Apr-13 10:01:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GinandChocolate Wed 10-Apr-13 11:37:55

I have direct experience of Oaklands and WGPS DS and DD have been to both. I also looked at St Aubyns.

1) Oaklands: lovely school, very warm and caring but utterly hopeless whenever issues arose. Academically not great. Both DC were behind when they got to WGPS. The kids that passed 7+ were all heavily tutored. Beyond 7 classes are very small and academics not great. Not highly regarded feeder particularly by 11+. DD in particular loved it here.

2) WGPS: very academic. Lots of pushy mothers. Teaching has been great but seems to be an exodus under new Head so hard to say. DS regarded as weak performer by their standards. I didn't pay for tutoring and he still had a choice of 4 excellent independent schools when he left. School very responsive to issues. Great support for children who are struggling in a subject. Very strong links with local schools and highly regarded feeder school.

3) St Aubyns: very geared to 11/13+. Always been a backup option from my perspective. I have friends whose kids went there. 1 family happy, 1 less impressed.

You are right about the move to Chigwell and its hard to say what impact this will have on all of the schools. It appears that Chigwell have been happiest to "raid" WGPS with a view to keeping their own standards as high as possible.

3rbk Wed 10-Apr-13 19:51:45

Both my boys went to St. Aubyns now at Bancrofts. But my daughter will be going to WP nursery this September. I think it really depends on what you want my boys were happy there but I wanted something smaller and more academic for my daughter. If you want a all round education I think St. Aubyns is the place, they are very successful at the 11+.
The negatives, nursery is way too big 50 children! Also there is a element of a relaxed attitude until year 2 as quite a few children take the 7+. It gets more academic in year 3 as those are the children who will be with them in the long run.
Good luck
Let me know If i can be of any more help

Renee77 Sat 22-Jun-13 20:38:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Manisha2012 Thu 09-Jan-14 18:52:15

Hello 3rbk - Congrats to your sons on getting through Bancrofts. Can you elaborate a bit more on how St Aubyns helped your sons crack Bancrofts or was it all your hard work. My son is in 4+ and has an offer from Forest. I am thinking of keeping him in St Aubyns in the hope that he can get to better schools at 11+

your thoughts will be so helpful

Scrummummy Tue 14-Jan-14 16:58:00

we also looked at wps a couple of years ago and decided on Avon House. small school close links to Bancroft's ( swimming ski trips etc) the do practise the 11+. and a number of teacher couples have 1 at Avon House and 1 at Bancroft's. I would highly recommend it.

Bakegood Thu 27-Feb-14 12:32:01

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

cypherk Wed 05-Mar-14 20:50:40

My DS has been very happy at St Aubyn's and they have a rigorous 11+ preparation starting from summer term year 5. Some fantastic teachers there in maths and english. He got City and Bancrofts so we are not complaining.

LadyHarrietdeSpook Fri 16-May-14 13:28:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LadyHarrietdeSpook Fri 16-May-14 13:41:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

wintertimeisfun Fri 16-May-14 18:09:40

fwiw my dd went to/is still at churchfields (state), great school, and got a scholarship to chigwell (without being tutored). i know of alot of other children that got scholarship 'for the three indi schools' all of which went to churchfields. my point is, don't knock state schools and automatically think to get into a good indi your child has to have a/ gone to a private..... & b/been heavily prepared for 11plus before hand. just a thought...

Renee77 Sat 24-May-14 15:53:34

I have seen churchfields and I completely agree. You do not need to go to an independent school to get into an independent secondary.
Some people automatically think that it's a guarantee their child will end up going to Bancrofts and then Cambridge or Oxford.
I used to be a private school snob, but I've seen churchfields and seen the children that go there and it is on par if not better in some respects than both St Auybns and WGP.
I personally believe paying for an education isn't always the best. It depends on the child and the upbringing at home.
It's hard to do it, but don't follow the crowd. Mum's usually know what is best for their child.

woodfordcats Mon 06-Apr-15 09:45:18


Sorry to revive this old thread, but since it is about 2 years old, and parents must have experienced a few of these schools since it was started, is there a revised opinion of the merits of each of these schools?


Newrule Mon 18-May-15 17:01:11

Equally interested in having an update. I am interested in both schools.

Sully957 Wed 20-May-15 19:32:18

Not directly on point but I recently went to the Forest pre-prep open day. Considering they only take 16 girls and 16 boys at 4+ the amount of parents looking around was amazing!

It's definitely put me off applying to get in at 4+ as the chances of success must be akin to winning the lottery! I thought it might be better to try and apply to an all-through school to avoid stress at 11 but I'm rethinking that now. At least at 11 you'd have more choice of schools and also you'd know where your child was academically and where their interests lie.

I know a little of Churchfields school - it is a great school but I suspect I'd have to spend the same amount as private school fees (and the rest!) to buy a house in the catchment!

Newrule Thu 21-May-15 08:32:28

Sully, I meant to attend the open day at Forest on the 16th but circumstances prevented me from doing so. Did not realise so many people would have attended. I thought perhaps 3 kids chasing after 1 place max. Discouraging to hear that it is likely to be even more.

Sully957 Thu 21-May-15 20:57:42

Yes, I suspect the ratio of applicants to places must be fairly high. It's safe to assume that the same children will be trying for Chigwell as well and several other schools, so presumably there will be some degree of overlap.

I have to say though that the sheer numbers looking around the school did not fill me with confidence. I'm not entirely sure how you test a 4 year old anyway!

Newrule Thu 21-May-15 22:42:16

We are also considering Loyola. I do not want to get too caught up in this assessment. Like you, I struggle to see how a few minutes interaction with a 4 year old can lead to any meaningful assessment. They could be having a grumpy day for instance.

Would like an although school but not too bothered if that does not happen.

Alexandra77 Thu 18-Jun-15 07:18:22

Could someone tell me if they have children at Avon House and what they think of it in comparison please?

raisinglittlepeople Tue 03-Jan-17 21:46:48

Hello, I am resurrecting this thread as I am looking at schools for a 4 and 6 year old. Which ones would you recommend?
The children have been school abroad and I am looking for a rounded curriculum.

worriedparent123 Wed 01-Mar-17 06:48:57

To be honest I wouldn't bother with WGPS. Both my children have been through the school. One was offered places at Bancroft's, Chigwell and Forest despite being told that she wouldn't get in anywhere 12 weeks before exams. The other missed places at all three.

One of the school's biggest failings is favouritism. If your child isn't one of the exalted few then they will be 'streamed' into smaller groups where they will not get much attention. Our second took a huge knock to his confidence when he was in a 'lower' group with kids that really struggled with basics.

There's a direct correlation between how pushy a parent you are, and how much attention your child will receive. If like us, you believe that parents shouldn't micromanage their childrens' education, you will be sorely disappointed.

There are a number of inexperienced teachers brought in as part of the previous head's regime. As my first children prepared for the entrance exams we realised that basic techniques had not been taught.

We had to teach the basics and then exam technique ourselves with no support from the school. More recently we were shocked to find out that this same rookie told our children leading up to the exams that she had no chance of ever passing the exams. When our child passed all three newbie stopped talking to our child for the rest of the year. So we succeeded despite not because of WGPS.

Things got worse with my second child. One year at parents evening we were being updated about our child's progress. About 20 minutes in we realised that the teacher was telling us about another child i.e. she didn't even know my child from another after 6 months.

We were given the duff advice again leading up to the exams. WGPS's stock line is to tell parents to apply to all schools in the northern hemisphere as a back-up. After shelling out fees it is shocking that the school takes no responsibility or accountability for their teaching. We recently found out that there are a number of tutors who do roaring trade in 'fixing' Year 6 WGPS teaching leading up to exams.

I'm sure under the new head things will change but there will be a time lag. Looking back we should have pulled out our children at 7 when students left in droves. Unfortunately we bought into WGPS's spin and have suffered as a consequence. Even this year we see results dressed up to give the appearance of success. For instance children who did not gain a place at any of the main 3 schools are not included in the stats. There are several children, some performing at scholarship levels, who fell into this category.

If you can wait, I would. If but looking at other schools in the area might be a better option.

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