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Oxford/Abingdon Private Primaries

(13 Posts)
Arius Sun 29-Sep-13 15:43:19

We're thinking of moving our 6 yr old DD from her current state school to private primary from next year (year 3). We've made appointments to look around a number of schools but don't know many people at them so would really like to get opinions on what they are like in practice.

DD is very young for the year and seems fairly bright (top sets for everything and has always done some classes with the year above). She's very imaginative, loves ballet/music/drama, not especially sporty. She's quite malleable and has been bullied quite a bit by some dominant girls in her year (hence the wish to move) so her confidence has taken a bit of a battering. Generally she gets on well with others but is quite young socially and not very streetwise.

For us it's important to have somewhere nurturing and good on the pastoral side. We also want to ensure she's likely to be able to get into any of the secondaries (assuming she turns out to be bright as she appears) and would like good extra-curricular in the things she enjoys.

Would be really grateful for any opinions on schools that sound good for her. On paper we have a preference for The Manor in Abingdon but we've not been anywhere yet.


EverythingIsSoThrowback Sun 29-Sep-13 18:19:02

There's OHS Prep and Headington Girls in more central Oxford.

Lonecatwithkitten Sun 29-Sep-13 18:48:51

I know several people with children at The Manor who are very happy with it. They were all looking for a traditional prep school.

ancientbuchanan Sun 29-Sep-13 18:51:50


Arius Sun 29-Sep-13 20:12:48

Thank you for the replies.

OHS has always had such a reputation for being an academic hothouse. I'm not sure how accurate that is now - and that would be helpful to know. DD seems able but I would worry about being in a place that is so focused on academic success. The prep school facilities also look a bit cramped, esp outdoor space.

I think the Dragon fees may make things a bit too tight (we also have a toddler who we'll have to commit to doing this for if we move DD...).On which point, fees for two will be a substantial commitment for us (albeit one that we can afford with some quite conservative budgeting) but I imagine that there are some very wealthy parents at these schools. Would DD stand out if she didn't have the pony/ski-ing holiday/winter in the Caribbean lifestyle?

Thanks again for the replies

FranKatzenjammer Sun 29-Sep-13 21:26:08

I'm not up to date, but The Manor always used to be fantastic. Excellent for music, not sure about drama. The parents seemed pretty affluent but probably not all were.

summerends Sun 29-Sep-13 23:21:01

Chandlings the Manor? Mixed, also goes up to 11.

Arius Mon 30-Sep-13 13:23:51

Thank you. We've put Chandlings on the list to look at. The grounds look incredible!

soda1234 Mon 30-Sep-13 16:42:14

Have you considered St Hugh's, Carswell?
Not a current parent, but I know from those who are that music and drama are really good now.

Arius Thu 03-Oct-13 11:55:07

Many thanks Soda, it looks lovely but a bit of a trek for us with work unfortunately.

Helen231 Thu 03-Oct-13 22:15:46

Hi - we love, love, love the Manor. Great balance between being academically stretching & developing the individual child more broadly. Loads of sport & outdoors stuff. Really supportive & friendly. The greatest tribute to it?b- I have never heard another parent complaining about any aspect of it! All the teachers we've encountered are fab, the head is widely loved & respected, and the facilities are perfect with huge amounts of outdoor running around space. We are by no means super wealthy parents (!) but have never found this to be an issue. Open day Saturday!!!

Arius Sat 05-Oct-13 23:20:21

Many thanks for your reply Helen. We went to the open day and really liked it. It seems very warm and friendly though. It's very helpful to hear an inside perspective.We have a younger boy (not yet school age) and not sure what to do about that as it is very girly (and he is not!)

Thanks again

Helen231 Sun 06-Oct-13 21:00:48

Funnily enough we have a son there who is very boy-sy & he is very happy. He has a good group of friends (all boys!) & all the toys they play with are 'boys' toys. Quite a few do move on at 4 - but the school work very hard to keep them till they're 7 & put a lot of effort into justifying why that's the right thing to do - of course parents may or not be persuaded, but they certainly give you food for thought! We've certainly not regretted it...

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