Bournemouth area - Primary/Pre-Prep/Pre
We may be moving to Bournemouth, or surrounding area during this school year 2013/14. We have a girl currently in year 2 and one in the nursery of the same school. They currently attend a co-ed prep school where we live.
We suspect it may be easier to get a place in a private school mid-school year and so are looking for some parental guidance on the private schools in the area.
We also have a son who will be 2 at the beginning of 2014 and who is down to attend a pre-school in Sept 2014. Ideally we'd like all 3 to attend the same school so co-ed is our preference. Though it is not necessary that the school has a pre-school (i.e. <3 years)
I don't think we have a huge number of private schools in Bournemouth.
St Thomas Garnets (Parkwood Rd in Boscombe/Pokesdown) is good. It has a preschool which is excellent, then classes of up to 18 children, co-ed up to end of Yr6. It is Catholic but I know quite a lot of non catholic/non religious children there. Is linked to the Big Little Theatre school (or called something similar to that) which is next door and I think all children get individual drama or something as a result. kids seem very happy, polite and well adjusted. the staff I have come across are lovely. preschool I can highly recommend.
Bournemouth Collegiate is another one, I don't know much about it, day and boarding, co-ed, all the way through to 18. Think the junior department (assume it has a preschool) is over in Parkstone direction near Poole, Senior and boarding is near the clifftop (nice location) in Boscombe/Southbourne area.
I think there is another very small private primary school somewhere Charminster way but I don't know what it is called if it still exists.
I would personally say that for under 11s, St Thomas Garnets is probably the best. If we had the money I would have sent our children there. I know Yr1 is a full year, big bulge year in the area but I think the other years usually have some level of space available. New Headmistress this year, she came from another very good school and is supposed to be excellent.
On the non private school side, the schools are all pretty much overflowing. depending on where you were looking to live obviously affects what would be available to you but they are a mixed bag. Some are great, others not so. some are huge (2 schools are 150 intake at reception!) and I think there are none smaller than 60 intake, quite a lot are now 90 intake.
hope that helps a bit - feel free to PM me if you want any other info about the area.
Talbot Heath is a girls school 3-18 which used to take boys in pre-prep (3-7) but may now be girls only.
Yarrells in Poole
Further away but commutable - Castle Court and Dumpton
Castle Court, Dumpton and Yarrells are prep schools which do Common Entrance etc. The others tend to focus more on grammar school entry.
mm and I should add I don't think THomas Garnets focuses on the 11+ particularly going by the destination data. Most from there move on to Bournemouth Collegiate, only one or two a year go on to the grammar schools. Some go on to St Peters but not so many now that numbers of Catholics have gone up. I thought Talbot Heath was just girls, never realised it too boys. Looks a lovely school.
Anyone with insight on pupil life at Talbot Heath school? How happy are the girls? How pressurized is their day? How Academic? Do they have fun most of the day? Any info welcome please
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