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St Edmunds, Amesbury, The Royal

(8 Posts)
ZebraDog Wed 29-Oct-14 09:18:20

Just wondering if anyone can help me distinguish between these three schools? We are yet to look around. We have a DS and DD (one very bright, other is more sporty).
We are prepared to split them and don't mind whether they are at co-ed or single sex so will also look at St Ives, Haslemere Prep and the Guildford/Godalming single sex schools but are particularly keen to hear about these three as we are struggling to see how they differ and they are all so close together. How do they compete or is demand for private education in the area just very high?

trinity0097 Wed 29-Oct-14 20:37:00

Demand for independent education in the area is high. First off I work at one of them, but they are all slightly different:
The Royal - the only school in the area to follow a diamond model, so coed when young, separate sexes on different sites until yr 11 then coed 6th form on the girls senior campus. The boys only bit is new.
Amesbury - a traditional coed prep school, with children leaving at 11 and 13 to senior schools.
St. Edmund's - was a coed prep school, now has a senior section to take pupils up to year 11 to meet local demand, coed all the way through.

I would strongly urge you to visit and find out for yourself as the schools really are different and I'm sure that one of them will suit your family.

Most parents of children of different sexes do prefer to have one school for drop offs and pick ups, do look into the logistics if you go down the single sex route.

Happy for you to message me if you want more info on one of them!

BlueStringPudding Sat 01-Nov-14 00:25:48

My 2 DDs both went to the Royal Senior school which was excellent, very nurturing as well as helping the girls achieve their academic potential. I would strongly recommend it.

Have friends with children at Amesbury who seem very happy with it although one of DD1's friends (now at Uni) was quite scathing about it, although he did go to RGS afterwards, so he was there quite a few years ago.

I looked at St Edmund's with a friend fairly recently and it had a very different, slightly more alternative feel to it.

You do really need to go see them and find

BlueStringPudding Sat 01-Nov-14 00:27:04

oops pressed send too soon. Meant to say you need to see them to find out which one a will best suit your DC..

Heypesto Sat 01-Nov-14 07:48:51

We looked at all three recently. We liked the concept of the diamond model of the Royal but when we looked around them it seemed as if they were still working out how it was going to work in practice. We would probably look again in future but for right now we didn't feel very comfortable with it. I agree with bluestring that St Edmunds has an alternative feeling to it. We quite liked it but went on a open day that felt like a bit of a hard sell; I would recommend going around on a personal tour instead. We did this for Amesbury and loved it; we liked it's ethos and the impressive vision of the head I what he is trying to achieve (despite a somewhat awkward personal manner!). Amesbury definitely ticked our boxes as somewhere where kids can find their potential across the whole range of activities not just the academic. And the children we saw were happy and confident.

Now we just have to work out whether we can really afford it....!

But as others have said you need to look yourselves, knowing your children best. They're all good schools; the state primaries around here are good enough for preps to have to offer that extra special something to attract parents.

Good luck!

Heypesto Sat 01-Nov-14 07:50:59

Apologies for typos, bloody phone autocorrect! I do know the difference between its and it's really...

ZebraDog Sat 01-Nov-14 15:02:12

Super, thanks all. We will look around all of them and see what feels right. Friends living in the area said similar about Royal - great concept but wouldn't send their DS there until it is established and used to boys. I am worried that the girls all go on to the senior school which is not what we are currently planning long term - we are aiming for the Guildford GHS/RGS for secondary (obviously completely dependent on whether they get in though).

Amesbury seems great but not that 'down to earth' from the website for some reason. Of course, it will help to look around. St Eds seems a very nice prep and more down to earth/family friendly, but I find 'hard sells' off-putting. Will look around though and make our own judgement as there is lots about the school which does appeal. I am also worried with their new senior department that will make it harder to leave at 11.
Much older DD went to GHS and so having been through the system of a very over-subscribed selective school where most of the worry is about the school choosing you rather than you choosing the school, this all feels very different - quite exciting to have so much choice.

We were unsure of St Ives as it seems small and struggling but then realised it has joined the same 'chain' as GHS - does anyone know if this has led to more girls getting into GHS from St Ives? I believe when Rowan Prep joined the same chain it led to more girls getting places at GHS.

Another one has popped up - Highfield School? Is it good for non-boarders and those who want to leave at 11?

homebythesea Mon 03-Nov-14 12:11:15

you are right to be cautious about potential transfer at 11/13 from a "through" school. They will not prepare the pupils for entrance exams in the same way as a "prep" (clue's in the name!!) will. It's not in their interest to encourage leavers...

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