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Opinions on Gayhurst school Gerrards Cross

(33 Posts)
Chocisbest Wed 26-Nov-14 20:31:56

Hi, my son has had an awful time at our local primary and we are thinking of moving him to a private school. I wondered if anyone had any 'insider' knowledge about Gayhurst as I am keen not to repeat the same mistakes again as regards type and personality of school. I have been on a school tour but it is hard to make out what a schools culture is like based on an hours tour. Any info will be much appreciated. Thanks

TeenAndTween Fri 28-Nov-14 12:30:02

My Dad went there 75 years ago. Is that any help?

(Obviously not, but does bump it for you!)

CharlesRyder Fri 28-Nov-14 12:38:29

I wasn't that keen when I was looking for DS but I had no good reason, it was just a gut instinct. It didn't feel very vibrant? I think they were making changes though- it had just gone co-ed then.

What are your choices? I really liked the Beacon.

Chocisbest Fri 28-Nov-14 14:42:40

CharlesRyder, I liked the Beacon too, unfortunately, they're full, so no joy there. It's got to a point though with my sons school that we will have to do something sooner than later. Chesham prep is great too, but with a massive wait list. Gayhurst is described as being 'traditional' whatever that might mean. My sons current school is highly sought after and on paper sounds brilliant, but schools have all got very clever with their marketing,so unless you know current parents it is very hard to get a true picture of a school.

There may be other really good schools in the area, but these are the ones I know.

Gxmummy Fri 28-Nov-14 16:31:02

I have friends at both (both happy). Gayhurst is more of a marmite school and is clearly now aiming at the Grammar school market. If your son has had a hard time you could also look at Thorpe. Much smaller I also have a friend whose child was bullied badly who transferred her son there. He is very happy

Chocisbest Fri 28-Nov-14 17:10:23

Gxmummy, you said Gayhurst is a 'marmite' kind of school, what kind of things have people hated about it? Our first preference is the Beacon but with no assurance of a place becoming available and the situation at my sons current school, we may have to go with what's available.
I will definitely ring up Thorpe to see if they have places available, thank you for that. I am also looking at York house but my understanding is that they only prepare for the common entrance, but I may be wrong.

sunnyfrostyday Fri 28-Nov-14 17:17:50

I have a friend with dcs at Gayhurst (and know many children at York House.)

friend is very happy with the school, but I do get the idea that it is very traditional. Tbh, that is what she was looking for, and her sporty and confident dcs are thriving.

I understand that they are phasing out years 7 and 8, so guess will be focussing on 11 plus?

York House is a marmite school!

Chocisbest Fri 28-Nov-14 17:37:57

Sunnyfrostyday, thanks for that. I haven't been too sure about York House either. My son was bullied but he handled that OK; what has finally pushed us over the edge, is the arrival of a new teacher who has decided to 'make an example' of my son. He is not a troublemaker by any means, and is fairly liked in his class for his witty observations. He is fairly worn out from having his play taken away on most days for really trivial things, like not using a ruler properly, I kid you not!
So for us, good teaching staff who are happy to let boys be boys is vital.

They did tell at Gayhurst, that they are phasing out year 7 and 8. The Beacon only had ten boys in year 7, so maybe all the bucks schools will be focussing on the 11plus? In what way is Gayhurst traditional? Are they very strict with discipline or just ultra sporty?

sunnyfrostyday Fri 28-Nov-14 19:09:26

Just the classic idea of a traditional prep school, I suppose. Friend's dcs are busy, sporty but not overly academic children. Friend likes boundaries, but not overly strict, and it suits her.

Are you in Bucks or Herts? Other friends chose Westbrook Hay (nr Hemel) over York House.

Are you in the private system at the moment or would you consider state?

Chocisbest Sat 29-Nov-14 18:11:24

We are in Bucks. My son has been in the state system in an 'outstanding' school, but I have since learnt that the ofsted ratings can be manipulated and really word of mouth from parents is best.
I have no preference for either, so long as it is a good fit.

sky44 Sat 29-Nov-14 20:54:46

I live in Bucks too, have you thought of getting on the waiting lists for some of the state primary schools that have a reputation for being good/nurturing? I live near Great Missenden so am thinking of Lee Common infants school for under 7s, or Prestwood Junior if over 7? Also my daughter is at Gateway School (a private primary), she's only in the nursery but the feeling is of a warm, friendly school. Children seem to go on to a range of schools (anything from Wycombe Abbey to the local very good upper school).

Chocisbest Sat 29-Nov-14 22:24:27

We are in Little Chalfont. Would definitely consider Gateway or any good (warm,friendly) school. If you get on a wait list for a state school, can they force you to take a place in other schools which may not be as popular? The school my son attended is down the road for us and is our catchment school. His school is currently filled with very pushy, pretentious parents and the learning atmosphere is tense and stressful. Most of the children have been getting extra tuition since they were 6, and most have forgotten the concept of play.Not a good place to be a child,IMO.

poisonedbypen Sat 29-Nov-14 22:35:16

Davenies? I don't know much about it but round here it seems to be the alternative to Gayhurst. I think they all lose a lot of pupils at 11 to the grammars.

CharlesRyder Sun 30-Nov-14 13:55:24

It's not a great area for letting kids be kids, which is one of the many reasons we have moved to the West Country!

I think Westbrook Hey would be worth a look for you, or maybe Claire's Court in Maidenhead. Partly depends on the logistics of your travel arrangements. You really need to visit lots of places and work out which one has the right 'feel' for you.

Lindy2 Sun 30-Nov-14 13:55:49

I don't have personal experience but know of someone with a child at Aldenham in Watford. She is actually an education professional and wanted a good quality all round education. She is very happy with it.

Gxmummy Sun 30-Nov-14 20:04:13

I agree with your comment re letting kids be kids CharlesRyder. My suggestions for OP are Thorpe House and Gateway. Re my comment earlier about Gayhurst - it does seem to polarise views. Nothing worrying though.

sunnyfrostyday Sun 30-Nov-14 20:36:02

Agree that you are in an area where most of the schools are high pressured, and parents are pushy! That applies to privates as well as state.

Westbrook Hey may suit you, if you don't mind the drive. A friend has two dcs, one more academic than the other. Both are very very happy.

I would keep the state schools in mind. Have any got places?

MillyMollyMama Sun 30-Nov-14 21:21:24

Don't lots of boys go to Caldicott? That would be my choice as it is a real boys' school and goes through to 13. Berkhamsted Collegiate has a prep dept.

I am sure some state schools will have places around Amersham but probably not the ones you aspire to. Little Chalfont has always been very pushy and children who are not particularly bright can feel like outsiders. This is not a new phenomenon believe me. Also, there are very pushy parents at The Gateway! The need to succeed at 11 plus is everything there (that is what they are paying for after all!) and very few go to the local secondary modern. I would also ring round all the state primaries you can travel to and see if anyone has spaces, then visit. You might get lucky.

Karoleann Sun 30-Nov-14 21:42:30

Caldicott is lovely, but they have to board at 9 - which is not for most parents.
I have a friend with three children at gayhurst and she's really happy with it. Facilites are good and seem to get fairly good results.

Gxmummy Sun 30-Nov-14 22:41:47

Karoleann - it is compulsory boarding at 11 at Caldicott

CharlesRyder Mon 01-Dec-14 06:47:31

I loved Caldicott, especially as it was the closest school to our house, but the compulsory boarding put me off.

Gxmummy Mon 01-Dec-14 09:37:50

If not too far, the other suggestion I would have is Lockers Park - which seems lovely

Chocisbest Mon 01-Dec-14 10:49:15

Well, Westbrook Hay have asked for a minimum 2 day assessment! None of my job interviews were that long! In addition, before my son can be assessed, I need to meet with the headteacher so he can assess my suitability for the school. I had trouble keeping a straight face!

I would be happy with a state school, unfortunately all the children in Britain appear to have moved here as there are no places available!
May end up home schooling, I am certainly better qualified than some of the teachers he has had.....

Gxmummy Mon 01-Dec-14 11:31:07

minimum 2 day assessment :-O

CharlesRyder Mon 01-Dec-14 12:05:01

Hmm, that kind of blows their easy going reputation out of the water!!

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