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If dd goes to Godstowe, where does ds go?

(11 Posts)
NicolaMarlowsMerlin Tue 08-Mar-16 09:10:19

i there

We are currently trying to figure out where to live and where to send the children to school - anywhere roughly west of London with a do-able commute into west end of London. Currently live other end of the country so flexible - we will move near the relevant school(s). Godstowe can offer our dd a place for 2017 but not sure where we should look at for our son. I hear mixed things about Davenies and Caldicott, Chesham prep seems too far towards the M1 (we want more village/rural living rather than suburbs like Amersham).

Any thoughts? He is a July baby currently in year 2 at a lovely country prep school up north. Doing well and caught up a lot this year having struggled to get confident with writing last year. Good (not exceptional) reader. Very strong in practical stuff like science and quite sporty. Big character and very articulate! ALso strong in music and drama. We would look at Eton (if he continues to accelerate academically) or places like teddies in Oxford, Wellington etc., later - will obviously depend how he develops. We have learnt that he excels when he feels confident and settled, when he feels he can't do something he tends not to try. Has had a really amazing class teacher this year who has totally cracked how to get him to do his best work and he has come on in leaps and bounds. So we don't want a super academic school for him right now, somewhere with a good balance of activities and where the children are encouraged to be their best - whatever that means for them.

We are also looking at a range of other schools where both kids could go like Dolphin school in twyford, dragon in Oxford (but long commute for me), chandlings (same). They did not get a place at Lambrook. Dd also has a place at the Abbey in reading (for 2016).

I appreciate this is a rather broad ask but would appreciate any real life experiences, we just don't know this part of the country that well and have no personal experience of the schools other than the dragon as we have some friends whose children have been there.

WishIWasMagical Tue 08-Mar-16 12:16:53

Not sure what negative feedback you may have heard from Caldicott but I would definitely visit and see for yourself. DS was there. It's a great school. Have you also looked at Cothill House? It's all boarding though, not sure how you feel about that. If you don't mind full boarding you may as well also consider Ludgrove seeing as you are interested in Eton as a destination school. Lots of choice for girls as well in Berks \ Oxfordshire. Oxfordshire not that bad to commute to West of London. Dragon is amazing and would be my first choice for a co-ed but perhaps not as rural as you may wish.

Zodlebud Tue 08-Mar-16 13:29:03

There are some lovely country preps which fit with what you are after further East than you are looking at present, but the drive to Godstowe would be a nightmare.

Have a look at Beechwood Park, Westbrook Hay and Edge Grove for co-ed options. Both send children to boarding school each year, including "the big names", although admittedly probably three quarters at least go to local day schools. The most noted boys school for preparing for boarding in that area is Lockers Park.

Don't be put off by the proximity to the M1 over there. There are some gorgeous villages - check out Aldbury, Little Gaddesden, Chipperfield, Sarratt and Aldenham to name a few.

So long as you are a sensible drive to one of the stations which have trains going to London Euston then your commute would be a breeze. Stations in this area include Tring, Berkhamsted, Hemel Hempstead and Watford Junction. I can do a door to door commute to the West End in an hour if I time it right and there are no delays.

Oxford to London would be do-able but I'm not sure it's a commute I would like to do every day.......

bojorojo Tue 08-Mar-16 14:19:31

Godstowe is a great girls' school and many girls go to the top boarding schools from there. The parents I know who had sons - nearly all went to Caldicott. I think if you look at Caldicott destinations, you will see they are in line with your thinking. The children I know who went to Chesham Prep are grammar school bound or independent day school day school such as Berkhamsted. The same is the case at The Beacon in Amersham. If you look at these schools, fewer stay until the age of 13 and do common entrance. If you are as far East as Little Gaddesdon etc, then Godstowe is too far. Frankly I would not look further than Caldicott if you might want Eton.

Amersham is NOT the suburbs by the way! I live quite near Amersham and there are penty of villages such as Chalfont St Giles, Penn and Little Missenden that are great. There are some lovely villages around Beaconsfied too. Marlow is lovely. You need to come down and have a look!

Zodlebud Tue 08-Mar-16 15:13:42

Agree on coming down to have a look. The area round Chesham Prep is VERY countrysidey and you might be discounting some great schools based on perception than reality of locations!!!!

I don't have boys but also agree that Godstowe has the best reputation round here for getting their girls into the top boarding schools.

However, not all schools fit all children. Godstowe felt right for my youngest but not my eldest and I couldn't cope with the logistics of them being in two different places. Don't just go on leaver's destinations for schools as a measure of success though - the only way to tell is to visit them and see if there is a good fit. Any decent prep round here would see you well for Common Entrance and 11+.

bojorojo Tue 08-Mar-16 17:30:22

However not all preps around here get boys to Eton! Many only aim for the grammar schools. Horses for courses!

NicolaMarlowsMerlin Tue 08-Mar-16 18:42:13

Thank you everyone, really appreciate it. We went to Godstowe today and really liked it, it would be a brilliant fit for Dd. We also liked moulsford for ds - but that combo would not work geographically. Dragon was really not a great visit, won't say too much about it here.

We have looked at houses more out along the m40/m4 corridor as far as pangbourney area, have not looked Amersham way (except on right move!). Not yet seen anything we love.

We have agreed today we need to go and see caldicott for ds and THe Manor for dd if ds went to moulsford.

Argh! And Thank you! cake

WishIWasMagical Tue 08-Mar-16 22:42:05

Marlow is awful if you want to get to Godstowe \ Caldicott. Burnham Beeches, Beaconsfield, Jordans\Seer Green, Chalfonts all lovely. Good luck! PS Shame about Dragon.

Whotookmyruler Wed 09-Mar-16 13:45:12

I have a lot of friends with children at both of these schools (Godstowe and Caldicott) - Godstowe, heard a lot of good things about. Caldicott - also good, but bear in mind it is VERY sporty. Also seems quite rigid - if you have a different view than the head, this can be problematic

Sprig1 Wed 09-Mar-16 16:21:59

Dolphin School would definitely get my vote. An exceptional school that will really get the best out of your children, what ever their strengths. Head and shoulders above the competition. They have a disproportionate number of their alumni who have gone on to great things, in all fields.

ailyroot Fri 23-Sep-16 09:18:07

Hi all
I have a DD who will go to Godstowe in 2017, as a foreigner to the UK, I searched a lot on this site and wonder why there seems not many families living in High Wycombe go to Godstowe? physical visit is not really a easy option for us, so your detailed and honest opinions are highly appreciated.

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