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NW3 private school - Heathside prep or Sarum Hall?

(5 Posts)
DianeWithoutE Mon 17-Oct-16 13:46:58

I've spent hours and hours on Mumsnet hauling over the old posts, and yet my questions remain unresolved, so I'm asking for help please!

For an October girl, who is quiet and creative (meaning messy at this stage), which one of the two schools would you choose?

I like that there is more freedom at Heathside, spending time on the heath every other day, having forest school lessons and lots of hands-on practical studies of habitats, rivers, animals etc. for science.

But I'm concerned if the slightly chaotic environment will mean that teaching will be less efficient, the teachers need to be extremely good at classroom management if they don't ask children to sit quietly and they may have to waste quite a bit of time getting the kids back into a calm state ready to learn? Also, the library and several classrooms are so so small.

On the other hand, Sarum Hall does an amazing job keeping everyone and everything super organised. It was a bit of a cultural shock to me when students stood up to address the headmistress and waited to be dismissed. So I'm worried that the education may be too formal and Victorian, which does not foster spontaneity in my already shy girl who is a bit socially awkward.

Local mums, or those who know the 2 schools well, how would you choose between them? Is my thinking process strange and unnecessary? Thanks a lot!

Reinastroppy Thu 19-Oct-17 21:26:16

Hi there,
personally I would avoid Heathside. I have had personal experience of them and would not recommend. Can't speak for Sarum Hall.

CruCru Thu 19-Oct-17 23:18:32

I don't know Heathside but I have seen Sarum Hall. I liked Sarum Hall more than my husband did. The building was wonderful and the head was a very smart woman. My husband was a bit put off by all the girls standing up when the head came in the room and putting their hands up when she asked a question. I get the impression that everyone there knows just what is expected of them, which may be really relaxing.

NofGreenGables Mon 30-Oct-17 12:29:12

Heathside is a very different beast now to what it was even 4 or 5 years ago. The fees have sky-rocketed but IMHO the proposition has not improved accordingly. Now they seem to be aspiring to be a big co-ed independent school rather than the villagey, charming, home-spun entitiy they once were, but my experience of them says that they do not have the organisation or the facilities to warrant the change, not least the academic results. Bright kids do ok, but not sure what the value-added is. The atmosphere is very relaxed. If you like that then fine but I think it makes for a very chaotic environment where kids can be overlooked.

TheAntiBoop Mon 30-Oct-17 20:33:20

SH is very nurturing and there is a big focus on kindness. i think the teaching ethos is quite modern - I wouldn't use Victorian to describe it at all! For a non-selective school it has decent results.

For a socially awkward girl I think she would find her place - there is lots of mixing between years and that helps a lot too

I can't comment on Hearthside though!

You have to go with your gut and consider which you think she would fit into best - you can't expect her to change to fit in - she is who she is!

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