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Harrodian or Merlin or ?

(8 Posts)
gilson Sat 22-Oct-16 13:39:29

Does anyone have any advice at all to offer on choosing Harrodian vs Merlin for 4+?

We have a confirmed place for DS at Harrodian, at the Merlin and another pre-prep for Reception 2017 and need to decide now - very torn!

Thank you very much smile

MMmomDD Sat 22-Oct-16 18:18:19

Merlin only goes to 7/8+, right?
While your child could stay at Harrodian all the way - if I am not mistaken...

I, personally, think 7/8+ is a cruel exam for young boys. So - I'd choose a school where there is an option to stay. And if your child turns out to be highly academic - I'd take 11/13+ and move them later to a more academic school.

timeforachangeofusername Mon 24-Oct-16 08:40:03

I think Merlin is fantastic - great teachers, great support staff and an amazing head. If you like both, I would choose the school which is closest to you. It makes a big difference to everyone, particular when pick ups become later higher up in the school.

sanam2010 Mon 24-Oct-16 18:31:02

Merlin is amazing, to my knowledge it's owned by the same people who own the Harrodian, so DS could always go to the Harrodian at 8+ anyway if it turned out 7+/8+ to the more selective schools was too much. It depends on your child really, if DS seems bright and mature, I would give the Merlin School a go, I only hear the most amazing things about it from parents.

MMmomDD Mon 24-Oct-16 23:39:53

Sanam -are you sure about the automatic entry to Harrodian at 8+?

Most schools don't have it any more. Wetherby pre-prep stopped automatic entry into their own (!) middle school - Wetherby prep at 8+.

So - being owned by the same owners does not necessarily guarantee transition between schools.

sanam2010 Tue 25-Oct-16 10:12:09

MMmomDD, there is no automatic transfer, so there is never a guarantee, but I would say it is not difficult. Most kids are aiming for Colet Court / Westminster / Latymer / Shrewsbury House and go there, so the more relaxed / less academic or ambitious probably end up trying to go to the Harrodian. Last year 8 kids went to the Harrodian, so I would assume whoever wants to can transfer, unless it really isn't the right fit.

gilson Wed 26-Oct-16 00:20:19

Ahh wonderful to hear such enthusiasm for Merlin, thank you sanam and timeforachange - so good to hear especially as you sound well-informed! Actually echoes what I have heard from Merlin parents. Warm, buzzy, lively but pretty pushy (for want of a better word) and academic.

It's actually not the closest school to us but we can manage it and figure they are only there for 3 years; slight problem with DD as there are just so few girls it apparently makes it a bit lonely in terms of friendships (e.g. just a couple of girls in each class), even if you think your DD can weather the boy-heavy climate there. But DD is still young enough for us to find another option whether in Barnes, Putney, Fulham or nearby (guess that's another thread grin )

I agree sanam you are totally right about the transfer to Harrodian; no guarantee but essentially entirely possible if desired. So yes as you say it definitely provides a good alternative plan if the other options don’t appeal in a couple of years.

timeforachangeofusername Wed 26-Oct-16 09:50:20

The acceptance into the Harrodian is certainly much more likely than if you were applying from another school. As to the academic nature of the Merlin school, the thing I like about it is that those kids who are applying for 7+ are supported, those kids who are not applying for 7+ are looked after equally well. It is not a one size fits all approach. Rightly so!

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