Maltmans Green VS ST Pauls Wooburn Green VS Claires Court - Private VS State(21 Posts)
I am at full time work and so is my husband. We live near Wooburn Green in South Bucks. We have only 1 D and she starts school this year! We are torn between State VS Private and then if private which one is best?
Our main concern is that we may not have enough time to pick her from school, so she will be with a childminder. She however is in full time nursery now since she was 7 months. She is very able, already read and write and counts and writes till 100. D is very keen to make friends and good in swimming and music.
Money is obviously a factor for going private but we can support her at primary school. But the dilemma is, if the money spent will be worth the value? If we go the private route, which school will be good for her? Are requirement is aftercare and a school that is academically challenging to keep up with her curiosity and inclination for learning.
Any thoughts on whether an outstanding state school like st pauls Wooburn green + childminder+ private tuitions OR Maltmans green OR Claires court will be good match?
We looked t Claires court only for the after care, holiday classes and coaches. Not sure about how good the school is.
We are very confused , so any thoughts will help!!!
I think you are just in the catchment for Beaconsfield High where you are. The "golden ticket" in secondary all girls education right now - grammar school which is basically just like a private school.
If your daughter looks like she would thrive in that sort of environment then I would personally go for a prep school like Maltman's Green. They are in the business of getting girls through the 11+. You would almost certainly need to tutor if you go state. Alternatively, start in state and move to a prep at 7 when she starts Key Stage 2.
Another school for your list might be Pipers Corner. It has amazing enrichment activities across loads of extra curricular activities and I believe also has a bus to Wooburn Green. It does, however, go through to 18 so less emphasis on 11+ prep and if money is tight then explaining she has to leave at 11 might be awkward.
Godstowe is another option which has a great reputation for success at 11 (and 13). A lot of the girls go onto boarding school.
Sorry, I don't know any specifics about the state schools in your area.
I would definitely not go for Claire's Court given your description of your DD. It is not an academic school.
Godstowe is the 'major' girls' Prep in the area. Highfield in Maidenhead used to have a good reputation too, not sure how it is now. If you want something with more of a family feel
When we were in the area we drew up a list of all school that were viable given wrap around care and traffic factors (the gridlock round Marlow etc) then looked at all the schools that would work logistically. It wasn't a very long list.
Claire's Court is not the best. Godstowe is non selective but has some very clever girls who go on to Wycombe Abbey and similar schools at 13 but some go to grammars at 11 plus. Godstowe girls get scholarships to some of the most prestigious girls' schools in the country. Pipers is a bit of a drive from you and no advantage over Godstowe which has wrap around care and loads of sport, art, and fantastic music. As Pipers has a senior school, few leave so it does not really prepare for anywhere else.
Maltmans is also a very good school but I think there is more focus on 11 plus there. Are you Beaconsfield High or Sir William Borlase's Grammar in Marlow? Either way, excellent schools but not quite the same as Wycombe Abbey!
I forgot to say, a major advantage of Godstowe is that if you don't get the 11 plus you can stay until 13 and go for CE. It is more flexible than 11 plus or staying put in the same school until 18.
Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts, very helpful! So definitely Claire's Court is out of question. I quite like Godstowe ,very good aftercare. But I have heard this school do not prepare girls for 11+ , while Maltman's Green has all its focus on it? But not happy with feedback about aftercare at Maltman's and extracurricular is limited for pre-prep. Apparently Maltmans fees are even higher than Godstowe!
We are in catchment of Beaconsfield High and Wycombe girls.
Yes you're right. Maltmans prepares for 11+ whilst Godstowe doesn't (and is very open about it).
Have you seen Maltmans? My children go to private schools in beaconsfield and in the early years educationally there's not much different with state but with boy's school the extra stuff is amazing.
My children are at Borlase and went to their local state primary.
If you're looking for a prep which will prepare you for 11+ St Pirans seems the most popular, I also know people who went to Highmarch, Crown House, Davinies and Rupert House.
Godstowe is great but the majority of girls will stay in tge private sector - and you're looking at £15k plus a year.
Pipers is nice but the only people I know who go there are people who fail the 11+ .
I know a number of people who've been to Claire's Court (primary and secondary) and whilst it is not as academic as some they have been happy and achieved well.
Pipers has an unfair reputation for being a school you go to if you fail the 11+. It always used to be that way but things have changed. Given it's proximity to Wycombe Abbey and some great girls grammars though, it probably won't attract the family looking for an academic school.
What it does offer is great extra curricular stuff though with really decent wrap around care which is what OP was after.
BUT if there is no intention of staying in the private sector at 11 then it's not the right place as many move into the secondary school and 11+ prep is slim to none as a result.
I am not biased on any sector private or state. I am not sure if the money spent at primary is worth or if we should save for sending my D to secondary in a private school if she qualifies in one of the best ones like WA.
Also, looking at my D now, she is very academic and I think with tuition and push at home, she will cross the 11+ hurdle. I am just sceptical about how much time we as parents nee to spend with her if she is in state sector for primary. If that's like a lot each day, we may have an issue.
With the greatest respect your dd is 4 so it's impossible to hazard a guess at what school will be the best fit for your dd in 7 years time.
Choose the right school for your dd now and the rest will fall into place.
Regarding your questions about the Bucks 11+ and Bucks grammars.
My children are at Borlase- one of the most over subscribed Bucks grammars which for the last couple of years hasn't offered to all of catchment. The vast vast majority of children there are from the local state primary schools so you certainly don't need to go private to get in. Yes some people may spend hours prepping for years and years but what a miserable existence for parents and children. The majority of people I know did maybe an hour or 2 a week during year 5 - whether that's with a tutor or at home. Seriously you don't need to do any more!
The Bucks 11+ is changing provider again - who knows what it'll be in 7 years.
My genuine advice re 11+ is enjoy spending time with your dd, chat, do things together and read to her and don't think about doing anything else until Year 5.
Hi Ollycat , you are right! Its not easy to determine what will be good for D even at the present.
As I said I am not fussy on either private vs state! Most of my frds send their children to private. If state schools can produce good students that go to grammar and some to private with help of some tuitions, what are the benefits of private schooling?
Among peers I have seen all doing well irrespective of whether they have gone to state or private. The only difference I have perceived, again I may be wrong, that people going to state sector schools are better equipped for the world , street smart!
If private schools can really add value I will go all the way private, but im not sure!
I have been educated in private school but my husband went to state school, in a different area. We both are in a similarly good jobs and doing well.
Seriously all the people I know at private schools who were aiming for grammar schools tutored outside of the school (whether that was DIY or with a tutor). Going to a private school is no guarantee of a grammar school place.
I did laugh (in a nice way) at your comments about state school kids being more street smart - Marlow is hardly the mean streets 😀
What schools like Godstowe offer is great sport, amazing music and super art plus lots of other activities.class sizes are smaller than state but large enough to provide friends. Some private schools are not as good as this. If you cannot tell the difference, why pay? A number of girls do go to the grammar schools from Godstowe but their specialism is CE at 13 when girls go to top private schools and quite a few get scholarships. Parents choose Godstowe because it has an excellent track record in this type of education but you need deep pockets. If this is not your intended course of action then it may not be for you but if you want a chance of Wycombe Abbey it is the best place to be.
If you want a grammar, very many Bucks Primary schools have children passing the 11 plus. You may need to tutor for exam technique but in leafy areas you will get plenty of bright children in the state primary schools. They are definitely not all in the private schools. Bucks state primary schools do not prepare for the 11 plus. They teach the national curriculum and it is up to you to widen knowledge by reading widely etc.
Always a tough one to find the right school for our children who are all individuals. I have two children at Claires Court School, and feel the school should not be discounted from being an academic school. The education they receive there is excellent, together with the all round care and support for the children as grow in to young adults. Check out their website it may give you a better insight. Good luck!
My dd is a maltie and it does excellent (and cheap) wraparound care.
I like the school a lot.
Uniform is expensive but 2nd hand shop is good too.
Keep in mind childcare for private school holidays is a nightmare as they are so long.
Pm me if you would like more info.
I have two girls at Claires Court, one in junior and one in senior school and I personally cannot recommend it highly enough.
It's not a selective school and therefore I think it has an unfair reputation of not being academic but does cater to the able and those that need more help. However, the most important thing to me is that it is an exceptionally nurturing school and has built confidence and self-esteem in my girls which had been sadly crushed at their last school. Because they are happy they are now both willing learners and take part in every aspect of the school life and have wonderful relationships with all the teachers.
I would suggest you visit all the schools several times and also take your child. Sometimes you just have to go with your gut instinct and what feels right.
How are the parents in Godstowe VS Malties? Super rich or professionals?
Godstowe - super rich, rich, comfortable and fairly ordinary if you are the 11 plus parents who don't want top boarding schools. Obviously parents who are paying for boarding senior schools for all chikdren are not going to be paupers. Gerrards Cross parents aren't likely to be scraping the fees together either. Does it matter? It is what works best for the child not what parental club you belong to.
Well the parents matter as the classmates for myD will come from that background.
Thanks all for your thoughts.
We decided on Maltmans Green! Hope my D thrives there!
I think it's an excellent choice for keeping your options open at 11.
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