Gateway school - Great Missenden

(9 Posts)
Kittyinthegarden Sun 14-Jun-20 23:03:26

Anyone have dc at the Gateway in Missenden? And are you happy? Trying to decide whether to move ds from his state primary. We think he would benefit from smaller class size. I know it’s not as big as other private schools in terms of facilities but I don’t think we’re looking for something flashy and we want him to have a crack at 11+ rather than looking for 13+ public school. And just really want somewhere nurturing with great enrichment.
Obviously it’s a difficult decision to make in current situation as no-one quite knows what’s going to be in place in Sept but I’d like to hear from anyone with experience of this school.

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Kittyinthegarden Tue 16-Jun-20 23:16:32

Anyone? I gather the current head is leaving so would love to hear someone’s thoughts if they know the school.

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RaspberryBlonde Wed 17-Jun-20 16:21:42

No DC at the school but know people who go. They are all happy with it. As you say, compared to other local preps it has fewer facilities so it will depend on what enrichment you are hoping for. If your DS is into sports for example, other options might offer more.

Their intake comes from a relatively wide area so local friends may be harder to come by than at state primary.

Kittyinthegarden Wed 17-Jun-20 18:26:56

Thanks for commenting, that’s good to know. Not especially sporty so far but I would like a little more encouragement in that area. A bit more outdoor space would be preferable but I think if everything else is good then it’s ok. Thanks.

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RifRafia Sat 20-Jun-20 19:40:07

My son moved there is Sep (year 2) after bullying issues at his previous state school. Gateway has been amazing for him, so nurturing and he has just loved it there. Lots of sports opportunities with specialist PE teachers. It's honestly the best decision we've ever made to send him there, he is like a different child. Would recommend it in a heartbeat, feel free to message me if you want any other info.

Kittyinthegarden Mon 22-Jun-20 13:39:09

Thank you RifRafia, that’s great to hear, especially that your son now has a really positive experience of school, I think we’ve made our decision to go ahead with. And I really like that whilst they don’t have the biggest site, there’s probably a lot more sports opportunities than at schools which are bigger.

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My0My Mon 22-Jun-20 14:49:43

You would expect more sport opportunities at a private school. You would expect all to have specialist sports teachers. Its what you pay for. State schools would not expect to compete with this but many state schools do have very decent sport if teachers are keen. Little schools struggle to get teams together for obvious reasons.

I live fairly close by. It is one of these schools where parents expect DC to pass the 11 plus. For the ones who do not, they are a minority, and it cannot be great for them. Failing is a lot more obvious. If your DS is not doing really well at a decent Bucks primary, I woud be wary about thinking the Gateway can be the magic bullet. There are prep schools with better sport facilities not a million miles away.


Kittyinthegarden Mon 22-Jun-20 21:23:31

You’re right My0My re sports provision often being V different in state/private. My ds is actually not obviously sporty at this stage, I just want somewhere he’s going to be encouraged... we have looked at some of the other private schools in the area, and certainly some of them have much more impressive facilities but we just liked the atmosphere of the Gateway. I actually quite like the fact it’s not big and flashy, but I’m sure there are many who would disagree on this.
I have no idea whether he’ll pass 11+ or not but I wouldn’t rule out possibility he could. He’s not struggling where he is currently, I just don’t feel he’s thriving. It’s an interesting point you make about the kids who fail 11+ then feeling as such - I’m sure that could be the case sadly, but surely most/all private schools in the area have similar pass rates so arguably this is a phenomenon at all such schools? Of course some schools go to 13, so those kids may not go through this, but they’ll still be undertaking exams for selective schools, with similar pressure.

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My0My Wed 24-Jun-20 00:29:46

Well my DD2 went to another private school and a few took the 11 plus but not the majority. Yes there was a certain amount of angst to get the independent school you wanted (mostly boarding) but there was a huge choice of these and not all parents were looking at highly academic schools. So I didn’t feel much pressure. DD had no 11 plus prep and didn’t take it. So we could afford to side step pressure. For people I know who cannot afford private secondary, the angst of the 11 plus defines their lives and drives everything they do. You would be entering this world. That’s what the Gateway is about. And the majority of the parents there. Few will be looking for Harrow or Stowe.

They did sit exams for independent schools or CE where DD2 went but you can tailor your choice to fit. You wouldn’t apply for Wycombe Abbey if you were a Stowe child.

The problem with Bucks is that there are few middle ground secondary moderns. Parents have paid school fees to get DC to the grammar. There is a huge weight of expectation. I didn’t pay for mine to get to WA or a grammar. It didn’t matter one jot that she wasn’t that bright. She found her niche and that was plenty good enough. Unfortunately parents who only want a Bucks grammar have no back up school they like and in mid Bucks, there are limited private secondary schools. So if you are not grammar school material and you want private day for a boy, there are few options. Well one really. And that’s in Hertfordshire.

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