Epsom (Surrey) - suggestion on schools for 2021 reception

(19 Posts)
aishspai Thu 11-Feb-21 14:49:06

Hi,
This is my first post on here and my DD will be starting reception this Sep 2021. We are looking to move to Epsom & Ewell area.
I was hoping to get opinion and suggestions of Schools in Epsom and nearby areas (Surrey).
We haven't made up our mind but keen on private school in terms of smaller class size and attention given to each student. We are going through brochure of Ewell Castle, Kingswood House, Chinthurst, Downsend.
Wanted opinion on:
1) Which is the most recommended private school for overall growth? I have a bright and a bit shy DD, so looking to get a balance on academics, as well as sports and arts,. For overall development.
2) Any recommendations/ ideas, how to make decision given most schools do not have any school visits for nearly an year now.
3) Do you think it's easier to have primary school at walking distance or most parents drive to school at early age?

Sorry if these seem like basic questions, but its all new to us and we are just looking to make best decision with house move and selection of school. And given the lockdown, it is not making this decision easy for us. smile

Thanks for your time.

OP’s posts: |
LIZS Thu 11-Feb-21 14:51:13

Aberdour, Banstead prep?

LIZS Thu 11-Feb-21 14:53:34

And bear in mind traffic towards A3 and A217 can be congested at peak times.

aishspai Thu 11-Feb-21 14:58:38

Thanks @LIZS for quick response, I'll consider them as wellsmile. It's really difficult to get a feel for these schools without visiting them.
Do you have kids going to Aberdour, Banstead prep or know someone who does go to Primary?

OP’s posts: |
LIZS Thu 11-Feb-21 15:05:32

No my dc are long past that age. Some of your list will be full already for September 2021, as nursery children will take priority for Reception places, and those waiting on state school places won't release theirs until April. Banstead is still newish so most likely to take applications. Chinthurst is popular as it links to Reigate Grammar.

aishspai Thu 11-Feb-21 15:34:15

@LIZ Makes sense smile . Kingswood house is starting reception and starting to include girls, they said they have places. But I am not sure of others, so will ask them. Thanks so much.

OP’s posts: |
Peebee19 Mon 15-Feb-21 19:41:00

We are thinking of moving to Surrey too and looking at Ewell castle /st.george Weybridge..I have twin boys who are 1 and we are looking at an all through school just to save the stress of exams at so many levels. Have you considered that. Will be following your post smile

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TeaandBook Mon 15-Mar-21 23:48:21

I have just joined mumsnet, lookkng for advice on schools, as 11+ coming up for DS in future. Just to say have both DS and DD at Banstead Prep and very happy with the school. They have been fantastic over lockdown with extensive work set each day, followed by good mix of video and set work since Jan. Plenty to get on with, but very understanding if children could turn in only limited work during these difficult homeschooling times. Facilities great (used to be secondary school site) and teachers are absolutely lovely - worked so hard for virtual provision over lockdown, barely any loss of learning for kids. Caring staff, decent SENCO and pastoral care. Yet I feel push DS appropriately hard on the academic side too. I don't have any negative experiences here, any complaints or issues I ever raised were addressed very quickly. Range of clubs quite good and after school provision over term time and holiday club has been very welcome for a working mum. New head just joined - seems good.

At the same time, I have heard great things about Aberdour and have visited Kingswood House on an open day (very nice, reputation for excellent SEN provision). Believe Ewell Castle is a good place too for pastoral and well rounded care, but only know this anecdotally. Don't know anyone there personally.

Hope this helps.

aishspai Wed 17-Mar-21 12:13:28

Thank you for the response. It's been difficult to get response from Ewell Castle, they only routed us to their website and pre recorded video.
Kingswood house and Chinthurst both gave good response. We need to finalise our move based on the school. Also looking at option of Sutton High, but prefer coed more than all girl's for early year setting.

OP’s posts: |
aishspai Wed 17-Mar-21 12:17:14

Thanks @Peebee19. Hadn't looked at St George's. Had a quick look, it seems it's 30 mins drive from Epsom, but I'll keep it in mind.

OP’s posts: |
whatiknow2015 Wed 17-Mar-21 16:44:27

My children are at chinthurst and we are very happy with it. Nice to have links with Reigate grammar to possibly be able to avoid 11+ exams but we are a way off that so don’t know yet. We can walk which is lovely but lots drive from mostly local areas. I love this area to live in - so close to London yet beautiful countryside just walking out our front door.

MairMum18 Wed 28-Apr-21 21:53:28

@aishspai Ewell castle pre prep is lovely. They really nurture the children and help them to become independent. My son was really happy there and when we left he was such a confident young man.If you ring this number 0208 7868206 and ask for the Head of Early years they will always talk with you.

Epwell Wed 28-Apr-21 22:00:41

Downsend is a fabulous school, the children start off in lodges in Leatherhead, Epsom and Ashtead and then move up to the main site in Ashtead. I would really recommend it. It now goes through to 16. The sporting provision is good, the music is great, the music teaching is particularly inspirational. They just do everything really well and the teaching is great, maths is particularly good. They are just building a new theatre/performing arts building. Kingswood is really focussed on children with dyslexia and extra learning needs and much smaller.

commuters30 Mon 03-May-21 02:19:37

The problem with some of the prep is academics. Depends what you are after really. Pastoral care etc can be amazing in state - epsom states are fantastic.

Ewell castle for example goes through to 18 and the destination of school leavers are nothing to shout about... it would feel like a waste of money to have gone to that school to be honest judging by university destinations.

But maybe their sport and music is really that good and facilities etc. Depends what you are after.

Blueskiessunshine Wed 09-Jun-21 10:10:09

@Epwell hi there, I hope you dont mind me jumping on this post but I have been trying to find out some information about Downsend School and found your post. It's lovely to read your positive review! Do you have children there? I am considering it for my son for when he moves on to secondary. Our other options are Glyn (should just be inside catchment), or trying for Sutton Grammar, but I think our distance gives my son a low chance despite him being very strong academically.

Epwell Wed 09-Jun-21 18:32:08

My DC has now left. I cannot fault the school really, they were fantastic, the nicest thing I found was the lovely relationships between the children and the teachers, they all seemed to get along really well and enjoy each other's company. The pastoral care is fabulous and any hint of bullying is stamped on immediately from a very great height. The sport is really inclusive and encouraging and positive. They are so enthusiastic about everything! They were incredibly supportive to us as a family. Whatever they do, they do it well. The teaching, especially the maths teaching, is excellent. I would suggest that you go and have a look round Downsend or go to one of their open days and have a look at their facebook page. I have friends with boys at Glyn and they are very happy with it, a very different school from Downsend!

Blueskiessunshine Wed 09-Jun-21 18:53:24

@Epwell wow, it sounds perfect for my son! Thank you so much for taking the time to respond. I have a tour booked for Sept, I can't wait to see it!

One question... when you say that Glyn is a different school to Downsend, how do you mean? It sounds quite traditional, and I'm not keen on the EEbac at GCSE. Downsend sounds like it has some great subjects to choose from.

What were the class sizes like at Downsend? My research always brings up different numbers! And do they push strong academics do you know?

Thank you again for your time, it is so much appreciated smile

Epwell Wed 09-Jun-21 19:03:07

Glyn is a big state boys' school with a local catchment, the boys tend to walk or cycle there. It does have an excellent reputation and all the parents I know are very happy with it. Downsend is a small mixed private school, you have to pass an exam, they tend not to have many children with special educational needs, and children are mostly driven or bussed there by parents who can afford the fees. They are very different beasts!

Blueskiessunshine Wed 09-Jun-21 19:26:28

@Epwell yes very different. I thought you might have meant their education style. We are fortunate to have the option for private. But then are also fortunate to have the option of Glyn, which I know a lot of families move house for.

I didn't think an exam needed to be passed for Downsend, I didnt think it was a selective private. Great if it is though!

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