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Crownhouse School High Wycombe

(24 Posts)
topsi Sun 21-Mar-10 08:22:25

Any body any experiences??

Cortina Sun 21-Mar-10 11:05:05

I knew a few who had used it a few years ago, not very favourable reviews I have to say.

Things may have changed of course.

topsi Sun 21-Mar-10 11:50:59

How many years Cortina, and what were their issues if you don't mind me asking.

Cortina Sun 21-Mar-10 14:02:17

Let me see, probably about 2006. I can't remember exactly what the issues were, a couple in a baby group I attended had older children there.

Something to do with the school being small and allegedly not well run and teaching not high quality. Didn't tune in too much as it wasn't a school we would be considering later on.

Aren't there other preps in the area that are very good? I know Godstowe is apparently excellent these days, but maybe only if you have girls (boys to 7).

topsi Sun 21-Mar-10 14:59:28

Think there has been a change in head teacher since then. The school is small but is in top 150 in country for results. Godstowe is beyond our means I am afraid Crown House is less expensive because of the small grounds etc. A big decision!

IAmTheEasterBunny Sun 21-Mar-10 15:17:56

Crown House is moving premises soon.

topsi Mon 22-Mar-10 10:35:01

anyone else??

Cortina Mon 22-Mar-10 10:58:15

Out of interest, ball park what are the differences in fees between Godstowe and Crown House?

Do you have boys or girls?

Words cannot describe how impressed I was with Heatherton House (girls from 7 from memory). I went during term time and the teachers in about 6 classrooms I visited appeared outstanding, I loved their philosophy etc too.

Heatherton is in Amersham/Chesham Bois and may be too far away for you?

High March in Beaconsfield also V V good but girls again.

topsi Mon 22-Mar-10 11:51:20

Crown House is two thousand and something per term, Godstowe is four thousand and something, but then Godstowe has its own swimming pool/tennis courts etc, Crown House has none of that.
The homework times set start off at half an hour in year one and goes up to an hour and a half in the last two years. Another school I looked at the times were much lower.
I am a bit worried that they push the children very hard to achieve their results what do you think??

bellissima Mon 22-Mar-10 13:56:47

It is certainly cheaper than the other preps round here (High March and Heatherton are about three thousand and something - Godstowe is traditionally more expensive and has a longer day (and tends to feed to the major girls' schools at 13) - I'm not from the Wycombe area but have heard that it is a real 'grammar school crammer' with basically one aim in mind.

bellissima Mon 22-Mar-10 14:06:48

PS - I think that level of homework sounds a bit steep for primary school children - certainly my DDs do nothing like that (more like a 'good half hour' for my Year 6). Another point to bear in mind - if they quote you percentage pass rates for any exam, do ask whether the whole year group takes it.

topsi Mon 22-Mar-10 14:23:29

they say 80% get into grammar schools the rest independant secondary. Impressive results!

bellissima Mon 22-Mar-10 14:37:19

Yes indeed. But some preps round here encourage the whole year group to take the 11 plus, whilst others discourage those who might not pass - and sometimes the percentage 'pass' rate that is quoted is only a percentage of those more likely candidates who actually took the exam. Practically every prep in Bucks will get children into independent secondary as there is a range of private secondaries with differing entrance requirements round here. Worth knowing (if you are interested) which independent secondaries. Another question to ask is whether children leave at the end of Year 5 - often parents will move a child who is unlikely to pass the 11 plus into the primary section of an indie secondary.

Cortina Mon 22-Mar-10 14:50:07

Godstowe used to have a reputation of an academic hothouse. The girls, IMO, seemed robotic and afraid of some of the teachers etc.

Since the new head took over a few years ago the landscape has changed dramatically. The Good School's Guide entry says as much.

I have a friend whose daughter skips into school and absolutely adores her time there. She isn't particularly an academic type (although quite bright).

My friend is planning to go down the 11 plus and Bucks Grammar route at 11 with her daughter - some go on to State schools from Godstowe, although not many. I do get the impression that there are more now than previously.

I think the school has dramatically changed for the better and the new, quite down to earth and approachable, head is largely responsible.

bellissima Mon 22-Mar-10 14:56:33

Yes I have heard that Godstowe has improved a lot. Plus it is more likely to encourage girls to go on to a school that genuinely suits them - not being dependent on results for any particular exam. I think the danger of a school geared exclusively (or nearly) to the 11 plus is that, as one of the teachers at my DC's school says, whilst it is not unheard of for a massively coached child to pass when the primary school might not think they are suited to grammar school (and I'm afraid that, on top of school homework, the sad truth is that most Year 5s will get external coaching), once in a class of 30+ without much individual attention that child is unlikely to be happy or thrive.

(Godstowe is quite pricey though!)

Cortina Mon 22-Mar-10 15:01:56

Yes, indeed pricey. Seems to be filled with lots of international students (boarders)? too, makes it more culturally diverse and interesting but I do wonder if you might stand out if you were v ordinary/normal/modest background?

What have you heard re: Heatherton out of interest? I thought this was great!

weblette Mon 22-Mar-10 15:07:07

My dd's there Cortina. It's been great for her - she had a horrible time at infant school and they've been fantastic at getting her confidence up. Wouldn't suit everyone though - if you've a very sporty child eg.

bellissima Mon 22-Mar-10 16:39:15

DDs at Heatherton and enjoy it. It's small though - again might not have enough facilities for a more sporty child. Friend's DD at High March and also hear good reports.

Cortina Mon 22-Mar-10 23:54:43

Interesting to hear about Heatherton, I thought some of the teaching glimpsed there was outstanding.

Bellissima and Weblette which schools are you considering at 11? Which boys schools are good equivalents in the area?

bellissima Tue 23-Mar-10 09:14:21

For girls the schools in this neck of the woods, ie south Bucks, are Berkhamsted, RMS (both ind) and Dr Challoners High (grammar). DD1 going to the latter next year. We also considered St Helens in Northwood (probably the most academic school in the wider area, although a bit of a trek) but on second visit found the atmosphere a bit assertive - and frankly one of the things that we were considering when looking at private schools was the smaller class sizes and pastoral care so that seemed to mitigate against it. (Having said that, others will love it, it's so difficult to decide from the 'outside'. RMS seems very hot on pastoral care and attention and Berkhamsted also emphasises that they will get a tutor to oversee them and smaller class sizes).

For boys, here there is Dr Challoners Grammar and in Wycombe RGS. Rather fewer private options - certainly the presence of grammar schools makes the area less attractive for the indies. There is Berkhamsted Boys, and Merchant Taylors in Northwood - the latter very good but again a bit of a trek. For boys the local prep here is the Beacon. There is also (see recent thread) a very good state primary here and in Little Chalfont - sadly we are not in the (very small) catchments.

Our local 'upper school' (ie sec mod) not so great but Chalfont Community College supposed to be very good.

One big thing about this area is a certain 11 plus obsession - almost inevitable given the system. The first thing a good friend said when we moved in was 'Do not assume that your child will pass the 11 plus' - a very good warning. The pass rate is higher than Kent at 25-30% but the area is increasingly full of 'motivated' parents and the coaching system is rife. It tends to hang over your head and can produce a lot of pressured children and upset. A factor to take into account when looking at the 'great grammar schools' in any county.

Anyway I've said enough - lots of luck with your choice OP and whichever school they go to, I hope they learn a lot (as well as passing exams).

topsi Tue 23-Mar-10 19:54:27

Davenies is our local prep school for boys. My hope would be a local grammar for secondary school.

itsaminefieldoutthere Mon 22-Aug-11 17:49:09

Hi everyone. I'm new here, hope Im not jumping in on someone elses question, but I wondered if anyone has any experience of Davenies prep school in Beaconsfield? I'd be grateful for as much info as poss. Thanks

Madkids Wed 15-Aug-12 10:25:47

Itsaminefieldoutthere - my son is starting reception at Davenies in September, obviously no experience of actual lessons yet but we are delighted - we have been waiting since he was 2.5 and only got the last place a few weeks ago.

Kylie10 Sun 30-Sep-12 23:33:48

Madkids - How are you getting on at Davenies? Do you like it?

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