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Taunton Secondary Schools - advice please?

(47 Posts)
Alexanna Mon 09-May-11 21:25:50

I am hoping to move from South Bucks to the area west of Taunton (up to the town of Dulverton) and would love some help and advice on the secondary schools available for my daughter (currently yr 6). I also have a son in Year 4 to consider. Anyone who lives in the area and could give me some inside info........Would be great :-)

DELHI Wed 11-May-11 14:07:45

Don't know Dulverton sorry, but Taunton itself has some well-regarded independent schools if you have around 15k per year to spend - Taunton School, Kings School and Queens College. Quite a few international students there. There's also Wellington School, (In Wellington!) a bit cheaper I hear, but also good. Richard Huish is the state 6th form college in Taunton and gets great results.

chocolatemarshmallow Mon 16-May-11 18:02:27

Hi Alexanna, my sister lives in Taunton and her two daughters and son all went through King's College - they were pleased wiht it (both girls went to Oxbridge) but not overall that strong a school academicallly (their girls success was more down to home support and parenting I think) - average only one or two get into Oxbridge per year compared to some much stronger academic private schools. Taunton School is meant to be very good too - and Queens is a bit smaller/more intimate for shyer kids - plus as far as my sister knows they don't do saturday school there as the other private schools in teh area all do which may be a good incentive for the kids!

propatria Tue 17-May-11 10:59:27

Kings of the private schools is ok,the other two arent really worth spending money on but they are academic/social and sporting giants compared to Wellington.

Kez100 Wed 18-May-11 23:20:19

My husband was born in Dulverton! I've a picture of him by the school gates! It was just a primary - 40 years ago! I wouldnt be surprised to hear its no longer there as it looked very tiny in the picture. I dont know that for sure though! His parents moved when he got to secondary age so he didn't have to travel to Taunton. Cannot advise though as too long ago really and they moved in the other direction - toward Barnstaple.

1237cat Sun 22-May-11 17:06:42

I only know that a friend has her two at Taunton School and she is really happy. She chose it after looking at all three of the Taunton private schools and said it seemed head and shoulders above Kings College and Queens College.

Merle Sun 22-May-11 17:11:48

Do you only want independent? My knowledge of Taunton is very rusty but I know that Castle School (state) is on the west side of town and is well regarded.

StellaSays Tue 24-May-11 18:10:25

If your looking for State schools I have knowledge since I went to school close by about 6 years ago as well as knowing others from different schools in the area as well as teachers and having taught in some of them.

Heathfield is very good, would probably be my top choice. Bishop Fox's is also very good (did some teaching there, excellent tecnology department in particular but good overall). Don't know a huge amount about Castle School. Ladymead is average. Avoid St Augustines at all costs.

The colleges in Taunton are excellent, SCAT for technical vocational courses and Richard Huish for A Level.

If you want to go slightly further outside town, Courtfields in Wellington is very good. Kingsmead and Uffculme are in small villages near the area and also have a good reputation.

Bue Wed 25-May-11 10:33:57

I've heard fantastic things about Richard Huish. It's not at all uncommon for parents to remove their children from the independents and send them there for sixth form.

Buda Wed 25-May-11 10:43:11

propatria - why do you say they other two are not worth spending money on?

StellaSays Wed 25-May-11 16:30:25

I don't know a huge amount about the private schoold but I am aware that Wellington school is not seen as being a particularly good one. It is the cheapest in the area though.

Just a bit of trivia but Jeffrey Archer went there hmm

Barbeasty Wed 25-May-11 18:44:18

Ladymead and St Augustine's have combined to become an academy. I don't know much about it, but couldn't see any GCSEs on their website, just btecs in health and waste management.

Ormirian Wed 25-May-11 18:48:25

My godson went to Bishop Fox' - state school. Got 11 A*s so I guess it's OK academically. He loved it.

DB went to Kings College - hated it to start with but settled down and in the end they did very well by him. That was a looong time ago mind you.

Ormirian Wed 25-May-11 18:50:57

He is now at Richard Huish and doing well.

StellaSays Wed 25-May-11 19:38:41

My DM teaches at Bishop Fox's, nice to know when kids do well smile

propatria Thu 26-May-11 09:10:53

Buda-I say that because they arent worth spending money on,they offer nothing worth paying for,they dont rate academically,they dont rate on a sporting level or socially,they dont have great facilities and the state sector is as good in the area so why pay to attend them,they are almost the definition of minor public school.Why anyone would pay to attend them is beyond me but as they survive ,some people must think its worth it,not however the better prep schools in the west country who dont send anyone to these schools,in the end you pays your money and takes your choice..

Buda Thu 26-May-11 10:04:51

Interesting viewpoint.

DS starts at Taunton School in September. DH is a product of Taunton School. We know of lots of people who are very happy with the school. The facilities are excellent. The prep school has a lovely atmosphere.

From speaking to lots of people who have experience of the school they produce well-rounded and confident adults who don't have the sense of entitlement that some other private schools produce.

The prep school has a lovely atmosphere.

Ormirian Thu 26-May-11 10:06:19

I've heard good things about Taunton school to Buda though no direct experience.

When are you moving? Must be soon.

Buda Thu 26-May-11 10:31:06

Hi Orm! It is soon! We leave here on 5th July and go to Florida for 3 weeks and then arrive back on 27 July.

Hopefully house will be finished by then. Well the main bits. We used the builder that had built the house next door in the end as we heard so much good stuff about him and he and his partner project manage so for us doing it from afar it made sense.

DH was there yesterday checking out a few things as he had been in London on business Monday/Tuesday anyway. Dying for him to get home tonight to find out what's what. Am so excited about the house. After so long in rented it will be so nice to have our own house.

Ormirian Thu 26-May-11 10:38:21


Exciting! Hope all goes well.

propatria Thu 26-May-11 12:06:35

Buda,Im sure your DS will be as happy as your DH,its horses for courses,thank heavens we arent all the same and have different expectations as to what a school should be.

Buda Thu 26-May-11 12:25:42

Orm - yes! Very exciting. Currently trying to organise curtains for DS's bedroom and a spare bedroom so that we have two rooms done for when we get there. Will do the rest gradually.

propatria - quite.

ambercat Thu 26-May-11 12:36:25

my eldest starts at castle in sept, seems a good school but huge amount of pupils on not a very big site, everyone i know with children there are very happy with the school. Heathfield also good and bishops fox is the most improved i think. Ladymead and st Augustine have combined to form taunton acadamy, niether were great schools before so i guess time will tell!

Motherhen2000 Sun 19-May-13 18:08:10

I know lots of people with children at Queen's College and it has a fantastic atmosphere - really friendly and approachable and pastoral care is good. Best academic results in the area too and good at arts subjects and sport - go and see for yourself! Think some of these opinions may be out of date - certainly nothing like state schools I have seen!

oftengrumpy Tue 21-May-13 00:08:18

If you are looking at state schools be aware that Castle and Heathfield are usually (very) oversubscribed and, for Castle, in particular you have little or no chance of getting in if you don't live in the catchement.

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