Taunton Secondary Schools - advice please?(47 Posts)
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 :-)
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Given the thread is 2 years old, I suspect the OP has sorted it by now...
Surprised with the comments about Queens College who were the highest ranking in Somerset for A'Levels last year. Facilities are great - new hockey pitches, football pitches and new boarding houses to open next term. The atmosphere is informal and the kids are encouraged to develop their personalities and friendships just as they are encouraged to do well academically. Parents are encouraged to participate in school life. There is an excellent drama faculty - head and shoulders above the other Taunton schools. They also run school clubs in the holidays which are open to anyone in the area. The Arts festival they host in the Autumn is fantastic as are the drama productions - the senior production is extremely professionally produced. My DD attends and whilst she isn't sporty, they appear to achieve excellent sporting results. They have a current Olympian who teaches Hockey. The opportunities for extra-curricular activities is vast and very informal. I can't recommend it highly enough and can honestly say I haven't come across a single parent or student who is unhappy with it. That said, Richard Huish is the favoured 6th form direction as it's free and has excellent results behind Queens. Entry is tough and not always guaranteed but why pay a further £30k for two years of 6th form if this is on the doorstep.
Wasn't going to comment but a couple of things happened,you state that Queens has the highest A level ranking in Somerset,that impressed/suprised me as I have never thought of any of the Taunton schools as very academic,so a quick glance on the beeb and yep Queens has the best A level scores in "Somerset" but then I noticed schools I expected so to see were not on the list and so it became clear that was Somerset lea not Somerset as a county,a further search and up came Bath and NE Somrset and down goes Queens to a distant 4th.
A child I know had a day with his prep school at Queens last week(,the only thing he thought ok was the theatre,everything else was as he put it" so so",there is no point in boasting about future sports facilities if even then they arent as good as he has at his prep school,and I think its safe to say he and his classmates wont be going to a day school that as you yourself say cant even keep sixth formers away from the local state alternative,that is not a school I would spend a pound to go to let alone £15k a year but enough people would it seems.
So propatria what exactly are your expectations as to what a school should be? And presumably the school your DC attend/ attended matches up?
Of course the schools my chidren attend/have attended match my expectations,what a very odd question,as Ive said before I wouldnt bother with well over 90% of private schools,why would anyone pay for second or third rate schools,most peculiar,there are many many schools like the Taunton schools,usually Victorian they were built to educate the sons of local shopkeepers,most of them offer very little beyond the ability of excitable local parents to claim they send little flo/max to a private school,they are local schools for local children,nothing wrong with that but when a parent tells you how wonderfull it is but then admits actually the local sixth form college is a better bet for A levels its not exactly a ringing endorsement that is going to lead to massive oversubscription is it?
It's not in the least odd question, given your comment. Indeed it's directly provoked by your comment. The Taunton schools are railway schools and so were therefore by definition not set up for the children of local shopkeepers. I certainly wouldn't pay for a second rate secondary school but then again I wouldn't pay for Eton. I might pay for SPGS, St. Paul's, Westminster or Winchester but not much else.
You might have paid for those schools but you didnt as your children as you have told us many times are state educated,so why you feel the need to comment on a thread about minor private schools in Somerset is beyond me.
One of the Taunton schools is a Woodard,another Methodist and the third was set up for dissenters,zilch to do with the railway and everything to do with the growth of the middle class,there are similar schools throughout the country,some are even in towns without a railway station,
The Taunton schools have always had a very local appeal,as you would expect,they are what they are but sadly some parents at these type of school have delusions,and as often happens make claims that are not really correct..
Interesting to spot this thread again.
We have now been back in Somerset for almost two years and DS is at Taunton school. Last year was very hard as he hated it and us for moving him. In retrospect moving him for year six was not the best idea. But we got through it and the school were pretty supportive. Could have done better I think but it was difficult as DS was doing ok at school but punishing us at home.
This year he is like a different child. Much happier and very settled. He is not particularly sporty. He is not particularly academic. Is doing very well in some subjects and not so well in others. So far we are happy enough although hate Saturday school.
I don't think we have any delusions although I am sure some do. I want DS to be happy at school and to enjoy learning and finding out his strengths and weaknesses in a supportive environment. We are quite happy with a minor public school as I would totally hate the atmosphere at a more competitive school.
So - so far so good. We will know more when he is done is suppose!
Good to hear he has settled in,glad it he worked out ok
Gosh propatria you're incredibly rude about other parents. Is that an attitude bred of the school your DC attend?
I've known and know a number of people at the Taunton schools; I'm not sure I should be excluded from commenting.
And I only commented because of your uppity attitude, not because of the schools in question.
If parents at any school make silly claims then Im more than happy to point out the errors etc,if that is rude in your eyes then so be it,your opinion good or bad is of no interest to me.
Buda knows what she has bought and is happy with the school,thats great,The Queens parent on here however made dubious claims and bragged about "great facilities" when in fact they are nothing of the sort and dont even come up to the level of a decent prep but if you are spending 15k a year but admit the local 6th form college is a better bet then I suppose youve got to try to justify your 15k.
You are one up on me as I dont know anyone at the Taunton schools but I wouldnt expect to,
Having a child whose education you want to pay for and whose academic background isn't strong enough for one of the more selective schools (leaving aside the whole question of living in that area and not being prepared to shove your kid off to boarding school) doesn't make them a less decent or necessarily less intelligent person than one whose kids get into Eton/ Winchester etc. I have no problem at all with knowing people like that as well as very pleasant Etonian/ St. Paul's/ Westminster/ local comp parents too.
"shove your kid off to boarding school" yep thats us couldnt wait to get rid of the little beggars...
" Having a child whose education you want to pay for." .. what a very odd thing to do,doesnt matter what the school is,the main thing is its paid for,now you see to me thats very odd indeed and actually stupid but hey these schools survive so they know the market.
Thought you might like Mr J Meades happy and not all" rude" memories of Kings -Young Jonathan went to school at King's College, Taunton, where he was conventionally miserable. 'I was an academic child, sent to this resolutely philistine school, the idea of which was to turn the sons of Somerset farmers and Devon estate agents into Christian gentlemen. It was hell.
Delighted you have such a wide social circle
I must thank you for prolonging this thread,it made me look at a couple of the schools websites,I particularly enjoyed the sports section of Queens,lots of "the boys will learn a lot from this defeat"not enough it would seem as by the end of the Rugby season they actually didnt give a couple of results just "a heavy defeat" but its ok because it seems "they gave 110%" lets hope that poster doesnt double as a Maths teacher.
Any graduate with an ordinary sized social circle living in this area is very likely to know parents with DC at several of the major public schools, several of the minor independents and many at the local grammar and comps. One of the most unhappy people in my village is an Old Etonian who says his life was wrecked by the school. He's late middle aged. A friend's DS is a much more recent OE (early 20's) and was also very unhappy at the school. Then again I know a number of people who loved it. You can find an example of a person who's been unhappy at almost every school up and down the country, it's not of any note to generalise from one particular.
I wasnt generalising,nothing I dislike more than the "boarding school survivor whingers", it was posted in a smiley face way ,lighten up.
Why do you feel the need to tell me where people you know send little johny and julia,its of no interest to me or I would guess anyone else but obviously its important to you,mind you why would you think telling anyone you are a graduate was important,most peculiar.
Then put in a smiley face since on his thread you sound sneery rather than smiley.
You made a silly comment about social circles. In the area I live, since it's not London, the fact of going to university simply means you're more likely to have a spread of friends geographically than if you didn't go. No more or less than that, not a big deal, just a fact.
I am resurrecting this deliberately as would like to know current thoughts. We have tried state and it just doesn't work for dcs - too big, boring, disrupted lessons, no real opportunities for sport except 30 mins at lunchtime etc. We are looking at all three Taunton schools but would like to hear from people with students already there. Purely from a sports point of view for dd I am potentially preferring Kings but am open minded ...
My son started at King's last year and loves it. He's an all rounder- quite bright ,musical and sporty and we were told at his prep school that King's does it all well. We're not disappointed . I know some parents like Queens to avoid Sat school but they all play matches on Sat so your weekend is never really free. Sports are absolutely brill. Any questions please ask
I have heard from friends that it's not a good full boarding option because there's nobody else in at weekends.
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