LVS Ascot Sixth Form(27 Posts)
We are due to have a look at this school for our DD next week. I realise it's mixed ability and she is a A*/A pupil but as long as each child reaches their potential that is fine. Does anyone recommend it?
I don't want to slag off a school I know very little about. I live locally and have never met an LVS parent - which intrigues me. Those going private tend to use St. George's or Wellington. Don't know why.
These links to previous recent threads might be helpful.
We've chosen it because DD has decided on Photography and Computing at A level and it is very hard to find schools which do both. She would have to board. We'll be able to make an informed choice after our visit. We've also left it very late. If anyone knows anywhere else that does both subjects I'm still open minded. Many thanks.
My DS is in year 13 having joined at sixth form. We recently went to a year 7 talk for my DD and I was very impressed - several members of staff spoke, as did pupils, and it was much better than many of the more academic schools we'd visited. Yes, it does cater for mixed abilities but if you're bright, you'll do well anywhere. I know someone in year 12 doing photography who absolutely loves it. They have a wide range of subjects at A level, including BTec. The head of sixth form is very good and the facilities are fantastic (though he doesn't board and can't make full use of them eg pool). I think you'll be fine!
Many thanks for your first hand information. We've been for a visit, unfotunately on a Wed afternoon when everyone was doing sport and so we were unable to speak to any subject teachers. DD is keen so we shall return on the open day in March. Everyone seemed very friendly and positive.
When you visit, ask them how many left after GCSEs last year and where they went. My DS has friends there (or did, they all left). Anecdotally a lot left due to "a lot of good teachers leaving". I have no idea if that was the correct reason, but would be interesting to know how many stay on. My understanding is that it does very well bringing students on to GCSE, but not quite so well at A level. Most people I know speak very well of it - there is a lot of snobbishness due to it being non selective.
From what I've seen of sixth form, the subjects my DS takes, and end of term letters, there hasn't been a large number of teachers departing at all - just a few, as you would expect in any senior school.
I think it's very refreshing to have a non-selective school - especially if your DC isn't very academic. Having just been through 11+ with my second DC, I'm fed up with listening to schools bang on about A and A* and how many go to Oxbridge etc etc - life isn't like that for everyone so LVS is a refreshing change.
We have had a very bad experience at this school. There are MUCH better schools in the area!!
what happened to change your views so radically? Back in August you described the school as 'lovely'.
I don't know what direction you are in and whether you'd consider all girls but I believe Priors Field in Godalming does both and boarding. Mix with Charterhouse (next door) and Eton. Friends DD was there and loved it. A very comfortable and supportive environment. Does both ICT and Photography A level I believe.
I haven't heard much positive about LVS, but don't know it well enough to have justified views. I frequently hear from friends in that area that it is good but nothing special which makes it worth the fees in comparison to state schools.
My son attends LVS and is very happy there. However I am looking to move him to either Charters (where we have a conditional offer) or Ranelagh (interview soon) for 6th form. The teaching at LVS is very variable with some teachers downright poor. There seems to be quite a high turnover of staff as well.
The Head changed when my son was in Year 8 and the consensus seems to be that the school has gone downhill since. Certainly the one time I requested a meeting with the Head, two weeks before the Easter holidays last year, I was told she was 'too busy' to see me until after the Easter holidays and was fobbed off with the Head of Year. Not what I expect as I had a real concern and had never asked to see a member of the SMT before. My son is, I admit, basically lazy but I don't think the school have pushed him much and I am left disappointed with the school considering the not insubstantial fees.
Sorry for the delay.
We were very happy with key stage 1. There's was a change of head in 2012 who is completely ruining the school and as we know a head makes or breaks a school. Since we've moved schools we have been completely shocked at the huge difference in teaching methods etc. Unfortunately LVS do not seem to push children and the school continues through to seniors.
If your happy staying at the same school throughout and you like it then great, but if you want to have a choice of senior school do not stay in juniors- unless your child extremely bright they'll never be ready to pass entrance exams into other selective prep schools.
The current head is completely unapproachable and will never deal with a situation/problem through to the end. Ask any parent at the gate and you'll get the same answer! They also have fantastic facilities but il unfortunately juniors do not utilise them to their full potential. Tiny class sizes ensures that competitive sports are an impossibility and even in larger class sizes they don't prepare their pupils for competing against others. If your child enjoys competing and is good at sport they'll really miss out being in this junior school.
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Although whisleblower's comments seem rather extreme to me, I also can't find anything terribly positive to say about the school. I withdrew one child last term and we have just decided to give notice for the second in September and move them to a new school in January 2015. From what I have observed, behaviour at LVS is extremely poor and expectations very low. Although there are some excellent staff, the majority are at best mediocre and I have to say that the senior management team (and some Heads of House) do seem particularly weak and unwilling/unable to confront difficult issues. My child and her friends tell me that a large group of bullies have been active across year 7 and have physically attacked a number of other children this year. Parents are rumoured to have complained several times, but as far as my daughter can see the school appears to have done nothing and the bullies remain in situ. I think some of the victims have left or may now be leaving. Not an environment I want to leave my child in, especially when I am paying for the privilege. Like Chee33 we have been amazed at the high quality of the new school my first child is now attending and it has really highlighted for us the extent of the failings at LVS. I really can't wait to get my second child out of there but just can't afford to pay a term's fees in lieu of notice so are pretty much stuck until Xmas. If you want to pay for a private education there are definitely MUCH better places to spend your money.
Juliawrites - If you are considering the school I would still say go and see it. Although a number of us on mumsnet have had a poor experience, it might be better for you. I would advise that you ask lots of questions and try to get beyond the veneer that is presented at open days etc. The Head and Senior Management seem to be well meaning people, but the school seems to operate in a continuous state of chaos. I've lost count of the number of times messages have been sent home to parents only to be recalled later because the dates are wrong, clash with something else etc. However for me it is the low expectations and the failure to address poor behaviour, disrupting quieter children who want to learn, which are the most pressing issues.
You asked what I liked about my other child's new school - quite simply it is evident that they genuinely take time to understand my child and develop them to their full potential both academically and socially, high expectations,without being a pressurised hothouse, so that all the children want to give their best and aren't picked on by others for doing so, setting clear boundaries, not tolerating persistent poor behaviour from any child and encouraging them all to develop personal responsibility. In my experience, this is what most parents paying for a private education are seeking and unfortunately I didn't find it at LVS.
If your DD was prepared not to do computing A level (degree courses don't need this A level typically) you could look at Heathfield School in Ascot. Their photography A level is second to none. A* is the typical result!
I would not rule out this school over a few negative comments. People who have bad experiences always shout the loudest. Why not join the fb page and chat to parents who have children there? I have three children at LVS and we are pleased with our choice. I do think there are problems and I do get frustrated at times - but I think every school has problems. It is mixed ability and at the moment our children are happy and doing really well, although sometimes I wish they would push them a bit more. It is a very happy place and when I have had issues they have always been dealt with. The deputy in charge of behaviour seems to know what he is doing. My daughter says he is the scary one and I like to know there is someone like that in the school sorting things out!
Anyway, I just would go and make up your own mind.
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