Downe House/Tudor Hall/Stowe/St Edwards or..?(41 Posts)
Need full boarding for DD from 13+
Still unsure whether to go SS or Co-Ed, so advice gratefully received there!
Any opinions on the 4 listed above? Or alternatives. Between Bucks & Hants. Not too far west or south east. Or north!
Needs to have good connections to Heathrow (overseas parents) and outstanding pastoral care.
Favourite subjects include languages, sciences & art/textiles. She's not massively sporty.
DD, DH & myself have our favourites - but none are the same as each other so would love to get some more info.
Luckley House in Wokingham? Heathfield good I think, quite small though.
Thank you and sorry for the delayed reply , my youngest just left last year for sixform after joining in year 9 , my other two girls left 2 and 1 years ago after finishing their time there
Sandra I'm very sorry to hear that. May I ask how long ago did this happen?
Downe House is not a very friendly school i had 3 daughters there who all left with eating disorders and depression , though there is not a lot of bullying within the school most of the girls struggle comes from the often strict and boundaries placed on them. My daughter stated that the amount of pressure put on her was unbereable and most girls felt the same.
Peri good choice.
I grew up in Oxford and spent far too much time at Teddies when it was purely a boys' school. All my friends there were very happy, and I remember the atmosphere - I hope your dd will be equally happy!
And I had nieces at DH until recently. They were not happy, and took a couple of years to recover their confidence.
Heathfield does not have a high international intake in comparison to some schools! However there are international girls in each year group but the impression I got is that they blend seamlessly. It is pastorally strong and lots going on. It is traditional boarding with no day girls at all. Close to London so trips there are easily possible and you are not stuck in the middle of nowhere. Art is very strong and they used to have a fashion designer in residence so fashion design and textiles are well catered for. I would definitely take a look.
This just popped up on my active convos so thought I'd update.
We've registered her for Teddies, had an amazing couple of visits and they pulled out all the stops for us at an incredibly busy time for them. Loved everything about it. Fingers crossed for acceptance and DD passing the exam!
Stowe just haven't been able to accommodate even a visit and are very off putting during phone calls, so although I'd love the chance of a backup school, it won't be Stowe.
DH: I just can't put my finger on it but I really didn't like it. Just a gut instinct. Found out afterwards there was a 'happening' earlier in the year which made the national press. Not a good happening, either. Someone has since mentioned that they're not sure how long the current head will stay.
TH: very nice, but no 'fizz' and they don't allow kids into the art rooms outside of lessons. A major negative for my DD. besides, I think she'd be better off at a co-ed school.
CLC: too far away from family.
Shooting, as an expat I was going to visit Downe House a few years ago. It sounded lovely. But there was a paragraph on its website (not there now) which said that approximately 5 % of its students were from overseas, and 'most of those were from European countries'
My own interpretation of why they felt they needed to say that meant that I cancelled my visit.
Obviously if you want the less down to earth school then that will be your choice.
I just know of a lot of expats who went to see it attracted by the reputation for being more humane and supportive than say Wycombe, and came away feeling underwhelmed. I think CLC comes over as more down to earth, more focused on providing a good academic education in a supportive environment.
St Edwards: We have a number of friends who have DCs here and they have always had good pastoral care.
Downe : Many expats send their DCs here. Good communication with parents. DDs allowed to arrive back at school at various times through day depending on flights etc ( not all schools allow this) Interested to know shooting what you think turns off expat parents as it is not our experience.
At the end of the day visits to schools are vital so that you know whether you DC fits into a particular school.
Did you exclude CLC on the grounds of distance from Heathrow? I have been UK Guardian to a few expat DDs there, the choice of expat teachers, and there are full buses going to Heathrow. I am very impressed with the school, open and very good at communicating with parents (not all the schools understand the needs of parents overseas but CLC has actually spoken to parents about what they need and followed through. Also strong on strategies to integrate overseas expat and Brit students, can be tribal at other schools. ) School is separate from Boarding Houses which keeps it more normal. All the DDs I know have thrived.
Downe for some reason seems to switch off expats when they visit.
I hear lots about St Edwards; we've got friends with DC"s there. Two have had lots of emotional problems in the past, one moved from another full boarding school because he was unhappy. They were frankly stunned by the standard of pastoral care, the school literally bent over backwards to accommodate their DC and help them to settle. They wished they moved earlier. All did well one, into Oxbridge and one very much exceeded their parents expectations.
They are obviously wealthy and but it's inevitable if you can afford £66000 pa in school fees your going to be wealthy in comparison to a teacher but they certainly don't lead flash lives and don't like those who do. I've never heard them comment on the entitled attitudes of the other children they always talk highly about the other children.
I have two friends who teach part time at St Edward's. Neither of them would send her children there, I think because they feel the students tend to be rich and entitled in their attitude.
I am sure there are many many lovely children at the school, but that is my friends' opinion.
I've heard a lot about the pastoral care at St Edwards, but academically it could be better, and if the comments on Little Gossip are anything to go by, the pastoral care is not ideal too. A lot of them are explicit and unpleasant. Maybe the school will improve, but I'd think carefully.
Ask yourself where DD will be happiest in two years time. Is she a girly girl? Will it be beneficial or a hinderance to know have friends attending the same school? What are the full boarding numbers at your chosen schools? Once visited, where does DD feel most comfortable? Then there's the pastoral aspect of each school. You need to be comfortable with whichever choice is made too.
From year 9, DD was a day pupil at all girls school while DS boarded at a co-ed school. The schools were best suited to their personality & worked for them.
I heard the master at St Edwards speaking at an open day just before he started - he seems to have high aspirations for lifting the school academically without losing it's other positives. And I understand that they are about to open an additional girls' boarding house. I still think it's unlikely to be right for my daughter but have it on my personal "watch list"!
I'd strongly recommend St George's Ascot. Very good in pastoral terms, better educationally than Heathfield, and also very convenient for Heathrow Airport.
Thank you. Headington isn't full boarding enough for our needs.
Like the sound of the arts options at Teddies.
If you are looking at SS and Headington, have a look at Godolphin Salisbury. DD1 loves it.
Son went to St Edward's (everyone calls it Teddies) and had a great time. I'm sure they got the best out of him. The girls all seem very confident and I get the impression that they achieve well. The art and technology facilities are fantastic (as they are at many schools). Ceramics, jewellery, DT and art output is very good.
Given the selection of schools you have suggested, is there any reason for avoiding Headington as a SS option? My very unscientific experience of hockey and athletic matches between Headington, Oxford High and Tudor Hall gave the impression that the Headington girls seemed a very happy and sociable lot. Academic results there appear to be good.
Heathfield would definitely tick your multicultural / international box as it is within 30 mins of Heathrow and has a high international intake.
Thank you all.
Callofthefishwife Yes, agree the French term at DH sounds wonderful but sadly it only happens in one year group - DD will miss it.
Tudor Hall - hmm, I'd prefer a more multicultural population, but it does sound like a lovely school.
Stowe - can't get to view and think the list is closed now for the year we're looking at.
St Ed's - still top of the list but may be a bit too sporty for DD. Again, I'll reserve judgement until I've been.
Found another possibility last night - Heathfield. Any opinions on that one?
Only 2 stand out to me from your list and they are Tudor Hall and St Edwards.
Have only visited Tudor Hall. Loved it. Not too sporty. Good lot of weekend boarders. Socials with several boys schools.
St Edwards - have friends with DC there. Sounds a wonderful place. Keep hearing very good things. All friends DC very sporty indeed. Not sure if thats just a coincidence across a section of our friends all with very sporty DC or if thats a St Eds thing.
Stowe - never appealed enough to me to bother making the journey to visit.
Downe House - no personal experience of it at all but like the sound of their French Term/School thing they do.
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