Hampshire Hampshire Secondary schools worth moving for(68 Posts)
We have decided to make a lifestyle change and move to Hampshire.
I need to look at schools for application this year and would love some insider knowledge.
Could you tell me of schools which are highly desirable and talked about as great options. We particularly like the area around Alresford going as far as Christchurch.
Any pointers would be hugely appreciated and would save me so much time which I am struggling to find at the moment.
thorndean - Chandlers ford,
Kings - winchester
Both Romsey Schools..
..those are the ones I know about and know families at all of them and very happy with them.
Thank you for such an amazingly speedy reply!!
definitely not thornden (ahem - just out of catchment and potentially want to get DC in!)
I believe Toynbee is also very good- better pastoral care from what I've heard than thorden - am currently debating between the two for my DC - I suspect one would do better at toynbee and the other thornden at present
Kings is good academically but not great at pastoral care according to parents and support services I've spoken to.
Both Alton schools do well. Have now heard several first hand accounts of poor pastoral care at Perrins - a surprise to me but definitely they could do better.
Shame about Perins. Looks a lovely area and school as doglover says.
Any of the 3 Winchester schools (different strengths and ethos depending on what you are looking for).
Both Romsey schools.
Don't know about others.
Also, you do realise these don't go to 6th form?
Peter Symonds in Winchester has best reputation for 6th form, but is very large. Various others around to meet both A level and vocational routes. They all look good to us (DD1 in y11).
Toynbee is in special measures and children there get lower grades than they do in comparable schools, see Ofsted data
They are meant to be improving but I wouldn't move into Toynbee's catchment. (I have family who moved just to get out of it fairly recently.) The other poster has heard that pastoral care is better than at Thornden which surprises me as I have heard the opposite. (I don't have children at either though.)
Pastoral care seems to be a problem at all secondary schools. I loved Bohunt when we looked around but I keep reading posts which say bullying is rife there. Shame. As is Perins. Perhaps I just need to accept it as normal
Is there anything your DD/DS is particularly into as many schools have strengths in particular areas - eg. Perins is very strong on sport.
He isn't very sporty. But my other child who is also going to be going up soon does. Should one avoid a sporty school if a child doesn't like PE? Do they do more of it?
My other child is also very much into drama and gymnastics, piano etc. any thoughts welcomed.
I'm not sure whether they do more of it, I'm just basing on what people tend to quote as strengths (based on when they were all 'specialist colleges' a few years ago). In the small area I'm very familiar with this tends to be Perins - sports; Eggars - sciences; Amery Hill - performing arts; Bohunt - languages. All are good schools, and take pupils from a fairly wide area.
Both Alton schools are excellent, I know lots of parents and they all seem to be happy. Most parents I know who send their DC to Perins are happy with the school, but there is the odd account with issues with pastoral care, but you are always going to get the odd story. Perins has lots of sporting opportunities, but not necessarily extra time given to sport, most of the DC I know who go there aren't into sport.
Bohunt is a very successful school, but is very large and from what I've heard class sizes are quite big. TPS in Peterfield is also good.
However we are really lucky in this part of Hampshire, to have a choice of really good primary and secondary schools, and it is more a case of visiting them and seeing which suit you and your DC.
Thank you. Does anyone know the better school for pastoral care?
I can't tell you the best but I can tell you to avoid Brookfield secondary, king Richards, portchester and Henry court!
we chose the Westgate school in Winchester.
Same GCSE results as King's, but a bit more 'liberal"
Really good pastoral support, very good at settling in the Y7's, it is now as a "happy" school, and a "friendly" school, staff very approachable.
Then again, I know people who prefer the more "formal" feel of Kings. Kings is also a bit more sporty. They have a new head, positive reports. Can't really go wrong with either IMO.
Also know people who rate henry beaufort, but don't know it well. Lower GCSE (in the 60s).
Problem with Winchester is houses are expensive, but commutable to London, and catchments quite wide.
Thornden in Chandler's ford is a funny one, best GCSE results in the county (for state schools) I think, but the kids look scruffy (no blazer, just sweaters) and the buildings are ugly 1960s. Then again, who cares about that?! (I would not! but know some who do, so mention it) Good pastoral care leadership. You have to live in utter suburbia to be in catchment. Don't rate the area myself to live in.
I did not know Toynbe was failing? I know people who like it for their kids.
Thornden has a fantastic theatre and matching drama facilities, has very good pastoral care and fantastic sports fields.
Pupils don't wear blazers - a good thing IMO - but do have a uniform.
Housing is expensive but maintains its value because of the catchment area.
Thanks for your very helpful message. We looked at Winchester years ago but couldn't find a junior school we liked that much. Sadly I do like a nice infrastructure and they all seemed old and gloomy. So I'm glad you mentioned it.
Making a list of schools you are mentioning. So far I'm going to possibly look at:
Need to read about Amery Hill and Eggars which I know nothing about.
Has anyone knowledge about Bohunt and bullying?
Thanks for this help. It's going to really help!
Eggars has a good HT and very good value-ad, ie kids come out doing better than expected.
Are you looking to apply for Sept 15 or Sept 16?
All three Winchester schools are good but in different ways. Check the catchment areas for Kings and Westgate as it is increasingly unlikely that you will get into either unless you are in catchment, have a sibling already there or transition from a linked school.
Romsey and Mountbatten are OK but I have heard some parents are disappointed with how the schools are stretching their pupils and the July 14 GCSE results at Mountbatten were 'disappointing'
Give a shout out to TalkinPeace - she and her husband are great with insider knowledge of most of the Hampshire schools.
Some children living north of Romsey/Ringwood do the 11 plus for the Salisbury secondaries and there is the 11 plus option in Bournemouth too.
Southampton secondaries were looked down upon, in the past, but school gate gossip indicates that some are improving, but I have no direct knowledge.
IME the pastoral care at Perins is great, as long as the children are willing to work with them. They are getting a new head in September which will bring changes, but everyone seems very positive about him. Their exam results were OK last year and they have a strong Creative Arts dept, along with PE. Their school production was amazing.
Kings is the "academic" choice for winchester, Westgate now goes from YR to Y11 and is more liberal, Henry B's is the third one. To be honest all the schools in the area have their own strengths and weaknesses. I would go and visit each of them, how you/DC feel is a good indicator.
Interesting these tales of poor pastoral care at various schools - DH does not spot it when he visits lots of them.
Thornden : you HAVE to live in Catchment
Toynbee is being penalised at the moment for not being Thornden but lots of kids do really well there
Mountbatten and Romsey have a rivalry that varies between cordial, cool and snotty - good for both of them
Westgate, Kings, Beaufort : all reflect their catchments
Perins, Petersfield, ditto
Swanmore is a bit of a dark horse
Wavell is good. Bohunt kids always seem cheery when they surge round my car as I drive past sometimes
The ONLY ones I'd avoid (seriously avoid) are Everest, a couple of the ones in Pompey and the ones just into Southampton
And yes, Peter Symonds is huge
So is Farnborough College, so is Barton Peverill, so is Brockenhurst.
Tauntons is growing
the specialist non A level colleges excel at what they do
TBH those of us who live in Hampshire often get called smug by those from other counties
From local knowledge, I don't think there is any more of an issue at Bohunt with bullying than any other school. There is inevitably bullying at any school, it is how it is dealt with is the important thing. Bohunt is very large and doesn't suit everyone but we are lucky to have choice of very good smaller schools. It really is a case of visiting and deciding which suit your DC. To be honest you can't really go wrong! We are lucky that we really do have choice!
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