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Duke of Kent, Manor House, Prior's Field, St Edmunds..Small secondaries surrey

(41 Posts)
PelicanDaisy Fri 10-Apr-15 12:12:53

Looking for a small, caring but high value-added secondary school for DD. Co-ed or all girls. We are in Guildford but prepared to travel any direction.
An extended prep school type ethos would really suit DD, her confidence has been bashed and we want somewhere small and not too competitive. She needs a really supportive atmosphere.

So far we have come across:
Duke of Kent
Manor House
St Edmund's... but all of these don't have sixth forms

Prior's Field... less of an 'extended prep' but does have sixth form and value added. Learning support looks fantastic, I think it caters for the less-academic and is relaxed. Not sure about size though.

Any experiences or schools we could add to the list?

homebythesea Fri 10-Apr-15 12:29:41

MH absolutely fits your bill- totally supportive, great value added academically. No 6th form is I think a good thing as it means the girls have to have a taste of something else bigger/co-ed before they go to Uni.

PelicanDaisy Fri 10-Apr-15 13:52:14

Thanks, do you know more about it? How big are classes and how many girls per year group? Is there much opportunity for team sport?
Where do girls tend to go for sixth? I understand your point that they need a bigger environment by then, thanks for reassurance there.

Eastpoint Fri 10-Apr-15 13:57:25

I come across MH girls through voluntary work and they seem pleasant, happy and enthusiastic. It's pretty small, have a look on their website for more info, if they tell you how many sat maths or English GCSE you can work out how many there are in a year.

homebythesea Fri 10-Apr-15 13:58:56

Please feel free to PM me!

inthename Fri 10-Apr-15 15:19:06

try Dunottar, previously all girls, going gradually co ed since last year, or Luckley House, another all girls gradually adding boys over the next few years, both have 6th forms

PelicanDaisy Fri 10-Apr-15 15:44:53

Thanks! Will have a look.
We liked the look of Dunottar and could get the train to redhill then mini bus. Only worry was it seems to be expanding as it recovers its numbers so we need to question their expected capacity encase it looses its small community feel.

Any experiences of Duke of Kent? DD likes the look of it.

hebe242 Fri 10-Apr-15 15:52:28

I hear Dunottar's maximum capacity would be about 450 so it is not planning on becoming a huge school and definitely has a sense of community.

homebythesea Fri 10-Apr-15 17:05:05

I have pm'd you Pelican

homebythesea Fri 10-Apr-15 17:06:43

My comment on Dunottar in a practical note would be the potential for spending hours travelling to far corners of Surrey for your DD's social life- her classmates could live as far away the other side of Reigate as you do in Guildford.

inthename Fri 10-Apr-15 19:08:01

met lots of duke of kent youngsters, always polite and seem genuinely lovely, the only thing I would say is that they told me recently they have a waiting list operating so if you're looking for this September you may struggle

PelicanDaisy Fri 10-Apr-15 20:40:37

Not looking for this sept - DD is year 5 - so it is positive to hear they are sought after.
Thanks for info about Dunnottar.

Clavinova Fri 10-Apr-15 20:56:12

St Teresa's in Effingham? A Catholic school but only about a third of the pupils are Catholic I think. Open day on the 1st May.

PelicanDaisy Fri 10-Apr-15 20:59:50

Thanks, not sure about a Catholic education (but not definite no go) and it seemed a bit bigger or aspiring to be bigger? Also was put off by a long commute as it is very out in the sticks. Will have another look though.

homebythesea Fri 10-Apr-15 21:52:45

Pelican it's only a 5 min drive from MH!

PelicanDaisy Fri 10-Apr-15 22:00:39

Oh dearblush !! I was imagining it 20+ minutes further into the countryside - good to know anyway!

mummytime Fri 10-Apr-15 22:04:08

I think St Theresa's have a minibus from Guildford, and lots of Guildford girls go there, unlike Dunnoter. It's less rural than Duke of Kent.
Manor House sounds just what you are looking for though.
The other place I'd have expected in your list is the Royal school.

PelicanDaisy Fri 10-Apr-15 22:14:13

Thanks mummytime. Was unsure about Royal's size? It too looks one which is hoping for numbers to pick up and seems in a transition period. Will add that to the list too.
Thanks all for lots of help and reassurance.

homebythesea Sat 11-Apr-15 09:05:42

Pelican will PM you (again) re The Royal!

Namehanger Sat 11-Apr-15 09:12:57

Frensham Heights - but a bit of a trek, bus from Guildford in the morning.

PelicanDaisy Sat 11-Apr-15 17:35:56

Thanks all
Any views on Prior's Field or Duke of Kent?
Manor House seems the best fit but we want to look at a few.
I think more discussion and looking at websites has let me to think we want:
Small classes (is 20 optimistic?) and max 2-3 forms per year group
Sports opportunities but not an issue if the school isn't itself brilliant at sports - the more opportunity to play in the teams/matches the better, facilities for this (but don't need flashy pool or field - just opportunity)
Reasonable academics but no problem if that is not the focus by any means - prep head said DD is the academic level she would usually recommend applies to St Cats/Tormead but agrees DD would be far better socially in a smaller school
Enough girls in the year group to find ones she clicks with but co-ed fine
Pastoral emphasis, confidence building rather than sheltering if that makes sense

PelicanDaisy Sat 11-Apr-15 17:38:29

Or St Edmund's Hindhead - although worried this one is a new senior...and I thought it was a boys school so perhaps girls are a new addition so fewer in numbers?

Katnisnevergreen Sat 11-Apr-15 18:25:59

Have you thought about Woldingham? About 60 girls per year and very nurturing. Although it might be too far away for you

Hia3 Mon 18-May-15 11:23:40

Duke of Kent School is a very happy family feel school- baring in mind it is mixed ability, their GCSE results are good. Bright children come out with A/ A*, but kids that struggle have good value added.
Does have small year groups and not many girls per year group. My daughter's year has a very small number of girls, but it is good- they all represent the school in sport and all get on well. My nieces go to St cats and Priors field, fairly sporty but never quite good enough to make the teams ( both schools very selective with sport). Niece at St. Cats hates the bitchy competative atmosphere and can't wait to leave. The Niece at Priors Field is happier, but finds all girls ( year group 60) at bit to much- so plans to leave and go else where for sixth form- they are both jealous that their younger sister is joining her cousin at Duke of Kent.
If you want a happy child - then it's a perfect school for you.
Happy children will do better academically !

Toughasoldboots Mon 18-May-15 11:45:56

There is nothing to commend or recommend this school. It has a well developed a culture of bullying, victimisation and intimidation. the place runs on fear and it comes from the senior leadership. The leadership here is a shambles. Parents are treated with complete disrespect and the children are commodities used to build the reputation and egos of the head and leadership team. The governors are split and at least half are running amuck completely unchecked. Question or challenge anything and be met by absolute denials of any problems, they change the rules to prevent any redress. In all cases children are punished if they complain which many dont because of a system of indoctrination which discourages the children from telling parents or the authorities what exactly is going on. Somehow the school pulls the wool over the eyes of most people and for others fighting them is too difficult and time consuming. The reports in the local press about Ofsted are one sided and demonstrate the way the leadership blame parents or children. In February 2013 they failed a welfare inspection but on a technicality it was not reported transparently to the public. Ofsted and DFE then allowed the leadership to tell parents that they had not failed and that things were "good" and children safe. There are no other schools, even the worse that have had 3 Ofsted inspections in 7 months! This school is failing and should be closed not spending over £25m of public money and those in charge should be taken off to serve time in jail with Stuart Hall.

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