Which prep school(3 Posts)
Hello! I am looking for a bit of advice. We are moving to London from california this summer and we have decided to look for prep schools for our children who are 9 and 11. We want to send them to a co-educational school so they can both be at the same place. We also wanted to send them to a prep school to buy us a little bit of time for our 11-year to adapt before he has to go off to a secondary school where he'd be among the youngest children. We want a caring and nurturing environment but we also have to make sure that it's academically rigorous because if we go back to the US, the highschool they would be attending is competitive.
We have applied to GEMs, Devonshire house, Knightsbridge, Newton Prep and North Bridge. We really liked Devonshire house- noting I can explain- just a warm feeling I got.
Since we are from the U.S. we have no idea about the reputation of these schools any advice/comments/perspectives would be appreciated. Thank you in advance!!!
I don't know anything about any of these schools but I think you need to look into which secondary schools may be possible and go from there. Privste secondary school places in London are hugely competitive and most day schools pre-test in Year 6 for 13+ entry so you may be too late. Some boarding schools assess candidates later but you generally need to register them well before 11.
Have you considered the American a International school?
For what its worth, my DD is now in P1 at Devonshire House. Honestly, we are really happy with the school, DD is thriving and learning well, good environment, and great teachers so far. So I say your instinct sounds spot on. Academically, I would say so far Devonshire has been stronger than what I had seen coming from a North American school.
Of course your kids are older, and are at the age of entrance exams. If you have girls, note that they are expected to go to senior school after age 11. If you have boys, then they only leave at age 13. Its a UK thing.
I haven't gone through the exam process myself with DD, but a dad of one of DD's school friends just went through it with his son at Devonshire. They moved to the UK 2 years ago from Singapore. He says the process went fine, and the child was well prepared by the school for the exams.
I don't really know the other schools you mention, except by name or reputation. I can tell you that St Mary's in Hampstead, close to Devonshire, is very similar academically in my view, but St Mary's has a much stronger catholic ethos. When DD was in pre-reception there, she came home talking about "jesus our lord "sometimes, so that's something to consider.
A colleague of mine had her DD at the American school. She ultimately chose to take her out after a few years, because my colleague said the school was "too American" (her words). By that, meaning less academic and culturally, America focussed.
Perhaps other schools to consider for you in the area are South Hampstead and Mill Hill.
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