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Cokethorpe or Our Ladys Abingdon

(15 Posts)
mummyooo Tue 19-Jan-16 16:11:20

In need of some insight from any parents or have friends who have children in either of these schools.
DD have applied into Year 7 for both and have already had offer at one and awaiting the other. Although not academically amazing, she is bright, creative and sporty.
I have been to open days and had tours around both schools but still don't seem to know them well enough but may have a slight preferance to Cokethorpe but logistically OLA seems to make more sense as DS is going to Abingdon Boys.
Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

HPFA Tue 19-Jan-16 16:39:50

Don't have a child at OLA but do have some knowledge of it - probably best to PM me. (I've nothing bad to say but would be outed) I also used to work in Witney and at that time the school pretty much had a name as a "special needs" school - I believe that's long out-of-date though. My main concern would be the road outside - it is very busy and despite the speed reduction traffic does go fairly fast past there. As you have a another child at school in Abingdon OLA would seem to be a better choice to be honest.

11112222 Tue 19-Jan-16 17:52:38

Personally I'd go for OLA.
I have heard not great things from Cokethorpe parents, but my friends who send dc to OLA are happy there. Small survey sample I know, but there you go. Cokethorpe's A level result were pretty low a few years ago, but I presume thats fixed now.
Actually, thinking about it, both the families who go to Cokethorpe have children with slight learning difficulties…..

HPFA Tue 19-Jan-16 19:32:24

Just realised my post wasn't very clear -should have made clear I was talking about Cokethorpe in sentence starting "I also used..."
I do feel Cokethorpe has a bit more of a problem finding a market than OLA as the state schools in Witney are generally well thought of.

ShootTheMoon Tue 19-Jan-16 19:38:17

I don't have school age children but I do know several lovely (and excellent) teachers at Cokethorpe. They are all very sporty too.

I know a few kids from Cokethorpe and all seem very pleasant, talented, and capable.

I don't know anything about OLA though so I'm not sure how useful the comment is smile

Kanga59 Tue 19-Jan-16 20:29:27

I went to the OLA open day last year and liked the school And the lower school head. I know one girl who has just left at 18 and she is delightful, I'd be very pleased if my daughter turned out like her.

I don't know anything about Cokethorpe except what has been said above. Cokethorpe was recommend to me by a local prep school teacher so ill have a look at it in due course. I've only driven past it and their grounds are very Impressive indeed

roguedad Tue 19-Jan-16 20:57:03

Cokethorpe is great strictly provided you get the right fit to a kid's needs and your family's view on education. Creative and sporty kids who are not necessarily looking for a very academically-focused experience are more likely to fit IMHO. It's a lovely location with caring staff - not sure what the issue with the road is about as the grounds are huge and a long way from where the kids hang out!
Just do your homework on both the curriculum and extra-curricular provision. For the latter it's heavily focused on team field sports (there's no pool, no proper running track, no rowing), I do not think they have a proper orchestra (yet - there is an enthusiastic new music team building things up) and the curriculum is light on MFL, Classics and Computing options. A level results are tricky to assess - the average grade is a B on a par with Cheltenham College and Value Added scores are very good, but total points are weak and the fraction of kids getting good grades in Russell Group facilitating stuff is low. So fewer kids doing trad A levels - not necessarily bad depending on what you want. There is a large network of buses run by both Cokethorpe and Abingdon so logistics are not a problem if you have one at each. Fit is everything.

mummyooo Wed 20-Jan-16 10:49:07

Thanks everyone for the comments! Very useful indeed. It so important to make sure I'm making the right choice at that secondary stage where the school, teachers and friends they makes and meet will likely to have a large affect on their attitude and ambition they form into young adults. Also, coupled with that fact that half my life savings are sacrificed for fees and tuition, just need to know every I can before I make that decision.

Antaresisastar Thu 21-Jan-16 20:11:15

I have recent experience of OLA, dd left last year, feel free to pm me if you want more details

Luckywagg Fri 19-Feb-16 18:23:16

I don't know if you have made you mind up yet but I have to say that my daughter is thriving at Cokethorpe. We are extremely happy with all that is on offer and I cant think of one negative.

Cpt123 Fri 13-May-16 11:17:23

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

snowymountaintops Fri 13-May-16 11:21:17

Dregs dear Lord....

I have friends with two children there who love it and they sure as hell are not the 'dregs' of society, the opposite in fact hmm.

roguedad Sun 15-May-16 08:05:43

Well said snowy.. There's no excuse for using words like "dregs". But, A level achievement did have a massive slump in 2015. This has worried parents a lot despite continuing very good GCSE grades.The latest A level results (published by HMGOV after my original post) were down a whole grade. We are just hoping it's a cohort effect but as a Cokethorpe parent of a younger child I will be keeping a very close eye on the 2016 A level numbers when they emerge. I'm a whole lot more interested in that than the performance of the sports teams and whole child waffle, and the school needs to be as well if it wants to keep my business. In 2015 all 3 Witney comps had better A level results by most measures. We are looking around, despite our appreciation of the school and the lovely people who are there.

1805 Sun 15-May-16 22:22:23

They offer a huge range of GCSE subjects though.

HPFA Mon 16-May-16 07:10:52

roguedad are there now three Witney comps? Are you including Bartholomews here?

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