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Priors field new head? Or the Royal?

(22 Posts)
Flyflo Sat 23-Jan-16 15:25:43

Dd sat for these but struggling to pick. Friends at both are relatively positive. Know priors field has a new head and friends hoped this would lead to changes as they feel things were slack. Anyone know if this has happened or any signs of how the school may change?

We are unsure about the Royal. We are considering keeping her at her prep until 13 as we don't know if either of these schools are right.


ifancyagreencard Mon 25-Jan-16 19:01:02

Flyflo have pm'd you.

Hia3 Thu 25-Feb-16 21:03:23

I am also interested to here views on Priors Field

2munchkins Fri 26-Feb-16 21:39:24

I would be really interesed to know on suitability of Priorsfield for a chid who has some special needs and another daughter who is quite academic but enjoys sports and activities as well.

Grikes Sat 27-Feb-16 00:55:46

I can only go of my experience with my daughter. Although she wasn't special needs. She had lost all confidence in studying and having friends. She is now more confident even when she talks with girls who in the past bullied her. They seem to have diminish in character while she has obviously grown.

I do think there are girls with diffrent special needs at the school. Although DD never talks about their disability. She refers to them as just friends.

Academically I have found the school is able to find non academic bright children and make them academic. They also seem to help the academic find a life out of academia.

I do hope the new head will keep the current ethos. Priorsfield provides a special niche in the private school market. Its academics are good enough to compete with the super selective hot beds. Yet relaxed enough to allow the girls to develop into proper ladies.

Not many schools can get the balance right.

Wriggle45 Sat 27-Feb-16 08:19:06

My DD is starting there in September... Been good to read your comments here and on the other thread Grikes. Clearly we don't have anything to go on at the moment other than our interactions with the school to date which have all been excellent.
DD has had extra support with English at prep school... But she didn't need extra time in exams.... We've picked PF as we were given huge confidence that they will embed the support she needs within the normal school structure which in turn will mean she won't ever get to the stage of feeling like she is struggling. Her prep school have managed this brilliantly to date and I'm feeling very happy we've found an option that feels like a continuation for senior school. Will be able to report back in a years time how it is going!

2munchkins Sat 27-Feb-16 13:48:11

Thank you Grikes. Sounds like could be good for both my daughters especially if new Head is able to get the more academic girls to reach their potential. They say small classes - just how small? Would definitely need this for my child with mild special needs. Also hope you don't mind me asking but I am not clear about the exam entrance - there seems to be two assessments, on the preview day (papers to sit?) and then the entrance exam itself. We are from the State sector so not sure how mine would cope with doing exams, whether it is something they need to prepare for perhaps.

Wriggle45 Sat 27-Feb-16 14:22:41

Entrance tests I do know about.... You will need to do some prep with your daughters but it should only need be exam technique rather than learning new stuff. (My elder DD went through in state sector until year 7 whereas the younger one moved to a prep school in year 4 so I have done one each way!). The two stage testing does relieve some of the pressure on the Jan exams and is a v good thing in my opinion. Post October half term they do mini English/ maths tests that don't count towards final assessment and Verbal reasoning that does count.... On top of this there are group exercises and a group interview that do count... The whole day does give them a chance to spend some time in the school which does give them a sense of familiarity come Jan! In early December they gave written feedback on the preview tests.... In our case most parts of it had gone well but had a disaster in the English... But we got feedback and it really helped.
If you are not going to get a tutor then I think it is worth getting some NVR/VR books to practise some examples, get some comprehension books and focus on helping child use marks per question to gauge length of answer needed.... And do some prep on writing a story in 30 mins. This was the side of things my DD really had to work on.... Her prep school really worked on helping her plan stuff before getting going (but you can do same if you read up!). On the maths side of things I think there is much less of a gap.... It's the timed side of things in English which you don't really do in the state sector.
Really advise you to give them a call/ have a tour.... Ive always found them very willing to answer questions and found the tour I did with the Admissions lady answered loads of my questions

BlueStringPudding Sat 27-Feb-16 19:30:25

Both schools are good I think. I chose The Royal School for my DDs even though PF is closer, and for them it was the right choice. They both did exceptionally well there, and enjoyed it. I think the school instilled a really good work ethic and both DDs are now at University where they are doing well and having to work very hard.

I'm a working parent, and The Royal was much better for us logistically because they had a minibus service that picked up and dropped back the girls to our home. If they had after school activities they could book into supper, and I could pick them up later - by 8pm, no advance booking required.

A friend's DDs went to Prior's Field and they also did well and enjoyed it - so I think it is also good, she was a SAHM and so the pick up by 6pm latest was fine for her. I think you get more London girls at PF, and more country girls at The Royal, so my perception was that the girls at PF were more likely to go out clubbing etc.

2munchkins Sat 27-Feb-16 19:38:15

Thanks so much Wriggle. Didn't even think about getting a tutor so yes we will get some practise in from next term and over the summer. I think my academic daugher might have problems with timing rather than content as she is not used to that. Do you think too early to register for 2017 entry? Also how many children in each class? We would primarily be interested in school because of small numbers as well as the good pastoral care but hear the school is getting popular so hope these important USPs will remain. I think best if I get a tour next term and speak with Admissions as you say.

You must be so excited about your daughter starting, sounds like a good choice for her.

ifancyagreencard Sat 27-Feb-16 21:23:55

2munchkins I've PM'd you

shank2 Sun 28-Feb-16 08:47:15

PF is now well over subscribed easy year - lots on waiting list this year and last - also more girls not being offered a place at all. I would say in y7 and y8 the girls are now much more local - rather than from London- not sure there is more than 1 from London in Y7 but a large/majority cohort from Godalming/Guildford area.

Wriggle45 Sun 28-Feb-16 11:38:58

I think next year there is going to be about 60 in 3 classes.... But this based on what my DD told me so (so might not be gospel and expect people still making choices). On set sizes they don't have equal sized groupings.... Might have bigger top/middle sets and smaller lower set if that is what that year needs.

Grikes Sun 28-Feb-16 11:52:13

I know that they set for Maths, English and Science. The top sets seem to be filled with the exceptionally bright kids and the number of children in each set gets lower as you progress to set 4. Where more one to one is needed. The good thing about setting in Priorsfield is not about competition. Its about finding the right level for your DD to learn effectively. This I think is the secret behind the PF way. The other subjects are done in tutor groups. So should be around 18 to 20.

The good thing about PF is that each girl is usually very bright in any one or more subjects and they help each other to figure out their problems.

2munchkins Mon 29-Feb-16 13:46:27

Many thanks all. The more I hear, pf seems to be right school for my girls. Bit worrying to hear that they are so over subscribed though. We are local but wonder how they select if everyone passes entrance exams.

Wriggle45 Mon 29-Feb-16 23:10:13

There are more applicants than places.... But equally people do use it as a back-up to other schools. I get the impression it is becoming a more popular choice as far more girls were offered places from my dd's school than previous years ( which I would strongly suspect just meant more sat there).... I think around half will take up their places..... But tbh could be completely wrong as only know the 50% that are!! I wouldn't stress about it - talk to the school and where you DD has learning support needs explain them.... They will take that into account.

HandbagAddiction Thu 03-Mar-16 13:56:02

Another PF parent here. Just add on setting, I think they take a very measured approach here. Note that languages are also in sets. So typically 3 form groups but then 4 sets for each subject where setting is relevant. In maths for my DDs year, there are 2 x top sets, 1 x middle and 1 x lower.

The other good thing is that just because you are in one set for one subject, it doesn't follow that you are the same level set for a different subject. So my dd is in top set for maths and science, the middle sets for languages and then the lower set for English. She's dyslexic. She gets 1 lesson of learning support a week - which you have to pay extra for.

Sport also features and so if your dds are sporty, you can kiss goodbye to Saturday morning lie-ins as there are fixtures most Saturdays and then if they are swimmers, runners, netballers and hockey players, you will probably end up having matches most week day evenings too.

Its been interesting to try and fit it all in - especially if you have other extra-curricular activities too. There are quite a few girls who are also members of local swimming clubs and also Guildford hockey club. Homework on top of all of this too.

Lots of drama clubs, music, etc. but I don't know as much about all of that as my dd is not interested in that side of things.

2munchkins Fri 04-Mar-16 10:59:53

Thanks 'Wriggle' and 'Handbag'. One daughter has concentration difficulties and poor fine motor skills so don't think she will cope with writing exam but will speak to them about it. She is very sociable and likeable however so am hoping this will stand her in good stead. Good to know about sets which would work well for both daughters. Other daughter sporty - so will be making the most of my Saturdays now whilst I can!

Couple of questions please: school uniform, how expensive new approx. Am happy to buy second though. Also do we need to buy all their books, art materials any science equipment?

Many thanks.

Grikes Fri 04-Mar-16 12:02:58

When we entered the school in year 7. We spent about £500 all new. That included everything that was recommend on the list. Although we heard that the second hand shop is a very viable option.

Books and other educational equipment is by and large provided by the school. You still have to buy that casio calculator though.

I would say on mobile phones most girls have an iphone of various varieties. So it isn't really a big problem. The school actually allows the girls to have phones in lessons.

2munchkins Sat 05-Mar-16 09:24:09

Grike thanks for uniform quote - was hoping it would be less as not the usual more traditional style of some private schools. Helpful that stationery does not need to be bought.

shank2 Sun 06-Mar-16 07:21:54

Second shop is very good-the uniform does not work out as much as other schools because they do not have so much of it - you do not need everything on the list. You can look at the prices on Schoolblazer who provide the new uniform . All stationary supplied in Y7 .

Grikes Sun 06-Mar-16 08:09:55

Also look out on school blazer they do have times when they do free delivery.

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