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Epsom college or Dauntsey's

(24 Posts)
Nadoka3 Tue 02-Feb-16 17:53:57

My son has been offered a place at Epsom college and Dauntsey's starting this September. I would like to hear current parents' views on any of these two schools. Thank you

OP’s posts: |
GinandJag Tue 02-Feb-16 17:59:47

Not a parent but did some teaching at Epsom.

It is a school that really keeps students busy, with just an hour or so of down time between prep and bed.

Will your child appreciate the full on experience?

Nadoka3 Tue 02-Feb-16 21:02:48

My son is bright but does not manage his time very well. He knows he has to become an independent learner especially now that he is joining senior school. He is currently attending an excellent prep school which is helping him organizing his study time better. Otherwise, he is a very smart boy, very popular in school too.
Would you say Epsom is a full boarding school or does it empty out at weekend?
Which subject were you teaching if I may ask? I hear the school is very strong in Science related subjects...

OP’s posts: |
GinandJag Tue 02-Feb-16 21:22:21

I was teaching Chemistry.

The compulsory school week went until 4pm on Saturday, so I don't think there was a big distinction between day/weekly/full boarding. They basically all filtted into the weekly boarding pattern (Sundays being very relaxed, not even chapel).

They are a fully ability school with excellent pastoral care, so will be adept at nurturing those who need it.

nicp123 Wed 03-Feb-16 20:30:00

Yes, I will say Epsom College is great for our DS but I don't know your child.

timeforsomethingnew Thu 04-Feb-16 14:08:56

I have a DD at Epsom College. As pointed out its a v full on experience. School day for all runs 8 - 6 Mon - Fri and until after sport in Sat, so around 4pm.

Academically - formal assessments and block tests each half term which keep the kids on track. Housemistress has been v on the ball if we have raised anything to her. However, they do expect the students to take a lead. That was a learning experience for DD - if she is struggling with something she has to be on top of it - seek out support, ask questions in class, ask for extra work etc. Clinics available (but the kids have up work those around activities, so not always easy to get to)

High standards set in terms of work ethic and results. Loads of extra curricular to get involved in. They have to learn to balance everything.

Science is good - all students take 3 sciences at GCSE, and it's set in ability levels for Y10 and 11.

Re weekends - suggest you ask about how many weekly boarders v full. Seems to me that most British kids weekly board. I recall hearing that 16% of students were international, so might be worth checking exactly how many kids actually full board if that's important to you. However, my info may be out of date, so definitely ask!

Nadoka3 Thu 04-Feb-16 16:46:24

Thank you all for sharing your experience of Epsom. My DS is very bright but is still struggling to nanage his study properly. His best subject is Maths and hence, he tends to spend more time studying only the subjects he finds interesting and give up on the rest. He is very popular in his present school because of his easy personality. His teachers says he enjoys debating in class, so I won't call my DS an introvert.
However, in class he is gradually learning to follow a strict study plan with the help and support of his current form tutor, but we are worried he will dip if he lacks such support in a large cohort school.
Does Epsom cater for such students or they do expect everyone to be on top of their game?
My DS definitely needs more training and supervision in order to thrive and become responsible and independent in his learning. From a very slow start in September, he is now the head of his class.
Dauntseys on the other side felt like a school which will help and provide full on support for my DS to grow and become a confident and happy student.
Epsom, great school appear to be more academic but not sure they have time for my DS-like students?
Do they?

OP’s posts: |
GinandJag Thu 04-Feb-16 20:17:31

I think Epsom will provide your son with the support he needs. The HMMs (Housemasters and mistresses) are very on top of matters (day and boarding houses). They embrace technology, so a subject teacher will quickly zap off an email to a HMM so nothing gets to fester.

The students' attitude to learning is good and they really ramp up the effort for block tests, even the low ability students (there is a wide range of ability).

Nadoka3 Thu 04-Feb-16 20:31:59

Thanks GinandJag. You feedback is much appreciated!

OP’s posts: |
123littlepigs Sat 02-Apr-16 03:15:15

Ginandjag I am so hoping you will return to answer my question. I have visited Epsom and loved it, but was told it was 'very academic' . My DC is quite an average/slightly above average child with slow processing issues. Would you consider this still the right school with the appropriate learning support available? Musical and a lover of the arts. With the new 11+ intake, this school really does appeal to us.

GinandJag Sat 02-Apr-16 13:50:02

I taught the lowest sets in Y10 and 11 there were definitely kids in there for who a C would be an achievement. In the top sets, they breezed through the work.

I'd say that the school caters for just below average to top students.

I don't know what the entrance criteria for Y7 is, but injection that number of private school places into a congested area is going to broaden the intake.

I also got the impression that Y7 and 8 were going to have their own teachers and classrooms, so they will get the help of specialist teachers pitched exactly at their level. Any SN will be quickly identified and acted upon.

123littlepigs Sat 02-Apr-16 17:06:14

Thank yo so much for responding! Based on what you have just said I am not sure why our school has recommended Caterham and Trinity (at a stretch) for our DC, and not Epsom.

If you were to order the following schools (Royal Russel, caterham, trinity, Dunottar, Epsom, worth), assuming you know them, how would you place them in order of difficulty/academic status?

GinandJag Sat 02-Apr-16 19:20:42

I don't know anything about those schools.

Drinkstoomuchcoffee Sat 02-Apr-16 19:51:57

I think all of these schools will stretch able pupils and enable the less able to fulfill their potential.
If I had to rank them by academic status I would put Royal Russell and Worth in the "most accessible" category. They will take all students able to access the curriculum including some with SEN.
Caterham and Epsom are much more selective.
Trinity probably has the most applications per place but that is because it is day rather than boarding and catering for a very over heated London day market.
Don't know Dunottar.

Drinkstoomuchcoffee Sat 02-Apr-16 19:59:27

Should add that if you are looking at University destinations, you should bear in mind that 6th form will be different to the rest of the school. The boarding schools will get an intake of clever students from abroad/state at 16+ and they may have weeded out those who did did not perform well at GCSE.

timeforsomethingnew Sat 02-Apr-16 22:27:57

123littlepigs- I think Epsom may not be right for a below average academic child or one that needs more than minimal SEN support. SEN support given during the co curricular time which is great as it doesn't cut into lesson time, but with a sporty or otherwise busy child it means they have to schedule it between all their other activities. As far as I'm aware it's just a lesson a week - but perhaps there is more for those who need it. Worth checking if that would be what your DC needs.

However, the school it's a very full on experience. While there is a range of abilities I would say all pupils are above average academically, with many exceptionally bright and/or otherwise talented children and suits a pretty robust and active child. Also, there is a fair amount of prep each night which ramps up considerably during test periods, which has to be done in evenings and Sat evening and Sunday's given the full on school day .so for a child who finds things harder it would be v tiring.

Definitely not trying to put you off as its a great school for the right child, and may be perfect for your DC. But wanted to highlight it has become more selective over the years.

Of the other schools you mention , I know RR is less selective than Epsom. But that's the only one I know. Good luck choosing.

123littlepigs Sun 03-Apr-16 00:27:18

Hmmm....ok... There does seem to be mixed views on Epsom. Not sure what to believe now. I think I will just try to speak with someone at the school directly and try to gauge things from there.

timeforsomethingnew DC isn't below average, as stated above, and actually is not provided any additional support in current school. But if we could find this in next school, this could be something he could greatly benefit from. I merely make mention to his low processing as it is so important to us that we choose the right school. One with an active learning support department and a school sympathatic to a child of his needs.

Just trying really to give a full an honest picture of DC to try and gain the best advice from MNetters without overinflatting his scores which do range between 110-120. But with the slow processing, timed conditions are a real problem.

Quite a difficult task, as DCs school have suggested Caterham and Trinity, but I am trying to balance his ability with some support so that learning isn't stressful. Allowing DC to comfortably get to the end goal at a pace best suited for DC.

I half feel if we look too far down the academic ladder I am doing him a disservice. Whilst, if we allow him to sit and get into a fairly academic school, we may have an unhappy child.

Am sure this is the worry of many parents! Many thanks for your advice! It is greatly appreciated x

Flum Sun 03-Apr-16 05:33:56

I don't know anything about Epsom. I used to live quite near Dauntsey though. It is a good school with a really good reputation. Very popular locally. Mostly day kids but also some boarding. I would be really happy for my kids to go there I liked it a lot when We looked round it.

timeforsomethingnew Sun 03-Apr-16 12:38:53

From what you say - he probably be absolutely fine and love Epsom. There are certainly some children with mild/moderate needs who get a bit of additional support and at exam time several get additional time or use computers etc. I thought perhaps your DC had greater need for support.

You don't say what age he is - they change so much over a couple of years, so I know how hard it can be to make a choice. Think it's worth you having in mix and speaking to school.

123littlepigs Sun 03-Apr-16 19:44:05

Hi timeforsomethingnew we are looking at yr7 2017. As this will only be their second intake of yr7s very little is known at the moment. Can't even view the actual school site as it is still under construction. That said, the plans look lovely as does the rest of the school.

Flum I have never heard of Dauntsey but will look it up now. What area is this in?

timeforsomethingnew Sun 03-Apr-16 20:15:03

123littlepigs - the lower school will be greAt I'm sure. I think you will find the admissions team along with your prep school will give good advice.

Monopolymama Mon 04-Apr-16 04:44:16

My DS had a place at Epsom - when I asked the teacher showing us around what level of kids did well here he said that Epsom specialised in doing very well by the average pupil . I was quite surprised by his candour as most schools really push the aspirational.

MiraCurtis Tue 11-Sep-18 00:41:20

123littlepigs, did your DS end up going to Epsom college? What would you say year on? I'm currently considering Epsom college for my DD and have the same dilemma. Will appreciate your feedback.

Emilie1 Mon 11-Mar-19 09:58:46


Sorry for tagging on this thread but I was wondering if some of you knew a secondary school called the Gordon's School in Woking and how it compares with Epsom College academically? It is a state boarding school (although parents need to pay for boarding).

I look forward to hearing from you.


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