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Bancrofts or Chigwell school

(11 Posts)
BobsKnobs Wed 16-Mar-16 20:40:58

Anyone have experience of either of these schools? Am considering sitting DD for 11+ entry end of this year. Thanks!

TooManyHouseGuests Thu 17-Mar-16 07:52:31

I don't have children at either school, but I live in the area. Bancrofts is a bigger school, and harder to get into. It's fees are typically the lowest of the three schools in the area (Forest, Bancrofts, Chigwell.)

Over the years, it seems that Forest has the most generous scholarship pot (though the lowest academic results; held down by the boys's school. In fact there were rumours a few years ago of the girls' school separating itself more fully from the boys' so its results could shown in all the guide lists in the papers etc. without being diluted by the lower boys' scores.)

I've known of several 50% scholarships over the years at Bancrofts. I think Chigwell must have a smaller pot, because I have never heard of a 50% scholarship there, the most I have known of is 15%.

Because it is smaller, Chigwell is seen as more "nuturing." Bancrofts is bigger and has a structured feel. When we visited with our DD, to us, it felt like a boys' school that had let some girls in. Bancrofts is the only school with Rugby for the boys and it feels like the 6th form boys who play Rugby get a lot of kudos. We saw beautiful fields and asked where the girls play hockey and were told they get on a bus to go to some different fields. Those fields were for the boys to play cricket and Rugby. (When you are asking kids on a school tour they may get things confused of course. They won't be intimately involved in everything.)

For us, Bancrofts felt like a serious, old fashioned place to send one's son. That said, of our local schools, all things considered, it is the one we would have chosen for our DD,1 and that she would have chosen for herself had she not decided to commute to a girls' school.

BobsKnobs Thu 17-Mar-16 08:36:24

Thank you, that's really helpful. Would you have considered Chigwell for your daughter?

TooManyHouseGuests Thu 17-Mar-16 09:19:43

She sat and passed the Chigwell exam. We would have been happy to send her, if it had been the school that she was keen on. In the end, she wanted a girls' school and she wanted something more academically challenging. She had been top of the class all the way through her state primary. She did not want to continue being "top dog" but instead wanted to feel like "one of the gang."

BobsKnobs Thu 17-Mar-16 09:51:49

Thanks. Yes DD is the same, a large primary and many are high performers but she is at the top for maths and top table for literacy. She needs to be pushed as I feel she is coasting a little.

Feel a bit sad if the girls can't use Bancroft's sports facilities. Chigwell has huge grounds which is a plus for DD who loves team sports.

2016IsANewYearforMe Thu 17-Mar-16 11:12:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

jeanswithatwist Thu 17-Mar-16 15:53:15

dd is at chigwell, got a good music scholarship (although i don't want to say how much as i don't think we are supposed to disclose). superb school although it has one downside, in this instance some of the other parents....the flashy new money ones who don't know how to behave (no manners/selfish and superficial). Aside from them i think it is a terrific school. we didn't sit her for bancrofts, not our type of school. very 'league table' obsessed. dd was nearly the only child from a state school. we thought she may be behind academically as they didn't do french etc at school but she is top in the top french set/doing very well. fwiw if your dc is at a state school, don't worry about that as aside from a few awful flashy ones there doesn't appear to be a snobbery just from some of the parents.. . they are currently building a fab' 6th form building, super grounds, lovely caring bunch of teachers and some seriously lovely kids there. dd has a lovely bunch of friends

BobsKnobs Thu 17-Mar-16 19:29:02

Thanks Jeans. How is she coming along academically? Are you happy? Odd that so many from preps there, Bancroft's seemed to have more of a mix?

jeanswithatwist Thu 17-Mar-16 20:41:52

Most of the children there that started at 11 were from preps, i think dd and two others weren't. we are delighted with how she is doing. she is involved with many things outside of studies. her reports have been nearly all A/A*s. she has established some good friendships with a really nice bunch of academically minded girls as opposed to the ones that are focused on fashion boys and diets...... big focus on sports although she is rubbish at them grin. good facilities, lots of extra curriculum stuff. it's quite old fashioned (used to be a boys school) but that is one of the things i love about it. The only thing i don't like about it is the flashy element/mentality that some of the children/parents but if you ignore that then it is a fab' school.

BobsKnobs Thu 17-Mar-16 21:13:39

Sounds like she is doing great. Are the flashy /boys/diets mob the minority? Is there a lot of pressure to do the expensive trips (we can afford the lower priced ones but not £000's).

jeanswithatwist Thu 17-Mar-16 22:19:31

From what i can gather, most of the boys are nice, a few aren't as is the case in all schools, i would have thought. Not all the kids go on the fancier trips, we won't be sending dd on any far afield trips as i don't think it is necessary for varying reasons but ones closer to home would be ok. I have been told that only a small handful go on the fancier ones.

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