King Edward Southampton or Dauntseys?(11 Posts)
Hi all. I am new to Mumsnet. We are trying to finalise secondary school options for our DS. Given the choice, which of the two schools above would you pick? Both get good results. Dauntseys more remote/ logistically complicated. KES ISI report found inconsistent teaching quality but that was 4 years ago so perhaps it's improved? Our DS is bright but needs to be pushed and enjoys sport but B teams. We would want somewhere that had high standards, stretched and inspired him to try his best, was friendly/kind and offered lots of activities. Not too short a school day (eg if formal school ends at 4pm then lots of after school activities). Can anyone advise on these two schools or others in vicinity? We would consider further afield south west of London but our budget doesn't stretch to the big names eg Winchester, Wellington. We would be hugely grateful for any advice
Thanks happygardening. Didn't know about that. Will take a look.
Second hand experience of both:
KES, from what I've heard, sounds like one of those big N London Day Schools like NLC or Habs (yes, I know they're girls schools!) but, large, very sporty, alpha-style personalities, everyone cracking on in a fast paced, challenging environment.
Many of the people I know who have DC there are they type who head for the coast with their windsurfers on a Friday night because a cyclone is forecast; run night-marathons; cycle 20 miles to work in all weathers- all very competitive; whose DC get- and seem to want- no 'downtime'. The others are Asian doctors!
A friend of mine with a very bright DD visited and thought it was a bit overwhelming, in her opinion.
Dauntseys, on the other hand, seems also to be sporty but appears to have a wider range of 'types'. I know of 3 DC there who failed their Salisbury 11+ though not by much. They've done 'OK' academically but not stellar, but of course, that might just be these 3 individuals! The parents are more
like me 'normal' imho.
I suspect, upon visiting them, you'd find quite different styles of school.
I have first hand experience of KES, so obviously have name-changed.
KES is large and fairly academic, and not the sort of school to which I would send a child who struggled to keep up - there is learning support (and excellent pastoral care), but I don't think academic stragglers would enjoy it very much. Having said that, I do think there is more of a range of ability than the school would like to admit.
There are loads of activities - my DC can't go to all the clubs they would like to because there are so many - and lots of school trips. If your DC is the sort of child who throws themselves into things they will get along there well, although even my quieter DC enjoy it.
I've found there are a huge mix of parents: some monied, some - like us - very much not so, but I've not found the parents clique-y.
I can't remember too much more of your OP, but do feel free to ask any questions here, or to PM me.
Oh, teaching generally good, some really excellent, some rather average. I know some of the staff there socially and it seems to be a fairly happy place to work. Second-hand, I have heard that the school have dealt sensitively with some tricky pastoral stuff.
So probably not the place for massive non-conformists or extremely shy children who would be intimidated by a big busy school, but we are generally happy, as are our DC.
Probably not relevant, but I'm going to say it anyway.
Given you have mentioned Salisbury and Southampton locations and seem to be looking at day schools:
Have you looked at Mountbatten School in Romsey? I know it is a comp, and I know its school day finishes early. And you may live nowhere near Romsey so maybe wouldn't get in anyway. But it does meet quite a lot of your criteria. And of course it is free.
As I said, probably not what you are looking for.
I know teachers who could have sent their children to KES who chose Mountbatten instead.
Thanks all for your comments. I'm really grateful - it's hard to make decisions when we don't know anyone at either school. State secondaries also definitely an option, and would leave us with more money for other things , so certainly haven't ruled them out.
Don't forget Bishops in Salisbury. A grammar.
I'm a parent at Dauntsey's which we chose over KES for our DC.
We've been really happy with it- the head is great (he knows everyone, and their parents- it really is friendly), and there is a huge emphasis on pastoral care due to the boarding side of the school. Not highly selective which means there's a much wider range of ability than at KES, but the results are fantastic- DD1 got straight A*s and DD2, who sounds similar to your son (bright but needs pushing) has been supported immensely and is predicted all As and A*. The school's selling point is that they add 'value': the kids don't all arrive as academic achievers but all do well. Teaching is on the whole very good, and most of the teachers send their DC to Dauntsey's as it is very much a family school.
Virtually everyone stays until 5:30 when the buses leave so there are plenty of activities and time to do homework at school. The downside of this is that DC are exhausted when they come home. Like KES, would suit a child who is willing to really get involved, as this is what much of the ethos is about, but there are some who don't, and this is okay too.
Sport is good, especially for boys, with an emphasis on 'getting involved' in the younger years, so B team is fine. Lots of opportunities for adventure and outward bound with trips happening most holidays.
According to my DC, the biggest downside is that the school attracts people from all over Wiltshire (and Hampshire- we live on the border) so their friends can live up to two hours away, which is difficult in the holidays and wouldn't have been an issue at KES.
My DC have thrived at Dauntsey's, and I wouldn't hesitate to send them there again. It's a very happy school where everyone can find their place. However, it is becoming more and more popular (open day yesterday saw 600 DD tells me) so could perhaps become more competitive in years to come!
Have you looked at Hampshire Collegiate School? We're always very impressed with the kids when we play them at sport, and it's a lovely setting in which to grow up.
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