The Abbey school in Reading(9 Posts)
We are likely to relocate to the Reading or Wokingham area for the start of year 7, or just before. DD currently in y5. Does anyone have any knowledge of The Abbey school in Reading? Many thanks.
The Abbey School is a fantastic school for very bright and academic girls. If your DD does not fit fairly and squarely in that camp, then it may not be the place for her. If she does, then you may also want to consider Kendrick and plan how to spend the money you would save!
I agree with PP - It's very academic. Girls who are very focused on exam success do well there. Though if your DD is a good fit for The Abbey you would be foolish not to also consider Kendrick grammar. State but very similar ethos.
That part of Berkshire is awash with private schools though so you're bound to find one that fits!
Thank you. She is pretty academic, our problem is we aren't sure of when we are moving exactly which makes it hard to do the application for Kendrick Grammar.
Any more current Abbey parents? Are the pupils happy there?
Have family who have worked at both. Kendrick all the way! Abbey has ok facilities but in is far more mixed ability than Kendrick. Many Abbey girls leave at 10 or 11 and transfer over to Kendrick. One reason Abbey get 'higher' A level results is that many girls take the IB which seems easier, if broader and still a good course. The discipline at the school is lax, some girls seem quite pushy and undisciplined. It has a lot of enrichment and good pastoral care, but several staff there have complained there is too much of this at the expense of focuses academic work with clear expectations. Quite cliquey, as most schools are now, with a lot of staff on one year contracts. Kendrick is probably pushier with more overworked staff, but is more of a traditional school with better use of the school day. Your DD would probably thrive at either school but it is telling that many Abbey girls leave to go to Kendrick. Kendrick has the edge, I'd say, but both schools are good. What about fee costs?
I've visited both with my daughter - she has a place at Abbey for September. I liked the atmosphere of the school, the facilities are in good nick and the staff were excellent in my dealings. My daughter is bright but has many interests and abilities beyond the classroom too. I don't think Kendrick would have been right for her and from what I hear from friends with daughters there - it is a pressurised atmosphere which suits a certain kind of kid. I thought the facilities at Kendrick were pretty poor, the staff to be cold and their offerings outside of the classroom to be minimal, it's clear what they are there for. It is horses for courses but for my DD Kendrick was a non-starter on a number of grounds - they don't seem as similar IMHO as some of the earlier responses. It is by no means certain that my DD will attend but neither myself nor daughter liked Kendrick.
Can I revive this thread? We are looking at the Abbey for upper juniors and I was struck by the Head of Juniors emphasis on pastoral care - which is important, but she seemed less interested in academic and seemed to hint at staff turnover but tried to make it sound a good thing. Her background appears to be more management than teaching and I am not sure that I see that as a good thing.
Not a fair comparison. Kendrick is a state grammar with no fees and Abbey is private and expensive. The reason DDs move from Abbey to Kendrick (on the whole), is because they pass the entry requirements at Kendrick and get the benefit of a great education whilst their parents benefit from saving 15k or so a year at Abbey.!
Personally, as an 'insider', there is serious 5hit going on abbey (again), right now. Salaries were late, the finance manager was suspended and the whole department put on 'lock-down'. The FM is undoubtedly innocent of anything (far too good a person), but the Head is known to be a tyrant who was 'placed' as head against the wishes of most, in a deal to satisfy the previous Head and get her to leave. A couple of years ago the school lost its Head of Junior, Bursar, Assist Head, Gen Manager, Estate Man and more, all leaving in protest at the situation there... and there was some heavy paperwork going around supporting their decisions the leave in light of the corrupt governors.
My daughter is in Year 3, been at the Abbey since Pre-Nursery (3yrs). It works well for her - in fact she can't wait to get back to school after holidays. It is a very academic school at secondary school - but that's what I wanted for my daughter. At a junior level there is definitely a focus on more than academics, real focus on Wellness and social interactions. There are definitely some challenges at the school which are implied below, but I can't say that is currently impacting daughter. They do need to get into the 21st Century for things like after school clubs etc which are very limited - but my daughter does things outside school twice a week so never really an impact. The school works for my daughter's personality - but may not work for all - but I can't see that this is any different to any other school. I personally have no intention of moving her to Kendrick at 11 - not sure I would be more comfortable than I am with The Abbey given feedback from previous girls there - but again, I think all schools work or don't work for kids depending on "who" they are.
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