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Experiences of independent senior schools Surrey / SW London

(7 Posts)
Sparklymum1 Mon 16-Jan-17 09:56:50

We're in the midst of 11+ pre-tests for 13+ entry, and we're now in a bind about choices. DS has heard from one school already that he's being invited back to interview and he's likely, based on that, to he invited back to all. So, when it comes down to it, we might have more of a choice to make than we thought although he still has more pre-tests to do.

Does anyone have experience of St John's, Leatherhead, Hampton School, KCS, Wimbledon or St Paul's that they can share?

In particular how pushy are they with academic success? He's clever, and likes to learn but not be pushed to the detriment of his other interests.
Sport - DS is incredibly sporty and loves team sports
Music - DS plays piano and would probably like to continue

Any personal insight would be appreciated.

sandybayley Mon 16-Jan-17 10:34:28

KCS parent here.

DS1 already there and DS2 will follow in 2018.

I'm very happy with the school and have never thought of it as pushy. I suspect others outside of the school will be surprised about that but DS1 doesn't feel the pressure because he's naturally very able and has had good study skills and a strong work ethic.

I'm sure some boys do struggle but I wonder if that's because they've been over tutored and it's just not the right school for them.

Boys all very pleasant and quite normal - standard teenagers and not at all arrogant.

I'd encourage you to think very carefully about location and if you do end up with a choice go local if possible. It makes a huge difference if the boys need to be at school out of hours or at the weekend - as DS1 was at the weekend probably guiding your DS for his pre-test!

Sparklymum1 Mon 16-Jan-17 12:21:06

Hi sandybayley
Thank you for your reply. It's nice to hear. We went to the open day last year at KCS and found that the boys doing the tours were very academic - presumably because the sporty boys were out on the pitches playing sport! It didn't really give a balanced view.

Do you have any idea how the IB vs A-levels switch is going? Is your DS1 near to making choices?

sandybayley Mon 16-Jan-17 14:12:59

At KCS you'll find that the sporty boys are also academic!

DS1 is just starting to think about A levels v IB so I don't know enough yet to comment in detail. He could go either way but is probably swinging towards A levels as he's rather not have to do maths after GCSE.

homebythesea Wed 18-Jan-17 13:11:11

St Johns is co-ed so obvs that might be a consideration. I can't speak highly enough about it, great for sporty types loads of music but for others they will FIND something at which to shine and our experience if the pastoral side was nothing but positive.

OlennasWimple Wed 18-Jan-17 17:51:33


Wimbles101 Mon 30-Jan-17 19:22:54

Out of the ones you've listed I'd go with Hampton as a more balanced one - just on instinct. St Johns good too but possibly not as academic.
KCS and St Paul's definitely for the very academic.

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