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Recommendations? Private schools in Southampton

(47 Posts)
twotabbies Sun 08-Oct-17 16:04:54

DD is currently in year 5 and we’re considering options for secondary school. Local comprehensive is huge and seems to have a good reputation but we’d like to look in to private schools too. Does anyone have any recommendations? Not really sure where to start!

TeenTimesTwo Mon 09-Oct-17 10:35:55

The two I am aware of are King Edwards (good strong reputation) and HCS (near Romsey. Not so strong, but lovely grounds).

What do you call huge? I think there are advantages in a big secondary as there is more choice of friends, more extra curricular, and a wider range of GCSE options.

DD's school is ~1200. She has 9 tutor groups in her year. In y7 she only mixed with 3 tutor groups including hers, this year it is 4 (different ones from last year).

Personally, if you have the money for private school I would also consider moving out of Southampton to catchment of Thornden or either of the 2 Romsey Schools or the 3 Winchester ones.

Ta1kinPeece Mon 09-Oct-17 12:22:02

KES gets good academics but has a very "narrow" outlook.
HCS / St Mary's / Gregg are only selective by wallet - many of the local comps do better than them in exams

I went to a private school with 60 per year so putting my kids into one of the big comps just over the border (same ones teen is on about)
was rather a shock
but the results were worth it.

My rule of thumb that Michael Wilshaw copied in an article on the weekend is to go and sit outside at kicking out time and get the "vibe" of the school.
The teeming mass of teenagers is quite something, but at most of the schools its a happy teem

and in the lesson environment you are very rarely aware of how big the schools are
for A level, the 6th form choices round here are splendid - options for all types

The other thing to bear in mind is that there is a LOT of flow between the state and private schools so whatever you decide, you have a decent chance to change your mind later

AtleastitsnotMonday Mon 09-Oct-17 14:49:39

KES is the obvious, if she passes entrance. Good school, not only academically but all rounders.
St Swithuns in Winchester is all girls.
The Greg and HCS for less academic. Where about do you live?

twotabbies Mon 09-Oct-17 16:07:53

Thanks for the replies.
We’re in Hedge End and nearest is Wildern, which I think has a good reputation.
It’s just so big!

Ta1kinPeece Mon 09-Oct-17 16:14:18

Wildern is a good school
and honestly, do not worry about the size.
The classes and tutor groups and banding and setting mean that the kids tend not to get "lost"
and economies of scale at big schools mean there are more varies opportunities

You'll have forgotten about it by the time you are looking at 6th form Symonds with 1900 per year grin

TeenTimesTwo Mon 09-Oct-17 18:53:56

There is a small (tiny) Christian school in Fair Oak - King's if you are that way inclined.

TeenTimesTwo Mon 09-Oct-17 18:54:19


twotabbies Mon 09-Oct-17 19:15:04

Thanks. I think we’ll try to book in on some open days and go from there... Still can’t quite believe that she’ll be going to senior school soon!

Stickerrocks Mon 09-Oct-17 19:35:49

I'm a few miles west of you & DD is in year 11 of an OFSTED outstanding school. We really are spoilt for choice in the state sector on the outskirts of Southampton. If we hadn't been lucky enough to get her a place in our chosen school (we're out of catchment) we would probably have considered KES, but I don't regret our decision for a minute. Most of the secondary schools have already had their open evenings by now for current year 6, so you be too late for an early look around.

Although the schools initially seem big, DD was immediately put into sets for all of the core subjects and was with her tutor group for the rest. This means that she has essentially been with the same group throughout the school. There are usually 3 or 4 feeder schools for each secondary, so there will almost certainly be some familiar faces in your DD's tutor group and classes.

FernetBranca Mon 09-Oct-17 22:32:07

What is St Anne's like these days, does anyone know?

Stickerrocks Mon 09-Oct-17 22:48:15

The girls all seem to be very well behaved as they wait at city centre bus stops! Non-Catholics have a good chance of getting in, as the recent intakes appear very diverse. I have no idea about their OFSTED or exam results, but I imagine they are still near the top of the Southampton league tables. It depends if you want a single sex school.

Ta1kinPeece Wed 11-Oct-17 20:27:02

St Annes is still notorious for the rolled up skirts
but it still tops the exam results in Soton by a fair way
and is by no means strictly catholic (see the newspaper stories about sikh turbans there !)
They have taken over St Georges (which has gone co-ed to fill up)

but it is strictly girls - the options for boys are less good !

FernetBranca Wed 11-Oct-17 22:10:59

Sorry, am massively hijacking. Am an old girl from St Anne's so just interested in how it is perceived. In the old days my parents bypassed the Winchester state schools to send me there, which was quite a popular route if you were Catholic, but I think barely happens now. (But I hail from pre-rebrand Montgomery/Danemark days, which were not, erm, aspirational).

What is the story re St George's? That was the old secondary modern, so always had a poor rep (I think St Mary's was the catholic boys grammar which went independent, and St Anne's had been the girl's grammar which went direct grant then comprehensive, but a lot of people used to still call it the "convent high" in my day)

AuntieUrsula Thu 12-Oct-17 13:07:17

KES still has 1,000 pupils so not that much smaller than many state schools. Greggs is a lot smaller and not selective - we went to have a look round there and it came across as a lovely, caring place.

My friend lives in Wildern catchment but they went with St George's because it was smaller, and she seems very happy there (though haven't seen her recently).

The rolled-up skirts though are an issue anywhere - certainly the KES girls do it as much as St Anne's, judging by the ones I see at the bus stop!

bengalcat Thu 12-Oct-17 16:31:06

Portsmouth High School ( girls ) or Portsmouth Grammer ( mixed ) - both fee paying and both good - commutable from Hedge End

Ta1kinPeece Thu 12-Oct-17 17:39:50

St Georges was the Catholic Boys for Southampton and south Hampshire, St Annes the girls
but the boys results slid much more than the girls hence the changes

the skirts are indeed an issue everywhere
t'was ever thus

youarenotkiddingme Thu 12-Oct-17 17:52:04

I'm just slightly east of you! Just a motorway junction!

I've heard good things about Wildern.

I was also going to suggest St Anne's as I know a lot of kids go their by train from a bigger surrounding area.

Ojoj1974 Thu 12-Oct-17 23:24:16

Boundary Oak is now taking up to 16 yrs old. They have an open day coming up soon

Redsrule Fri 13-Oct-17 10:38:57

St Anne's are second only to St Edmund's in Portsmouth in the Progress 8 measures for GCSEs for Hampshire/Southampton/Portsmouth area. St Georges are 3rd, all beating the likes of Bohunt and Wildern for progress.

Ta1kinPeece Fri 13-Oct-17 14:14:31

Do you have a link to a table that shows the three authorities combined ?

AtleastitsnotMonday Fri 13-Oct-17 15:44:00

I would be careful with Boundary Oak only just started to take to GCSE when struggling for numbers. I have an suspicion that there would be very few people in her year.

youarenotkiddingme Fri 13-Oct-17 16:32:58

Boundary oak also went to GCSE because Rooksbury park closed and so did wickham house.
I want to see their accounts because if other schools in fareham have gone bust they either are also at risk or they are safe because they have the pupils from other schools.
I'd look into whether many kids from west hill transfer there as it's prep only and see where they're kids go.

Also have a look at West Hill park as it's close to junction 9 so easy journey!

Redsrule Fri 13-Oct-17 18:09:17

Just looked at data on St Ed's was +.83, St Anne's +.65, St Georges's +.57 and Westgate, the best in Hampshire +.49.

Ta1kinPeece Fri 13-Oct-17 18:22:54

But St Georges is dying on its arse and trying desperately to fill places ......
hence why it has gone co ed (pretty unusual for a Catholic school)
and why it has no religious entry criteria at all effectively

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