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wells Cathedral vs other private schools.

(9 Posts)
pincopall Thu 24-May-18 20:33:15

Dear all,
My DD will come from abroad to study in Uk next year and we are looking for a school with strong academics, performing arts and Art. We visited big private schools in different part of UK and I am beginning to think that this little school really appeal to me for his friendly family feeling. Please can advise me ?
-are academics really good? they said they can tailor programs and stretch top students.A top student will learn more in a little familiar environment or in some other top academic but really big schools?
- They offer A levels plus enrichment program and extended projects; will DD have an outstanding education on academics there or better to go in more large schools like Sevenoaks, Wellington, King's Canterbury? There is really a big difference in what they can learn if they all prepare A levels? according to ISI all this schools are excellent.... I am intrigued to know if a big school can be better than a small one to learn for top students.
- DD is very good at languages, how are languages at Wells?
Do they really cater for the needs of really gifted non musical pupils ?

please advise generally on this school, very difficult to have an idea just reading through websites... all UK schools are good at having marveilous websites and poor parents are lost....

Zodlebud Fri 25-May-18 06:31:20

Have you name changed OP?

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/secondary/3247667-urgent-decision-Wells-Cathedral-vs-Kings-School-Canterbury

PhilODox Fri 25-May-18 06:34:57

I only know it for music. Is she musical?

pincopall Fri 25-May-18 14:49:15

hello,
we will come from France for eventually joining y 7 but it will depend which school we choose and if we have the right feeling before July.If not we can wait for y9.
If I understand correctly there are different entry points, depending on different schools: some y7, others y9!
We have recently started looking for Uk schools, ideally starting from next September but it could be also at other entrance points if we are too late for the tests.
We are not happy with the state school system here because it cannot cater very well for an artistic girl and we would like for her an all rounder education. And No, my DD does not play any instrument, she tried oboe in the past but it did not work very well; it was a couple of years ago; she can sing but nothing particularly outstanding I think and this does not seem to be her first interest, maybe ok for choir, but at the moment in the local french school they don't offer this options so I can only guess!
We hope she will be more inspired in a stimulating school.
She is very arty at the moment, pretty good in academic subjects and we are taking her at extra art classes after school but this is not an ideal situation, it is ok now at her age of 11 but I don't think that this will be appropriate any more as this courses are for children 9-12yo max.
She also really likes Sciences, Physics in particular. Not bad at Maths but not her first interest. We visited also other schools in London but my husband don't want to live in big cities, this is why we are considering something around London or in the countryside but nothing decided.
I can't find much about Wells Cathedral on this forum and yes I have seen the Wells Cathedral vs King's School post already but I hope to have some more detailed answers about the sizes of the school!!
We can take few more months but I would like to know if there are any other schools outside London well known for offering very good languages and arts. We don't particularly want an International school but if it exist outside London we will consider.
We will visit also Cheltenham Ladies as I was told they have good languages and Art department.
I have started looking at websites and I did not imagine so many private schools existed so as I said I am really lost! I knew the main ones, and I was surprised in reading the Wells cathedral website, they seems to offer what we look for but still don't know if it is best to be in a big or small school.
We still have to see some more schools but I am starting considering also what other parents say, I am sure this will help directing us.... we don't have all this time to always travel in UK visiting schools!
many thanks

Kent2017 Sun 27-May-18 23:10:26

Wells is a specialist music school, one of four in the U.K. with outstanding music teaching. King’s, Canterbury is a general public school but it’s known for excellent music in particular, and Arts in general, more than sport. My DC are really enjoying kings... academics are well organised and results seem really good.. quite a wide intake but they manage to get the best out of them, Oxbridge numbers strong etc. It’s 800 so medium sized but they all are together in the cathedral every day for assembly and it seems small enough: my two know everyone in their year they say. I don’t know much about Wells but we looked at Charterhouse, Felsted,, Wellington and Uppingham and chose Kings for the teaching and informality.... despite the uniform and history it’s pretty relaxed underneath.
Uppingham was nice, too, Wellington was far too pushy for our two, mixed we preferred by far. If you’re from France there seemto be a lot of French kids at King’s, bilinguals and expats. Handy for Eurostar at Ashford.

Kent2017 Sun 27-May-18 23:14:08

Oh and there is a junior school, Junior King’s, which provides about a third of the pupils each year. Mine didn’t go but it’s a good school gong on the reputation on the circuit. Happy to answer more, can find out about the languages and Art.

Mary19 Mon 28-May-18 14:43:18

Heathfield school is often suggested as good for art. It’s in Ascot so not far from London and all girls.
What sort of school are you looking for. Traditional, liberal, alternative?
Coed or all girls, large or small, option to do IB or OK with A levels?
You are quit3 late for this September but further out of London you may get more options

Mary19 Mon 28-May-18 15:15:06

Another one that is suggested is Queenswood near Potters bar. Very close to London but not London.
For Coed Brighton College may be worth a. Look but I am sure it will be full for this year.

TonTonMacoute Tue 29-May-18 14:48:59

Wells would not be on my list at all, even with a musical child.

Many schools are used to taking good care of non-English pupils, and just because a school is large, if they have a good house system then the pupils still feel they are part of a smaller unit.

You really sound as if you need to go through an agency to find a good fit for your child. Gabbitas is the big one, and the Good Schools Guide also run a service, and there are several other smaller agencies too, I knew a Spanish family who used one called Connections UK.net who were very good.

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