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Mayfield School, Sussex

(10 Posts)
Kinlocrhum Fri 12-Jul-19 21:26:48

I am considering Mayfield for entry September 20, and have attended an Open Day. I was impressed, but wonder if anyone has personal knowledge? TIA!

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Kinlocrhum Sat 13-Jul-19 20:50:01


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Needmoresleep Sun 14-Jul-19 08:46:18

Sorry, I can't help much. I went to Mayfield, though years ago, and it has changed a lot since my day.

I have been back fairly recently and hear a bit about the school from a friend who knows one of the Governors, and via OG networks.

Like all schools it is about fit. I would certainly recommend the school for the right child.

Catholic schools are often interesting in that they tend to take a broader range of abilities, so don't fly high in the league tables. It also means that they attract a wider range of overseas boarders: Spain, Latin America, Poland, Nigeria, along with Asians which helps prevent cliques forming, an issue elsewhere. Mayfield has always been socially outranked by St Mary's Ascot, which I think is a good thing. Mayfield girls don't seem to be back in London every weekend to attend smart parties. The religion sits lighter as well, presumably diluted by a number of non-Catholic day girls, but the basic ethos remains.

Given its broader intake Mayfield's results seem impressive, especially in maths/STEM. They will get the academic child to Oxbridge if that is where they should go, but without neglecting the others with different talents and abilities. My own DC went through selective London day schools and though they thrived, I see real value in schools where you don't have to be clever. At Mayfield recognition can be earned through its strong singing, pottery and other creative arts, horse riding etc.

This impression was reinforced by someone telling me on my last visit that they are seeing increasing numbers of applications from ordinary London parents, not the super-smart set, but those who want a gentler, more nurturing, education for girls that is not easily found in London day schools. Mayfield is perhaps a school that sails under the radar for girls who themselves might sail under the radar in a more robust environment, but one with real excellence in academics, sport and creative arts.

Kinlocrhum Mon 15-Jul-19 12:03:56

Need more sleep , thank you so much, that is super helpful. I had the feeling when I visited that the pupils seemed very happy girls - and that is very important to me.
If there are a lot of London girls does that mean they all go home on Fridays?
I'm looking at boarding, we're in Singapore for the next 3 years.

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Needmoresleep Mon 15-Jul-19 23:53:57

You could ask the school where boarders come from, but it really isnt a school known for sophisticated pupils who want to return every weekend.

The bigger problem is that it is far from the full boarding we had in my day. I think boarders are now a minority especially below sixth form. (My understanding is that the sixth form centre was built to bring up the number of boarders as there is a good interest from a number of countries for a couple of years UK education before University) However Mayfield is a smallish village and even back then day girls would invite people home for tea, which made them very popular. Whilst my Irish best friend used to routinely come home with me on visiting weekends.

From what I can see the school works hard to provide entertainment over weekends. Here it probably depends on the girl. If cozy pizza suppers appeal, and a child is content in a pretty village where kindness is encouraged, away from the super academic competitivity that can exist in both London and Singapore, then it really could be a good fit. One where a quieter academic child can thrive with space to develop other talents. (Many many years on friends of mine are grateful for the choral skills they developed at Mayfield.)

It would have been wrong for my daughter, but it will be right for others. I hope some current Mayfield parents come along, but at the end of the day you know your child and will need to go partly on instinct.

Kinlocrhum Tue 16-Jul-19 14:39:51

Golly, you make it sound quite square! I thought the girls I saw were quite lively. However a short visit can never give a full impression. It would be great indeed to have a current parent perspective. I really don't want too square a school where the girls don't have a perspective of the big world etc etc.

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Thrupennybrit Tue 16-Jul-19 14:52:23

Oh wow, a real blast from the past for me, I went to the feeder junior school (HCJ) wway back when. No help for you sorry Kin but good luck school finding.

Our kids went to UWC in Singapore and did the IB. The DC and DH and I thought it a great school and the fact it was boarding was our backup if we had to leave SG before they finished. They really nurtured the DCs interests but made sure that the academics were excellent.

Needmoresleep Tue 16-Jul-19 15:52:27

I did not mean to make it sounds 'square' unless purposeful, kind and active are square.

I guess I was trying to contrast with St Marys Ascot which can be both more Catholic, much richer and very much more sophisticated. Or the academic London day schools my kids thrived in, but not everyone did which had some interesting cliques.

Mayfield is more down to earth with an established and impressive head. If you are looking for somewhere less 'square perhaps Bedales? Again a school which suits some, not others.

Kinlocrhum Tue 16-Jul-19 17:44:18

By use of the word square I meant staid and old fashioned. It was the words quieter, cosy, village feel that made me think that!
My daughter is certainly not quiet, but needs direction on the academic front. She is not a self-starter, so Mayfield looks good on that side. I should also have said RC is what we want.

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Kinlocrhum Sun 21-Jul-19 13:06:12

Bump for any current parents! Thank you

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