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Help with Brentwood school

(12 Posts)
Sweety1984 Thu 20-Feb-20 22:37:30

Hi there
My son has got offer letter from Brentwood school to join in year 7. Can any one share their views about the school. Pls

OP’s posts: |
Mamato2gorgeousboys Fri 21-Feb-20 13:53:25

Brentwood is a lovely school. My dc don’t attend but here are some bits I know based on friends who have attended and other friends whose dc attend currently from passing conversions.

- New headmaster seems very good.
- Lots of investment in facilites
- excellent grounds and facilities
- very sporty, lots of teams and clubs
- decent performing arts
- not much support if your child is the lower end academically but not sen. I know of someone who just missed the requirements to enter the sixth form but they weren’t interested or helpful as they didn’t want the child to bring down their sixth form results.
- competitive parents
- great pastoral care
- can be flashy when it comes to parties etc.
- academically very good
- good with careers advice and help. Lots of parents work in the city so facilitate work experience etc. Same goes for previous pupils.
- children who go up from their prep school seem more mature than from the other preps Not in a good way - In the context of having “boyfriends”, how they dress etc.

On the whole, I’ve heard good things. Whether you accept will mainly depend on what other offers he has received. What are his other options?

Mamato2gorgeousboys Fri 21-Feb-20 13:53:52

Conversations not conversions*

Sweety1984 Fri 21-Feb-20 17:29:17

Brentwood is our only choice apart from state schools in our catchment area.
My main concern is can a normal child who is not very bright child but works hard with simple background can fit into that school. I work in a pvt nursery and my husband works in a bank. Since we have only one child paying full fees won’t be that problematic. And also currently my son is studying in very small pvt school and he don’t have that much exposure to out side world.

OP’s posts: |
Mamato2gorgeousboys Fri 21-Feb-20 21:12:16

If your ds was bright enough to get in, as long as he is hard working, then he will get along just fine. Effort goes a long way. Well done on him for passing the entrance tests.

With regards to a “simple” background, I really wouldn’t worry about this. As with any indie, there are parents who are mega rich. There are also dc whose parents are in normal jobs who can only send their dc there due to gp’s providing a trust. There are lots of parents where both parents work who work hard and can afford the fees. There are also many parents with only one dc who can afford to privately educate due to having an only. Proximity to the city also means that there are quite a few parents who weren’t privately educated but who have good jobs in finance.

What was your impression on the school when you visited? What did you think of the Head? Did your ds like it? If you’re concerned if it’s the right fit, maybe speak to the Head at your current school. I think they would probably have advised you against applying if they didn’t think he’d be happy there. Are many of his friends going there?

Middle of the road dc tend to be the ones that really flourish in an indie due to the smaller class sizes and they can’t hide in the crowd so get the help they need. In a state school, they try bloody hard but it’s easy to be overlooked if you’re not either the brightest or one of the very weakest.

I personally would choose Brentwood over any state schools in the area. However, you need to speak to your ds and decide if he’d be happy there.

Sweety1984 Fri 21-Feb-20 22:16:10

Ds is very happy the moment he saw the school. Brentwood is his first choice.Because Ds is very much into joining CCF airforce. So he want to go to this school only.( to be frank he is very happy that he didn’t got into any school except the school of his choice) Thats why we couldn’t say anything. Chigwell and Brentwood schools are recommended by his current headteacher based on his strengths . As far we don’t know anyone who attends the school. we almost decided to go with this school. Apart from travelling distance we don’t any reason to say no to this school and with time I am hoping Ds will get used to the new environment.
And thank you so much for replying back.

OP’s posts: |
MarchingFrogs Sat 22-Feb-20 01:32:09

Apart from travelling distance we don’t any reason to say no to this school

How far will he have to travel?

Sweety1984 Sat 22-Feb-20 11:29:56

Ds has to leave around 7 am and would be back by 5pm . First year we are thinking to book school coach and 2 year planning to take public transportation. From Ilford there is direct from to Brentwood station and I heard from station lots of kids will be walking to school. But if we drive it will take 40 mins from door to door.

OP’s posts: |
Mamato2gorgeousboys Sat 22-Feb-20 16:12:25

If it’s his first choice and he is super keen to go, then I would go for it. It sounds like he knows that’s where he wants to be so won’t mind the travelling. It will be a long day for him, especially in the first year as the move is intense as it is.

Have you thought about how ds would get home in the year he is taking the coach if he’s doing extra curricular activities? The coach may leave before they finish, so there will be days you may have to collect him.

If his current Headteacher thinks it’s a good fit for him, then that’s a big positive. The only one who doesn’t seem quite as on board is you, otherwise you wouldn’t have been second guessing it.

Good luck with your decision Op smile

MarchingFrogs Sat 22-Feb-20 17:39:31

Presumably you could just give him the money for the train / load a ticket on a smartcard for the days when he stayed after the coach had gone? It's not a very long walk to the station.

Sweety1984 Sat 22-Feb-20 18:39:50

Yeah that’s true who is not on board yet. Ds is very confident.
Regarding the coaches Brentwood has got late coaches which will leave from school at 5.30 in case if he miss bus at 4pm. In worst scenario I am planning to go and pick him up from school if he want to stay back in school for clubs or for anything else. Since I finish my work at 4pm so it should be ok .
So we are planning to go with the school.
Thank you for everyone for your valuable suggestions.

OP’s posts: |
Mamato2gorgeousboys Sat 22-Feb-20 19:41:01

It’s a great sign that your ds is confident to go to a school that none of his friends will be attending. I would take that to mean that he does really like it as he’s not just following the crowd.

If you are still not 100% Op, maybe sit down with your dh and make a list of pros and cons to get to the bottom of where your uneasiness comes from. You could also ask ds to do this. It is a big financial commitment picking a school, so you need to be comfortable with your decision.

My dc are still young so we are currently deciding whether to privately educate. My dh is all for it and I am definitely coming around to the idea. We have two dc and would like another so my main concerns are financial as three sets of fees is such a huge amount. Not too bad in prep but in secondary it is massive, especially when you add on trips etc.

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