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Winchester Secondary Schools, which is most diverse?

(16 Posts)
ShortHamstrings Mon 22-Jun-20 08:04:25

Hi, I'm trying to get an up-to-date idea of what Winchester's 3 secondary schools are like, not in terms of their academic success, but day-to-day experience for non "alpha/sporty/extrovert" types. If anyone has any experiences to share that would be great. Because of Covid I've only been able to visit Westgate, which I liked, but did get the impression (from the talk by the headteacher) that the outgoing sporty type was viewed as the "best" way to be by the school. My eldest daughter (who will be starting secondary in September 2021) is not that interested in sport and is definitely not the outgoing sociable "cool" type. Are any of the secondaries in Winchester good at encouraging the kids to be open minded to different types of kids? We've not had a great experience with her primary school where there is a big group of "mean" girls who are sporty/intelligent/grown-up who are viewed by the teachers as kind of "ideal" but who bully the other less cool girls in the year. The school aren't interested and we were hoping to find a school which was a bit more diverse and not just valuing the typical Winchester attributes of sporty/winner/cool. I don't mean to offend anyone, I'm not saying these are bad but would like somewhere quite diverse if possible. I've heard on the grapevine about a few bullying issues at Westgate but not sure if this is true or just gossip.

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FifiForgot Mon 22-Jun-20 10:48:30

I can't comment on Winchester schools from personal experience, but I have friends with children at Westgate and Kings. I haven't heard of any bullying issues, but both children are fairly sporty. Does it have to be Winchester? Perins in Alresford has a catchment that reaches Basingstoke and although is has a sporty element, creative arts are also big. The children seem to find their own "tribe" fairly easily and there are many children who aren't sporty or "creative".

Tenpintonpin Mon 22-Jun-20 11:04:55

Do you already live in Winchester or are you looking to move? Unless you are living in Westgate catchment I think you would be very lucky to get a place in 2021, once the lower school starts feeding into the Secondary school. Kings catchment is also lot tighter than it used to be. Perins and HB still taking kids from a wider area (although the Barton Farm development will hike up the pressure on HB). Apologies if this isn't relevant, just may help to make a decision if your choices are more limited!

Hoggleludo Mon 22-Jun-20 12:12:34

As above

Winchester has very long wait lists. Even if you're in the catchment. It doesn't Guarantee you a place. I know someone who upped and moved within a stones throw of a very well known school in Hampshire. Brought a £750,000 house and still didn't get in!!

ShortHamstrings Mon 22-Jun-20 15:22:22

Yes we are in catchment for Westgate so she she would get in. We don't think Kings would suit anyway so have pretty much discounted that. I was wondering whether HB (which seems to be discounted out of hand by everybody, without even looking at it!) might be a better fit but i don't know anyone who sends their kids there so know nothing about it.

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TeenPlusTwenties Mon 22-Jun-20 15:39:26

I know two families whose kids went to HB one boy one girl.
Neither sporty/confident/sociable/cool.
Both parents seemed happy with school throughout, good pastoral care.

That said, the parents I know from Westgate seemed pretty happy too.

(The Kings parents I knew moved out of area).

ShortHamstrings Mon 22-Jun-20 17:42:00

Thank you @TeenPlusTwenties that is good to know. I really don't understand why everybody dismisses HB!

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TeenPlusTwenties Mon 22-Jun-20 17:57:05

Because they don't wear blazers perhaps? smile

I suspect that in a good many places in the country people would bite your hand off for a place at HB. it's just that in Winchester and surrounds you are spoiled for choice.

Tenpintonpin Mon 22-Jun-20 18:19:11

Ha, I've always suspected the blazer thing too! I think that it has been a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy - HB has traditionally got slightly lower (although still strong) GCSE results, and therefore while there was a choice of schools, more academic students were funnelled into Westgate and Kings, so they had the best results and remained the most desirable schools. Kings also used to get stacks of high achievers from elsewhere in the county. Now people are increasingly 'forced' into their catchment school and most parents I know seem to be fairly happy with whichever school they end up with (and HB results look to be on the up, possibly as a result). Hopefully there will be few open evenings in the Autumn where you will be able to get a better feel for the schools?

TeenPlusTwenties Mon 22-Jun-20 18:43:59

I think HB might be on the up due to no more controlled assessments.
The impression I had was WG was more pushy/organised about them (not breaking rules, but eg making sure there was time to redo them etc) than HB was.

Stanleyville Mon 22-Jun-20 22:09:32

I find HB to be a kind, respectful school that encourages independance and I'm happy with it. Winchester people are snobby about it (was it the comp when the other two were the boys and girls grammars?). There are a wide range of children there in terms of income, but that would be true at Kings too. There's a full range of abilities. There's a bigger range of nationalities than I anticipated but I would not describe it as ethnically diverse. Winchester's not really a diverse city!

ShortHamstrings Tue 23-Jun-20 19:51:16

Stanleyville

I find HB to be a kind, respectful school that encourages independance and I'm happy with it. Winchester people are snobby about it (was it the comp when the other two were the boys and girls grammars?). There are a wide range of children there in terms of income, but that would be true at Kings too. There's a full range of abilities. There's a bigger range of nationalities than I anticipated but I would not describe it as ethnically diverse. Winchester's not really a diverse city!

I've heard lots of good things about HB. I really don't get why Everyone is so snobby about it still. Winchester couldn't be less diverse ethnically, but good to hear there's lots of different "types" there.

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catshavestaff Tue 23-Jun-20 20:53:28

Certainly 5 years ago the feedback was that Henry Beaufort produced more independent learners who made the transition to 6th form college better and I’ve not heard anything to change that. Definitely less sport oriented, good music and art.

Mumof3cherubs Tue 23-Jun-20 23:22:36

I know of two families with children in yr 7 and 8 at HB both very happy so far.

SunflowerProsecco Wed 24-Jun-20 17:11:18

I know someone who had to move their child out of WG due to bullying. This was 2 years ago.
Do have a look at Perins. It's a very good, popular school and others from Winchester attend.

ShortHamstrings Thu 25-Jun-20 15:37:47

SunflowerProsecco

I know someone who had to move their child out of WG due to bullying. This was 2 years ago.
Do have a look at Perins. It's a very good, popular school and others from Winchester attend.

Thanks for the info @SunflowerProsecco. I hadn't thought about Perins as an option but will give it a look!

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