good/bad oxford schools please(31 Posts)
OK this is all extremely personal and based 99% on rumour!
Matthew Arnold (where ds will go unless something very unforeseen happens) is not bad at all. It's the smallest of the Oxford state secondaries (which isn't saying much) and has good results at the mo (81% 5 A-Cs and all that IIRC) plus they can do separate sciences which I like. In general I hear reasonable things about it and I know some girls who are currently there who are pleasant. When I did an A-level there as a private candidate I thought it was strikingly dirty and neglected in places but liked the relationships of staff and children that I witnessed. Apparently it used to be amazing at history but a history teacher went off on long-term sick. The turnover of staff is relatively high but that's from 2 years ago.
Cherwell is the 'top' state secondary - don't know exact results but I was at Oxbridge with numerous products of their sixth form. They have no uniform (which I like, wish MA didn't either). It's rather enormous now but the early years are on a separate site from the later years. There are persistent rumours of drug problems but frankly I think that's a problem in the whole of Oxford not to mention the whole of the country.
Magdalen College School is one of the most successful boys' private secondaries in the country. My ILs live next to a boy in the early years there and I would say it's extremely hard work there - I probably wouldn't choose it for ds even if I could afford it. having said that, it has an absolutely amazing reputation in terms of atmosphere and all-round achievement. I know one of the people involved in pastoral care there and she is lovely.
The Oxford Academy/The Peers School is.... well, it's just relaunched, it presumably has a new head and lots of new money as an Academy, so it has potential. I have never been there. I probably would have home-educated rather than send ds to the Peers but a school that is on its way up has a lot going for it. Ds attends a primary school that used to be avoided by parents locally and it's lovely so these things are never simple.
don't know anything to speak of about the others.
I know people who went to Cheney School and say good things about it, also Wheatley Park, just outside Oxford. I don't know Matthew Arnold or Cherwell at all but agree they both have good reputations.
DH and his brother went to Magdelen College. I think it was fine for them but I don't think I would have liked it (excusing the fact that I am obviously a girl and it is a boys' school ).
SIL was at Oxford High School until last summer. She enjoyed being there, got very good A Levels etc.
sloppyjoe - know Oxford High School and Magdalen very well. Both are private.
Both extremely hard to get in to. Both high pressure environements and would not recommend it for any child who would struggle to keep up.
Have a fried who sings the praises of Headington Girls School (also private) - much more rounded education for girls but still high academic standard and rising every year.
I do have to admit to finding it a slight bit amusing that I got better exam results than DH from my comprehensive school in Liverpool .
SIL started at OHS in Year 5 (when there was still three tier education in Oxford - had been at a state school until then) and is a totally well rounded person
Oxford High has a reputation amongst the GDSTs (I went to another one) of being full of high achieving, pressurised and possibly neurotic daughters of academics. I'm willing to bet that this is a gross exaggeration although I did know someone who transferred to Cherwell for the sixth form as she'd had enough. There again girls left my school in the sixth form simply because it was fashionable to go to the local sixth form college.
how far afield can you go?
the state secondaries in Eynsham (Bartholomew) & Faringdon have better Ofsteds and get better resulkts than the ones in Oxford (apqart from MA)
private, St Edwards if they are sporty and conventional but not overly bright
d'Overbroeks (sp) if they are not at all sporty but are less conventional. Good rep with dyslexia etc too.
SIL is high achieving, but not neurotic . FIL is an academic though.....
bellisima your analysis is not far off but really applies to any selective girl's school inc Headington, St Paul's, Wycombe A, CLSG etc and most G|DSTs too
CHerwell is well-regarded among the state schools.
I wouldn't be happy with Peers: I know it's been relaunched but it was terrible before and some of those kids are still there. A friend was physically assaulted when he taught there.
In Abingdon Larkmead is supposed to be good.
Good private schools are Teddy's, OHS, St Helen's (Abingdon), Abingdon School, and Headington, plus Magdalen.
Abingdon boys school (private) very good. Just took the Headmistress from Oxford High School. Also St Helen & St Katharine (private) for girls is the sister school of Abingdon boys.
My view is teh two schools will merge into a super private school. High in the league tables but not as intensely academic as OHS or Magdalen.
I thought the headmistress of OHS was going (or had gone) but couldn't quite remember.
I believe she is going at end of this academic year to Abingdon boys school.
That does ring a bell - my knowledge is only from reading things like letters and yearbooks when we go to see PIL
'My view is teh two schools will merge into a super private school. High in the league tables but not as intensely academic as OHS or Magdalen.'
I don't think so. They don't need to do this. Both are popular and well-subscribed. Parents have chosen those schools because they are single-sex, albeit working closely together, especially in music/drama/A levels. There is no reason for a merger.
Maybe...but Magdalen suddenly announced it is taking girls in sixth form next year. I am sure it will take girls lower down the school after a few years. St Edwards already does. My view is the Abingdon schools will have to merge and OHS will have to go mixed as well to compete. Some GDST schools already do where numbers of private pupils have dropped.
I even think Headington may merge with Magdalen as they are geographically very close to each other.
Lots of interesting thoughts here - thank you.
We would be looking at Oxford and to the East. Poss look at Abingdon area.
Thought Wheatley Park was in Specially Measures?????
Kids are sporty and poss quite bright (but I am biased of course).
wheatley parkgot a pretty poor ofsted last time round, not sure it's in special measures though
I went to Wheatley Park!
Left in '96 though when the fearsome deputy head was still there and she used to hold it all together. Was a good school back then but have heard it's gone to the dogs recently.
Cheney has always had and still has a dodgy reputation. My friend just moved areas and her DD (14) was struggling at Cheney but is doing so well at the new school she's taking AS levels at the same time as GCSEs.
My twins went to or are still at a prep near Faringdon,we moved my daughter to OLA(Our Lady's Abingdon) at 11, she's now in yr 8 and thriving. She did the 11+ test for St. Helen's and passed but it wouldn't have been the school for her ,OLA is well worth consideration if your child is better being a "big fish in a small pond". Her twin brother is in his last year at prep school and about to do CE, he'll be going to Abingdon, which we think will suit him well, he's able academically and musical and sporty. Just so glad we moved our daughter when we did (prep school not keen on the girls leaving at 11).
Re previous post, yes the OHS head is starting at Abingdon in Sept, but there is no way that St. Helen's and Abingdon will combine, the 2 schools do very well by them selves, they increasingly combine resources , but are very happy and proud of their single sex status.
I was going to say, given that Abingdon has almost a waiting list for its waiting list, and given that St Helen's is now going to have four classes (again) for year seven next year, there doesn't seem to be any problem with pupil numbers at all.
Alot of our friends kids go to Matthew Arnold and we went to the open day and it is really good - exam results very good but also good extra curricular activities and a reall nice athmosphere - the 6th form is apparently excellent. It tends to be oversubscribed though so you need to be in catchment area
My Aunt teaches maths at Cheney (she was at Isis Middle School before they abolished the 3 tier system, and from what I can gather it is a good school. Likewise Cherwell, where my SIL's sister teaches science.
I went to Oxford University and there were a fair few students in my year who'd been to Matthew Arnold.
I would have gone to Peers had we stayed in Oxford - good job for me that we moved by the sounds of it!
Of the state schools, I know people who've had kids at Cheney, Matthew Arnold and Cherwell, and all have been happy. All parents from academic backgrounds of one sort or another. All children gone onto university.
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