What's Southwell Minster School, Nottinghamshire, like?(6 Posts)
We are starting to consider Secondary schools for DD1 who is in Year 6. What is your opinion about the school, please?
It is not our catchment school - we live 5 miles away and do not attend church - do we have any hope of getting a place - we've heard it's very competitive!
The other schools round our way - Colonel Frank Seely and Toot Hill do not seem to be what we are looking for, but and views on them would be wonderful!
My son starts at the Minster in September! We are out of catchment too but managed to get him a church place as we are regular church church goers - would not have had a chance of getting him a place otherwise. It is top of the county for GCSE results at the mo so there are many, many more applicants than places...
We had a look around Toot Hill too. We were not keen (but we had already seen the Minster and both DS1 and I had set our heart on it) but it has a good reputation and very reasonable GCSE results.
Colonel Frank Seely, I know well through work and wouldn't send my child there - saying that though, it has a new head teacher and I've heard some positive things about it recently so it might be one to consider.
If I were you, I would send off for prospectus for all of the ones you are considering, ask around the local area for opinions and then go and have a look around them all on a normal school day (not when they are all poshed up ready for open days)
If I can help any more - let me know
I meant to say that DD is in Year 5 - we'd have left it a bit late otherwise!
I'm put my name down with the school for a prospectus as I'd really like to have some firm choice about what we're doing before the mad rush at the beginning of next year.
I've heard some less than encouraging things about Seely too, but have also heard that the teachers at the Minster are known for being strict (ex-pupil, though, so not possibly the best source of information!).
Can I ask what the things were that particularly impressed you and your DS? Are there any things which put you off about the school?
Sorry to ask so much - I'm just quite keep to get this one right!
We went to see six schools in all and the Minster was our favourite by miles.
In general terms, it is a high achieving school, it has a fantastic new building providing an excellent learning environment and state of the art facilities and it has a good reputation.
In terms of visiting the school, I was very impressed with the teaching staff (the majority of whom were friendly, enthusiastic about their subjects and spoke to DS and not just me) There was a good relationship between pupils and staff - a good balance between approachable and authorititive, I thought. The executive head and senior staff were also milling around and were again approachable, helpful and passionately enthusiastic about their school.
In terms of what it provides personally for DS1, he is academic (G&T Maths) and I was reassured by the Head of Maths that his needs would be met both in class and in terms of extracurricular activites (they apparently have loads of kids attending a maths club!) He plays 2 musical instruments so again his needs will be met in the Minster with it's music specialism. He is also sporty and very out-of-doorsy so I was impressed by the sports provision and the large participation in D of E.
and finally, from my POV, it is a church school, which I prefer and it is not too far from home and he can get a bus....
There have been two seperate negative issues which concern me slightly but are both hearsay. One is that the town has a problem with underage drinking / drugs and the school are not brilliant at dealing with bullying. I asked senior staff about both issues when I went to look round and was happy with their replies and the information that they gave me about their procedures and policies and preventative measures to tackle both problems.....
Having said all that, I still wonder whether I have made the right decision and I still hope that DS1 is happy and settled there - I suppose time will tell....
Hope that helps - good luck with the school search
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