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Poole/Bournemouth prep schools

13 replies

Unknown8943 · 18/11/2022 17:49

Hello, I’m looking into prep schools in the area as we are moving down. I really like the look of Yarrells and bcs. I will have a reception starter and year 3. Can anyone share what the schools are like please? Pros and cons. I will be visiting both soon.

thank you

OP posts:
illiterato · 18/11/2022 19:34

Hello. I'm not familiar with those schools but another one to consider is Dumpton. It's in Wimborne but they have buses running from Poole and Bournemouth. A lovely school with amazing facilities. Is not selective but a strong culture of effort and just giving it a go.

Might also consider Talbot Heath prep if you have girls?

BCS I think is IB primary curriculum. I am not a fan of that personally as I think the kids that are weaker on the basics end up behind, but some parents really like it. Also I believe it's a for-profit school which is quite unusual in UK.

I know its very early to be thinking about it, but be aware that Yarrells only goes up to Year 7 whereas schools that the preps often feed into like Canford and Bryanston only start in Year 9. If you're targeting the grammar schools then that's less of an issue. BCS is a through school as is Talbot Heath.

Other schools that I have no experience of but might be worth looking at - Castle Court and Ballards.

Also, you accidentally posted this in the boarding school section so may want to move it to primary education- can ask MN to do it.

Fudgeball123 · 19/11/2022 22:58

A friend of mine was very pleased with Yarrells and both children got into the grammar school from there. My understanding is BCS is not very academic.

DilettanteMum · 20/11/2022 10:29

Maybe post in another forum if you aren't looking for boarding info as not everyone will check this board.

Toots12345 · 02/03/2023 22:54

Park School is excellent and very well located.

BCS is owned by a chinese state backed company and all the senior leadership left in the last year.

secondspring · 04/03/2023 08:56

I have had a few friends children go through Castle Court which was very good.

Sage2025 · 04/03/2023 14:20

Does anyone have any thoughts between Castle Court and Dumpton? Do both do common entrance in Y8? Looking for a feeder school co-ed into 13+ independents in Dorset.

illiterato · 04/03/2023 15:18

Sage2025 · 04/03/2023 14:20

Does anyone have any thoughts between Castle Court and Dumpton? Do both do common entrance in Y8? Looking for a feeder school co-ed into 13+ independents in Dorset.

As a parent with two children at one of them I’d argue they’re pretty similar. CC used to be viewed as the more academic. I’m not sure that’s now necessarily true or at least it varies by year. I would visit both and see how you feel as it’s likely to come down to personal preference. CC typically has more students targeting the grammars and Talbot heath from year 7 so some years are thin in Year 7/8 as a result. Dumpton mainly feeds Canford, Bryanston and Claysmore and there for years 7/8 can be fuller.

illiterato · 04/03/2023 15:23

Sorry- re common entrance, yes, common entrance or scholarship exams in Year 8 depending on requirements of the school they’ll be going onto. So, for example, if students are sitting the canford scholarship exams they do those instead of common entrance. I’m not sure how old your dc are now but the places for year 9 are secured in Year 6 so common entrance is increasingly just a formality.

Sage2025 · 05/03/2023 03:31

illiterato · 04/03/2023 15:18

As a parent with two children at one of them I’d argue they’re pretty similar. CC used to be viewed as the more academic. I’m not sure that’s now necessarily true or at least it varies by year. I would visit both and see how you feel as it’s likely to come down to personal preference. CC typically has more students targeting the grammars and Talbot heath from year 7 so some years are thin in Year 7/8 as a result. Dumpton mainly feeds Canford, Bryanston and Claysmore and there for years 7/8 can be fuller.

Thank you. Appreciate your reply.

Sage2025 · 14/05/2023 13:42

Castle Court has a new head this September. The last one was in the position for only 5 years. This it normal to have relatively short tenure of head?

illiterato · 15/05/2023 22:18

Yes that is quite short but I’m not sure it was an entirely successful appointment so possibly good to have a change. I think headships are like any other job- sometimes it just doesn’t work out.

Mummingitup · 02/02/2024 12:24

@illiterato thank you for the info as I’m searching for an answer to the same question at the moment and comparing Dumpton and CC. Anyone had any experience of the new head to say what that’s meant for the view of Castle Court?

Mummingitup · 02/02/2024 12:25

@Sage2025 what did you choose as the best option in the end? We are weighing up the same question for September!xx

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