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How to choose a Prep School?

6 replies

LazyMum123 · 03/09/2009 22:40

I am in the process of choosing Prep School for my DS who will be sitting 8+ entrance in January 2010.

DS is quite bright and is finding current school work easy (he is currently in a non-selective school. The question is: should I choose a school that is very academic (assuming he can get in) so that he will be challenged in his next school (but he may be middle of the class) or should I choose a slightly less academic school where he can potentially be one of the top in the class and hence build his confidence?

Would be very interested in your views.

OP posts:
thegrammerpolicesic · 04/09/2009 09:04

Is he lacking in confidence? Do you think he'd benefit more from the boost of being top of the class or towards the top?

Find out what provision the less academic school has for brighter ones too.

What are the other differences between the main ones you are considering e.g. sports and music facilities/ provision?

Which do you both like the feel of?

fridayschild · 04/09/2009 13:10

Look at where the children go after the prep school. If they go to a range of schools (some highly academic, others less so) then you can probably expect your child to be pushed to his abilities, regardless of whether he is top of the class or in the middle.

Personally I think it would be very bad to be at an academic school and find yourself bottom of the class....

BonsoirAnna · 04/09/2009 13:12

I don't think many prep schools make a big thing of where a child is situated versus his/her peers in terms of achievement - they are generally more focused on getting every child to work to their full potential.

SomeGuy · 06/09/2009 12:49

My DS is at a non-selective pre-prep + prep school, but they are quite a bit ahead of state primary, so I'm not clear whether your DS is currently in a state or private school.

Different schools do different things. He'll be looking at senior schools relatively soon, so you might want to look at the progression from the prep school on to there and whether they regularly send children to your preferred senior school. Some senior schools are ludicrously expensive.

Also there are other aspects such as class sizes, facilities, school journey, after-school activities to consider.

If the school is sending children onto the more academic senior schools that would I think be proof that they will push your child sufficiently.

LazyMum123 · 06/09/2009 22:06

Thank you for all your comments so far. I guess I need to explain a bit more.

DS is currently in a non-selective pre-prep. I have actually narrowed down to 2 final choices of school within decent travel distance from home. Both schools are actually very good and feed into good senior schools.

The issue is: School A is extremely academic and School B is "medium" academic relative to school A. A friend who was an ex-headmistress, who knows both schools well, thinks that DS should go to School A because DS will be challenged there. She thinks DS will not be challenged at all in School B. However, DH thinks DS will enjoy being in School B as being close to top in class will boost his confidence.

I guess my concern is: DS might find himself no longer towards top of the class in School A and loses confidence but I am also worried that he might get bored at School B if he is not challenged.

OP posts:
Earlybird · 06/09/2009 22:11

Do you know any children who are currently (or were recently) at either school? Would definitely be worth chatting to their parents for views.

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