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PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 11:26 am 
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Hi, first post today so hello to everyone. My questions are about preps and secondaries in the Bucks/Oxon area.

We are currently in Italy but will be moving to the UK in Sept 2011 when my elder daughter will go into year 5 and, younger into year 4 & youngest into Y2.

We are looking at the Manor prep and Godstowe, any others we should consider? I will be working in High Wycombe so could drop of my girls first thing. Husband will be working in Reading. We will hopefully be living on Bucks/Oxon border.

We used to live in Oxford and I visited the Manor. I was very impressed on many levels. It isn't a prep I hear mentioned much though? Not sure why.

Godstowe seem to do an excellent job of getting girls into their first choice school. I was impressed with the new head and it seems to have less of a 'pressure cooker' reputation than previously.

We may move back towards Oxford when the girls go to secondary. I've been reading about St Helen's and St Katherine's on here and most reviews sound positive. Also considering Queen Anne's in Caversham and the Abbey. Any thoughts on those would be great.

Eldest daughter seems middle of the road academically but has excelled in French and Italian so a school that is focussed on languages would be good. Elder DD's Italian is almost fluent as we have been here a few years now.

Just after some general advice at this point. Thank you.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 2:31 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 6:40 pm
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Hi
I don't have any personal experience but have different friends daughters who have experienced all three. Godstowe has a good reputation and my friend's daughter moved there in year 6 and seems to have excelled. The Manor likewise has a very good reputation and a lot of girls move to St Helens from the Manor. St Helens is supposed to be excellent but very academic and can be difficult to get in ( however they do have a small year 5 and 6). There is also the European school in culham if your girls are very good at languages.

Abingdon would be easy if you want all the children to go in the same direction for primary and secondary.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 6:34 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2010 11:35 am
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Location: reading
Hi

My DD sat for Queen Anne's, Kendrick and The Abbey and was offered a place at all 3. She is now in her 3rd year at Queen Anne's and it has been the perfect choice. She is quite academic and I have no doubt that she will realise her full potential here. For us, the nice thing about Queen Anne's is the very rounded education offered and the quality of facilities. There is a very strong community feel about the school and my DD and us have made some excellent friends. If your daughter aspires to other things outside of the academic, take a serious look at the Independent sector. Hope that helps!


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 8:48 am 
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Thank you. I also know a couple of uber academic girls who have done incredibly well at Queen Anne's. As you suggest the girls I know emerged as very well rounded individuals. I thought that was interesting as the Abbey is seen, I think, as the more academic school? I was surprised the parents didn't pick the more academic option in the first place?


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 8:55 am 
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Quote:
I was surprised the parents didn't pick the more academic option in the first place?


Not everyone considers academic performance to be the most important factor in choosing a school.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 9:00 am 
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You are right, no one wants an academic hothouse environment. That said, I think the opinion of the Abbey is that an academic child will thrive there & be best equipped to take advantage of everything else on offer, the A'level results are also v impressive.

If my children were very academic I would probably be drawn to it ahead of other options for this reason.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 10:35 am 
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Location: Maidstone
Cranleigh I know nothing about those school but looked briefly at Godstowe website as they feed into the school we are going for my DD. I did notice that most of their kids go to other Boarding schools at 11/13+ and the school centres around boarders. They seem to have a very long day and for a day child to fully benefit from that environment. Just thought it maybe something worth thinking about.

I am sure when you visit the schools you will know whats right for your child. Some schools look "perfect" on paper and have fab reviews but at the end of the day you want a school that suits your child. My choice number 5 before viewing was number 1 after viewing, I could just see her there and we were dissapointment by the number 1 choice which ended up on the bottom pile.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 10:46 am 
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Thanks. I have visited some schools in the past and feel like I have come away none the wiser in many cases. I did get a very definite, negative gut feel about a couple but apart from that still didn't have any lightening bolt feeling of certainty about any school.

I've been to Godstowe in the past and was impressed particularly by the staff. For schools that left more favourable impressions that's how it was. Certain aspects impressed me but I was still left feeling unsure. Now my children are older I think I need to re-visit where possible. I think perhaps it becomes far easier to see which schools are a good fit when your children are older?


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 11:05 am 
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I personally would only consider Godstowe. It's an excellent prep school and gets the girls into top schools with many scholarships. They will also be able to give you an indication of what senior school would suit DD's rather than trying to work it on your own. If you end up moving to Oxford there are boarding options available too at Godstowe.


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