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 Post subject: Which prep school?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 6:10 am 
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We are an expat family looking for a prep school for our 10 year old daughter. We have narrowed down our choices to Ashdown house school and Godstowe School. While our daughter is bright, her education til now has not been great since she has mainly been educated in French international schools abroad. That is why we have decided to give her a few years at prep school. We have put her down already for Beneden and St. Mary's Ascot for 13 plus entry. We would appreciate any advice!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Which prep school?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 7:45 am 
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Have you also considered Windlesham House school? It is co-ed close to Gatwick and over the past 6 years has sent 1 or 2 girls to Benenden each year. Although they now take a day children there is still a major emphasis on boarding, so the children are busy at the weekend. We sent both our children here whilst living abroad and our daughter went onto a similiar all girls public school to those you listed. The pastoral care is excellent. The school has a wide cross section of abilities. They win numerous scholarships (all types) and equally help those who need extra help for whatever reason.


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 Post subject: Re: Which prep school?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:00 am 
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As a prep school I would say that Ashdown House would be the best bet, however if you want her academics to improve then Godstowe would be better as it has less distractions in the form of boys and amazing facilities/oddles of extra-curric that Ashdown has. In saying that Godstowe is an academic school and she may feel slightly pressured there especially as girls can be very competitve.


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 Post subject: Re: Which prep school?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:40 am 
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Agree with WFG about Godstowe. We looked there too. At that time there were lots of day girls and occasional boarders which slightly put us off. Plus does Godstowe have Saturday school. I know not everyone will agree but as we thought as overseas parents that Saturday school was important as it meant they were busy in the morning and then had matches in the afternoon or activities, but still had Sunday to relax etc as two free days even with activities can be hard to fill.


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 Post subject: Re: Which prep school?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 10:48 am 
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Location: Maidstone
I thought Goodstowe was quite academic too by simply looking at their leaver's destinations. Is it Year 6 or year 7 entry you are looking at?

Goinggetstough how did you feel about the size of Windlesham? I considered it but was just put off by the size. It seems huge for a prep school but then on the other hand I can see some advantages of it being a bit bigger.

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 Post subject: Re: Which prep school?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 12:46 pm 
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Sherry D: Windlesham never seemed a big school to us. Looking back there was an advantage to the size in that there were always children in at the weekend, an important consideration when you live abroad. The size never affected the level of pastoral care which was in our experience excellent. The classes were a normal size too 15 to 20. We were there in total for 7 years and left a few years ago. There were also a great number of sports teams so everyone had a chance to represent the school.
Windlesham definitely had some children arriving in year 6 and 7.


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 Post subject: Re: Which prep school?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 1:13 pm 
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Windlesham has around 250 pupils which isn't that big, is it?


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 Post subject: Re: Which prep school?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:38 pm 
Windlesham House School is different from Windlesham School. Windlesham House is quite a small, almost all boarding school on the South Downs.


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 Post subject: Re: Which prep school?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 6:54 am 
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goinggetstough wrote:
Agree with WFG about Godstowe. We looked there too. At that time there were lots of day girls and occasional boarders which slightly put us off. Plus does Godstowe have Saturday school. I know not everyone will agree but as we thought as overseas parents that Saturday school was important as it meant they were busy in the morning and then had matches in the afternoon or activities, but still had Sunday to relax etc as two free days even with activities can be hard to fill.

Thanks for all the comments! I was wondering when did you look at Godstowe? They have told us that they are increasing their number of foreign students and that there have been more boarders in the last year. Godstowe received incredible reviews (also in the Good Schools Guide) recently and one thing they have is an ESL program. Still ... Ashdown is beautiful, seems very warm and has superb teachers. This is a really tough decision.
This is the first time I heard of Windlesham house school so thanks for suggesting that!


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 Post subject: Re: Which prep school?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:48 am 
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There are tons of schools so you could find it difficult once you start looking at them all. Brambletye is a rival against Ashdown for example. If English is a second language then I would opt for Godstowe or a school that has very few foreign children. It's the best way for them to become fluent faster. I'd take all guides with a pinch of salt although the GSG is probably the best one and the inspection reports the worst. St Mary's, from what I remember is quite hard to get into so Godstowe would seem logical again to give you a better chance. Did you consider Sevenoaks?


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