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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:23 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:56 pm
Posts: 7
Hi All

I'm looking at all of the above schools for my DD; she narrowly failed the 11+ but is a very sensitive and shy child who would not thrive in an Upper School environment.

She is bright but does not respond well to stress or pressure (so grammar school may not have been the best place for her!), so I am looking for a nurturing yet academic environment for her.

Does anyone on the forum know anything about these schools?? We are new to the independent school sector, so any information much appreciated!


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:46 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:45 pm
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I know friends with DDs at both Claire's Court & Pipers and of the two, I get the impression that Pipers' is more nurturing. Some people are a bit snooty about them as they are not selective, but the people who actually use them speak very highly of them.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:50 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 1:05 pm
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Location: Reading
If you are looking at Hemdean house I guess that other schools in the Reading area would be a possibility too.
In which case have you looked at St Joseph's college? My DD for stop dance classes with a couple of girl who go there and one of the mums is very happy with it. Selective but not highly so and apparently their pastoral care is very good. Small school, I believe just over 40 a year, which limits some options.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 7:17 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 8:54 pm
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Location: caversham
Hemdean House is a possibly very good school for the DD you describe. DS1 went through from reception to year six and the school had a fantastic old fashioned village school feeling. At the time I wondered why on earth girls stayed on for the senior school. Now older and wiser I can see the potential benefits.

Factors to consider, a small secondary school with junior and nursery, secondary girls only, affordable, accessible, a bit old fashioned :D but in a nice way, lack of numbers may limit subject options, set in a nice area :D , no sixth form, twenty years ago had financial problems but last time I checked secure, and thinking about it a know a few of the old girls and they seem fine. :lol:


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:51 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:56 pm
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Thank you for all your advice; I am wavering between Hemdean House and Pipers, obviously the fee difference is a factor :roll: but don't if we are going down the independent route I want to make sure we pick the best school for DD! I'm weighing up the great facilities I saw at Pipers against the old fashioned values and style of Hemdean - all of which I liked....

Decisions, decisions...and DD likes both too, which isn't much help!


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:16 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8203
Location: Buckinghamshire
I am sorry if this adds to your confusion, but I have never heard a bad word about Claire's Court.

I have no axe to grind at all, and I have never set foot in the school, but every comment I have ever heard from parents has been entirely positive.

Academic children and non-academic children are both nurtured, and they all seem to aspire to realistic and satisfying careers at the end of their school education.

If you would like more background, please PM me.

Sally-Anne


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:38 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:59 pm
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I know three families with DCs at Claire's Court and all are very happy with it, but the DCs in question are all boys so that probably isn't relevant to you except in general terms.

DS (Y12) has a lot of friends at Piper's and the girls are unfailingly polite and charming, and the school has an excellent reputation for pastoral care. However, many of them seem to come from extremely wealthy families, so that may be something to bear in mind, particularly if you are not :D


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:22 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2012 9:41 am
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Why not see if they will all give your DD a "taster day" or even a taster few hours? Then DD can experience the schools first hand and form a view. Most indies will have done this before and will not be phased by the request. Which school is nearest to where you live? If you like all 3 equally then I would go with the closest (unless DD would be boarding). Think about logistics of getting DD there each day - pastoral care in one may be great but if she's exhausted by a long commute then is it really the best option for her? Also what about how quickly could you get to school if DD had an accident or was unwell? How easy would it be for you to get there to watch any extra curricula activities she may be involved in? How easy would it be for her to see school friends out of school? Questions questions! Sometimes it's easy to forget the practicalities. Good luck though - like others I've heard good things about Pipers & Clares Court - never heard of your other choice though - living as I do in parochial Bucks!


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:24 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:56 pm
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DD has been offered places at all three schools which is great; very good point to consider the distance, we live close to High Wycombe so Pipers is the closest. I'm also concerned that Hemdean House is so very small (only 12 girls per year) that it won't give DD adequate preparation for life 'outside' :lol:

Thank you to all who responded, lots of things to think about now!!!

BAM


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