Local Talk

Independent schools in ilkely, views welcome!

(4 Posts)
alittlebitwibbly Tue 16-Apr-13 14:22:38

Does anyone have any views (good or bad) about Westville House or Moorfields primary schools? We're thinking about moving to Ilkley and both these schools look great but I wondered if anyone local had any views?

WeneedtotalkaboutIlkleyGrammar Thu 25-Apr-13 11:48:43

have you got girls or boys?

Westville: head just died suddenly, so new head. Music is my area. At Westville, only the most advanced children play in the spring concert....

Moorfield - some financial struggles, probably didn't really want to go co-ed. Quite a nice ethos - they sort of specialise in picking up children that the state system has failed for some reason. At Moorfield every child is in the music ensemble... a subtle difference in culture there I think....

You are 100% carbound going to Westville whereas you could walk to Moorfield.

Moorfield likely to continue being seen as pimarily for girls for some time yet.

A child who was a bit "different" struggled in terms of teasing, etc, at Westville, but this may not be an issue with the school, perhaps more of an issue with smaller schools generally (fewer groups to choose from).

alittlebitwibbly Fri 03-May-13 03:21:31

Thanks so much for replying. I've got 2 girls and a boy, academically bright children (although all mothers think that I'm sure) but we want them to have a rounded education, art and music is important, so is social behaviour. My gut feeling is that Moorfield is more our kind of school but someone has recently said that it's a strange set of very well off families that send their children there, as the state schools are so good in the area there is no reason to privately educate. We're not rich by any stretch of the imagination but prepared to direct all our expendable income towards education. Difficult question I know, but do you think Moorfield offers anything more than a primary such as All Saints, Ben Rydding or Ashlands?

I'm presuming Moorfield's financial issues are drop off due to recession related?

WeneedtotalkaboutIlkleyGrammar Thu 09-May-13 17:02:17

hi again.

Yes, the financial issues are only the same ones that every private school has faced - I just happen to know a bit of the gossip through being nosey (!) nothing wrong with the leader - a typical strong-willed headmistress! Some staff love it because of the small classes smile others don't because if you fall out with a head in a small private school there's not a lot to do except leave - I have absolutely no doubt every private school faces these problems.

I was on a train ride a while ago and two Moorfield old girls were talking really loudly (!) the whole way down to London. One of their complaints was that Moorfield isn't "glam" any more, and that only Westville is "glam". Ahem! I know that several year 6 Moorfield girls will be going on to Ilkley Grammar (local state) next year and the head is passionate about having the right for her girls to do that..... she wrote to the paper to complain when Ilkley Grammar threatened to move to a "feeder school" system. I was really impressed by that - it changed my attitude about private schools quite a bit. One of my very down-to-earth Yorkshire-born and bred friends has moved her daughter out of state into Moorfield and has been very pleased with it. So I think the parent body is probably ok or at least varied enough .... I would be ok with a daughter of mine going there, but I would only bother to do it if she was the kind of child who struggled to learn in a big class. I think the value for money comes from teachers having a bit more time for each girl. In my family DH and I fill that gap in ourselves so we don't need private IYSWIM.

My friend who moved his child out of Westville said he'd been to public school himself and so it had seemed the natural move, but actually the cultural and intellectual life in the state school where the child is now is richer.... and I think he may be right.... there are a lot of academics, authors, significant cultural figures, etc, amongst the parents at the state schools, and lots of them are in school once a year or so giving guest lessons..... parent volunteers are welcome in all the three state schools you mentioned.... the parent bodies are very aspirational ...sometimes in an informed way, sometimes less so....

You can guarantee that your kids will be given a run for their money academically by other children in their class at all three state schools so I don't think you need be too concerned there.

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