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Advice on Private Schools from reception onwards please!(10 Posts)
We are moving to Bristol in a few months and are researching private schools for pre-prep/reception- dd starts reception 2014. Does anyone have advice on the overall feel, ethos, student experience anything on these? I've talked to BGS, Clifton High and Clifton so far and will plan visits to all but would really appreciate any inside information/advice. Open to Bath and areas around too for the right school. We are looking for a co-ed progressive school - not academic hot-house but challenging & diverse and values each student as an individual - if that helps! Thank you so much!!
All of the schools you have mentioned above have great reputations - BGS is probably the most academic of them. Clifton College is the most traditional in that it is boarding, and the prep finishes at the end of yr 8. Other co-ed prep/private junior schools near Bristol are Tockington Manor which again is a fairly traditional prep, mix of day and boarding, located on northern outskirts of Bristol in South Gloucestershire. There is also Silverhill School which is in Winterbourne, again to the north of the city. I have personal knowledge of Silverhill, and although it is definitely not as 'shiny' in terms of posh facilities, it most certainly caters for the individual child and has a lovely family/nurturing environment. It is non selective, but does ensure children reach their full potential and children move on to a range of the Bristol/Bath Independent secondary schools, some every year on scholarships.
Bath schools are also very good - but not that easy to access if you are living in Bristol. Kingswood would probably be the easiest to get to as it is in Lansdown- North Bath. KES is fairly central and is the most academic of the Bath schools. Monkton is on the south side of Bath so would be a long journey from central Bristol - Is also C of E school. There is also a prep called the Paragon which I believe has good reviews. If you look on the Bath board there is some fairly recent information on there. I think there are some posters on there with personal knowledge of these schools.
The only other ones I can think of are Colston's, which is east Bristol, goes up to 18, and has a reputation as a friendly, sporty school, but less academic than places like BGS, and the Downs School in Wraxall (North Somerset), which is a traditional pre-prep/prep. I know a few people with children there who seem to like it, but I think their numbers shrink a lot by age 11 as most of the Bristol private secondaries have their main intake at 11 not 13.
I went to Clifton High and it was fantastic! Only prep was co-ed when I was there, but now it is completely co-ed. I'd say the balance of academic/sporting/performing was equal and it had an absolutely lovely pastoral team that made you feel very much an individual.
My neighbour speaks very highly of Cleve House School in Knowle.
Our daughter goes to Torwood house School (westbury Park) and weve been extremely satisfied with both nursery and primary school. Small school and classes so all the children are known to all the teachers. Well behaved pupils are the result with a very high standard of education as well as ethics..
The school/nursery is used to welcome children from abroad, speaking different languages and they can integrate very quickly.
There are lots of school activities including a cooking group, sports, drama, French, ICT, forest school.... The school is well located near the Downs. Our daughter is very happy here and I think the school has a lovely atmosphere to it. I would recommend it highly.
After-school care is also excellent.
My children also go to Torwood House School, and previously attended the Nursery. They are very happy at school, and are both progressing really well both academically and socially. I agree Gilberte78 that the small classes enable all the teachers to be familiar with all the children and give them the individual attention they need. It is also nice for the children to be able to socialize with different year groups. The Afterschool and Holiday care is also brilliant. I would definitely recommend it to you as it seems to tick all the boxes you are looking for.
What about Sidcot, amazing facilities as its a relatively small school and the Quaker ethos is very inclusive and nuturing.
Did you have a look at Fairfield School in Backwell? It is a lovely small, caring school. My children go to Fairfield and they thrive there, not only academically but also in their personal development. This is the link to their website fairfieldschool.org.uk/ .
Our dd is at Badminton and very happy. They go from age 4 but its not co-ed.
Not sure what kind of 'progressive' you mean but Badminton ethos is to foster individuality and teach the children to think for themselves. That why we went for it - some schools can see individuality as a 'problem'.
Excellent teaching, wide curriculum, very diverse culturally.
State Primary - try Bishop Road - big, lively, non-uniform, good head and some fo the best results in Bristol (for state).
Our ds2 went to BGS for two years and didn't like it - definitely a grammar-style academic factory type (but that was ten years ago).
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