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views on watson's verses Stewart Melville college

(11 Posts)
catrachmattben Tue 04-Sep-12 11:39:27

Thinking of applying for a place in p5 for my son to start at either school August 2013. Quite able little boy favourite subject Maths and music. He is quiet and well behaved loves extra curricular clubs. Looking for more individualised learning but not hot -housing. General rounded education. Any views much appreciated. Thanks

bellabunny Tue 04-Sep-12 13:40:28

I would go to visit both schools , the open mornings are coming up , and get a feel for them. Bear in mind that there are not always places coming up for P5 as most of the classes are full, worth asking the admin secretary. My children are at Watson's and love it so I have a slightly biased opinion!!

3nationsfamily Tue 04-Sep-12 16:38:32

Both schools increase their intake at P6 and P7 and there will be fewer places for those applying at P5. I highly recommend you and he visit the school not just on the open day but during a "normal" day to get a feel for the place. Watsons is huge but I know that lots of people say it doesn't feel big once you are there. We looked at all the private schools for our son last year for P7 entry and qickly got a sense of which places would and would not suit him before narrowing it down to our chosen place (which was neither of these!). Be prepared to ask lots of questions on the open days and don't just get sucked in by the marketing expertise! Watsons has a reputation for being very good with children at the top and the bottom end of the achievement spectrum but weak at bringing on those of average ability. Heriots definitely has a high academic reputation but less of a sports focus in comparison. It depends what priorities you have for your child.

Spiderspotter Wed 05-Sep-12 10:37:16

Try Fettes Prep - its fantastic. Not saying Watson's or Melville aren't good, as I've never tried them, but there are some independent schools out there that are just not worth it. I agree with the above comment - don't go only by Open Days, as the schools are organized to show their best; drop in on a regular school day to see how it looks/feels, or better yet, ask for a taster day. Feel free to private message me if you want more information. Good luck! Its a big decision.

catrachmattben Wed 05-Sep-12 12:33:49

Thanks for comments. I thourght that Fettes would be extremely competitive and very very academic, but maybe we should look.

curiouscate Wed 05-Sep-12 22:40:19

I agree with the opinions above about going to the open days, you will get a good feel for the schools and meet some of the pupils. That is what we did and dd fell in love with one of the schools and hated my choice, her reasonings were very valid and in the end she went to her choice. Academically there isn't much to choose between either of the schools you mention, the one big difference is that Stewarts is single sex at secondary (co-ed in junior and s6) but watsons is co-ed all through. Watsons has some fantastic new sports facilities. Stewarts has a reputation for music and junior school kids are very often in professional productions at eg Playhouse etc.

Agree with the others. My DCs are at watsons we moved DC1 over in P2 we went to the open day, and went on a visit on a normal school day I also had lots of conversations with staff there about the school. It's been good for the DCs, I hear Stewart's Melville is also good. Only you can decide though!

One point is that they really have very few places to offer except in
P7 where they have an extra class.

catrachmattben Mon 10-Sep-12 13:59:36

Hi any infomation on what is likely to be in entrance exam. How it is carried out. If no places in P5 will his name be put on a list for p6 or p7 at these schools. Many thanks.

TheApprentice Mon 10-Sep-12 14:03:06

Marking my place here as this is of great interest to me! Thinking of sending our DC in P4 or thereabouts if we can get places.

DS moved for P2 so he didn't have an entrance exam (obviously) however initially there were no spaces available. School spoke to me to say he was top of their waiting list so if a space came up they would let us know. Spaces do sometimes become available due to families moving etc. But there are not huge numbers, best to talk to the school to get a realistic idea of how many spaces they are likely to have.

Also, I think from P 5 onwards the class size is slightly larger so that may open up spaces.

Groovee Mon 10-Sep-12 16:49:26

My friend's dd sat the entrance exam in P4 and passed but was top of the waiting list until the start of P6 when she got a place. I also know a couple of children who were declined a place for P7 but have started for S1.

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