Moving to Exeter / Schools(25 Posts)
We are thinking of relocating from Bristol to Exeter and sending our children to Exeter School. We are a doctor and teacher, kids (3 boys) love music and sport. We enjoy living in the city but also like our own space. Where should we live and what's the school like?
I too am thinking of moving to 20 mins from exeter on the west side, I am totally confused as to which school is seen to be good for what. We are thinking of private schools as they give more breadth and our son will be 11 when he goes.
On the net chat Colyton, Exeter School, Stover, Bendarroch, Magdelaen Court and Bramdean have been mentioned among others, but without knowing any 'at the school gate chat' it is impossible to know which are the good ones for what.
Please help me and the post above. All the school web prospectus things are like party politics, they all want health and education.!
I live in Exeter, just round the corner from Bramdean. Talking to parents with children there: Colyton is excellent but v. much an academic hothouse - also it's a state grammar covering a very wide area so entrance is very strongly contested; Exeter School has a reputation for being very good at turning out all-rounders. I read an article in the Times (full disclosure - I'm a pinko lefty Guardian reader - mention the fact that it was in the Times because I felt they wouldn't have a lefty, private schools=bad axe to grind) which pointed out that you don't have to go that far down the school league tables before a good state comprehensive outperforms a weak private school that exists largely to exploit snobbery among parents. Having been round Magdalen Court School (I was looking at their nursery, but they gave us the full tour as clearly they saw the nursery as a feeder for the main schools), my impression was that it's not in the top rank of private schools. If you have any religious affiliations, your boys would be better off at St. Peter's (C of E state secondary), though from what I've heard, the other comprehensives are nothing much to write home about (and I don't know what I'll do when my DS is secondary age).
You mention that your boys love music and sport. Exeter is not good for youth music provision - the Devon Youth Orchestra only meets termly for an intensive weekend course, and I think that's not enough (I grew up playing in a youth orchestra that rehearsed weekly, which is much better). For sport, Exeter School is certainly your best bet for extra curricular stuff.
As for areas of the city, St. Leonards (near the river, so lots of green space that direction) or Pennsylvania (near the university - again, lots of green space) are the best areas (as reflected in the property prices). I live in Heavitree which I find very nice. Also, don't confuse Wonford Road (v. v. posh) with Wonford (v. v. unposh).
thanks very much, that is exactly the sort of thing I need and thanks for taking the time to out it down.
We are thinking of relocating to the Exeter area from Brighton. We don't want to live in the city but a surrounding pretty village or town that has a good local primary school but easy access to Exeter and the M5. Any suggestions anyone?
Hi, regarding music, there's the Cathedral school, they specialise in music, it's a boarding school but also takes 'non-boarding' people. Not sure about the sport angle though.
The cathedral school is private and next to...the cathedral!
I hope this helps,
Stay away from Magdalen Court. My daughter went to the nursery school and they left her with a 13 year old one day and the teacher went home. It was shocking. They used to lose our cheques all the time too.
Jam have a look at ide village.
Hi - just to set you straight about the cathedral school - it is a day school that has borders, mainly children who sing as cathedral choristers. I have 4 children who have all been or go there now and i couldn't recommended it enough. It has a wonderfully caring ethos that makes it unique, the music department is wonderful. All the children take part in sport and they go a long way to provide the best provision they can considering they are in the centre of the city.
I'm a mother of a St Margaret's pupil and as it's closing in the summer I'm looking for a new school for DD (4). I'm aiming for Exeter School or Maynard in the long term.
Does anyone have children at St Wilfrid's? I'm comparing it to the Cathedral School but can't find much opinion of it online.
Hi, I have 3 boys ages 13, 11, and 4 that all go to ST WILFRID'S SCHOOL in Exeter, it is a great little private school with small class sizes where pupils receive maximum attention and supervision, within a secure environment. It is a non-selective school and has 100% pass rate at GCSE's. Every pupil is treated as an individual and all my boys are very happy there. I would definately recommend it.
Thank you very much for your reply. I'm new to Exeter and it's a little further from where I live so it's not really been on my radar. After the shock of our school closing on us it's really good to hear there are other great schools out there. I'm having a look round on Wednesday. Thanks again
Re: Magdalen Court school, are you talking about the nursery? Because my son goes there and the young people who work there are amazing and the children seem to be very happy. It's probably not perfect, but I have never had cause for concern.
I thought I would put something positive here! :-)
I have to agree with Nixx26. St Wilfrid's does well by the pupils, small classes, friendly hard-working staff, good results and lots of extra activities. I don't think you can ask for more.
It was the nursery at Magdalen court school, it was her last ever day and the teacher went home and left her with a 13 year old. This was about 9 years ago though! Still makes me mad. I even complained to Ofsted.
Jam and Spoon - also have a look at the Crediton side of Exeter. Areas like Brampford Speke and Thorverton both have great primary schools and are close to Exeter.
sherper- Sadly Bendarroch School shut 2 years ago. A crying shame as it was "probably the best school in the world". Falling roles and the economic climate made it unsustainable.
Jam and Spoon, you could do worse than Broadclyst for your requirements. Have a look at the school website though- it's an acquired taste if very highly rated by Ofsted.
Magdalen Court School is different to many schools, which you notice as soon as you walk through the door. It's ethos is very much of an extended family, something larger schools aren't able to offer. This nurturing environment has worked wonders for our children and we love the way parents are involved in their education.
If your children are very competitive and assertive, then I'm sure Exeter School will bring out the best in them. If your child is in the top 10 percentile of academic intelligence, then Colyton is one of the best schools in the country to build on this. Bramdean I here offers a more traditional strict working environment, if you think this is what you child needs. West Buckland has a wonderful reputation if you are after a boarding school.
Hi could anyone tell about stover school as thinking about putting my child
Mad chicken lady - what makes you say that broadclyst is an acquired taste? Thinking of it for our dc and would be very interested in any opinions!
As regards the private schools in Exeter:
The biggest are Maynard and Exeter school - both are selective and at the higher end of the fee scale. Both have an air of refined permanence about them - they have been there for years turning out high quality results, and probably will be doing the same in another couple of centuries.
There are then the smaller private schools - Bramdean, St Wilfrids, Magdalen Court. They are all very different.
Bramdean has the same refined permanence of Exeter school, but on a much smaller scale. It gives the appearance of class when you enter. It aims for well-rounded, well-mannered children who achieve the maximum that they can in their time at school. It is the only one of the small ones to have a 6th form.
St Wifrids has the feel of an inner city school - hard playgrounds rather than green fields. Also aims to deliver well-rounded and well-mannered children. It seems to be particularly good at picking up children who struggle at other schools and getting them through the GCSE exams.
Magdalen Court school feels slightly more haphazard on entry - a slightly run down modern building on an old site - neither one thing or another. It seems more of a marmite school than the others - having the feel of a warm but slightly dishevelled family. There are those who love it, and those who wouldn't touch it.
If you are going private and want a school to take your child through primary and secondary, then you are going for one of the schools above. If you have a bright child and can afford the higher fees then you probably try Maynard and Exeter first. If you want smaller class sizes or non-selective then you are looking at the others.
We had a very very bad experience at the Cathedral School, and know of a few children who've been pulled out of that school.
As has been said, Exeter and The Maynard are both selective, with The Maynard (girls only) having a reputation for concentrating on the academic, and Exeter for being more all round, with good facilities. They both have junior sections as well as the senior school. The other privates being for those who want a family feel within a small, non-selective school.
I can certainly recommend The Maynard. We took my daughter out of the local village primary in Year 4 as the teachers kept on going on sick leave and there was no continuity at all. She loved the Maynard from day 1 - it's a very caring community and she was very well looked after. It's academic, yes, but they don't overload with homework and they are very good at looking after kids who have special needs as well eg my daughter has visual impairment in right eye so finds reading more of a struggle than others. Its a very happy school. She is going into year 6 next year.
Tintinn could you expand on your experiences at Cathedral School? We're planning on sending our little one there but would be interested in some more 'real' opinions of it?
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