Local Talk

Willington School or Homefield School?

(26 Posts)
Maarias Wed 08-Jun-11 23:06:39

We are considering moving my DS this coming year from the local primary (Wimbledon Chase) to a prep. It's been fine in reception and preschool, but am not convinced that it is the right place for him going forward.
I know Homefield to be a good prep but am just a bit put off by how far it is...and I really don't know Sutton at all. My DS is 5 and will be going into yr.1.
Our other option is Willington. I went to see the school last year before he started at WC but wasn't that impressed by the facilities. On the plus side it is in Wimbledon, and I would like him to stay local as he is still quite young.
However, I don't hear great things about Willington...I wondered whether anyone has any personal experience of the school. I hear that a few of the boys have gone on to KCS (some on scholarships) and one to Winchester. But what about the rest? I'm going to be ringing the school tomorrow, but would just be intersted to hear of anyone's experiences.
I spoke to a mum who mentioned that a new head was due to start soon?
Thanks in advance.

wobblypig Thu 09-Jun-11 22:37:50

DS starting in Septmeber. Depends on what you are after. If you want academic head up the hill to the KCS feeders. If you are less concerned about academic and wnat more space and facilities - look at the Hall.
Willington is a small school conveneinet for Wimbledon which is why we chose it.
I ahven't heard of a new head but we are going for a new parents morning this week and I can let you know.

Maarias Sat 11-Jun-11 20:22:50

Thanks Wobblypig, that would be helpful

Maarias Sat 11-Jun-11 20:25:48

Unfortunately the feeders for KCS have waiting lists for yr. 1, and I don't really want to move him more than once. They are pre-preps, and two of the mums I spoke to who have boys of Squirrels that there are no guarantees of a place at KCS afterwards...a few end up at Homefield and Rokeby anyway. Ideally, I would like decent academic but not hothouse... I may actually put DS' name down for Rokeby, as it just feels a bit closer...
Thanks again,

wobblypig Sat 16-Jul-11 23:10:19

Re: Willington
They now have a temporary new Head master. The school is unchanged a the moment. very helpful intro so far. The boys get to meet up before going. They appear to include the parents a lot. The Ofsted remains off-putting though I would say considering you are paying for it.

surreylady1 Wed 07-Dec-11 21:48:54

Just spotted your message. Have heard a lot of good comments from parents with children at Homefield. Lots of parents from Wimbledon who choose Homefield to prepare the boys to go to King's at 13. Feedback is friendly school with high standards but not pressured and lots of opportunities for the pupils. Boys are confident and happy.

wobblypig Fri 09-Dec-11 20:04:52

Hi again

We are now at Willington and very happy.Very good borad experience for the boys. Very strong on literacy.

One of DS's friend's mum took her older son out of Homefiled because of an atmosphere of aggression and bullying. Not sure how representative that is.

Maarias Fri 30-Dec-11 08:37:25

Hi there, sorry only just spotted this!
We have been at Homefield for a term now and are extremely happy with how much they are doing with my son. Academic standards I can tell already are high (last year it had the highest intake into KCS) and they offer a really broad cuuriculum. Grounds are fab and he is getting access to loads of different sports
We chose the school for its pastorcal care and we haven't been diss appointed.
Despite being really settled and happy at his old school our son settled down at Homefield really quickly and now loves it!it has 5 school buses to Wimbledon as well so very convenient.

mrsrockstar Sat 19-May-12 07:33:25

Hello I know these threads are now a little old but I'd love some similar advice. We live in Wimbledon and I'm considering moving my DS out of a good local state school (currently yr 2) - think he'd benefit from the extra sport, smaller classes and just generally a little more "boy focus" - I think they learn in such different ways. I think Rokeby and Homefield are probably great although I've not visited either. Willington is far closer for us but I hear it's not so academic - so in many ways I wonder if there's any point in paying. We've missed the boat for Kings although having visited I have reservations about that one anyway. He's a bright boy, just needing to be stretched a little and could really do with the extra sport. Anyone out there with any inside knowledge?

Wobblypig Mon 21-May-12 22:18:19

We are really happy with WIllington. Not pressurised but they get good results and provide a very well-rounded education. For us the best thing is the friendly, family atmosphere. Everyone is approachable and relaxed , families and staff.
In reception at the moment the topic teaching is fantastic. Ds is always full of new facts. Ds has gone from Cvc words to chapter books in 2 terms. Literacy is particularly strong. Teaching in art, music and French also good.

Maarias Tue 22-May-12 09:33:18

Hi MrsRockStar...I personally felt that I would only take DS out of WCS for a good prep with outstanding results, as no point otherwise in paying.
WCS is a good school, and tbh there are still aspects of it I miss, although academically DS is now thriving.
I would suggest you go and have a look at Homefield and Rokeby. They are very different schools. Homefield much more down to earth IMO, which is why I chose it. Doesn't have 'typical' prep school kids, good ethnic mix...partly due to the location. Staff very friendly and accomodating. Very little staff turnover.
Having said that, I am planning on keeping ds2 at WCS for a bit longer, as I think kids still there are doing well, and just 'keeping an eye'.
One thing I would say about Homefield is it is a very 'boysy' school...they have an adventure playground and by all accounts boys run riot in it (with supervision) so not ideal for sensitive types. Also, it has a very sporty reputaton, so sporty boys tend to thrive!
HTH,

Wobblypig Tue 22-May-12 15:50:37

I would agree with Maarias about taking a child out of a school - for me it would have to be for very good reasons once they were settled. If your child is thriving there doesn't seem to be a reason to move although classes of 15 are lovely I must say you really feel your DS gets attention.

We are happy with Willington because we couldn't get a state place and weren't desperate for a Kings-feeder style school. It wouldn't be the school IMO for people interested in extreme academia. It kinda depends on what you want for 11/13+ as well.

My impression of Rokeby is that compared to Willington it is very formal even in reception which would suit some but not us.

For us easy commute and friendly atmosphere were very important believing that the education on offer would be good but not pushy. There was no way DS was going on a school bus at 4 - obviously a very personal choice.

What kind of boy is your son? Sporty; quite etc?

Maarias Wed 30-May-12 13:32:43

Hi Wobbly,
I agree that Rokeby felt really formal to me. Like a 'proper prep' which didn't really fit in with the way we are as a family, which is pretty relaxed. Might be wrong about that, but it's one of the main things that put me off.
boys aren't allowed on school bus inreception at either school, which is probably right. My ds takes school bus half of the time now, and I am very happy with it. Very safe etc.

piji Wed 30-May-12 13:37:54

I know quite a few boys who were at Donhead, and they seem to have got a very good education and enjoyed their time there.

So, Donhead also worth considering if religiously-appropriate.

Simmage Sat 23-Jun-12 21:03:21

Hi
Appreciate this thread is quite old now but I'd be interested to hear from anyone with experience of Willington as we are considering taking a late place in September's Reception class for our eldest son but have nobody to ask.
We've seen Rokeby, which appeared more of a traditional formal prep school, but our eldest has missed the boat there so both are on the respective waiting lists. We hear mixed reports about Squirrels so not really considering that.
We really liked the feel of Willington, it felt a very friendly environment, the kids all looked happy and the teachers were enthusiastic. It's not a particularly large site but they clearly make the most of what they have, facilities in general seemed a little better at Rokeby however.
Any observations, experiences would be greatly appreciated as we need to move quickly so research needs to be accelerated!
Many thanks...

Wobblypig Sat 23-Jun-12 22:22:12

We are really happy. Both reception teachers are lovely and they do progress at a good pace. In reception they start French and do football, games , play all and cricket. There are small classes for prep school around 15 .
There is a real family feel to it and there is a a lot of involvement .
All pupils have passed common entrance this year and got into their choice of schools. It is not a hothouse or a traditional KIngs feeder but an allrounder type school.

Ds is going into year 1 in September - message me and I can give you my phone number if you want to chat

CurvyTraveller Mon 18-Feb-13 00:11:15

Moving back to UK and looking for a home in the Wimbledon area... We have decided to send our ds to Homefield prep in Sutton for Y3. Would love to know other Mum's who already send their boys to Homefield to get some advice and insight especially those who will be in Y3 in September.

Manas Wed 15-May-13 18:31:06

I am looking to move my son out of his current Wimbledon Prep school and would really welcome suggestions for a school that will help and tolerate a boy who needs to grow and mature in his own time. My son had an Ed Psych look at him a couple of times over a 1 year, and say there is nothing wrong, just needs time to mature and has come on a lot academically even though youngest in his class. He is currently in Year 1 and I feel he may just be at the wrong school. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I would even consider co-ed.

Magicianoflife Sat 07-Dec-13 08:39:00

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

LocalEditorMerton Sat 07-Dec-13 12:51:50

Thank you for commenting but can we ensure that the comments stay constructive please.

Mumstheword2b Sun 08-Dec-13 09:38:22

I have been really happy with Willington. My youngest son is an August baby and I was worried about how he would cope. He has an excellent teacher and is very happy at the school. My older son has really thrived and I find the school very supportive. I don't believe there is bullying, I've not heard of any. I really like the new head and my boys love him. I think it's unfair to say the school lacks vision, I feel it's quite the opposite but that's my opinion.

OffallyGOod Tue 10-Dec-13 20:19:23

I would second that! new head very inspiring yet down to earth. I personally not heard of bullying at Willington, if that is alleged. The opposite is true in my opinion with friendships extending across the year groups.
Recently net someone who is aiming to move from hone field to Donhead because of concern about academics. However they did stress how good facilities and sports opportunities were.

majorminor Wed 18-Dec-13 11:54:12

@OffallyGood - do you know what concerns your friend had over Homefield? my DS has a place to start in September 2014 so would be interested to hear any other comments on Homefield if anyone is willing to share?

OffallyGOod Wed 18-Dec-13 18:34:05

I know one family v happy with Homefield and another who feel it is not a academic enough. The latter is looking to move to Donhead which is a lovely school but not a hothouse. It is so individual so v difficult to judge a school based on these kind of anecdotes.
From what I gather the sport opportunities and facilities are fab at Homefield. If your child is not sporty or is quiet, shy or very academic, hard to judge when v young, I get the impression Homefield may not the best choice, but that is only my impression from a small group of people.

majorminor Thu 19-Dec-13 13:39:47

Thanks for your comments @OffallyG, always good to get feedback fsmile

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