Thornton College or MK prep or Akeley ?

(6 Posts)
Rachelholgate Fri 29-Jan-16 20:14:47

Hello- any advice on this choice? Can only gain so much from open day visits. We love the rural setting of Thornton but have a boy too. Is Akeley better choice for a pre-prep boy than MK Prep? Or both to MK Prep?! Could anyone summarise the overall advantage/disadvantages of the schools to assist our decision making process please? Not sure whether we should consider MK Prep for both or split them. Both children quite young still so difficult to decide. Thank you!

SusanUT Tue 26-Apr-16 10:56:18

Hi, have you come to any conclusion yet? I'm in a similar situation! My son is nearly 3 and I have to apply for primary school for next year by January....but they are all dire in my catchment! (Willen). MK Prep has 3 campuses- Walton, Broughton Manor and the main MK Prep near Bletchley. He is at MK pre-prep now (the Walton one), and I've looked around Broughton Manor Prep and the main MK Prep campus for when he starts primary school and the teachers all seem really friendly and kids really well behaved and enjoying their work. I would be happy for him to stay there, but I've heard the prep is very academic and only care about results.....which has put me off a bit! but I've only ever heard that on these discussion boards! I know the pre-prep/nursery departments are really social and have great play/spot/music/forest/gardening facilities.

My neighbours (same age as me!) went to Thornton and I've been there to look around and it's so friendly and the grounds are amazing and staff so friendly- they remembered my neighbours after them leaving the school 15 years earlier and they have such fond memories of blackberry picking and picnics in the school grounds. Both neighbours were hindu and this didn't effect their enjoyment of the school at all! If I had girls I wouldn't hesitate to send them there!

Akeley woods had a terrible reputation 20 years ago, when I was younger. But now its been taken over by Cognita schools I've only ever heard good things about it. Their website looks wonderful and I'm going to take a look around it. The only bad things I've heard about it again are on the Mumsnet discussion boards about bullying there- but other parents never had this problem so it may just be an unlucky few? They have good exam results and seem to be really caring about individual child's needs and interests- which really appeals to me.

Sorry, I'm not much help as am in the same position as you!! My son will start in Sep 2017 - so I have a bit of time to think about it yet! It's such a shame the catchment schools where I live (Willen) are so dire!

SusanUT Tue 26-Apr-16 11:00:46

Also- have you visited The Grove Independent school? Looks nice too.

Rachelholgate Wed 27-Apr-16 19:10:34


I have two at Walton too. Feel free to message me. My dd will be starting school Sep 2017 as well. Thanks for the info. We have ruled out Thornton simply because we have a boy too and the logistics.

I really liked MK Prep and my husband the Grove. I liked the vibrant, purposeful atmosphere of MK but to be honest the fact it seemed to have little outdoors space put me off. Probably shouldn't be a factor but it was for me.

I think we will go for Swanbourne which we really liked when we visited. Liked the head and the ethos. But honestly still oscillating; still considering local village primary as well.

Swanbourne is much more expensive from prep onwards and that concerns me. Plus it feeds predominantly into boarding schools, especially Stowe, neither of which I'm keen on. That said, overall, seems best option for us.

Good luck, it's such a big decision. Stressing me out.

Coconutty Sun 08-May-16 08:54:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SusanUT Sat 14-May-16 18:38:31

We are in a very similar situation! We are going to the swanbourne open day in October and Akeley in June. And MKprep in June as well I think. Your son may be in the same class as mine at Walton!

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