Local Talk

Churcher's College vs Ditcham Park

(10 Posts)
completelybonkers Sun 05-Jun-11 18:03:13

We're contemplating a move out of London to Petersfield to start DS2 into Year 3 at a co-ed independent school in September 2012. Looking at the prospectuses for Churcher's College and Ditcham Park, we like the look of both but ATM Churcher's has the edge because it goes through to A level and would be easy to get to (if we bought in Petersfield or Sheet) at senior level; however, I've no idea what the trip to the junior school in Liphook would be like or a trek to Ditcham Park. What are the class sizes and are most pupils reasonably local?

Any comments or advice on schools and location would be gratefully received as this will be the one and only move we plan to make! Can't really imagine living in a village as I'm a townie and used to cycling or walking to school, shops, library, GP etc etc but, again, your experiences could prove invaluable.

Thank you in advance for your input smile

penneekins Thu 09-Jun-11 13:22:21

Have a look at http://www.churcherscollege.com/
Churcher's College is beautiful and would be our choice if we were looking at independent schools. They do run buses I believe for all ages. Have a look on http://www.theaa.com/route-planner/index.jsp to get an idea of the journey.
It's always a good idea to take time out and have a wander around first before making any decisions like that.
Petersfield is very nice - the whole area is lovely.
Chichester is really nice too with culture and city facilities as well as good schools. Hope that helps

completelybonkers Thu 09-Jun-11 13:53:18

Thanks, penneekins - that's reassuring. I've seen the websites and now have a hard copy of each school's prospectus. The next thing is to visit them with DH and have a good look round the town to get a feel for it. It looks like a 20 minute journey to Churcher's Junior but I need to give it a go for myself. I've registered with one agent and will pop into the others when we go down there in the next few weeks.

It all sounds almost too good to be true and it's an exciting prospect to think that we could actually follow this through and be living there in just over a year's time!

Can I ask whether you've always been in that area or whether you moved their from London? That's the bit I'm most nervous about but I have to say that everything I've seen in the virtual world looks very promising smile

penneekins Fri 10-Jun-11 06:45:29

Hi Bonkers, My migration was abroad to London to Horsham to Chichester. What exactly are you nervous about, could it be you're worried about not having everything on your doorstep when you move? Do you drive? If so, you may well find you need to use the car (or a bicycle) more often than you would in London. You also need to factor in that as your children get older, you will have to do lots more taxi-ing around if you're out in the sticks. Or you place yourselves where transport is easy so the children can have a bit of independence when they get older. (or be prepared to move again!)
The area you are looking at is very beautiful, the countryside is gorgeous. Village life can be quite different - I find the people in our village quite parochial as some have never been anywhere else!
On the other hand, you will meet other parents at school and make friends if you get involved in your community through hobbies or church or whatever interests you have.
Hope it all goes well and enjoy it.

completelybonkers Fri 10-Jun-11 08:41:10

You're spot on, penneekins - I'm used to everything being on our doorstep. I will have to resign myself to using the car much more but I'm hoping that we'll find a place in Petersield itself or Sheet and then I can still use my bike (and legs!) a lot. We certainly won't be wanting to move again so we need to get it right first time. Incidentally, DS1 will be off to uni as DS2 starts Year 3 so that will be another factor - ease of getting "home" to us from goodness knows where in the country; hence the train station will certainly be another important factor.

I've never lived anywhere but London so it's a big deal for me and we're lucky to be in a particularly pleasant area ATM; however, there are plenty of things I'll be glad to leave behind and I think we'll benefit from what sounds like a fab place to live!

penneekins Fri 10-Jun-11 11:19:33

Of course it's a big deal to you, Bonkers. Certainly the air will be cleaner for yourselves and the boys. You will have an improved and different quality of life. There will be lots of trade-offs, you'll swap everything on your doorstep (although everything you need will be close) for beautiful scenery; crowds for space; buzz for lower crime etc. I don't know if you work, but salaries and prospects are lower, although you would not expect to have the levels of pressure you might in London. There's lots of culture around, for example, the Chichester Festival Theatre is fantastic, and look at this: http://www.petersfieldconcert.co.uk/ There's loads to do in Portsmouth and Southampton. There are different activities too that you all might have more opportunity to get involved in e.g. wildlife, seaside, sailing, swimming, outdoor sports (e.g. village cricket or football - Portsmouth Football Club has a youth training scheme); loads of great places to take children; National Trust properties etc.

completelybonkers Fri 10-Jun-11 12:20:25

Are you sure you're not an estate agent?!?!

It's sounding more and more tempting. Am fixing a date to visit as I type smile

penneekins Sat 11-Jun-11 09:47:21

Haha good luck

beachyhead Wed 29-Jun-11 08:17:55

Hi, just chanced on this...we are going up to the Churcher's open day this weekend (Sat). Are you going to have a look? Also was wondering if you've looked at PGS in Portsmouth. Lots come down from Petersfield for the Senior school there.....

completelybonkers Fri 08-Jul-11 21:02:45

Sorry, haven't logged in for a while but have just read beachyhead's comment. I missed the Churcher's open day but plan to go to the next one in October. What did you think of the school? Were you impressed? Any bad vibes that you picked up? And what are you comparing Churcher's with?

Funnily enough, I was just looking at PGS but would like to be local and don't fancy living in Portsmouth sad

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