Papplewick, Dragon, Sunningdale or Cothill?

(70 Posts)
tallmermaid Mon 06-Feb-12 10:13:41

Dear all, considering sending DS to one of these schools. Would appreciate opinions on which one's best. In particular, would appreciate in-depth opinion on Papplewick (not seen much on this school on the discussion boards). Would prefer boarding school that does not empy out at weekends. Objective is to aim for place in E, W or H. Thanks.

Colleger Mon 06-Feb-12 10:36:30

Wouldn't choose any of those for your criteria. Papplewick a great choice for E and W but empties at weekends and has a high number of day pupils. Cothill is fantastic and does not empty but not the most academic, fine for H though. In saying that the new Head is excellent and the term in France is fantastic. Dragon is more of a day school too.

Schools that dont empty at weekends: For Winchester I'd suggest Horris Hill, for Eton I'd suggest Summerfields. It's not that a bright boy won't get into Eton from the other schools but it is so difficult nowadays and there are only a small proportion of schools that send a large number to Eton, the rest send about 2 a year.

All the schools mentioned would get your son into Harrow.

happygardening Mon 06-Feb-12 11:02:55

?Wyndalsham sort of in the south east. Seems to send children to a wide variety of schools and I understand not only has a lovely atmosphere but has lots of full boarders.

happygardening Mon 06-Feb-12 11:05:18

Sorry cant spell: Windlesham its in Sussex near Worthing I believe.

Myrtille Mon 06-Feb-12 13:50:22

We looked at Dragon 10 years ago and really liked it. It has more boarders than Summerfields so is still a bona fide boarding school. In the end my son went to another prep school and we kind of regretted it.
Beautiful surroundings and fantastic facilities.

TheMead Mon 06-Feb-12 14:00:33

DS's prep also send 2-4 boys to E and more to W annually. We've recently considered DS moving school to one of those schools above, for Y7 & 8. There are one or two pupils who changes feeder schools at Y7 once they get a conditional offer from E, W or H. I wonder if schools like Summerfields, Caldicot, or Papplewick work like that for this reason.

goinggetstough Mon 06-Feb-12 14:33:34

HG it is Windlesham House and it is in West Sussex.www.windlesham.com It has been commented on previously on mumsnet so tall if you are interested I'd do a search on mumsnet . Windlesham definitely has lost going on at weekends and I would definitely recommend it.
Don't though get confused with Woodcote House a boys prep boarding which is in Windlesham in Berkshire.

Colleger Mon 06-Feb-12 15:09:24

Dragon does not have more boarders percentage-wise so it's run in the same way as Summerfields.

happygardening Mon 06-Feb-12 15:57:59

My DS at W certainly has friends who were at Windlesham and I see on their web site that the top Eton scholar last years came from their too and he was only 12 quite an achievement.

tallmermaid Mon 06-Feb-12 22:49:42

Dear All, thanks for your suggestions.

Dear Colleger - We tried but could not get place (Year 5) for DS at Summer Fields for Sep 2012. As such, we are looking at next best alternative with a strong E and W placement record. What are your suggestions in this regard?

EBDteacher Tue 07-Feb-12 08:04:44

We live round the corner from Caldicott and have been on open day and really rated it. Great 'let boys be boys' sort of atmosphere but obviously quite rigorous too. However, I think it probably does empty out at weekends.

We are definitely considering it although I can't get my head around the compulsory boarding atm (DS only 17mo) so have the rather 'gentler' Lambrook on our list as well.

happygardening Tue 07-Feb-12 08:49:30

Many years ago we went on the W open day there were quite a few parents there from Ashdowne House and Brambletye. Friends looked at the former and said it had a very nice atmosphere but chose Windalsham. The other big feeder into Eton is Ludgrove I know nothing about it except that I think one family at my DS's prep sent their DS there because it has a golf course! For W there is of course Pilgrims which I know little about but colleger does and I believe is not keen but we know families there who seem happy as usual you will always hear mixed things about every school and Horris Hill.

Colleger Tue 07-Feb-12 09:35:44

Pilgrims is not good for boarding. I'd second Ashdown House and they also send children to France for a term as well to the same place that the Cothill boys go to. After Ashdown I'd suggest Horris Hill because they have very strong links with Winchester and your son would also get into Harrow from there. Eton is a lottery but they can easily prepare for common entrance to Eton but whether a child passes the Pre-test may be less to do with the school.

happygardening Tue 07-Feb-12 10:08:23

I think colleger is right the passing the pre test has little to do with what prep you are at. Although I note on Ludgroves website they sent 16 to Eton last year and its always double figures although of course it doesn't say when they joined the school. Once you been offered a place to E or H then your son is highly likely to pass CE out of any decent prep. W write their own exam which is different to CE so if you go down that road then you do need to be in a school with recent and yearly experience of preparing children for it. If your hoping for a scholarship into either W or E then you do ned to be in a school which regularly get scholarships into them and starts preparation for the scholarship in yr 7. Pilgrims I believe have a separate class for potential W scholars although again colleger would know more.

vixsatis Tue 07-Feb-12 11:20:03

Another tick for Ashdown- we opted for all boys and more convenient geography (Summer Fields) but Ashdown is a really lovely and excellent school. Likewise Horris Hill. HH would have been our second choice and Ashdown third

My godson is at the dragon- it's only about 35% boarding. Lots of the day children have huge amounts of extra tuition, so I think it's a rotten place to be a boarder.

Ludgrove has good statistics and is resolutely all boarding- one hears complaints that they're not allowed home enough. Caldicott is a great school but has a large day contingent bused in from London

Colleger Tue 07-Feb-12 11:44:29

Ludgrove stats are mixed. I think a few years ago only three boys got into Eton and percentage-wise that is small as Ludgroves is quite large. Tons went off to Radley because they failed to get into Eton.

I really wouldn't choose Pilgrims from a boarding point of view. I've known a lot of parents move their kids to HH from there because of the boarding. The links are so strong to W from HH that they felt it was the best place to move them to.

Colleger Tue 07-Feb-12 11:47:59

Must have got that wrong about Ludgrove adjust checked their stats.

happygardening Tue 07-Feb-12 12:38:42

Ludgroves website definitely states the numbers they send to Eton all double figures for a long time.

Colleger Tue 07-Feb-12 13:04:16

I think it can be quite a harsh environment from what parents have told me but all this is hearsay as was the stat where I was told only three went to Eton a few years ago. They are not known for many academic scholarships however.

tallmermaid Tue 07-Feb-12 13:36:01

What is Papplewick's record of sending boys to E or W?

happygardening Tue 07-Feb-12 13:56:42

40 to Eton, 25 to Harrow and 10 to Winchester in 5 years.

EBDteacher Tue 07-Feb-12 14:00:04

I don't get why Papplewick starts in Y2. If you're going to have KS1 why not start in YR? Seems random to go somewhere else just for 2 years. Where do boys go before Papplewick?

happygardening Tue 07-Feb-12 14:06:57

Its common for many preps especially those which have a high number of full boarders to start in yr2/3 probably considered the youngest age you can start full boarding at. At my DS's old prep when he started children used to start in yr three but in this day and age of of the need for bums on seats etc they dropped the age to year 2 and even taking yr 1 if they weren't full boarding often to take siblings. Many of course don't bother with yr 2 sats exams.

Colleger Tue 07-Feb-12 14:07:42

Lots of London preps start in Year 3 so I assume it's to poach a few before they look at other schools. The school isn't big enough to have two more year groups either.

EBDteacher Tue 07-Feb-12 14:15:15

Oh yes, both sensible reasons from the school's point of view I suppose. I've never come across anywhere else that takes from Y2.

I've never fancied Papplewick- no grounding for that whatsoever and can't put my finger on why. Just doesn't tick my boxes like Caldicott does.

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