Clandon Infant School vs Glenesk?

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    We are about to exchange on a house purchase in East Horsley, with the hope to move in January…fingers crossed. The Raleigh School (our nearest and first choice) is currently full for my 2 daughters’ in Reception and Year 2, however there were spaces in St Lawrence Effingham for both girls – until this week, when I found out the 1 space left in Yr2 has gone…so now there are currently no Yr2 Spaces in any schools in the top 10 nearest apart from Clandon Infant School (8th closest). This is a tiny little school of just 45 kids, and sounds very sweet and dinky, but I’m worried it’s too small and may not be challenging enough for my kids. I’m also worried it’s so small and won’t allow me to get stuck into the local community as I’d planned. Has anyone got any opinion on the school, what the children/teachers/community is like? The other option would be to put them into the private infant school like Glenesk (which is at least in our village), or any other private primary school nearby, but that means spending money we don’t really have! Any opinions welcome! Many thanks.



    I live reasonably locally to East Horsley and also live in a village with a small infant school which my oldest daughter has been through and my youngest one is currently attending. I would say that, don’t rule out a school purely on size – some of the best schools can also be the smallest as the teacher to pupil ratio will be lower so they’ll have all the benefits of small class sizes, especially when they’re young. A nurturing environment can sometimes be really beneficial to children starting school. You’ll also meet actual locals at the school, whereas with many private schools you’ll find that the catchment is very wide and they’ll come from all over the place. Things are also much more movable than you think they are and spaces do come up so if they’re on the waiting list you can just move them as and when. Many children at our school have come and gone due to house moves etc, and they all seem to have settled very well into their new schools – think children are more adaptable than we think they are! I personally would give the Clandon school a try first and see how you get on. I have heard it’s a very tight knit community so I think you will have no problem meeting people and getting involved if you want to.

    Good luck!





    I have lived in West and then East Horsley for 14 years. Clandon is a lovely village school and I think Maranda is right with many of her comments.

    That said, East Horsley will be your community – and in my opinion, it’s really helpful to school your children in your own village if you can. That way you’ll have fewer car journeys, their friendships will be local, and you’ll get to know other local parents.

    The community here is just lovely – really active, really supportive. If you can cope with the madness I’d accept the place at St Lawrence which is under new and very good management and wait for the second place to come up. That should mean that your second child will be more likely to get a place when it comes up. I’ve known children attend Clandon for just a day and then be offered a place locally (madness) but it’s worth doing whatever you can do to get into the Raleigh or St Lawrence.

    If you opt for Glenesk, it’s a beautiful pastoral school with amazing teachers and excellent facilities. We are in the same boat (sending our boy to private school when it’s a bit of a stretch) so I fully understand the challenge.



    Thank you for your replies Maranda and Su! I’m off to see Clandon school on Wednesday, and hope it is as lovely as you say and I imagine! I think if it is then yes, I’ll put youngest in St Lawrence, and hope a space comes up sooner rather than later for the eldest. I think it’d be silly to go for private if, like you say Su, a place could come up very soon, and we’ve paid for a term or have to give a term’s notice etc.
    I’m really looking forward to moving, and hope to bump into you there!



    Hope the move goes well. I run the coffee shop next to Horsley Station, and OH runs Quaich, the main coffee shop in the village. If you need any help or advice during/after the move just shout. We don’t pretend to know the answer to everything but we do often know how to find someone who can help in most circumastances!



    Aha, my sister in law works in Quaich, Nicky! I have spoken to your OH a few times when getting a quick cuppa whilst house hunting! I actually think you helped me on this site months ago when we were buying a different house, you gave me some great builders contacts, thank you! I look forward to meeting you soon. X fingers we’ll be there in January…



    Moving out of London to this part of Surrey is one of the best decisions we ever made as a young family. Great schools, including a number of good primaries, and fabulous countryside have enriched our quality of life immeasurably. Inevitably with young children, we made lots of new friends very quickly and I’m sure you’ll find the same thing happens to you too.
    Even if your daughters go to a school that is slightly further afield than you would choose, there are other ways of getting involved in your local community and getting to know other families; for example, joining clubs or organisations such as Rainbows and/or Brownies.
    Don’t be put off by the small size of Clandon Infant School. This could be a Godsend! How often do we hear teachers and parents wishing for smaller class sizes, in which the class teacher can spend more time with each pupil?
    State schools are expected to provide appropriately differentiated learning activities for pupils of all abilities, so if your daughters are able pupils, good teachers will relish providing stimulating and stretching learning opportunities for them.
    The best way to find out about the quality of teaching and learning in any prospective school is to visit it, have a look at what’s on the walls (children’s work, newsletters, celebrations of achievements etc), chat to teachers, parents and pupils about what they think of their school – what they like about it, what could be even better. Most schools have a website which will give you a flavour of life at the school and some schools’ PTAs have a Facebook page which gives a slightly more informal impression! Above all, don’t just rely on what OFSTED says about a school. They don’t always value the best bits, especially if it’s data that can’t be measured, such as happiness or pupils’ self-esteem and enjoyment of school.



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