Dolphin House vs Parkgate House

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Dolphin House vs Parkgate House

Postby SabineMum » Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:26 pm


We're looking for a small, nurturing independent school for our shy son and have settled on Parkgate House and Dolphin House, which we've visited of course. We're hesitant because we're seeing as many pros (and cons) to each school (Parkgate seems better for outdoor pursuits and leavers seem to go on to the type of secondary schools we're thinking of, but is depleted of boys in the last two years; Dolphin has no outdoor space, but we thought the Head impressive; it has more extracurricular activities, and children seem to go on to decent secondary schools too although the list seems less extensive). Any thoughts for parents at these schools/who have experienced these schools/have also considered both?

Thanking you in advance!
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Re: Dolphin House vs Parkgate House

Postby somemum » Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:08 am

I think Parkgate is great for them when they're little, but we had an experience of bullying later on, which the school didn't seem to be able to resolve. With not very many boys in the class, it's hard to get away from. Hornsby House has been brilliant for my son - he became a different, happier child there. If any nastiness happens, they seem to deal with it well, and it stops.
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Re: Dolphin House vs Parkgate House

Postby Beachboys » Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:24 pm


If you mean Dolphin School, my kids go there and I'm very happy with it. Do PM me if you would like more feedback or a chat.
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Re: Dolphin House vs Parkgate House

Postby WillowRowan » Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:08 am


My eldest goes to Dolphin, the other two will follow, second in Sept 19. She was also a shy, slightly anxious child not helped by being very young for her year. She has come on in leaps and bounds since starting at Dolphin (she is now in year 1). We couldn't be happier with our choice of school. They have been wonderful with her from day 1 with building confidence and dealing with any little anxieties or problems. She is thriving, loves the school, has made friends and couldn't be happier.

The lack of outdoor space has never been a concern of ours. The children use the common twice a day at break time and in the lower school do an outdoor PE session there once a week (as well as one indoor one in the hall). The older children do plenty of sport and compete against other schools. There are also plenty of clubs. They also get out and about for school trips and to the local library and doing things like traffic surveys etc.

Re leavers' destinations the head is known to be very good and the school gives plenty of information and support re options (starting in year 4 with "Getting ready" evenings for parents). They try very hard to look at each child individually and what will be best for them, which you are really only going to find out gradually as they get older and progress through school.

Do get in contact directly if you want to ask more questions or chat further, it's a very personal choice but I can't recommend Dolphin highly enough.

Good luck!
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Re: Dolphin House vs Parkgate House

Postby Happymummy2014 » Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:50 am

My kids are at Parkgate and it is such a wonderful, nurturing school with an emphasis on kindness and self confidence. I really can't speak highly enough of it. It is true that there are fewer boys but in the first few years at least, that doesn't matter as they all play together. If it seemed to matter for your son later, I think some boys do move on at 8 instead of 11. Good luck choosing the school that will suit your son. Happy to PM if you have questions about Parkgate.
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Re: Dolphin House vs Parkgate House

Postby harriedmum » Mon Mar 05, 2018 1:42 pm

Hello, I didn't reply sooner as I was hoping that some more of the Parkgate parents with boys would reply but I would like to point out that the number of boys in the Prep Department of the school varies hugely. In some years there is a dearth of boys in the final years but in my daughter's year (she is in year 5) there are more boys than girls (10 boys to 8 girls) and they range from the out and out sporty to the more quiet and shy.

It is a fabulous school which nurtures the children and builds on their inherent strengths. My daughter is academically capable but not a confident child and the school constantly encourages her to achieve without putting her under pressure - a real boon in this day and age. As a result the school produces happy, confident and capable children without the hothouse aspects that can be a worry to some parents.

If you have any questions please feel free to private message me. I did also look at Dolphin School and thought it was lovely too - we are very lucky and spoilt for choice school-wise locally.