'Bancroft's has an excellent reputation in the local area. The results are the best in our local area for GCSE and A Level results which was a big factor also in our choice. From the moment we walked into the school we felt that it was exactly the right balance of excelling at education, but also offering great pastoral care and extracurricular activities. The choice is immense.
The admissions process was smooth for us. We were kept well informed along the whole process.
From our interaction with the head he is very approachable, always at school events and willing to talk to parents. He makes himself accessible if a parent wishes to speak to him (although we have not needed to). In the recent Coronavirus pandemic, he started keeping us informed of the schools’ intentions well in advance of lockdown and made some firm decisions about how the school would handle this crisis.
My son has really enjoyed having the same form tutor, Miss Grossman, for two years and she has been an enormous help to him, especially when he had a small confidence issue in his second year. She is very supportive and nurturing and her pastoral care is excellent.
The school communicates very well with parents. There are regular emails and all our son's reports, grades and homework are available for us to view on the online VLE system. There is a fortnightly newsletter showing the activities and achievements going on around the school and the variety is massive.
The school encourages charity activity and pupil-led fundraising, and it is good to see how much goes on in the school.
The form tutor and housemistress know my child well and when we had a small issue we saw both of them by appointment and they could not have been more helpful and supportive. I felt that they knew my child well.
The pastoral care and advice for parents is excellent. The school runs sessions for the parents which I have attended and found to be very useful.
I feel that my child would be very well supported if he had any problems. They are already preparing them for GCSE studying and giving them revision and study techniques. They have regular 'mini tests' in all subjects which really helps with the long-term learning and revision. They have a varied PSHE curriculum which covers things to help prepare them for the future. When they were choosing their GCSE options, they had an individual interview with the Careers teacher which I think was an excellent thing to do.
There is an active PA who put on regular social events. The house system gives a great sense of family and we attend an annual fundraising event for our house which really feels like a proper family event.
The school has totally lived up to our expectations. It has a reputation of being highly academic but our experience is that the children are not 'pushed' or 'hothoused'. The first two years are effectively spent encouraging them to join in everything that the school has to offer, to make the most of the extracurricular activities and sport and enjoy getting to know and make new friends. They work hard and play hard, and my advice to new parents is to let the school do their job as they do it well!’
'My husband and I both went to Bancrofts, it was in fact where we met and married. Later on both our girls were fortunate enough to follow in our footsteps. Our younger daughter is just about to leave the school, and so all 4 of us will now be proud Old Bancroftians and we all have many happy memories of school careers stretching over the years.
Both of our girls joined at 7 and went through the admissions process quite young. It was a long time ago now but we tried to keep any pressure off them, and being younger they both took in more in their stride I think.
Mr Marshall the head has always been most encouraging and got to know our daughters. He especially went the extra mile when our youngest was recently going through the Oxbridge process and made time to talk to give, give her interview prep and help her with his insight. It meant a great deal to her, and to us, and we will be forever grateful.
TRCJ, a member of the English department, has encouraged and stretched both our girls. He went out of his way to inspire them and met with us along the Oxbridge process and ultimately brought out the very best in them and their favourite subject. Not only did TRCJ teach both our girls, but both of us too- an absolute star and never to be forgotten. Miss Jones, Head of RS (again a subject that both our girls took up to A-level), is a brilliant teacher in her subject and thoroughly prepared her classes, but more than that - she took them under her wing and helped them through a myriad of teenage dramas too. So kind and nurturing- an absolute star.
I think the communication with parents has definitely got better over time and as parents who are just leaving I can honestly say I have always known where to go and who to speak to should I need anything. The office staff, especially Kay Kennedy, always go the extra mile too and they are all so friendly.
Our girls have had a really positive experience of school, teachers and senior management that have really cared about them and wanted them to succeed. We feel very fortunate. The school have advised my youngest who goes to university in September to do some pre-university courses which I think will be very helpful.
There is a very active and successful PTA group which raises money and provides social events for families to get to know one another more. Also, the Old Bancroftians Facebook group has really grown in lockdown as people share old photos and memories. My advice to new parents would be to get involved! Find other families like yours and support your child; the school will be encouraging you all the way.’
'The school has a fantastic academic record which was our first reason to look at the school. But on visiting it became clear that there was so much to the school. The sense of community and a genuine warmth was what sealed it for us. The school made the admissions process as calm as possible. One of my girls is very confident and was fine with it all. My youngest daughter is a bit of a worrier so it was more stressful for her. However, Bancroft’s seemed to deal with this better than the other schools we looked at.
Mr Marshall the head is engaged and enthusiastic. Miss Jones, Miss Mead and Mrs Fryer Green have all made a particular difference to my child’s time at school.
The school communicates with parents pretty well.
The school is fantastic on the pastoral front. I feel that both girls are very well placed for the next stage in their education. There is a strong PTA at the school who hold a variety of activities. In all honesty I can’t complain. My girls have both thrived at the school in different areas.'