The Urban Guide to the Countryside
Berkshire Edition

Category: Education

The Abbey School, Reading

12 Apr 2017

Abbey School was the first Berkshire school to go under the microscope for the Muddy Best Schools Guide. To make sure you are fully in the loop in terms of developments and updates, here are the latest facts, figures and insights. Obviously you’ll want to enjoy the Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalism again *ahem*, but they also have a couple of open days coming up – April 28 and May 5 – so you can check them out for yourself.

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Muddy best schools guide: Elstree School

9 Feb 2017


What? Where? Elstree’s location is a cracker, situated in the West Berkshire village of Woolhampton, it is close to Newbury and within easy reach of Reading (about 30mins). If you live in London, the school’s five minutes from Midgham station with a GWR route into London Paddington. The School’s focal point is a gorgeous Georgian mansion surrounded by 150 acres of parkland and playing fields.

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Is your child superhuman?

10 Jan 2017

Nicola Dick-Cleland (above), Head of The Junior School at the prestigious Abbey School in Reading is a trained psychotherapist, so who better to ask about the ever-increasing pressures on children and the gnarly subject of extra-curricular activities than her? Read her thoughts below and please feel free to comment underneath the feature – it’s a fascinating subject and I’d love to know what you think.

1. Extra curricular shouldn’t be extra

Adults tend to think about school life in two parts – academic and extra-curricular – but if you think about it in terms of developing a child’s breadth of character they’re not separate at all.

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Muddy best schools guide: Sunningdale School, Ascot

4 Nov 2016


What? Where? Sunningdale is an absolutely idyllic prep boarding school for boys from 7 – 13 hidden in 25 stonkingly lovely acres near leafy Ascot. It’s a tiny school of just 110 kids, nearly all of whom board, and it’s proudly non-selective. The main building is an attractive red brick Victorian villa and has the feel of a family home for the very good reason that it is!

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Muddy Best Schools Guide

18 Oct 2016


I reviewed Leighton Park School back in the summer and it’s well worth a read if you missed it the first time. Don’t just take my word for it though, they have plenty of open days coming up so you can check them out for yourself.

Something a bit different – my first Quaker school on the Muddy Best Schools Guide. Not what I was expecting at all!

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5 smart ways to boost your child’s self-esteem

28 Sep 2016

Huge thanks and a free cappuccino and slab of cake to Ms Muddy herself, Hero at Muddy Bucks & Oxon for posting this brilliant piece on boosting your child’s self-esteem. Notepads and pens at the ready folks – there are some awesome tips here from the Head of Winchester House, Emma Goldsmith…

If you’re a regular Muddy reader you’ll know that I love to scoot along having fun and looking for the best things in life (happily they’re free – just ask Janet).

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Top 10 picture books for children

13 Apr 2016

So we’re continuing with The Haslemere Bookshop’s selection of the best books for kids. In part 2, Emily Adsett-Raggett has given us her choice of the top 10 picture books. Part 1, in case you missed it, gave us the top 10 chapter books. My mudlets are passed this stage, which I find a little sad. But I’ve stashed away several of our old favourites in a memory box and we dig them out now and again – they absolutely love it when we do.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside -
Berkshire Edition