Christ's Hospital, Horsham(114 Posts)
Anyone have any experience of this school?
i went there and hated it. Freaking weird place IMO. Am very anti boarding.
could be just barking eliot, i dunno...
Kelly interesting I too was surprised but both families who don't know each other, have no axe to grind in fact believed in what the school offers and whose children were not in the same house/year told me similar stories. These were not regular occurrences but these incidences certainly did occur. Im assuming you left a while ago maybe things have changed?
I think all involved in education or who works with children will tell you that there definitely and very sadly an increase in the number of children with significant emotional problems in both sectors.
Just to reiterate what MrsDeVere said really.
If all the utter snobs and racists are avoiding this school then I think it's to be recommended! The rest of the children can then learn tolerance, acceptance and patience and will leave with more humanity than has been shown on this thread.
If you don't want your kids mixing with racist, pretentious and judgemental snobs then it sounds like a great school!
I'll stick with the good old state myself, primarily because we don't actually have a choice
But THER the whole point of CH is that it gives choice to those who would normally not be able to afford a boarding school education.
MrsDV I agree - very ugly.
The small number of children who each year snaffle up scholarships to the very excellent and high achieving local private secondaries almost all come from very conservative and god-fearing African and West Indian families, some of whom are single mothers working in the health service as nurses or are teachers themselves in the state sector.I totally agree with Mini. My son is going to his 4th year at CH now and it is the best thing that has happened. I have never heard of any bad behaviour or children who have ''problems'' during this time. Obviously anywhere you put 800 or so children there will be issues,. I find some of the comments here very harsh and so untrue. Yes I am a single parent ,but my sons fee is means tested so I pay quite a fair bit. I don't think this school is for children from problem homes, I think its for bright children whose parents/parent could otherwise not afford to send them to a school where their potential could be developed. Unfortunately my last child did not get into CH, but because of her hard work and my support got into an equally excellent day independent school. Instead of putting the school down for those of you who have not been there, please visit the school. The children are very polite and well behaved. the opportunities are endless, my son gets to play with ...the son of a German count, he has friends from Hong Kong who have all the latest tech gadgets ,he has friends who live in million pound homes in Chelsea, but my son is only from SW16 . where else will he have an opportunity like that. what makes it interesting is the children do not care where their friends come from, who pays full fees or whatever. these children work very hard wherever backgrounds they come from and for those condemning this school check their results. Yes some us come from humble backgrounds and council estates, at the end of the day no matter how bad or how high your need is ,if you don't pass the extremely rigorous exam and selection procedure you will not get in.
I would love to read that inspection report Colleger I can't seem to find it? Maybe it is because it doesn't exist or is just for the eyes of the paying elite.
Plenty of troubled teens from high income families. Your own ds2 for one.
I think Christ's Hospital does excellent work in providing a very good education at free or low cost to children whose families couldn't otherwise pay. I didn't go there myself, but it is definitely a good school from what I have heard. Also, being a single parent without much money does not make a family dysfunctional or the children incapable. Many of these families still have very good values and are hardworking. But it is true that children growing up without many material advantages will certainly benefit from very good teaching and support, and this is what Christ's Hospital typically provides.
I realise this thread has gone quiet, but after stumbling across it and being shocked at the perception of Christ's Hospital as a school full of 'problem' children from 'dysfunctional backgrounds who are required to provide 'excess personal support' to their friends, I felt I ought to throw my first hand experience in. I spent my entire secondary education at CH from 2000-2007 and it was easily the best 7 years of my life. At no point was I, or any of my friends, called upon to provide excess care and support to any of the other pupils. The only support that was required of me was the kind that you would naturally, I hope, provide your closest friends when something upsetting happens (something upsetting being a break-up, being told off or getting detention etc). Of course when the first years arrive all the second years are assigned someone to look after, which I understand is normal in most boarding schools and, quite frankly, I imagine is a comfort to any parent sending their child to boarding school as it is hard to be away from home for a long time at the age of 11. If helping someone through home sickness is 'excess care and support' then I would suggest against boarding school in general - personally I feel it is a wonderful thing and teaches a child at a young age to care about other people and learn independence.
If anyone is bothered, in any way, about the ethnicity balance at CH then I suggest you do not go there as, to be honest, they will not take you and most definitely will not want you. Racism and prejudice (both the racial and financial kind) are not tolerated. End of. And, to me, that is exactly what makes the school great.
Also to clear up this 'full fee paying issue', CH has always admitted full fee payers however the intake is limited to, I believe, 6% in the founding charter. Whilst I was there they only took in 3% however the new headmaster has increased this to the full 6% due to the national financial instability. I'm afraid the view that most parents in the position to pay full fees will not choose CH is a very misguided one. That small percentage of places is often the most highly contested and many heads of private prep schools recommend CH - it was recommended to my parents as my prep school head teacher felt I needed a bigger school with more opportunities than the local Surrey private schools offered (not because I was a "problem" child, I might add).
This is the next point - you have to pass 2 entrance exams to get into CH. It provides a top education to children whose parents can't afford it, but the children do also have to get in. It is one of the most competitive entrance procedures out there. Plus it is not only based on academics, your child is also interviewed and spends a weekend at the school so that they can see how your child interacts with other children and whether they are suited to boarding school life. It benefits both parties and is a responsible way of ensuring, as far as they can, the happiness and well being of their students.
If you send your child to CH, then they will come out the other side as a very well rounded, highly independent person who is not afraid to work hard or stand up for themselves.
Money is not an issue and, certainly whilst I was there, I never knew nor cared what anyone's personal financial background was. It is an equal and level playing field and if a prejudice free cohort full of bright, outgoing children is not what you want then fair enough, but, in my opinion, you would be missing out on a great start for your child.
As a final note, I will add that I am the only one of my (non-Christ's Hospital) friends who looks back fondly on my school days and has been back to visit. When I told one of them I was going back again next year they couldn't understand why. They couldn't even understand why I would go back the first time, let alone again, however most of my CH year have been back to visit and I suspect will continue to do so. It's more than a school and it's very special.
A very informative post oldblue, thank you!
OldBlue thank you for that lovely post, it's good to hear from someone with recent first hand experience of boarding there
I have visited the school several times now and from what I have seen it just backs up everything you have said. The children there are just lovely. My son was invited to a few summer school day things for music and science in the last couple of years and from the second he arrived he decided that was the school he was going to.
I never in a million years considered sending him to boarding school. I know he is an intelligent, well rounded young man who is confident enough to cope in that environment but I was still hesitant to let him apply.
After meetings with them and speaking to other parents I decided it was an opportunity too good for me to take away from him.
He starts next week! I hope he has just as many happy memories as you OldBlue.
Thank you for putting my mind at ease.
Good luck to your son. Mine starts his 3rd year
My husband went to CH and now two of my dd's go with third to follow when old enough. The school is amazing! We are a 'normal'family and my dc love their school and are very proud of its heritage. There is a very strong community spirit and they offer a wide range of extra curricular activities as well as high academic standards. My girls are thriving!
I have laughed hysterically at some of these posts on here.
One of my dc has been through CH - at times she found boarding hard but she has no regrets about going. I only wish all my dc were able to go, fortunately in the mean time the local school is not only still open but has actually shifted off the bottom league table
Only a small percentage pay 0% fees, then there is the 6% who pay full fees and then the other 94% pay on a sliding scale somewhere between 0 and 99% so yes a significant number of parents choose CH despite it being more expensive than their local independent day school!
My daughter goes to Christ hospital it's a third year. can't believe the messages on here. The school should set the standard's of all school's. The children are rounded intellectual and stand out from other children. When we went to look round there i was blown away how grown up and together they were and how much praise and admiration they had for the school. Children come from all walk's of life and the fact they go on to run company's, work as barrister's, become doctor's and vet's it's doing the job that so many school's should be doing. As for the comment's about single parent's being on income support, if you send your children to state school then your getting benefit's the fact they are paying towards their children education and not just expecting the state to pay for them speak's for it's self.
My husband attended this school, via a scholorship. To this day he still raves about this school. He loved it and even 20yrs later contributes via a monthly subscription to support the school and he welcomes that yearly phone conversation from a current pupil. This school gave him such opportunity, escapism and realism, a sense of belonging. I've heard lots of stories from him!!! It developed his independence, he thrived and he has turned out rather well in life (in all aspects), for which i am reaping the rewards!
The CH pupils I have met have been polite and thoughtful young people. So are the pupils at my DDs school, one of the most selective of the London day schools, whose parents are unlikely to be paying full fees. As are all her peers from other minority ethnic groups and cultures. The problem pupils who caused my younger DDs year to be dysfunctional, were all from affluent families but as a result of extremely self indulgent parental behaviour, were troubled and attention seeking and had to set themselves up as an exclusive bitchy cool group belittling others to build up their own self esteem. Their stories, confided to DD because she was caring and therefore safe, would make you weep, and made her extremely upset. The head of year has not experienced anything like it in her 30 year teaching career. I am quite sure not one of their parents would think CH has enough of a name for them to brag about at dinner parties. Which is a plus.
Wow! I have come to Mumsnet to get some more information on CH and am quite surprised at the division between people regarding this school. It seems that the majority of people who dislike this school and its ethos have not actually attended the school or even been to one of the Open Days.
We took our DS to the last Open Day and were both very impressed with the school and its pupils. I was delighted by the fact that there is diversity within the school unlike many of the schools in my area of Surrey.
I was brought up in Surrey in the 60’s and was picked on when I was at primary school because I come from an ethnic background (my father is half French/half Vietnamese, my mother was British) and in those days, I was the only person at my school who was “different”. Since then things have changed, but not that much in our local state schools, much less in the cliquey elite private schools that surround us. I went to a private school from 11 onwards and found that I was still picked on by delightful gangs of girls from wealthy, privileged backgrounds who found me either a threat or insignificant.
So, there are several reasons for CH having appeal. Whilst we could try and get DS into a local independent school (we would need a bursary though), I am not sure that I want him to go somewhere where most of the children are from the same background and have no experience of life’s realities outside Surrey and the Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
Having read all of the posts so far, I am now reassured that CH is the school for us, assuming our DS will be OK with boarding, because I think it provides all the opportunities of any other independent school but with a good dose of diversity as opposed to bigotry, which I believe is incredibly important nowadays in the ever-shrinking global world we live in.
I am thinking about sending my sons from overseas to Christ Hospital School, but I have recently told by another mun that some students of CH come from families other than the normal ones. I cannot guage the situation and what are the potential implications. Could anyone please share with me the local situation. Urgent advice is really needed. Please help. Many thanks
I am thinking sending my sons from overseas to Christ Hospital School ("CH") and recently informed by other mums of the special situations of boys from families other than the normal ones. Much appreciate if any one can share with me the local situation. many thanks.
Please help share the local situation of CH. thanks
What is a normal family? My son is in his third year and very happy.
I can't believe this thread is still going, but I'm going to add my experience of CH to it for all it's worth.
We have a DD in Year 6. We looked at the school in Yr5 with a view to seeing what boarding was all about and then writing it off as an option as we were anti boarding - we love our children and want to see them and (selfishly for us live with them. We therefore went to see it and were quite literally overwhelmed (we'd seen loads of the North London private schools) and felt it offered something quite unique which was a feeling of equality and non-elitism. The children were lovely, polite, funny, happy and all had a vitality (presumably from the bracing winds and exercise). Most importantly they were normal, and individual. They didn't look pressured and we saw everywhere a love of learning and care being taken to nurture the best you could achieve. They seemed to reflect a balance of life experience being as important as academic achievement (that just didn't seem apparent in any of the other schools we are looking at who seemed more focused on grades).
The facilities in the school are excellent, the traditions took a little getting used to, but they also clearly defined the sense of community spirit and pride in the school.
We went home and applied and whilst still weren't sure of boarding, figured time would help us make a decision.
We went to visit again a few months later. Saw other new amazing aspects of the school, asked questions about boarding and pastoral care.
Daughter then sat the Initial test, there were 450 candidates in the morning and 450 in the afternoon (I believe) (Half boys, half girls). The test was straightforward. Our daughter passed it (our friends DD didn't). We just went to the Residential Assessment. There were 11 boarding houses of about 24 prospective pupils. I think there was one boarding house for 13+ entry and then 5 x 24 boys and 5 x 24 girls. They did so many tests and activities (Verbal, Non Verbal and Numerical Reasoning Tests on computer x 3, Maths Paper, English Paper, Boarding House Group Q&A session (mostly questions relating t a moral dilemma), Interview with House Parent, Performance Piece (optional), sports activity, singing activity (all applicants), plus they no doubt were being assessed continually to see how they interacted and bonded.
Results for the places come out in Feb and so we think we may have a statistical 1 in 2 chance of an offer at this stage. DD thought it went well and met some lovely girls. Not sure if we qualify in any area of need other than ability to afford fees and a not so great choice of local secondaries.
DD stated she loved it....she is ready to board and now ranks it up equal with SPGS, NLCS, CLGS and Habs.
We will have to see what offers we might be lucky enough to get (hopefully all with bursaries and/or scholarships) before we can really decide if we can even afford it.
I spoke to as many parents I could travelling to and from the exam days. Lots of 'normal' people / families. Single parents, widowers, children with disabled siblings, overcrowded homes, people with health issues, but also completely unaffected families who just simply could not afford this sort of education without financial assistance....all the people we met were lovely!!!
I do not know how they assess 'need'. The Head stated it was an academically selective school, they will presumably not offer to those who they think will not cope with boarding and take a balanced view of the potential to gain from an education there, for everyone else who did well enough in the tests.
If you sat the test this week good luck in February. If you are thinking of applying, please go and visit because I think you will be pleasantly surprised. We felt that non of our local state schools came anywhere close to it in terms of the opportunities it offered.
I also now feel if my daughter really wants to board she will be right for boarding school - she has matured over the last year and we would move her if it was not right. If your child is against boarding they probably will not suit CH
Blimey I got next to nothing re what was tested over the 2 day residential! Only that the computers which they did some tests on, were really cool!
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