If you were choosing between Rugby and Oundle for 2016 entry, which would you choose and why?(55 Posts)
Just that really - deliberately not being too specific about our own criteria, but wanted as much of a cross section of opinion as possible. Having crossed Winchester off the list after visiting (great for some, I am sure - but not for us and just could not imagine DC1 being happy there), it now looks likely to come down to one of these two...
(possibly worth adding that DC1 would be going for a scholarship and according to current head would stand a very good chance of success at either)
Oundle (based on a tiny sample of Rugby parents who are not happy).
Lots of my friends kids are at Oundle ( well may be a couple...) anyway consensus is very positive, good pastoral care, nice rounded young people coming out as far as I can see.
Unf no exp of Rugby...
We've have friends who have/had children at both all seem happy I think Oundle has more day children and is bigger.
Thanks, all. Oakham is not one that had come up in any conversations - I shall have a look.
DC would be boarding at either.
Meant to say someone we know had boys at Rugby and Winchester you'll be relieved to know that they are completely different!
Oakham has until very recently been seen very much as the poor relation in comparison to Uppingham and Oundle, its bumbled along in total obscurity for a fair old time but now it seems to have a lot of advocates ,like say Brighton College its very much flavour of the month,will it be in five,ten years time..personally I doubt it,Oundle and Rugby have proved themselves over the years and Im sure will continue to do so.
The Rugby/Oundle question is interesting,we know someone with a dd who had to make exactly the same choice,in the end it came down to what they thought was better pastoral care at Oundle, a feeling girls more integrated and the fact that Rugby as a town is....well....not as pleasant as Oundle(polite version)
We have personal experience of Oakham fairly recently - DD currently at Uni. We couldn't recommend it more highly, did wonders for our bright-but-lazy DD.
They have an open morning on 2nd Feb. Go along and see.
Disclaimer: I don't work for Oakham - just happen to know a family who are going then
Oh, and Oakham has a railway station, very useful for exeat weekends. Probably Rugby has too, but not Oundle
Girl or boy?
And without your individual criteria, it's very hard to say as the school ought to suit your child, no? Music/sport/art/academic? What's important to you/your child?
Fwiw, I'd send a boy to rugby but not a girl. .
Its the nuts and bolts you need to find out about. Look at sports offered does your DC have a niche sport is it available at both schools how often can your DC actually do it and too what level or for example is rugby compulsory five days a week come hell or high water great for rugby nuts but not rugby haters. What about house matrons are they resident and available 24 hours a day 7 days a week or non resident Mon - Frid 9-5 I personally think the former is the only way it should be. What about options at Winchester you chose a third language before starting and without knowing which one you like or have any aptitude for. Is there drama in the curriculum at both or is it an extra curricular activity if it matters ask same with music. What about house masters is there one you like? Another thing at Winchester no going home early at the end of term etc not all schools are this rigid if this matters to you ask. Also look up number of exeats. Other things to consider if your DS is unwell are you expected to take him home for a few days you might find this tedious or are you allowed to decide to bring your DS home if unwell or does the school decide if he can go home or do they take him to hospital eg A and E or xrays etc or you are if near enough are you likely to be asked do you mind? IME it's these little things that can make or break how happy you and your DC are with a school. We're non hovering slack and suprisingly compliant ( out of character) parents so if for example the school says our DS cant come home at the end of term a day early or go the their great grandmothers 110 th birthday on a Saturday evening not that we've ever needed to ask we just go along with it some may find it annoying.
Also look at what the pupils can do in their time can they go into town, do they have to wear uniform are they restricted where they go? Some schools breathalyse older children when they go out to pubs etc and do random drug tests do you mind about this and in fact think its a good idea or over kill. Are you liberal if yes and one is more liberal than the other choose that one.
We have friends at both schools. I believe that Oundle may have a higher CE pass mark. Once in it is a very competitive school in every sense eg academic, arts, music sport. This is not necessarily a negative. My DD would thrive here. They get a large number to Oxford and Cambridge each year. They list the Colleges and subjects on their website - this may or may not be important to you.
Our other friends had two DS at Rugby and they have both left now. They are charming, polite boys who both reached their academic potential eg one was a straight A student and the other obtained a more average score. Possibly Rugby has a wider ability range but this may have changed in the last few years. This family were very impressed with the pastoral care here. The matrons were very caring.
Thanks all for the really useful input. Definite food for thought.
OK, so having got some unfiltered opinions, some more specifics:
Very academic. Maths and sciences especially so, but was top in 10/12 subjects last year.
Not lazy - but too far the other way (perfectionist with high expectations who stresses himself out)
Rugby nut - but a forward, so big and strong but not fast, and hates 'speed' sports like football - I suspect he will suit rowing but he has never tried it.
Needs strong pastoral care. He gets desperately homesick (but is choosing boarding with eyes reasonably open - most of his friends board at current school) and he panics easily - so points well made about resident matrons.
That's about it, really - clearly, given that we are talking about 2016 entry, he may be a very different person by then but we need to make decisions now, albeit not completely binding ones
Oh yes - music too. Piano and choir ATM - not child prodigy by any stretch of the imagination, but he likes it and has near perfect pitch (but is an alto, so not classic choirboy material).
Curious to know you rejected Winchester?
was there a 'why' in there happygardening ?
Winchester - just didn't feel right, from the moment we arrived. On paper, it should have been a good fit (apart from the rugby thing) but somehow every single thing we saw and heard rubbed DH and I up the wrong way. As I said, I am sure it is great for a lot of people, and I do get that it should be a good fit for DS, but I could not even begin to imagine him there in the same way I could at Oundle.
Have you looked at Canford? Or is that too far for you?
Canford and Oakham - hey, you're supposed to be narrowing down my choices, not expanding them
You're right! I got carried away...
Only thing I know about Oakham was they had an excellent chess facility years back. Which doesn't really help you
Your ds sounds lovely, stealth, am sure he will do brilliantly at either Oundle or Rugby.
Stealth no why just curious. I take it you went and looked at it on the open day. We first looked at Winchester on the open day we went with very high expectations having been told by those in the know what a perfect fit it was going to be for my DS. Frankly we came away very under whelmed. But
we had already long standing appointments to meet three HM's and it just seemed rude to cancel as they'd gone out of their way to accomadate as on the same day because at the time we lived much further away. If we hadn't had these appointments I doubt we would have taken it any further. In fact we carried on dithering about it right up until the September of the year before he was due to start. Unlike Eton which IMO rams its qualities/strengths down you throat or St Paul's which although not exactly ramming them down your throat you'd have to be pretty stupid not to see what it's all about Winchester is again only IMO harder to see what makes it tick/what makes it different and therefore what would make it a "good fit" for our DS's.
HG - no, we didn't see it on an open day at all (we couldn't make it) - we met 2 house masters (one is a governor at DS's current school) and were given a tour. It wasn't facilities or curriculum or anything you could put a finger on which was "wrong" - just pure gut feeling, but a very strong one.
We have numerous family members who have been to (and one still at) Rugby. They have all done very well - all academic, all to Cambridge or medical school and, this might be crucial for your DS, all extremely musical. Rugby have a great music programme. The choir are very, very good. Hope this helps.
Stealth I can understand where your coming from and I certainly don't believe Winchester is right for all very bright boys.
Another practicality to think about sorry to be boring but IME experience these are important are travelling look into public transport links to where you live, does either school provide it's own transport to London (very useful if you live there) or even the nearest main line station, where do most of pare hildre. come from useful for lift shares metting up in the hoidays etc. I have it in my head maybe incorrectly that lots of Oundle children come from London less so Rugby.
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