Christ's Hospital, Horsham

(112 Posts)
RnB Fri 16-Mar-12 10:58:28

Anyone have any experience of this school?

RnB Fri 16-Mar-12 14:40:46


happygardening Fri 16-Mar-12 14:58:22

Friends daughter went it was a disaster.

pinkhebe Fri 16-Mar-12 15:00:32

PM'd you

badgerhead Fri 16-Mar-12 16:26:29

Not as a parent or ex pupil, but as a friend of someone who's dd is there at present & as a long term resident of Horsham. Friends dd is loving it & doing very well, (she's a day pupil btw). Have visited the school for various things over the years & love the site. Used to know a teacher there who ran the Scout Troop.
Not much more to say really, sorry.

Dustylaw Fri 16-Mar-12 23:25:20

CH is a very distinctive independent school but it is also a wonderful school (wonderful, not perfect). Distinctive because it stuck to its founding principles of educating children who, for one reason or another, needed care and education and couldn't pay for it. So it is founded on and has perpetuated the ethos of a public school/independent boarding education based on what you could afford to pay and lots of families pay nothing in school fees or pay only a proportion of school fees. This has started to change as the school has decided that even its massive endowment can't keep pace. Thus, the school is now open to full fee payers (previously it has a cap on these) plus it may be getting less generous with its parental assessments. Plus it has introduced small numbers of day pupils on a full fees basis. You can get the lowdown on this and much else by visiting the Christs Hospital Unofficial forum website. One of the nicest children there could be is currently at the school and loves it. She will shortly be joined by two other delightful children from my daughter's school. My caution would be that dealing with the school itself can sometimes be a trial as they do struggle a bit with getting into the 21st century but that could be said of many schools. Plus some bits haven't really got their heads round the fact that parents paying full or even half fees have different expectations (ie I think the school is historically used to lots of applications from families who are quite grateful to be considered). Well worth a look.

RnB Sun 18-Mar-12 05:50:33

Thanks very much for the info. Am considering entering my son for the exams in a couple of years.

timtimtvr Fri 06-Jul-12 15:42:25

Hi there, likewise am considering the school for my son in a couple of years. Does anyone know of any local tutors in the horsham/crawley/haywards heath area who has experience tutoring for Christ's Hospital entrance exams?

derekthehamster Fri 06-Jul-12 15:52:55

I don't think you need to tutor, it's not like the 11+, but more like a sats test, so your child should be used to the format.
Have a look on the website, it gives some examples of the exam
(my son has just finished his first year)

ebramley Tue 10-Jul-12 10:00:28

my brother and sister both went there for their a levels. The learning and opportunities they received in comparison to my state education were huge. They did really well and went to really good uni's because of it. they also met people from all over the world opening up their friendship circle and their minds. they loved it. they found it tough as well but they were well prepared for uni life. I wouldn't have lasted a minute so think it depends on the type of kid your child is. It wont suit everyone.

Colleger Tue 10-Jul-12 22:11:48

I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole. I read an inspection report sometime back where it stated that around 50% of children came from troubled families, including drugs and abuse. I wouldn't send my child to a boarding school filled with troubled teens if I had other options. Of course the ethos of the school is excellent but it's too much of a risk for my liking.

boomting Sun 15-Jul-12 14:57:58


I think the major difference is that they are away from that environment, and they thrive in that environment. Children tend to rise to the expectations of those around them, and when expectations are high, discipline strict (as I suspect it is at CH), and they are away from the negative influences of home, they usually excel.

happygardening Sun 15-Jul-12 16:35:22

My friend who removed her DC a few years agi made the same point as colleger the vast majority were there because they needed to be, they lived in catchment area of crappy schools, parental ill health/death/messy divorce etc they found too many needy children not enough normal one. No ones denying that results are good and behaviour was excellent but bring at boarding school isn't just about this.
I believe they recently changed their admission criteria and are opening up to pe

happygardening Sun 15-Jul-12 16:37:05

My friend who removed her DC a few years ago made the same point as colleger the vast majority were there because they needed to be, they lived in catchment area of crappy schools, parental ill health/death/messy divorce etc they found too many needy children not enough normal ones. No ones denying that results are good and behaviour was excellent but being at boarding school isn't just about this.
I believe they recently changed their admission criteria and are opening up to people who can simply afford the fees this may change the dynamics a bit.

HarlotOTara Sun 15-Jul-12 16:49:14

Do 'normal' families not suffer divorce, breavement,ill health etc.? I would love to live in your world happygardening.

I used to go out with a boy from Christ Hospital and was at school with the daughters of the headmaster of the time. All seemed pretty normal to me. It was all boys in those days so the daughters probably had a great time!

happygardening Sun 15-Jul-12 18:40:24

Of course divorce death etc occurs in everyone's worlds as do happy marriages births and 100th birthdays. But it is not a normal to have one or the other dominating the population of a school.

happygardening Sun 15-Jul-12 18:41:37

Of course divorce death etc occurs in everyone's worlds as do happy marriages births and 100th birthdays. But it is not a normal to have one or the other dominating the population of a school.

derekthehamster Sun 15-Jul-12 18:44:44

I'm not divorced/drug or alchohol abuser, neither are any of the parents I know. Alot of the children have disabled siblings which impacts on their lives. The children are all very well behaved and high achievers, it's very hard to get into the school 1000 applicants for 120 places when my son applied.

derekthehamster Sun 15-Jul-12 18:48:10

Sorry, a couple of the parents I know are single mums.

notnowImreading Sun 15-Jul-12 18:57:34

My adopted brother went there for sixth form. I think it saved his life - certainly turned it around. He was happy, secure, challenged and trusted there. He did very well in his a-levels and has continued to do well in his life ever since.

He was probably one of the 'troubled' teens mentioned up-thread, as he was on a full scholarship after both his parents died and he was unhappy and destructive at home with my family. The care and support he was given from day one at the school allowed him to rebuild all the parts of his life taken away by his grief, including his relationship with his family and his sense of himself. Obviously we helped a bit too!

I can't speak too highly of the school. I love the uniforms too - nothing like looking completely ridiculous every day to break down social barriers.

amakiki Thu 07-Feb-13 20:34:32

I am new to this forum and quite amused by some of the posts about Christs Hospital. I am a single parent, will say slightly above income .I am very hardworking parent and have brought up 3 children with good values. I have one child at CH in his 3rd year and I will say it is the best thing that happened. I pay some of the fees according to my wages,but the opportunities are priceless. The children are well behaved and their academic performance excellent. I find it quite funny that people would think it was a school for people with 'problems'' children, yes that is the ethos of the school at the time it was founded. currently I believe it is giving opportunity to bright children whose parents may not be able to send them to schools where they may make the best of their intelligence. My neice went there she is now in a top university and hopefully my daughter will be going this September. BTWthe nearest school to us is an academy which has 2 policemen at the entrance every morning. My son went in a shy timid boy and now he is a confident ,polite, and intelligent young man who speaks german, spanish and loves latin. and yes we are an afro caribbean family who live in South London. CH rocks!!!!

HarrowMom Sun 28-Apr-13 21:01:16

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Biscuitsneeded Sun 28-Apr-13 21:45:45

Oh, Harrow 'mom', are you American? You might want to edit your post; to my British ears it sounds horribly racist...

derektheladyhamster Sun 28-Apr-13 21:58:19

All the children at CH, whatever their creed or colour deserve the education they are getting. The admissions process is very stringent and takes no account of the colour of their skin, just academic merit and the 'need' of an education that CH offers.

The school has many links to inner London, 1/3 of the intake are from this area, which may explain the diversity.

My father went there. He was the son of v v poor clergy who lived overseas. Because of CH he got a public school education, went to Oxford and has been successful throughout adulthood. I know other people who went there too (more recently) and without exception it changed their lives for the better. I think their ethos is outstanding. It's a dream of mine to work there one day.

tirza Mon 10-Jun-13 21:32:36

Yes, I agree that Harrowmoms post sounds terribly racist!!

Talkinpeace Mon 10-Jun-13 21:53:14

A friend sent her daughter there.
She was a broke hippy who got all her kids into fee paying schools on full scholarships.
THey have turned out OK. WEird but lovely and OK

Happymum22 Tue 11-Jun-13 00:07:25

Gosh, i am really shocked by some of the attitudes on this thread. It is like we are talking about different species.
Children who get in on income support are no better or worse than children who are full fee paying. I know many children at independent schools who have gone through awful things, parental bereavement, divorce, sibling illness etc.
CH acts as an equaliser of opportunity. Most children from 'troubled' backgrounds will thrive in the same way those used to the public school environment do. Children love routine, structure and if they are at CH they are likely to be from families who have a strong focus on education and that is combined with a school with an environment of success.
If my children were the right 'type' of child to suit CH, I would love to send them there and to send them to a school which does so much to address disadvantage.

rabbitstew Tue 11-Jun-13 09:42:25

Blimey. In summary, the school contains well behaved children, has strong pastoral care and gets good results. But don't send your children there, because the other children are damaged goods who ought to be in the state sector, where they will be more likely to mix with a higher proportion of less damaged children. grin

propatria Wed 12-Jun-13 11:18:45

Actually I dont think thats the point,if you are able to pay full fees then you have a wide range of schools to choose from,no one has said ch is a bad school ,indeed most people have said what excellent work it does , no one has said these "damaged goods" ,as you call them,dont have the right to be in a private school but that doesnt mean if I am spending 30k a year then that would be my first choice of cohort for my child,just as a school that takes a large proportion of boarders from abroad wouldnt be either.
There are many well known schools I wouldnt want any child of mine to go near eg,Bedales,wisteria sisters,Wellington etc,the cohorts in all of those schools are not what I would want for my child just as the CH cohort isnt,we choose our schools for a variety of reasons.

By opening itself to full fee payers its trying to attract a totally different market and Im not sure that is going to work,I really cant see many heads of real preps telling parents to put it on a list of schools to check out.If you are in a position to afford full fees then Im not sure CH will figure very highly on many parents list,doesnt mean you cant admire the school or its products but you just dont think its the right school for your child..

rabbitstew Wed 12-Jun-13 19:39:01

Ah, so the point is, don't go there if you can afford to go somewhere else.

propatria Thu 13-Jun-13 07:02:26

The point is-money gives you choice,you can decide what school is right for your child,that is a very different market than the one CH has operated in.

happygardening Thu 13-Jun-13 09:59:28

"I know many children at independent schools who have gone through awful things, parental bereavement, divorce, sibling illness etc."
Of course having money doesn't protect you from these things. But as far as I'm aware up until fairly recently you could only go to CH if you had a need; that need might be as straight forward as crap local school but many come from families with significant problems e.g. terminal illness substance abuse etc etc. i am not saying that these children are not entitled to a fantastic education in fact the complete opposite but IME having children with complex emotional needs is exceedingly demanding and time consuming for staff who no doubt work exceedingly hard to help them and can also create problem especially in boarding houses.
My other feeling gleaned from the two or three parents I've met who send their DC's there is that they would not normally chose boarding and that they are doing it becasue of the opportunities the school offers there first choice would be a day school with a similar approach and this impacts on the ethos of the place which I find slightly patronising/we know best. I for one am not knocking it but like propatria never had it on my short list.

MiniPenguinMaker Thu 13-Jun-13 10:24:26

God what a disgusting amount of prejudice against children from lower income backgrounds.

All I can say is that money certainly doesn't buy manners.

And do you REALLY think that wealth equates to genuine human value?

I can assure you that rich people are just as prone to substance abuse, marital problems, emotional or physical or sexual abuse, terminal illness, and 'complex emotional needs'.

Do you honestly believe otherwise?

Luckily it is quite possible to be brilliant, loving, extraordinary, kind, clever and generally an all-round wonderful person EVEN IF YOU COME FROM A POOR BACKGROUND. And it is equally possible to be a twat of the first order having come from a background with every possible advantage to start you off.

I totally agree that the culture of a school is important. I hope I will always be able to avoid those who believe that "first choice of cohort" should only be children from wealthy backgrounds. Perhaps you could tell me where you plan to send your children, so I can make sure to avoid those schools.

happygardening Thu 13-Jun-13 10:36:18

Mini I'm not aware that many would disagree with you. Frankly I dont care what background people come from. For whats its worth like Propatria there were others not on my short list including Eton. CH also doesn't do it for me becasue I loathe ridiculous uniforn amd endless meaningless ritual of which CH has both in spades and prefer single sex but I accept many from all back grounds love it and that is their choice neither view is necessarily correct or incorrect. Money does enable you to chose a school that you feels comfortable in and that suits your ethos on life.

MiniPenguinMaker Thu 13-Jun-13 10:36:44

Do you want to know what schools I went to, and in what financial circumstances, before you decide whether to place any value on my opinion?

Fair enough, I'm a grown up now - people are welcome to have a look at what I've made of myself, and judge away.

But it is pretty low to judge the 'worth' of a young child, as a friend or classmate to your own child, based on what background they come from.

rabbitstew Thu 13-Jun-13 10:38:08

To be fair, I think the point being made is that, whilst all people from all backgrounds can have these issues, you wouldn't necessarily CHOOSE to send your child to a boarding school where the other children have been specifically chosen for their dysfunctional backgrounds if your child does not have such a background him or herself and therefore doesn't need the specialist care. The school is certainly being labelled a school for dysfunctional children on this thread, in any event! For dysfunctional families rich enough to pay full fees, it sounds great, although they might prefer to send their kids to Eton rather than publicise their dysfunctionality. grin

MiniPenguinMaker Thu 13-Jun-13 10:40:23

Sorry happy, last comment not aimed at you!

But I do think it is worth realising that children from affluent backgrounds often have complex emotional needs too and that you'd be hard pressed to find a school anywhere without them.

The wonderful benefit of fee paying schools is that the facilities and student-teacher ratios mean that these needs should be able to be addressed.

propatria Thu 13-Jun-13 10:43:41

Dont worry Mini its high unlikely our children will be at school together.
When choosing a school,you can do all the research in the world,get the right head,right housemaster,right academics,sports etc but all of that goes up in smoke if you dont get the right cohort,you cant control that ,but with CH you know what the cohort is going to consist of in a way you dont at any other school,you can therfore make a choice based on that information.

CH has a very high number of children from difficult backgrounds,it does wonderfull work with them,nowhere has anyone said they are against children from a poor background,what they have said is they wouldnt pick a school with so many children that are only at a school because of that difficult background, of course all schools will have children from homes with all of the problems you list but they wont be attending the school solely because of those needs and thats the difference,

MiniPenguinMaker Thu 13-Jun-13 10:47:37

rabbitstew, if you have a look at the admissions critera for Christ's Hospital you will see that they aren't heavily biased towards 'dysfunctional backgrounds' but seem a little broader and the 'need' might just be financial.

Would be very interested to hear from current CH teachers, pupils or parents as this is a school I've always admired from a distance - have met some lovely and very successful alumni.

MiniPenguinMaker Thu 13-Jun-13 10:56:32

propatria, I would say that I sincerely hope you are right, but actually I wouldn't like to judge your children based on your poor spelling and punctuation and weird attitude towards children from what you consider to be 'difficult backgrounds'.

I am sure they have just as much chance as any other children of being being deeply lovely and valuable individuals.

I very much hope, for your sake and theirs, that your children make friends with the most wonderful people they come across, regardless of background, and that it gives you a horrible shock at least once in your life.

happygardening Thu 13-Jun-13 11:04:44

But I do think it is worth realising that children from affluent backgrounds often have complex emotional needs too and that you'd be hard pressed to find a school anywhere without them.
No one is more aware of this than me but the % is significantly higher at CH by the nature of its intake. By the way my comments are not based on prejudice but on comments made by two parents whose DC's were/are at CH they both fell into the crap local school category and came from very normal families and were well adjusted. Both loved the school in many ways but both felts their DC's were often expected to provide extra support to those who had emotional problems and or difficult home lives and although happy to do this at times they felt that school was placing too high an expectation on their DC's. After all they are there to receive a first rate education first and foremost not constantly mentor and support other children from difficult families..

propatria Thu 13-Jun-13 11:09:23

Mini,have a brew and chill.

happygardening Thu 13-Jun-13 11:15:15

The "need" thing might be changing but certainly my two friends whose DC's went there (children now in 6th form or older) "financial need" was not considered enough both had to provide details of others "needs" to be even considered.

reggiebean Thu 13-Jun-13 11:16:25

Biscuitsneeded Off-topic, but surely you assuming that all Americans are racist is just as racist as her comment?! hmm really uncalled for comment.

Daisy17 Thu 13-Jun-13 11:16:48

Good grief! I came on to this thread because I went to CH for my whole secondary career and I do not recognise my beloved alma mater in the rabid descriptions of a den of feral misfits...... My brother and I both went because it offered an excellent education and extra curricular opportunities for money my parents could afford (means tested) and our local secondary was at the time really rather dire. Also, I was obsessed with boarding schools, thanks to Enid Blyton..... It is a fantastic place. Yes, some children there are troubled and/or disadvantaged, but I really don't think more than average and the point of CH is to give them a fresh start away from all of that, and most are extremely grateful. Most pupils are from fairly humble backgrounds, keen to benefit from the opportunities it offers. I had a wonderful time and have felt the benefits throughout my life so far. My brother found it more difficult, but is still incredibly grateful for the start it gave him towards his chosen career. Go and visit and you will understand its magic! But also be led by your child's gut reaction - there can be nothing worse than being stuck at boarding school against your will.....

NonnoMum Thu 13-Jun-13 11:18:25

Well. This is a very interesting thread. I am now encouraged to send my DC to CH in the safe knowledge that the snobs, bigots, racists and smugs will send their own darling children to less well respected schools with extortionate fees and less, um, damaged goods to associate with.

KellyElly Thu 13-Jun-13 11:19:37

I went there and had a great experience. None of my friends are 'weird' as someone suggested a child who went there was. If you want any real information first hand from someone who actually went there PM me as many of the posts on her in no way reflect my actual experience.

Daisy17 Thu 13-Jun-13 11:19:52

Happy - emotionally supporting friends does happen very intensely in boarding schools. The school is good at helping with this. But personally I feel that this was part and parcel of the Life Education the school gave me. If you're in it just to get good academic results for your kids, give it a miss, I agree.

Daisy17 Thu 13-Jun-13 11:21:01

Hello, fellow old Blue! smile

I love seeing the CH pupils around town, in their wonderful uniforms.

They are always polite, always charming.

I'd love to send my DS1 there, now that they take day pupils. But we earn too much and can't afford it.

KellyElly Thu 13-Jun-13 11:24:10

Hello smile

happygardening Thu 13-Jun-13 11:29:06

"emotionally supporting friends does happen very intensely in boarding schools."
Again i am all too aware of this but I don't believe children should be expected to constantly support others especially when this is taking priority over other things like their own friendship groups/activities and education. My examples may not be true representation of all children's experience at CH but as the parents and children involved are all perfectly sensible I think it fair to assume that the experiences are valid. Both chose CH because they liked the broad intake neither wanted there children to spend seven years mixing with the super privileged and both would recommend it but they saw this as a downside.

MrsSchadenfreude Thu 13-Jun-13 11:39:14

I used to work in Romania, and went to visit a school (maybe an orphanage?) where CH were helping out. I was really impressed with both the staff and the children - they were polite, friendly, patient, hard working and really engaged with the children and what they were doing. I'd have certainly considered sending my two there, based on what I saw. The staff were great too (Muir-John and Vicky, I think) and I'd happily have let them take mine half way across Europe!

Daisy17 Thu 13-Jun-13 11:51:40

Fair enough, I don't know the circumstances, but I'm surprised they were "expected" to do this at the expense of their work. By who?! But yes, it is intense and personal space is hard to find, so if that's not your bag then you won't suit boarding school. But that's any boarding school, not a fault of CH.

happygardening Thu 13-Jun-13 12:40:45

Daisy as a mother of a full boarder and now with over 9 yrs experience of full boarding and also having worked with boarders I don't accept that the pressure to support those with difficulties is as strong at "normal boarding schools" as it is at CH. Yes personal space is at a premium and no acknowledges that full boarding wont suit everyone more than me and I really believe in it. But from talking to the two friends with DC's who were at or are at CH the level of support that they were being excepted to provide by their HM's to some of their fellow dorm mates was above and beyond any I have ever seen in another boarding school.
Children find extreme behaviour upsetting (as do many adults) by extreme I mean OCD, extreme emotional out bursts, clinging obsessively to one person etc most initially try to help and support but if it continues and they find themselves repeatedly sharing a room with a child with these kinds of behaviours becasue they are seen as a "good stable influence" then they start to become unhappy at school IMO this is not what school is about no matter how reduced the fees are.

rabbitstew Thu 13-Jun-13 13:00:29

I wonder what proportion of students from CH go on to join the "caring professions"?

LuisSuarezTeeth Thu 13-Jun-13 13:19:19

HarrowMom I tried to pick out the relevant bits of your post, but frankly it's ALL blatantly racist and offensive. It makes you APPEAR to be something approaching a cunt.


Sunnywithshowers Thu 13-Jun-13 13:23:33

^^ What Luis said.

HarrowMom, you absolute horror of a human being. You should be thoroughly ashamed of yourself.

That HarrowMom post is the only one she's ever posted hmm.

Very odd and a thoroughly nasty piece of work.

LowLevelWhinging Thu 13-Jun-13 13:57:42

wow. how utterly VILE HarrowMom angry angry angry

KellyElly Thu 13-Jun-13 14:19:10

happygardening Not at any point in my seven years at CH did I see this happening. In the second year we we a sort of 'older friend' to a first year child in our house, that was the extent that the nurturing went. There are many schools (non bording state schools) where a mentor/counsellor programme is in place where an older child 'supports' a younger child. This certainly didn't happen at CH, in fact we had personal tutors (adult teachers) who we chose to 'counsel' us as such.

MrsDeVere Thu 13-Jun-13 14:43:44

I am actually quite interested in this school now.

With my black kids and their family being so blighted by disability and bereavement they should fit right it.

The bonus is that wanky up, their arse, racists wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole.

So I don't have to worry about my children mixing with that type.

DavidHarewoodsFloozy Thu 13-Jun-13 14:54:09

Harrowmun wtaf? shock.

Sounds like a great school.

Minifingers Thu 13-Jun-13 14:58:33

My children go to an inner london primary with an 80% non-white intake. 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. It is these families who have their kids sat down day in day out, doing extra work after school at home, and they're doing this from reception. That's why they do well in scholarship exams, not because some private schools are being politically correct in admitting them.

burberryqueen Thu 13-Jun-13 14:59:32

I went to see it, it looked great, and there was a right mix of students, looked like a large contingent from South London, and plenty of impoverished middle class single mums etc etc.
it is not that long since it was 100% white btw according to my aging godmother who lives in Horsham so it is a school that moves with the times at least.

burberryqueen Thu 13-Jun-13 15:00:30

and everyone is given the same test, "harrowmom"

MrsDeVere Thu 13-Jun-13 15:02:22

Maybe Harrowmom's child is not quite as bright as mom would like?
This anxiety is making her scrabble around for reasons why all those thick black children would make it into a school her child possibly wouldn't?

I mean, they are black. They can't possibly be clever can they? hmm

Jealousy is a very ugly emotion harrowmom

Very ugly.

Peachy Thu 13-Jun-13 15:07:58


My input is that we live in a vairy naice village with a Comp sought out by high earners who would otherwise be paying at a local private you will all have heard of. I decided NOT to send my eldest there (my second child does attend) and found a school based on what I perceived he needed- including strict discipline- and he has flown, now top of his class in many subjects and planning a future in a very specialist field.

This school is one most of my community would not touch; low income, ds1 is the only pupil whose parents remain married, particularly troubled estate, and all that brings with it.

And I love it; I love the discipline, the gifted Head who works so brilliantly with all children, the ways they motivate all the children and get the best out of each child.

The local comp is nice; suits ds2, but having sat in on a few classes recently it's carried by the parents and anyone less able or who hits a barrier (and any child can sadly, illness or a loss perhaps) will slip through the gaps; each school is right for each child but for sheer excellence II rate the estate one every time.
From which I would take do not judge on stats, visit and get the feeling of what is right for your child.

Peachy Thu 13-Jun-13 15:10:02

(Only pupil in his class, can;t exactly know all of 1500 parental histories obviously!)

Dawndonna Thu 13-Jun-13 15:11:57

propatria, I would say that I sincerely hope you are right, but actually I wouldn't like to judge your children based on your poor spelling and punctuation and weird attitude towards children from what you consider to be 'difficult backgrounds'.
May I suggest you go back and check your own posts. Sentence structure is interesting and that's just to begin.

rabbitstew Thu 13-Jun-13 15:14:23


My DH was written off by many teachers as a kid. He's black and was from a poor family : standing out because of his colour and because he was on free school lunches etc. One teacher thought he was only good for the 100m. But mainly he was ignored.

Fortunately other teachers in his excellent comp took time and made efforts and told him he could go to university of he wanted. They changed his life. They believed in him so he did too.

No one has any business writing off kids because of the families they come from. You have no idea about them and all you are doing is confirming your own prejudice.

My DH is a brilliant man who has faced up to racism his entire life. I'm stunned by the hoops he has had to jump through. So depressing to see such lazy thinking on this thread.

We are a mixed, blended family. All sorts of skin colours in our household. Amazed to learn we might not be normal or happy enough for some ! Not that I give a fuck tbh.

EliotNess Thu 13-Jun-13 15:31:51

it wasnt 100% white even in the 1970s so I think she is barking up the wrong tree

EliotNess Thu 13-Jun-13 15:32:32

i went there and hated it. Freaking weird place IMO. Am very anti boarding.

burberryqueen Thu 13-Jun-13 15:36:02

could be just barking eliot, i dunno...grin

happygardening Thu 13-Jun-13 17:23:30

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.

THERhubarb Thu 13-Jun-13 17:50:20

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 grin

happygardening Thu 13-Jun-13 17:54:54

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.

LuisSuarezTeeth Thu 13-Jun-13 22:53:58

MrsDV I agree - very ugly.

amakiki Tue 18-Jun-13 13:32:59

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.

sillyname Tue 18-Jun-13 14:15:28

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.

Lizzzar Mon 22-Jul-13 23:09:29

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.

Oldblue07 Wed 31-Jul-13 23:29:47

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.

dyslexicdespot Sun 04-Aug-13 14:43:04

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 smile

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.

derektheladyhamster Fri 30-Aug-13 15:25:47

Good luck to your son. Mine starts his 3rd year grin

Yummymummyagain Sun 03-Nov-13 21:06:17

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!

RandomMess Sun 03-Nov-13 21:20:40

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 grin

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!

lifeswhatyoumakeit32 Sun 24-Nov-13 08:41:39

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.

sonsmum Mon 25-Nov-13 13:21:03

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!

Shootingatpigeons Mon 25-Nov-13 13:48:59

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.

NatFrenchie Tue 03-Dec-13 17:03:23

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.

bcpchan84 Sat 07-Dec-13 14:45:44

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

bcpchan84 Sat 07-Dec-13 14:49:35

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.

bcpchan84 Sat 07-Dec-13 14:56:04

Please help share the local situation of CH. thanks

derektheladyhamster Sun 08-Dec-13 10:46:36

What is a normal family? My son is in his third year and very happy.

Flofox73 Sat 04-Jan-14 18:44:00

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

derektheladyhamster Sun 05-Jan-14 16:06:58

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!

Flofox73 Mon 06-Jan-14 16:32:19

I had a sneaky peek at the schedule of activities in the boarding house, plus my daughter was questioned a little (yes I know we were supposed to leave them and forget about it all until Valentines Day).....I hope your son or daughter had a good total reinforced my daughters desire to go to the school.....just hope we are lucky on offers day.

Idratherbemuckingout Tue 07-Jan-14 13:28:33

Brilliant school, good luck for Feb.

yoyo2014 Fri 28-Feb-14 08:47:56

I have posted in Secondary Education, but will also add my question here. My DC has been offered a fee-paying place with bursary assistance for September. DC VERY keen to go. However the alternative is the free, excellent, local comp. My worry is that financial contributions escalate unreasonably over 7 years, even if personal circumstances are unchanged. Anyone have first-hand insight on this? Thanks.

derektheladyhamster Fri 28-Feb-14 16:23:13

yes, the fees themselves have gone up over the last few years by about £500. Obviously you'll only have to pay a proportion of this depending on your % bursery hth.

Pop over to the unofficial Christ's hospital forum, they're very friendly :D

And well done to your DC, my ds2 didn't get in but I have a ds currently in yr 9

Hia3 Sun 09-Mar-14 00:29:21

My daughter has a day place with Scholarship for a place Sept 2014- not sure we can afford fees.

She also got offered 50% off a local independant school.

She is not academic, but very Arty and Sporty )we were initially not sure she would get through the academic assessments).

I am a bit worried she might feel left out being in the minority/ day student.

Also worried that there will be too much academic pressure!

We are just an average family( not sure there is a norm) and we think it's a positive that the children from C.H come from all different back grounds!

BroadbridgeMumsy Tue 11-Mar-14 17:00:47

Good luck to everyone still waiting for bursarial support. Our son was offered a full fee day place, but needed a scholarship (and bursary top-up) in order for us to accept. Fortunately, he did well at the scholarship assessment last week, but now we are a day away from the acceptance deadline and no decision has yet been made with regards to our bursarial application. Anyone out there in the same/a similar boat?

McHug Mon 17-Mar-14 16:30:01

I am an Old Blue, or alumnus/former pupil of Christ's Hospital. I passed an entrance exam in 1989 when the school first started taking girls. I am not from a troubled background, neither did I become a drug addict from mixing with children from unconventional homes. In fact I was given first-class opportunities that I would never have had anywhere else, fee paying or otherwise. I could expound for hours on the merits of this school but the best advice I could give anyone is to attend an open day and see for yourself. Basing opinions on hearsay and preconceptions is ignorant.

BroadbridgeMumsy Thu 03-Apr-14 04:45:46

Great advice McHug! I'm happy to say that my ds will start at CH this September, as a day pupil. I like to think that my husband and I have raised him to be a decent, well-rounded 10 yr old and we're NOT at all worried that other children (whatever their background) will be a negative influence on him. His piano teacher's brother went to the school. He's now a teacher and has made a good life for himself, despite having rubbed shoulders with children from all sorts of backgrounds! I think that the cultural diversity will be a good thing for my boy. Horsham is a wonderful place to live and bring up your children, but it's a far cry from being cosmopolitan. The World is diverse, so this school seems ideal to me!

AustereAnthea Mon 05-May-14 14:55:49

Hmmmm...There are some very interesting replies to this thread.

I, too, am considering CH for my son who is currently in yr7 of a local state school in Essex. His current school has no provision in place for more able students leaving him bored and frustrated. I have had a number of discussions with his Head of House and the school Headmaster but feel totally unsupported. Last month, after completing an official supervised Mensa IQ test at Birkbeck University in London, my son achieved the highest possible score on the Cattell III B paper, recording his IQ as 162. He was invited to become a Mensan.

CH was recommended to me by one of my son's former school teachers whose son currently teaches there. First impressions, on reading press releases and visiting the school website, are positive but I am concerned about how my son will cope without me if he were offered a place at CH. I am a lone parent and for the last 3yrs, while my daughter completed her degree at University of Leicester, my son and I have formed an incredibly strong bond. While excited at the prospect of attending a school such as CH, he really is not keen on living apart from me.

I was wondering if anyone else has a child at CH who also experienced this uncertainty but perhaps, after visiting the school, came to like the idea of boarding and coming home on weekends?

Also, would I be better off sending him somewhere else all together considering his academic ability? He is currently studying the GCSE syllabus for French, Maths, Geography and History and my take his maths and French GCSE next year.

I actually like the idea of the pupils at this school coming from such a diverse range of backgrounds. I am considering a number of other private/independent schools but am aware that the majority of pupils will come from much more privileged backgrounds than my son which may lead to him being singled out and bullied or unable to take part in the same out of school activities as the friends he might make. I will be applying for a bursary.

I know this is an old thread but any additional help and advice will be greatly appreciated.

Advanced thanks. smile

derektheladyhamster Mon 05-May-14 19:00:37

Firstly, he won't be allowed home at weekends, apart from the exeats and holidays which come around every 3 weeks. We only live half an hours drive away so we do visit every other Sunday to take our son out for lunch.

Secondly, If he's not really up for boarding, I wouldn't do it (especially if you are also not 100% sure) .

CH is a fab school, but not the only school which has bursery support. You might want to look at a nearer day school, I imagine that they'd be very happy to have a child of your son's calibre grin

justicewomen Mon 05-May-14 22:10:02

Austere Anthea
Whilst not wishing to derail the Christ Hospital thread, depending where you live in Essex, Colchester Royal Grammar School take 4 students into year 9. As one of the top academic schools with no fees,this might be a good alternative. I am unsure when the entrance exam is but could be early year 8.

AustereAnthea Tue 06-May-14 13:00:47

derektheladyhamster & justicewomen, thank you for your observations and advice.

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