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We are starting to look at secondary schools in Reigate/Redhill as DD is in year 5. We are wondering about Reigate Grammar - all I know is that their exam results are excellent, but then they would be as they have an entrance exam. Are kids generally happy there? What kind of child does it suit? I have heard they have an old-fashioned ethos towards learning, ie. no talking at all in class.
Hi Snowbell, I would definitely recommend attending one of their open afternoons as you get a much better feel for the school on a normal working day. The school has an excellent reputation for churning out great exam results, however these are not achieved without a good deal of hard work and I would say there is a fair amount of pressure on the children, so would depend on your DD as to how she would cope with this. The children seem to be very confident and friends children that go there are generally happy, but are all the naturally high achieving type. Would be useful for you to visit other local schools i.e Caterham to compare. Reigate has a new head starting in September too so it will be interesting to see what his vision for the school is. Are you tutoring DD? All the children I know who gained places had been tutored through state schools from years 4/5.
Ameliethree, thanks for your comments. We have not been tutoring DD. She is in the top groups for everything at her school but may be that's not enough. We will visit in September. I did hear about 2 kids (separate families) who weren't happy there, but persevered for 3 years until their parents gave up and sent them to a comprehensive, where they were much happier. I suppose it's not for everyone. DD can be focused and determined and does work hard, but she can also be too hard on herself.
We have a child there, and all I can say is that we are very, very happy with our choice (out of 3 offers received) It's easy to get into a 'point-scoring' match on MN if you start comparing your school with others, so I don't want to do that...
For us, the positives are: - excellent academics - a local school for us, so our DC walks to school, has zillions of new friends and feels very 'integrated' in the local community at weekends/holidays (as do we, as part of the wider school community!) - really good range of extra curricular -superb music and drama
Some of the supposed 'negatives' we heard before we joined really haven't transpired, e.g.: - academic success is there for those want it. There were a couple of decisions about timings of A level chemistry which pulled down the averages for a couple of years, but that has been sorted now - reports of bullying/nastiness - really haven't seen this, and anything that comes up is swiftly dealt with. Every year there do seem to be a small set of boys who come from one of the feeders who arrive with an unpleasant attitude, arrogance and sense of entitlement, but it's soon knocked out of them when they realise they're not the bees knees!
I think the sort of child who gets the most from RGS are the ones who join in and make the most of every opportunity, be it sport, music, drama or the range of other activities.
There's also a new Head arriving in Sept, who has an excellent reputation, and there is a general expectation that he will take the school to even greater levels of success academically. He is on record as saying that 'all the raw material are there, and there is no reason why it can't be one of the best schools in the country'.
Apologies for sounding ignorant. I'm exploring moving to Redhill as an option for my family. The Thameslink is very attractive for hubby commuting. But the schools concern me. St Bedes - is this purely a religious school i.e non religious families, non church goers cannot be considered? The Warwick school has been judged by Ofsted to be satisfactory for last three reports but is starting to improve - does anyone have experience of this school? And last but not least, can you apply for the grammer school through state system? i.e non-fee paying? Any advice would be greatful. Thanks Sarah
hi sbpooks. St Bedes is purely a religious school. We have been told there's no point applying if you are not church goers. I suppose if you lived in the same road as the school you could make a case. I suspect a lot of people around here start going to church because they want their kids to go to St Bedes. Warwick school have a new headteacher and apparently he/she is turning things around so it depends how old your dcs are. By the time they get to secondary school age it could be "outstanding". Reigate Grammar is a private school so completely separate from the state system.
hi sbpooks. Reigate School is another local state secondary which you could get into from certain parts of Redhill - check Surrey CCs website for the cutoff distance last year. It's just had an Ofsted and been judged 'Outstanding' in all areas.
. . . also . . . forgot about Royal Alexandra & Albert. Don't know much about it but it's a state boarding school which takes a certain amount of 'day' pupils in Year 3 and 7. You have to live fairly close to the school to stand a chance of getting in and there are some fees to pay for the after school activities. Have friends with DC there who live in Redhill + Merstham. Worth checking out their website.