My DS goes to Park hill infants , croydon at the moment. We r looking for a move into the independent sector in Y3 (2013-14). Depending on location Elmhurst n Royal Russell r the nearest for me. I have seen both the schools n got a good feel about Royal Russell. I am yet to see Cumnor house. But from what I understand both schools work on different principles- one a more relaxed environment n the other more geared to the entrances at Y 5 or 6. Son is doing well academically at the moment n is due to sit the KS1Level 3 in May. But he is a little worrier about not being able to do better n also gets (?upset/ ?? jealous/ ?competitive) when others at school do better at something than him. As a child I was in a gifted programme n know how stressful it was. Though I have done academically well in life n have a good career there r things I could learn from my DH who went to a school with more sport facilities n less of pushing u to succeed academically. I want my son to do well academically at the same time have a more rounded personality. Just want to know ifany parents on here have their children at any of these three schools n could advice me of the best option. I liked the RR look . Pls if any mums have children at RR pls share their experiences here so I can take a balanced decision. I am ok with co ed as it is more like the real world! But as DS is my first pls share ur experiences on so single sex vs coed.
Thankyou for the advice. Incidentally as u said I had been a bit biased about the comments on this site before going but came back very impressed. Re: academics- what does Cumnor do different to Royal Russell? Is it the school or the children? Is it that the parents of academically bright kids preferring CH as they feel their child may thrive in the environment? My DS is presently doing well at Parkhill n I think if pushed he would do well at CH. But as u said as a parent I am already stressed that my son is sitting the level 3 at KS1 which means I would need an ambulance waiting when my son does the year 5/6 entrance!! What were u saying re: the rigorous coaching for sports n swimming? Do parents need to take them around? Do people from RR sit the Year 5/6 entrance to places like Whitgift/ Trinity? Thanx for all the advice.
Thanks jgjg for ur reply. I was hoping for more replies on this forum. I understand that there r places available at both CH n RR presently. I am really unsure whether I am dampening DH s enthusiasm for academics by trying to avoid academic hot houses or being wise by ensuring he doesn't burn out in the future years to come by selecting environments like RR. Kindly reply.
I think that you do need to think about what you are hoping for regarding senior schools, and as you have noted you will do best if you are in a cohort of similar minded parents.
As a very broadbrush picture, the majority of RR pupils end up at the senior school, most Elmhurst pupils aim towards the grammar schools with Whitgift/Trinity as fallback, most CHS boys aim towards Whitgift/Trinity. CHS prefer the boys to stay until 13+, but some parents prefer to have the senior schools sorted earlier.
Given that CHS boys are aiming at indie schools, they obviously want to secure as many scholarships as possible. Given that these schools have a generous pot of scholarships funds for sport/music/art, it can be easier to get a boy up to the required standard in one of these areas with greater ease than getting them up to academic scholarship standard. The school has a busy fixture/concert list, so your son definitely won't be bored, and many children will also do sport/music outside of school.
RR prepare the children for their own exam but not for the grammar exams, and not so much for the competing schools. Of course you can still do so, and to be honest most children at these schools get some extra support if they are aiming for 11+.
You are right that co-ed schools and boys schools tend to have a different feel, with the latter being more "competitive" ime. And it is important to listen to your gut instincts as you visit the schools and your son has his taster days.
Across my children we have done CHS, the "junior school of co-ed senior school" route, as well as a co-ed prep school preparing for 11+, and of the three, we preferred the middle route - the stress of 11+ is minimised, the school continues a broad curriculum and prepares the children for senior school rather than for the test. That said I'm afraid that I have never seen RR's uni destination list as particularly inspiring, and the fees are a lot of money (if they don't help your dc secure a good uni place or other course of their choice).