Hampton Court House School - Surrey(8 Posts)
If there are any parents whose children are in this school, would appreciate your current views on HCH - good and not so good points, in your opinion and experience.
Our DD will start reception this Sept and we decided to go for a local state school. Although, unfortunately, it is almost certain that we will not get any of the 3 schools that we liked (all very close but all oversubscribed) but will get our 4th preference choice. We will still give it a go but kind of keeping HCH as a plan B option, if "all goes wrong" and she does not settle. She is a summer born, so somewhere with smaller classes and more individual/caring attention will be much easier to her - this was my impression of the school when I visited it last year. Financially, this won't be easy, we will unlikely be able to pay for all school years at independent (have got a younger DS as well), but I was thinking if we have to "wait" somewhere and then re-apply for a state primary for 7+ intake (a higher chance to get into a good junior school which is our closest).
Your thoughts would be much appreciated.
P.S. There was an old thread on HCH within Secondary Education topic, so I initially added my message there , but Primary Education forum is more relevant hence copied the same here as well.
Anybody there who could share your thoughts?
Hi didn't want to ignore you. I live very near this school but in all honesty I have never met a pupil or family that has even considered it, which I find odd as I know multiple families at all the other independent schools within striking distance. I understand it's quite a quirky sort of school in a quite a non quirky neighbourhood. I also thought it was only for children 11+, but clearly not! Hope someone else can give you more of an insight.
I like the way you put it - "quite quirky". Yes, it was different to other ones I have seen (no uniform, no start with...). What appealed to me is that kids looked very happy and relaxed. Also big emphasis on art and music. Based on my own experience of a very academic school which did not have much time left for such "unnecessary" subjects, I value this difference a lot and want to avoid a highly academic/pushy approach, at least definitely in early years.
I'm really torn. The state school we will end up is RI, has been for the last 5 years. I have visited it a couple of times. It is not as bad as it sounds when you first read Ofstead report, and it looks like they are trying big time to turn it around. But still not the one I would love to have my DCs in. They will be ok-ish, but most likely not develop their full potential. DH is strongly against going independent from YR ("if they are bright enough they will try at 11+, otherwise deposits for their first flats will give them more benefits in life" is what I hear (and tbh agree "in my head" but my heart is still struggling to accept). Well... will just have to try and do as much as possible with them at home and outside school activities to supplement the school shortfalls.
Apologies for a long waffle. Just needed to "say" it to somebody I suppose. Thanks.
My DC attended Hampton Court house but it was long time ago. I was fairly happy with the school. The atmosphere is indeed relaxed and happy and I think it's a great school for a small child. I can't say for upper years because we didn't have that experience. I don't think though their music department is stronger than anywhere else. The children who performed very well at their concerts have received extensive private coaching which has nothing to do with music department at school. I think the main strength of this school is French immersion from the nursery level. However I agree with her husband about the state option. From my experience private primary doesn't add much value, secondary is the different story.
why wouldn't you go for Twickenham Prep or Surbiton Prep?
do you really want your child mostly taught in french? Why? it's hard enough in english.
I may be wrong, however I understand both Twickenham Prep and Surbiton Prep are very competitive and academic and will not accept you easily enough (tests to be passed) or won't have any places left if we decide to enroll mid YR or Y1. And that was my plan B - to quickly switch to an independent if "all goes wrong" in the local state school (RI) she will most likely end up in. As I said, DD is summer born; so I don't want to enter any academic achievements race in infant years. Just want her to feel happy and enjoy going to school. I'm not against state schools, I have seen quite a few of really wonderful ones around us. It is just "luck" that we will most likely end up in the one that I didn't click with at all, missing less than 50m by distance for any of our first 3 preference schools.
However, your comment about French made me scratch my head... She is already by-lingual (main one is English but I'm trying hard to keep her second language (which is my native) alive as well). To add a third language so early is probably over the top... Looks like will have to look for plan C...
Thank you all for your comments.
TPS and Surb are really not that hard to get into for prep ime. In this area there is plenty of movement, people moving, living abroad etc. places come up all the time.
don't be put off by the entrance test. it's not really a test, they are only 4.
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