RGS Guildford vs. Hampton School?

(38 Posts)
TheRealTigerMum Sat 26-Feb-11 12:57:47

Help - I need some advice. DS1 secured a scholarship to Hampton but on the same week RGS wrote to say that they were also offering him a scholarship. Hampton offering double the monetary value compared to RGS. DS1 prefers RGS for their sporting opportunities but my husband and I are worried we may struggle with fees in 3 year's time DS2 is 8 yrs old. RGS 30mins travel and Hampton 35 mins away. Be grateful for any opinions...especially from RGS or Hampton parents.

thumbwitch Sat 26-Feb-11 13:04:15

Has Hampton School's sporting opportunities gone downhill then? They used to be pretty good for sports too, especially rowing.

I was at the girls' school next door - there was a fair bit of interaction between the two, so we had the benefit of single-sex education but with more access to the opposite sex than some other single sex schools within a school setting, iyswim. (Probably not an issue now but I felt it helped me, anyway).

Can't offer any more useful info than that, sorry. Oh apart from the traffic in Hampton isn't as bad as that in Guildford.

TheRealTigerMum Sat 26-Feb-11 13:18:14

Thanks DS1 plays cricket for his school/club and knows a few boys locally who may also end up at RGS. Yes - Hampton rowing sounds interesting. Anyway we have until next Tuesday to make up our minds...

TheRealTigerMum Sat 26-Feb-11 13:19:27

Thanks DS1 plays cricket for his school/club and knows a few boys locally who may also end up at RGS. Yes - Hampton rowing sounds interesting. Anyway we have until next Tuesday to make up our minds...

MrsGuyOfGisbourne Sat 26-Feb-11 13:19:52

On the facts - double the scholarship & five mins difference in travel, personally would be a no brainer for me grin. Hampton has very good sporting reputation, I thought? We definitely considered for DS who has sporting G&T register.

thumbwitch Sat 26-Feb-11 13:24:29

Oh, if you didn't see the boatclub that Hampton has jointly with LEH, then you really should! The Millennium Boat Club on the Thames - I went there a couple of years ago and was blown away; it's better than most rowing clubs I've been to (and I've been to a few!) and I think national crews would be envy of it!

Meant to say - Hampton railway station is only about 1mile from Hampton School as well, with a bus that services the school directly from the station. Plus they always used to have private coaches for transport but I don't know whether they still do. Hampton is the last station inside Zone 6, whereas Guildford is definitely outside Zone 6 grin so if you were considering train travel, Hampton is cheaper for that too (depends where you live though).

TheRealTigerMum Sat 26-Feb-11 14:38:27

We live in on the Surrey/Hampshire border so not in Guildford but there is a coach from Sunningdale (10mins away) for Hampton. DS1 will need to hop on the train for RGS. What about mums with musical offspring? Anything to say about RGS or Hampton music departments. Both looked pretty decent during our brief visits.

MrsGuyOfGisbourne Sat 26-Feb-11 16:37:56

One other thought - have you considered the radius around each school, say 45 mins commute, 'cos you can assume your DC will be bestest friends with teh child tha tlives on the furthest other edge of that radius grin

TheRealTigerMum Sat 26-Feb-11 21:28:08

FT 2011 Top 1000 Schools report out today. Yikes! Hampton has slid somewhat..


thumbwitch Sat 26-Feb-11 21:38:30

Again, my experience of Hampton's music department is old - but I was in the Hampton School Orchestra (it was unbelievably superior to my own school's one!) and it was very good. We also did joint choral stuff, I particularly remember the Mozart Requiem. They had excellent resources and were very active musically/theatrically when I was "there" but that is over 20 years ago now, so things could have gone down hill there.

RatherBeOnThePiste Sun 27-Feb-11 07:58:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mummytime Sun 27-Feb-11 08:03:37

I would talk to RGS. For Music it is fab, lots of ex-choristers from the cathedral. How easy will it be for your son to get there by train? (I'm not sure which line he would be using.)
The boys have lots of interaction with the girls of Tormead, St Catherines and High School; including some joint music lessons.
However I wouldn't have put it down as a sporty school.

How much do you need the financial help? RGS has Bursaries for those in need, so its worth talking to the head. (But a lot of boys come from State schools, and quite a few from single parent families, so there is a lot of real need.)

JetJungle Sun 27-Feb-11 16:17:15

My son is at Hampton and he loves it.
You know, a lot is always said about Hampton's results and how hard the boys work, but one of the things that has struck me since he started there, is just how much time he spends playing sport and developing the extra-circular aspect of his education. He also plays in a school rock band and does rock climbing. The opportunities - beyond school work - are vast.

My only words of warning; there are lots or extra costs. Lunches, uniforms, coaches, kit, trips etc. and ALL these costs are casually added to your term bill. Believe me, these costs quickly mount. Yikes!

Although I should imagine that this would be the same at both schools....

Pagwatch Sun 27-Feb-11 16:25:18

Ds1 was in exactly the same position but we opted for rgs.

I think Hampton is a great school, FIL used to be a department head there. But rgs is I think the stronger for academic results, post a level destinations and music.

The rowing at Hampton is fantastic and the facilities have improved across the board in recent years.

Rgs is a sporty school usually doing well in the daily mail cup at rugby plus ds1 has peers playing for England under 18s and going into the Harlequins academy. But the coaching can be iffy and a depressing number of boys start drifting away from sports in the later years. But given that they are an academic school who do not seek sporting scholarship boys they do pretty well across the board

Pagwatch Sun 27-Feb-11 16:26:58

Thumbwitch. Dh was at Hampton. Knew a few girls from through the fence grin

We are going to have a look for dd in a year or two. But the travelling does concern me a bit.

willow Sun 27-Feb-11 16:58:45

Jetjungle (and other parents in similar boat) - always wondered about all those extras. Roughly how much does the average term cost over and above the fees?

TheRealTigerMum Sun 27-Feb-11 18:15:02

Thanks for all your input. V. helpful.

Just first impressions from going to the open days and listening to John Cox (RGS) and Barry Martin (Hampton) makes me think that bright boys with average academic capabilities might be feeling the pressure a bit more at RGS compared to Hampton.

Yes the extras a bit worrying...hmm..

willow Sun 27-Feb-11 18:25:23

Am curious - how on earth do you compare schools like this? If you go to something like the Daily Telegrapy league tables Hampton is supposedly tenth best in the country and does't mention RGS in the top 100 - but then the FT has Hampton down as 62 or something. They both sound like good schools though!

Pagwatch Sun 27-Feb-11 20:25:55

The daily telegraph result sounds odd willow. Rgs have been top 10 - 50 every table I have looked at in the last five years. They get 30 plus into Oxbridge every year. If that is outside top 100, I wonder what criteria can be ?

We compared by going to both, talking the boys and, more importantly, seeing which ds1 liked best. They are both good schools. Tis horses for courses really - which one you like best or which is most practical

bettys Sun 27-Feb-11 20:39:39

Telegraph League Table

They are both on this one but it is just for Independent schools

willow Sun 27-Feb-11 21:24:26
JetJungle Sun 27-Feb-11 22:02:26

Well it's hard to say....

Last year we paid about £3000 over and above his school fees for extras BUT my DS did not go on all the trips and things that were on offer.

Really it depends on just how much they choose to get involved in. I personally don't really think it is great for your child to not participate fully in school life because of cost worries.

Having said that, I do think there is a balance to be struck - last year there was a rugby tour that was an eye-watering £1000 extra!

I said 'no' to that one.

thumbwitch Sun 27-Feb-11 22:13:07

ooo pagwatch - dare you tell me which years he was there? Although I wasn't one of the fence-girls grin, several of my friends were!

LadyPeterWimsey Sun 27-Feb-11 22:14:57

Rgs brilliant brilliant school, great music, and the sport seems fine to me, but DS is not amazingly sporty, although able to keep up. A friend who teaches there says what a suportive atmosphere there is amongst the boys; little things, like ringing each other up ifnone has been ill and offering to copy notes for them, that sort of thing. But it is very academic, so will not suit everyone.

LadyPeterWimsey Sun 27-Feb-11 22:16:13

Re extras, We have just had to say no to all trips, etc but DS understood that would be the case when he went there.

bettys Sun 27-Feb-11 23:22:38

They are both on the second Telegraph league table too, just in different areas/counties.

Pagwatch Mon 28-Feb-11 09:04:28

grin @ thumbwitch.

he would have been 11 in 78 and stayed through til about 85?
he assures me he was very shy though

btw. I'm sorry I was being such a twat on that other thread re sn. Just having a shitty day yesterday.
I shouldn't log on when feeling like that. I always make such an arse of myself.

thekidsmom Mon 28-Feb-11 09:55:00

Strange league table results for RGS - if you looked at the Times it would be different... for my son's year they were 3rd in A level results... RGS is always stronger academically... If your son has been offered a scholarship he must be exceptional - so you'll want him to go to a school which can routinely deal with his abilities..

... but the only score that counts is your own son's, so its really down to where you think he'd do best.

RGS for music is fantastic - my son was a pianist and they are so strong they have not only a head of music but a head of keyboards. They have concerts just for pianists, as well as the usual range of symphony, jazz etc. They also share a chamber choir with GHS.

Others have commented on sport. but you might also want to think aobut their Art dept which I think is second to none - my daughter did some of her a level are classes there and she thought they were better than her own school. RGS art displays are always fanatastic.

You dont have to be sporty to love RGS - my sone never challenged the scorers, that's for sure.

I also like their "Monday 8" activities - a compulsory extra currciular choice of CCF, DofE or scouts, which stay on the timetable right throguh to 6th form.

I'm not trying to sell RGS against Hampton - I only know the one school - but highlight these as some areas which are outstanding

singersgirl Mon 28-Feb-11 10:45:01

To be honest I wouldn't worry about the tables anyway. Firstly, every publication does them differently - for example, in The Telegraph tables schools like St Paul's and Eton don't even appear, because they withdrew.

Secondly, the difference between any of the schools in terms of outcomes for individual children is going to be minute, if it exists at all.

Both Hampton and RGS are excellent schools with room for able boys to do as well as they want to academically, sportingly, musically, artistically. It comes down to personal preference and convenience.

We're miles away from RGS but Hampton was a school we really liked. In the end we chose one that was much closer to us than Hampton.

JetJungle Mon 28-Feb-11 11:11:35

I really do agree with singersgirl. Both schools are excellent and I am sure that your son would flourish at either.

The deciding factors for us was also how close Hampton is to our house. My DS rides his bicycle to school.

Previously (for Primary School), he schooled out of the Borough that we lived in and I always felt that it made things a little difficult. Not only was his trip to school a fairly long drive every moning (which certainly was onerous on us) but I feel that he slightly missed out on some of the social aspect, because his friends lived fairly far away.

For Secondary School I knew that I really didn't want a repeat of this situation. Knowing how much socialising teenagers do, having a good bunch of mates with in a reasonable radius of our house was important for us (and my son).

There is so much to consider OP and I know how hard this decision can be. You really are very lucky to be choosing between two such excellent schools.

You and your son should be very proud.

thumbwitch Mon 28-Feb-11 12:12:06

Just wanted to add that Hampton School does CCF as well, jointly with the girls' school next door in fact. Every year, there is a Remembrance Day parade in Hampton and a small contingent from both schools is asked to come along and raise/lower the flag.

CCF, iirc, is not compulsory - or wasn't when I was there, anyway (girls weren't involved at all when I was there)

Pag - no worries about the other thread, honestly - I was getting overly shirty too . Have PM'd you about the other info!shockgrin

TheRealTigerMum Mon 28-Feb-11 18:11:07

Just realised that the coach to Hampton will probably even up the gap as it is more expensive than taking the train into Guildford for RGS! It is going to the wire and discussions will take place tonight including a nice chat with DS1. Will let you know the outcome. Thanks for the fab and useful advice so far!

JaneyPal Tue 01-Mar-11 12:05:55

Forget the tables - RGS has disappeared because they do the harder IGSCE for maths and these do not count that system - so it assumes they have all failed maths!

A great example of why the tables must be taken with a huge load of salt.

willow Tue 01-Mar-11 15:33:44

I think Hampton does IGCSE in various subjects too.

willow Tue 01-Mar-11 21:56:10

Yep, they do IGCSE maths, and various other subjects.

TheRealTigerMum Tue 01-Mar-11 22:51:48

Thank you mums for your advice. DS1 is going to RGS Guildford. HM Cox has not offered any advance on his original scholarship allowance. However it is a fine school and we feel he will benefit from the school ethos and the social network. The final decision was crystal clear. Thanks for helping us decide.

mummytime Wed 02-Mar-11 07:08:38

Good luck!

And well done for your son for having got in!

thekidsmom Wed 02-Mar-11 09:40:35

Hope your son has a great time at RGS!

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