Tiffin and independent, your experiences please.

(27 Posts)
JammyAndSheKnowsIt Tue 01-Mar-11 21:05:47

We're in the very lucky position of having a choice of Tiffin or Hampton. We can just about afford private fees but it would be a stretch. I know there are lots of debates here about state vs private, I just wondered whether anyone here would like to share their specific experiences within their family of both Tiffin and any of the local independent options.

I went to private school and although I appreciate that it gave me a certain confidence (and qualifications), I ended up hating the snobbery etc that went with it, and had a massive chip on my shoulder. So I'm inclined towards Tiffin, but would you advise otherwise?

grovel Tue 01-Mar-11 21:54:55

Tiffin.
Teachers want to teach there.
Kids want to learn there.
And it's free.

Any guilt about not paying when your parents did? Spend the money on nice holidays (with a tiny educational element).

JammyAndSheKnowsIt Tue 01-Mar-11 22:33:50

thank you. Any other votes? I'm worried that tiffin requires too much self-motivation, when i have a very seat-of-the-pants type of child....

generalhaig Tue 01-Mar-11 22:36:38

If you could easily afford the fees, then Hampton

but as it would be a stretch, then Tiffin

Yes, Tiffin is stuffed full of bright boys, but considering the super-selective nature of their intake, the school doesn't really seem to add much value

andiem Wed 02-Mar-11 09:52:37

I agree with general hampton would be my first choice. Tiffin isn't exactly the best managed school either which rings alarm bells for me.

bettys Wed 02-Mar-11 12:09:43

I have heard that the sport at Tiffin doesn't compare to that at Hampton (no direct experience myself) especially if your son is keen on football (am wondering if I know you Jammy!)

MrsGuyOfGisbourne Wed 02-Mar-11 13:37:54

Have a friend with two DC, younger @ Tiffin, elder at another local indie. Younger boy was offered Hampton as well as Tiffin and in the end they chose Tiffin as it is free. They have regretted it ever since, espcially as amny of his porimary school friends are at Hampton, and are now looking for a place for him elsewhere. They assumed Tiffin would be like an indie, only free, but it isn't sad We were always told ours would have no probelme getting places at Tiffin, but we did not apply as the school just did not impress us other than having the obvious advantage of no fees.

whowhywhat Wed 02-Mar-11 13:52:51

such a tricky topic - some much down to individual child. Have friends at both and have positive feedback on both. My DC is going to Tiffin so I may be biased. We don't have funds for private though I would have been keen to go that route. I was privately educated and my husband is a grammar boy. However, i didn't want to do private unless we cuold easily afford it and all the extras that go along. For us, it wasn't an option and so tiffin is a great opportunity for our academic DS to be in the kind of educational environment where we think he will prosper. He is bookish and needs challenging and I think he'll do well. Of course it cannot compare to Hampton on facilities etc, which state school can?
Write a pros and cons list for both and see how it looks then.....often a clear way to see what really matters most!

singersgirl Wed 02-Mar-11 13:56:22

We also didn't apply to Tiffin for similar reasons to MrsGuy - don't think it would have suited my older son in terms of focus anyway as it's much more maths/sciencey than arts; we were told he'd stand a very good chance of getting in. Will not consider it for my younger son either.

I have a great deal of prejudice about the selection procedure and how it limits their intake to one particular type of child - there's no room for the brilliant creative writer who's not that good at visual puzzles, for example. Hampton and all the other independent schools tests more roundly and interviews, so a child who is borderline in, say, maths, but strong at English and has great interpersonal skills or great musical ability can get in.

singersgirl Wed 02-Mar-11 13:57:09

PS But the cost is a huge factor!

andiem Wed 02-Mar-11 14:34:24

I agree singers the testing for tiffin is completely one dimensional. They take no account of personality and other attributes that children may bring to a school. DS1 is off to Hampton for this reason.

LetsEscape Wed 02-Mar-11 16:39:14

The music is excellent especially singing at Tiffin, the sport is undoubtedly better and more varied at Hampton. Academically he probably will do equally well at both. It's the extra curricular parts that will be different. What suits your child best?

MrsGuyOfGisbourne Wed 02-Mar-11 19:56:35

Also, geography - I mean, where you live, journey to school. REALLY makes a differnce to to the quality of a child's life if commute is not too grim, especially eg in November...
We would have gone for Hampton if we had lived closer - as it is we chose a school that was ten minutes away by car, 25 by free public bus, 30 by bike. For us Hampton would have been 45 mins min on a coach (extra cost).
If you can walk to either, would grab that one!!!

Bearcat Wed 02-Mar-11 21:52:11

DS1 was going to sit 11+ for tiffin 12 hrs ago. We went to the open evening and to be honest the teachers couldn't even be bothered to speak to us as we went round the school. We got back into the car and DS1 was saying through gritted teeth to us 'I am not going to that school'.
I withdrew him the following day from sitting the11+ although DH did wonder if we were making the right decision.
A year later DS1 started at the local comp next door to Hampton School ( we could never have afforded the fees). He had a number of friends at Hampton School and there was general fun and barracking amongst friends on the boundaries of the schools.
4 years later we didn't even consider Tiffin after our experience with DS2 although 2 of his friends went to Tiffin. One of the boys was very unhappy at least for his first year there where he was bullied, but I think he eventually settled down.
All DS1's friends who were at Hampton seemed a pretty happy, good all rounder type of lads
Both our DS's were in the gifted and talented set at the comp and there was a link with Hampton where they went to talks by famous people, celebrities etc, and DS2 even went to their 400th (think it was 400) birthday celebration with Prince Edward in attendance (amazing really as probably most of the Hampton boys themselves were not at the ceremony!)
Just wanted to add an opinion which you may not have considered. Good luck with decision

JammyAndSheKnowsIt Thu 03-Mar-11 00:39:13

Thanks all. I find myself not wanting to read any anti-Tiffin responses so I guess my mind is probably made up. If we lived in the kind of area where everyone went to the same, good state school, that's what we'd be choosing. So on that basis, Tiffin, rather than private, seems to be the right thing for us. Hampton is certainly a trek, albeit a highly sociable one, and the cost, plus all the extras, is very daunting. I think we'll save the money for university or whatever comes next for him.

Bearcat Thu 03-Mar-11 07:42:18

I think saving the money for university is probably a very wise choice. We have just managed to get DS1 through 4 years at Nottingham University debt free and are now doing the same for DS2. It's tough ( I say it's our private school fee paying part of our lives) but only another 2.5 years to go and we're on 'relatively' low tuition fees.

willow Thu 03-Mar-11 11:28:40

Bearcat - hope you don't mind my asking, but why did you choose your name? Does it have any comedy connections by any chance?

Bearcat Thu 03-Mar-11 12:55:16

Willow, no comedy connections.
I do have a cat that looks like a Teddy bear, so that was the inspiration. Think the first name I chose was already in use, so had to think again.

Bearcat Thu 03-Mar-11 17:28:32

Sorry to slightly hijack this thread, but Willow have just googled Bearcat and see what you mean by the comedy connection. Will tell DS1 about this as he sometimes goes to comedy clubs in London.
I had wondered if your original message was a bit cryptic about something I had said!

willow Thu 03-Mar-11 21:35:23

MrsG - do you think it helped (or, more to the point, didn't help) that your friend had experience of the private system, also - so was able to compare two son's educational experiences? Essentially, if you don't know what you are missing you don't miss it as much? Mail me if needs be!

JammyAndSheKnowsIt Thu 03-Mar-11 22:26:33

I have a thought about the selection process for tiffin. I actually like the fact that, presumably, you get a fairly arbitrary cross section of boys who are quick-witted but otherwise very diverse. That must make for an interesting mix, surely? I also like that the arts/choir/theatre side is so strong, given that the academic strengths seem generally to be in the science direction.

MrsGuyOfGisbourne Fri 04-Mar-11 07:18:36

Willow - yes, you've hit the nail on the head - I do think that's the case. And both parents had been independently educated themselves, so I think they also had an assumption/expectation from that. Plus there is such a mythology in this area about Tiffin, that right from NCT days it is seen as the Emerald City grin - so a biiiig expectation is set.
(Conversely, DH and I were grammar educated and assumed that our DC indie school would be like that, but were blown away by the difference - DS came home simply glowing with the fizz of having so much interesting stuff to do, and to be free to enjoy learning it - may seem an odd thing to say, but was really like setting him free. Hence why we were sad that they changesd the rules which meant DS2 couldn't go till Y7...)
havng said all that - evertying depends on the individual child inclinations etc...

2B1Gmum Fri 04-Mar-11 09:11:22

I have two at Hampton and a relative at Tiffin. Overall it depends on several issues, money is a big one, school fees always go up and add to that trips, lunch and music lessons it is quite a commitment. However one of mine is a rugby player and Tiffin at his age group are possibly the worst in the school leagues that play round here which must be disheartening for keen players. However, for music, drama and rowing there is not much in it - both schools are excellent. Also do consider the journey to school, at the end of a long day with 3 or 4 subjects of HW, a long or difficult journey is not going to help. One other thing, at sixth form your son can change, so go to Hampton for sixth form (my experience so far is that it is excellent) or go to Hampton and go to Tiffin for sixth form. I didn't sit my third, a daughter for any selective schools, she is bright and driven and on the gifted register, but I will look for a selective sixth form because ultimately A Levels are what count for a good University. Good Luck - you have a bright son who I am sure will do well wherever he goes.

Claygate Tue 21-May-13 12:08:32

Tiffin is an excellent school in many ways but will never compare with fee paying schools for the added extras. Not all the kids at Tiffin are bright. Some appear below stupid but they are generally not rich priliviged children, just academic. Their sports, rugby, cricket, rowing and cross country is exceptional as they give a huge amount of practice to those who get into the teams....but as private schools generally have children who belong to private cricket, rugby or tennis clubs they start from a lower base than private schools. I think they catch up well and do well as the years progress.

Music and choir is also highly supported and they perform very well in these areas.

All other sports and fitness seems to be taken seriously and they really make my son work in sports.

Education is good to excellent but it is the children's inate ability as some teachers are rubbish that makes the difference with parental support sometimes. I expect if you pay a lot for private you have more say in the quality of teaching....most teachers are very good.

Tiffin is a good school, it is just not a wealthy priviliged school...and so is possibly all the better for it.

Claygate Tue 21-May-13 12:09:54

Oh i keep making spelling errors. Privileged...repeat 10 times. I'm not that academic.

Claygate Tue 21-May-13 12:16:33

Bearcat, thats not helpful it is biased against Tiffin, why withdraw your child from the exam at tiffin....sour grapes i think. Tiffin bashing.

You cant speak to teachers at Tiffin open day because millions of people turn up to the days....it is impossible. All my son's tiffin friends get on very well with the school. They have no bullying or education complaints at all.

titchy Tue 21-May-13 12:39:06

It's a two year old thread claygate - suspect OP has made her decision by now!

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