My son is at Hampton and he loves it. You need to know that it is academically a very competitive environment. This type of environment can put a lot of pressure on certain children, but for others it really allows them to flourish. And be warned: there is a lot of homework!
There is access to loads of different sports, played at all different levels and abilities. And honestly, so many clubs and activities - my son is only able to fit in his top 5 as there are just too many others to fit into the week.
I am not really keen on comparing RGS v Hampton. In my view Hampton is an excellent fit for my son and I think you have to try and gauge which school will best suit your son and his abilities. Only you can know which is best for him and I think you should look around both schools, speak to children and teachers from both schools and research the ethos of both schools, and from that choose which will suit your boy the best.
Truthfully you are very lucky to be choosing between two such excellent schools and I am sure he will do brilliantly regardless of which one you end up selecting.
Thank you. Jet, it's good to know he's happy at Hampton. You're right, we are spoiled round here.
I don't want to push you to compare RGS and Hampton but do you think they are very different in their ethos? They seem the two genuinely academic schools in the area that have a work hard, play hard mentality, which is what I'm after. He really enjoys a lot of school and after school clubs and I want him to be able to continue with them, whilst staying on top of his work.
I dont really know too much about RGS (we didnt properly consider it because we wanted our son to go to a school as close to home as possible).
But honestly, I don't think they are tremendously different in their approach to school work and their ethos. As far as I can see they have both found ways of getting extremely good results out of the boys and I think common sense would suggest that this must involve excellent and interesting teaching, a certain amount of discipline, quality pastoral care and independent learning from both schools.
There is definitely a work hard, play hard mentality at Hampton, but and I think this is important - I also feel that the boys are given a certain amount of independence and a sense of responsibility. As to the playing part, I am not sure how RGS structures their day, but at Hampton they have a long day (they finish at 4pm). The upshot of this is that they do not have lessons on a Saturday, and they have a very long break during the day. In this break the boys do all the clubs and activities they remember to bring kit for their hearts desire. The reason it is structured like this is because boys come from far and wide on coaches (the catchment area is quite large) and therefore, all coaches leave at 4.20pm everyday. This system works really well because what it means is that they get home at the same time every day and can get themselves into a routine with their homework . And, believe me, this is key. The jump in work-load and the high level at which they are all working, is very hard to manage in the beginning of year 7 and the only way my son found of coping was to get into a routine of doing the work. He is now in his second year at Hampton and has adapted to the work-load really well. He gets home and does his homework ALL of his homework straight away. This is where I think an ability to work independently and a sense of responsibility start being nurtured.
What has always stuck me about the boys that I have encountered from the school is how well they acquit themselves. I always feel that they speak well and are interesting, they are polite and appropriate and they are responsible and well-rounded. I am, without fail, impressed by the young men that Hampton turns out.
I married an old Hamptonian and can confirm that they turn out to be most suitable husbands. Interestingly enough he is still best friends with boys he met at Hampton and they also turned out very well! I'm not sure 'good husband material' is the criteria one should select a school by though!
I don't know slummy, I'd be very happy if my boys were good catches!
JJ - thank you so much for that reply. It's really useful. I like the sound of Hampton more and more. I want somewhere that encourages them to take responsibility for the work they do, and if it gets them into a routine too, from an early age, that's great.