SW London choices - Teddington area(15 Posts)
My friends have been very pleased so far.The teachers are apparently well qualified, experienced yet young.The school is also in a lovely setting with a warm atmosphere. My friend's son loves having the prep school children around too but then again he wants to be a primary school teacher.
would be good to hear your views of Radnor - we are going to look at it next week, prompted by this discussion.
Thank you for all of your comments - all very much appreciated!
Well I & DS have spent the past 6 weeks touring all of the above schools & really enjoyed the experience.
Comments by Andiem & Copthall on Hampton especially helpful - DS works v hard at school but moans over homework, so not completely bone idle! I'm pretty sure that he will step up to the mark once he is in a school where everyone is putting in the effort; I'm more concerned about his indifference to football & rugby & the social effects of that. But the lad who took us around was clearly geeky & had found other sports, which was reassuring.
Very interested on the Radnor/St James story...Does anyone know much about the new head at St James? I heard him speak last weekend; he is currently Head of Long Close School, and indicated that he would continue smoothly in the shoes of his predecessor. I thought that the teaching seemed good in the context of better results than you would expect with its mixed intake.
I need to visit Radnor House again as the teachers were v rushed when I met them.
And there is a new Head coming up at Hampton too, of whom I know nothing.
Instincts - I agree! I suspect that I know the answer to my broader question, but I am dotting my i's & crossing my t's to reassure myself. So many changes in the education of local children in this year!
The boys I know who go / went to Teddington, Hampton, KGS and KCS are all happy and have done well. However the atmospheres and cultures are very different. Yes the geek I know at Teddington is doing well, may help he is very tall and seems a rather surprising babe magnet . The boys I have known who went to Hampton are a complete cross section of ability and motivation, to be honest some of them were bone idle, with support some got their act together, a couple never did. However they love their school and I am very impressed by how they relate to the Head, given it is such a big school. KGS scores on it's friendly, supportive and encouraging atmosphere, my DDs say that everyone who goes there are very happy. KCS is more of a "top London School" which does bring with it a certain elitism but deservedly so.
Having been through the process I would say you have to trust your instincts about what will work for your son and your family and especially take account of what he wants.
There has been a mass exodus of boys from St James to Radnor in the past academic year ( In year 10 alone about 12 boys)
A boy I know was moved because of the head's so called 'philospophy',general classroom behaviour and some pretty poor teaching. Since moving he has thrived.
St James has appointed a new head for next year and this may help it as the current head holds some very strange views.
my very non sporty ds is in yr 8 at hampton and I honestly cannot think of a single thing I don't like about it. I think the comment about only sporting achievements being truly celebrated is not true. DS is not sporty at all and has still been mentioned in dispatches for drama and music achievements.
Only thing I would say is if your ds is how you describe him bright but lazy and judgemental Hampton may not be the pace for him as the one thing they do not tolerate at all is putting in no effort and being judgy!
Quick (and late) vote for Radnor House! Have a DS in year 10 and have been v v impressed. I have a DD in year 8 at a local very high achieving girls' school (which I won't name for obvious reasons!) and its pastoral and individual attention to the pupils is nowhere near as impressive as that offered by Radnor.
It's hard to get into Teddington unless you live very near.
Teddington classrooms are very open in that they have lots of windows so anyone walking around can see in. Really spacious corridors that make the place see very open. They have lovely facilities as they are a new build. Lunches are the best state school lunches I have ever had.
Average GCSE results this year. They had a bit of a dip compared to last year.
There is a new sixth form opening in 2014 so it should be okay when you dcs reach Yr12. It normally takes a few years of teaching for teachers to get into the swing of an A level syllabus.
Thanks Eastpoint. Off to have a really good look. I hadn't realised that they work with the girls school as it is a fair distance away, but that is still a positive, as are your other points
I noted at Hampton that they mix up the classes again in y9 as the 13+ boys join. Also that they have a getting to know each other camp beginning of y7, both of which seemed good ideas.
Any other viewpoints?
I know a boy at St James who is lovely. They do a few things with the girls' school, which is in West Kensington, such as a big musical. The boys school has an active CCF, you can do climbing, learn to waterski etc in extra-curricular clubs. They encourage the boys to volunteer at an art festival in Oxfordshire each year. The food is vegetarian. They are offering BTECs in the 6th form now as well as A levels. Go & have a look
Thank you basildonbond.
Agree on the schlep aspect of KCS or even St Pauls...way down our lists mainly for that reason.
Tiffin tried for; could be a very good option if it comes off, but the odds! so have ignored it iyswim as indie decisions have to be made & communicated pre 1st March, which is why my brain hurts - it means having to really focus ourselves soon.
You are right about Teddington's exterior & its facilities inside match up. I have heard some very positive stories about teaching & some very worrying ones both for SEN and G&T.
St James' prior cult links - low level worrying - seems more like past history from current boys I know, though I only know a small no. And the boys I know there are delightful.
Radnor House - I have only heard glowing reports of this school from the 8 or 9 families I know who have started with it. Which is great. I'm only a tiny bit nervous as it is new & has a small year group.
KGS - mainly very positive stories.
Hampton seems to have evangelical parents raving about it, with only a few (non-sporty DS) comments about only sports successes being truly wholeheartedly celebrated...hmm
I do realise that choice is a good problem to have...but am still feeling confused and nervous.
Thank you again for your post.
Teddington has an extremely affluent catchment area - and a very odd uniform - teal blue - which I suspect also helps refine the intake as it's definitely not something you can get from Tesco or Asda .... They've had a lot of building work done and certainly from the outside it looks fabulous. All the Teddington children come down the road my parents live in - they seem an ordinary enough bunch. I don't know anything other than observations from the outside though - sorry.
Radnor House is doing very well by a not at all sporty, rather geeky Y8 child we know. Hampton and KCS are both very academic although KCS would be a real schlep from Teddington every day - I'd find it a bit perverse to go past lots of other good schools on the way ...
St James - have been put off by the 'cultish' background and it's not particularly local either now it's moved
Kingston Grammar - we know a couple of children there and they seem happy.
Is he not trying Tiffin? as that's localish, although a bunfight to get into
I am trying to get some help on choosing between Teddington School & local indies eg St James, Radnor House, Hampton, Kingston Grammar, KCS...
I need help on the pastoral care & ethos of the schools - have been on loads of tours, listened to plenty of headteachers, been impressed by many children leading us around their schools, and can make distinctions on ranges of opportunities and facilities, but finding my head is buzzing now...
Re Teddington - I am particularly interested in streaming - apparently maths & MFL to start with, tho' sciences later on - and its effects on exam choices. Also the culture of the school - are bright kids deemed geeks & just tolerated or...? How is pastoral care? I am hearing wildly different (anecdotal) perspectives. I think a few more anecdotes would help me, if you don't mind sharing.
FWIW I have a very bright, lazy, rather judgemental ds who is currently unhappy in his lovely primary; feeling v uncomfortable in answering questions etc in class or otherwise drawing any academic attention to himself & not v sporty so hating playtime. Academically will do well anywhere if he is happy...
If you are still with me, would you send a rugby/football hating ds to Hampton?
Thanks for any views!
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