A little confused about indie schools' acceptance/rejection
My DS will finish his exams for indie entrance in a few days and hopefully (with good luck, following wind, four leaf clover, black cat crossing rd etc) he might get an interview at a few of them. After that does anyone know what the process/ timescale for offers would be? Is it true there is a 'pecking order' with the more academic making their offers first? And where does it all fit in with the state schools' offer dates? And when does one usually need to have accepted the offer?
I am clueless because we are currently expats and have been out of the uk system for 9 years.
Hi DD1 did exams overseas and ended up not a million miles from Hampton. All these schools understand and value expat kids.
Know boys who went through KGS and Hampton. Hampton by no means all A* s . It's a big intake, six form entry by year 9? And quite mixed but they do a good job of supporting both ends of ability / motivation spectrum. More importantly the boys love the school. The last Head was impressive. The link with LEH works well, friendship groups end up mixed by sixth form, lots of interaction through drama music etc.
KGS also loved by it's pupils. Very good at focusing on individual potential. New head is young and switched on. On the up.
Radnor, as discussed a business, bankers rather than parents as governors but parents very happy so far, it seems to be really focused on pupils. You can see head/ deputy saying goodbye to everyone at door at end of day.
Reeds , pupils seem to like it but definitely not the most academic of schools around here.
I would second most of Copthall's comments, Hampton isn't all A*s and prides itself on keeping all boys for 6th form regardless of their performance at GCSE. It also prides itself on being an old fashioned grammar, it feels like one, and concentrates on traditional boys grammar subjects. It is one of the strongest sporting schools in the country, it has 200 boys a year to pick teams from and they have very successful football and rugby teams at all ages, so the training must be outstanding.
KGS is much smaller and co-ed. You are never going to be able to compete against schools the size of Hampton if you only have a third of the number of their pupils to pick from - this could be frustrating for sporty boys. However, they do very well at hockey and rowing. The sports fields are really good but some distance from the school which is tight for space.
Reeds is a nice school, with really good sports facilities and a strong sporting ethos despite its size. They are usually national tennis champions, and are very strong cricketers. It used to be easy to get in, they have an outstanding SEN department, and boys with dyslexia were sent there. That was a few years ago, it is still generally seen as less desirable than the more selective schools, although I do know a few parents who have taken Reeds instead of Hampton because they think a smaller school will suit their DS better. Its still a bit of a back-up but it is now quite competitive to get into, albeit less than the aforementioned schools. It does give a fair number of bursaries to deprived children, so there is more of a mix of the very poor, very rich and some in the middle.
Radnor never visited, but lots of friends have, they use St Marys sports facilities a 5 minute walk away which are outstanding. They also use other playing fields near the Lensbury (DS's prep plays them there).
As you can probably tell DS is sport mad, these schools may have drama facilities etc, but someone else will have noticed and comment on them. I'm just trying to give you a feel for viewing these schools from a sports mums perspective.
Good Luck with choosing.
Thanks joan and racing heart - your summaries are very helpful. It was really tricky to choose some schools as of course we don't have any teacher's recommendations here. In fact there are all amazed when I explain the selection process at age 11 and I've even been told that some of the NVR & VR papers they've looked at have been equivalent to what they've seen for selective high schools here! Although that could be all anecdotal so I'm not casting aspersions at the US education system.
When I chose I really just used the good schools guide in conjunction with a map and chose places relatively close to where we lived and tried to make a spread of 'selectivity'. I forgot to mention I also put down Claremont Fan Court.
All the exams are now over here and yet again (after helping with math homework) I am despondent..... no wonder he said he didn't have any trouble - it is easy when you're doing it all wrong but you don't know you're doing it all wrong!
My next thread will be all about state school in the Kingston/Surbiton area I'm sure.....
Sorry - thanks to you too Annelongditton!
And thanks to copthall too!! my browser kept hiding posts....
Claremont has a reputation locally for being very easy to get into. It's seen as the mop up school for people who didn't get in elsewhere. But that's a little unfair. I know families who are really happy with it. And I've met the most charming, socially aware and positive, active, community-spirited teens from there. I think its strength is to make its pupils feel confident and happy and motivated, wherever they fall on the academic spectrum. (Would say that's true of Reeds too but Reeds is fast gaining a reputation for improving academics.)
And if you haven't yet seen Claremont, it's stunning. Formal landscaped gardens surround a pretty little palace where they're taught.
TBH we are spoiled for good schools round here. The local state schools are both outstanding too but don't assume they're easier to get into. They're massively oversubscribed.
I would echo what racingheart says about Claremont, a few people go out from Richmond for the confidence building atmosphere. However you might want to make sure you understand and are comfortable with the Christian Science connection.
Thanks all for the skinny on the schools. We've not got into KGS and yet to hear from Hampton (but unlikely if not in at KGS). DS had a Skype interview for Claremont today which seemed to go fine.... He loves the look of the school and they were very friendly. He likes that the senior school is smaller too. I'm assured by friends that the CS stuff doesn't impact the teaching etc so not too worried about that. My kids go to catholic school here and I'm not catholic either.....
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