Rugby school

(28 Posts)
nokissymum Sun 25-Mar-12 09:56:46

here we go again smile does anyone know anything or have experience of this school ? How academic it is, pastoral care, the sports etc, its for ds thank you.

MollieO Sun 25-Mar-12 13:50:38

Try posting on the eleven plus forum as there are parents there with children at this school.

nokissymum Sun 25-Mar-12 17:45:41

Just looked on the 11+ site, found one poster who was asking something similar, not much response, only one person responded, and her dc are girls and day students.

MollieO Sun 25-Mar-12 18:12:43

Search for Ed's mum and you could PM her. She has a boy at Rugby.

vivatregina Mon 26-Mar-12 05:53:27

Hi - I have 15 year old twin boys at Rugby. They were previously at the Dragon. They settled in very quickly and have been very happy there - I can thoroughly recommend their House, Kilbracken - they have a super Housemaster. I had a daughter who loved Bedales, another son and 2 daughters at King's Canterbury and a daughter at St Edwards. So far Rugby is comparing very favourably.

nokissymum Mon 26-Mar-12 08:07:51

Viva - thanks. Would you say its a very traditional school or "trendy" , also what is the sport like, do you to be a rugby god to get noticed or is everything in balance, ds likes his sport but not in the A teams iyswim.

vivatregina Mon 26-Mar-12 14:29:02

No it is not ultra traditional - it is not back in the days of Tom Brown's Schooldays for example - a lot of the special Rugby language isnt used anymore. It is a proper boarding school tho in that there is only a weekend before and after half term they can come home. My sons arent sports gods - not in the top teams for Rugby etc but one of them one 'most improved player' for his rugby last time and they both love it in a fun sort of way. The uniform is pastel coloured shirts (pink et al) with tweedy jackets and very long skirts for girls so they look pretty traditional I suppose at least compared with Bedales. Bedales is far trendier with lots of famous media type parents (I dont think the teachers at Rugby would relish being called by their first names as at Bedales)- Rugby more down to earth - the town of Rugby pretty darn hideous - Somersault a good place for coffee and that's about the highlight cuisine wise for visiting parents. ('Ask' I suppose is another). I would say my sons were average academically and it certainly is fine for that with good results (def in the top 100 of Independent schools) - they have a very strong interest in film making and that is totally encouraged, art,drama and music also very strong. The boys eat in Houses. My eldest girls who were very academic (King's scholars, went to Oxford and Cambridge etc) were far less happy at school. Of course when they got to Oxbridge they found a whole heap of people who managed to get in without the aid of a public school education, clothes lists, trunks, sewing on name tapes, sports days, Boden for mother's, - just by brains in fact.

nokissymum Tue 27-Mar-12 09:23:34

Oops! Pressedwrong button by mistake.

What is their pastoral care like ? You mentioned your daughters weren't happy there, can you say briefly why ? But if not thats fine, just wondered wether it was something to do with the pastoral care. We are going to attend an open day in May, but just wanted inside information.

Some yrs ago there was that tragic story of a girl that died in her dorm because an ambulance wasnt called in time etc, ive never forgotten that story and hence why we havent considered Rugby earlier on, but i imagine they would have really tightened things up a lot more now due to that very incident.

nokissymum Tue 27-Mar-12 09:29:07

Hi Viva! Little problem with ipad, i had typed another message before the one above, but now its not showing.

The gist was "thank you very much for your response that was very informative, and hatts off to you for raising seven kids" grin

vivatregina Tue 27-Mar-12 15:20:10

Yes - that tragic incident was before my sons time and I think the Coroner's report put it more down to hospital failings and delays in getting her the right treatment on the right ward. If you look at the current Ofsted report pastoral care is rated Outstanding and I think it is (or has been for us so far!)..My daughters went to King's Canterbury and hated that - not Rugby - tho it did all right by them exam wise. Stowe had a kitchen worker that tried to poison the soup for example but I dont think that would put me off the school if I thought everything else was OK.

nokissymum Sat 31-Mar-12 18:12:12

Thanks Viva! Looking forward to the open day, hopefully will be able to get a better feel.

ohmygosh123 Sat 31-Mar-12 19:05:36

viva I am looking for coed boarding for my DD and another poster strongly recommended King's Canterbury. Would you mind telling me why they hated it. PM me if you don't want to post it for everyone to see. My DD is an all rounder - likes taking part in everything, can be a bit overly hard on herself, loves learning, and is quite a gentle kid but often gets on better with boys who don't do the 'politics' like you / hate you kind of thing.

Do you know girls who were happy at Rugby - is another one on my list, even if just for 6th form.

vivatregina Tue 03-Apr-12 03:52:09

Well - I probably wont be much help as my eldest is now 30 and the other one is 29! So everything will no doubt be different - the eldest one definitely had the better House/housemistress at King's tho and somehow that whole year was better and the second one had practically a whole year of total dead ducks. It was probably quite a lot to do with them - they were both King's Scholars but the second one was super bright and everything was effortless which is never generally a way to endear yourself to people despite the fact she was very kind and loyal to everyone. They both felt public school generally was full of arrogance and just going onto the streets of Canterbury it was cringingly obvious who the King's people were by their dress, demeanour etc. However, my son, who followed them and absolutely loved it despite being a total pest, always in trouble and leaving at 16 - he still has his friends from there even now aged 26! Despite insisting she couldnt stand a single person the eldest is still pretty friendly with all her 'gang' there and has decided they werent too bad - not so the very brainy one - still thinks the whole thing was ghastly.

vivatregina Tue 03-Apr-12 04:18:07

Whoops - sorry- forgot the second question. No, I dont know any girls currently there tho' met a mother of girls at a PTA and she said her daughters loved it. I think Rugby would suit an all round sort of a girl myself - its not a super academic school like Wycombe Abbey (tho got 16 Oxbridge offers this year I think) but is good for everything as well as academics, sport, art, drama music etc. As a midlands school it doesnt have such a big 'London Contingent' as King's and all that entails if you see what I mean. (though obviously there are some - quite a few from Scotland too, suprisingly!) Its probs better if you see both schools and see what you think - if she is gentle verging on sensitive I would say Kings def. more cocky arrogant (or was) and being robust would help but for sensitive boys as well Id prob say Bedales!

happygardening Tue 03-Apr-12 09:07:43

"They both felt public school generally was full of arrogance and just going onto the streets of Canterbury it was cringingly obvious who the King's people were by their dress, demeanour etc."
An interesting comment Kings had/has a reputation amongst some of the locals for turning out arrogant children and is IME often not popular with local families. Although I found many making these comments had children at the not so "smart" but Canterbury based indies St Edmunds and Kent College particularly the former. For three years I saw the the Kings children nearly every day and as my view of them was influenced by these comments and as at it was on my long list for my DS I watched them rather carefully. The school campus is spread out so they are not difficult to observe and I was some what disappointed to find that they were just like any group of teenagers walking to lessons! A couple who I got to know well and were only a few years younger than "vivatregina" DD's were far from arrogant in fact I would say both were the complete opposite.
Between 2006-2009 I was in Canterbury all the time I'm not convinced that Kings students are "cringingly" obviously. As I've already said the campus is quite spread out so they are often seen walking around on their way to lessons etc. and their uniform although not over the top is fairly distinctive. Out of uniform I wouldn't say they are particularly obvious, the whole of Canterbury is groaning in tourists and uni students.

goinggetstough Tue 03-Apr-12 10:22:55

We looked at Kings for our DC and it wasn't so much the pupils that were arrogant but the school as a whole. We came away feeling that Kings thought themselves so special that they didn't have to put themselves out at all. They we late for our appointment (we had got there on time via eurotunnel). We spoke to a deputy who just told us how wonderful she was and didn't ask about our DCs. We were then shown round by a scruffy pupil who then deposited us by our car after her brief tour. We were not left with a good impression. Hopefully this has now changed as this was 6/7 years ago. However I do know 2 families who have had children there and their children are not arrogant.

As for Rugby again we have had friends with DCs (both girls and boys) who have been there. They are all polite, rounded individuals who have gone onto RG universities.

vivatregina Wed 04-Apr-12 00:47:52

Yes that uniform is indeed distinctive (or was, remembering I am not a current parent) - one of the reasons my son was always in trouble was with the Beadle (or Warder, Sargeant Major?) always jumping on him because he wasnt wearing it quite correctly - it was pinstrip with wing collars and things as I recall. We were also abroad parents and there was no love lost between son and housemaster - for sure! I remember us coming over to take him out on his b.day and he couldnt go as he was in a detention for missing a detention.

Colleger Wed 04-Apr-12 08:25:30

We had a terrible tour at Rugby. In fairness the pupils that we spoke to we're fantastic but again it very much felt like the school did not need to bother with us. They insisted our son come up for an interview and test to see if they would take him a year early but then never got back to us to let us know the outcome. When we eventually decided to get in touch with them, to make a point, they said that eventhough he would clearly thrive at Rugby and was super bright, he'd still need to do another test (he'd been offered a year early at three top schools) so we'd have to bring him up again. The whole point of the first meeting was that they promised to give us a yay or nay there and then. The housemaster never showed up and the matron looked and acted like she'd just got out of a mental institution.

Rugby town is a hideous place and the friends who have kids at the school say that abuse is always beeping hurled at the Rugby pupils when they go into town.

happygardening Wed 04-Apr-12 09:15:32

What ever Kings maybe Canterbury and the surrounding area is really lovely and for me the proximity to the sea is the icing on the cake. The transport links were pretty rubbish but have improved and the shops are fab.
The uniform is as described above although when I was in Canterbury I would say less strictly inforced than when vivatregina DS was there. I believe it has a new head who I've heard on the grape vine is going to push up the academic standards and maybe the CE mark. A few years ago one of the local grammars got better results and as Kent is positively groaning in indpendent schools for "nice children who can't pass the Kent test" but are significantly cheaper than Kings I suspect the school feels a need to push up the academic standards if it's going to compete with other local indies/grammar schools. I also understand from friends there are lots of new young housemasters/mistresses and I know a couple of very smart new boarding houses. The campus is quite spread out because it is literally in the middle of Canterbury and the children in some boarding houses have to cross the hideously busy ring road and some of our friends were unhappy about that and chose boarding houses accordingly.

happygardening Wed 04-Apr-12 09:17:04

Why do compunters delete words of there on backs? Meant to what ever Kings failings maybe.

vivatregina Thu 05-Apr-12 00:57:43

Yep the town of Rugby isnt going to win any prizes for Britain's most picturesque town. We found King's (and Canterbury) to be permanently chockablock with tourists and French school parties. We chose King's mainly because of location at that time - those 5 children were all at Windlesham House in West Sussex and King's was one of the schools they sent quite a few children to then - and the others, Marlborough and Bryanston, were just too far in the wrong direction if we were coming over frequently on the ferry/tunnel. We chose Rugby mainly because a very well known person who writes for a national newspaper had scouted round various top schools for his son and thought he'd found the cream of all Housemaster's there - because the Housemaster is v. important to us as we live abroad mainly we thought we'd give it a look - and indeed this particular housemaster is amazingly nice and good with the boys. Because they are twins one was offered another house but I fell for that one before - splitting the girls up at King's - and I wanted them both to have the good one - and indeed they have got him.

nokissymum Fri 06-Apr-12 20:13:42

Happy easter all! Viva How academic is Rugby ? I'm trying to get a feel between them and Haileybury college.

vivatregina Fri 06-Apr-12 21:32:31

Mmm- well as I said before my boys are pretty average on the old academic front - there are some very good teachers as in any school - one is very arty but actually started loving and being very good at physics because there is an ace physics teacher. The boys have a particularly strong interest in something that is very much encouraged at the school so basically they are very happy there - I think I said earlier they had about 14/16 Oxbridge offers this year (or was it last - anyway that is easy to find out about) and it comes up quite well in various lists - I think the Sunday Times actually does lists for exams you could compare the 2 with. I was very prepared to snap them out if they didnt like it for a second but there has not been a chink in their armour so far - in fact in our next posting they could go to an International school for 6th form but dont want to and they are used to going to lots of schools - I think theyve been to about 9 each so far. They do those IGSCE's which are supposed to be harder I think. Very articulate Headmaster and lots of Arnold scholarships for those who cant afford the fees but would benefit by being there.

vivatregina Fri 06-Apr-12 21:41:36

Mmm- well as I said before my boys are pretty average on the old academic front - there are some very good teachers as in any school - one boy is very arty but actually started loving and being very good at physics because there is an ace physics teacher. The boys have a particularly strong interest in something that is very much encouraged at the school so basically they are very happy there - I think I said earlier they had about 14/16 Oxbridge offers this year (or was it last - anyway that is easy to find out about) and it comes up quite well in various lists - I think the Sunday Times actually does A level results lists for exams you could compare the 2 with. I was very prepared to snap them out if they didnt like it for a second but there has not been a chink in their armour so far - in fact in our next posting they could go to an International school for 6th form but dont want to and they are used to going to lots of schools - I think theyve been to about 9 each so far. They do those IGSCE's which are supposed to be harder I think. Very articulate Headmaster and lots of Arnold scholarships for those who cant afford the fees but would benefit by being there.

vivatregina Fri 06-Apr-12 21:43:42

Sorry - sent this twice - got interrupted by a friend popping round!

Bunter888 Tue 24-Apr-12 03:47:55

I had two sons recently at Rugby. It is a fantastic school. I would think the best in Britain from an all round perspective - and certainly regarded as the best girls school in UK by many parents. My eldest was middle of the road as was youngest on entry. No pressure, unpretentious parents and eldest just finishing Physics PhD.

nokissymum Tue 24-Apr-12 07:47:12

Bunter888 - thanks for your comment. Would you say its equally good for boys, because i keep hearing its fantastic - for girls, would a boy thrive as well ? I know you said you have sons, but generally would you say it does well by them.

Also is the cohort mainly from rugby area or all over ?

Bunter888 Sun 03-Jun-12 03:27:30

Sorry for delay. They reach of the school is enormous, but "foreign" places limited to around ten per cent. There is a huge cross section of backgrounds, from very publicly recognizable names and faces, to leading european families to your solid local farmer. That is its charm. Not hedge fund alley either, thank god. I can see no reason why it is not an outstanding - completely unpretentious - school for boys.

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