RAAS or Dunottar?(10 Posts)
RAAS is state, flexi-boarding charges which are v. v. affordable, would offer loads of opportunities (and spare funds for) for extra curriculars. If child 1 gets in child 2 would get sibling priority. Includes all childcare needed etc. However, results not brilliant, and I'm not sure about them being day pupils in a predominantly boarding school and how that would work. Not keen on Saturday morning school either.
Dunottar is independent. Love the ethos of the school. Results good and I'm confident that the children would thrive there. Fees would stretch us to our limits for two, so we'd have little left for extra curriculars etc. We'd probably be the parents that couldn't afford the school trips etc (although GPs would probably step in and pay tbh). No automatic sibling priority, entrance exam needs to be passed.
We may however not get into RAAS due to distance, we're 3km away. Other local state school that we would get offered is dire.
Which would you choose?
Presumably you apply to both and see what happens?
Any reason why you've gone for Dunottar and not Reigate Grammar?
Yes, applying for both. If anything, I'm trying to decide if RAAS is a viable (and less financially stretching) alternative for our original plan A of Dunottar.
Dunottar over RGS, as
1. I don't really like RGS's results driven culture
2. I didn't like the feel of the place, prefer a smaller, more nurturing environment
3. Fees are RGS are more expensive still.
I don't think the day boarders are necessarily outnumbered by the boarders at RAAS. Dunottar is fast becoming a viable alternative but bear in mind it will take some years to balance the numbers in what is still largely considered a school for girls with boys. If you have boys they may be somewhat more flexible on the selection criteria but boys team sports etc will take a few years yet to fully develop as numbers are still relatively small.
I have a highly academic and musical girl and a reasonably academic and artistic boy. Both shite at sports, so apart from regularly participating for healthy living reasons, we're not bothered about sports really. I'm quite sure that if money were no object that Dunottar "feels" the right school for us.
But, it is going to stretch us financially, although we can definitely afford it, it won't be without sacrifices. I'm trying to marry up the advantages that RAAS could offer (extra curriculars, less financially strapped (stressed!) parents, wider mix of pupils) against the disadvantages in terms of education and results.
It's a hard question, and obviously one DH and I (and to an extent the children) need to answer for ourselves. But I'm interested in hearing other people's viewpoints and experiences of the schools. I do quite like RAAS, but their results really aren't as good as I'd like, and I rather wonder why?
The children at RAAS are quite a diverse mix and historically it has attracted those dc from prep school who would struggle in selective schools, often with mild Splds such as dyslexia. Dunottar is selective and by virtue of being feepaying also socially self selecting. Fees may seem lower there atm but I would expect them to rise over time as it gets established again. You may find that awards will take the edge off financially.
Dunottar is now technically non-selective, although since you need to take their entrance exam in order to be offered a place, not entirely non-selective, I guess. I imagine it will become more and more academically selective as it becomes better established, and they have more choice of pupils. At the moment though, I imagine it will take prep school students that don't make the grade for RGS.
To an extent RAAS is surely equally selective in terms of finance, as parents need to pay a minimum of £1800 per term for flexiboarding (bar a few foundationers/scholarships, but there will also be bursary holders at Dunottar), so its still ruling out many local people due to inability to pay fees.
Since the abolition of any true day places, I would have thought that its day pupil intake will be quite similar to that of Dunottar? I don't know much about the full boarders though, apart from they are mainly childen of members of the forces serving abroad.
We were set on RAAS but in the end decided it wasn't for us as it was clear from one of our visits that they take more than their fair share of troubled kids (the girl who showed us round told us that bad behaviour was spoiling things for her). We also know a couple of siblings there - one is an angel, the other a nightmare. While you will get this in all schools, it is much harder for a state school to remove really disruptive pupils (esp if they are looked after and/or sent there for stability in the first place). That said, their facilities are much better than Dunottar, which is looking tired. The new developments to accommodate boys are a good start but not great.
RAAS is a state boarding school and so takes a number of army kids, ie, children of armed forces personnel boarding paid for by the forces. Plus quite a few students who have been placed by local authorities.
There is a lot of homework, essentially set because it is boarding and they've got to keep the boarders occupied but that doesn't account for day pupils' travelling.
The headteacher gives me the shivers. He couldn't get away from me fast enough when he heard my son had a statement. That was years ago and I think you have to decide for yourselves on that.
Dunotter will be desperate for numbers so its selectivism will be with a small s. Personally, if you liked dunotter, I'd go for that. The fees will be lower for a while to attract numbers. You have one of the best sixth form colleges in the country on your door step so you could just do until year 11.
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