Are there any parents out there with girls at Oundle or Rugby?(22 Posts)
If so, please could you share your thoughts \ experiences? Was it the right choice? Is your DD happy? Are you happy with the pastoral care? Any noticeable strengths \ weaknesses? Is it friendly?
School has recommended for DD so any insightful information much appreciated.
My neighbour's DD is a day pupil at Rugby. She loves it, I mean really loves it. The days for her are incredibly long and include weekends which if you are boarding I don't think is a problem. She is a bright girl and it seems to cater well for that. Sorry that I don't have much more as she isn't my DC.
Thanks for that, Guest - that's good to know. We liked both Oundle Rugby and finding it difficult to decide between them - I think Oundle has the edge so far in that the pupils ALL seemed to have something about them - brimming with enthusiasm - less so at Rugby. But then I have heard that pastoral care is better at Rugby....
I have a DS at Oundle, and have to say the pastoral care is brilliant. I mean truly brilliant. They have appointed a new head of pastoral (previously it was a role done by one of the deputy heads) so they are taking it very seriously.
Thank you, @ooerrmissus - that's s reassuring - just what I wanted to hear - can you say what in particular makes it brilliant? How does your son find Oundle generally? Did he settle quickly? How does he find the academics? Is it very pushy? Does he feel well supported? My fear was that it might be easy for a child to slip under the radar - but having visited I get the impression that this is unlikely because of the strong tutorial system - would you say that's accurate? How often does he see his tutor? Sorry for all the questions - would it be better if I PM'd you?
Also - really want to hear about parents of girls at Oundle \Rugby (boarding) - there must be someone willing to share how they're getting on! Is anyone else looking at these schools for their DD?
There are, but I'd only just changed by username for privacy so was initially reluctant to answer 😆
My DD is boarding at Rugby, and her HM is truly brilliant. Pastoral care is outstanding. The staff actually care so much and work with and alongside parents. Her tutor is really good, and she sees her every few days.
Every student I have met from Rugby has that special something about them and they are also just thoroughly lovely mature and kind students and friends too. There is a huge emphasis on community spirit in house and being kind and supportive to each other.
I'd say Rugby suits individuals who are outstanding at something. Her friends range from top musicians, (by which I mean recognised outside of just school as such) to amazing artists, to acting in films or on tv.
And it also suits those who are good at lots of things at once, at school level - sport, academic, drama, music, CCF. Getting grade 8s in music alongside playing a team sport, being in the school production, doing CCF or DofE, and getting all A*s isn't a rare thing.
Rugby seems good at encouraging individual talents. DDs week is so full and busy and I am envious of her stamina but I don't worry (too much!) about crash and burn because she has such caring pastoral care behind her.
Little things I love include them eating in house all together three times a day, the fact she had to initially share dorms with other girls which encouraged empathy, the way she has a buddy family group in house so she mixes with other year groups not just her own, the way her HM excitedly emails me about little random moments (it's not all about the big red letter days), the way individual talents are encouraged, and yesterday what tickled me MOST was the pile of utterly black and disgustingly muddy trainers just inside her boarding house. Anyone who thinks girls don't play sport hard or are only interested in hair, makeup and boys wouldn't fit in 😏
Actually, no girl really wears makeup or bothers with their hair day to day. Whenever I am there I just see sporty, happy, healthy, busy girls who care about each other and are fun to be around.
My DD boarded at Rugby ( recently finished) she had an amazing time, fabulous friends, incredible music and drama and great pastoral care. Thoroughly recommend it.
On a more practical matter, we liked the fact that there were fixed exeats, we'd heard that with a flexi approach some people always had rehearsals/matches.
That is a very good point about fixed exeats.
But there is also some flexibility. I have whipped DD out for the night when she's been shattered or just missing home, or we have a family occasion.
Our experience of Oundle seems similar to that of Invisible Unicorn at Rugby- very full on but a full team of support staff for those that need it. DS struggled to settle at first, so his HSM arranged for a 'House Friend' to come in to chat to him- a non-school adult, so he can have a moan about things he's not liking without worrying about it getting back to a member of staff. There is also a counselling service and of course the school chaplaincy for those who prefer that approach.
He meets his tutor officially every week at lunch, and unofficially as often as he needs- she is always on the end of a phone and has been known to send us email updates at 11pm. He thinks she is, and I quote, 'brilliant'.
He also accesses the education support department, as he has a diagnosis so has support sessions. His ED tutor has been known to pitch up in house to check he has his sports kit as DS struggles with organisation. There are also sessions known as Vols during which any pupil who needs help with a subject can go to the relevant department and a member of staff will be on hand to guide them. Overall the staff work as a real team and he is thriving as a result.
Like Unicorn I loved the fact that the pupils eat in house, so their eating habits can be kept an eye on. And Oundle girls don't seem bothered by mud, and don't wear makeup either. Although hair straighteners are apparently a must! In fact, although I have sons the girls uniform (I love their cullotes- apparently in cold weather the girls keep their pyjama bottoms on underneath!), the lack of makeup, and the range of sports for both sexes was inspiring. I don't want my boys growing up thinking girls have to wear eyeliner and can't get muddy.
With all that though, Oundle does not spoon feed pupils- they will be expected to organise themselves and ask for help if needed- but there is a team of people there to help those who need support and to point them in the right direction when things go awry.
Hope that helps- so often with these things though it come down to what 'feels right', so go and have a look!
Do you know what OP, I think they are very similar schools and it's probably down to the individual house that makes the difference. DD only applied to Rugby and it was a few years ago, but will you be able to get an indication of which house? I felt myself at the time being very pushed by the registrar into a (slightly less popular) girls house, but we basically said X or she's not going at all as we all really wanted this one house with this one particular HM.
@ooerrmissus the rugby girls also wear pyjamas under their ridiculous floor length skirts. It keeps them warm as coats over the jackets are just too much hassle apparently 🙄
PS And I know the interviews are tough for the popular houses. Lots of girls apply.
I have ruined a perfectly great new username in outing myself with specifics 😉😏
So what are your thoughts?
My DD is entering Oundle first form in the autumn. If you're still in need of Oundle feedback in a few months' time, feel free to contact me.
Hi! Girls in Oundle - how do they cope with 6 girls in a room in YE9?
My sister's at Oundle - similar situation in that she had a choice between Oundle and Rugby, and my parents also heard that pastoral care might be better at Rugby.
I wouldn't say her pastoral care has been great at Oundle. There have been a couple of issues (one quite serious in my opinion) that I think the school could have dealt with better. And my sister did have a period of not doing so well in her school work which up until then was quite uncharacteristic for her. It could just be teenagerhood but I think it was connected to the pastoral issues going on at the time, and her not getting on that well with one or two teachers.
It's a great school but I think she would have been happier at Rugby.
Oh also I should have said the house does make a huge difference too... and my sister definitely wears makeup but she is pretty subtle with it as it wasn’t allowed at all at her last school so she learned how to do it unnoticeably.
Hi everyone - I can't believe it has been so long since I checked in - thank you so much (very belatedly I know and am sorry for it!) for all your comments.
@InvisibleUnicorn - you asked for my thoughts - we almost a year on I am none the wiser LOL!! We have visited both schools again and each time I am at Oundle I think, "Yes,this is the right place" and then I go to Rugby and think, "But I think this is great too!!" -
What I like about Rugby is that the houses have their own gardens and I'm told there are regular socials at weekends - is that right? The house we like was so friendly and informal. Whereas at Oundle, the house we are interested in was beautiful and it seemed such a nice environment but no outside space (that they are allowed to use), and it just felt a little cold\formal to me.
I get the impression she would bee nurtured more at Rugby. AAGGHH!!!
Anyone else got any updated information?
Yes Rugby do have socials at the weekend sometimes all year and sometimes a boy's house with a girl's house.
All the houses have their own outside space, differs depending upon which house, which is there for the use of the students. And they are used.
We have found the pastoral care at Rugby excellent.
Hope that helps...
Thank you, @PaxtonsCrown - that's really helpful.
DD suffers with anxiety and is perhaps also a bit young (emotionally) for her age so good pastoral support is essential. She also has an SEN, l so educational support would be important as well - she is rather disorganised, which only compounds the anxiety.
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