Honest opinions of Ricards please(27 Posts)
We have our secondary placement results and we have been allocated our lowest preference which was Ricards. I am fine with it but my husband isn't. He didn't like the school when we went to the open day.
We wanted DD to go to Fulham Cross, as we got a more positive vibe there on our visit. Both schools are equal distance from us. Could some mums reassure me about Ricards?
We know plenty of girls who go to Ricards who are lovely (and some very clever ones who opted not to go down the 11+ route at all). Indeed I was in Wimbledon only last week at 'home time', and saw hundreds of girls drift down into the town centre over the space of about 15 minutes. They seemed very well behaved on the whole. A real mix culturally and socially which is how it should be (but all too often isn't in London).
I know that the catchment area has shrunk considerably in recent years (as has that of brother school, Rutlish) which suggests that more and more local families are actively choosing it for their girls rather than it being a fallback option.
It's particularly well thought of for girls who are into drama etc..I know of two (and there may be more) who've gone on the BRIT school from there in Year 10.
What did your DD think of it? I think if she liked it (and so did you) then I really wouldn't be worried at all. Why didn't your DH like it, out of interest?
You have still got the option to go on waiting list for the other schools. There is usually a lot of movement over the months until September. Find out where you are on the waiting list for Fulham Cross and any of the other schools you put above RL (but wait until the first round acceptance deadline has been and gone so you get a clearer idea of how likely you are to get in).
Thanks for the reassurance Kate, I think my DH wasn't convinced by the head's talk, she seemed to slip into slang a few times. I know that it might seem like a silly reason but it did grate on me a bit too.
I have also noticed the behaviour of the girls in Wimbledon and they seem to be pleasant girls. I think it's just my DH'S mood just getting us down.
Tbh I dont really see any other option for us but hope it works out for DD, she knows her dad wasn't too impressed with the school.
I'm really hoping some mums of current Ricards girls come on here and also give you cause for optimism. I have friends with DDs there and they all have nothing but praise for it.
You may become more positive once your DD is invited to attend the school for a day etc...
You could possibly ask if you could revisit the school during the daytime (so you can get a measure of the school in action) which might go a long way to reassuring you (we did this for the school our DC1 was allocated). Not sure what the RL policy on this would be, but worth a try?
My DD1 is currently at Ricards with DD2 due to start in Sept. I think it is like any school, it has to fit your DD and she has to be ready and willing to take all the opportunities offered. My DD1 absolutely loves the school, she has a fab set of friends who are polite and considerate. She has done so many amazing things that I would have loved to do at her age. The staff generally know their pupils well and the Head is very visible at all the events. All the girls that went there from my DD's primary school seem to be thriving regardless of their academic ability. Hope this is of help, I registered especially so that I could give you some feedback from a current parent.
Thank you so much for registering and giving your opinion, I think another reason why I was apprehensive was because DD's friends are all going elsewhere as they live nearer to Putney / Roehampton.
DD1 is outgoing and loves to get involved in everything. She loves playing the violin and will be sitting her Grade 2 next month. I did have a look on the school website and they have specialist music teachers and dedicated music rooms for individuals to practise in so that s another bonus. I think the initial surprise of getting RL has worn off. DH is still unsure though.
My daughter also plays an instrument, there is a school band and plenty of musical talent! You are right, most of the girls are from Wimbledon and south, however they come from all over. One of my DDs BFFs went to Hotham primary and lives around your area. Hopefully once your DD has been to the transition day she will know whether she will like it or not! In the meanwhile you would be wise to keep all options open as waiting lists move very quickly! Wishing your DD the best of luck in finding the right school for her!
And here's an opinion from another mum with a DD at Ricards (a would-be Mumsnetter who hasn't been able to register):
I'm writing in response to a mum's e-mail requesting information about Ricards Lodge High school for Girls.
My daughter has been at Ricards for five years and is now in year 11. It was our first choice as we loved the atmosphere of the school, the professional attitude of the staff and the behaviour of the girls both in and out of school. I also knew lots of girls who went to the school and we're in various year groups. I also know lots of girls who are in lower year groups. They have all loved Ricards and are doing really well.
My husband and I were really impressed with Mrs Jerrard, the head teacher who came across as calm, professional and authoritative. It has to be said that before she became the headteacher 7-8 (or perhaps more) years ago the school did not have a good reputation and standards were not high. Since she has been there the reputation of the school has improved immensely and results are excellent. There is a good morale in the school and girls always seem happy, my daughter included. I've met Mrs Jerrard on a few occasions and she is a very caring and competent head. She has very high standards for punctuality and attendance.
It is true to say that there is no perfect school, and as parents there will always be issues or concerns that need to be addressed. There will always be kids in school who misbehave. I can honestly say that any issue or concern I have raised with the school in relation to my daughter's care or welbeing has always been dealt with quickly and efficiently, and I know for a fact that disruptive pupils are dealt with.
My daughter has had the best education she could have had, and is set to get very high grades for her GCSE's. Ricards has really nurtured her and brought out the best in her.
I really do recommend Ricards to any parent looking for an excellent school for their daughter.
Ali Q from Colliers Wood."
I was very impressed with Ricards Lodge
Hi Decca, for the benefit of Naz2881, please could you explain what impressed you please?
It was my daughter's first choice. She liked the fact it has a strong commitment to the visual arts and the performing arts, which are very much her thing. The location was appealing too, easy to reach.
I was a sucker for the 'women of tomorrow' tag line! I found it quite inspiring!
Thank you everyone for your input. My daughter is currently at Hotham Frazzlemum
I am glad to know the school deals with concerns straightaway.
Thank you Kate for posting on behalf.
I am starting to look at the benefits. I.e DD just needs the 93 straight to school so no commute hassle there. Also it's a girls school and I know she will feel more comfortable there.
I must say the communication that I've had from the school is impressive, they do a lot to help children settle into the school. There are a few upcoming organised events to help with orientation plus a personal interview.
Thanks to all for the comments, I will update this post in the future with my future impressions, might help others.
Ah yes I quite liked the tag line too, quite similar to the Burntwood one "the best education today for the women of tomorrow" (although its probably changed now as has the school )
Glad you're warming to the idea of Ricards. Sometimes it's just a case of getting your head round the idea of a school that you'd not really considered to be a viable option previously.
I may well be seeking more up-to-date advice from you myself in the coming year! .
For anyone reading this with DDs currently in Year 5, I think Ricards Lodge offers Merton primary schooled girls a 'taster' day towards the end of the summer term. A great idea.
The Taster Day for year 5s is super - my daughter went to the last one and totally fell in love with the school.
I am also impressed with the offer of a science session and interview to introduce the year 6s to the school further.
Hi Naz2881 - my friend's BFF still has a brother in Y6 at Hotham, I don't want to give details, but, you might be able to ask around and then have a chat with the mum who seems very nice (you don't get to know the mums quite so well at secondary school!).
Oops meant my DD1s BBF! (In case you think I am a child!)
@frazzlemum haha ... It's a double form school so might be tricky. Yes I'm impressed by the range of activities they have for yr6 students to settle in.
Kate no problems, I have 4 daughters so if this is the school they all end up going to I think I'll be a Ricaeds expert lol.
Good to hear all the positives as I hate to say that I have been distinctly unimpressed by the behaviour of some of the girls I see in Wimbledon very regularly.
Was it bad or high spirited behaviour though? We've been on buses with huge posses of them - teenagers (even from the best schools) generally can be loud and brash and not very well-mannered in big groups (and so can students!). And there will always be some pupils who will let the side down somewhat (even, dare I say it, from public schools).
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I also think RL is probably the largest of the secondaries in Wimbledon? Statistically doesn't that mean you are more likely to notice their girls behaving 'badly' than you would girls from Ursuline or boys from Wimbledon College (and I have to say I've seen bad behaviour from some of their pupils too).
It's also difficult to compare/contrast their behaviour with equivalent aged girls from Wimbledon High School because I've not knowingly ever seen them out and about in big groups even at home time (are they all collected by car?).
And no, don't have any DCs at Ricards Lodge, before you ask!
My issue wasn't with students, there are good and bad students everywhere in every single school...which probably has a lot more to do with parenting/ home issues rather than school.
It could be that you see the same group.of girls regularly. Even so students need to let of steam after a day at school they might do that by being together and having a laugh. Even now when I get together with my girlfriends I have a right old laugh. So I'll take that comment with a pinch of salt.
Secondary schools #NationalOffersDay has just been and gone. One of our Mumsnetters is asking for your insights about Ricards Lodge here. It would be great, if you've got time, to give her your thoughts and DDs' experiences of the school.
@Naz2881 did your DD end up at Ricards? Would be interested to hear your experiences over the past six months, if so?
Ive just come across this thread and thought it might help some of you to jump in and add my tupence worth. I have two girls currently at Ricards. The school has changed dramatically under the leadership of a very inspiring head teacher over the last 8 years and a team of very hard working teachers. And in no way resembles the school that people still like to refer to historically - which is somewhat tiresome. I am a local parent and loved the school from the moment that I went to see it, it has an positive energy that you can feel whenever you are there. I can only speak from my personal experience of the school. My girls have never experienced bullying there, and any issues there have been are dealt with swiftly and I have always felt listened to. Both girls have a lovely set of friends and the pastoral care and level of additional learning support for my less academic daughter is outstanding. But whichever school you choose for your child the main thing is that they are happy there and that they thrive.
You may be interested to know that yesterday Ricards Lodge received notification of getting Ofsted outstanding.
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