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Hawthorns or Reigate St Marys

(12 Posts)
ChocolateWombat Thu 16-Jan-14 18:14:16

Hello, I have seen some older threads that mention these 2 schools. Just wondered if anyone has any up to date info about either or if you have a view about which would be best for a girl, who is bright and not very sporty but quite musical. Would be interested in entering Year 3 in 18 months time. Thanks.

ChocolateWombat Thu 16-Jan-14 21:16:19

Anyone??
Any thoughts very gratefully received. Thanks.

NikkiSurrey Fri 17-Jan-14 14:46:36

What's your longer term gameplan i.e. where are you looking at for senior school? RGS now gives advance offers to the academic RSM kids which means they don't have to do the entrance exam. Hawthorns is up to 13+ so would mean leaving at 11+ or staying til 13+ and hoping for one of a small no. of places at RGS/Caterham . Some concerns that 13+ places will diminish at RGS in the future as new Head likes to get kids in at 11+.

schmalex Fri 17-Jan-14 14:59:07

We are planning to send our DS to RSM, but we were very impressed with the music facilities at Micklefield (less so with the sports, but that might not be of as much interest to you). Have you looked there?

The best thing is to look round them all. I'm not sure how easy it is to get a place after reception.

ChocolateWombat Fri 17-Jan-14 15:21:03

Thanks for your thoughts. Longer term plan is probably for RGS at 11.

The fact that almost all of RSM go there and also don't have to pass an exam doesn't seem a huge advantage to me, in terms of the impact whilst actually at the Prep. If everyone is going to the same place without an exam, it seems that the incentives for the school to prepare them so well, maybe less. Perhaps RSM is more of a Junior school (if everyone simply moves onto RGS) than a real Prep, by which I mean prepping for a range of later experiences and advising on the most appropriate next place.
I don't see the entrance exam as a bad thing but possibly good. It gives focus to the teachers and kids. Hawthorns would involve this. I a
So understand the kids the go onto a wide variety of schools and I think this maybe a good thing too, in terms of the education provided being more general and broad based rather than narrowly focused.
Any thoughts on my ideas or am I way off beam?
My daughter is pretty confident and I don't feel she needs to be with the same group of kids throughout.
Is either school more open to taking into year 3?
Thanks so much for your help.

NikkiSurrey Fri 17-Jan-14 16:50:20

Having been through 11+ entrance exam with my kids I would welcome any opportunity to avoid it! However, that does assume that your child would be one of the lucky ones (i.e. bright ones) who is automatically offered a place from RSM to RGS. Must be awful if they are borderline and told to sit the exam while all their friends disappear off over the Xmas holidays to go skiing because they are 'safe' hmm

Think RSM is good for music if you're a chorister (i.e. a boy!). Less obviously so for girls. Don't know what the current boy/girl ratio is, but it used to be 60/40% boys to girls. Suspect more equal now.

I would have thought both would be full for Year 3 in 18 months time and you will need to get on list. Nature of both schools is constant movement due to professional parents/expats/moving etc.

LIZS Fri 17-Jan-14 16:58:22

RSM recently expanded their number of classes per year to take Dunnottar pupils (a whole other thread) so there may be more scope to join whereas traditionally H has only taken about 12/15 in at Year 3. I would expect H to have a waiting list for 2015 already although the order can be flexible if they are a sibling or particularly talented. Don't assume a 13+ school provides the same level of preparation and focus on 11+ entrance tests as those which only go up to 11.

ChocolateWombat Fri 17-Jan-14 17:56:14

Thanks for your comments. Very helpful.
We will bear what you say in mind, along with any further comments which are added, as well as distance to each and the feeling we get about them. Fortunately both seem good, so assuming we can get a place, either would probably be good, just in possibly slightly different ways. When I made initial enquiries, both were encouraging about places being available.

Luckypup22 Wed 05-Mar-14 18:22:08

Hi ChocWombat
My daughter is in year 5 at RSM, she has been there since the summer term in year 2.
She is very sporty and in the winter term they play hockey and have many matches against other schools, this term they are playing netball and they have A and B teams and include all the girls that want to play, there are after school clubs for netball, hockey, tennis, cricket and football in which girls are most welcome to join in with too. Swimming lessons also in PE time in which they go to RGS for.
My daughter is also musical and plays clarinet, she goes to weekly jazz band club and they always put on a musical concert in the summer and Christmas term. There are many opportunities for music lessons. Also they have recently introduced a dance club for those who are interested.
My dd was extremely shy and over the last couple of years she has slowly gained in confidence. I am very happy with the school.
The early offer to RGS takes away all the pressure and time constraints that are needed to study for entrance exams. Which now leaves more time for the children to learn other subjects more in depth and they even dabble in learning a bit of German and Spanish.
Hope this helps, please ask any other specific questions if you hve any and I will try to answer based on my experience. I also have 2 older children who are at RGS.

Milly41 Wed 12-Mar-14 10:59:01

Hi Luckypup22, I posted this same question on another thread and was happy to read your post on this thread. I would like to ask about the experience of your older children in RGS in Year 7 when there is a big intake from other prep schools and primary schools. Given that the places left (after RSM) are very competitive, did they find that RSM children and the "newcomers" were on the same level academically or were all the children who had to compete for a few places either very bright or over pushed/tutored in comparison to the RSM children? Just wondering because we are considering RSM for our children (music and art, not sporty, one is very academic) but not sure if the absence of preparation for an entry exam has any effect in terms of academic ability when they get to RGS? Many thanks.

Luckypup22 Thu 13-Mar-14 18:55:16

. In my experience it seems well balanced accross the whole school intake in yr 7, I don't think that RSM pupils stand out as any more academic than anyone else. My dd actually went to state primary before RGS and no tutoring was necessary for her and she was no more or no less academic than her peers. The absence of prepping for an entrance exam is a good thing, they will learn more by not spending so much time prepping for an exam and mostly .exam prep is learning how to sit the exam and not actually learning a wider and more detailed scope..

Milly41 Mon 24-Mar-14 10:38:16

Thanks Luckypup22. Just another question...do all the Year 5's at RSM get offers to RGS without writing the entrance exam or is it only the academic ones whilst the others need to write entrance exams to RGS and/or other Senior Schools?

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