Reigate St Mary's or The Hawthorns? East Surrey schools.(13 Posts)
We have two boys and want to move out of London to the Reigate/Redhill area. I have been looking at state schools' Ofsted reports but am also interested in the area's independent schools. I would be grateful if mums could let me know about Reigate St Mary's and The Hawthorns. They both seem good, but I am not sure which one would be best for sensitive boys who are more interested in music /drama/art than sport? Thank you.
how old are they ? do you expect them to start senior school at 11 or 13? Micklefield might be an alternative.
Also Oakhyrst Grange School and Caterham prep are used by people in the area as well (Reigate/Redhill/Bletchingley/Caterham)
and there's also Essendene Lodge in Caterham (for a more complete picture of available independent schools)
I have known people at both and am thinking about the same thing for a couple of years time.
The Hawthorns seems more of a traditional Prep to me, going to 13. They seem to prepare children for a wide range of schools at either 11 or 13. If you want to keep your options for secondary open, it seems a good choice to me. People seem to come from a wider catchment, perhaps because it is down a lane, so you need to go by car. From what I can tell, they have a lot of subject specialists working there and also those devoted to areas beyond the academic curriculum, like people devoted to things. such as conservation and outdoor education. Sounds almost like a boarding school in some ways, in terms of the school day. My friends children are there for 7.15 in the morning to train for the swimming team. Activities sometimes go on until 6. (This long day not for little ones)
RSM seems more of a Junior school from people I've spoken to. It goes to 11 only and then most go onto Reigate Grammar, with automatic entry for most. More people seem local and walk in, but I think some come a distance too. Sounds like they have lots of clubs etc too, but I havent heard of the long day in the same way. Not sure how much prep they would do for entrance to other schools. Guess it is good if Reigate Grammar is def where you want to go next.
I think both are non selective for entry into Reception.
At H your dc would have a visit before a place was offered in reception, joining a nursery class and doing some activities, but there are relatively few places for new entrants into reception, and some numeracy/literacy for older. Think similar of RSM iirc. There is an open morning at H in a couple of weeks' time.
Hi, have you also tried posting this on our Local Surrey Talk Board?
Thanks for all the advice. I am more inclined to let them go to senior school at 11, because 13 seems to be quite "grown-up" for a school where there are 3 year old's as well? Also like the idea of being able to settle in an area with a senior school to go onto if all goes well. Reigate St Mary's also seem to be strong on music and pastoral care. Any comments or advice please?
I think lots of people feel like that. They like the idea of being settled all the way through and knowing the path they will take. Some people are effectively in the same school from 3 to 18. I know people who chose Caterham at 3, precisely so they could stay all the way through.
I also have a friend who went to Croydon High at 3 and stayed to 18. She felt it was a mistake and that by the time she got to about 15, she had had enough and just needed a change of people and scenery.
RSM is a different school to RGS and many more feed in at 11, so those issues are not so pronounced there as true all through schools.
Chances are that if you go there, by 9 ish you will be keen to continue to RGS. If you're not though, for whatever reason, you certainly become one of a minority at that point, whereas at a non attached Prep like The Hawthorns, people are heading off at different times (11 or 13 or even at 10) and to different places, and that is all part of it, and no one I'd odd for not going where very one else is.
I'm sure either will be great for your child!
I think we felt ready for a complete change by the time we'd spent 7 years at one school. However I know some who have done the all through for more than one child and felt weary by the time elder ones were settled into senior, others very happy with it.
The Hawthorns very much focuses on keeping their kids to age 13. There is no material support for the children wishing to leave at age 11. No real support for scholarship applications etc. and children and parents are pushed towards staying to age 13. If you do stay to 13 then the children are lauded and a big deal is made of them. However if you want to keep your options open at age 11 then this may not be the school for you. Further when we moved my 11 year old it felt like he was being asked to leave the school by the back door!
I know people with children at Reigate St Mary's, they love it
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