RGS Springfield(16 Posts)
Hi, Looking to put DD into an independent school in Worcester for reception. I've seen a advert for the digital learning program at RGS Springfield at my supermarket. Are there any RGS Springfield Mumsnetters about to tell me something about it and the school and what the Head is like. Not plucked up courage to ring to look around yet. Not been to an independent school before so a bit nervous of what to expect.
Hi Reindeer 76
Just spotted your post and see nobody from Springfield has answered you. Sad face. Not sure if you did the open day, here is a reply to your post anyway.
I'm a Springfield Mum, you don't need to worry Springfield is not all posh and snooty at all, probably the least posh in Worcester. When you ring they will make you welcome. We came from state sector before Springfield and it was pretty similar but smaller classes, it is a tiny school. We have seen the place improve in our time, kids like the new head, she is bringing the place into 21st century,a mover and shaker. It is needed as we felt it was starting to be like St Trinian's, some staff having been there since Noah's Arc, we felt that a lazy can't be bothered attitude had crept in. They weren't always good at sorting things out and some parents took kids away which was fair enough.
They have lots of clubs and free wrap around care which is a real plus if you are both working like us. To give you a recent example of the improvements concerts used to be very sloppy with a can't be bothered attitude from the teacher, this last concert we noticed that they have upped their game and we had tea and cake and there was a proper programme more professional. There have been staff changes and is benefitting from some new blood, we wish our DD had the changes earlier as we are at the top end, see what you think when you go around, if it would be the right place for your DD.
The digital learning programme is the use of ipads in the classroom in lessons, DD is having fun, will ask her tomorrow what she does in school, not sure. They have also been spending money on refurbishment and bought a new piano.
I am sorry I've waffled on, Goodluck if you haven't looked give them a ring,nothing is lost looking.
Just seen this thread - hope you did go to the open day?
I must endorse what bluebell says. Our DS is in Year 1, it is his third year in the school, he started when the new headteacher did , so I can't really comment on what things were like before, but certainly agree that she is very good ideed.
DS is loving his IT lessons - the school mixes traditional values with a positive modern outlook, a real sense that children are benig prepared for the 21st century.
Reception teachers are truly outstanding - it will be a great start for your DD - PM me if you want any further info.
Hi Bluebell and Wigornian
Didn't make it to the open day as the weather was against us and nervous about not asking the right questions and embarrassing myself in a private school. The postings are encouraging and will PM you Wigornian for more about reception. Thanks for explaining about the school changing as some of the postings on mumsnet are rather confusing and mostly negative. We live just down the road and I have passed it but never seen what is behind the hedge, just see the children in the pretty uniform.
My experience of Springfield is that it is a really friendly school with a very welcoming Head. I would give them a ring, it has a really lovely atmosphere and very happy children.
I actually went to Springfield (a very long time ago), I can't help too much with what it is now like as there have been so many changes in the intervening years and I don't have any DC. What I can say though is not to worry about embarrassing yourself, you are the customer and have every right to ask whatever questions you wish. At reception stage many parents will not know exactly how to phrase what they are trying to ask and any decent school should be used to this.
Behind the hedge the grounds are lovely, lots of space to run around and play.
If you are looking at schools in town rather than the out of town junior schools, it may also be worth looking at Kings St Albans which should also be walking distance if you live close to Springfield.
We have looked at this school for entry into Reception and have booked an appointment to have a look around
However, a question for those who have children there - I have heard through the grapevine that the class/year group sizes are small. How small is small? Has this impacted your child in terms of sporting opportunities or friendship groups etc?
The classes are small but definitely large enough to avoid friendship issues etc. The classes are large enough to enable Year Groups to commit to competitive sport, Hockey, Netball, Rounders and lots more for girls whilst being small enough to offer excellent one-to-one and team learning working alongside students of like ability.
Their ethos is fantastic offering a really supportive environment for my child.
These are valid questions. We have DC at Springfield. What you have heard on the grapevine is correct 1 class per year group and classes are around 14/15 max but some are much smaller.
We have found the impact of the size to be a problem. There is an imbalance in the boy/ girl ratio in every class and there is a lot of bitchiness as a result. Staff vary in their ability to deal with it. As numbers are small all kids have to be in the matches so teams are mixed ability. This frustrates our DC who takes sport seriously.
Other mumsnetters have mentioned the teaching. There are some good teachers there but some of the teaching is dubious and only having 1 teacher per year it means you have to sit it out as they do not have the specialist teachers. We feel that fees at Springfield should be cheaper than The Grange as the children do not have access to the same range of facilities or social opportunities.
Our DC has enjoyed some years more than others. We have read comments on mumsnet about the reception being so outstanding. We are sure some children and parents do have an outstanding experience but some children are liked more than others and some do have a hard time. We have noticed more bad behaviour this year. Some teachers have real tongues on them which is awful and our DC has seen some kids being victimised. We kept a low profile and did not say anything as we decided that our DC might suffer otherwise which we feel guilty about now. The headmistress relates well to the kids. We have not had much to do with her but we have seen she is quick to spot the tearful little child at drop off and you see her walking around with a child to reassure them. She has a reputation for being very good with the challenging children and very good if your DC is sent out of the class for poor behaviour. She has put lots of changes in place and the new staff she has recruited seem to hit the right note. We are just starting to wonder whether the creative education has gone too much towards holiday club mode and whether the kids will struggle at The Grammar School in year 7 when the teaching becomes more serious. We have heard from ex Springfield parents who said their DC was behind children from The Grange. Science, maths and music was mentioned which is rather worrying. I think what we are trying to say is that all the projects and creativity take time. Is this time well spent? We have the same concerns about the digital learning programme. Is it a gimmick and a time waster, when the kids are using them all the time at home and further than the staff? Someone in the thread mentioned looking at King's St Albans. We went around the King's Open Day last year to compare and left feeling that the kids get a solid foundation in the basics and more in tune with how they will be taught later.
It could be Springfield will be just the right school for your DC but do think of your DC beyond reception age. Honestly we should have put the pupil numbers as our highest priority on our checklist, then number of sports teams rather than high teacher/ pupil ratio. We wish you luck with your big decision. Give us a shout if we can help any more.
I have the impression from mumsnet that Springfield is like marmite. You love it or hate it and not much in between.
Have any mumsnetter looked at Springfield because they wanted DC in a small school and then put them into a local bigger school? How has it worked out? Have they coped?
Hi, I have a DC in the senior school and one at The Grange, the other prep school situated in Fernhill Heath. My eldest DC went from a state primary school into Y7 at RGS but my younger one was starting to struggle at the local very big (3 form entry) primary school so moved at the beginning of Y2.
We did consider Springfield due to its proximity to the senior school (easy pick ups etc!) but to be honest even though we wanted a small school it was just too small. Especially as a lot of the classes were girl heavy.
Our youngest DC is very happy at The Grange. The classes are smallish - 14 to 19 approx. with usually 3 classes per year and there are lots of opportunities for sports, music, drama etc. I do know from DC2, however, that the boys from Springfield join them for games lessons.
Friendship issues keep coming through in the Springfield threads. Have you seen this at The Grange or is it just a reflection of the unbalanced boy / girl ratio at Springfield?
If you have looked at both Springfield and The Grange are there more opportunities for the kids at The Grange?
I think its a reflection of the very small class sizes and the unbalanced boy/girl ratio. A mother i met through an outside club has a son in the same year as mine but there were only 3 other boys in his class - none of whom shared his interests. I've certainly not come across that at The Grange but there are less girls than boys there although the mums of daughters that I speak to have never mentioned any problems.
The size of the school made the decision for me so I never actually looked around Springfield so I cant really comment on the opportunities there. I have not been disappointed with what DC2 has experienced so far at The Grange. He is not terribly sporty but still gets involved in team games, loves music and drama and there is a lot of that going on and does at least 2 or 3 after school clubs a term.
I would recommend visiting both. I went for a visit during normal term time and also on an open day.
Thanks will add The Grange onto my list. Was nervous about visiting but have a greater idea of what to look for now. Thank you very much.
I have heard from some parents at pick up that they have lost a few little boys because of the lack of sport or music opportunities.
Thanks BagLady that was really helpful. I am going to have a good look at some schools with larger year group sizes as I think that will better suit my DC.
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