Independent secondary schools surrey(16 Posts)
Hi - DS1 is currently at prep school and I'm starting to think about potential secondary schools at 13+ and wondering whether fellow mumsnutters could give me some advice to get me started.....DS1 is in all the top sets - top of his year for English and about 5th (out of 50 boys) for maths.... He is pretty sporty, and plays in the first teams for cricket, tennis and rugby (though he is by no means a sporting superstar - he just tries really really hard!!!). He hasn't shown a huge amount of interest in the arts or music, but he does like debating (both at school and at home!!!). Personality wise he is very conscientious and extremely competitive (sometimes to a worrying degree). His school has mentioned Hamptons, RGS and Kings in Wimbledon to us but some of the other mothers at the school have warned me that these schools are very very hard to get into and I will need a back up should we go down that path. Ideally I would like a day school but we haven't ruled out weekly boarding. Thoughts?
Do you want to keep him at a boys only school?
If not, there is St. George's College, Weybridge - but that's RC so that may not be appropriate either. It used to be very sporty, not sure what it's like now. Used to do boarding but now I think it's day only, which sounds better for you.
Don't know what it's like to get into.
I think your best bet is to go to all these schools and see which one your DS likes the best, and which one has the right sort of facilities for him (I would just like to say that Hampton School has THE best boatclub in the country, I'm sure - it's bloody brilliant! OK, so they have to share it with LEH but I reckon there are national teams who would be of it! Just in case he fancies rowing, y'know)
I'm not too bothered about co-ed versus all boys.... Though I think my husband would prefer single sex... I've heard of st george's and will visit it as it's quite close by....
Ah, rowing!! I used to date a rower at university!!! Sadly DS1 is more the medium build wiry type so rowing will probably not be his forte!!!
Well he IS very bossy.....though probably not small enough!!!
Prep schools worth their salt will only suggest schools they think your DS will be able to get into - it is not in their interests to raise hopes / spoil their record for getting pupils into schools of choice. Assuming you are doing 13+ CE there is no plan B in that you have to nail your colours to a particular school's mast fairly early on so that is why the prep school should be steering you in the right direction from an early stage. Take their advice as they know what is required and the prospects of each child getting in to each possible school. Then its a case of what you like and are looking for from each school, which can only be gleaned from visits.
We have just gone through the CE process and DS starts at his Senior school in September and we could not have gone therough it all without the help and guidance of the prep school!
My DS is at St George's and we are happy with it. It is not a problem if you are not Catholic (we aren't).
It is a great school for an all-rounder. It is academic, but loads of sporting, music, drama, art opportunities too. It's at least 60% boys from Y9 upwards.
That's interesting to know willali. DS1's prep school have actually written those three schools in his end of pre-prep assessment (subject to him continuing to perform as he has been doing), and this has been reiterated at the last parent/teacher meeting, so maybe we should be aiming high....they have a 100% entrance success record too...as he's our first child and I'm not really familiar with the system and i must admit it's all a learning curve! (and I suppose I was a bit confused by the reactions of some of the other mums in the class when I mentioned that these were the schools we were looking at. I am also learning that it's all a bit competitive here in Surrey.......)
Well, although you have to be very clear as to which is your first choice school, it is typical to have a back-up (but only one). It may be worth noting that Whitgift School has a 13+ entry which is based on their own entrance exam (they use the CE for setting purposes), so that could count as an extra option ie you could have 13+ CE main choice, back-up choice and Whitgift as a 3rd option if you were really cautious. But I would be amazed if your prep schol let you choose a 13+ first choice without being pretty certain of your chances. That said both KCS and Hamptons do a pretest at 11, so you'll know in advance as to whether you have the option of a place (of course he'll still need the CE grades)
I suspect that the playground reaction is purely jealousy.
Thanks lady muck.... The pretest will hopefully set us straight and ensure we are on the right path.. Will look into whitgift too!
Ds was offered places at rgs and Hampton. Went to rgs as he preferred it.
Go and look around the schools and see which one. Your son likes too.
And in the course of finding out how these things work try asking on here or asking school friends privately.
If other parents are very anxious about options post prep school and are fearful of not getting places then breezing around and saying ' oh gosh we need to chose between Hampton and rgs will not win you many friends - however well intentioned and innocent iyswim.
Plus. They are very difficult to get into. One boy whose mums spent ages telling everyone how she was so pleased her ds2 was going to rgs as her ds1 was there. When he didn't get in she found herself having to do some massive digging with the mums at the school her ds2 ended up going to.
Assuming you're over that way also look at St John's Leatherhead (though you need to register by early Year 6) and Epsom college, both now co-ed.
I know lots of people with sons at RGS and Hampton, and both are excellent though academic schools, as others have said - people generally seem very pleased with them. Other schools not mentioned yet that may serve as backups are Reed's, Cranleigh (mixed and very very sporty) and King Edward's Witley (which I know nothing about except the name). Or there's Charterhouse, if boarding is an option and you can afford it. His current school should have a good idea of the best options for him - see if you can talk to some parents of older boys who went there and then to the schools you are interested in - they are usually happy to help.
Thanks for all the advice!! I am a bit clueless about all this - when I was growing up there wasn't any choice around where to go to school so it's a bit overwhelming! Better start scheduling those visits!!
My son went to Reeds and loved it. you should check the independent schools show. Apparantly they have 100s of independent schools on show so you can see them all at once. might be useful for you. www.schoolsshow.com
I have a 14 year old at King Edwards in Witley and am happy to answer any questions if you want to message me.
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