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Reading grammar Boys vs RGS

(30 Posts)
curiousmum15 Thu 16-Feb-12 20:13:41


Does anyone out there has anything to say about Reading Grammar boys? I am very confused to where I would like to send my boys!

I am not sure whether Royal Grammar in Guildford or Reading Grammar? Apart from the financial aspect, could anyone give me some good advice?

many thanks

curious mum

mummytime Fri 17-Feb-12 08:30:26

Where do you live? Which is easier to get to? Have you visited both schools?
What is your back up plan if your boys, or one of them doesn't get into either?
I also believe that Reading gives a preference to boys living in a certain area.

Hattiehoo Fri 17-Feb-12 11:56:48

I have a son at Reading School and he absolutely loves it there. It achieves fantastic results and the boys still have lots of fun. My son actually spontaneously thanked me recently for having helped him with his preparation for the exam as he had not imagined it would be possible to enjoy school that much!

The workload is manageable and I have found the pastoral care very good so far. Good luck with the decision making!

Milliways Fri 17-Feb-12 12:05:37

Can't talk about RGS, but my son is a sixth former at Reading and he still loves it. He was the only boy from his school to get a place but quickly made so many new friends that was never an issue. They certainly understand boys and how to motivate them.

When we once raised the possibility of moving he said he would rather stay at his school as a boarder than find a new school - says it all really. smile

abittoofat Fri 17-Feb-12 14:29:33

Does anyone know how Reading selects the 100 boys?
Is it the top 100 test results in catchment, or the closest 100 that were deemed 'suitable' to the school?

Milliways Fri 17-Feb-12 14:34:02

I believe it is the top 100 in catchment - but the primary school does have to fill in a report before the test (or did 6 years ago!).

It is all changing this year though - exam taken earlier so results are known before the school applications made to the council, but I'm not sure if results show your place in the exam as not all boys in top 100 take the place.


Idratherbemuckingout Fri 17-Feb-12 16:54:49

My friend's son went there a few years ago (he must be 28 now) and I think I recall her saying they took a top group of high flyers, then cherry picked the most interesting/ones they thought would contribute well etc from amongst the rest. I imagine area came into it somewhere. My friend lives in Newbury. Her son got straight As everywhere and went on to Oxford and a first.

abittoofat Fri 17-Feb-12 18:12:11

Scary stuff.
Thanks. Do most boys come from private or state schools?

Milliways Fri 17-Feb-12 20:42:32

There is a good mix - but a LOT come from private. DS's circle of friends at Reading are a different class to those at his Primary!

The Consultation document for admissions from 2013 is here - just scroll down to the Oversubscription bit for info on selection.

abittoofat Fri 17-Feb-12 23:07:02

Thanks Milliways - you know I've looked at the website loads, but never found that. Don't know why not.
So he has to score in the top 100 to secure a place really then.
Oh boy, I am finding this really stressful. DS is soooooooo happy at his prep but I just can't see a way to continue at this rate.

mumneedhelp Sun 19-Feb-12 15:13:23

Does anyone know what extra curricular activities are available at Reading School. Also, if there are after school clubs my DS can join and participate.

curiousmum15 Sun 19-Feb-12 23:49:51


Mummytime: Hi, I live in camberley and I am in the catchment area. My son did get admission to Royal grammar in Guildford and am currently waiting for Reading Grammar results. I have visited both and my son seem to like RGS though!

Hi All,

I heard that Reading Grammar only wants the boys to take 3 A level subjects instead of 4, is that true?

Do they put extra effort or classes for those doing better?

Although my son likes RGS, I am still considering Reading school. They both seem competitive.

I am just confused!

mumneedhelp Mon 20-Feb-12 06:41:00

Just like Curiousmum15 we are going through the same questions. We are in the same situation.

Really confused as to what we need to do for our DS.

mummytime Mon 20-Feb-12 13:25:37

If your son prefers one school, then I would find out why. This can help a lot in school choice, my son preferred schools where teachers were good at talking to him. Also he was very set against a school that seemed okay to me, after I personally had greater involvement at the school he disliked I have to say he was quite right.

Milliways Mon 20-Feb-12 18:08:35

My son is doing 4 subjects at AS (+ a further Maths AS level over 2 years) and he will drop to 3 full A2's, but some do keep 3.

Remember, they got 20+ pupils to Oxbridge last year, plus a heap more to law & med school so they DO know what they are doing! It is much better to get 3 solid A levels than 4 with even 1 poor result. If you are taking 4 then you may well be given an offer based on 4, which they can't do if you only sit 3. (My DD is an access office for her Cambridge college and she too advised DS to concentrate on 3 for the best chance for him.)

Oh, there are also plenty of clubs on offer in Yr7 - but a lot were in lunchtimes.

Milliways Mon 20-Feb-12 18:09:03

Oops - some keep 4 A2's!

Tortu Mon 20-Feb-12 19:06:47

Just cutting and pasting an article in The Times by a former pupil. I think it probably answers your question, because it just shows his thorough enjoyment of Reading school (and in case you're interested, I know all the boys mentioned in the article and the author. Tom got 6 As at A-Level and now, obviously, writes for The Times. Kieron got a PhD and makes a lot of money periodically doing something brilliant that nobody understands with computers, Mike is a biologist and is carrying out research into spiders):

Tom Whipple June 22 2011 12:01AM

Michael Gove has been urging state secondary schools to open at weekends. A former pupil explains why it’s a bad idea

The business studies teacher looked up (extremely slowly). His head moved (extremely slowly) from left to right. As with the week before, and the week before that, he registered with disappointment that his class had decided to turn up. “Right,” he said at last, his forehead returning to the desk, his hand moving to the remote control. “Since you’re all here: video time.”

Our Saturday morning lessons had begun, as was traditional with the younger teachers, with two periods of Double Hangover.

It was with a sense of overwhelming injustice that every Saturday for seven years I woke up to realise that I, well, had to wake up. Almost alone among state secondaries mine (Reading School) had decided to inflict an extra half-day’s lesson on us. The idea, doubtless, was to make us an academic powerhouse. That is clearly what Michael Gove was thinking when this week he called on more state schools to open on Saturdays.

But the problem for the Education Secretary is not just that his proposal will nurture a generation of irate Labour voters. It is also that everyone, from the head to the keenest Year 7, does not want to be there, and believe me they never will.

For us, Saturday school was five eighths of a normal day. After the first two periods of teacher-has-a-headache- so-please-be-quiet, we normally had a single period of why-the-hell-aren’t-we- all-in-bed? The day would end with double it’s-nearly-over-so-let’s-wind- down-a-bit. For those unlucky enough not to be picked up by guilt-ridden parents, there was then an hour of let’s-get-home-in-our-school- uniform-without-being-beaten-up.

It was during double physics that the incident happened which, I fondly imagine, convinced management that it was time to reappraise the Saturday school policy.

Double physics on a Saturday had long been designated by the teacher as an extra practical lesson. This particular day, Kieron, a good friend, was investigating conservation of momentum through the medium of a rubber ball and a metre stick held like a golf club. At the back of the class Mike was exploring thermodynamics with a physics game of his own devising. Called “thermometer masturbation”, the goal was to make a thermometer reach the highest temperature possible using friction alone. Mike was so dedicated, he even had blisters. That day he was to achieve a personal best of 61C.

But there was another reason that this class would prove notable. It was the one that the headmaster had chosen to visit with some parents. So it was that he opened the door to see Kieron mid golf-stroke and Mike mid another sort of stroke, his oscillating hands partially hidden by a cheering crowd. Kieron looked slightly abashed. Mike, ever the sportsman, barely lost his stride.

The headmaster did not, alas, stay to see him reach his record. Instead he shut the door and ushered the parents into chemistry. A few years later, Saturday school was abolished.

Tortu Mon 20-Feb-12 19:08:56

Oh gosh, curiousmum, I didn't answer your A-Levels question. I don't know Reading school's policy on A-Levels. However, I do know that Tom did four of his A-levels at the school (another one was whilst writing for The Times and one was at college whilst doing his other A-Levels), although that was more than ten years ago now.

gettingalifenow Mon 20-Feb-12 19:18:02

The boys at RGS generally only take 3 A2 s so there probably is little difference. They start with 4 ASs and then continue with three.

The exception is those doing further Maths where they carrying with all 4 - but as a significant proportion of boys do the two Maths option it does look like loads and loads are doing 4 A2s, but it's just the Maths which makes it look that way.

curiousmum15 Mon 20-Feb-12 22:05:27

Thanks Tortu, that was a real good article. I am very much into reading boys, but my boy seem to like RGS purely bcos he got a chance to go there for several week for his Masterclass and he seem to love the school!

I am finding it difficult to convince him about Reading school. I will ask him to read the article and comments in this column. he might as well change his mind.

Thank you all

mummytime Tue 21-Feb-12 09:05:49

I would say that if Reading still does Saturday school, that would make the decision for my kids. There is life outside school, even if only on the sports ground. RGS is a fab school.

Milliways Tue 21-Feb-12 16:49:07

Saturdays were stopped years ago. (DS is in 6th form, and his was the first Yr7 group where there was no-one left in the school who had ever had to attend on Saturdays I believe).

joeiaan Tue 03-Apr-12 02:45:46

just found this thread .. I am confused how to find some tuition and and help for prepare the test as i am new to reading any help ... my DS is 8 and in year 4 right now ..

pastoralacademia Tue 03-Apr-12 07:43:54

Check the elevenplus website. Try and use the bond books, AE Tuition books,... I hope this will help.

NCIS Thu 05-Apr-12 15:52:14

My ds finished at Rgs last year and is now at uni. He loved it and did very well. They don't seem to get a huge amount of homework which i think was good as it left time to do other things.
He did 4AS levels and then dropped to 3A2's.

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