Hall school Wimbledon- what's it like please(28 Posts)
Looking for senior school for Ds for year 11 entry for Sept 2014. Have Kgs and Hampton on our list but DS is currently at a state primary and although bright ( and tutored) I am worried he will not be at a good enough level in English to pass their entrance exams. (he has physical writing problems but not enough for a statement / typing dispensation etc).
A colleague mentioned the Hall, it looks nice, there is an entrance exam which surprised me as I thought it was non selective and on here it seems to have had a bad press.
can anyone share their experiences or views? Many thanks
Not been there myself, but when we were considering moving to Wimbledon, I remembering researching Hall on here - there are lots of threads already, just search for Hall School Wimbledon. But go along and make your own mind up obviously. Good luck.
We know a couple of children there who are very happy (but didn't get offers from anywhere else)
The children who go there from dc's school are on the whole the less academic children who maybe need a bit more nurturing. There's a lot of outdoorsy stuff, lots of trips etc and of course it's not particularly big so not intimidating in that way
As far as I can see the selection process is more to weed out any really tricky problems they're not equipped to deal with. They don't as far as I know accept statemented children (certainly didn't a few years ago).
If your ds is bright and in the top groups at primary there probably won't be enough other academically-minded children there to push each other and bounce off each other, however if your ds is struggling academically it may well be just the kind of place he needs
bear in mind it only goes up to 16
Ok thanks. He is top of the class in Maths but only middle for English but that is due to the writing issue more than an understanding issue. He likes to be pushed and is v competitive so maybe this would not suit.
Aghhhh can't wait to get this horrid selection process over with.
We have our 12 year old daughter there,it's her first year there. Honestly she loves it. As yet we have not been dissapointed, academically she is doing really well and she loves the non academic things. As yet I have nothing but praise.
If he is top of the year in maths, do not write off the english! boys often are slower to make progress in writing. my ds2 had offers from the most academic schools in London and also scholarship offers from hampton and emmanuel - to our surprise - on the basis of his maths and his interview - his english is not good...
I know a couple of boys at the hall who are very happy - they were nervous, quite types who would have ben miserable at eg hampton or kgs.
I think you have to visit and make up your own mind. It is a very 'alternative' school and frankly has a reputation for being a bit of a school 'for naughty boys'. But there are many people who are happy with it for their children and sometimes reputations are undeserved! If you get a good feel for the school when you visit and feel your questions are answered to your satisfaction it will probably be a good choice.
Just to add Jules, there is absolutely no comparison with KGS (I have girls and don't really know Hampton except by its excellent reputation).
I am sure that for the Head of the Hall, this would be seen as a positive thing. He is very anti-traditional types of education!
Am commenting here even though this thread looks a bit 'finished' - just to say that my daughter has been at Hall School Wimbledon since year 3 - now in the Senior School - it is very traditional, not at all 'alternative' (where does this idea come from!?), fairly academic, very sporty... The school days seem rather long (finish 5 pm) and the boy:girl ratio is too high - the girls are swamped! The head has NO idea of how to relate well to parents BUT it has been a lovely, sheltering, good enough school for our bright, sociable, talented DD.
Have you visited it yet Jules to see how well you think it would fit your DS?
Your gut feeling is a pretty good indicator of whether it will suit your family or not.
I am amazed to hear Mooma describe it as traditional and fairly academic. Other comments I agree with wholeheartedly though.
Hope your DS gets into his first choice school at the time of the exams.
Hi Julesnobrain, hope you did chose KGS or Hampton, I share Schmedz view, very 'alternative' school
Interesting thread. I would avoid HSW. Children there from 11, last has now left and I feel able to speak freely (in itself significant I suspect). Started with high hopes, but so disillusioned by authoritarian rule from Head, casual snobbishness revealed in multiple ways, absurd rules about small matters and disregarding important values, poor academic standards (all three children had to have tutors) and inequitable attitudes to pupils. Some great individual staff who kept us going, but I cannot recommend.
My son Luke has been at The Hall since year 3 and has loved every minute of his time there, in September he shall be starting his final year of senior school and I can not recommend this school highly enough, the school has helped my son deal with his dyslexia and now has much improved grades.
Definitely a 'Marmite school'- love it or loathe it. My opinions are in line with dad44's. not only inequitable attitudes to pupils either...
No experience of it apart from hearsay but if you are worried about your ds getting into kgs/kcs/hampton, etc., then they might not be the best schools for him. If he might need a bit more nurture have you looked at:
or even somewhere like Felton Fleet for a couple of years to help him consolidate his writing/get used to a bigger environment ahead of common entrance at 13?
I don't know anything about this school but I wouldn't worry about him not getting to selective schools as long as he is in top Math Group. My DS is really good at math but middle group English, he got into quite a few academically selective schools thanks to his math skills. Once they see his math level they are not that worried about anything else tbh.
When I first went to visit The Hall School, I knew it was the right one straight away. It had one thing that the other schools, I had been to visit, did not have in abundance ~ happy children. My ds has been there since reception and is now in the senior school. The school is fun and the Headmaster is very involved and approachable. My advice to you is to go and see the school for yourself and you will know instinctively that it is the right school for your children.
I've heard that Ibstock Place actively discourages anyone with all but the very mildest special needs (I have two sons on the spectrum so keep an ear out). If anyone has heard anything different, by all means say so, but this is what I've been told via the grapevine.
I'm adding on to this thread.....
We are moving to London in 2014.
Our kiddies will be years 7,6,2 and R in Sep 2014.
Does anyone know how bad the traffic is when driving between the two Hall School campuses?!
From the maps I'm looking at, they are 6km apart, which is a fair distance.
Groovy, with the traffic between the campuses it will take far longer than you think. Mind you, secondary campus is an easy walk to plentiful public transport and given that the pupils are all 11+ and there are many of them, it is very safe for them to be travelling to and from surrounding areas on their own. The A3 and Wimbledon Hill Road can become quite gridlocked so it can take a long time, particularly in the mornings for drop off, to get to junior campus. There is no decent public transport to the junior school apart from some bus routes that stop a fair walk away from the junior school. You could always walk across the Common which would possibly be quicker than driving, but this would be miserable in the rain and wind! And it would take at least half an hour with a four year old!!
It is a very unique school, junior probably better regarded than senior. On the plus side, there are bound to be places for each and every one of your children. You will probably have most trouble finding a place for your year 7 child as most, if not all of the 11+ tests have been done and offers are going out within the next few weeks/month. PM if you are interested in my thoughts and experiences of The Hall...not happy to share in public!
Definitely visit both schools if you possibly can (on your reccy from Oz) - you will know whether you like it for your children or not once you visit. I cannot tell you how important it is to see it for yourself, meet and talk to staff and students etc...before deciding!
You may wish to continue/start a new, related conversation on the Mumsnet Merton site as The Hall School is local:
My children have never been happier since they started Hall school Wimbledon. Despite the rumour and reputation that the school is not academically high achieving, their 11+ and GCSE results from the senior school show that the students are doing extremely well. (my DD and DS are still in the junior school. ) We choose Hall School Wimbledon because my very good mummy friend recommended that their teachers provide traditional and philosophical systems that allow the children to 'THINK' and not rely on 'GOOGLE'. If you are the type of parents who want your children to grow up to 'get immediate answers' rather than 'take time to think', perhaps the school isn't for you. Visit the school and see it yourself. Talk to the teachers when you visit, if you can. They are very friendly.
just to prove my point ... the most recent GCSE results of Hall School Wimbledon shown in the school news letter.
''I am happy to announce another fantastic set of I/GCSE results. 90% of all GCSEs were graded A* - C, and a third were graded at A* or A.''
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