Hall school Wimbledon- what's it like please(29 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
Pumpkinpie3 thank you, that is so great to hear as I really feel the school reflects my ethos with regard to their Pastoral care especially. Dd about to start in year 7 and they have been nothing but charming.
As a student of Hall School Wimbledon, I thought I would talk about the school a bit from my personal perspective, considering that I have been located at this school for 9 years. I am currently in year 10 doing my GCSE course.
Firstly, I have to address the issue that I have seen some talking on this forum about how Hall School Wimbledon has a lack of highly academic students; This is simply not true. Hall School has a wide-ranging variety of students, some who are brilliant in academics, some who are still working to improve them. Personally, I think that this level of diversity between students provides a unique experience in the positive learning environment that is extremely beneficial for all of the children, that most schools cannot offer. It teaches understanding, patience, and virtues to students. There are many students in my year group who are capable of achieving a position at Kings College School, a school renowned for its excellent standards in education. Many of my classmates are currently heading towards receiving straight A* across the board in all the subjects they have taken. However, they will not leave the school as there is no reason to. They love the environment of the school, the education, and their friends,
Secondly, I have looked at many other schools and have experienced my best friend and other good friends vacate their position at the school. Almost every single one of these friends say with confidence that they wish that they had never left. While at the school, it is extremely difficult to understand the true wonders that the schools atmosphere provides. People at the school work as a community, everybody know everyone. This allows students to enjoy a warm, comforting and friendly environment so students can develop social skills and let their confidence thrive. Students at this school get to know their teachers incredibly well, allowing teachers to personally cater for each child's educational needs, whatever they may be. When a child enjoys a particular teacher and their lessons, they respect the teacher much more and gain an interest for that subject and work harder to please the teacher.
That brings me onto my final point. The children that are at this school are some of the happiest children that you could find. Every child has good friends and quality, friendly teachers that give every child his own support network to help him with all of his needs. The children are also kind, courteous, ambitious and confident making them well equipped for future life.
Some additional extras
-Good, Quality food. (All the headmasters traditional family recipes)
-Personal Tutor system is excellent. (every child supplied with own personal teacher with weekly meetings to discuss educational matter/ any issues concerning them)
-Improving ICT infrastructure around school. (New lab with 30 macs, brand new cart full of HP laptops, Cisco wifi hubs set up around school, art room equipped with IPad Pro and 65" TV)
-Good new, local sports grounds (While not on site, Hall School has recently acquired the Oberon Playing Fields that are expansive and a quick walk away. New Astro turf, play house being implemented)
-Good music staff/equipment (Recently outfitted with brand new piannos)
-Each child treated well and personally (every child given full cake for him/her and his entire class on their birthday)
-New bathrooms are nice (Hand automated taps, soap)
-Large variety of sports played year round.
-Six Form location is constantly being looked out for.
Would take note of:
-While ICT has been improving vastly, work needs to continue.
-Currently, no Six form. Children must change schools after the Hall.
I have a friend with 2 dcs at the Hall and they are very happy with it, they did mention the petty snobbery thing from the head though. I know other people with children there who are not quite as happy but not unhappy with the school
Thomas I don't think the GCSE results you posted are helping your case! 91% A-A* at Hampton and 82% at KGS.
However as the Hall is non selective this is to be expected, so I don't really see the point of quoting these figures at all really.
I think OP has probably already decided on her choice of school by now
As is the case with every school, there are some that suit some children better than others. It is disingenuous of thomas to suggest that HSW has a monopoly on teaching children to 'think' as opposed to just 'google'.
There is also a difference in what is perceived as being 'academic'. To me, a school where 10% of the GCSE cohort don't achieve above 'C' grades, and where 2/3 of the grades are below an 'A' is not particularly impressive.
The school is perceived to offer many benefits outside of exam results which I suppose justifies the high fees. For children whose skills and talents don't necessarily translate to high examination results, no doubt HSW could be a good option. As everyone knows, high marks at GCSE don't always equate with life skills or future success and happiness.
I have several friends who teach at the school who I would be more than happy to teach my own children - they are great people and super teachers. However, the school as a whole is most definitely the 'wrong fit' for our family.
i agree with Thomas that, rather than seeking advice on mumsnet, you need to visit the place for yourself and make up your own mind. Every school has people who've had a bad experience, and others who swear it is the best thing since sliced bread!
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.''
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.
You may wish to continue/start a new, related conversation on the Mumsnet Merton site as The Hall School is local:
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!
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.
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.
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 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.
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?
Definitely a 'Marmite school'- love it or loathe it. My opinions are in line with dad44's. not only inequitable attitudes to pupils either...
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.
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.
Hi Julesnobrain, hope you did chose KGS or Hampton, I share Schmedz view, very 'alternative' school
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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