A little confused about indie schools' acceptance/rejection
My DS will finish his exams for indie entrance in a few days and hopefully (with good luck, following wind, four leaf clover, black cat crossing rd etc) he might get an interview at a few of them. After that does anyone know what the process/ timescale for offers would be? Is it true there is a 'pecking order' with the more academic making their offers first? And where does it all fit in with the state schools' offer dates? And when does one usually need to have accepted the offer?
I am clueless because we are currently expats and have been out of the uk system for 9 years.
Thanks all for the skinny on the schools. We've not got into KGS and yet to hear from Hampton (but unlikely if not in at KGS). DS had a Skype interview for Claremont today which seemed to go fine.... He loves the look of the school and they were very friendly. He likes that the senior school is smaller too. I'm assured by friends that the CS stuff doesn't impact the teaching etc so not too worried about that. My kids go to catholic school here and I'm not catholic either.....
I would echo what racingheart says about Claremont, a few people go out from Richmond for the confidence building atmosphere. However you might want to make sure you understand and are comfortable with the Christian Science connection.
Claremont has a reputation locally for being very easy to get into. It's seen as the mop up school for people who didn't get in elsewhere. But that's a little unfair. I know families who are really happy with it. And I've met the most charming, socially aware and positive, active, community-spirited teens from there. I think its strength is to make its pupils feel confident and happy and motivated, wherever they fall on the academic spectrum. (Would say that's true of Reeds too but Reeds is fast gaining a reputation for improving academics.)
And if you haven't yet seen Claremont, it's stunning. Formal landscaped gardens surround a pretty little palace where they're taught.
TBH we are spoiled for good schools round here. The local state schools are both outstanding too but don't assume they're easier to get into. They're massively oversubscribed.
And thanks to copthall too!! my browser kept hiding posts....
Thanks joan and racing heart - your summaries are very helpful. It was really tricky to choose some schools as of course we don't have any teacher's recommendations here. In fact there are all amazed when I explain the selection process at age 11 and I've even been told that some of the NVR & VR papers they've looked at have been equivalent to what they've seen for selective high schools here! Although that could be all anecdotal so I'm not casting aspersions at the US education system.
When I chose I really just used the good schools guide in conjunction with a map and chose places relatively close to where we lived and tried to make a spread of 'selectivity'. I forgot to mention I also put down Claremont Fan Court.
All the exams are now over here and yet again (after helping with math homework) I am despondent..... no wonder he said he didn't have any trouble - it is easy when you're doing it all wrong but you don't know you're doing it all wrong!
My next thread will be all about state school in the Kingston/Surbiton area I'm sure.....
I would second most of Copthall's comments, Hampton isn't all A*s and prides itself on keeping all boys for 6th form regardless of their performance at GCSE. It also prides itself on being an old fashioned grammar, it feels like one, and concentrates on traditional boys grammar subjects. It is one of the strongest sporting schools in the country, it has 200 boys a year to pick teams from and they have very successful football and rugby teams at all ages, so the training must be outstanding.
KGS is much smaller and co-ed. You are never going to be able to compete against schools the size of Hampton if you only have a third of the number of their pupils to pick from - this could be frustrating for sporty boys. However, they do very well at hockey and rowing. The sports fields are really good but some distance from the school which is tight for space.
Reeds is a nice school, with really good sports facilities and a strong sporting ethos despite its size. They are usually national tennis champions, and are very strong cricketers. It used to be easy to get in, they have an outstanding SEN department, and boys with dyslexia were sent there. That was a few years ago, it is still generally seen as less desirable than the more selective schools, although I do know a few parents who have taken Reeds instead of Hampton because they think a smaller school will suit their DS better. Its still a bit of a back-up but it is now quite competitive to get into, albeit less than the aforementioned schools. It does give a fair number of bursaries to deprived children, so there is more of a mix of the very poor, very rich and some in the middle.
Radnor never visited, but lots of friends have, they use St Marys sports facilities a 5 minute walk away which are outstanding. They also use other playing fields near the Lensbury (DS's prep plays them there).
As you can probably tell DS is sport mad, these schools may have drama facilities etc, but someone else will have noticed and comment on them. I'm just trying to give you a feel for viewing these schools from a sports mums perspective.
Good Luck with choosing.
Hi DD1 did exams overseas and ended up not a million miles from Hampton. All these schools understand and value expat kids.
Know boys who went through KGS and Hampton. Hampton by no means all A* s . It's a big intake, six form entry by year 9? And quite mixed but they do a good job of supporting both ends of ability / motivation spectrum. More importantly the boys love the school. The last Head was impressive. The link with LEH works well, friendship groups end up mixed by sixth form, lots of interaction through drama music etc.
KGS also loved by it's pupils. Very good at focusing on individual potential. New head is young and switched on. On the up.
Radnor, as discussed a business, bankers rather than parents as governors but parents very happy so far, it seems to be really focused on pupils. You can see head/ deputy saying goodbye to everyone at door at end of day.
Reeds , pupils seem to like it but definitely not the most academic of schools around here.
I spoke to KGS. They seemed quite accommodating of my son's needs, which is always a good sign.
Hampton felt slightly large/intimidating, but strong sen dept here, albeit all extras charged at £40 per lesson or some such. Big extras bill each term I understand. Academically everyone seems to get a*s. Is this done without shenanigans? Have no idea. Impressive facilities, good bus network.
Reeds, for boys who didn't get into a more selective school. Very understanding pastorally. Science seemed good, maths not so great. Will get the brightest into Oxbridge, but they won't have much company at the school. Naicer than Hampton.
Radnor, no idea but a bit suspicious of the boys who would end up at a brand new school needing new pupils.
Papa, this is just one person's observations of them. I only know two of the schools quite well.
KGS - co-ed, inner city. For some reason it didn't feel right to us, so we didn't look at it. (It's right in the middle of a pretty grubby ring road in inner Kingston whereas the others I've visited are all down leafy lanes or spread out on huge grounds.) Heard lots of mixed reports, including that it's more suited to girls than boys. Everyone says the Head is good.
Hampton - facilities to die for. They seem to invest lots of their income back into the school (new theatre, new sports facilities.) Massive school. Very strong extra-curricular stuff going on. Also seems to be strong on all subjects - great arts, sports and sciences, so suits all different tastes. New Head is ex-deputy. Feels more public school-y to me than the others. Head of Academics told me it reminds him of Eton where he used to work. I admire it tremendously rather than warm to it - there's something about it that makes me feel a boy has to toughen up a bit to thrive there. (Not criticising - DS has sat for it and would be really glad to be offered a place.)
Reeds. Great school. Only 800 pupils, so class sizes are smaller than Hampton, and it has a cosy, friendly feel to it. Less academic but still gets good results. Very strong pastoral care and superb facilities - sports fields and swimming pool on site. Great at getting all boys involved in sport of some sort. Much more expensive but also includes more in the fees. It's set down a leafy lane and feels like a safe haven from the big bad world, which may or may not be a positive. Has an outrageously wonderful new design and technology suite which had DS slavering like a dog. Mixed boarding and day. Head's retiring soon which is a shame as I think he's brilliant.
Both Hampton and Reeds look like they'd be incredibly good fun to be at, and friends with boys at both schools are very enthusiastic. Don't know enough about the others to judge.
Radnor House - never seen this one. It's new and small. Run as a business not charitable status. Friends with a DS there are happy with it.
LIZS - true. It might be different for us. We are looking for day places as we will be back in the UK by the summer.
Timetables for those abroad may differ, presumably you are still looking for a day place though ?
Thanks racingheart. Like I said I have given up hope in the academic ones!! As we haven't actually visited these schools (cos we are overseas) can you give me the skinny on them?? PM me if you like. Thx.
Papa, we're sitting some of the same exams and most info has said offers will go out mid Feb with a deadline of 4th March for acceptances.
Ok ladies - that's enough. You wanna trade smack talk then take it elsewhere. Don't hijack my GENUINE question.
They certainly know all they need to know abut the likes of you Joan
you obviously don't know very much about them then.
Acceptance/rejection process? I thought they accepted any child who had parent/s daft enough to pay the extortionate fees.
Sorry - missed the expat bit! Good luck with it all. I'll certainly be glad when it's all over!
Because he's sitting his exams overseas we didn't get any pamphlets sent through to our school. I think I've got a good idea of what to expect now - thanks.
Hampton is part of the indie group (including Latymer, Emanuel and a lot of the girls' schools) that issues offer letters on 14th February and you are asked to accept after the state school date of 1st March. All the boys sitting Hampton were given a blue booklet at the end of the exam to give to parents explaining exactly what the procedure was following the exam.
what school year is he in currently, and what year is he applying for?
Thanks all for your replies. I've also got some more info from looking at the schools' calendars online. I'm interested in KGS, Hampton, Reeds and Radnor House..... But after helping DS with some of his maths homework tonight I think I'm about to give up hope that he'll get into any!! Where's the gin......?
If you could name the schools in question it should be possible to give some info.
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