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Charter's / Reading Boys / Kendrick

(24 Posts)
crazyname Wed 19-Jun-13 12:31:06

We are going to be moving in to the catchment area for these schools from outside the area so are looking for some local knowledge and advice please!

What are the local reputations for these schools?

Do children in the Charters catchment area head off to the grammar's in Reading, or Slough (logistics don't look that easy?), or do local children tend to stay local? Maybe there other schools we should consider?

We have a son and daughter. Both are pretty bright. Our daughter is a good allrounder, our son is not at all sporty, a bit quirky, and quite shy.

We don't feel strongly about coed vs single sex, or grammar vs comprehensive, or even having both children at the same school, we just want the right school for the children to thrive and belong within the community.

Thanks for your thoughts.

mumsneedwine Wed 19-Jun-13 13:04:21

Most kids in catchment state schools tend to go to Charters. A few go to Grammars but most don't think it's worth the effort ! I have had 3 through Charters, 1 there now and one joining in Sept. All mine have loved it,whether sporty, arty or whatever. Latin is for brightest at English, maths is fast track for those who want it and they do 2 languages for 3 years. Loads of after school clubs from sport to model railways. Lots of local friends (ascot racecourse will be over run with them later today). Oh and my 3 eldest are all at Oxbridge - school encourages them to aim high !
Out of my year 6 daughters current class, 90% are going to Charters. As are 4 of her friends from the Marist. Anything else you want to know please ask.

crazyname Thu 20-Jun-13 10:06:36

Hi mumsneedwine (good name!). That all sounds wonderfully positive! Also good to hear that non sporty kids do OK - I was a bit worried by the specialist sports status, having a son who doesn't enjoy football, rugby or cricket... How much of those sports would the boys play as part of the curriculum, do you know? Or is there an alternative sports program for boys who are not great at the traditional team ball sports?

And another question if you don't mind. Both our kids will be coming form private preps (we didn't have a decent local state primary and are finally getting around to moving!). We are told that they will be 1-2 years ahead of the national curriculm by the end of year 6, not because they are super bright but because that is just the way the school operates. It sounds like there are other children coming in to year 7 from the private sector, and I'm guessing that the local junior schools may also be a bit ahead - my only worry is that rather than possibly having done some of the work before being an advantage (eg they will both have done 1 - 2 years latin) , my kids may be tempted to 'sit back' and mess around (one of them in particular...) Presumably the school is used to dealing with this and would get them to put in some effort??

mumsneedwine Thu 20-Jun-13 14:16:06

Hi. There is a large intake of prep school kids (Marist, Hall Grove & many others) so they are used to dealing with this. Also, the kids coming in differ massively in range and they are set for maths & English pretty early. The levels for top sets are high - level 8 maths in year 8 & level 7 for English & Science. There are some exceptionally brainy kids there so I wouldn't worry about that. Yours may be 2 years ahead but please prepare them not to be - local primary schools are all v good (prep school kids do not all end up in top sets). And if they do choose to muck about they will be in for a very unpleasant surprise ! Discipline is enforced strictly and points given out for misdemeanours, including uniform and forgetting homework/PE kit. 30 points and its automatic half day suspension - no discussion !!
My DD is currently sitting the first part of her FCSE in French & Spanish in Year 8 and has decided not to carry on with GCSE Latin next year.
Sports wise, they do the traditional sports but lots of other stuff too - basketball, trampolining, fencing, rowing. Anything else, please ask. It is a comp and so has all sorts of kids, bit it seems to do well by all of them. I would suggest a look at its website and read the Co-Headteacher news - gives a good idea what they get up to. They are in the National Final of the School Trials thing this year.

Sianilaa Sat 22-Jun-13 14:46:07

Between myself and my husband, we have attended two of these schools and I have taught at two of them also. We are looking at Charters and Reading boys for our sons (but they're 5 years away from applying!).

I've heard good things about Charters and most people in catchment will send their child there or will pay private, not many make the trip to Reading or Slough grammars (I have also taught in Slough grammars).

Those local children that do go to grammars tend to get the train into Reading (or bus to Slough I believe) to and from school, which does make it a pretty long day.

I'm totally biased but Kendrick is a fantastic school, great for academic girls.

Sianilaa Sat 22-Jun-13 14:48:12

Also bear in mind of they travel to go to grammars, they will have very few local friends so you may spend a lot of time ferrying them around at weekends or leaving to public transport. This made me really independent as a child and young teen so not necessarily a bad thing.

If you want more info on Kendrick let me know. I know it very well indeed.

Jenny580 Thu 27-Jun-13 16:01:02

My best friend was bullied horrendously at Charters, as were her siblings and friends. Rotten pastoral care/values. Staff turn a blind eye to rude and disgusting behaviour. Witnessed girls being sexually harassed. Notice boards and toilets defaced with obscenities. Mixed-race girl being taunted as 'rubber lips' by pupils and staff watching and doing nothing. Pupil stripped naked on school trip by bullying peer group. Teachers being sworn at by pupils and unable to control classes. Those who do well, do so despite the school, not because of it, since their parents are well off in an expensive area and buy in private tutors. Lots of teachers at Eton and the grammar schools are coaching Charters pupils on the side, but parents hide this fact from others. The school is too large, impersonal and willing to accept mediocrity. In my view, if you send a child there you risk damaging their self-confidence, self-esteem and proper moral and social development for life.

choccyp1g Thu 27-Jun-13 18:37:15

OMG Junney580 was this recently? I have a friend with a daughter there, would hate to think this is still going on.

mnistooaddictive Thu 27-Jun-13 18:39:54

I taught at Charters for 5 years and in that time I didn't hear if a single incident

mnistooaddictive Thu 27-Jun-13 18:41:09

I taught at Charters for 5 years and in that time I didn't hear of a single incident of a teacher being sworn at. I don't recognise the school Jenny describes.

mumsneedwine Thu 27-Jun-13 19:18:24

Think Jenny is so off the mark its quite ridiculous. I have had 4 kids there over a total of 12 years and I have NEVER heard of any of those incidents. Pastoral care has been excellent, bullying dealt with promptly and as for tutoring ?? I don't know one student who has been tutored (& I know a lot of them). I have passed your post onto the school as I believe it is potentially libellous so I hope you have substantive evidence to back your claims up.
Believe hearsay or go visit yourself. Oh, and if you see naked students being sexually harassed please let me know.
Just let my DD read your post and she's stuck a copy of it on Facebook to show all her friends. She thinks its hilarious.

exoticfruits Thu 27-Jun-13 19:25:25

Charters has a great reputation- I can't see why they would want to travel to Reading. The grammar schools mentioned are very selective- very few will get a place.

mumsneedwine Thu 27-Jun-13 19:30:39

OP, if you call the school they can arrange for you to have a tour. The Heads take parents round and are very honest about their school.
Also, read the weekly newsletters and Charters News magazine. As you will see there is currently a clamp down on girls rolling up their skirts - anyone caught doing so will received points. I always think if this is all a school has to worry about it must be doing something right !
Ascot is a v friendly place to live and most of us aren't rich !

Jenny580 Fri 28-Jun-13 15:21:32

sorry to worry those with children there now. My friend was there many years ago. it probably is a very different school now and the staff certainly won't be the same ones.

mumsneedwine Fri 28-Jun-13 16:13:58

Was a bit shocked Jenny ! I have never heard anything like you said and I've had kids there for over a decade. Think my DD wishes she could just get away with a bit of mascara let alone anything else !! It's been so helpful to my family through various things and I feel a bit protective towards it.

LaVolcan Fri 28-Jun-13 17:19:10

So why post then Jenny if it was years ago? Lots of schools change over time - some bad ones improve tremendously and sadly some good ones go downhill.

It is difficult to shake off a reputation. My son's old primary quietly improved until it became outstanding but was avoided because of an earlier bad reputation, while people only woke up to the fact that a popular school had gone downhill when it went into special measures!

Jenny580 Fri 28-Jun-13 19:14:56

I'm pleased to hear if the school has changed. I took a look at the website and it does seems to have improved. I hope so, since it did not do well by many children in the past.
As well as my friend's account described, I was there myself for 7 years, not too long ago; the most profoundly unhappy years of my life. My own memories of pupils and staff behaviour are far worse than any I mentioned here. I would not want to go into it on a site such as this - and like you say, maybe this is all history now.
However, I would say to any parent - this is a very big school and all schools have bullying. I was sorry to see posts suggesting that 'this couldn't possibly happen at Charters'. Children must feel safe to report abuse and bullying endured, without fear of whether they will be believed.
By the way, I did write to the school at the time to report the verbal, emotional and physical bullying; my parents raised it at parents meetings (and were just told by my tutor "I don't know why you have your daughter in a school like this") - and the school did nothing; I raised concerns in 'pupil questionnaires' and nothing was ever done in response to any of these attempts to deal with the issues. Being sworn at on a daily basis, spat at and having possessions stolen became a way of life there. I sat through one lesson crying with distress and the teacher just ignored it. One of my sibling was physically assaulted by pupils in lessons, who inflicted bad bruises with rulers (nothing happened to the aggressors). So yes, I do have first hand evidence and I write this because I would not want another child to suffer the way I and my peers did. Hopefully, the school is very different now. I still maintain that I would recommend parents keep a close eye on a child there and move swiftly to take action if they have concerns.

Tinyfeetbiggob Fri 28-Jun-13 19:22:52

I taught at Charters for a while a few years ago - good school, nice pupils, friendly staff. I've taught at several state comps/independant schools in Berks and I'd say from my own experiences charters comes out well - it is a very good school.

mumsneedwine Fri 28-Jun-13 19:27:20

It sounds so different to the Charters I know that I am still very surprised. There is definitely bullying at the school (as the heads will tell you on the tour), BUT its how they deal with it that is so impressive.
As an example, an incidence of nasty comments was made on Facebook and school were informed. Next morning every student who had posted, either nice or bad, was hauled into the hall to be met by 2 policemen. They proceeded to inform them that next time any of them were caught doing this they would be arrested. These were year 7 students. Bullying is investigated immediately (my daughter has given a witness statement as she was near by when one incident happened) & bullies are dealt with very harshly.
Any school that says it doesn't have incidents of bullying is lying. It's what they do about it that matters.
Teachers are mostly fantastic (the odd one isn't as popular !).
Sorry you had a bad time but 4 kids and many years have only given me positive experiences. Last one is joining in Sept.

Gunznroses Fri 28-Jun-13 19:41:53

Mumsneedwine - how they dealt with the FB incident sounds quite impressive, not many schools would do that.

exoticfruits Fri 28-Jun-13 19:42:44

Schools can change completely in just a couple of years- it is a shame that sometimes they get stuck with a completely outdated reputation.

Hattiehoo Tue 02-Jul-13 16:55:42

Just a question for sianilaa about Kendrick- ( so vaguely still relevant to OP's post). Can you tell me some of the positives about Kendrick especially when compared with other places you have taught. I have a DD st Kendrick and have always struggled to warm to it. My DD seems to do very little work although the teachers seem very happy with her at parents' evening. I suppose I had been expecting academic girls who would be sensible types but am shocked by the language/ very short skirts and wide spread use of sites like ask . fm where the questions are vicious. I wish I could feel positive about it as so many say it is wonderful. What am I missing?

crazyname Thu 04-Jul-13 12:32:06

Thank you all for your comments - I didn't anticipate such a lively chat! Goodness, lots of food for thought. I guess we need to get ourselves on to the open days and see for ourselves.

crazyname Thu 04-Jul-13 12:32:34

Thank you all for your comments - I didn't anticipate such a lively chat! Goodness, lots of food for thought. I guess we need to get ourselves on to the open days and see for ourselves.

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