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Hurtwood House

(25 Posts)
Bluestockings Thu 14-Nov-13 08:43:34

Am interested in this school but keep hearing rumours - unsubstantiated - about drugs. Anyone know anything - please?

OP’s posts: |
DalmationDots Sun 17-Nov-13 12:09:43

Don't know about drugs but it may fit as it is very drama/arty and generally fairly rich students (I realise this is a big over-stereotype though).
I have heard (but via rumour so unsure of how true this is) that it is fairly strict, i.e. cannot do the music/dance/drama/art/film class in the afternoons unless you have done all your A level work in the morning and handed in all homework.
Heard that the boarding houses are mostly mini bus drives away which creates a different atmosphere to other boarding schools.
Meant to be very good for a DC who needs structure and a bit of motivation to work. I guess they have to be very arty though to enjoy it.
Best way is to go and look and question the pupils if they show you around or the teachers about whether they have issues with drugs and how it is dealt with.

homebythesea Tue 19-Nov-13 12:55:07

Given the fees are £10k a term I think you can assume the pupils are a moneyed bunch on the whole. having said that I don't believe it will have any more or less drugs around than any of the local private schools (or state come to that) - they will be in every school if you look hard enough / hear the right gossip

What I have heard about Hurtwood is that the pastoral care is excellent and they really do get the best out of the pupils academically, with the added attraction of the music/dance/drama specialism

Bluestockings Wed 27-Nov-13 08:56:58

Many thanks, DalmationDots and homebythesea and sorry to be slow to acknowledge. Really helpful!

OP’s posts: |
NorthBucksMum Wed 27-Nov-13 21:45:01

For 2013, The boarding fees are £12,250 a term and approaching £9,000 for day. These fees are so much higher than anywhere else you must really want to go there, IMO.

I do not have any inside track on Hurtwood, but very many schools (independent and state) have children experimenting with drugs. However, most kids are not stupid enough to get caught. I always believed my children would have enough common sense not to join in and I felt secure that I had done my best to teach them not to get involved if they came upon drugs. Also, if children are not aware of drug use by students at their school, they definitely will become aware of drugs at university. They have to be resilient and not succumb to addictive habits. If they want drugs, however, they will find them.

FunBagsThree Sun 16-Mar-14 18:47:43

I'm probably replying a bit late but I just wanted to say my daughter recently finished two years at Hurtwood House and loved every minute ... all her friends in Dulwich seem to take way more drugs than anyone from Hurtwood, in fact she found it a pretty drug free zone. Yes, it is pricey but we took a lodger (I know not everyone can) and I don't regret a penny of it. She was so happy there ... I really do recommend it if you can afford it. All boarding schools are hideously expensive, let's face it, but if it's boarding you're after, Hurtwood gets my vote. She misses the place desperately!

ehogan75 Mon 03-Apr-17 13:01:47

For the mum who's daughter attended Hurtwood, i'm interested to send my son here but he is not interested in Drama - would that matter or is it really just geared up for children interested in Drama/Arts? Thanks..

homebythesea Mon 03-Apr-17 14:04:55

ehogan why would you want to send DS to the most expensive school in the country if he is not going to get the benefit of all it has to offer? It is very much geared up to expressive and performing arts - both at the front end but also on the tech side - so if he is interested in film editing, lighting, sound etc or is musical then you might get the most of it. Otherwise I would save your ££ and look elsewhere!

bojorojo Tue 04-Apr-17 12:33:23

Boarding now £13,600 per term. Your child really has to want this school! Do explore all the arts courses it has to offer but you could get somewhere great for less if the curriculum does not suit him.

Nhussin Sun 07-Jan-18 23:06:13

My girl join HH in september last year. She is so unhappy there n wanted to leave. The teachers are not helpful n most of the girls there are very nasty to my girl. The very few friends she made there confirmed this to me. Its a very expensive school. I plan to speak to the head teacher n his deputy soon.

Happy25 Wed 19-Sep-18 07:26:59

Hi just wondered if you resolved the issues with Hurtwood House and your daughter ?
We are thinking of sending our child there .
Any other current reviews for Hurtwood House school would be welcome .

KCollins28 Fri 21-Sep-18 23:39:24

My daughter went to HH two years ago and had the time of her life. The college is unlike any other in the country, run by a lovely family whose goal is to cherish the talent of its community (in the Arts, Humanities, Sciences and Mathematics to name a few!) The family atmosphere filters through the whole school, and the students exude a real feeling of being totally at home and comfortable, you only have to walk around to get a sense of their community. It is the polar-opposite to most colleges, whose senior leadership teams tend to stay behind close doors, at Hurtwood the interaction between the staff and students is what makes it so special. They are not selective on grades but still the school manages to have an impressive set of results year after year, but more importantly for me was the fact that my daughter had access to opportunities that blew me away (especially considering she had been in state education for her whole school career.) She had teachers who were in her words 'incredibly inspiring' and unlike teachers at all really!! (More often than not professionals in their field who want to pass on their expertise in a school that values their experience.) The Enigma programme that the students partake in twice a week means that they can try out a whole range of activities to supplement their academic qualifications. The investment in the school shows, that truly are West End standard (I highly recommend that you go and see their 'Hairspray' this Christmas so you can see for yourself) is just a sheer gift for those with a talent for performing and there is no denying that the school has talent in abundance! I could not have asked for a more wonderful school family for my daughter to be part of and she flourished under their guidance. Her particular interest was creative writing and she had weekly sessions with a professional poet invited to teach a weekly group... Hurtwood is something of a dream factory really, they take students who come earnestly with a passion and try their best to give them all the help they can, using their alumni to share with students contacts and experience in the industries they want to progress in (a friend of hers got to interview Hans Zimmer in Boston after finding her passion lay in music technology and composing) and for that I cannot fault them. What is so special about this school is that it is entirely unique, with a group of students from every background imaginable, from all over the world, who each have something to contribute which makes learning refreshing and interesting. I'm disappointed to hear rumours of drug activity, in my daughter's experience Hurtwood had a tougher drugs policy than any other school that her friends attended and they had (and still have) weekly spot drug tests with the guarantee of immediate expulsion if you test positive. I cannot thank the Jackson family enough for giving my daughter the most fulfilling and enjoyable two years and providing her with opportunities and friendships that will stay with her for a lifetime.

Happy25 Sat 22-Sep-18 09:18:58

Wow that’s a fantastic review . Thank you so much for posting on here .
If there’s anything else you think of please do let me know .
And if anyone else would like to share their experiences on Hurtwood House I would so appreciate it and would love to hear .
Kindest regards
Happy 25

topaz100 Sun 14-Oct-18 16:51:18

My daughter started at Hurtwood in September. She previously attended a private day school and was a drama scholar.

So far she / we are having a great experience. There is a zero tolerance to drugs and you sign a form agreeing to random drug tests if required.

We get grades every Monday, which works really well for my daughters drive. As school is Mon - Fri lots of children go home at weekends. My daughtr comes home about every third weekend as we are quite far away. Communication from school is excellent. My daughter feels the teaching is also excellent.

All the best


Happy25 Sun 14-Oct-18 18:21:59

Thank you so much for letting us know .
It’s great to hear an update on the school and it’s policies first hand .
I hope your daughters time there continues to be a happy one .

boardingschool Sat 24-Nov-18 17:11:50

I am a student that is currently in the school, I can confirm that there is a lot of drugs in the school, especially because the high net worth of the families, coke, ket and pills aren't an uncommon thing for the students to be doing. It is hard to enjoy the school if you aren't from the main groups of people such as , London, Russian or Chinese. I completely hate the school but I need my A Levels and a can't move schools without messing up my A levels. Large amounts of students are expelled for drugs but they are the only ones that get caught. Over 50 % of the kids do drugs often. People also go out to the forest and do drugs or sneak out in the middle of the night. Largely not worth the money if you aren't largely into the musical theatre side.

VanCleefArpels Sun 25-Nov-18 11:02:13

AS a current parent I can happily say boardingschool is over exaggerating to the nth degree, as is typical of teenagers! Yes there will always be drugs in a sixth form, but those who are caught are shown the door so quickly their feet do not touch the ground.

What I have mostly been impressed with is the absolute focus on the academics, constant feedback on grades and open lines of communication with staff. They really do get to know each student well. That, on top of the professional standard theatre and media facilities makes for a really special experience. It’s very full on, very little down time, but they get fabulous results at the end.

Bekabeech Sun 25-Nov-18 11:43:20

Fascinating thread - and very suspicious.

Personally as a Surrey (State school) parent I would expect a lot of drugs - they easily get them into Prison so boarding school should be no challenge.
Some schools and colleges may be "management behind shut doors" but plenty of others are far more open - and can be a bit of a shock after being in the lower school.

VanCleefArpels Sun 25-Nov-18 12:28:46

Why suspicious Bekabeech ? I don’t deny there are drugs at Hurtwood - my DC tells me about it. Also don’t doubt that those that go home for the weekend or out to Guildfird etc for a night out do indulge. But to say over 50% do drugs is way off the mark

Jammamum Mon 26-Nov-18 22:39:54

Hurtwood House is a fab school

mangos1 Mon 26-Nov-18 23:18:09

My daughters interested in attending HH and seems to like it as it mentions on their website students have a lot of independence however she isn't into drama as much but is interested in art, photography and business studies. would this be a good option for her? However I'm also concerned about the school fees being quite pricey.
feedback would be much appreciated and help us in her decisions for her 6th form.

VanCleefArpels Tue 27-Nov-18 07:34:15

mangos my DC doesn’t do the. By the having seen the product of the photography and art departments in exhibitions then I don’t think you will be disappointed! As I said before they are really hot on the academic side and the results speak for themselves (especially impressive as they are not academically selective). Yes it’s far more relaxed than a trad school, and won’t suit everyone. Not for wallflowers and yes it’s eye wateringly expensive

Virgina360 Tue 26-Feb-19 18:31:24

Hi Van Cleef Arpels, can you tell me if there is an additional fee for the activities and sports at HH. Also, does your DC go home at the weekends? We do not live closeby and it would not be an option for us.

Annabel1998 Thu 27-Jun-19 16:51:27

Please could you tell me if hurt wood house would be suitable for a bright child, very arty but has come from a real troubled background? Is there plenty of councillors at hand and how good is the pastoral care? Poppy

Imoinda09 Sun 20-Oct-19 15:57:21

Hi I'm a mum of a sixteen year old who is currently studying for his IGSEs. We live abroad but intend to return to the UK for him to do his A Levels. We have been looking at Boarding schools and are interested in:

- Seaford college
- Pangbourne College
- LVS Ascot

I would really appreciate any recommendations on these schools. How difficult is it to get in? What's the interview process like? What is the Sixth Form like there?

My son is not particularly academic but very sociable and adaptable.

Thank you in advance for your comments.

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