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The big Eton, Harrow, Radley, Winchester question...

(226 Posts)
TinkerBellThree Thu 27-Feb-14 14:29:25

I have been reading a lot of threads on this site and found it hugely informative (and sometimes quite amusing). I hope you don't mind me picking your brain as I find that I am increasingly confusing myself.confused

Our DS is in year 5 and we have started to visit senior schools for him.
We have seen Radley, Harrow, Eton and Winchester, and been to a few co-ed schools as well, but have decided that single sex is probably more right for DS.

DS is quite academic (though I tend to believe he is not as much so as his school tells me he is), sporty and very competitive. He is very social and he loves to try out new things.

Our DS' Prep is adamant that he is made for Eton and Eton is made for him, and I must admit we loved the school when we visited, so we have put his name down there. However, it is exceedingly hard to get into and I am not counting my chickens (and I think the likelihood of a place is slimmer than slim) so I believe we need (several) back-up(s) - so here is where I am getting confused...

Radley (who I understand is a "normal" backup for Eton) is not encouraged by our DS' school (not sure why) and Harrow worries me a little with its reputation of not being very challenging academically (has this changed?).

Originally we ruled out Winchester as it was not "sporty" enough, but having been to visit, we have had to re-think as we found there were lots of opportunities for our DS to do sports. Our DS' Prep think it should be on our list - but is a boy so "suited" for Eton really suited for WinCol?

All the above schools are within easy reach of where we live, so we will have ample opportunity to see matches etc.

Where should we put DS' name down? For all the schools on our list + some (as he may not get into any of the above)? Or should we be more focused?

I know a lot of you have vast amounts of experience and possibly been through the same conundrum yourself, and I would really very much appreciate your input.

villaoformen Thu 13-Oct-16 16:31:28

wow, just wow

Quiosegagne Thu 13-Oct-16 09:29:38

The clue was in the sentence regarding tea afterwards..... I assume someone failed to get in to E,H or the like. Sadly we do come across envy frequently at sporting events so one gets used to it. I would respectfully suggest your second hand match report is missing the other side of the story, should there indeed be one. I am sure the referee was aware or made aware of any incidents and would already have taken it up with the schools involved as there is zero tolerance for these alleged incidents and the boys would have been sent off immediately. Biting on the neck is a new one on me (and since my DH played county rugby I have come across most injuries...)so would politely suggest that is more likely to be something else, though any lasting marks on the neck should be questioned. I am most interested though in the rationale for your posting though as doesn't seem to be much to do with the topic, perhaps you could elaborate?

villaoformen Thu 13-Oct-16 08:00:52

Super impressed you managed to watch all four games simultaneously Quiosegagne.

It wouldn't occur to me to post a fictitious account of the match to bad mouth a school and certainly not because of a lost/drawn match. Interesting to see how your minds are working though Quiosegagne and peteneras.

Quiosegagne Thu 13-Oct-16 05:55:23

I have no problem throwing spanners in the works nor letting any cats out of the proverbial bags! On the basis that following the matches, all parents come together for tea afterwards and so any bad play, or incidents, would be discussed then, I am astounded to hear these accusations being banded around and can only assume this is an attempted put down of my DS's school. Sadly this is what you get from envious quarters and expect parents at Eton will encounter similar. Rugby is a physical, contact sport and some of the boys in this age group will be playing match rugby for the first time so will find it tough going initially.

peteneras Thu 13-Oct-16 01:45:37

Uh-huh . . . very interesting indeed, Quiosegagne, you’ve just thrown a spanner into the works!

Like I said before, the post about bad behaviour in a particular Harrow rugby match upthread was pretty ambiguous as there were too much missing information which led me to ask about the point of the message and to ask a list of questions for clarification. Instead, I was told the message was “crystal clear” and it was supported by another poster who claimed that the message was “not ambiguous to me at all”.

We now know the answers to my list of questions are complete and utter rubbish and the self-proclaimed “genius” who claims to know it all actually need to go back to school to decipher a message. Well, actually I could have most of the answers to my own queries myself with just a few simple clicks here and there but then I thought why should I bother?

And now that Quiosegagne had let the cat out of the bag, so to speak, that the rugby match in question was against Dulwich, I thought maybe for once I should get to the bottom of this.

Lo and behold, the entire Harrow School rugby teams (with one exception, Bishop's Stortford) were indeed playing Dulwich College on the 24th of September 2016!

So, the answers to all my questions are not ”against Harrow” - ”Harrow boy to OP’s team member” - ”OP’s team member bitten by Harrow boy”, etc.

”Spot on whatatod0”

You have shown yourself to be disingenuous. I’ve shown my doubts right from the start.

Quiosegagne Tue 11-Oct-16 22:30:51

Very interesting Villaoformen, should any of this be true, by any boys on either of the two teams playing on that day, then without doubt this must be reported, though believe you are referring to the match vs Dulwich on the Saturday, which I was at, and I didn't see or hear any of this happening on the pitch. As a further little point, since the H team is truly 'global' with many different ethnicities, I find it hard to believe such a comment came from H. I suspect a little bit of skullduggery is afoot here, perhaps losing to H led to some exaggerated excuses??

villaoformen Sat 01-Oct-16 10:57:54

Spot on whatatod0

peteneras Sat 01-Oct-16 00:12:26

Ahh yes, all very well, whatatod0, with the benefit of the poster’s later additional information in response to my queries:

”I would certainly want to know what kind of boy my son could be sharing a dorm/classroom/pitch with."

I did say it was not immediately clear to me with her/his first original post, i.e. without the benefit of the later above quote.

whatatod0 Fri 30-Sep-16 22:55:16

peteneras -

the post read to me as,
1. U14 rugby.
a) against Harrow
b) against Harrow.
2. against Harrow.
3. Harrow boy to OP's team member.
4. Harrow boy to OP's team member.
5. Harrow boy to OP's team member.
6. OP's team member bitten by Harrow boy.

Not ambiguous to me at all.

peteneras Fri 30-Sep-16 20:43:04

Might be crystal clear to you, villlaoformen, but not immediately to me.

Eg:

1.Which school team did Harrow play against in that particular rugby match?
a) Was it one of the other 3 named schools on this thread?
b) Was it against another independent school other than the ones on this thread?

2.Was it even against a state school?

3.Who made those nasty racial comments - was it made by a fellow Harrovian to another Harrovian?

4.Or was it made by a member of the opposing team to a Harrovian?

5.Or maybe a Harrovian making the remark to a member of the opposing team?

6.Same questions apply to the bite marks - just so that you are aware, members of the same team do sometimes commit assaults against a fellow team member (for personal reasons) especially in the set scrums . . .

So, pretty ambiguous . . . to me.

villaoformen Fri 30-Sep-16 19:39:43

Peteneras, I thought my point was crystal clear and required no explanation. As the post is discussing the relative pros and cons of Eton, Harrow and Winchester, I would have thought a recent encounter such as this had a very relevant point. I would certainly want to know what kind of boy my son could be sharing a dorm/classroom/pitch with.

Eton2017, it was indeed shocking and disgusting behaviour and you are right, I should be reporting it to Harrow and I will tomorrow.

Eton2017 Fri 30-Sep-16 08:18:40

villaoformen I hope you reported that disgusting behaviour to Harrow; if not, I'd urge you to do so immediately.

peteneras Thu 29-Sep-16 19:45:49

Sorry, villaoformen, you lost me there . . . don’t quite know what your point was. But your son was absolutely right; rugby is a contact sport. Tell him to tell those who complained about being “touched” to play netball instead.

villaoformen Tue 27-Sep-16 20:16:27

My son played Harrow U14's at rugby this weekend. One boy came back with bite marks on his neck. Another was told to 'go back to Africa'. Another told my son he was 'disgusting' and to stop touching him. My son, though taken back, managed to mumble that rugby is a contact sport.

Not banta, not all part of the game just nasty and undesirable.

whataboutbob Sun 25-Sep-16 11:58:20

Thanks Peteneras. I know that statistically we have a 50% chance at best, but he's confident that he wants to go for it so I am giving him my full support.

peteneras Sat 24-Sep-16 17:10:17

Well, the very best of luck to you and your son, whataboutbob, in your quest to get DS2 to get into a grammar school. I was doing exactly the same thing like you a dozen or so years ago in trying to get DS into undoubtedly, the nation’s supreme grammar school, one that beats Eton, Harrow, Radley and Winchester hands down. I gave up the grammar school place and opted to go to Eton instead even though it cost me loads of extra money (quite unnecessarily).

peteneras Sat 24-Sep-16 16:53:53

Heartiest congratulations, OP, for getting all 4 offers. I’m so glad you’re in the unique position to pick and choose what is effectively 4 fantastic schools that other parents are prepared to give an arm and a leg for. Indeed, some parents are quite prepared to kill for a place - erhh . . . but only for one particular school though. smile

Seriously, this is what the game is all about, i.e. choosing the school that suits you and your DC best which is what you have done so magnificently. So, very well done!

”Eton was the one to underwhelm us. . . the only school we did not struggle to turn down.”

This is hardly surprising at all - any more than you’d expect Rolls Royce to fall all over you if you’re in the market to buy a car. The chasing is left to other more “hard-up” car manufacturers. But once you’ve been inside a RR, you wouldn’t look at another car again. grin

Oh and btw . . . Mr Charles Rolls was an OE.

MrsBernardBlack Wed 21-Sep-16 17:24:26

This thread is a useful reminder that, however valuable it is to seek the opinion of other people, in the end it is your own gut feeling which really counts.

I'm glad that you have found a school that is right for your DS, which is after all, the most important thing. I hope he has a great time there.

whataboutbob Wed 21-Sep-16 15:00:47

I know I'm a latecomer to this but I am happy when any kid gets into the school that meets their needs and gives them a positive experience. So well done TinkerBell! I am currently experiencing the roller coaster of trying to help DS2 to get into a grammar school.

sendsummer Wed 21-Sep-16 07:14:07

TinkerBell thanks for the update which restores the thread to your OP after some detours wink.
Your DS is obviously rather able and I am sure will get the most out of his choice. I think I have an idea which one of the not-E choices you went for from your OP.

TinkerBellThree Tue 20-Sep-16 22:57:09

Oh my, I am astounded this thread is still going, but I truly appreciate the advice, the banter and perhaps not so much the snide comments (though many of those have been thoroughly amazing too!)
Just to give you all an update on what seems to be an ancient post - so much has happened since then - our DS was so lucky as to receive offers from all of the above (totally to our astonishment and surprise). And before you make any snide remarks Peteneras - we did not drop all others when Eton came in, but we persued all that we had been suggested.
Quite honesty, and looking back, it truly surprises me to say this- Eton was the one to underwhelm us. I dont know what it was, but all the other schools seemed to engage both us and our DS much more. Radley did so well by all the boys on their Wardens list day, they all seemed to have a ball, and the parents were well catered for too. Harrow provided my DS with a thoroughly enjoyable experience as did Winchester. Eton on the other hand, left it all feeling a little bland, and I am sorry if I offend anyone, but it ended up being the only school we did not struggle to turn down...

whataboutbob Tue 13-Sep-16 19:41:32

Gosh sendsummer that is high praise.
Looks like David Cameron is about to step into the dining room. Maybe he'll be very modern and discuss the merits of St Paul's school for his girls.

sendsummer Tue 13-Sep-16 16:39:25

whatabooutbob not sure but it would have to be a character who provided some intelligence to all those generations of inbreeding 'upstairs'

whataboutbob Tue 13-Sep-16 13:24:34

Which one of them went to a middle ranking grammar school? That'll be my character.

MrsBernardBlack Tue 13-Sep-16 09:50:21

I'm sure you'll look very fetching in mauve!

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