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Royal Alexandra and Albert School

(48 Posts)
Cato2014 Sat 27-Sep-14 03:17:52

I want to send my DD to RAAS to study year 10 next year. I want to know about this school. I want to know atmosphere of the school.

LIZS Sat 27-Sep-14 09:41:46

Boarding or day ? Year10 isn't an entry point so you may find it tricky to get a place now and be expected to take it up very quickly once offered. tbh it has a mixed if improving reputation academically and boarding had an unflattering Ofsted report a few years back.

Cato2014 Sat 27-Sep-14 10:11:59

Hi LIZS

We are apply full boarding but no place now. Do you know the school is improving in academic and boarding because the Ofsted report was 2012.

LIZS Sat 27-Sep-14 10:18:47

You'd need to check latest exam results . It still has a reputation for taking local prep school kids who wouldn't pass selective tests, often due to mild SpLD. If you are applying for a place now they won't hold it open until you are ready to take it up if there are others interested. Also check how many genuine full boarders there are. Some take boarding places but leave at weekends or even midweek overnight.

Cato2014 Sat 27-Sep-14 10:37:29

Do you recommend this school if they really offer a place? Do you know any students studying this school and what they feel?

LIZS Sat 27-Sep-14 10:51:58

Only know them anecdotally . It is a perfectly acceptable school as far as I am aware, the kids seem happy and polite when out and about and it is developing its sixth form. Have you visited, please don't rely on the promotional video alone. What has attracted you to it specifically?

Cato2014 Sat 27-Sep-14 13:35:49

Thanks
I haven't visited them on before since we live far away from school. Therefore, I need some advise if they know this school. Thank you very much for your information.

LIZS Sat 27-Sep-14 13:46:53

Sorry but you need to visit. Year 10 is so critical that you cannot afford to make a mistake. What educational background does your dd have? What are you looking for by changing at this point? Where else are you considering ? The head has a reputation for being very much take him or leave him. The site looks rural but is actually very close to M25. I strongly suspect it may not be as you imagine.

Cato2014 Sat 27-Sep-14 14:08:04

Thank you very much for your advises. Yes we will visit the school once the boarding place is available. We are living in HK and my DD is studying F.3 = year 9. We send her to UK because we believe educational system and the studying environment are much better then HK.

Do you live near the school?

Ladymuck Sat 27-Sep-14 15:30:36

You do realise that this is a state boarding school? Not an independent school?

Cato2014 Sat 27-Sep-14 15:42:39

Yes we are holding UK passport

titchy Sat 27-Sep-14 16:29:18

Have you checked whether they are likely to actually have any vacancies in year 10 next year? If so do they have a waiting list and what is the likelihood of you actually getting offered?

You should have an alternative as there is no guarantee a place will be available for your child.

Cato2014 Sat 27-Sep-14 16:45:36

At this moment, the place is not available because it is too early. I have sent out the requests to some state boarding schools, the situation is same but my daughter likes this school so I want to collect more information about the school.

LIZS Sat 27-Sep-14 17:04:35

Yes it is relatively local to us. I do know they only have occasional places for other than year 3 or Year 7 entry, as will most state boarding schools . A child we know locally was offered a boarding place mid October and had to take it up by January latest. Have you also looked at whether the GCSE options they offer match what your dd wants to do ? What does she like about it ? If no place comes up can she stay put and reconsider for 6th form?

Cato2014 Sat 27-Sep-14 17:36:56

Thanks. The examination subjects of the HKCEE are similar to GCSE. Even though HK gave up HKCEE two years ago and change to DSE. However the subjects and contents are mostly same. My daughter will take the normal one but she changes her mind if he can get a offer and join the school because more subjects are available.

MrsSchadenfreude Sat 27-Sep-14 20:38:11

Cato - does your child hold a full British Citizen passport? Holding a BN(O) or other passport, such as a BPP or BOC does not qualify you for a place at a British state boarding school, if this is what your DD holds.

Cato2014 Sun 28-Sep-14 00:48:51

Thanks, my child holds a full British Citizen passport not BN(O) or other passport.

MrsSchadenfreude Sun 28-Sep-14 12:41:20

That's good! smile I had some friends who hold BOC passports who wanted their kids to go to a British state boarding school, and were refused right at the last minute when the school realised that the children were not British Citizens.

Cato2014 Sun 28-Sep-14 15:39:18

However, I still want to know more about Royal Alexandra and Albert School because my daughter like it but only based on web site information. Anyone who has friends studying there so that they can share information to me.

LIZS Sun 28-Sep-14 16:50:47

Think you will struggle to find existing parents here tbh . There were a couple whose dc have attended previously but left a few years ago. GCSE results look pretty average and 6th form so new they are offering fee enticements to flexi/day joiners. When I've visited (the site is open to the public one Sunday a month) it has seemed a little run down and relatively deserted with few pupils onsite. Depends what you are looking for really .

Cato2014 Sun 28-Sep-14 17:17:03

Thanks LIZS. It seems the Ofsted report reflexing the real situation of the school. It changes from outstanding to good. It has seemed a little run down.

MrsSchadenfreude Sun 28-Sep-14 19:09:11

Cato, whichever school you decide on, if your DD is going to be a full boarder, please, please make sure that a good percentage of children at the school are also full boarders, and do not disappear at the weekends.

Cato2014 Mon 29-Sep-14 02:54:41

thanks, I am considering to look for the guildance near school so that she can go to the guidance's home at the weekends.

Ladymuck Mon 29-Sep-14 08:03:16

Have you spoken to the school at all? I found that the headmaster was at least honest about some of the challenges that they have.

What specifically has attracted your dd over the local alternatives such as Woldingham, Royal Russell or Caterham?

MrsSchadenfreude Mon 29-Sep-14 08:48:56

I've had a look at the website and from their entrance criteria, I don't think there are going to be many other overseas students, apart from some military families. The number of full boarders is also not very high, as most seem to be flexi boarders. Could you consider some other schools, such as the ones LadyMuck has suggested, where your daughter is likely to be one of a larger number of overseas students, or even full boarders? There is really nothing more miserable for a child than to be thousands of miles away from home, at school where there are very few others around at the weekend (that's the voice of experience!).

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