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Hampton School - Can my son be happy there, although he isn't very sporty?

(53 Posts)
Kingstonmum123 Sat 17-Jan-15 19:10:38

My son has passed the Hampton School entrance exam and I'm being told by various mums that unless he is 'sporty' he isn't going to be happy there/not the right school. My son enjoys tennis, swimming and a bit of cricket, but is by no means in the 'A' school teams.

It's crazy to think that unless you are kicking/catching a ball by the age of 5, your sporting prowess is written off! Most mums I talk to, have a 'sporty' child, am I in the minority because football and rugby aren't my son's favourite sports? Surely, he may be a late bloomer and not found a sport he is good at yet and may excel at secondary school?

Having read the school prospectus (cover to cover), there are scores of other lunchtime clubs and sports that he hasn't tried. HELP! Should I ignore these comments and go with my gut reaction?

Also, if it is such a highly academic school, will it be a problem if he isn't sitting at the top of the class league table?

Sorry, one more concern, is the pastoral care really good as the make out? This is my biggest concern as he was bullied at a previous school.
Thank you and your advice would be greatly appreciated.

grovel Sat 17-Jan-15 19:25:49

Really, really don't worry.

Of course sporting ability can be helpful in a boys' (or any other) school but so can humour, acting, music, techie ability etc etc.

He could try rowing or (if small/light) coxing. Amazing how many unsporty boys suddenly find confidence on the river.

He's done so well. Have a glass of something and enjoy his aura.

Waitingandhoping2015 Sat 17-Jan-15 19:32:32

A friends son is currently in their gcse year at Hampton. He has never been very sporty at all, he played football at the school in maybe the D team and that's about all I think, I don't think he has ever played cricket, used to swim (but there's no swimming pool). Didn't play rugby or hocley.

The one thing of caution would be the workload as this boy always seemed to have lots of homework to do compared with my son who is at a less academic school. Couple of hours a night. I've heard this from a couple of others too.

JetJungle Sat 17-Jan-15 19:40:32

My son is in Lower Sixth right now and obviously my views are based on his experiences.

I think not being super sporty isn't a problem at Hampton. The school does like the boys try new things and to join in where necessary, but by no means is every one expected to excel at sport. In the lower years the boys have PE and Games every week and every boy must take part. They have a big selection for Games and there is bound to be something your son will be happy to take part in.

If he has passed the entrance exam, I wouldn't worry too much about where he is right now in the class. They know what they are looking for.

The pastoral care is great at Hampton. It has been to my constant suprise that, even though it is a very academic and competitive environment, the boys really support and look out for each other. There is very little bullying or fighting (that I ever found out about). It is a happy place.

castlesintheair Sun 18-Jan-15 09:27:46

I agree with others that you don't have to be sporty at Hampton. I know 2 boys who are thriving there: one into drama, the other more into debating/politics. I know another totally unsporty boy starting in September.

Don't worry, if your son has been accepted he will have no problems. Although I have heard the amount of homework can be a bit of a shocker to start off with but that can probably be said of most private schools esp if coming from state primary.

Kingstonmum123 Sun 18-Jan-15 16:41:36

Thank you so much for taking the time and trouble to give me your feedback, it has helped enormously. I feel much better about the sport aspect of the school and like you said, there are so many other sports/subjects/activities one's child can excel in - we just haven't had the exposure to discover what they are yet!

amidaiwish Sun 18-Jan-15 21:31:13

I think Saturday sport is compulsory. Is that right?

JetJungle Mon 19-Jan-15 09:11:44

No, Saturday sport is not compulsory.

Some matches take place on Saturday mornings and if you want to be selected for the team, you must be available to play some Saturday matches.

There are also some (non-compulsory) clubs that happen on Saturdays and Sundays, like ratings tennis matches.

Gummibaer Mon 19-Jan-15 12:10:21

This thread is very reassuring, as we too are considering Hampton for our son who is not that keen on sports. There seem to be lots of other clubs and activities on offer, many of which ds would love though!

Op, I wouldn't worry too much about the class league tables - if he's been accepted, he will be absolutely fine. As others have said, the school know what they're looking for and will offer places to those they think expect do thrive and be happy.

Would your son be starting this September?

Kingstonmum123 Mon 19-Jan-15 13:20:56

Yes, if the gets through the next stage which is an interview.

Gummibaer Mon 19-Jan-15 13:43:23

Good luck for your ds's interview, Kingstonmum!

JetJungle Mon 19-Jan-15 14:07:04

Yes, let us know if he is successful.

My DS has applied to be a Mentor to a Yr 7 boy in September. You never know ..... it could be yours!grin

Kingstonmum123 Mon 19-Jan-15 14:37:27

WOW a Mentor, how very lovely and thoughtful. Thanks again for all your kind words and support. Interview this week and results will be posted 12th February! Watch this space....

Gummibaer Mon 19-Jan-15 14:53:52

Jetjungle, that sounds really nice, to give all new Y7 boys a 'mentor' to look after them. Hope your ds gets the job!
Good luck to your ds, Kingstonmum, we're in the same position, hoping for a place in September. Fingers crossed for everyone!

Kingstonmum123 Mon 19-Jan-15 15:57:36

Gummibaer good luck too and like you said, fingers crossed for all! smile

AnnaG Tue 20-Jan-15 10:40:34

Hi @Kingstonmum123.

My DS is currently at Hampton (2nd year) and I asked him the question you posed if you needed to be sporty at Hampton. His answer is "no, you don't need to be sporty and not everyone is sporty". Hampton has a thriving drama and music department. Not everyone has to play on a Saturday, but if you are good enough to be on a team, attendance is expected.

There is a lengthy list of clubs held during lunchtime to participate in that doesn't involve sports.

1LadyOwner Wed 21-Jan-15 17:35:49

Hi, I just saw this thread looking for news on girls' school entrances this year. My DS is in Year 7 at Hampton. We are not a family known for our athletic prowess and even then he is the least sporty of all of us. He loves Hampton - I wanted him to go to a local mixed school rather than the long bus ride to Hampton but he had his heart set on Hampton and this is where he chose from his offers. In Year 7 you have to choose between football or rugby for your "outdoor" sports lesson - so he chose football - he is not even in the F team but enjoys running around with the other non-athletic types in his PE lesson - there's loads of other stuff to do at the school - clubs every day if you want, or just hanging out in the library chatting to your friends if you don't want. Nobody seems to mind much as long as you do one club a week, I'd say. As to the other comment about homework, yes there is quite a bit - the first half term is the hardest but after that it settles down and they have had complete homework holidays over the half term and Christmas with the head of year asking that the boys just rest completely which was a rest for the rest of us too. The amount seems a lot to me, but not more than other friends' DC's workload. Interestingly, after the first half term grade card which grades homework separately from classwork and attainment, my DS put a bit more effort into the work now he could see it would be looked at as a whole rather than just weekly marks. At the end of the day, value that more than his ability to get sporting awards.

Kingstonmum123 Thu 22-Jan-15 10:21:09

Thank you so much 1LadyOwner, what a great insight you have provided and I love your honesty. So often you don't get a true picture (from parents), because for one reason or another, pride or competitiveness take precedence.

Gummibaer Thu 22-Jan-15 11:17:39

1Ladyowner, your experience has been really helpful, thank you. It sounds like there is scope for all sorts of boys at Hampton - there are certainly lots of clubs/activities on offer! Great to hear that your son has settled in well and is happy there.

Contessa28 Wed 28-Jan-15 11:52:50

Hope the interview went well all. Quite agree Kingston mum: my DS is really looking forward to trying lots of different sports at secondary. Do tell us how your DS found it! My DS had his - a general interview - which he really enjoyed. We only applied to two schools, both of which we would be very happy with but much prefer Hampton and which DS also prefers! We are on the bus route towards Esher and weybridge but I have been a little worried that the ego distribution might be more London based from what I've heard? Would be great for DS to have local friends ... Also would be very interested to learn if at all possible % of general interviews which convert to an offer? Probably an impossible question but given the interview was mainly about hobbies and interests, and DS a cheerful and chatty boy with great school report, is difficult to see how he might not get an offer if he has passed the exam but I'm mindful of managing expectations!!! Any insights gratefully received as clearly running through stats and listening to hearsay is preferable to patience whilst waiting for the results!

Kingstonmum123 Wed 28-Jan-15 12:38:05

Hi ladies, now the waiting game starts! All interviews for Hampton were completed yesterday and we were told, in our general chat with the Headmaster at Hampton, that they will interview approximately 240 boys for a 100 places. Letters will be posted 12th Feb.

So, whilst we did our best to congratulate our son on his efforts with the exam, there is no guarantee that he will get a place, he also had a general interview. It does alarm me a little that if so many boys passed the exam with 'flying colours', where the maths and english scores were on a par with each other, and as a result they subsequently had a 'general' interview, why they also interview those boys who may be borderline english or maths? Surely, in the ranking, the boys who passed 'well', have a good school report and did a good general interview should be prioritised? Maybe they are? Maybe they aren't? Who knows and who said this whole 11+ process was fair? I understand they need to interview for more places than on offer, but why an extra 140 interviewees?

The catchment area is quite wide, however, our son may have a few local friends also going, or that they will meet if they decide to use the school bus. I frequently hear, it is a friendly environment and the boys make new friends easily.

Not sure about statistics either, hold tight and fingers crossed and hoping a big fat A4 envelope plops through your letter box - Good luck all and I hope I don't have to give my son disappointing news...

Gummibaer Wed 28-Jan-15 12:53:14

I understood that there are about 120 places for the first year (yr 7), but am guessing that they are likely to over offer a little as not all boys are going to take up their place. This is because many boys sit for more than one school but will, of course, only need one place. I really hope that all the boys end up at the right school for them - fingers crossed for all!

Kingstonmum123 Wed 28-Jan-15 13:20:13

You're right, there are 120 places, however, 20 places were given at 10+

Waitingandhoping2015 Wed 28-Jan-15 13:34:49

If you start thinking about numbers and offers and etc etc then you will just tie yourself up in proverbial knots.

I thought the intake was 125. Ok then take away however many are likely from Denmead. But they may not all accept. Ok there may be 20 from 10+ but they won't all accept as they will have other options (potentially). Although the school is fantastic it will not be everyone's first choice. Then there will be those that could only afford it if they get a Bursary or a sizeable Scholarship.

So who knows the numbers!

Time to relax, sit back, let all your troubles take a back seat as Queen said as you and DS have done your best and there's nothing left to do but wait. And hope. smile

Contessa28 Wed 28-Jan-15 15:50:51

Yes waiting, quite right... Patience is a virtue and all that and nothing more now to do or worry about! Que sera sera...

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