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Ipswich Suffolk, Ipswich Girls v Royal Hospital School?

(17 Posts)
Slingclutter Mon 23-Mar-15 13:33:57

Does anyone have any thoughts/insights about either of these schools please?

Or any other good secondary schools in the region.

usedtobeboss Mon 23-Mar-15 14:13:37

Shamelessly joining in! We're looking at the RHS too for DS - and Ipswich School too (not Girls, obv!). We love the feel and ethos of the RHS, and the music (which is a big thing for us/him) - but just have one or two slight question marks over its academic reputation. However, even that seems a lot better than it used to be. Facilities are fab.
Have you been to an open day? If not, I highly recommend it.
Also - they've just had an excellent ISI report.
What are your thoughts?

outtolunchagain Mon 23-Mar-15 16:45:02

The head at RHS has just announced he's leaving at short notice and I have to say academically it's not in the same league as Woodbridge , Ipswich or IHS , there have also been rumours of bullying and I know of at least 4 children who have left for this reason in the last 12 months , of course you never know the full story , are you looking at boarding or day ?

usedtobeboss Mon 23-Mar-15 17:29:46

That's interesting. Yes, the RHS Head is leaving, but I'm not sure it's particularly short notice - I think he'd given 2 terms notice; and I'd heard that it was due to family circumstances.
I hadn't heard about the bullying, which is a worry. Until now, I'd actually heard nothing bad at all - including from curent parents, who without exception have been incredibly positive.
(Interestingly, we went to look at Woodbridge and didn't like it at all.)
I don't know about the OP, but undecided yet about day/boarding; we live close enough for day to completely doable.

outtolunchagain Mon 23-Mar-15 19:08:37

I think RHS is a bit marmite , people either love it or they are not happy at all and leave.I know plenty who are happy there , all though are quite rufty tufty and sporty IYSWIM , I don't think it's for the sensitive sort .The campus is amazing though and they have very good bus links etc .

Two terms is short notice for an independent school head as most are on two terms notice , they are unlikely to get a new head before Easter 2016 at the earliest .

justicewomen Mon 23-Mar-15 20:15:09

My son is at Ipswich School and is really doing very well. It is probably the most academic of the local schools (though less so than the Colchester grammars). He is getting the extension opportunities he needs, but also the school is also excellent at music and most sports. My son has blossomed from slightly shy and awkward to brave and articulate. I am particularly pleased he is trying out activities/sports/competitions that he does not excel in but just doing for the experience.

There have been several join his year from RHS recently but I don't know why. The entrance exams which are or were on the RHS website are significantly easier than Ipswich or Woodbridge, if that is a guide. We did not consider there or Woodbridge because the CCF are compulsory whereas at Ipswich it is optional.

My work colleague has two daughters go to the Girls High School; both very polite and highly intelligent but quite reserved (though that might be family influence). Having been to a girls school myself I am biased against them but appreciate others take a different view.

The girls at Ipswich School seem to do very well, academically; and musically and are able to participate in a wide range of sports like hockey, cricket and netball at a very high level. There are less of them than boys but sufficient for it to feel like a fully mixed school.

Essexmum69 Mon 23-Mar-15 20:58:02

To give a balance to this I know someone who moved her DS from Ipswich to RHS recently and he is loving it. I think that they are very different schools and you need to pick the right one for your DC. My friends have children as follows: academic at Ipswich school, "girly girls" at IHSG, sporty and dyslexic at RHS and sporty,musical and"in wrong year group" at Woodbridge. All are happy and doing well, whether they would do just as well or better in a different school is obviously impossible to say.
Personally I will look at Ipswich and RHS for DS. Woodbridge too far and too religious for us.

outtolunchagain Mon 23-Mar-15 21:36:40

Agree plenty of choice none bad , just horses for courses.

Just for accuracy CCF definitely not compulsory at Woodbridge and I had one at Ipswich and one Woodbridge ; lots more chapel at Ipswich. , not sure why Woodbridge would be considered churchy.My ds a committed atheist , lots and lots of scope for discussion and exploration of ideas ,baffled emoticon!

justicewomen Mon 23-Mar-15 21:51:18

Sorry outtolunch, I was told by a parent that CCF compulsory at Woodbridge, but did not check (as Woodbridge not very convenient for us). Have not noticed lots of chapel but I love church music and choral singing so it is not a chore.

Essexmum69 Tue 24-Mar-15 08:01:22

The independant schools yearbook describes Woodbridge School as having "a strong christain ethos and pupils attend chapel every week". When my friends son was in the prep school choir he had to dress in full chorister robes. That is all I have to go by, do you disagree with that description?
TBH it is too far to travel for us as we are only looking at day places.

outtolunchagain Tue 24-Mar-15 08:09:33

No but it's exactly the same at Ipswich Chapel once a week and choristers and RHS , the only one without that is IHS .St joes go every day I think.

Choristers wear robes because of Queens permission I think , they look very sweet

outtolunchagain Tue 24-Mar-15 08:35:47

RHS has the most amazing fully robed chapel choir , and Chapel is compulsory three times a week and is quote "the spiritual hub of the school" It also says on web that its core values are based on the Cristian faith

Just making the point that I don't think Woodbridge is any more religious than the others that's all and I was shocked to here is described as religious .

usedtobeboss Tue 24-Mar-15 16:22:44

I think that's exactly right - they are all very different. I was surprised too to read of Woodbridge being too religious - we certainly didn't pick up on that, and actually felt that the chapel was a bit 'apologetic' fwiw...
RHS Chapel, on the other hand, is incredible and yes - I think it has a much more explicit Christian ethos. That's a plus for us, but I know it wouldn't be for everyone.
Equally, I know of two people who have left Ipswich relatively recently - one because she felt it didn't really suit girls (or perhaps a particular sort of girl) and one to go to RHS for a more rounded, less academically-pressured experience!
My DS absolutely doesn't fit the RHS steroetype - he's able, sensitive, quirky, reasonably but not excessively sporty - yet he's determined it's where he wants to go!
OP - has any of this helped?

Slingclutter Wed 25-Mar-15 08:07:08

Hello! Op here [finally!]

Thank you for all of these very helpful replies and I'm sorry to be responding only now; I was out of town for most of the day yesterday.

You have confirmed what I thought initially about Royal Hospital School. My dd rides (she nearly died when she read on the website that you could bring your own horse to the school!!!) but couldn't be remotely classed as a sporty, rufty tufty type. She is more arty/sensitive. And we definitely are looking for high academic standards.

We like the look of Ipswich Girls High School but we only knew pupils/families of pupils there under the old headmistress, not the current one, so that's why I was seeking more info.

We are an RC family so we are looking for spiritual input (but there doesn't seem to be any mention of this on Ipswich Girls website at all). And I'm not entirely sure about single sex ed either, but think it can have some advantages.

Haven't investigated Woodbridge so must go and do that ... .

Oh, forgot to ask about language teaching. My dd (Eng mother tongue) is currently being educated in two European languages other than her own; and it would obviously be ideal if she could maintain the levels already achieved.

Thinking of attending open day at Ipswich Girls School in May ... and RHS's is very close in date so may attend that one too!

Thank you again!

outtolunchagain Wed 25-Mar-15 09:36:03

If she is into riding I would look at Woodbridge , there is an active horsey scene and they can ride in Friday afternoons from I think year 9 onwards . Check out their Facebook page , very sweet pics of Prep trotting pole competition ! Also have senior riding teams .

Having said Woodbridge not especially religious it is very strong pastorally ( The reason we chose it) the Chaplain is fab and hugely popular with pupils , very string tutoring system .

Didn't know RHS had bring your horse , can see that would be popular !!

Slingclutter Wed 25-Mar-15 13:21:15

Thanks Outtolunchagain. Strictly speaking, RHS have arrangement with Bylam Livery nearby where pupils can lodge their horses so to speak.

Thanks for tip about Woodbridge Chaplaincy; sounds good! Will investigate ... .

Thadeus Fri 11-Mar-16 16:49:53

What did you decide in the end? We've just registered for year 9 2016 entry.

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