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Repton School boarding

(12 Posts)
Jonothethird Fri 02-Oct-15 15:49:15

Hi - 1st post on here!

We are thinking of sending our DS to Repton or Shrewsbury as a boarder. He is fairly bright (but not quite scholarship bright) and very keen on cricket and football, but hates rugby! The sport thing is a big reason for these 2 schools as we want a northern(ish) public school which plays lots of competitive football rather than just rugby.

We've looked around them and really liked both. Shrewsbury probably seemed better in some ways but it is a pig to get to from Yorks. Repton is more convenient and also ticked most of the boxes, and seems to be consistently better from an A level result perspective.

However... our main concern is the boarding situation at weekends at Repton. We have heard that there is a bit of a mass exodus at weekends and that the boarders who are left are few and far between - which doesn't sound good at all!

Does anyone have any experience/knowledge of Repton? I would welcome any feedback, and particularly with regard to the weekend boarding situation.


OP’s posts: |
happygardening Fri 02-Oct-15 16:36:12

I don't know Repton at all but have spend 11+ years with a DS who's full boarded I also have numerous friends who's DC's board in a wide variety of boarding schools (not Repton sadly for you). We will all tell you the same thing; as a general principle unless a school is actually full boarding i.e. they insist that all children or nearly all as in 85% stay in Saturday night then most will go home at the weekends even on Friday leaving a few who for whatever reason can't go home usually due to distance from the school. Heads will tell you something different (because with the exception of a few very big names) they are struggling to fill boarding places and want your money), as will the ISI reports who for some unknown reason because classify weekly boarding as full boarding.
I've learnt the hard way at prep and we then chose a senior school that only offers full boarding but they are few and far between. We have friends who are always moaning that they thought St X was full boarding and when their DC went there they discovered it wasn't.
If I'm being honest I don't know your area but Uppingham is definitely full boarding and sort of your way perhaps not your way enough, but I can't comment about the rugby/football.
Many schools are looking at alternatives to Rugby as there is a increasing concern amongst parents about the amount and seriousness of injuries that are occurring during rugby.
Good luck.

0verseasmum Fri 02-Oct-15 19:17:01

Both good schools both big on football and cricket though Shrewsbury fairs better in the latter. Repton easier to get to though Shrewsbury run coaches so check to see where they go. Shrewsbury definitely full boarding. Upping ham good school though Rugby orientated or was I believe. Listen to HG about the full boarding it is important though one of myDC although at none of these schools did enjoy a quieter time at the weekend to relax and catch up on work. They were older though. Best of luck.

happygardening Fri 02-Oct-15 22:29:20

I agree that older children (6th formers) may enjoy the chance to relax and catch up on work at the weekend but for younger children the whole point of boarding is to have friends around at the weekend who you can have a bit of fun with.
OP for UK patents I also personally have a 1 1/2 hour one way driving rule unless you list driving as your main hobby/ interest, have nothing to do in your life and/or own a helicopter any further and frankly everything school related becomes in the neck. Again we learnt the hard way.

ThighsofThunder Fri 02-Oct-15 22:32:15

Didn't Roald Dahl go to Repton?

I have no useful contribution to this thread. I'm leaving now.

TinkerBellThree Fri 09-Oct-15 16:23:58

I dont know Repton per se, but I do know of the new Head Master starting in January I believe, and he is rather wonderful. He used to be Master in College at Winchester and is currently the deputy head at Harrow. I would fully trust my DS in his hands and had we lived closer, I would consider Repton just for the new HM.

When it comes to boarding at Repton, I dont know - but the new HM is of course from a history of full boarding schools (he also worked at Eton I believe) and as such he might encourage more full boarding? It is just a thought.
How far away do you live and how important is full boarding to you?

Jonothethird Mon 12-Oct-15 11:16:48

Many thanks to all and sorry for the slow response.

DS did the Uppingham exam last year and has a place but the lack of football has subsequently put us off. Seems a lovely school though.

We went down to Repton again last weekend for an open day and again were very impressed with it. The children do seem very happy and a bit more outgoing than at some other schools we have visited.

The visit also put our mind at rest re the weekend boarding situation - or potential lack of it. There are roughly 20% day and 80% boarders and everyone we spoke to (including a lot of the children as they are sometimes more honest) said that the vast majority of boarders are around at weekends. Most of the children said they do not take all their privilege weekends as there's too much going on at school.

TinkerBellThree - We agree completely re the new headmaster. Quite young, and obviously very bright and driven - very impressive . Yes - he was housemaster at Eton as well as the other schools you mention. My only concern, given his obvious abilities, would be that Repton is a step on his career path to 'greater' schools, although hopefully not in the next 5 years! We got the distinct impression from speaking to him and a housemaster that there is a drive to stop the 'flexi boarding rot'. There are three 'privilege' weekends outside half term (one more than most public schools) and we were told there are 'no grey areas' beyond this.

It is still a smaller school than some (650 approx) and fully co-ed so the pool of boy boarders is smaller but enough, we think.

We live near Wetherby, Yorks, so it is a 1 1/2 hour journey. Like HappyGardening, we feel that is a tolerable journey as we do like to go and watch sports matches etc sometimes. That would not be feasible at Shrewsbury.

All in all, very impressive and we got the right 'vibes', which I think are hard to explain but so important when choosing a school. I think it's looking like Repton - just need to choose a house now!

And yes, Roald Dahl did go to Repton. So did Jeremy Clarkson, although needless to say he got expelled!

Many thanks for all the useful comments.

OP’s posts: |
TinkerBellThree Mon 12-Oct-15 11:44:29

I am so pleased you had a good visit at Repton. It sounds like it is very much what you are looking for and from your desciption it sounds wonderful.

All the best of luck!

caitlin1970 Thu 22-Mar-18 08:29:04

May I ask... did you go for Repton and if so, how has your experience been? Any advice/information welcome on Houses, weekends (do lots stay??), life in general there. DS may join for 6th Form. We have looked at the school twice and really liked it but difficult to look during an open day or indeed visit when the school is 'open' as we are based abroad. Both visits have been during UK school holidays.

Jonothethird Fri 23-Mar-18 15:52:01

Hi Caitlin 1970

We did go for Repton and DS is now 2/3 of the way through his second year. I would have to say it has been an unqualified success - mainly because DS seems consistently happy there and seems to be thriving.

The main reasons we chose Repton was its proximity and also the culture/vibe of the school. The midlands is blessed with a lot of good public schools (Repton, Oundle Uppingham, Oakham etc) and whilst they may be similar in many respects on paper, they all have quite different 'vibes'! Not that any are better or worse than others - I think it just depends what you are looking for and what would suit you and your DC.

Repton is certainly not a 'snobby' school and all the children we have met are polite and well balanced. The school seems to strike a good balance between structure/discipline and self-management/independence which prepares them well for the outside world. Shrewsbury school has a similar feel in many ways and is impressive.

Academically we are impressed with Repton. Whilst not 'selective', the school certainly pushes brighter children to achieve their best and, I think, caters well for less bright children too. The teaching staff are young (or is that just us getting old!?) and committed. There is a strong work ethic and DC seem to be expected to work hard to produce their best. There are internal exams at the end of most terms. Our experience is that DS has thrived academically so far...

The new(ish) headmaster has impressed us. He seems to have high standards and high expectations. Parents seem to like him. DC say he is strict, which is probably no bad thing!

Sport is an important part of Repton Life and most play sport, or train, around 4 or 5 times a week. Hockey, football and tennis are very strong while the cricket set-up has always been good. My only observation would be that most of the emphasis is on the A teams and the lower teams play far less fixtures - maybe 10 matches per term instead of 20+ for A teams. That probably goes for most schools though. The new sports hall/gym etc will be amazing - a major asset for winter training/coaching etc.

Re boarding, weekdays are very full on (breakfast at 7am, prep ends at 9pm) so boarding fits well with this. It is an even longer day for day-pupils (and their parents), which must be tough. Boarders make up around 65-70% of overall numbers I think. DS really enjoys the boarding side of things, despite 'houses' being quite small. DC all seem to get on very well and form strong friendships.

Boarders can take three weekends at home (called a PW) per term (actually just Saturday night and Sunday as Saturday is a working morning followed by matches in the afternoon) but often choose not to take them if they are busy with other things at the weekend. Our DS has only taken 2 PWs this term, which is quite typical for many DC. There are formal activities of some sort (trips to town, cinema, clay pigeon shooting etc) laid on most sundays but many children seem to want to just 'chill' on sunday after a full-on week! A combination of small houses and a few boarders taking PWs means that there will occasionally be few boarders from DS's year group left in his house on sunday but then there are other years and other houses, so it has not been an issue.

Definitely worth visiting in term time if you have the opportunity as you would get to meet some DC and get the all-important 'vibe'!

I'll private-message you some info on houses.

OP’s posts: |
SethAmos Thu 28-Jun-18 20:05:49

Hi Jonothethird,
I’ve just been reading your thread, and was wondering if you might be able to help me with some advice regarding boys houses. We have recently looked around Repton and are thinking about it as our first choice. But, as ever the house question comes up. We saw Cross & Priory. We liked one of them but not keen on the other. I’m trying to fill in the registration form and feel I need some on advice from current parents regarding house-masters/house vibe.

Sunshineblues Sun 14-Jun-20 11:19:36

Hi, did you get some advises regarding the boarding houses Cross & Priory? Which one did you choose? Thank you in advance for your feedback.

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