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State v Private? Tiffin v Hampton?

(36 Posts)
1mum2boys Tue 01-Mar-16 21:52:27

I know, we are lucky to be in this position and wish that lots of you out there are in the same boat. After all the stress and decisions taken along this journey, this one will be the last but the toughest one. What would / will you do? We are very hard working parents who somehow will find a way to keep the outflow of money going only to offer what is best for our DS. But what is it best?

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motherigloo Tue 01-Mar-16 22:49:58

What is your DC like? They are quite different schools in many regards. I assume you've looked round? What does DC prefer?

chickindude Tue 01-Mar-16 22:57:22

In my opinion if you can afford it, choose Hampton.
I know many boys at Tiffin, some have found it ok, plenty have not been happy.
There is little involvement from boys (after the first 2 years) in extra curricular activities.
Apparently the school is struggling for money. The PTA try and raise funds but not always successful.

The facilities and support in my opinion are not a patch on Hampton. If you want your child to only pass exams, then Tiffin might be ok (although I have known a couple of boys to picked on for not doing so well) if you want well rounded and lots of opportunities go with Hampton.

1mum2boys Tue 01-Mar-16 22:58:30

Thank you motherigloo. I know they are different schools and for that reason we'll have to go and look at Tiffin again. We have seen Hampton three times and Tiffin only once. I am looking at results tables and they are very similar from that point of view. We have to look at co-curriculum activities in Tiffin. My DC is bright and very competitive, he loves sports and he loved Hampton. He wants to go to Hampton so that is why the decision is even harder as I would not want to go against his wish but still, when we work out the figures involved, the feelings get distorted.

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1mum2boys Tue 01-Mar-16 23:01:10

Thank you, chickindude.

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SAHDthatsall Wed 02-Mar-16 08:34:05

I agree with chicken's comments.

We had this same choice last year and for us it was always going to be Hampton but then the financial side wasn't a consideration.

Academic wise I doubt it will be much different though I do wonder about the funding issues. I don't like the location of Tiffin, and I don't like having sports fields separate to the school. The Head of Sports there once said that if you come to Tiffin prepare to be a loser at sports as this is often the case, they compete with independent schools that have the edge on them. I wonder about funding cuts and their ability to keep up the playing fields - the cricket pitches at Tiffin we have used for club games have been crap - but then I guess they need to extra money gained from renting them out. The big pavilion / changing rooms is a shithole, reminds me of 1970s/80s pavilions I got changed in! The ethnic mix at Tiffin is very skewed also which I don't like. They don't compete at football at Tiffin also which was a consideration for us.

There are some good comments here, especially Ladymuck on page 3:

Luna9 Wed 02-Mar-16 09:22:23

Not direct experience but you have given the choice to your son to sit the tests for Hampton and he has been successful and prefer that school then I feel you have to make the sacrifices and send him there; as it will be unfair to have given him false expectations; I imagine you should have considered the financial aspect before you applied.

Pani6161 Wed 02-Mar-16 10:15:18

Hi all, 1mum2boys I am in the position as you. I have received offers from both Tffin and Hampton. My son is both academic and sporty and currently he is in the prep school. He loves Hampton however, Tiffin is more practical for us .My concern is more about school's facilities and having more Asian students. Although we are Asian, I would prefer my son be in a place that there is balanced mixture of children. I am very confused and don't know what to do.

1mum2boys Wed 02-Mar-16 11:22:08

Thank you SANDthatsall. That really helps me.

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4whatthatsworth Wed 02-Mar-16 11:36:59

1mum - also there is a difference in GCSE results between the two schools. Tiffin get just over 80 per cent A star /A which is similar to KGS or Ibstock, whereas Hampton get around 90 per cent which puts the school in a similar ballpark to LEH, G&L or LU. Of course a bright child will do well in either, but I also suspect that Hampton get their results in a less stressed and pressurised way and with more opportunities for an all-rounded education. Just my view though!

SAHDthatsall Wed 02-Mar-16 11:59:50

4whatthatsworth - my theory is that up until this year Tiffin entrance was based on pure NVR/VR - and a pretty tough level of questions. Taking the top performers from such tests doesn't (imho) mean someone is going to get A* GCSE results. Especially since the previous exam style could be drilled and drilled and drilled for years so that (almost) anyone could potentially pass the Tiffin criteria - there are only a finite number of NVR patterns, a finite number of the types of words necessary for VR questions etc.

Hence lower results in 5 years time than you might expect from te supposedly brightest group. And I saw somewhere that 40% of boys at Tiffin had English as a second language - not that they didn't speak English at school normally and theres a lot to be said for being bilingual.

4whatthatsworth Wed 02-Mar-16 12:47:44

SAHD - for several years now LU have not included VR or NVR in their entrance exam at all. They had tracked the outcomes at GCSE and A Level for those who had done particularly well in VR and NVR and found absolutely no correlation to comparitively better outcomes at GCSE level or later. The school deemed VR and NVR pointless for the very reason that children were being increasingly drilled for those tests.

1mum2boys Wed 02-Mar-16 18:58:48

Hi Pani6161. Thank you for replying. It is the toughest decision ever for us, as parents. We should keep in touch.
Luna9, of course we did consider the financial side when we applied, and as I said , as parents ,we will make it happen. Somehow , we will see the light at the end of the tunnel.

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SAHDthatsall Wed 02-Mar-16 19:18:51

One point for you on the costs at Hampton. Add about 10% on for the lunch and for the coach, depending on where you come from. There has been the odd extra but just a couple of £20 day trips so far. There is a lovely extensive list of potential school trips that you may choose to ignore! The cost of the uniform is not high also, white shirts are generic as are the dark grey trousers, and we've managed to get a couple of blazers (planning ahead) in the second hand sale - as well as socks, ties, etc. Largest cost was the football/games shirt and the tracksuit - though you could get away without it I think.

(thanks 4w re LU etc)

motherigloo Wed 02-Mar-16 20:27:58

Given your description I'd also suggest Hampton :-) great advice here from others and I echo all of it.

LetsEscape Wed 02-Mar-16 20:52:28

The music is excellent at Tiffin - really first class. The choir perform with best orchestras in the world and boys regularly are on stage at Royal Opera House. So if you have a musical son that may be a consideration.

SAHDthatsall Wed 02-Mar-16 22:21:05

Yeah but you get proper music at Hampton... January's rock concert was the best! smile

Pani6161 Wed 02-Mar-16 23:18:17

1mum2boys your DS's offer for Hampton is the 11+ entry or 13+?
We should definitely be in touch as we are both in a very important stage of our children life.

1mum2boys Thu 03-Mar-16 08:10:16

Pani6161. My son has got the offer for 11 plus.

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TeddTess Thu 03-Mar-16 08:21:24

it really comes down to the cost
if you can afford hampton you'd be mad to turn it down
but 7 years, you're looking at least £120k

TeddTess Thu 03-Mar-16 08:22:26

also i bet the ethnic mix at Tiffin will change with the change of exam away from NVR/VR

Pani6161 Thu 03-Mar-16 08:49:58

TeddTess I agree with you, the ethnic will definitely change this year.
1mum2boys my son Hampton offer is for 13+ entry, that's why I am not really sure what to do. in my opinion, sooner they get to their new school, easier they will settling down and making friends.

SAHDthatsall Thu 03-Mar-16 09:12:50

Yes I agree re the changing mix of the school given the change of exams this year.

Have you asked Hampton about changing to 11+? I think you'll find the 11+ test was the same as the 13+ pre-test. Tends to piss off the prep school though, it will depend which one!

1mum2boys Thu 03-Mar-16 15:58:49

TeddTess, you exactly summarise my feelings. We would be mad to turn Hampton offer down. Thanks. smile

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Pani6161 Sat 05-Mar-16 21:58:07

SAHDthatsall It's not possible to change the entry point.

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