State secondaries near London with excellent extra curricular sports etc?(22 Posts)
Our DC currently at a private prep but can't afford to do private secondary (or at least not without extreme scrimping). Our DC have loved the sport, art, music etc. Our local state secondaries are huge and not great on sport. One of them has better after school sport available but so many children that signing up doesn't guarantee a place. Our DC is very motivated by his peers and not wild about us topping up outside school in clubs with kids he doesn't know. So we are trying to see if there may be a state secondary in commuting distance of london where there is a thriving extra curricular scene. Any recommendations gratefully received!
Quite right! Just realised I hadn't done that. We need to stay west/south West of London (M4/M3) and would consider train journeys of up to 1.15 hrs. We have done all the usual online searches but it is heavy going. By sports we are thinking of team sports (hockey, cricket etc).
If he wants to play hockey and cricket, then you could try and live a convenient journey from one of the good clubs that puts forward its most promising players for country trials. The one that springs to my mind (which does hockey, cricket and tennis) is the Spencer Club in Earlesfield.
Are you considering moving or state boarding? Or both?
If moving, which side of London works for your commute and proximity to wider family and friends?
Sorry I just realised you've already answered that! I somehow managed to read it as that you are in SW London now - hence recommendation for a SW London club. My only excuse is that I am MNetting whilst having wake-up coffee (and hope to be more alert soon).
Charters school in Sunningdale has loads of very successful sports teams. Hockey, football, rugby, cricket, tennis, running (lots of running), netball, athletics. It's a big school and PE is compulsory as an exam until 16. It's about an hour on train to Waterloo.
I was thinking of Charters too. I used to teach there.
The SW London grammars tend to have very active after-school sports clubs. Not sure that any of the state school secondaries are any less big on sports than their private equivalents. However, because parents aren't as well off, not all the DCs will have done paid-for sports extra-curricular activities from an early age, so this narrows the pool in terms of proven talent for team picking etc...
Are there any sports-specialising academies in SW London that you woud do well to investigate?
We are other side of M25 from London and just selling our house so can move if necessary. Hadn't thought of state boarding but could look at it if there was a really good one.
Have you thought about moving further north and still paying fees? Bedford or Milyon Keynes. Fees in MK are half that of the south yet it's only 45min by train into Town.
The average journey time between Milton Keynes Central and London Euston is 39 minutes. The fastest journey time is 34 minutes. On an average weekday, there are 180 trains per day travelling from Milton Keynes Central to London Euston. The journey time may be longer on weekends and holidays.
Journey is even shorter than I thought! DH works in London and commutes in from the Home Counties and it takes him longer than those coming from MK. He has said in the past that the number of City workers living in MK has risen dramatically due to the short commute.
DD had a friend at prep who is now boarding at Holyport College, a state boarding school, and she just loves it. It's just south of Maidenhead and they have loads of sports teams.
It's a new school so no results yet for GCSE and A Levels, but it's sponsored by Eton who are overseeing everything. My friend is hugely impressed so far.
How did someone wanting to play a bit of sport become extrapolated into joining Spencer and being put forward (as any club or school can) for County (not actually County trials you get put forward for) trials???
Be wary of what any school claims it does offer in sports and the reality. Local comp to us has always had a good rep in sports yet feedback from Y7 joiners is that it's Mickey Mouse cricket and for football there was just 1 team and they hardly played a match.
It's not an easy thing to judge from outside though is it, so you might need to 'wing it' (excuse the pun!) and go for the best school options (academically).
As SAHDthatsall's comment suggests, one person's perception of a brilliantly sporty schooll may not be agreed upon by some one else.
Unless of course you go for an academy with a sports specialism ( there are some out there in SW London). I've found this one: secondary-schools.findthebest.co.uk/l/17221/Carshalton-Boys-Sports-College (but noting that it's not locally regarded as one of the 'naice' schools in the area!
It became a recommendation for a club because sport doesn't have to be done at school. But if course if they want it specifically via a school then of course what I said was useless.
And I've already explained about and apologised for my misreading of where they are at the moment, which led to incorrect focus on SW London.
(And yes I know there are many routes to county level. But I didn't know there were lots of schools/clubs that had same level of performance within one club for both the two sports OP mentioned by name)
Our DC is very motivated by his peers and not wild about us topping up outside school in clubs with kids he doesn't know.
Presumably if he moves from a private prep to a state comp, he will be meeting a whole new group of kids anyway. Perhaps easiest to ease him into a few outside school clubs now that would carrying him through into high school. My DD2s hockey club goes from 4 year olds right through adults with a nice mix of kids from both state and private schools. Our local cricket club that DD1 goes to is the same.
Don't any of his prep-school buddies go to outside clubs at all? If he moves to a comp he will need some time to settle in and make new friends. If he already has some afterschool clubs that he attends where he has gotten to know the other children and feels comfortable, it might ease the school transition.
My Ds's comp SW London has lots of teams a-c rugby in year 7 ,on football x country etc however most of the team players/also play club rugby at outside clubs. Also unlike a prep school there isn't a place on the team for everyone who wants to play. I think there were 12 in the year 7 cross country team. 200 in the year group. A-c teams rugby is 15 boys approx 120 boys in the year etc. However teams were never fixed and they did rotate people.
Club sport is really good and your DC will meet others from there school there.
Teddington, Grey court, Orleans Park, and Waldegrave are all sporty schools if Richmond borough is on your radar
most kids seem to play for clubs outside school too. Surbiton Hockey Club, Teddington Hockey Club.
Tons of cricket clubs around Teddington
no idea about football but i guess it is the same
Only rowing seems to be mostly school-grown, but plenty of local rowing clubs for those without a school rowing club.
even the private school kids still play for these clubs, i think you're making a mistake discounting the outside school route for clubs. ime most dcs in the top school teams will have been coached to that level by a club rather than just by the school.
Thanks all. Lots of recommendations to look up. We probably should also reconsider how essential it is to have it all on site at school. Our DS sport strengths are more solo (swimming, long distance running) and only makes the B teams for rugby cricket etc but he does really enjoy them and we'd like to keep it up. Academics v.important - high expectations, motivated kids.. what everyone wants I suppose!
Hi OP. I've PM'd you with a suggestion of a school to look at in my area. Hope it helps, and good luck with your search.
Are Kent grammar schools an option? Judd and Skinners' (Tonbridge/Tunbridge Wells) are both good for sport and seem to be on the private school circuit. Otherwise Langley Park School for Boys, an outstanding comp in Beckenham - great for rugby, hockey and cricket (C and D teams).
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