Rutlish and Ricards Lodge.(15 Posts)
I see Rutlish and Ricards have a sibling policy between the two schools. Ds is in year 6 so we are applying for secondary schools. I wasnt going to put rutlish first but am now thinking I should. DD will be at secondary in 2 years and Ricards was on our list so I dont want her to miss a place with this sibling policy. I saw rutlish last night and quite liked it but havent seen ricards as it was on the same night (not good planning between linked schools!) I know both schools previously had an.offy repuatation, any current opinions?
I have 2 boys at Rutlish and they're doing well, though DS2 has only been there a couple of weeks. DS1 is in Year 10 and our experience of the school has been really positive. He is doing very well academically and being challenged and has a great group of friends. I would say the school's reputation is now very good because it was turned round by the current head, who is excellent. On the downside, boys only do one MFL, French or German - so if you want anything else it'll be done outside school, whereas I think Ricards do 2 languages. I think the sibling policy is new so it'll be interesting to see what happens but the catchment for Rutlish shrinks every year and most of the boys move up from the local primary schools, which makes the transition quite easy.
I only have positive things to say about Rutlish. My DS1 is in year 9 and will be joined by DS2 in a couple of years. DS1 is happy, has great friends and is being challenged. He's doing brilliant well there. The school has vastly improved his literacy - they just "get" boys. Discipline is strict and on the whole behaviour is good.
It's a shame some people just can't see that it is a changed school from a few years ago, but it's their loss. My DS1 has a short journey to school and local friends and a fab education - what is there not to like!
I don't know much about Ricards but mum friends of mine who have daughters say they are happy there and doing well.
In the years I've lived in Merton the reputations of both schools have risen upwards and onwards. Any lingering 'off' comments about the schools seem to be generally hearsay or historically decontextualised.
You only have to look at the shrinking catchment areas (particularly pertinent for Rutlish) over the past decade or so to see the increasing popularity of both schools.
Know lots of families with DCs flourishing at both schools.
Interested to hear about the sibling policy - not previously aware of that.
Interested in this thread as we live very close to Rutlish, and in the past discounted it.
My son has just sat the SET for the Grammars, but just missed the mark for Sutton. Got offered two others which are too far for us.
Are there streams/sets for Rutlish now for more able boys? My son is currently at quite a small school but am worried he's going to find it a bit overwhelming, although as he's a local kid I'm sure he'll know boys there.
We literally live a stones throw from the school and I have really noticed the boys changing over the years...I should really go to an open afternoon next week.
I think the sibling policy is brand new - I'm pretty sure it didn't apply to the current intake as it wasn't mentioned when I went to the secondary schools applications process meetings! It makes sense given the joint sixth form, which is doing really well even though it's relatively new, and because I imagine there are a lot of parents who have or will have DCs in the two schools.
There is definitely a 'Gifted & Talented' stream for the most able boys. I have several friends whose bright sons' have been/are on that pathway.
More info here: www.rutlish.merton.sch.uk/academics/gifted-and-talented/
I think all secondary schools seem overwhelming for the children to start with, but they very quickly adapt.
Also, as with most state secondaries these days, Rutlish has a 'House' system which helps the boys with a 'reduced' (size-wise) perspective on school life.
The boys are set in Maths, English and Science accordingly to their ability in each, and then set across French, IT, DT and a few other subjects which I can't remember. A couple of subjects are taught in tutor groups (so mixed ability). They split the 8 houses into 2 groups and set each group of 4 houses across 5 ability sets. There is G&T group which takes the top 20 something boys and arranges speakers etc on interesting things (eg this year they followed the referendum closely).
To be honest the ability of the boys coming into Rutlish is improving year on year and there are very many very able boys which mean that for the past few years they have had to have more than one top set of maths and science.
My son is challenged and stretched and he was a grammar school candidate but we choose not to do that route and we have absolutely no regrets. First and foremost he is happy, he has great friends and he actively likes going to school! That for me is paramount, as the learning bit is easy to accomplish once you have a happy child!
He came from a small one form entry primary school and his class only had 23 children in by year 6 but the transition was smooth and easy. The HOY came out to meet him and others in year 6 at the primary, they had an induction day and they had the CAT test there. He was very ready for it once he started in the September.
DS1 passed the first test for Sutton Grammar and then decided he wanted to go to Rutlish rather than sit the second test. I had some misgivings but I liked the school on open evening so went with it. Three years later and we didn't even bother with tutoring/sitting tests for DS2 as our experience of Rutlish has been very positive. As well as knowing boys from his own primary, DS2 knows lots of the older boys, which helps. (My dss also went to a one-form primary school and the size of the secondary hasn't been a problem!)
Thanks all. That's really helpful. I will try and go to an open afternoon next week.
Is there a lot of drama and music at the school? My son is really into both.
Drama is popular. They have one or two performances a year but I don't know how good they are tbh as DS doesn't do drama! I can comment on music: the music lessons introduce keyboard and ukele playing as well as some theory and music history. There are teachers who come in privately to teach guitar, drums and piano and also some MMF peri teachers for other instruments (e.g, cello). In terms of extracurricular groups it's a bit hit and miss but improving as more boys come into the school playing a wider variety of instruments - there is a school band, a choir and a ukelele group, plus each year group does a music recital for parents and teachers. The Christmas carol concert is lovely - the staff choir sings as well! There's also a music tech club. On the downside, the music department is small, so they do their best but around GCSE assessment time that tends to take priority over the school band!
Has anyone got an inside view on Ricards and gifted and talented? I've heard they don't stream (or maybe it was that they stream based on ability in one subject for all arts subjects?). I'm also interested in the pastoral care, particulary for kids who are a bit socially awkward - I know lots of people say they find their 'group' at secondary, but I suspect it depends a bit on the school as to whether the trendy kids dominate or whether all types find their own friends and are happy.
Regardless of whether unconditional offers were refused, the current year 7 is the biggest they've ever had and they've put an extra class in
fun Unconditional offers? I thought it was all distance-based, with a sibling rule?
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