Hampton versus Kingston Grammar(12 Posts)
Hi, we have offers for both Hampton and KGS for our DS. Can anyone tell me anything about these schools and how to choose between them?
Presumably you have looked round them both - what did you like/dislike about each?
I guess the co-ed vs boys thing is something you must have a feel for
And what about the difference in site/location - Hampton has all the space etc but is rather isolated, KGS much more urban, less space (though Ditton Field is fabulous, where they do their sport) but much more fun place to be at school - they all love having Kingston on the doorstep
KGS is a very happy place generally, fairly laid back. I don't have personal experience of Hampton but all the boys I know who go there seem to like it and do well.
What is your gut feeling? What is your ds like?
Anecdotally, (friends & I have children in both plus LEH, SHS, KCS) KGS transition from state primary less traumatic as a) coed b) homework less onerous and huge focus on how to learn effectively. Also - tho' not sure if gcse years onwards or whole school - teachers not allowed to set homework to be handed in the next day; must have at least 2 nightS to do it. This really allows the children to get stuck into Co curricular / continue existing afterschool activities.
Sites are vastly different, sports offered are different eg no rugby at KGS, but v strong in hockey, rowing & Hampton v sporty incl rowing; teaching styles are different, in part because of one being coed & the other being boys only. KGS results definitely on an upwards trend. V caring school.
Hampton has a reputation for setting huge amounts of homework, but having 1 week free of homework each term. Good pastoral care. Strong links with LEH next door; many siblings go to both schools. Long lunch hour so clubs are accessible to coach boys, plus recent late coaches set up. For a school that's pastoral, seems to have as much of a drugs scene as urban schools. 😔 Don't expect to swerve any of those problems by being out of town.
Both school's get great results from their pupils. A few league points won't make a huge difference. All else being equal, gut instinct on which your son will fit into better.
I have a DS at Hampton and have been surprised (pleasantly) at how little homework he has. He came from a prep school but seems to have far less than he did there and his reports and grades are all good, so I don't think he's not doing it!
Maybe the change at 11 is more dramatic.
I do love the fact that they don't appear to have holiday homework which means the holiday really is a holiday.
No experience of KGS
They are very different schools.
A few questions to ask yourself
1) the obvious all male vs coed
2) journey to school: coached in to Hampton with the LEH girls vs independent bus/train to KGS. Which will he prefer? The coach is easy and reliable yet DD would have found it quite stressful/claustrophobic with the same characters day in, day out you can't get away from
3) How sporty is your ds? Hampton sport is onsite (rowing at Sunbury) and often at lunchtime. KGS sport is mostly at Ditton Field -how will your ds travel to/from these locations for sport?
4) dd is yr8. her friends from primary who went to Hampton were overwhelmed with homework in yr7. She wasn't -yr7 homework is fairly light, focus is on organisation, extra curricular, transition. Her homework has picked up significantly however since Christmas.
What does your ds think? Which is the best journey?
Our DS also has offers from Hampton and KGS. We are not that clear which would suit best. Hampton appears to have the edge with slightly better results and "exceptional" or "excellent" everything according to ISI. But KGS results are very good, it's "excellent" or "good" on ISI report, it's co-ed (not a great issue but we have a younger DD), and it's nearer. DS favours KGS as a friend is going there too. It seems to be a very caring school and maybe less pressured than Hampton (on homework say?), which might suit DS better. However should we be worried when Hampton obviously feel he can handle it? (900+ boys for 85 places in Y7 after all).
Hampton would require the school coach or train/bus and would take maybe 1 hour more commute time in total each day. Is it worth that sacrifice of time everyday? It's a real conundrum for us.
At least DS would not miss out on extras as most clubs seem to be at the extended lunch time at Hampton. He would get back home earlier if he was at KGS, which means he may be spending more time home alone - so the longer day at Hampton may actually be positive in that one parent is more likely to be at home when he gets back.
Anyway any comments welcome! Thank you
there are many boys at KGS who also had offers from Hampton - particularly those living Surbiton/Thames Ditton/Kingston areas.
However those i know from the Twickenham area typically chose Hampton over KGS when they had both offers.
Hampton is an amazing school, I honestly hear nothing but good about it. However I think 5 extra hours a week commuting is a LOT.
Is your dd LEH material? Will she/you want co-ed for her? KGS whilst no sibling policy do seem kind to siblings
You have a lovely choice. We got an offer from Hampton too but have decided the commute would be too long. I also know from other parents that as the boys get older and more into sport training is in the evenings-making it a nightmare at pick up. I honestly think your DS will do well in whichever school, don't over analyse league tables, remember time is very precious so would go with the easiest commute.
Hampton offers a wider range of sport than KGS. Is that important?
I don't know how the KGS students spend their lunch hour, as it has virtually no outside space and situated in the most polluted street in Kingston.
In Hampton the boys are always out, they are playing football, running shoeless, rolling on the ground. If you have a very active boy, who does not like to be cooped up, then Hampton is a better match.
I have children at both Hampton & KGS & know a few others in the same boat.
If you have any specific questions please feel free to pm me.
Thanks for all your comments. It is really interesting to hear different perspectives.
On the commute KGS wins: he prefers the shorter and simpler one to KGS, but admits the coach option to Hampton is ok just longer.
On sport Hampton wins: Our boy is not that sporty although he does like run around at break times. He'd like to try rugby (not at KGS) and other sports that he hasn't been able to do before. He doesn't much like hockey (big at KGS), although these things are not so important that they are deal breakers.
On drama they are equal: He likes drama a lot and both schools seem great at that with curricular and clubs opportunities.
KGS wins for our DD: She is not so academic and scientific, she is totally different - very keen on art and creative type. She would prefer a co-ed so very much in KGS' favour, if she is academic enough to get in. I guess the school might favour her if she was a borderline case if she had a sibling already there, but it doesn't seem to be the KGS policy - although I will ask to check. As they seem so different (at least at the mo) they may well need different schools.
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