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Emanuel School vs. Reed’s scholarship

(41 Posts)
MumAtHomeMainly Tue 20-Feb-18 22:55:21

Can anyone give me their thoughts about these two schools?

They both seem great but are very different too. Our son has been given an 11+ offer from Emanuel and a scholarship offer from Reed’s (bringing the fees down to the same as Emanuel fees). We need to decide which to go for.

It’s such a hard choice. Reed’s looks amazing but it would be quite a distance to travel for our son. Do-able but a much longer day than his current state school day and his two younger siblings will be home hours before he would get in from Reed’s.

Emanuel is an easy journey for him and only a few miles away. It seems great too but we haven’t had much personal contact with the school unlike with Reed’s who seem to know our son well already.

Reed’s is perhaps more appealing to our son but being further away I feel we should play safe with Emanuel and enjoy him being closer to home.

Any views?

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TawnyPippit Wed 21-Feb-18 09:27:47

What do you want to do with younger siblings? Emanuel currently has a generous sibling policy which makes it pretty easy for siblings to get in, so you could end up with all of your dc in the same school, which is v local to you. From my perspective, that would be a winner.

hardboiled Wed 21-Feb-18 10:14:26

After five years of secondary school for DS I'd say, if there's a doubt, go for the nearest school any time.

uer6701 Wed 21-Feb-18 10:48:25

Yes, agree. Go close to home. Where do you live- near London I suppose? Imagine where all your DS's friends will live if he goes to Reeds. Lots of driving for you as he gets older and wants to go to parties etc. Also transport very expensive, even child fares! No brainer for me...

MumAtHomeMainly Wed 21-Feb-18 11:33:23

Thank you TawnyPippit, hardboiled and uer6701 for your very helpful responses. It's so useful to have others' views and I'm grateful you took time to share them!

Good point about my other two kids - Emanuel would be a great option for all three children and it's very efficient to have them all together (something we enjoy currently, as we live opposite the school they're all at).

The cost of transport is the same for Reed's and Emanuel if we go for public transport, and since Reed's are offering a scholarship the overall cost works out fractionally cheaper for us. We're very lucky to be in this position.

But the logistics of having kids further from home do worry me. I'm used to having my brood around after school.

The flip side of this though is that perhaps we should pick the school he likes the most and leave the transport issues to sort themselves out? A longer school day worries me, but perhaps he'd get used to that??

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OrphanWeek Wed 21-Feb-18 11:37:30

Thing is, the transport issues usually don't sort themselves out. It will be exactly as you imagined it today. Brushing it aside is just a way of burying one's head, but the problem remains.

I've been in this position when the option was an absolutely fantastic school but hrs away and a very good school but not 'fantastic' near home. In the end we went for the one near, and have never regretted it.

hardboiled Wed 21-Feb-18 19:14:11

There have been days in y10 and 11 when my child has had 3 hours homework/revision. Do the maths, add extracurricular and if the result is a bedtime of 11pm or later please please reconsider... smile

sazzy5 Wed 21-Feb-18 19:54:55

Reeds is fab we liked it and my DS got a big scholarship. The long day with homework on top and a longish commute put us off as my DS has other activities too. I’m also not sure about the academics although that looks like it’s improving.
We are happily settled at the new school and all thoughts of the scholarship have been forgotten. Distance is a huge factor especially when young.

MumAtHomeMainly Wed 21-Feb-18 23:16:17

Thank you again for such useful advice. In answer to where we live - central Wimbledon. So the journey to Reed’s would be an hour each way. Not too bad but the Emanuel journey would be half an hour and trains are every 3 minutes, not every half an hour, so it’s much more efficient (no standing on platforms for ages if you’ve missed your train).

He still says he prefers the idea of an all boys school (a change from current mixed school) but we may have to override!

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penona Thu 22-Feb-18 14:30:52

Are you me?!
Seriously, we are in a similar dilemma.
Reeds has a school bus which leave from near the Guild on Worple Road at 725am, goes straight to the school arriving in time for early clubs / lessons etc, and comes back to the same place.

Other thing to note is Reeds has much longer school holidays than Emanuel (maybe to make up for the longer school day?) which might be a consideration with younger kids....

PM me if you want to have a chat about it! I don't know what to do either....

bettys Thu 22-Feb-18 16:11:07

I always seem to reply to Reed's threads.....! DS had offers from both Emanuel & Reed's and we went with Reed's even though it was further and we haven't regretted it a bit. We are in Barnes & he has lots of friends at Reed's who are in Wimbledon. Don't kid yourselves you won't be driving all over if your ds goes to friend's dc's who are there end up driving to parties all over south London. DS made friends with the others on his bus so had local mates as well as those further afield.
It is a long day at Reed's, but they pack a lot in, and seem to enjoy it. PM me if you have any questions.

Pompomsarethebest Thu 22-Feb-18 17:18:38

We are also having exactly the same debate! Emanuel is much closer but for me Reeds just felt right. I worry also that DS will get lost in the larger year group at Emanuel. Want him somewhere where they are really focused on getting the best out of him, not just content to have him achieving adequately in the middle. OP your comment about reeds already seeming to know your son struck a chord.

Bettys - have read many of your Reeds posts and they’ve been really helpful. Thank you! Do you have a view on how the academics are developing? Ie is the recent upward trend likely to continue do you think? Might also PM you if that’s ok - wasn’t sure of protocol as this is 1st mumsnet post!

ConnieUK74 Thu 22-Feb-18 17:56:55

Just to add, a few siblings didn’t make it to Emanuel this year despite being academically v able. A know a couple on the waiting list so it’s definitely not a given.

bettys Thu 22-Feb-18 18:15:13

Would agree it's not a given that siblings will get in at Emanuel, plus not necessarily the best fit for each child even if they are siblings. I'm always baffled by people who say go to the nearest school, even if it's not best for that child. Getting home quicker often just means more time on the Xbox not necessarily spending quality time with family or doing something worthwhile.

ConnieUK74 I would say the upward trend for academics is likely to continue (they had their best ever GCSE results in 2017), but there is so much more to Reed's than just exam results. Happy for you to PM me if you have questions.

bettys Thu 22-Feb-18 18:16:25

Sorry was replying to Pompomsarethebest !

sazzy5 Thu 22-Feb-18 18:32:40

Betty the reason people say go to the nearest school is because on the whole you only apply for schools you think are right for your child. Therefore make your DC’s life easier by cutting out a long day or commute.
Having said that I would recommend Reeds based on what I have seen it is a very nurturing school. The academics have picked up and it is definitely harder to get into than it was. If your DC loves the school and you think he could cope with the travel in his early years then go for it. You can visit the school again if still undecided. I don’t think you will make a bad decision with either school.

SugarRush123 Thu 22-Feb-18 20:29:37

Both schools are academically on the up and are achieving very similar results. Emanuel’s 2017 GCSE results put them just above Reed’s, and they are both particularly strong in Maths and Science. Both were on our shortlist, and given the choice between the two we’d have chosen Emanuel. 20 min train journey versus 1 hour school bus to Reed’s; public transport not really an option as it involves a walk through a dark wood and along country lanes with cars whizzing past - no fun with sports bags etc.

As it happens, we received an offer from our “aspirational” which we really weren’t expecting so are turning down both Reed’s and Emanuel. We’d have been happy with either though!

AnotherNewt Fri 23-Feb-18 19:33:21

There was at least one sibling turned down at Emanuel last year too.

The policy, that siblings only have to reach the pass mark to be be, remains. But the pass mark is creeping upwards (so siblings are not too far adrift from the first of a family).

Check the school journey carefully - if you really think it's doable, twice a day, and reliable, then that makes it less important as a factor.

It does sound as if you prefer Emanuel and he prefers Reeds. What is it that he attaches importance to?

MumAtHomeMainly Fri 23-Feb-18 21:53:25

Thanks everyone for your wisdom. It’s all been so valuable.

I saw the head at Reed’s yesterday and he was excellent. The school on a normal day was absolutely lovely. The boys were nicely behaved, the facilities breathtaking.... hmmmn.

The journey for most of the year isn’t as bad as I’d thought. It’s 20 mins on a train with a 10 min walk either end. One walk is through the woods but apparently lots walk together so could be ok. In the winter we’d opt for the school bus though.

It’s true my son seems to light up at talk of Reed’s but I’m not sure children see the full picture - he lives the facilities and amazing food but doesn’t yet know what it feels like to miss a train and have a 29 minute wait for the next. We’ll see both school together again this week. Hopefully he’ll get the right impression and we’ll make the right choice.

Thank you again for your lovely and helpful advice.

Only two more kids to go through this tough process.

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MumAtHomeMainly Fri 23-Feb-18 21:57:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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MumAtHomeMainly Fri 23-Feb-18 22:04:14

SugarRush123 - sorry, my last message probably came across all wrong! Well done on your son getting into his aspirational school. I hope he'll be really happy too - and thanks for saying you'd have been happy with Reed's and Emanuel too. You must have had plenty of good choices!

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SugarRush123 Fri 23-Feb-18 23:36:30

MumAtHome, it didn't come across wrong at all, and was a very reasonable question, so no worries! It isn't either of those, no. We were very surprised to get the offer as he didn't think he'd done well at all at his "aspirational". And the main reason that the "aspirational" is a no brainer is that it's also the most local to us, and a number of his friends will go there.
Personally I'm a bit sad as I absolutely love Emanuel - that was my favourite all along and is the school I'd like to attend myself if I had my time again! Reed's is lovely too but I just didn't get quite the same buzz there as I did going through the labs, library, theatre etc at Emanuel. And I LOVED the fact that DS could get there and home again independently without the need for a school bus (luckily that's also the case with the school he's going to in the end). With Reed's I felt that I'd end up collecting him at least a couple of times a week for the next 7 years - that's what friends with boys there do. The school buses are great but it's a really long day when you have to leave home before 7 every morning and only get home after 7 at night (and depending on traffic, our friends' DS often doesn't get in until closer to 8).

DS1 has been saying all along "how can you even think about turning down the school of the founder of the internet" - when he heard that Tim Berners-Lee regularly speaks at Emanuel he wanted to move there from his top London school grin BUT we're hopefully going to make some other children happy by turning down both these places next week.

ifonly4 Sat 24-Feb-18 10:58:26

As Emanuel is closer, take your son to see the school again in the next few days. He may get a better feel for it one way or the other and you'll get the chance to meet staff and get a feel yourself.

Fridayschild Sun 25-Feb-18 08:02:23

We have a friend whose kid was so exhaust by the commute to Reeds he's gone to weekly boarding. I'd go for Emmanuel in your shoes - the scholarship is great, and flattering, but long journeys like that wear you down.

Think too about parents' evenings, sports matches, school plays, mums' nights out... You're less connected to secondary school than you are to primary school, though in some ways it's even more important. That sort of distance just it even harder

sazzy5 Sun 25-Feb-18 11:48:09

Mumathome I talked to the school about trains and they said definitely not in the first few years. It is a walk through some woods and will be very dark, I wouldn’t consider it until they are older. The coach is far better. I agree the Head is great that was why I found the school hard to turn down. Logistics is the issue and for us the length of day was very long unnecessarily so IMHO. The scholarships offered there are big but I wouldn’t let that sway you as many or most turn them down. Reeds will start pushing you soon as they operate a waiting list we were pushed last year.

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