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(11 Posts)
Sentirosso Wed 29-Aug-18 23:09:51

I'm thinking of sending my daughter to Hockerill. I'm a single parent working as a freelance artist who needs a lot of time to work. My daughter, being my only child, although fairly quiet, is very sociable, which suggests she might like to board with other children. She is very drawn to creative and practical skills, and though it's important for her to be able to reach a certain academic standard, I would like her to be in an environment where originality and creativity are high on the agenda - eg cooking, photography, 3D design, self-motivated projects etc. I am also keen for her to be in a place with children from many kinds of backgrounds - both financial and geographical. Above all, I'm looking for a place where there is an emphasis on kindness, a sense of community and respect for the environment. I'd be grateful if anyone could give me some feedback about this. Many thanks.

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Hersetta427 Thu 30-Aug-18 15:12:01

I am not sure just been social (but quiet) suggests a need for boarding frankly. I live a mile away from the school and its cear focus is on language so i am unaware how much they focus on cooking and photography - probably very little to be honest).

The school is notoriously hard to get into so you have to demonstrate a clear need for boarding to get a place which usually means parents working long hours (not at home) or who are out of the country frequently.

Sentirosso Thu 30-Aug-18 15:34:49

Thanks for that. Very useful to know about the focus on language. I work long hours and will need to have days working away from home. So it is a serious possibility for us. Because she's an only child, I think sharing a life with others might be a good thing for her.

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Hersetta427 Thu 30-Aug-18 15:57:03

Sorry but if you don't know that Hockerill is a language focused school then it sounds like you know very little about the place. i would suggest you find out a bit more about the school to see if it really is the best place for your child rather than focus on the boarding aspect.

river1 Thu 30-Aug-18 16:16:42

Hi Sentirosso - my Dd has just finished her first year at Hockerill, though not as a boarder. As Hersetta says, the school’s strengths are languages and also music. I don’t know too much about it’s art provision beyond what dd has done so far, but I don’t think it is particularly strong. Tbh I would doubt that you are going to find this kind of creative bias within the state sector ?
As far as boarding goes, yes there is competition but nowhere near as much as for a day place. I also suspect that brexit is going to make boarding places easier to get.
In terms of the community, our impression so far (as non boarders) is that it is a friendly and inclusive school where diversity is encouraged. As well as IB (instead of a levels) they teach the IB middle years programme which encourages lateral thinking and independent project work. Hope that helps.

Sentirosso Thu 30-Aug-18 18:34:33

Thank you very much, river1. Good to know about the lateral thinking and independent project work. My daughter is strong on music, so I think it could be a place for her. I'm glad your daughter's enjoyed her first year at Hockerill. All the best.

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hertsandessex Thu 30-Aug-18 19:50:22

The language specialism is true but not it is not over the top. Just means almost everybody studies two languages from year 8 and those that capable (maybe 30-50% go on the French or German bilingual track which is bit more demanding). Otherwise it is a well rounded school and is particularly strong in music, lots of drama, pretty good with Design and Technology. Also there are cooking classes! smile And yes a wide range of backgrounds in terms of nationality and social background. So it sounds like your daughter would fit in well. As for getting in yes extremely difficult as a day student (aptitude, sibling or live a few hundred metres away) but much easier for boarding so you would have a reasonable chance.

Sentirosso Thu 30-Aug-18 22:39:09

Thank you, hertsandessex. This has been really helpful to hear. I like to hear of the school being well-rounded and with a wide range of backgrounds. Very heartening!

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custard111 Mon 21-Jan-19 22:42:52

Hello. Sorry to jump on your thread. So, is there a priority catchment it is wholly based on aptitude tests? Thank you

custard111 Mon 21-Jan-19 22:43:29

Sorry OR is it based on aptitude?

Hersetta427 Tue 22-Jan-19 14:41:33

The apptitude tests have no priority catchment - you could live anywhere and still sit the tests and apply for a place.

The general places (of which there are generally only around 20 places go to feeder primary schools (2/3rds) and one third to people not at feeder schools living closest to the school.

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