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Roedean and Brighton College again

(45 Posts)
trailfinder09 Sat 11-May-19 18:16:33

We visited today Roedean at Open Day and were quite impressed with the school and especially with their boarding and sport facilities.We also visited Brighton College earlier this month and currently trying to decide between these two schools. Roedean seems to be lacking in the science labs and technology a lot compared to Brighton college. And Brighton College lacks sport facilities and their campus is right in the town, hence a lot smaller and busier. Also one of our tour guides told as that they had friends in BC and one of them really struggled to keep up with the homework and constant pressure to achieve certain grades and the other one moved schools. Also they said that BC has a practice of ‘culling’ each year if the child is not achieving a required level.

I would be very grateful if anyone with some knowledge and first hand experience of both these school shares their opinions. I have read every single thread on this and could not find the most up to date info. Many thanks!!

Balootoyoutoo Sat 11-May-19 19:55:06

Snap Trailfinder! I was at Roedean today too, and BC a couple of weeks ago. They are such different vibes - we are going to find it so hard to decide - it's comparing apples and pears.

Roedean definitely felt like less of a 'machine' and much less pressure than Brighton. Given that, it was interesting that in the Head's talk today, he suggested that matched ability for ability, Roedean pupils do as well as they would have done at Brighton. At least, I think that's what he was saying...I got a bit lost at that bit.

trailfinder09 Sat 11-May-19 21:06:12

@Balootoyoutoo - same mixed feelings here. Brighton is 7th in the National league table and 32nd in the GCSE results at A*-A and Roedean is 132 in the league table and 118th in the GCSE results nationally which is good but not great. I keep wondering how Brighton College manage to get such fantastic results when they said they look for 'on a brighter side of average' pupils. Our current prep is super selective but they are nowhere near BC results...
League tables aside - it would be good to understand where Roedean is moving with their investments as science labs and tech at school are seriously lacking. Please can anyone with experience of these school share their opinions on how is it to be part of these schools, may be some info on future plans of Roedean? Many thanks

derekthe1adyhamster Sat 11-May-19 21:16:15

I have experience of BC. If a pupil is accepted there and is prepared to work they will get very good results. Mainly because standards are high, teaching is exceptional and the teachers are prepared to put in time outside of the classroom. The pupils want to do well and any pressure to do well comes from them and not the school.
I do not know of any 'culling'

trailfinder09 Sat 11-May-19 22:08:03

derekthe1adyhamster Thank you, this is helpful. Having spoken to some of their teachers I agree, they are great. So is it right that they won't ask a child to leave politely at the end of the year if they are not meeting their requirements for whatever reason? Also someone said on this forum that you will not be allowed to take a GCSE of choice if you were unlikely to get an A. Is this right?

ImTheCaddy Sat 11-May-19 22:45:31

They absolutely do "cull". That's if you can get in in the first place. Even from their own feeder prep schools not everyone gets a place. They have to sit an exam to be allowed to sit the pre test, then the pre test and interview and still the common entrance.

They manage out a lot of the low achievers so with standards like that it's not hard to see how they get the results they do.

Having said that, if it's the right school for you, then it's a great place. Know 3 who love it and two who were managed out.

Balootoyoutoo Sat 11-May-19 23:06:30

That's really interesting ImTheCaddy. The ones who love Brighton College, what are they like? I'm trying to get a picture of who thrives where...

Flippershex Sun 12-May-19 00:08:13

I don't believe they cull - what age is your dd trailfinder? It's not automatic entry from the prep but I don't think it's fair to describe that as a cull. My ds is starting there in 2020, we love the school.

trailfinder09 Sun 12-May-19 09:42:48

Balootoyoutoo - thank you, would be interesting to know what they consider the right standard. Do they have loads of homework on a daily basis. I have a daughter, and wonder how girls progress in school with 60% of boys. Headmaster spoke a lot about boys doing better in a co-ed, boys doing better in sport etc and very little was said about girls...

trailfinder09 Sun 12-May-19 09:49:16

Flippershex - my DD will be entering in 2021 in year 7. She is not in BC prep and will be doing the entry exams; hence I'm trying to make a shortlist of schools to apply to. Don't really want more than 3 schools on a list.

Balootoyoutoo Sun 12-May-19 10:07:50

Trailfinder - from kids I have known who have entered BC and Roedean at Year 7, I don't think the entry standard is as high as they would like us to believe! I think Roedean, in recent years, has taken anyone who is keeping up - at roughly the expected standard - although that could change now that they've got their numbers up. I think BC are looking for good average (at least for girls - I suspect they get disproportionately large numbers of boys applying and may have higher entry criteria for them).

Have you looked at Hurst? I've heard nothing but good about it from a number of sources, but was a bit underwhelmed by their open day.

trailfinder09 Sun 12-May-19 10:18:37

Balootoyoutoo - interesting, thanks.For us Brighton would mean relocation or weekly boarding ( which i don't really want), so we are only considering these two schools in Brighton as she is currently in a very academic school (but sadly with poor sport and art provision), so it must be a school which ticks all the boxes :-) If BC standards are not very high, how on earth they get the results they get when even my DD's school is lower in league table and they don't even hide that they manage out kids every few years if they don't perform at the right standard....

derekthe1adyhamster Sun 12-May-19 15:20:46

I repeat. If your daughter is accepted, they will do fine.
If your child is at the prep school they still have to pass the entrance exam.
There is no culling of pupils but they are expected to work hard. It is not a school for lazy children.
Art, dance and sport are valued as much as academic success. And GCSE & A levels, Btec in these subjects are available.

giddybiddy Mon 13-May-19 14:03:58

My DD has just started at BC in Lower School. It has been reiterated to us time and time again that there are no further academic hurdles and no 'culling'. They are selective so I guess they know what they are doing when looking for the sort of child who will succeed there. I know of children who have been asked to leave due to behaviour issues. I think children might chose to leave if they weren't enjoying the fast pace learning environment as it is that and it is dynamic. From our experience they have a very thorough admissions process so I am guessing that combined with the expectations they set from the outset in terms of effort is why they do well? While we didn't do entrance from prep school, my understanding is that they are pretty selective into Year 9 also and yes you don't automatic entry from the BC prep schools, but the parents are told in advance if the children are not likely to be suitable candidates. Seems fair enough if they start at 3 years old not to be able to assume it will be the right fit at 13. Roedean are going from strength to strength as I understand it, the new Head there is apparently very amibitious. I think it comes down to whether you want single sex or co-ed..

trailfinder09 Mon 13-May-19 22:22:58

giddybiddy -thank you so much for your insights. We are thinking of year7 entry as well, not year 9, but they do have the exams as well. Are they very hard?
It's quite confusing as there is a lot of feedback on mumsnet about 'culling'/ letters sent home.Surely they have selected those kids too, but i guess something happened midway.

we have seen two schools and will be deciding between them, it's hard choice though!

giddybiddy Tue 14-May-19 07:06:55

I think the exams are thorough rather than hard and if you like BC and are worried about this issue then I would ask them about it. I have friends up the school and have genuinely only heard of children leaving for behaviour issues.

derekthe1adyhamster Tue 14-May-19 07:08:54

Maybe before pretesting, there was more movement in the school. Since they started pretesting for entry into yr 9, the pupils are not asked to leave except if they are expelled. If they get in at yr7, then they will automatically move into yr9. Anecdotally, these are the brightest in the school.

StreetDreams Wed 15-May-19 01:31:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Balootoyoutoo Wed 15-May-19 22:49:55

Oh Gosh StreetDreams, that's depressing...but does echo the whispers that I hear around these schools. Do you have any knowledge of Hurst? (Please say it's fab, otherwise I'm all out of options...confused)

derekthe1adyhamster Thu 16-May-19 07:20:59

Christs hospital is definitely fab!
I have heard only good things about Hurst, but I don't think it's academically very strong. That is certainly the local reputation.

StreetDreams Thu 16-May-19 09:33:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Livenearbeach Thu 16-May-19 15:52:18

Hi I went to open day in March.. in presentation I'm sure they said are making big investment in science labs. Decided send our daughter there over Brighton even though academic.

Balootoyoutoo Thu 16-May-19 17:58:16

Oh StreetDreams you are kind! She is really pretty academic - particularly strong in the maths/science end of things. Averagely sporty, likes music and drama (not exactly gifted at either, but likes joining in).

She loves art and design and so would really appreciate somewhere with good facilities and teaching in that area.

I am happy for her to go to a school that has a wide range of abilities - as long as there are enough kids at the top end for her to bounce off, and clever teachers who will extend them.

She is well up for a bit of flexi-boarding, but anything more than that would break my heart blush

I have a fairly strong preference for mixed sex but also appreciate that I have a verrrry long wish list and will probably have to compromise somewhere.

Lancing has been excluded on the grounds of being just a bit too overtly religious.

We are right on the south coast, near Brighton.

Thanks in advance.

derekthe1adyhamster Thu 16-May-19 18:44:03

Brighton college might be out then if you can't go day? It offers weekly boarding but not Flexi
Shame because she sounds like Brighton college would suit her

Balootoyoutoo Thu 16-May-19 18:47:18

Oh sorry - we can absolutely do day - and I would prefer that, at least to start with. However, she's very set on having midnight feasts and pillow fights so is lobbying for somewhere that offers flexi-boarding...

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