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School in the Surrey/Kent/East Sussex boarders that isn't crazily selective!

(23 Posts)
BadSkiingMum Fri 22-Nov-19 11:56:17

Hello, I am looking for a secondary school - independent or state - for 10 year old DC.

Ideally we are looking for a mixed school, with a not-too- competitive ethos and good pastoral care.

I have looked at quite a few old threads, but wondered if there is more up-to-date information that I am missing? Does anyone have any views on:

Royal Russell
Radnor House
Royal Alexandra and Albert
Dunottar
Box Hill
Lingfield
Sackville

Any other schools nearby that I might have overlooked?
Thanks.

BadSkiingMum Fri 22-Nov-19 11:57:57

Gah, apologies for typo in thread title - I was just thinking about wanting day versus boarding, hence writing 'boarders'. grin

Gingercat1223 Fri 22-Nov-19 19:49:46

Also you want Radnor House Kent and not Twickenham - same owners

LIZS Fri 22-Nov-19 19:53:51

Are you looking for day places? For RAAS you need to live very locally if so but it is not otherwise selective. Worth?

BadSkiingMum Fri 22-Nov-19 20:49:19

Any views on Radnor House, Kent? I know that it has had a re-vamp in recent years.

Thanks for the suggestion, but Worth is ruled out for us from a faith point of view.

I know that Lingfield has had some mixed feedback on here over the years. Any more recent views?

Is RAAS oversubscribed for flexi boarding?

JoJoSM2 Fri 22-Nov-19 21:31:43

I think there’s quite a difference between say, Royal Russell, which is mixed ability but quite academic with Oxbridge offers vs eg Box Hill or Dunnotar which I wouldn’t really call academic at all. At that end of the spectrum, you could also look at Ewell Castle.

In terms of state schools, are you willing to move house? Generally, people tend to be in the catchment of the closest 1-3.

LIZS Fri 22-Nov-19 21:56:30

Think flexi boarding is oversubscribed, it is relatively recently introduced. The ofsted for boarding may be worth reading.

MaybeDoctor Sat 23-Nov-19 17:04:31

Thanks. Would you say that Royal Russell is harder to get into than Lingfield?

chalkyc2 Sun 24-Nov-19 07:18:45

I don't know Lingfield but from playground gossip I get the sense that RR mops up those who don't get into Trinity or Whitgift/Croydon High and the Dulwich schools.

I have friends at Radnor Sevenoaks who are happy. I think this is less selective but getting more popular.

BadSkiingMum Sun 24-Nov-19 10:25:06

Ok, so probably a fairly high standard of attainment at Royal Russell in that case?

BadSkiingMum Sun 24-Nov-19 10:26:25

Child is of average attainment but a hard worker and very well behaved.

BadSkiingMum Sun 24-Nov-19 10:28:20

I just read the RAAS boarding Ofsted - I’m a bit surprised it got an overall Outstanding given some of the caveats in the content...

JoJoSM2 Mon 25-Nov-19 09:10:56

OP, you can look at the GCSE results to gauge how easy or difficult a school will be to get into.

Lingfield comes first, then Royal Russell and then all the other ones.

As RR is our top choice for DS for prep, I’ve looked the school in more detail. It has a broad range of abilities, from children getting straight 8-9 at GCSE to those struggling to pass 5 subjects (but generally skewed towards the higher attainers). Don’t know if you’ve seen around but the facilities are extensive. Something that’s quite unusual is that the school doesn’t really play rugby but is exceptional and sought after for football. I expect it’s also a lot more diverse than schools outside London (from what we’ve seen looking around schools in Surrey).

Have you been to open days and have preferences?

BadSkiingMum Mon 25-Nov-19 10:58:54

Thanks. I found this summer's post GCSE and A Level press announcements quite interesting in terms of raw results but also in terms of what the schools chose to emphasise in the narrative.

But surely GCSE results actually reflect how hard the senior school was to get into three to five years' ago, rather than now? Whereas schools may change their selection approach over time to become more academic, more sporty or whatever.

Thanks for the insight into RR. They aren't currently running tours for my year of entry, but will be doing so in the spring so I will arrange a visit.

JoJoSM2 Mon 25-Nov-19 18:00:00

Well yes, current GCSEs are reflective of the intake a few years ago. However, schools do take a number of years to change substantially so it can be a rough guide.

SJane48S Tue 26-Nov-19 20:27:15

My sister boarded at Box Hill so this is historic as I’m middle aged! It wasn’t particularly academic and had quite a few overseas students (the UK based ones seemed to be predominantly from London). She had a good time there and made some lifelong friends but wasn’t pushed at all academically and left at 16 with very limp GCSE’s (and went back to studying years later to do her A Levels, degree and then PGSE). To my knowledge, only one of her friends went on to university. It may have changed completely since obviously.

stacysmom Thu 28-Nov-19 13:25:16

Have you considered Caterham? I have a very academic DD who absolutely loves the atmosphere there and is desperate to get a place there. She aced the Kent Test but is very unsure about the single-sex aspect of the grammars.

BadSkiingMum Thu 28-Nov-19 13:34:10

Thanks, I would love to be able to consider Caterham but unfortunately I think it is so far out of our range that I am not even going to waste the petrol! grin

But well done to your DD for acing the Kent test. Good for her and I hope she is able to fully explore all the choices this opens up.

stacysmom Thu 28-Nov-19 13:40:03

Just realised I came over as a very boasty mum. Didn’t mean to, just highlighting the tyranny of choice! Good luck in your search!

Bellie99 Thu 28-Nov-19 19:57:19

Dunottar may be worth an extra look. Not sure since the new head took over and they seem to have removed their exam results from their website. Seems to push pastoral heavily.

BranchingOut Thu 28-Nov-19 20:44:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BadSkiingMum Fri 29-Nov-19 10:24:05

@stacysmom
No worries! You must be proud of your DD. I was a teen who tended to score well in tests so it’s probably very good for me to be on the other side of the coin. grin

@Bellie99
Thanks, Dunottar is definitely on our radar.

ploughingthrough Fri 29-Nov-19 10:35:52

Heathfield is a great state option. Inspiring headteacher.

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