Rye St.Anthony school Oxford(16 Posts)
Can anyone tell me anything about this school from personal experience of it? I have two dd's and I like the look of it from prospectus, but would love some local opinion. Thanks.
I think my two nieces went here for a few years. Will have to check with SIL and post again tomorrow. If I'm right, they liked it and one of the girls had a medical condition which they were very good about.
Thank you sandripples. My impression so far is reasonably academic, but good pastorally and very encouraging to the pupils whatever their strengths/ weaknesses.
Katsch, I've spoken to one of the girls who went there - haven't managed to speak to the busy parents! Anyway, my niece is now 18 and preparing for university - she's bright. She liked Rye St A and certainly praises the pastoral side - everyone very kind etc. However she realised when she changed school that she had not been challenged or pushed very much. (She moved as the family moved). So I think it depends what you need. As its small you might also wish to check out the choice of subjects? My niece thinks its fine up to GCSE but she wouldn't recommend for 6th form as not enough social life! She's been to two other schools since and likes a lot of change and variety. She's confident and adventurous and flourished on this, so Rye would have been possibly too tame for her longer term I think. Her older sister however seemed very happy and did GCSes there. She was well supported on the pastoral side.
Academically Rye St Anthony is far behind Oxford High School (Day school only) and Headington School (Day and Boarding).
Oxford High School intensely focused on academic results and a high league table position. Headington Girls a broader experience with perhaps more empahsis on sport but still a very very good academic standard.
Have friends with girls at both OHS and Headington. Most Oxford parents would aspire to send their girls to one of the two but Rye St Anthony hardly ever figures in conversations. Not a bad school per se but not a first choice for many people I know.
You should also consider St Helen's & St Kathrine in Abingdon (Day school only).
Interesting BB. I think the pastoral side of RSA was critical for my relatives, but for obvious reasons I won't go into detail. The staff were very good on personal/medical support.
Thanks to both of you. What you've said fits with all that I've picked up from websites etc. I've been looking at Headington as well but the pastoral support at Rye might be more necessary for us due to my dd's health problems, so it's good to hear sandripples that your niece felt that side of it was good. BB - Headington does very well academically and yet everyone says that OH is the academic school. Is that because OH isn't overly interested in the broader arts/ sports ?
My feeling about OHS (which I know personally best of all) was that pastoral care was very good. They also had very good sportswomen (county and national teams), arts and drama and music is outstandingly strong and even their chess team has international champions in it. However, the academic side was what mattered above all else when push came to shove. The pace is very fast and if DD is in ill healh it might be a struggle to cope with that pace.
Incidentally, the headmistress (Felicity Lusk) has just been appointed to Abingdon School which is the brother school of St Helen's & St Kathrine.
I have a friend who has a daughter who just left Headington. She is an awesome rower which she did at school and then went Cambridge. He dotes on his daughter and just thinks Headington has been the making of her.
Thanks beenbeta. I'm heading for their open days and have the prospectus for all three, but it's always useful to hear from those with personal experience of schools.
I have had daughters at both schools- Rye is lovely , but I did feel that there was a fair bit of 'brushing under the carpet' of problems and a couple of parents had issues with bullying that were not dealt with or recognized.
OHS, I pulled one daughter out of as I really felt that pastoral care was non existent once the girls were out of year one. This was five years ago, so may have changed. I absolutely couldn't stand Felicity Lusk, I felt that she was utterly false, money obsessed and took a fair few sabbaticals whilst my dd was there.
Headington- no personal experience, but friends have and seem very happy with it.
I would agree with the earlier poster with regards to academic evaluations. Rye was not at all academic compared to OHS.
Sorry -I know I am late to this, but just re read posts and saw your comment re medical condition- Rye would be great with this I think.
Thanks tough. Good to hear of your experiences of both.
OHS & Headington Girls both high pressure environments. Heard that one girl who developed anorexia while at headington was given no sympathy and was asked to leave.
Would be interesting to hear what you did/how things are going!
OHS - Years ago I had a nightmare there with my son in the pre-prep department. Zero pastoral care. Zero parent sympathy or empathy even. Very poor and high-handed management of staff and parents. Dreadful all round. It is supposed to be better now, though.
OHS is the only school of the three that I know of where several parents have taken their children out because they were unhappy with the lack of genuine pastoral care, and the way parents were dealt with. It is a little bit like the Emperor's new clothes there. You assume it must be marvellous, and everyone acts as if it is, but when you look closely at what is being done, it doesn't bear too much scrutiny. And in the lower school the respect for parents really leaves something to be desired.
Rye - you're right - it sort of doesn't seem to feature. It is the place about which people always say 'it's very nurturing'. It has the best setting - sweet and secluded, with lovely grounds. The staff are very nice to deal with. It is slightly in its own little world. I suspect it could be very nice at lower years, but from 11 really tends to be for those who need less pressure/more support, I think.
Headington - seems to me the best of all. Have only ever heard great things about it. Nobody seems to have anything bad to say about it. Girls just bounce along the corridors with happiness. It manages to feel both focused and relaxed at the same time. I imagine girls come out of there with a very positive outlook re: both themselves and the world.
Just goes to show impressions from walking round don't ever give the full story. I got it wrong.
Headington is a place where the kids end up stressed and underachieve as a direct result.
Rye is the place where they bounce around the corridors with happiness. It's an amazing school. Everything a school should be. Literally a privilege to walk through its doors.
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