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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 12:04 am 
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Before I launch into fullscale Mumzilla 11+ prep mode ... I would love it if anyone with older boys at Reading could tell me what a lovely, caring school it is :) (Or isn't ;-) ) My friend's son is in Y7 and whilst he is a sensitive boy (so is my ds) and there is a bit of a problem with a disruptive influence or two in his particular class, the whole place sounds quite harsh, I think is the word. Boot camp, my friend called it.

I don't have a problem with expecting them to grow up a bit, be independent, get themselves organised, etc, but when I hear that someone crying in a lesson is common enough to be barely-remarkable, well, I have to say it's starting to make me a bit uneasy.

We went to the open evening last autumn, and ds very much liked the feel of the place, but I'm beginning to feel a bit as though I might be trying to get him to throw himself to the sharks! Reassure me :) Please? :D


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 12:26 am 
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Goodness, that doesn't sound great. Perhaps it isn't such a bad thing to have ended up on the waiting list as we have a school that is known for its supportive attitude as a back-up :wink: .

I had heard those sort of comments about Kendrick ("hot house" rather than "boot camp") but not about Reading. Being on the waiting list has made me worry more about whether DS would be able to cope, especially if he felt that he was at the bottom of the class, and whether that would do him more harm than good. No doubt others with more experience will be along to re-assure us all.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 9:07 am 
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Yep, I've heard that sort of thing before too - e.g. from a couple of colleagues of dh's who have children in both schools, that the girls bring home more homework than the boys, and so on. However, our eldest dd is in Y9 at Kendrick, and although she is admittedly one to sail through life fairly oblivious to the world around her, she hasn't found it pressurised or been overloaded with work.

I think it must have a lot to do with the personality of the child really.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 7:37 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 8:54 pm
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Location: caversham
aliportico wrote:
My friend's son is in Y7 and whilst he is a sensitive boy (so is my ds) and there is a bit of a problem with a disruptive influence or two in his particular class, the whole place sounds quite harsh, I think is the word. Boot camp, my friend called it.
............I hear that someone crying in a lesson is common enough to be barely-remarkable, well, I have to say it's starting to make me a bit uneasy.


To summarize my experience, DS1 in year 10, DS2 not on the waiting list happy to exchange an arm or a leg or both for your place. :)

- I never warmed to the school until the parents new introduction evening when the message changed to 'happy boys are successful boys'

- Y7 is a big change where ever you go, I think Reading handle it well as they have only 112 boys and a well established house system and the benefit of boarding staff

- Entry is by exam, no interviews or references, so they do get some very bright boys lacking in social skills (and parents)

- DS1 moved from a very small girl dominated school to Reading and found it a big shock!

- Your Y7 tutor is head of house an experienced and fearsome teacher, who will look after you. :)

it is a boys school so very competitive, I tell mine don't worry middle of the class is
A*, boys get hung up on being top of the class.


Look at plan B, if you try Reading how hard will it be to get into B, if you try B how hard will it be to get into Reading? Try Reading first, you know it makes sense.

I wouldn’t worry about a place at Reading (but I did), go on go for it.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 8:01 pm 
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Grin, thanks Steve - I know your eldest is very happy there and applying for a second sibling is always a good recommendation!


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 11:34 am 
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Location: reading
Hi i have my ds in year 12 now and I have to say i have no regrets. Yes they do have to toughen up and be willing to work hard but from my experience, the pastoral care has been excellent.
Year 7 is a massive change wherever you go but it is an excellent school and if you enjoy learning and welcome an academic challenge then it is a perfect environment.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 1:37 pm 
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My DS is in year 10. I think Reading is an excellent school. With regard to pastoral care one incident sticks in my mind. DS was in year 8 and had been upset several times by being picked on in a series of low level incidents by another boy; DS was not the only one being picked on, this boy was behaving mischievously towards lots of other boys but of course they all responded in different ways. Eventually something happened which I thought had crossed the line and I decided to get involved. I wrote a note to the form tutor saying what had happened and stating that whilst I understood that 'boys will be boys' I wanted him to be aware of what was going on. He will have had the note at 8.20am. At 1pm he rang me to tell me what he had done to address the situation. He, and the Head of House, had taken both boys out of a lesson, spoken to both of them individually and then spoken to them together. He explained to me what had been said and that was the end of it, DS never had a problem with this other boy again.

I was extremely impressed by the way it had been handled, my note had been very low key but the school clearly took it seriously and dealt with it immediately and sensitively.

I really don't recognise the descriptions others have mentioned of this school with boys being left to cry and a boot camp mentality. If I have had any concerns this year it would be that DS has had too little homework but that is another story :)


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:14 pm 
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Thanks a lot Cocoa and Torrylee - always good to hear of happy boys and happy parents :)

I know the crying has happened, but as far as I know there was no "being left to cry" :)


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:44 pm 
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Fantastic school for bright boys. Both our sons very happy . Youngest boy just quipped that any crying in lessons is probably the teachers!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:21 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2006 1:29 pm
Posts: 1805
Location: Berkshire
aliportico wrote:
My friend's son is in Y7 and whilst he is a sensitive boy (so is my ds) and there is a bit of a problem with a disruptive influence or two in his particular class, the whole place sounds quite harsh, I think is the word. Boot camp, my friend called it.

I don't have a problem with expecting them to grow up a bit, be independent, get themselves organised, etc, but when I hear that someone crying in a lesson is common enough to be barely-remarkable, well, I have to say it's starting to make me a bit uneasy.



Lots of good advise already. My two cents... I have two happy boys at Reading School. Some excellent teachers and extremely good pastoral care ..so far. Any concerns dealt with efficiently and quickly. Homework hit and miss, but I know they make up for it in class.

I also presently work in a Secondary with ofsted outsatnding, and previously one with A-C at 40%ish. I would say in my experience
every school has its disruptions, irrespective of type. It's celebrities (i.e every member of staff knows the name after the first meeting/incident), its quiet shy types, its comedians etc. That's what makes a school both interesting and challenging; be it as a student or staff member.

Don't go with the rumour mill; go with your gut feeling... will this environment be the best place for your child. You know him best. :D

Good Luck

BW


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