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 Post subject: RGS and JHGS
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2016 11:38 am 
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Joined: Thu May 12, 2016 2:20 pm
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Tried to use the search function of this forum for the first time (I normally just lurk and browse through everything) for any feedback on RGS and JHGS. We have finally completed our tour of open evenings and morning visits, 4 grammar schools in total and my DS fell in love with these two schools which I personally found odd as to me, each gave a completely different vibe. Should he pass, he would have a dilemma on his hands as his preference changes between these two every other day or so. I think this is partly because he can see elements of his personality in both - he loves certain aspects of both schools. I know enough not to try and compare the two but I would love honest feedback on both perhaps from members who have DS in one or the other - or both! RGS will be a better, if shorter, commute for him, but only just (although I have heard horror stories of traffic on Marlow hill). Is it true that RGS is the "stricter" school? I really do not want to start a debate, or be told to 'google' (I already have) - the last thing I want to do is annoy or offend people. It's just that the only posts I've seen on this are from 2011 and 2014 and I believe both have had changes of heads since then. Unfortunately, I don't personally know anyone who I can ask about this apart from two other parents but their DSs have only just started Year 7.


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 Post subject: Re: RGS and JHGS
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2016 1:17 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2014 5:34 pm
Posts: 5
Hello. My son is in Y8 at RGS and I never looked at JH. The former head of Chesham GS (CGS) has been the head of RGS since last year, and we had met him at CGS a few years ago, and he made a great impression back then, although my son did not take to CGS, perhaps because it was mixed. I also came to this forum when applying to schools, and I didn't look at JH specifically because it was one hill too far for me to contemplate. There wasn't much info, although the post you probably read was the one I read, which was that RGS was stricter. I can't compare but it may well be as it has a very strong CCF (Combined Cadet Force?) group, if that is a judge of anything. This is what I can tell you:
- I feel that my son is getting a very balanced education, both academically and extracurricularly (is that a word?)
- Yes the traffic on the Amersham Road is not great but perhaps you can find a back route. Or your son can catch a bus or train quite safely. Commute is a real consideration, I feel, especially when thinking ahead to the exam years. I don't know where you are coming from but I was shocked to hear that there is a group of boys coming from HARROW! MILES away!
- I believe that RGS is considered a sporty school. However, I have met parents through my younger children who have had sons go to RGS, and they have said that their boys are not/ were not sporty, but that they loved school (one of them currently has a son at Cambridge!). This was confirmed to me by a non-sporty boy who is 19/20 who I met and when I said, You went to RGS? He said yes, then paused, then gave me a big grin and said, I loved it, without me even prompting or asking anything. Even the sixth former prefect who gave us a tour said to us unprompted that he wasn't sporty, that he was more of a computer nerd and did drama and was a member of the CCF, but loved school. So I believe that boys who choose to go there seem to be very happy, no matter what their interests are. And I like that for something like rugby, they have an A and B team of course, but I think it goes down to an E team ... basically, if you want to play, you will have an opportunity to play on a team, which I think is great.
- One thing, if football is important to your son, note that they do not play football there at all, which really surprised me given it's an all-boys school. It didn't affect my son too much, as he prefers rugby anyway.
- My son plays in the school wind band and the head of music really seems to get the boys interested in music and makes it fun for them. If it wasn't for him I think my son may have quit his instrument.
- Another thing I like is that the school seems to have a good balance of economic backgrounds. My friend whose son goes to Challoners told me that in her son's class of 30 there are only 4 boys who didn't go to private school (which may not necessarily be a sign of wealth or equal across the year). When I went to the first parents' coffee morning at RGS, I felt relaxed and at home with the other new parents, and another mother said just that. As a parent, I really like the school and all staff I have met seem very enthusiastic and thoughtful about the boys.
- Regarding strictness, I do believe it is fairly strict, but not disproportionately or unreasonably so.
- If I were to take the quality of school report as an indication of the quality of the school, I felt that in the year end report there was a lot of detail there and that the individual teachers seem to have got to know my son well as an individual and not just a name. Especially his English teacher, who very clearly chastised him (fairly) in her report.

Hope this helps. As I said, I never looked at JH so have no view on it. Good luck.


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 Post subject: Re: RGS and JHGS
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2016 1:28 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:45 pm
Posts: 4608
There is a poster on here who has sons at both, she will probably pop up soon (southbucks3). If you search on her name you may find useful information as this question has certainly been asked before.


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 Post subject: Re: RGS and JHGS
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2016 2:17 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 12, 2016 2:20 pm
Posts: 76
Thank you so much for your replies! I was very excited to see your post C13, it's very useful. Both schools are convenient for us as I work in town anyway, and I believe both are easily accessible by school and public bus. If I go via Naphill/Walter's Ash from where we live, dropping off my DS at RGS would be very easy and on the way to work (if he passes). I was very excited when you mentioned academics and extra curriculars - my son likes his sport, but also loves his guitar and the sciences and technology. At the moment, I believe his laid back personality would suit JHGS more, but at the same time I think he can benefit from RGS' 'strictness' - as he needs it. He is very "square" and hates being told off so is very rarely silly. However, he is very forgetful with his things, and I feel that a stricter environment will help train him in this respect. My son does play club football but he is not at all bothered that this isn't offered at RGS, as he can equally play rugby, cricket and basketball. Overall, I believe he felt that the RGS visits have been more informative in terms of his interests, but most of the boys he met were older (our prefect somehow lost his Year 8 sidekick at some point during the tour). He liked JH because most of the boys he met were younger (Year 8's) so he was able to chat with them more easily. At the moment, he likes both equally. My husband and I have our own preferences between the two - but not the same one! :D


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 Post subject: Re: RGS and JHGS
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2016 4:03 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2015 3:01 pm
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tropicmama wrote:
Thank you so much for your replies! I was very excited to see your post C13, it's very useful. Both schools are convenient for us as I work in town anyway, and I believe both are easily accessible by school and public bus. If I go via Naphill/Walter's Ash from where we live, dropping off my DS at RGS would be very easy and on the way to work (if he passes). I was very excited when you mentioned academics and extra curriculars - my son likes his sport, but also loves his guitar and the sciences and technology. At the moment, I believe his laid back personality would suit JHGS more, but at the same time I think he can benefit from RGS' 'strictness' - as he needs it. He is very "square" and hates being told off so is very rarely silly. However, he is very forgetful with his things, and I feel that a stricter environment will help train him in this respect. My son does play club football but he is not at all bothered that this isn't offered at RGS, as he can equally play rugby, cricket and basketball. Overall, I believe he felt that the RGS visits have been more informative in terms of his interests, but most of the boys he met were older (our prefect somehow lost his Year 8 sidekick at some point during the tour). He liked JH because most of the boys he met were younger (Year 8's) so he was able to chat with them more easily. At the moment, he likes both equally. My husband and I have our own preferences between the two - but not the same one! :D

Your DS sounds similar to mine (hating to be told off) and I find that JHGS is strict enough that he never forgets anything as they do hand out lunchtime detentions at the drop of a hat (or rather forgotten homework/PE kit) and, from what my a friend has told me of RGS (her DS is same year as mine) the discipline seems similar at both schools.

Travel to RGS would obviously be easier for you from Naphill/Walters Ash, though (I will say it again) Marlow Hill is not as bad as it looks. Another thing to consider with JHGS is that if you ever needed to use public transport then it is neither as easy or cheap as it used to be; the ParknRide is really conveniently placed now but unfortunately your area is served by Arriva buses and PnR is Carousel, with no travel card available to use on both.


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 Post subject: Re: RGS and JHGS
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2016 8:27 am 
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Joined: Thu May 12, 2016 2:20 pm
Posts: 76
Thank you so much for the information BucksBornNBred! I didn't know about the Park and Ride and have noticed a few Carousel buses go past (but nowhere near as often as Arriva). Something to think about definitely. This is good to know as I am embarrassed to admit that I have an irrational fear of driving through or near the Handycross roundabout! :?


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 Post subject: Re: RGS and JHGS
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2016 9:11 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2015 3:01 pm
Posts: 437
tropicmama wrote:
Thank you so much for the information BucksBornNBred! I didn't know about the Park and Ride and have noticed a few Carousel buses go past (but nowhere near as often as Arriva). Something to think about definitely. This is good to know as I am embarrassed to admit that I have an irrational fear of driving through or near the Handycross roundabout! :?

:lol: Not irrational at all ... I do my utmost to avoid handycross too and have probably only driven around it a couple of times in 10 years! If you have any other questions on travel to JHGS then please feel free to PM me and I might be able to help :-)


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 Post subject: Re: RGS and JHGS
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2016 11:35 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2010 2:05 pm
Posts: 202
Thanks for posting this Tropicmama! I'm visiting these two school in 2 weeks time.

I'm shocked that RGS does not have a football team! My son loves football. He does play for a local club but he takes great pride in being in the school football team.


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 Post subject: Re: RGS and JHGS
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2016 11:57 am 
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Joined: Thu May 12, 2016 2:20 pm
Posts: 76
Blueberry, no problem. I thought it would be helpful as I don't really personally know anyone to ask and have found this forum a godsend during the last few months. I think my DS will be re-visiting both schools too, should he pass the 11+. I have taken note of the October visiting dates of both schools. Our first impressions were that they were quite chalk and cheese, but we could be wrong. Both seem outstanding hence, my DS is really torn. My DS is in the same position - he plays for the school football team and also a football club but reckons he can just keep playing for the club should he attend RGS. Not sure how long he can manage to keep that up, he's had to give up club rugby as the training coincides with football matches.

BucksBornNBred, I might just PM you soon to ask all sorts of travel questions in case my DS passes and he picks JHGS. I always see some of the JH boys looking smart in their uniform by the bus stop on West Wycombe road every morning when I drive to work. Perhaps I can drop him off the bus stop!


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 Post subject: Re: RGS and JHGS
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2016 12:56 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2010 2:05 pm
Posts: 202
Can't you use the school bus? I thought that transport to/from school can be arranged via the school / county council?


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